An Expert Entrepreneur: Paul Herdsman

As an entrepreneur, businessman, and COO of a successful nearshore customer service company based in Jamaica, Paul Herdsman successfully pivots throughout many roles in order to maintain a successful operation. Through years of pertinent employment experiences, he has garnered expertise related to the crucial skills needed for long-term success in the customer service sector. He continuously implements his extensive knowledge within the realms of customer retention, customer satisfaction, business development, marketing and sales, and human resources to lead the talented teams in place at his company, NICE Global.

What sets Herdsman apart from many peers, however, is his unwavering support of his staff, and his understanding of the importance of team morale, staff retention, and staff expertise, all facets that aide NICE Global in daily successes, and long-term growth. By investing resources into his personnel, Herdsman provides highly skilled individuals with careers that essentially have no ceiling, and retains employees at a much higher rate than his peers.

Herdsman serves as the COO of NICE Global, a service solution for businesses who are looking to outsource processes, but maintain a semblance of control and stability within their outsourced departments. While outsourcing various customer related departments is certainly not a new concept within business, increasing numbers of entrepreneurs and business owners are recognizing the benefits of nearshore outsourcing. NICE Global, for example, can successfully provide the customer service needs of companies within the US at a competitive rate, but a closer proximity allows for CEO’s and business owners to physically tour the facilities, and maintain more extensive communication regarding their processes.

Since the inception of the company in 2014, Herdsman’s expertise has led to continued growth, client acquisition, and client loyalty. His insights, views, and convictions into the business world are incredibly valuable, and he shares his experiences with readers, peers, and colleagues.

How has your professional background prepared you for your role as COO of NICE Global?

Throughout various employment opportunities, I have always tried to take honest self-inventories related to particular tasks that I enjoyed, tasks in which I excelled, and areas of each position that I particularly was drawn to. By maintaining an inquisitive nature throughout very differing roles, I began to see patterns related to the areas of business in which I excelled. Quickly, I recognized that I was very fond of building the perfect customer service experiences, and streamlining daily processes in order to make a business run as smoothly as possible. Thus, within previous professional roles, I sought tasks that would allow me to care for the customer service aspects of a business, and operations of a business. Within my previous roles, I was fortunate to have the autonomy to not only learn the skills needed to succeed, but to also figure out firsthand, the types of skills needed in order to succeed within my realms of interest. From there, I was able to parlay these skills into NICE Global.

What was the inspiration behind starting NICE Global?  

Essentially, in 2013, I was already working within the scope of outsourcing various service departments for large companies. At the time, much like the vast majority of businesses, I was providing outsourced services spread throughout the entire globe. Eventually, maintaining appropriate oversight over five countries spanning the world just wasn’t streamlined enough to handle consistent growth. At that time, I considered alternative options that would allow me to provide the same results-driven responses for clients, but in a centralized, geographically convenient location. With a population that overwhelmingly speaks English, Jamaica became the frontrunner for the operation, and with the combined efforts of my co-founder, NICE Global was borne. By centralizing all outsourcing services to Jamaica, I instantly became able to monitor staffing and training, provide tours and meetings on-site for clients, and garnered a centralized hub with a physical office in Montego Bay.

What type of services does NICE Global provide, and how do clients measure the success of their partnership with NICE Global?

NICE Global provides outsourced functions within human resources, customer service, technical support services, inbound sales, data entry, and live chat services. Basically, we take care of the various tasks that allow a business to focus on continued growth and development, rather than back end projects. By utilizing our expertly trained customer service representatives, clients can rest assured that customer needs will be met with the utmost respect and consideration, all of the way across the board, every time. For many clients, this consistency means they no longer have to waste countless hours on training a revolving door of customer service team members, potentially providing altered levels of customer service.

With each client, we set very concrete goals for their business, and delve into ways in which the client would like to handle their needs. Based on these insights, we develop metrics related to performance, which allows clients to track our progress, and success. The return on investment for clients is completely transparent as a result of this model, and allows clients to feel confident about our partnership.

Why is corporate culture important to you? How does NICE Global implement its’ unique stance on employee culture to maintain positive employee relations?

I truly believe in the power of building a strong core team of employees, and providing these employees with the resources needed to not only succeed within their positions, but to also rise within the company. At NICE Global, each employee receives extensive training on all aspects of their position, and is made to feel confident in their role prior to garnering the responsibilities that accompany their role. By providing extensive training and education, we ensure that each employee feels comfortable with making the right decisions on the job, and with performing their duties at a level that they are now extensively familiar with. From there, employees are provided with various educational opportunities aimed at promotion within the company. We believe that providing consistent training, education, and growth opportunities allows for team members to feel valued, inspired, and ready to tackle new responsibilities, roles, and titles. NICE Global takes great pride in the employee retention rate that we currently have, which we attribute with the notion of continued growth, and upward mobility for our employees.

In addition to extensive training, how do you prepare your employees for success?

When new employees sign on, we provide them with extensive training that follows a tried-and-true methodology. They receive extensive oversight, monitoring, and mentoring, which allows them to enter their position ready to take on any aspect of said position. However, we also cross-train employees on aspects of every other position at NICE Global. By providing employees with a firsthand understanding of the manner in which other departments operate, we provide them with a better understanding of the way in which each department works together as a piece of the entire puzzle. Through this understanding, they are able to see how their particular role affects the big picture, and to feel as though they are making a tangible difference in the overall success of the company.

Additionally, we provide continuous training for employees, various seminars and webinars, and opportunities for continued engagement. By keeping employees actively engaged at all times, we build long-lasting relationships with our employees, citing them as the key to the company’s long-term success.

Finally, we value their beliefs, culture, personality, and individual needs. We believe that each employee is a true individual, and deserves to be treated in a manner that is respectful of their unique needs. Often, when employees speak of their peers, they refer to other staff members as “family”, which is a wonderful thing to hear within a business environment, and a credence to our corporate culture based around employee contentment.

What’s next for NICE Global? Are plans for expansion imminent?

As NICE Global continues to thrive, it is very natural to consider the next steps for the business. We have extensively discussed the potential for expansion in various forms, and are actively committed to researching the possibility of various types of expansion, and figuring out what makes the most sense within the near future for the company.

Within our location in Montego Bay, we can certainly expand our physical location, and continue to grow upon the company that already exists. However, we have to consider the physical space, and determine if the city has enough viable space for the company to expand within its’ current parameters. As we have enjoyed great growth and success within Jamaica, and cite the country’s residents, and employees, as being the source of our continued success, we are also considering the possibility of expansion within Jamaica, but in a new area, such as Kingston. By opening a second physical location in Kingston, this option would allow us to continue building upon the rich culture that NICE Global thrives within, with the added benefits of garnering a new pool of potential employee talent that is geographically a little bit too far outside the scope of our Montego Bay location.

Additionally, we are also considering the possibility of expanding to another country, providing our services to another set of potential clients that would benefit from nearshore outsourced operations closer to their homebase. For example, by expanding to a predominantly Spanish speaking territory, we could delve into bilingual outsourcing needs, and garner the support of clients throughout new regions.

While all of these possibilities are heavily under consideration, researching the complexities related to expansion remains a top priority for us. Prior to having all of the answers, we will certainly not expand. After all, the same consideration that we provide for our clients, we also extend to our own company, with extensive metrics that will assist us with making these decisions upon garnering appropriate research, statistics, and insights.

Other than traditional marketing, what tools do you utilize to acquire new clients?

While traditional marketing, and word-of-mouth resources are crucial toward continued growth, and client acquisition, I believe in providing complete business transparency. Essentially, when a client is considering outsourcing various departments of their business, they are literally handing over crucial aspects of their company to another company, with the complete faith that their decision will yield positive results. So much of the service we provide is literally someone’s first interaction with a business, and we are literally the brand’s ambassadors. Thus, it is absolutely crucial for a potential client to feel confident, comfortable, and eager to work with us.

There is no better method to achieve this confidence than through complete transparency.  We encourage potential clients to delve into our records, speak with other current clients within our repertoire, to tour our physical spaces, and to learn everything there is to know about NICE Global. From there, we provide potential clients with our metrics for success, our internal training and infrastructure programs, and our measures for ROI. We believe this is a fantastic way to build a meaningful relationship with potential clients, and to parlay our competency.

What skills do you believe have made you a successful entrepreneur? What skills do you think are important in the business world?

Personally, I attempt to streamline my professional life as much as possible. Whenever I can, I try to limit redundancies, and I attempt to speak and act in a manner that is concise, and leaves little room for misunderstanding. Essentially, as I work side by side with so many various team members, I take great pride in directing these team members in a manner that will provide them with the insight they need to succeed, without bogging them down with anything that can potentially be misunderstood, or unnecessarily add to their workload. I have found that this direct approach allows for tasks to not only get done quicker, but to also be successful at a much higher rate.

All entrepreneurs, including myself, need to be able to multi-task within their roles, and need to retain the ability to see the forest, the trees, and everything in between. In order to maintain success within the world of business, one must be able to see the big picture related to the long-term overall functioning of the business. Conversely, one needs to also be able to anticipate the small details that can quickly change the trajectory of the business, and needs to be able to troubleshoot the smaller parts in order to maintain the balance of the overall grand picture.

Of course, this task is nearly impossible to achieve independently, and thus, I believe that a great entrepreneur must recognize the value in a garnering a strong core team of employees with whom he or she will be able to brainstorm, troubleshoot, and develop. Being able to converse about ideas, garner objective feedback, and gain new perspective on a topic is crucial when it comes to the long-term success of a company, and can only be achieved with a loyal team at the helm.

Surely, you can’t spend your entire life working. What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time, and how do those hobbies impact your work-life balance?

Though I do spend a great amount of time laser-focused on the tasks at hand, I greatly enjoy spending time with my family, and engaging in two of my favorite leisurely activities: fishing, and golfing. By now, I have been fishing for many years, and it is truly a lifelong hobby of mine. I began fishing at about six years old, after my parents honored my request, and purchased a fishing pole for me for Christmas. Though I cannot recall why I was initially so interested in fishing, that first fishing pole lead to immediate love of fishing. I was hooked, no pun intended. Though I didn’t start golfing until much later, throughout my high school years, I also fell in love with golfing after the first swing.

Both of these hobbies allow me to focus only on the activity at hand, and allow me to tune out the rest of the world. As most of my days consist of many responsibilities, decisions, multi-tasking expeditions, and a constant state of thought, the experience of relaxing on a lake with a fishing pole allows my mind to finally quiet. Though the majority of my days are filled with never ending to-do lists, I attempt to find the time to fish or golf at least once per week. When I can, I also try to partake in golfing expeditions, and partake within a few competitions. Though I mostly engage in both activities as a means of relaxation, I can sometimes get competitive, and enjoy the competitive spirit of both of these hobbies.

As with all things in life, maintaining a healthy balance is key. Thus, even though I work extremely hard, I try to take the time out to enjoy hobbies that allow me to relax, and to spend quality time being fully engaged in the activities that give me pleasure. By doing so, this allows me to refuel, and feel ready to tackle the world the minute I step back into the office.

Stay up-to-date with Paul by following him on Twitter and Instagram.

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