Every business has an impact on the community around it, some positive and some negative.
For example, when a large supermarket opens in a small town it provides employment in the community but can force local stores to close.
Impact sourcing is all about smart, ethical outsourcing. It encourages businesses to adopt inclusive employment practices, with an intentional focus on maximising both societal and business outcomes.
When it comes to outsourcing customer service, there are various ways that Customer Experience Management (CXM) partners can have a positive impact on communities in the countries they operate in.
Creating in-centre roles in areas of high unemployment
When opening a new contact centre, CXM companies consider the employment levels in the area around their building. Opening a centre in a town or city with a strong talent pool but relatively high unemployment can bring 400-500 new jobs, having a huge impact on the community.
As unemployment levels drop and more income is available, local government and businesses engage in regeneration opportunities which further improve the wellbeing of local residents.
Work At Home (WAH)
Giving people the opportunity to work at home as customer service (CS) colleagues is another way of positively impacting the community. Here are a few examples.
- In rural and remote areas, SYKES brings additional, sustainable employment to communities that may not be able to fill an office of several hundred people, but the people available to work do so safely from home and the total headcount is drawn from a wide geographic area.
- WAH offers employment to people who find it difficult to leave their home, including those with disabilities or caring responsibilities. Their contribution to work is recognised and appreciated and they can be home-based while they make it.
- Military service personnel make great sacrifices for the sake of society. SYKES actively recruits former Armed Services personnel. WAH roles provide an accessible and rewarding job when they look for their next career. At the same time, these roles help military spouses to maintain long-term employment, as the job can move with them when they get redeployed.
A final thought on impact sourcing in domestic markets – though much of 2020 and the first half of 2021 brought immense and unexpected challenges, it also showed fully the value of WAH teams in maintaining customer service during lockdown. And when environmental, inclusion and flexibility considerations are taken into account, as well as employee preferences, some form of work-at-home as an ongoing part of CX strategy must be embraced by companies of every size, and this will benefit both them and the communities they support.