Repurpose. That’s a word you don’t hear a lot, if hardly ever, in American business today.
More often, it’s displace, as in no longer needed.
But once in a while—and this is one of them—existing talent is given new purpose. Offered meaningful opportunities after a job ends.
Work Is Fluid
Such is the case for a large group of agents, contracted to work on one of our hospitality programs. After many years with us, the client decided to shift customer care work off shore while increasing its American focus on sales.
The move required different skills. Though right for the client, the change proved rough for agents. Average tenure on the program was more than two years, with several agents providing service for seven.
Still, they understood why, as we explained the decision being based on business needs—and not their performance.
“At Working Solutions, the work is fluid,” said April Wiita, senior director of program success. “So we invest in agents for the long term, across many different accounts.”
“On this program, we had a lot of customer care talent already in place. With the change, we could go a couple of ways: One, contract with new sales agents or ensure those already there were suited for sales work. Or two, recontract with them, if possible, to other clients that needed elite customer care agents.”
Every business has many touchpoints. In our industry, those touchpoints are agents.
That’s why Working Solutions is in touch with agents as independent contractors—and as individuals.
For example, when a client program changed—and their services were no longer needed there—we reached out one-by-one, offering opportunities to work on different Working Solutions accounts.
Agents appreciated such consideration, as seen in their comments:
We believe what’s given out is gotten back, twice blessed.
Experience tells us it comes back in agent service and care for clients and their customers.
Retained talent has residual business value.
Told of their options and opportunities, 8% decided to stay on the program and learn sales. Another 63% accepted immediate assignments with our other travel and hospitality clients. The remainder are taking time to evaluate new client opportunities.
Invest in Agents
Once in our working community, agents select their programs, sometimes working a couple of clients at a time, depending on their availability.
In between, they stay up to speed through Vyne, the company’s online agent community. There, they update their skills—with several education sessions every month, explore opportunities and chat with fellow agents across America.
“We’re a hometown company,” said Wiita. “Homeshore is our business. Has been for 20 years. And when we find great agents, right here in the U.S., we work hard to keep them. Clients appreciate that.”