GISA Winner for Impact Sourcing in a Purchasing Organization: Intuit
Mission Hope Becomes Way of Doing Business at Intuit
Impact sourcing has brought a renewed sense of optimism and pride for two U.S. communities that once relied on coal mining and steel making to fuel their economies, thanks to Intuit’s Mission Hope.
Started as an initiative to both enhance Intuit’s customer care experience and improve employee attrition rates for its BPO partners while also helping distressed communities with high unemployment, Mission Hope has become a way of doing business.
Balakarthik Venkataramanan, Intuit’s Director Customer Care Small Business Care Group, describes Mission Hope as an “effort to give new hope to communities that have awesome talent but lack of opportunity.”
Beyond creating 900-plus jobs and helping to revive two local economies, Intuit has created an impact sourcing model with a compelling value proposition for all its stakeholders: customers, employees and communities.
Based on the impactful results, Mission Hope has been integrated into Intuit’s CSR strategy companywide and fully aligns with Intuit’s mission to “power prosperity around the world” for consumers, self-employed individuals and small businesses.
Partnering with Sykes Enterprise and Concentrix Corporation, the customer success center locations of Wise, Virginia in 2016 and Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 2017 were strategically selected for their potential to once again prosper.
The initial results have been impressive: In 24 months, the initiative has produced best-in-class customer experience and higher engagement by employees compared to other teams doing similar work elsewhere; lower attrition rates; and strong operational results.
Strong relationships with the BPO providers and the community have been critical to the success of the engagement, according to Venkataramanan.
“Our partners play a critical role in been able to achieve what we have or what we aspire to achieve,” he said. “It’s very critical we work with partners who share the same passion and energy for the work we are doing at Mission Hope. We are very fortunate to have partners who have a well-established corporate responsibility team in the U.S. and globally.”
Employees were retooled and trained to provide customer support and help users of Intuit’s products to leverage the product capabilities more effectively. Intuit and partners worked with local economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, community colleges and universities to assist with workforce development and build end-to-end support. It also continues to work with partners on training to upskill employees so they can support more advanced products, and gain higher-level positions.
Intuit outsources more than 15,000 workers around the globe. It has found that the U.S. as well as Canada are excellent locations for much of its advanced and consultative type of work to help Intuit’s customers, while India and the Philippines are desired locations for handling more of the transactional type of customer questions.
“With the recent shift in jobs coming back onshore, our industry needs an alternative to the traditional model of large centers, supporting multiple clients in high population areas as these markets are becoming increasingly competitive and saturated with high turnover as the result,” Venkataramanan said.
As a result of the success it has achieved at the first two sites, Intuit is expanding its U.S. footprint and is exploring locations to establish a additional Mission Hope sites with a goal of having majority of the advanced and consultative type of customer support in the states in distressed communities over the next several years, he said.
Moving ahead, in addition to job and skills creation, Intuit also is focusing on partnering with individuals to create financial awareness and with small businesses to achieve success in underserved communities through the use of their tax, financial and accounting products.
Winning the Global Impact Sourcing Award
Being selected as a winner of IAOP’s GISA award helps build awareness and education of impact sourcing, said Venkataramanan, who accepted the honor during the awards luncheon and also spoke on a panel on impact sourcing at OWS19.
“More and more companies are declaring and integrating impact sourcing as part of their overall strategy,” he said. “The recognition is a great way to tell the story that impact sourcing is becoming important. At OWS19, hundreds of participants discussed many critical business topics. The fact that we created an award for impact sourcing and took time to talk about it shows the trend in the business.”
Intuit’s approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is driven by its mission. Intuit powers prosperity around the world, especially for those who need it most. Intuit does this by leveraging its people, its products, and by protecting the planet.