Innovative and Strategically Balanced Support
Whether we want to admit it or not, the service and support industry might be the most schizophrenic industry on the planet today! It seems one minute we are in the back office providing service and support behind the scenes to end users and customers. The next minute we are moved to the front of the organization and considered “strategic”. Today it is “strategically outsourced and off-shored”. So what is it going to be? Back office, front office, strategic, outsourced, or off-shored?
The answer lies in the ability of Service and Support leaders to find support models offering what their company’s want; cost effective, scalable, and customer centric service. These objectives are at the core of any service and support model. You can dress up your support organization and call it “strategic” with enhanced processes, new technology, and highly talented resources, but these factors do not make support strategic.
Today strategic support is providing service and support that meets and exceeds the company’s objectives through innovative and balanced delivery solutions. The key word in this statement is balance, and balance is required for support organizations to survive and remain strategic.
What is a Virtual Support Center?
Strategic support organizations are now seeing the next generation of service delivery using the Virtual Support Center. The Virtual Support Center is a model comprised of Virtual Support Professionals, working remotely and consistently providing higher levels of service. This model of support has now become the new “norm” for support organizations and is gaining maturity by the day. Support organizations realize they can leverage their existing technology, resources and processes to transform their traditional brick and mortar support models to the innovative and balanced Virtual Support Center.
Benefits of a Virtual Support Center
The advantages of the Virtual Support Center seem endless because you are breaking down traditional brick and mortar barriers and opening your support center up to a world of new and innovative ways to execute on your strategic objectives:
- Reduced costs of operations (Strategic Objective 1)
- Scalability (Strategic Objective 2)
- Improved service delivery (Strategic Objective 3).
Additional benefits also include:
- Business continuity
- Savings in “Dark Space” costs Reduced turnover
- Industry statistics show less than 10%
- Higher productivity
- Industry statistics show 20%+ increase Larger recruiting pool
- Global resource pool Enhanced work/life balance
- Eliminates average commute of 50 minutes per day Environmentally friendly
- Averages 5 tons of CO2 eliminated annually per remote employee
Top 10 Requirements for Leaders
Every support organization is unique and the benefits you can glean from the Virtual Support Center are what will transform your vision into reality.
In order for the Virtual Support Center to become a reality and make strategic sense, support leaders must recognize the top 10 requirements. With every requirement comes the opportunity for support leaders to provide innovation and leadership to place a strong hold on their strategic position in the organization.
So what are the top 10 requirements for leaders to provide Strategic support through the Virtual Support Center? How can they turn the Virtual Support Center into a “strategic reality” for their company? Here are the top 10 requirements.
- Get “buy-in” or approval to establish a Virtual Support Center
- Make the Virtual Support Center an integrated function of the decentralized model
- Build a virtual profile for remote professionals
- Prepare your support managers on new Virtual techniques
- Measure the success of the Virtual Support Center
- Your personnel department plays a role in the success of your Virtual Support Center
- Engage your technology organization to leverage existing IT Infrastructure in establishing the Virtual Support Center
- Determine your cost savings
- Train and certify your team for success in the Virtual Support Center
- Ensure customers are not negatively impacted by the Virtual Support Center
Change is the essence of survival today for service and support organizations. To become strategic, support organizations need to adapt to their environment and to the changing conditions of the marketplace. One thing however is constant; Strategic support organizations have the opportunity with the Virtual Support Center to remain on the leading edge of change, and provide continuous value while doing so.