In this episode, Derek speaks with Alex Holmes, the Chief Growth Officer at Influx.com. Influx is a 10-year-old customer service outsourcing firm that focuses on customer service and sales support.
Influx hires based on talent, not location.
Talent trumps location
Alex discusses the early vision and principles of their company, emphasizing the importance of talent over location.
He states, “One of the early visions and principles was talent trumps location. So let’s find the best people in the world that want to be CEOs, agents, and team leaders and managers and find a way for them to be successful with the types of companies we want to work with.”
However, Alex acknowledges the challenges of having a globally dispersed team, highlighting coordination problems that can arise when troubleshooting issues with clients in different regions.
He says, “What happens if you have to troubleshoot some problem with clients in San Francisco, and then you got an agent in Jamaica and a team leader in Indonesia? It takes four days to get anything done. That’s obviously not good enough.”
To address these challenges, Alex explains that their company has always been technology-focused, with two of the founders being engineers.
Influx’s technology-driven approach sets them apart, even though most clients are primarily concerned with SLAs and scalability.
Employee retention x remote work setting
Influx’s Chief Growth Officer also discussed the factors that contribute to employee retention and success in remote work settings.
He emphasized the importance of several key elements, stating, “What we found is a lot of things on [employee retention], but a big one is that [employees] typically stick around if they like their manager. If their managers really empower them, they’ll stick around.”
Alex also acknowledges the significance of the ability to work from home, particularly in cities with heavy traffic like Jakarta or Nairobi, where long commutes can be a major deterrent.
He explains that employees are happier and more empowered when they have the flexibility to work remotely.
Further, Alex points out that employees thrive when they believe in the work they do, receive opportunities for growth in their careers, and are continuously challenged.
He emphasizes that these factors play a significant role in making remote work arrangements successful.
Advice to BPO beginners
As parting note, Alex shares valuable advice for individuals starting a business, emphasizing the importance of focusing on a niche and excelling in it.
He advises, “My advice for anyone starting out with any business is find a niche and do it incredibly well.” Alex highlights the vast potential within the industry they operate in, suggesting that there are numerous niches to explore.
Additionally, Alex cautions against getting distracted by pursuing requests for proposals (RFPs) from clients who view the business as a commodity.
He encourages entrepreneurs to instead define their ideal client and identify what makes their service exceptional. By aligning their offerings with their target clients’ needs and delivering exceptional value, entrepreneurs can establish a successful business.