Enshored, LLC.

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October 7, 2019 Issue



Global Outsourcing Company Enshored, LLC. is providing services in Customer Services, Back Office Processing, Content Moderation and Sales and Marketing for B2B Companies



Ian Jackson

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Enshored, LLC.



Ian Jackson


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Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – October 7, 2019


CEOCFO: Mr. Jackson, what is the focus at Enshored, LLC today?

Mr. Jackson: Enshored is an outsourcing company focused on servicing primarily disruptive companies.  


CEOCFO: What does that mean day to day? 

Mr. Jackson: We help a number of companies from around the world in four main areas. We provide them their customer service teams, which can be anything from technical customer service through consumer support, as in, “Where is my stuff? It has not arrived,” types of queries. We do a number of back office processing tasks, in particular for ecommerce companies who tend to have a lot of busywork required to make sure that their ecommerce platforms perform and look beautiful.


We also do content moderation, which is the process of insuring that people on social networks are playing by the network rules, making sure that there is no fake news, making sure that people are not trying to take advantage of other people by misrepresenting themselves or encouraging people to do things that they should not, like getting involved in taking their clothes off and things like that. Then lastly, we help many B2B companies with aspects of their sales and marketing operations. These are four areas which we find all work very well in an outsourced environment.     


CEOCFO: Do many of your clients take advantage of more than one area of service?

Mr. Jackson: That is a very good question. We find that many of our clients have come in and started with something quite narrow in focus and perhaps slightly easier than what we do for them today, and then have tried out more and more things over time. We have a large B2B travel company and the travel industry is very interesting because it is all built out on what I call 1950s technology. There are legacy platforms underpinning every travel booking system in the world, which still require you to go through things like Saber and stuff like that. They came in because they had an urgent need to just have people deal with something related to hotel booking and then, fast forward eighteen months, and we are running a full omnichannel 24/7 customer support team for them. Therefore, yes, we like to start with something that we are confident with, especially when it is companies who are perhaps not as stable as some of the others. Then, we do have companies who come in and ask us for very large teams of people on day one and they want specific things, but generally it is one or the other of those two.      


CEOCFO: In the different areas that you cover, what do you understand on a fundamental level that less experienced companies do not? 

Mr. Jackson: In what we do, because we are generally working with our client’s technology and clients systems and their ideas on how to solve things, we are somewhat limited, but there are three areas to look at. On the people side of things, we have made a real focus on making sure recruitment efforts are both quicker than our competitors and also that we hire more selectively than many of our competitors. Right now, of the candidates who pass resume screening, we accept around about ten to eleven percent of them, at the end of the day, as candidates. Therefore, we are selecting out ninety percent of the people who, on paper, have the skills to do the job and I think that is a big one. Then, I would say that from a process perspective, we are five years into our business and we have a framework built that allows us to match each client’s needs.


We have built out a really good Enshored process for bringing clients live and then for managing them through the client life cycle. It has to be as frictionless as we can make it. Lastly, on the technology side, we are really invested to making sure we have automated testing, so that we are consistent and we have made sure that we use all the best tools for everything that we do. Being remote from our clients, that means making sure that we make really good use of the best things, like video conferencing, so we only use Zoom nowadays, because we just found it to be far more dependable and reliable than some of the other alternatives, which can be free or less expensive, but do not quite allow the team to communicate as clearly as working with Zoom.       


CEOCFO: Did you recognize the need for higher quality standards from day one of was it over time that you realized how important that can be? 

Mr. Jackson: I would say that it was always part of the goal. I think it took us a little longer how to work out how to correctly measure it and make sure that we were doing it in every case. The biggest challenge for us is that sometimes we get asked to do things which are really difficult, like ramp up a team adding seventy five people or one hundred people in a very short space of time and then obviously trying to manage things like that and keep quality high are challenging. Recruitment is a complex and lengthy process in the first place and when you having to hire that number of candidates it is really hard to stay on top of it. However, we do our best and we continue to look at the process and look at the results and try and identify any areas where we can continue to improve the process.      


CEOCFO: Is all of your back office work done in the Philippines?  

Mr. Jackson: Yes, right now it is all in the Philippines. We continue to look at different options. We have some clients who are working with partners in other markets and obviously we are interested, if we can do it at the right scale, in taking that work on. However generally, if it is the English language and it requires 24/7, the Philippines continues to be, to my mind, the best quality you can get.     


CEOCFO: How do you help you customer service people with idioms, with just the difference cadence that difference parts of the United States, for example, might have? How are you able to overcome some of those challenges?

Mr. Jackson: That is a good question! Some of the complexity of that has somewhat gone away, given that most customer service is now done through channels other than voice. Therefore, when it is written down I think it becomes a little easier than for the voice stuff. We only put people into voice customer service roles when they can really show us that they have the comprehension skills. Then of course, we do not just leave them out there to get on with it. We have a rigorous process where every day we will have “call listening” audits to sample the calls. They will all be scored for comprehension and for whatever the tone of voice of the client is and so on, and make sure that we are handling things like that. We definitely will have certain states and accents where it gets a bit more complex, but over the piece, I think that the way that the Philippines has evolved and they are very tight linked to the US means that it is not as big an issue as it is for some other markets.    


CEOCFO: You mentioned ecommerce and travel. What types of companies turn to you or it is really across the board? 

Mr. Jackson: My background was originally in financial technology, and we have worked with a number of successful companies in that space and SaaS companies. We would love to work with more and more SaaS companies. We think it is an area where many of them could really improve their service levels. What we generally find is that, because they deal with slightly more complexity than some of the other customer service work we take on, many of them have an in house team and view it as, “We will try and make this work.” However, as they grow they find that their in house team, be it in London or New York on San Francisco, are just not able to manage the volume of tickets that come in when they are created and it creates that opportunity for us to say, “We can come in and we will work in your core hours and outside of them, to make sure your customers are taken care of when they need the support and not when it is convenient for your customer service team to be in the office.” That has been a big change.


Then on the content moderation side; we love that work, it is hard, it is always 24/7, but it is a key part of the way that technology companies are taking more accountability for creating platforms where users can speak with each other and interact with each other. They need to overlay on top of that some arbiters of what is fair and what is decent and are people playing by the rules.


We also love doing support work for creative businesses – we edit video, clean up photographs of products, that sort of stuff.          


CEOCFO: We came upon Enshored from your listing on the Inc 5000, which is certainly impressive. How do you continue the trajectory? 

Mr. Jackson: There are really three things that we will do. We will continue to work to grow organically with our clients. Many of them are growing at two, three, four hundred percent, year on year, which is great and that creates opportunity for us.


Secondly, we have also found that there is quite a bit of mobility with people at our clients who go off to work at the next gig at another tech company. Then the first thing they might do is call us up and say, “Hey, we are going to need your help in customer support or back office.” That has happened many times and actually, by our reckoning, forty percent of our clients today came from client referrals, which is huge.


The last path to market for us is working on our outbound strategy. We are currently working hard to put our brand out there to other companies. We are active in our marketing, through advertising, attending conferences and being seen at places where disruptive companies are going to be. We spend a lot of time thinking about which companies and at what stage of growth are the most compelling opportunities for us, and trying to be in front of them as they recognize they are going to need help.


CEOCFO: What is the geographic range of your clients? 

Mr. Jackson: When we started out, for the first three years, we were almost exclusively US based. Part of that was really just how we were doing business development and we wanted to really try and focus on core markets so we could get out and sit with our clients as we were really building our processes to make sure that we were successful with the early clients. Since then, we have expanded, so we have a number of clients in Asia, in China in particular. There are a number of Chinese technology companies who now are marketing services around the world, which is a little bit different from ten years ago. Therefore, they need help and we have done well there and will look to continue to understand better their specific needs and help them scale.


There is also Europe and the UK in particular, but the biggest challenge there, of course, is that the pound has really, really collapsed against the dollar since Brexit and so it makes our pricing sometimes a little less competitive. That is because we price everything in dollars, because the Philippine peso is pretty pegged to the dollar, so that is a challenge that we have work through. However, we do have a number of clients in the UK using our services.       


CEOCFO: What surprised you as Enshored, LLC has grown and evolved to where you are today?  

Mr. Jackson: I think that the best and most pleasant surprise is that we really developed a strong leadership, which was always the intention, but you never really know how things are going to work out. We have had some really strong people come in. One of the great things about working in the Philippines is especially that middle management level. There is a lot of really strong talent and people who are really dedicated and enjoy the work. Therefore, on my end, I am happy that I do not need to, every morning, wake up and worry about the day to day of what is happening in the Philippines. There will be days, for sure, where I get called in to be the arbiter and stuff like that, but most of the time, the operations on a day to day or a week by week basis, are happily running along without needing me to tinker with them.


CEOCFO: How do you stand out at a conference? How do you attract people to at least take a look and engage with you, particularly when there are a lot of companies competing for attention?  

Mr. Jackson: We have tried to stay away from conferences where we would be one of many outsourcing companies. Therefore, we do our due diligence. We will attend a conference at least the prior year before we sponsor it. Then, when we are there we make sure that we have a decent size team of people there and that we get to work making connections.


Part of what we do as a business and being involved in startup and scale up businesses is we are excited to help companies. Sometimes it is not necessarily all about if Enshored can take on some work for them, but can we introduce them to some other company in our network or have we heard about a software solution that might help them, and doing that kind of paying it forward work all the time without expecting anything back from it. That has been big for us. I think that our clients generally do not feel that they are getting a hard sell from us and they are really able to look at us and say, “Yes, we think this company is going to create value for our business.”     



“We have built out a really good Enshored process for bringing clients live and then for managing them through the client life cycle. It has to be as frictionless as we can make it.”
- Ian Jackson






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