Hi-tech business is often associated with the relentless march of automation in service delivery. Without a doubt, artificial intelligence and other leading technologies are creeping further into outsourcers’ business models. Clients demand it. In many markets, it offers a compelling way to control labor costs.
But, GlowTouch LLC, a BPO provider known for its hi-tech service support, keeps its agents at the center of its business. That human potential was front and center of the grand opening of GlowTouch’s new site in the Dominican Republic capital of Santo Domingo.
Expansion Amid a Pandemic
The Dominican Republic site is a high-water point for GlowTouch. Just a little over two years ago, the outsourcer had a two-point footprint. Service delivery occurred at the company’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, while foreign operations were based around two sites in India.
GlowTouch had transitioned many agents to work-from-home in 2019. Even so, when the pandemic came, lockdowns in India led to challenges as agents struggled to care for family members and work, at times amid patchy residential internet in cities like Bengaluru.
Unwilling to compromise its service delivery standards, GlowTouch instituted testing to ensure compliance with PCI standards. Agent workstations were monitored to guarantee at-home agents did not have pens or mobile phones on their desks; home-based laptops had to have their cameras disabled.
As the hurdles of WFH were surmounted, GlowTouch found that its centers were poised for growth. There were no service disruptions, so clients were pleased. And end-users met the domesticity of service delivery — the occasional dog barking in the background or the like — with understanding and a high degree of empathy. Remarkably, CSAT scores increased during the pandemic.
As crisis management transitioned to the ‘new normal,’ GlowTouch expanded. The outsourcer opened a small center in Santo Domingo, followed by new centers in Mysore, India, and the Philippines.
The 4Q20 launch of delivery from the Dominican Republic has been a crucial element in that growth. Operations started with just 30 seats, but once service delivery began, the site quickly grew to over 100 seats. GlowTouch acquired a new facility, renovating a large anchor space in a Santo Domingo shopping mall.
The 2,376-square meter location now houses operations for six clients, with room to grow up to 500 seats. In addition to workstations, the facility includes a host of amenities including a quiet room, conference rooms, a cafeteria and game room, and an infirmary.
GlowTouch’s incremental growth plans resulted in an increase of agents from around 1,300 in March of 2020 to over 2,500 today.
A Future of Growth and Community
With the pandemic now abating, GlowTouch has forged a unique path that will continue to define its service delivery. A business founded and led by Vidya Ravichandran, GlowTouch conceives of growth as not only a business aim but a social good. It strives to create jobs for women as well as men. (In the Dominican Republic and Philippines half of its agents are female; in the US, about 60% are.)
Recently, GlowTouch launched operations from San Antonio, Texas. Domestically, agent growth is poised to expand under GlowTouch’s RemoteAbility program, which allows people based in rural eastern Kentucky and other talent pools that are often overlooked, like veterans with disabilities or military spouses, to work as agents.
Abroad, it will fill out its extra space in Santo Domingo before casting an eye to the Latin American mainland. RFPs and existing clients continue to demand Spanish-English bilingual service delivery, a trend that GlowTouch aims to satisfy.