As I’ve mentioned in the introduction to my DSL Case Study, I’ve recently hired a new Virtual Assistant (V.A) to initially take over front-end operations of customer support and order fulfillment for a Shopify drop shipping store. After video interviewing several individual candidates but also agencies, my gut feeling told me to opt for a young man named James in New Delhi, as he spoke a good and very polite English, and I could tell he’d had experience conversing with Americans over the phone. James has worked for IBM customer support in the past and it shows. I figured if he’s impressing me already with his ability at quickly learning the tasks I gave him in addition to taking the time to review and improve my processes, he’s going to easily be able to provide great service both to customers and brand account managers.
I’ve hired virtual assistants, web developers, graphic designers, and customer service staff from several other countries in the past such as The Philippines, Kazakstan, Romania, and also the U.S., and perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve personally worked in India twice and love the culture in general, but I like working with Indians and especially their politeness (for example when calling Google Adwords I always asked to be transferred to the India call center, as I always get amazing service from them). There’s also been a shifting trend globally from outsourcing to India to now The Philippines, so it’s very possible that there is currently an oversupply of very qualified individuals in India who, just like James who’s no longer with IBM, are looking to partner up you and your business.
I pay James on a base + commissions sale structure, which really motivates him to learn quickly, deliver, and already take initiatives, the most surprising of all being to leverage his network to find better prices for some of the other tasks I was planning on outsourcing to another person. So by paying him on a commission-based structure, and with clear sales target to reach in order for him to renew his 12 months contract for another 12 months afterwards, he’s now genuinely motivated to grow this drop shipping store. To the point where he is saving me money by negotiating (I assume hard, in Hindi) prices in Rupees for targeted jobs.
So by properly incentivizing your staff, you can motivate them enough to actually go beyond your expectations to learn your business and its processes quickly, deliver results, and leverage their own networks to save you on operational costs.