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Multilingual Customer Support: Benefits, Channels, and Strategies

In the modern business world, adapting to the evolving demands of customer support is an absolute necessity. Studies consistently show that even a relatively small investment into customer service leads to decreased churn rate and overall customer acquisition cost.

Furthermore, the continuous evolution of technology gives access to increasingly diverse customer bases across the globe. Technology is a driving force behind business growth by facilitating connections with an international clientele. 

However, multinational clients come with the added barrier of language differences. So, how can a business overcome the challenge of linguistic diversity in a global market? This hurdle is where the implementation of multinational customer support strategies becomes paramount.

This article unravels the transformative benefits of embracing multilingual customer service. By bridging language gaps, this approach can enhance global customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What is Multilingual Customer Support?

Multilingual customer support is a system designed to assist and communicate with customers in various languages, allowing organizations to cater to a diverse, global clientele. This approach ensures effective communication and problem resolution for consistent, high-quality customer service across language differences.

Some examples include:

  • Live chat services: Companies often employ real-time multilingual customer support chat agents to instantly address customer inquiries in their preferred language.
  • Phone support: Offering phone support with multilingual representatives ensures customers can articulate concerns and receive assistance in their native language.
  • Multilingual knowledge bases: Creating multilingual knowledge bases enables customers to access tailored self-help resources, promoting autonomy and ease of use.

6 Benefits of Multilingual Customer Support

Multilingual customer support is a strategic asset for businesses seeking global success. Its numerous benefits explain why companies increasingly integrate multilingual support into their customer service strategies.

1. Allows efficient customer communication

First and foremost, multilingual customer support ensures that businesses can communicate seamlessly with their customers despite language differences. This capacity aids in resolving issues effectively and enhances the overall customer experience.

Example: A multinational e-commerce platform swiftly addresses customer queries in real-time, leading to quicker problem resolution and heightened customer satisfaction.

2. Mitigates misunderstandings

Beyond facilitating communication, the adoption of multilingual support systems reduces the risk of misunderstandings and misinterpretations. 

In sectors demanding precision, such as finance or healthcare, delivering information accurately in customers’ native languages becomes essential to prevent confusion or errors. This proactive approach minimizes the potential for communication breakdowns.

Example: A pharmaceutical company can implement multilingual customer support to ensure their patients understand vital information such as dosage instructions and potential side effects. 

3. Promotes customer loyalty

Businesses that offer support in multiple languages show a commitment to comprehending and fulfilling the diverse needs of their customer base. This dedication fosters a sense of loyalty among customers who feel acknowledged and valued.

Example: A software company providing multilingual documentation and assistance establishes a connection with users worldwide. This commitment increases the likelihood of continued usage and customer loyalty.

4. Increases positive feedback

The value of communicating in customers’ native languages goes beyond issue resolution; it creates an environment where positive experiences thrive. 

Customers appreciate the option to interact in familiar languages and often reciprocate with both tangible and intangible rewards, including positive feedback. This sentiment becomes a powerful tool, boosting a company’s reputation and influencing its marketing efforts.

Example: A hotel chain offering multilingual customer service may receive glowing reviews from international guests. Well-supported and understood guests contribute positively to the hotel’s reputation, serving as enthusiastic advocates through their feedback.

5. Expands market reach

With multilingual support, businesses can effectively tap into new markets and broaden their global presence. Offering customer assistance in the target market’s language attracts new customers and enhances the business’s cultural sensitivity and approachability.

Example: A restaurant chain entering a European market might introduce local menu items and have customer support available in languages like French, Spanish, and German. This approach attracts local patrons, demonstrating cultural sensitivity and enhancing the restaurant’s acceptance in the new market.

6. Facilitates global collaboration

Besides a new customer base, the multilingual capabilities of customer support can also give access to collaborations, partnerships, and joint ventures with international entities. This expanded linguistic capacity fosters seamless global communication, amplifying the potential for successful ventures.

Example: A technology firm collaborating with a foreign counterpart can effectively negotiate, resolve issues, and coordinate projects with multilingual customer support.

7 Channels of Multilingual Customer Support

There are various channels you can leverage to ensure effective, multilingual communication. This section contains seven platforms businesses can strategically utilize to provide comprehensive multilingual support. Each channel plays a unique role and contributes to the creation of seamless connections with a diverse, global clientele.

1. Live chat

Positioned as the frontline for multilingual customer support efforts, live chat enables real-time interactions between customers and representatives. Integrating language-specific chat options allows businesses to promptly address queries and offer personalized assistance tailored to linguistic preferences.

This immediate and direct communication fosters a positive customer experience, enhancing satisfaction and loyalty.

2. Social media

Social media platforms can extend a business’s customer service efforts to reach customers in their comfort zones. Responding to customer inquiries and comments in various languages demonstrates responsiveness and inclusivity. Beyond reactive engagement, social media allows the proactive sharing of multilingual content and updates to cater to diverse audiences.

3. Mobile app support

With the increasing reliance on mobile apps, the integration of multilingual support within these platforms becomes essential. Businesses can incorporate language preferences into mobile app interfaces, ensuring users receive assistance in their chosen language.

This feature enhances the overall user experience and enables customers to navigate and utilize app features seamlessly, regardless of linguistic background.

4. Email correspondence

Email is a foundational channel for customer communication because it’s more personal and easily tailored to specific customers. Implementing multilingual support in email correspondence takes personalization to the next level, addressing complex issues in customers’ preferred languages.

This extra effort ensures clarity, reduces the risk of miscommunication, and strengthens the brand-customer relationship.

5. Phone support

Traditional yet effective phone support remains a crucial channel for customer assistance. The employment of representatives fluent in multiple languages allows businesses to offer personalized and immediate support over the landline. 

This direct method is beneficial for addressing complex issues, providing detailed guidance, and reinforcing the importance of human connection in customer service.

6. Video chat

Video chat can go a long way in explaining difficult-to-articulate guidance and expressing compassion in a frustrating situation. Multilingual video support in face-to-face communication fosters a more personalized connection. Businesses can conduct virtual consultations, product demonstrations, or troubleshooting sessions in various languages.

The added visual dimension enhances the customer’s understanding and satisfaction and creates a more engaging and effective support experience.

7. Self-service portals

Offering multilingual self-service portals or knowledge bases empowers customers to find solutions independently. Informative content in multiple languages enables customers to troubleshoot issues, access resources, and navigate products or services on their own terms.

Many customers prefer solving their own problems. Having self-service portals in various languages allows customers to do so, irrespective of their preferred language.

4 Strategies for Implementing a Multilingual Customer Support System

A robust multilingual customer support strategy requires thoughtful planning and strategic execution. This section reveals key strategies businesses can adopt to integrate multilingual support into their customer service framework seamlessly.

1. Identify your customer’s expectations

Understanding the linguistic expectations of your customer base is fundamental to adequate multilingual support. Undertake comprehensive measures, such as surveys, customer interaction analysis, and tracking language preferences, to identify the most commonly used languages by your audience.

For instance, a company operating in Southeast Asia may discover a significant demand for support in languages like Indonesian or Filipino.

2. Empower teams with translation tools

Arming customer support teams with advanced translation tools is a proactive step toward overcoming language barriers. These tools facilitate real-time translation of customer queries and responses, accelerate response times, and ensure accuracy in communication.

While Google Translate suffices for personal use, consider more powerful and accurate translators like DeepL that utilize machine learning to improve multilingual support efficiency. Other noteworthy examples include Amazon Comprehend, a natural-language processing service that makes the platform more accessible to customers and vendors.

3. Establish a multilingual knowledge base

As a strategic move to empower customers with self-service options, create a comprehensive knowledge base in multiple languages. Ensure it includes FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and product information in the most relevant languages. While this initiative may be initially resource and time-intensive, this option requires little maintenance.

Marketing software and training company HubSpot exemplifies this approach with a knowledge base supporting 13 languages, reinforcing its commitment to training.

4. Outsource strategically for language expertise

Consider multilingual customer service outsourcing as a viable option to access specialized language expertise. Partnering with a reputable language service provider or a local customer service support provider can ensure proficient language support, especially for less common languages.

Outsourcing to a local support provider has the added benefit of requiring less training and preparation to get started. Moreover, many partners offer additional capabilities, such as business process outsourcing (BPO) services. They can ensure your business integrates into the new market and closes deals as soon as possible.

Make Connections Beyond Words

When it comes to customer support, the adoption of multilingual strategies transcends mere words; it creates profound connections that resonate globally. It stands as a testament to your unwavering commitment to fostering understanding, satisfaction, and loyalty among your diverse customer base. 

Invest in multilingual customer service and enjoy the twin benefits of satisfied customers and expanding global connections!

To experience the transformative power of multilingual support, contact the Executive Boutique Call Center! As the premier Philippine call center outsourcing partner, we boast a team of highly trained professionals who give the utmost to improve customer satisfaction.

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/operations/multilingual-customer-support-benefits-channels-and-strategies

Publish Date: February 12, 2024


Automation in BPO: 5 Tactics for Productivity and Accuracy

Blockchain, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and chatbots are technologies that businesses employ today to meet the evolving needs of modern consumers. However, you must not overlook the significance of current communication styles. Technology and communication are inseparable, working in tandem to streamline processes and improve customer service support.

Over 68% of people say they’ve wasted time due to communication issues in business. This highlights the importance of good communication channels to fuel amicable customer relationships.

The technologies mentioned can help you shape the way your business can adapt to modern consumer needs. Not only does automation in BPO drive efficiency, cost savings, global reach, and innovation, but it also enables remote work, data analysis, and customer engagement for a competitive edge.

This article will help you navigate how automation can help transform your budding enterprise and discuss its benefits. Explore the five tactics that can propel your BPO operations to new heights.

What is BPO Automation?

BPO automation, which stands for Business Process Outsourcing automation, involves leveraging technology—particularly software and artificial intelligence (AI)—to streamline various business activities typically outsourced to BPO service providers. These tasks include customer support, data entry, financial and accounting processes, human resources functions, and more.

The core objective of BPO automation is to enhance operational efficiency, minimize errors, and reduce overall operating expenses by automating tasks previously performed manually.

BPO automation involves Robotic Process Automation (RPA), chatbots, Natural Language Processing (NLP), data analytics, and automated quality monitoring systems. Incorporating these tools yields several benefits, including cost reduction, improved service quality, and the ability to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing business landscape.

5 Benefits of Automation in the BPO Industry

Automation in BPO offers a multitude of advantages, from increased efficiency to enhanced accuracy. This section explores the five key benefits of automation in the BPO industry, driving your business to greater productivity.

1. Improves efficiency 

When 72% of employees think inefficient processes impact their jobs and feel they won’t finish their work on time, you know it’s time to employ automation. Automation allows teams to focus on more value-added activities by streamlining repetitive tasks.

Technology like chatbots with canned messages for frequently asked questions can give your employees more time to focus on tasks they need to finish instead of worrying about the queue for the same question.

2. Reduces costs

Automation significantly reduces operational costs by relieving employees of repetitive tasks that hinder their ability to engage in more strategic and impactful work. This reduction in mundane tasks can minimize the need for extra staff or overtime payments. 

For instance, using RPA for invoice processing eliminates manual data entry, resulting in time savings, reduced error rates, and decreased operational expenditures.

3. Improves staff management 

You can save time and costs by aligning tasks with employees’ expertise. Utilize optimized scheduling, real-time performance monitoring, and intelligent workload distribution to improve staff management, simplify time tracking, ensure policy compliance, and alleviate administrative burdens.

4. Streamlines reporting

Reporting typically marks the end of a process, but you should always keep a continuous cycle, ensuring you have accurate results before starting anew. However, extracting, processing, and generating reports can sometimes pose challenges.

Businesses often spend excessive time creating monthly reports. While these efforts may not seem significant individually, the cumulative time spent on tasks like formatting reports and adjusting dates can cause considerable productivity losses. Automation simplifies this process, making generating comprehensive and visually appealing business report charts easier. 

That’s one less step to worry about and more time to focus on problem-solving and business improvement.

5. Provides high accuracy

Though the error rate in data entry may seem small, an accumulation of this, combined with the amount of data processed daily (328.77 million terabytes), can pile up and make detrimental changes to your business operations, data, and reports.

Automation significantly reduces the likelihood of human errors in BPO services. Automated processes ensure precise results in tasks like data validation and quality monitoring, guaranteeing clients accurate and reliable service.

For example, in lending companies, inaccurate data can cause client dissatisfaction. Automation in finance can verify data, reduce mistakes, and expedite loan processing.

5 Ways to Implement BPO Automation

You should understand how automation increases productivity to implement them in BPO effectively. This section explores five key strategies to integrate automation into your operations seamlessly.

1. Utilize chatbot AI

The BPO industry standard for service level is 80/20, meaning your employees must answer 80% of calls within 20 seconds, but only 16% consistently achieve this. While this may seem short, this call center statistic can quickly pile up to numerous 20 seconds of answering the same question.

Chatbots, however, can handle multiple queries simultaneously, allowing employees to focus on more business development tasks. Chatbot AI takes routine inquiries, delivers quick, 24/7 responses, enhances customer satisfaction, and cuts response times.

2. Minimize operational costs

While a business is a definite investment, costs don’t need to pile up. Automation allows you to have many cost-reducing options, adding efficiency and accuracy to your enterprise. Here are some ways you can cut down costs by optimizing various aspects of your operations.

  • Replaces or assists humans in repetitive tasks, reducing workforce size and lowering overhead expenses.
  • Decreases error rates, minimizing the need for costly rework and mitigating customer complaints.
  • Accelerates task completion, shortening timelines and processing periods.
  • Analyzes and optimizes resource utilization, cutting idle time and energy costs, especially in manufacturing.
  • Ensures compliance, mitigating the risk of fines and legal expenses.

3. Implement workforce management systems

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business, and maximizing their skills is essential. Workforce management software can help by automating scheduling, tracking performance, and optimizing resource allocation. This ensures tasks are assigned based on employee skills and capacity, increasing efficiency.

For example, a BPO company might use workforce management software to schedule call center agents’ shifts based on historical call volume data, ensuring adequate staffing during peak call times. This reduces overstaffing during slow periods, optimizing resource utilization and minimizing costs.

4. Create accurate reports

Reports, often involving tedious details and complex numbers, can be time-consuming to prepare. Automating reporting streamlines the generation and distribution of performance metrics and insights. Automation tools can extract data from various sources, process it, and create comprehensive reports with graphical components like charts and graphs. Some examples of reporting automation systems include:

  • Business Intelligence (BI) tools
  • Data warehousing solutions
  • Cloud-based reporting platforms

To illustrate, a BPO managing e-commerce customer support can automate monthly reports, covering response times, customer satisfaction, and issue resolution rates. This saves time and enhances the quality and accuracy of reports. 

5. Import accurate data

RPA uses software bots to perform tasks previously handled by humans, efficiently managing high-volume data entry, enhancing accuracy, and reducing operational costs in BPOs. This automation streamlines data processes, enabling scalability and competitiveness while freeing time for strategic initiatives.

5 BPO Automation Tactics for Productivity and Accuracy 

Automation emerges as a vital catalyst for enhancing productivity and ensuring accuracy. This section explores five strategic automation tactics for competitive BPO operations.

1. Identify areas in your business that need to be improved 

Before implementing any automation, you must know what business areas need improvement. Automation begins with a systematic review of current processes, exposing inefficiencies, redundancies, and error-prone tasks.

You can do this through data analysis—recognizing gaps and bottlenecks, while discussions with your workers may help you spot the potential for CRM automation to enhance client relationships. The strategic blend of data-driven insights and employee feedback can improve operational efficiency.

2. Prioritize areas to automate 

Prioritizing automation tasks can be daunting, but starting with simpler tasks can help build expertise and confidence as the tasks get progressively complex.

Businesses often prioritize automation based on goals such as cost reduction or scalability. In regulated sectors like healthcare and finance, they may focus on particular processes, streamlining automation for faster, cost-effective implementations.

3. Establish roles and responsibilities

You cannot assume that if a robot performs one task, the rest of the process will proceed similarly. Ultimately, humans are responsible for following procedures appropriately without overlooking any prerequisites.

To ensure seamless technology integration, assign managing roles responsibly. While bots are valuable, human intervention remains necessary for handling inputs, errors, exceptions, and monitoring bot outputs.

Defining clear roles and responsibilities is critical in a call center aiming to automate customer inquiry handling through chatbots. Responsibilities might include:

  • Chatbot developers build and maintain chatbot capabilities, ensuring accurate responses.
  • Customer service representatives oversee chatbot interactions, handle complex queries, and train chatbots.
  • Supervisors/Managers set guidelines and monitor chatbot performance.
  • IT support provides technical support, ensuring system uptime and troubleshooting.

Clearly defining these roles facilitates the seamless integration of chatbot automation into the call center, reducing the human effort required for routine inquiries while maintaining the quality of customer interactions. One successful example is the deployment of IBM Watson’s chatbots by various companies to handle routine inquiries efficiently and improve overall customer service efficiency.

4. Create a standard procedure

Establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs) in a call center is paramount for consistent and efficient operations, particularly when integrating automation. SOPs make it easier for people to move into new roles and fill in for each other.

In hiring companies, these procedures standardize hiring processes by automating tasks like connecting businesses with top prospects, which reduces hiring time and expenses. Automation allows hiring teams to prioritize candidates over paperwork, freeing them from repetitive tasks. Relying on manual data entry and institutional memory for candidate information can lead to consistency issues.

5. Train users

You often won’t be the primary user of your automation tools. Instead, your employees will be responsible for operating and maintaining them. Therefore, you must ensure they receive adequate training and knowledge to use these tools effectively.

Train your employees on the new technology and the altered processes of automation. Business process automation often necessitates procedural and role changes, even for those indirectly involved, requiring comprehensive training.

Remember that timing is critical. You can’t train too early, but don’t delay it until after replacing old processes entirely.

Embrace the Advantage of Automation

Automation is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. It goes beyond efficiency and cost-cutting; it’s about delivering exceptional customer experiences, maintaining a competitive edge, and swiftly adapting to changing market dynamics. 

Indeed, delaying automation poses a substantial risk of falling behind competitors who have embraced technological advancements.

The question isn’t whether to automate but how to do it strategically. Automation strategies involving streamlining reporting, optimizing workforce management, and automating routine operations are key to maintaining agility, competitiveness, and responsiveness to shifting market demands. 

Explore these possibilities and discover how automation can transform your BPO services. Contact a call center in the Philippines, like the Executive Boutique Call Center, today!

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/operations/automation-in-bpo-5-tactics-for-productivity-and-accuracy

Publish Date: October 20, 2023


Call Center Technology: 5 Latest Trends and Strategies to Adopt

Customer service continues to be a key driver for repeat business, with 73% of business leaders affirming a direct link between service quality and business performance. Remarkably, 76% of customers will likely leave after encountering just two negative experiences.

These statistics underscore the evolving customer service landscape, presenting new challenges that call for innovative solutions. The rise of tech-savvy customers drives call centers to explore novel ways to enhance their operations. For instance, the demand for an omnichannel experience is prominent, as over 90% of customers expect seamless interactions across multiple channels.

As such, call centers must stay informed about the latest technological trends and advancements to thrive. Artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, cloud-based solutions, and omnichannel experiences are at the forefront of industry transformation.

This infographic explores the cutting-edge trends and strategies shaping the call center technology landscape. By understanding and leveraging these developments, your business can deliver exceptional customer experiences, elevate satisfaction, and gain a competitive advantage. Let’s delve into the successful call center strategies of today.

What is Call Center Technology

Call center technology encompasses various tools, software, hardware, and systems to oversee call center operations. These technologies are designed to optimize customer interactions and improve service levels. With many options available, call centers can increase their efficiency and deliver elevated customer experiences.

Call center technology trends include several key examples. Automatic call distribution (ACD) systems play a vital role by efficiently routing calls, ensuring customers promptly connect with the right agent. On the other hand, customer relationship management (CRM) software centralizes data, empowering agents to provide personalized assistance that builds lasting customer relationships.

Cloud-based solutions offer the flexibility and scalability ideal for businesses dealing with fluctuating call volumes and remote work setups. Embracing these technologies not only boosts operational efficiency but also helps you to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

5 Call Center Technology Statistics 

1. AI in call centers is projected to reach $4.1 billion by 2027. (Markets and Markets)

As the landscape approaches 2027, one of the evident call center trends includes the integration of AI in customer service. This tool is projected to soar to an astounding $4.1 billion, unleashing the potential for remarkable advancements in customer interactions.

2. By 2027, chatbots will be a primary customer service channel. (Gartner)

Gartner’s prediction that chatbots will emerge as primary customer service channels by 2027 signals a significant shift in customer interaction dynamics. With organizations striving to deliver seamless and efficient service, chatbots will be pivotal, offering instant assistance, personalized responses, and 24/7 availability.

3. 70% of customers are more loyal to brands that provide personalized experiences. (Zendesk)

With 70% of customers favoring brands that offer personalized experiences, the prominence of tailored interactions becomes evident. This statistic accentuates the central role of customization in forging more robust connections and brand loyalty.

Businesses prioritizing personalization stand poised to create lasting impressions, enhance customer satisfaction, and secure a competitive edge in the market.

4. 38% of consumers expect agents to have the context of their questions. (Fresh Works)

The statistic underscores the growing demand for seamless and personalized interactions. In an era of heightened customer expectations, businesses that equip agents with comprehensive context not only enhance issue resolution efficiency but also promote customer satisfaction, exemplifying a commitment to understanding individual needs.

5. The global call center market is poised to grow to $496 billion by 2027. (Statista)

This projection highlights the sector’s robust growth trajectory. With businesses prioritizing customer engagement, investments in call center technologies are surging. This growth hammers that the call center industry is on the cusp of transformative changes, playing a pivotal role in shaping modern customer interactions and presenting substantial opportunities for innovation and expansion.

5 Latest Trends in Call Center Technology

From AI integration to omnichannel communication, vital technological shifts define the future of call centers. Explore the cutting-edge advancements shaping the call center landscape.

1. Permanent AI integration 

AI integration has become a beloved tool in call centers, slowly making its mark in the industry. The industry forecasts a 23.1% CAGR, reaching a value of $1.29 billion by 2030. AI solutions offer various benefits, from streamlined call routing to better agent efficiency and real-time responses. This trend paves the way for more customer-centric and digitized call center operations.

2. Omnichannel communication 

Omnichannel communication has emerged as a paramount trend, distinguishing proactive brands from reactive competitors. It allows customers to interact across various touchpoints, with 9 out of 10 preferring this approach. For your business to remain competitive, your advanced call center technology must adopt omnichannel strategies.

3. Cloud-based solutions 

Once deemed implausible, cloud communication has become a powerful platform enabling seamless agent-consumer interactions. It provides benefits such as reduced overheads, global talent accessibility, time zone flexibility, and amplified customer service capabilities. 

As brands adapt to new work-from-home settings, the trend will continue shaping the call center landscape, empowering businesses like yours to serve more customers with greater flexibility and agility.

4. Video integration

In recent years, the significance and impact of video have become evident for both businesses and individuals. During the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing tools emerged as a vital means for companies to maintain employee connections and for brands to engage their customers.

The demand for more visual-centric approaches skyrocketed, thus the much-needed adoption of video into service processes due to increased consumer adoption of video applications and staffing shortages.

Videos proved a valuable tool that significantly increased first-time resolution rates by providing visual assistance to customers. This enhanced approach reduced average handling time (AHT) and higher first-call resolution (FCR).

5. Recall adoption technology

Recall technology is a powerful message-filtering tool, allowing your agents to stop inaccurate or unwanted communications before they reach your customers. Its effectiveness has been proven, with 83% of call centers prioritizing AI and 54% of executives attesting to its positive impact.

Although it may slightly increase transmission time, the benefits of accurate and error-free conversations far outweigh this minor drawback. Embracing recall technology will elevate your call center’s efficiency, uphold customer satisfaction, and position your brand as a leader in providing exceptional customer experiences.

5 Strategies to Adopt Call Center Technology Effectively

Businesses should embrace actionable approaches to seamlessly integrate the latest call center technology advancements. This section unlocks the potential of these strategies.

1. AI and robotic integration

Adopting AI and robotics into call centers brings about a range of advantages, contributing to improved operational efficiency, task automation, personalized interactions, refined customer experiences, and increased agent productivity. These advancements are well-aligned with the growing demand for seamless and efficient customer service in today’s fiercely competitive business landscape.

2. Predictive voice analytics 

This strategy involves assessing agents’ pitch and tone during calls, allowing the creation of predictive models for successful customer interactions through comparisons. Leveraging this technology enables the review of historical performance, facilitating the development of accurate solutions. 

You can strategize and plan for the future by analyzing past results, ensuring optimal performance and heightened customer satisfaction.

3. Quality assurance testing

Quality assurance testing involves reviewing live or recorded calls to evaluate agent adherence to scripts, company protocols, etiquette, and problem-solving skills.

After scoring calls, you can conduct post-mortem performance assessments. These assessments correct mistakes, identify behavioral patterns, and develop training curricula for continuous improvement. Quality assurance technology guarantees consistent service delivery, identifies training needs, and monitors call center performance, including call resolution rates, ensuring high service standards.

4. Customer routing

You need efficient customer routing. Utilizing virtual call center technology, like ACD, ensures incoming calls are directed to the right agents using predefined rules. This approach accelerates responses, minimizes wait times, reduces call transfers, and increases first-call resolution rates.

5. Improved call center training

Boosting call center efficiency hinges on recognizing opportunities for upgraded customer management and relationship building. Comprehensive training equips agents with the necessary skills to handle diverse inquiries effectively, improving customer interactions and increasing loyalty.

5 Best Practices for Implementing Call Center Technology

Defining key metrics ensures the ethical implementation of various call center technologies. Explore the essential guidelines that will help you navigate this ever-evolving landscape below.

1. Define clear objectives and KPIs

Given the escalating demand for technology in call centers, you must adopt tech-driven strategies. When selecting metrics, prioritize those with technological relevance. Avoid over-analysis by focusing on KPIs aligned with your business goals.

Different call centers prioritize metrics based on their objectives. Useful call center metrics include issue type, call volume, abandoned calls, customer satisfaction, average wait time, after-call work, resolution rate, and turnover rate. The relevant metrics for your company depend on various factors.

2. Continuously train and develop skills 

It’s best to have effective call center training, especially in a landscape where 70% of purchasing decisions hinge on service quality. Use varied formats like videos, text, and quizzes to accommodate diverse learning styles. Furthermore, workshops and shadowing experienced agents empower recruits with industry best practices. 

3. Regularly maintain and upgrade systems 

Regular system maintenance is vital to optimize performance, enhance security, and stay technologically up-to-date. Proactively updating systems prevents downtime, addresses potential security risks, and aligns operations with industry standards. This approach ensures uninterrupted customer interactions, efficient agent performance, and overall call center effectiveness.

4. Centralize your data

Integrating a centralized dashboard can expand data accessibility across teams. Research indicates that practical cloud usage can improve maintenance productivity and application development by 38%, along with a 29% increase in infrastructure cost efficiency for migrated applications.

Consider a scenario where agents take five minutes longer to resolve issues than the previous month. This uptick might signify challenges in accessing resources for quicker resolution. You can significantly boost agent performance by introducing a centralized dashboard and facilitating swift access to customer data. This enhancement will elevate service quality and streamline contact center management.

5. Establish etiquette guidelines

Practicing courteous behavior and effective communication skills, such as active listening, empathy, and clear articulation, creates a conducive environment for resolving customer queries efficiently. Agents employing etiquette convey respect, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

For instance, employing personalized greetings, using the customer’s name, and maintaining a professional tone establish rapport and comfort. Adhering to these etiquette guidelines ensures a seamless and delightful customer experience while reinforcing their brand reputation.

Embrace the Future with Cutting-Edge Call Center Technology

Staying ahead of the curve in the ever-changing customer service landscape is essential. This infographic discussed the transformative potential of innovation in customer service. By incorporating AI-powered chatbots, cloud-based solutions, and omnichannel experiences, your call center can expand and excel!

Executive Boutique Call Center offers efficient cloud-based call center technology solutions tailored to your business needs. Revolutionize your operations, deliver exceptional customer experiences, and ensure PCI compliance and data security. 

Seize the opportunity to future-proof your business. Embrace cloud-based call center technology and empower your business to thrive in the fast-paced world of customer service. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings and elevate your customer experiences. 

FAQs

1. Is AI the future of customer service?  

Indeed, AI represents the future of customer service. Businesses adopting AI-enabled solutions raise customer engagement, streamline processes, and offer personalized experiences. AI’s potential to transform customer interactions demonstrates its pivotal role in shaping the future of customer service.

2. Which technology is in demand this 2023? 

Today, cloud-based call center technology is in demand. The industry has shifted its focus to security, data, and AI-related expertise. This technology simplifies infrastructure management, fosters developer innovation through APIs, and provides data analysts with real-time insights.

3. What are some emerging ethical considerations of AI adoption, and how can they be addressed?

Emerging ethical considerations in AI adoption include algorithm bias, job displacement, and data privacy concerns. Addressing these requires transparent algorithm development, upskilling affected workers, and implementing robust data protection measures. These ensure responsible AI integration, maximizing benefits for society and business.

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/operations/call-center-technology-n-latest-trends-and-strategies-to-adopt

Publish Date: September 13, 2023


Call Center Burnout: 5 Causes and How to Overcome It

Source: Supagrit Ninkaesorn

Call centers are the front line of customer service for numerous industries, handling an overwhelming volume of daily inquiries, complaints, and support requests. Their work involves managing high-stress situations, addressing frustrated patrons, and meeting stringent performance metrics. 

As a result, agents are at a heightened risk of experiencing call center burnout, which can harm their mental health, job satisfaction, and overall productivity. Statistics show that 62% of surveyed call center agents said burnout is one of their top workplace challenges. 

Before this increasingly prominent problem becomes worse, employers must take proactive actions toward resolving it. Let this serve as your guide to call center burnout as we discuss its symptoms and how to handle it.

What is Call Center Burnout?

Call center burnout is characterized by physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion among call center or contact center employees. It occurs when the job demands and stressors exceed an employee’s capacity to effectively cope with them, leading to various detrimental consequences.

Call Center Burnout Symptoms and Causes

Call center burnout manifests in several ways and results in apparent changes in different aspects of your agents’ demeanor. Let’s explore the telltale signs of this phenomenon.

1. High call volume and workload

As we’ve briefly touched upon, call center agents are subject to a relentless influx of customer calls and a heavy daily workload, which is pivotal in employees experiencing call center burnout. 

With a constant barrage of inquiries, your agents may experience heightened stress levels, fatigue, and anxiety that leave them noticeably unable to perform at their best.

2. Inadequate support and training

Employees who do not receive adequate guidance or resources to handle customer inquiries effectively may feel ill-prepared and unsupported in their role. This lack of support can increase stress as your employees struggle to meet customer expectations and resolve issues. 

Additionally, lacking training and development opportunities can result in stagnant skill sets and reduced motivation, exacerbating burnout.

3. Monotonous and repetitive nature of work

Call center work often follows scripted responses and involves repetitive tasks, leading to a sense of monotony. Similarly, answering customer inquiries and performing routine procedures without much variation can be mentally and emotionally draining. 

With few opportunities for intellectual stimulation, you may notice your agents suffering from decreased motivation, job satisfaction, and overall engagement. 

4. Lack of control and autonomy

When your call center employees have little control over their work processes, schedules, or decision-making, it can contribute to feelings of frustration, which ultimately leads to burnout. 

Constant monitoring and limited authority regarding how they conduct work impede their ability to manage their workload and make improvements. This lack of control can eventually lead to feelings of powerlessness and stress.

5. Emotional demands and challenging interactions

Most call center representatives frequently deal with angry customers who vent their frustrations over service issues. Even when under duress, standard call center etiquette dictates agents must remain calm, be empathetic, and maintain professionalism in the face of verbal abuse or hostility. 

Unfortunately, this continuous exposure to such emotionally demanding interactions without proper support or coping mechanisms can lead to emotional exhaustion and burnout.

Effects and Consequences of Call Center Burnout

With symptoms and causes come the inevitable effects, and call center burnout has its fair share of consequences. Let’s discuss some of them in this next section. 

1. Decline in physical, mental, and emotional health

Call center burnout takes a toll on several aspects of your agents’ well-being, manifesting in various forms of health decline. Physically, they may experience chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, and an increased susceptibility to illnesses due to compromised immune systems. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there, as they can experience significant mental and emotional distress. When this happens, they may exhibit symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, resulting in decreased motivation and job satisfaction. 

Employers must address these health issues to avoid long-term consequences on the agents’ personal lives and work performance.

2. Decreased agent performance and productivity

One of the most significant adverse effects of your call center agents experiencing burnout is their inability to perform at a high level. 

Burnout can manifest in various ways, including reduced concentration, increased frequency of mistakes, and challenges in meeting performance targets and deadlines. Moreover, the exhaustion and mental fog associated with burnout can impair decision-making, problem-solving, and attention to detail. 

As a result, the quality of customer service provided by burned-out agents may suffer, potentially leading to dissatisfied customers and damaging your company’s reputation.

3. Unpleasant customer interactions

Effects of call center burnout extend beyond your agent. It can potentially affect how they conduct their processes related to your customers. During customer interactions, burnt-out agents may exhibit irritability, impatience, and emotional detachment. 

The impact of burnout can extend to strained relationships, poor communication, and a negative customer experience. It can lead to escalated complaints, customer churn, and revenue loss for your organization.

4. Increased cases of absenteeism and presenteeism

Call center burnout fuels absenteeism, with agents frequently calling in sick or taking unplanned leaves to escape the stress. Additionally, burnout leads to presenteeism, where agents are physically present but mentally and emotionally disengaged. 

Both absenteeism and presenteeism disrupt call center operations, burden other agents, and perpetuate the burnout cycle.

5. Higher employee turnover and decreased employee engagement

The chronic state of exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced efficacy often leads to increased dissatisfaction and a decline in overall job engagement. As a result, agents may seek opportunities elsewhere, leading to higher turnover rates within the call center.

Unfortunately, employee turnover is still a persistent problem today, with recent reports stating the call center industry reported an average turnover yearly rate of 30% to 45%.

How to Overcome Call Center Burnout: 5 Strategies

In this section, we’ll discuss actionable strategies to support the well-being and motivation of call center agents. These strategies help agents effectively manage stress, overcome burnout, and create a healthier work environment.

1. Implementing work-life balance initiatives

Foster a culture that values work-life balance by implementing policies and practices that support your employees’ well-being. Offer flexible scheduling options whenever possible, allowing your team members to manage their obligations better and reduce stress. 

Furthermore, you can also encourage your agents to use their allocated time off, paid vacation, and breaks between shifts. These opportunities for rest and rejuvenation can significantly contribute to mitigating call center burnout, even though they may seem like small measures.

2. Offering professional development opportunities

As a manager, investing in the growth and advancement of your agents demonstrates a commitment to their success and well-being. Access to specialized training programs, industry workshops, and certifications allows your agents to develop new skills and expand their knowledge base. 

Offering advancement opportunities to your agents not only boosts their job satisfaction but also instills a sense of value and recognition within your team. As they gain enhanced expertise, your agents become more resilient in handling the challenges of their roles, leading to reduced stress levels and increased confidence.

3. Giving agents autonomy and freedom

Earlier, we discussed that employees who feel like they have no control over their work tend to burn out much more rapidly. As such, a strategy that you must strongly consider is giving them more freedom to conduct their work as they see fit. 

This isn’t to say that you must surrender complete control. Instead, you do not want to micromanage every step of the job process but give guidance if your agents need it. 

When you demonstrate trust and support for your agents, it boosts their confidence and reduces the stress of constantly meeting specific standards.

4. Updating your technology

Technology is supposed to make your agents’ work easier. However, if it’s outdated, it’ll be more of a nuisance than a help, needing constant troubleshooting and repairs. What you want to do is invest in the latest technology. 

Adopting advanced customer relationship management (CRM) software with streamlined workflows and automation can save your agents time and effort. It allows them to prioritize providing quality service instead of grappling with tedious administrative tasks.

Additionally, integrating AI-powered chatbots or voice recognition technology can assist with routine inquiries, freeing up your agents to focus on more complex and engaging customer interactions.

5. Acknowledging their achievements and providing commendations

Positive reinforcement is important in reducing stress. Simple acts like acknowledging agents’ hard work can significantly impact their morale, motivation, and sense of value. By reinforcing their dedication and accomplishments, you can help reduce the risk of burnout. 

Remember, a genuine and timely commendation can go a long way in keeping your agents engaged, satisfied, and motivated to deliver exceptional performance.

The Key to Beating Call Center Burnout

Call center burnout is a highly worrying phenomenon that some may still ignore despite the overwhelming evidence of its adverse effects. Fortunately, the call center industry is taking notice and enacting measures to prevent employees from experiencing this debilitating situation. 

It’s best to implement the strategies discussed here to maintain an efficient and positive workplace environment. Whether you’re a manager or a call center agent, this blog post aims to raise awareness about the dangers of call center burnout and provide guidance on effectively addressing and preventing it.

Looking for a reliable and effective call center outsourcing partner? Look no further than Executive Boutique Call Center. We offer top-of-the-line call center services tailored to overcome industry-specific challenges and help you achieve your business goals. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you!

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/operations/call-center-burnout-5-causes-and-how-to-overcome-it

Publish Date: July 5, 2023


What is Blockchain Technology? Call Center Benefits and Uses

Blockchain technology has revolutionized how people store and transfer digital information by offering a decentralized and secure digital records system. 

Originally conceived by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain technology was introduced through a white paper as the foundation for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Today, it has expanded its reach to various industries, including the call center sector. 

This groundbreaking technology can potentially become the future of call centers by enhancing efficiency, security, and transparency.

By leveraging blockchain, call centers can streamline operations, improve data security, and boost the customer experience. This in-depth article delves into the specific benefits and uses of blockchain technology for call centers, highlighting its potential to transform how they manage customer interactions.

What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger that uses cryptographic principles to secure and link records, known as blocks. Unlike traditional databases, it operates through a network of computers called nodes, eliminating the need for a centralized authority.

Each node holds a complete copy of the blockchain, ensuring all participants can access the same information. This feature makes blockchains transparent and immutable–they don’t allow manipulation or tampering.

Components of blockchain technology

To understand the underlying principles and building blocks of blockchain technology, here are its key components that make it decentralized and secure.

1. Distributed ledger

Blockchain technology operates through a distributed ledger, a decentralized database that records and stores all transactions and data entries. This ledger reflects changes across all nodes, ensuring transparency and eliminating the need for a central authority.

2. Blocks and chains

The blockchain contains blocks, each representing a set of transactions. These blocks link together in chronological order, forming a chain. Each block also includes a unique identifier, called a cryptographic hash, which ensures the integrity and immutability of the data. 

3. Consensus mechanism

Most blockchain systems use a consensus mechanism to maintain the ledger’s integrity. This system ensures that each node approves a transaction’s validity before it can complete. Popular consensus algorithms include Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS).

4. Cryptographic security

Blockchain relies on cryptographic techniques to secure the data stored within. Complex mathematical algorithms ensure transaction verification and encryption, greatly deterring malicious tampering or forgery.

5. Smart contracts

Blockchain platforms often support the execution of smart contracts, which are self-executing agreements with predefined rules and conditions. These contracts automatically act when they meet specific requirements, removing the need for intermediaries and enhancing efficiency.

How blockchains work

Given these components, here is what a typical data entry on a blockchain would look like:

First, a participant initiates a transaction, which the system broadcasts to the network. Nodes validate the transaction using predetermined rules. Once validated, the blockchain records the transaction and forms a block.

Before that block can join the chain, nodes compete to solve a complex mathematical equation through the consensus mechanism. In PoW systems, miners use computational power, while in PoS, validators use their stake in the network to increase their chances.

The first node to solve the puzzle verifies the transaction and adds the block to the blockchain. It creates an immutable chain where transaction details are visible to all participants. Changing any data would require altering all subsequent blocks, making the system highly resistant to fraud.

Benefits of Blockchain Technology for Call Centers

Blockchains offer a range of compelling benefits for call centers, empowering them to operate more efficiently, securely, and transparently.

1. Reduced costs

Traditional call centers act as intermediaries between providers and customers. However, resolving complex customer issues often involves multiple interactions between the call center and the company, resulting in inefficiency and high costs.

Thanks to blockchain’s smart contracts, call centers can cut expenses by automating and enforcing predetermined conditions and responses. It eliminates the need for manual processes, lessens administrative overhead, and improves resource allocation, leading to faster application and lower costs.

2. Streamlined customer interactions

Smart contracts in call centers streamline and automate customer interactions by facilitating automatic identity verification and handling typical queries like password change requests. Previously reliant on human intervention, these functions are now seamlessly executed through blockchain technology.

Smart contracts minimize the delay time between requests and responses while eliminating the likelihood of human errors. Blockchain can give faster and better service should call centers decide to integrate the technology.

3. Control of data

Sensitive customer data is a call center’s bread and butter. Agents process massive amounts of personal information and transaction records, which can become buried with time and human error. With blockchain technology, call centers can exert greater control over data, given their access to immutable and transparent ledgers. They get faster access to cleaner books.

Blockchain lets call centers securely store and manage customer information, granting individuals more data control and enabling compliant data handling. Implementing blockchain eliminates the chance of losing or destroying vital records.

4. Enhanced security

Security is critical for call centers due to the previously mentioned sensitive data they handle daily. Once again, blockchain’s inherent resistance to tampering and fraud makes a decisive difference. The cryptographic algorithms used in blockchain ensure data integrity, making it nearly impossible for unauthorized parties to alter records.

In a traditional database, one vulnerability can access the entire data load, which isn’t the case for a decentralized ledger. Blockchain can strengthen call center security measures, protecting customers from data breaches and providing them peace of mind.

Uses of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology has diverse applications across industries, including call centers. Its implementation in call centers brings significant benefits and improvements. Explore the following use cases to witness the enhancements this technology can offer.

1. Finance and banking

Blockchain streamlines verification and authentication in finance and banking. Call centers in the financial industry can use blockchain to securely handle customer inquiries on transactions, account balances, and fraud detection.

For example, suppose a customer reports a suspicious transaction. The call center representative can quickly access immutable transaction records on the blockchain for quicker investigation and resolution. Blockchain improves efficiency in the banking and finance sector by eliminating paperwork and intermediaries.

2. Supply chain management

Supply chain management involves coordinating various stakeholders and tracking goods from production to delivery. Blockchain technology can increase transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain, reducing fraud, counterfeiting, and inefficiencies.

Typically, supply chain call centers handle numerous customer queries about package statuses. Blockchain can make real-time tracking and independent confirmation of all updates possible, letting representatives provide accurate information and alleviate customer anxiety.

3. Information and communication technology

Blockchain offers decentralized and secure features that benefit the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. Call centers can leverage this tech for better data security and privacy, safeguarding sensitive information from unauthorized access and data breaches.

Additionally, blockchain-based identity management solutions can offer more secure and seamless customer authentication processes, reducing the risk of identity theft and fraud.

For example, when a customer contacts a call center to reset their account password, a blockchain-based ledger can provide a tamper-proof and reliable method for authentication that doesn’t expose the customer’s data and privacy.

4. Healthcare

Healthcare organizations can leverage blockchain technology to improve data exchange, patient record management, and medical supply chain tracking. Call centers in the healthcare industry can securely handle patient inquiries about appointments, medical history, and insurance claims using blockchain.

Suppose a patient requests a change in their appointment through a medical call center. In that case, blockchain-enabled patient records can ensure updated information accessibility for all relevant healthcare providers. This system decreases administrative errors and heightens coordination, allowing more patients to get the necessary care.

5. Voting systems

What’s more important than your right to vote? Blockchain revolutionizes voting systems by providing secure and transparent digital platforms, ensuring the integrity of voter records, and reducing tampering risks. Implementing blockchain in call centers during elections promotes efficiency and trust.

Call centers often handle voter registration, polling locations, and candidate information inquiries. Blockchain-powered voting systems give these representatives accurate, updated information, improving the people’s access to their right to vote.

Step into the Blockchain Era

As the world enters the blockchain era, call centers must begin exploring its transformative possibilities. With the various benefits this technology can bring and its potential, it can reinvent the current call center system. However, the currently available blockchain systems have some roadblocks to overcome before the world can embrace them entirely.

If you’re looking for a call center outsourcing provider that isn’t afraid of applying cutting-edge technologies, consider partnering with Executive Boutique Call Center! We offer compliance-trained call center services from the Philippines with experience in many industries. Contact us today!

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/operations/what-is-blockchain-technology-call-center-benefits-and-uses

Publish Date: June 2, 2023


Cloud Computing: What It Is and How It Benefits Call Centers

Photo courtesy of metamorworks

Companies have employed various practices to increase flexibility and scalability in processing data. One practice that’s stood out is cloud computing. 

As per Google, roughly two in five global tech and business leaders (41.4%)  plan to increase their investment in cloud-based services because of the current economic conditions. Additionally, 33.4% of cloud leaders plan to migrate their legacy enterprise software to cloud-based tools, modernizing their operations. 

According to 2020 statistics on the future of the call center industry, over 50% of call centers have long eyed a full exploration of the frontier of cloud technology. With cloud adoption rates increasing, you must understand its essence to keep your business ahead of your competitors and at the forefront of your industry.  

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing encompasses providing various internet-based services such as email, content streaming, data storage, and access to tools and applications. These services are categorized as platform-as-a-service (PaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

The IaaS model involves renting IT infrastructure components like data storage, servers, and operating systems. On the other hand, the PaaS model gives you access to tools and applications primarily for software development. Finally, the SaaS model provides customers with a license to use a company’s developed software.

How Does Cloud Computing Work? 

When the Internet was new, you needed to buy and maintain physical servers to host your website. These would often be large and complicated pieces of tech that could wipe your website if you don’t maintain it properly. 

Eventually, large tech companies began offering servers that people could use for a fee. Below is a breakdown of how cloud computing generally works. 

1. Data is uploaded to a cloud server

The cloud is useless without data. With your data in the cloud, you can conveniently access it from any internet-connected device, anytime and anywhere. Uploading your data to a cloud server ensures safety even if the physical device is compromised.

2. Data is stored on the cloud server

Contrary to what its name suggests, cloud servers don’t float above land. Instead, they’re placed in large facilities with all the features needed to keep servers operational. For instance, since servers generate a lot of heat, these facilities typically have cooling systems to manage their temperatures. 

3. Data is processed in the cloud

Raw data comes in a form that people can’t understand. So, the cloud translates the user’s raw data into understandable and usable information without altering it. 

4. Data is accessed from the cloud

The ability to access data from the cloud will depend on the cloud computing delivery model it uses. Public clouds are accessible to general users, while private clouds are only limited to authorized people, usually those within a certain organization.

Hybrid cloud balances both functionalities and is preferred by seven in ten (72%) businesses, according to Flexera. It’s ideal because if the private cloud becomes damaged, users can use the public cloud instead without significant workflow disruption.

5. Data is sent back to the cloud

Cloud computing doesn’t require storing data on local storage systems. Once you access data from your devices, like a laptop or smartphone, it will be securely stored in the cloud.

5 Benefits of Cloud Computing for Businesses 

There are several reasons why more business leaders are shifting to the cloud. You don’t have to run a tech company to enjoy the benefits of this technology. Even as a call center business, you can experience the benefits of cloud computing.

1. Cost-savings 

Companies can save roughly a fifth (20%) of their infrastructure costs with cloud computing. 

Cloud providers offer a flexible pay-as-you-go pricing model based on your storage and usage needs. This approach enables easy scalability, preventing overspending and optimizing resource allocation. You can allocate saved funds toward boosting customer retention efforts.

Cloud-based systems can also help increase agent utilization rates by using an automatic call distribution system that automatically routes calls to the right agent, saving resources. 

2. Loss Prevention

Ensuring that each client’s data is secure must be a top priority for call centers. However, storing data on physical devices is seldom the safest option. Criminals may steal devices or compromise them through a cyberattack. 

Fortunately, cloud storage protects data from these scenarios. You can assure customers that their data is safe with you, helping to build trust and strengthen your relationship.

However, loss prevention with the cloud doesn’t focus only on data but also sales and customers. Since the cloud can provide customer information to agents faster, it could help them reduce their average handle time (AHT) or first call resolution (FCR) metrics. 

3. Sustainability

Leading cloud computing providers like Google and Amazon prioritize sustainability in their services. Cloud computing helps your call center take advantage of virtual space, minimizing environmental impact. Since many customers today are actively seeking ways to reduce their ecological footprint, they’re more likely to work with businesses committed to sustainability. 

Embracing cloud computing not only helps boost your operational efficiency but also enables you to forge stronger connections with your customers.

4. Flexibility

Cloud-based platforms have the advantage of being highly flexible to suit your business needs. For instance, if you receive more customer calls, you can easily scale up the cloud computing bandwidth you need from cloud providers. 

Installing monitoring systems for customer data stored in the cloud offers valuable benefits. It lets you boost customer retention strategies, efficiently manage your data, and gain insights.

5. Security

Cloud providers employ robust security measures and continuous server monitoring to protect against cyber threats. They also implement authentication and verification protocols to safeguard your sensitive data from unauthorized access. 

This upgraded level of security enhances your reputation as a trusted and secure option for customers, giving you a competitive advantage and increasing customer loyalty. 

How Can Businesses Implement Cloud Computing?

Implementing cloud computing to your business can often be lengthy, especially when business leaders aren’t aware of the right processes. Here are some basic steps to successfully implement cloud computing in your business. 

1. Identify your project 

What are your business’s current problems? Are you lacking storage for customer data and call recordings? Or do you need extra protection against data breaches? Defining cloud computing’s scope in your call center business will form the basis for your subsequent actions. 

For instance, if you’ve realized that you need extra space for your customer data, you’ll know to focus on cloud service providers that offer attractive digital storage options. 

2. Select a platform

Various cloud computing platforms are available, each with its own features, pricing, and limitations. You can start by exploring the biggest cloud providers, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, which account for about two-thirds (66%) of the cloud market. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most popular and oldest among the three biggest names. Many IT professionals consider it the most reliable and secure because of its history and higher computational capacity than Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

That said, the number of services AWS offers can overwhelm you if you aren’t familiar with cloud computing yet.

On the other hand, Microsoft Azure is specifically designed for business customers and seamlessly integrates with Microsoft’s range of services and products. Alternatively, if your business already uses Google’s suite of applications, you can consider GSP as your platform. 

3. Choose a cloud computing service provider

When it comes to choosing a cloud computing service provider, there are a few important factors you should consider. 

One aspect to consider is their certifications, which can vary depending on the services they offer. If you prioritize your customers’ data safety, an option is to partner with a cloud provider accredited by the Cloud Security Alliance. 

You must assess the future direction of a potential cloud computing provider. During discussions, inquire about their company’s roadmap and alignment with your business goals. Engage with growth-aligned providers to stay ahead of the competition and maintain a strategic edge in the industry.

4. Understand their policies 

The policies and service-level agreement (SLA) the cloud provider outlines for you will be the guidelines for their operations. Businesses must take a careful look into this and understand them to avoid losses or mishandling of data or business miscommunication. 

When you’re reading through the policies, look for the following: 

  • Their roles, responsibilities, and what exact services they’ll deliver, such as the availability of the cloud 
  • Potential hidden fees 
  • Their processes and protocols for ensuring that your data is safe, no matter what happens
  • Legal protection in cases such as cyberattacks or theft 

5. Migrate slowly

Once set on what you’re migrating and where to migrate it, you can move your digital asset and tools, such as automatic call distribution (ACD) or CRM software, to the cloud. You should store highly confidential and sensitive information in secure local backups instead of the cloud.

It can often be a lengthy and meticulous process because of the scale of what you may need to migrate. That’s why it’s best to implement cloud computing in phases. 

A slow migration will also help you avoid data loss and fix any potential issues that arise along the way, such as network connectivity issues. It also allows call center agents to learn and adapt to the new system.  

Embracing the Cloud with Executive Boutique Call Center

In today’s rapidly changing technological landscape, businesses must stay adaptable and keep up with the constant evolution of technology. 

Cloud computing is going mainstream because of its benefits, including cost-savings, enhanced security, risk mitigation, and environmental sustainability. After defining your data and services for the cloud and choosing a provider, you can begin migrating your operations gradually. 

If your call center business hasn’t yet adopted cloud technology, you risk getting left behind. 

Executive Boutique Call Center provides best-in-class technical support and customer service in the Philippines to solve your customers’ concerns and build brand loyalty. We’re a Payment Card Industry (PCI)-Compliant Call Center that ensures a secure environment and smooth process for your customers. Get a free quote from us today!

FAQs 

1. What is a cloud center? 

A cloud center of excellence (CCOE) is a strategic team within an organization responsible for leading and overseeing cloud computing adoption. They ensure the central IT team meets the best practices and standards for becoming a cloud-enabled company.

2. Which is faster, cloud or data center? 

In general, cloud computing offers faster performance. When you host your data on the cloud, it lives within the robust servers of your cloud computing provider. These providers have dedicated infrastructure to swiftly deliver your data whenever needed. A data center’s speed will usually depend on the efficiency of the company’s network. 

3. Why do we use cloud computing?

The benefits of cloud computing include saving costs, preventing data loss, and promoting sustainability. Cloud computing provides flexible technology to align with your business’s objectives and easily scale operations as needed.

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/operations/cloud-computing-what-it-is-and-how-it-benefits-call-centers

Publish Date: May 22, 2023


5 Customer Retention Strategies Companies Should Implement

Time and time again, retaining customers through lasting relationships has shown to be significantly beneficial for businesses. 

Take the financial service industry, for example. Bain & Company reports that even a small improvement in customer retention, such as a 5% increase, can result in a considerable rise of at least 25% in profits. This figure alone emphasizes the importance of acquiring new clients and nurturing existing ones throughout their customer journey.

Implementing innovative customer retention strategies has become essential to maintaining competitiveness, especially as consumers become more critical of the businesses they support. Let’s delve into customer retention and some strategies you can implement to strengthen client relationships.

The Importance of Customer Retention for Companies

Customer retention engages existing buyers by providing exceptional products and outstanding support that builds lasting relationships between business and client.

Retention is also critical to increasing profits and minimizing costs. As mentioned, returning patrons are more likely to spend than new ones. Did you know that, according to research, acquiring new customers can be up to five times more expensive than keeping existing ones? Therefore, businesses looking to maximize their revenue should improve their retention strategies.

The root of retention lies in understanding your clientele. Here are some ways to identify their needs, preferences, and behaviors to boost their experience with the brand.

1. Collecting data on customers

Collect information about existing customers, including their demographics, psychographics, and purchasing behavior. You could also leverage website cookies to track their activity more efficiently and aid personalization and engagement strategies.

2. Analyzing customer data

The collected data provides critical insights into customer behavior and preferences, which can help you strategize retention tactics and optimize them for each buyer or segment. For instance, many patrons may be budget-conscious, which is valuable information to help you anticipate demands.

3. Identifying customer needs and preferences

Strategize based on your findings. Following the previous example, knowing that existing customers prefer economical options, consider offering vouchers and promos to encourage repeat business.

4. Engaging with customers directly

Communicating with your clients on social media, email, and other customer service channels can be valuable to gain insights and understanding of their needs and preferences. It also enables you to build and nurture relationships for the long term.

5. Collecting customer feedback

It’s important to figure out why customers abandon your company in the first place. Use feedback forms and surveys to gather this information and help you take measures to prevent buyers from switching to competitors.

Customer Retention Metrics

The key ingredient to keeping customers is data as the foundation of your tactics. Knowing which numbers to track is vital to ensuring your implementation’s success. Here are some essential metrics to help you formulate optimized retention strategies.

1. Customer retention rate

Customer retention rate is the percentage of buyers supporting your business even after their initial purchase. According to Forbes, the top reason people leave a brand is company apathy, followed by inconsistent information, poor support, and bad customer service experience.

Formula: To calculate your retention rate, you can start by subtracting the number of patrons you acquired during a period from the number you had at the end. Next, divide the result by your initial customer count, then multiply by 100 to get the percentage value. A low retention rate may indicate any of the above, emphasizing the value of tracking and improving this metric.

2. Customer churn

Customer churn is when clients stop doing business with a company over time, considering the loss of buyers and revenue. High churn numbers indicate poor customer retention, which could stem from satisfaction issues or ineffective marketing strategies.

However, it’s important to note that losing customers isn’t always bad. On average, businesses tend to retain roughly 72.5% of their customers, which leaves room for losing approximately 25%. However, losing above your industry or historical average signals a problem. You must start taking proactive measures to retain customers.

Formula: Subtract the number of patrons you have at the end of a set period from the number you had at the start. Then, divide it by the initial number of clients to get your final output. It’ll provide valuable insights into whether your business is losing more customers than it can afford.

3. Existing customer revenue growth rate

Existing customer revenue growth refers to a company’s profit increase from buyers over time. A rapid growth rate indicates successful marketing and sales efforts, encouraging existing clients to spend repeatedly.

Formula: Compare the revenue generated from customers at the beginning and end of a period. For monthly growth, deduct the revenue generated at the start of the month from that at the end. Afterward, divide the output by the initial revenue for the final result. To express the growth as a percentage, multiply it by 100.

4. Loyal customer rate 

The loyal customer rate is the number of buyers who’ve made repeat purchases within a period. Returning clients spend 67% more than new ones—they’re the most valuable members of your clientele, so keeping this figure up is crucial.

Formula: Before calculating the loyal customer rate, you must establish your criteria for defining a “loyal” or “repeat” customer. Some businesses consider buyers who have made at least two purchases, while others might look at the frequency of purchases. Once you’ve established this, divide the number of repeat customers by the total size of your customer base to get the loyal customer rate.

5. Customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value measures the profits a business generates from each buyer over their relationship. The longer you retain clients, the more likely they’ll make repeat purchases. They also become more familiar with the company, becoming loyal patrons who can advocate for the brand.

Formula: First determine customer value, which is the product of multiplying the average purchase value by the number of purchases. Then, multiply it by the average customer lifespan to get the lifetime value. Ultimately, this metric helps you understand the worth of your relationships over time.

Customer Retention Strategies for Companies

Now that you know some essential metrics to track, it’s time to develop strategies to improve those figures. Here are some effective tactics to help boost your company’s customer retention.

1. Creating a customer-centric culture

Metrics and data help understand your business performance, but it’s important not to lose sight that your customers are real people with real needs and preferences. Build and maintain loyalty by empathetically delivering excellent experiences that meet expectations.

Take artificial intelligence, for example. While AI-powered chatbots go a long way to providing consistent customer support 24/7, they only offer objective responses to inquiries. Meanwhile, human agents provide personalized assistance and answer questions directly, even through voice or video calls, improving customer experience.

A customer-centric culture demonstrates that you value your clients as people, not as mere sources of revenue. As a result, they’d be more inclined to support your business since it prioritizes their well-being.

2. Improving customer engagement

Engagement is a critical element of an effective retention strategy. Without it, clients might become disinterested in your brand and opt for competitors that provide an exceptional experience. So, employ various tactics to grab your patrons’ attention and reward them for interacting with your business.

An effective engagement strategy is implementing a loyalty program incentivizing repeat purchases to encourage clients to buy more. Such programs often include discounts, early access to sales, and personalized product recommendations exclusive to repeat buyers. 

Starbucks’ rewards program is a great example of how to keep customers happy. When customers make a certain number of purchases within a year, they get freebies!

Moreover, consider sending post-purchase emails to build engagement after their first purchase. A “Thank You” email after their first purchase works as well as discount coupons for following transactions.

3. Enhancing customer experience

Invesp reports that 89% of companies acknowledge customer experience as a primary driver of loyalty and retention. Ensuring your customers have a positive experience is essential to keeping them loyal and helping your business thrive.

Providing excellent shipping services, especially in retail, is a straightforward approach to improving customer experience. Shopping cart abandonment can significantly impact sales, with studies revealing that 46% of shoppers leave their carts due to slow shipping times. Thus, you should assess your courier services and ensure your products’ prompt and secure delivery to your customers.

Moreover, your team must be able to answer inquiries and accommodate comments immediately to demonstrate that you genuinely value your clients’ time and input.

4. Leveraging technology

Consider taking advantage of technology to elevate customer retention strategies. Chatbots can enhance customer support operations and provide 24/7 assistance, even during off-hours and holidays. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can also help manage customer interactions, track behavior, and personalize experiences.

These systems let you automate tasks that improve retention and reduce business expenses. Most of these tools are budget-friendly and can be adjusted to your business’s growth, saving you from hiring more staff.

5. Building customer confidence

Consistently delighting patrons with excellent services and high-quality deliverables lets them build confidence in your business. Satisfied customers are likelier to recommend your brand to others through word-of-mouth, product reviews, or social media, boosting your reputation and competitiveness. After all, most people tend to go for brands they’re already familiar with.

Marketing your brand is about creating that warm and fuzzy feeling for your potential customers. You want them to feel good about choosing you over the competition. Share customer testimonials on your website and social media platforms to emphasize your brand’s quality and support. In turn, existing clients will realize you’re a company they wouldn’t want to leave.

Nurture Lasting Customer Relationships

Keeping existing customers on board has become essential to maintaining the profitability and competitiveness of your business. Retaining customers is more beneficial than acquiring new ones. Fortunately, you won’t have to develop approaches for customer retention from the ground up. The above-mentioned points have been tried-and-tested and can help you secure customer loyalty.

Enacting retention strategies may be burdensome, especially if you lack the staff to support these efforts. Look no further than Executive Boutique Call Center for assistance! We provide outsourced customer service in the Philippines to strengthen customer relationships and keep them with your brand for the long term.

Contact us to learn more!

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/operations/5-customer-retention-strategies-companies-should-implement

Publish Date: May 2, 2023


How to Detect Call Center Scammers: 8 Tips for Call Center Agents

According to Neustar, call center fraud was up 40% in 2020 due to the high emotions and anxiety caused by the pandemic. Because of this, call center agents must become more vigilant during calls. The report also stated that call center scammers target agents because they’re more prone to social engineering and manipulation, granting account access.

Falling victim to call center fraud has a lot of consequences. It exposes businesses and customers to security threats and account takeovers. Here’s a guide on everything you need to know about call center fraud and how to stop them.

How to Detect Call Center Scammers: 8 Tips for Call Center Agents

Detect a call center scam by asking knowledge-based questions, observing the caller’s demeanor, or checking their customer history. Asking specific questions per customer and their profile requires more vigilance from call center agents but proves to be an effective line of defense.

If you’re a call center agent, here are more in-depth tips on detecting call center scammers that could threaten company security.

1. Ask knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions

Knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions are a method of verifying a person’s identity by asking questions only they know how to answer. By asking these questions, a call center agent prevents a scammer from gaining access to private information on an account.

There are two types of KBA questions to employ. Static KBA is generic questions such as asking the client for their mother’s maiden name or first pet’s name. While these provide clients with easy-to-remember answers, the danger is that they have this information online, which scammers can find.

Dynamic KBA, on the other hand, are questions with more specific answers, like the last digits of their social security number or the previous amount charged to their credit card. While the information is more difficult to obtain, scammers can use data breaches and phishing attacks to know these answers.

These various methods make KBA one of the easily broken defenses, though your company can supplement them with software detection and other lines of questioning. You may implement different security procedures as the information the caller is trying to access gets more sensitive.

2. Ask questions based on company and customer relationship

Instead of KBA questions, a call center may task an agent to ask callers questions regarding their relationship with the company. However, the information to answer these questions is more complex because a customer’s business with the call center varies depending on the industry and the services they employ.

For instance, you could ask the caller about which package of services the company has them enrolled in, who their point of contact is, or how many years they’ve been a client.

If you’re asking these types of questions to a caller, you need to be careful of social engineering. Instead of cyberattacks against the company’s software, the caller will manipulate you to give up information. Therefore, you must stay vigilant to safeguard sensitive information.

3. Observe the caller’s attitude

Some scammers will purposely be irate, taking on the persona of an angry customer. Callers use this form of social engineering to trick you into giving them essential information or granting them account access.

They may often appear in a hurry and need to access their account urgently. These callers cite reasons such as having a bad day, receiving poor customer service in the past, or knowing the company’s owner and contacting them if you don’t give them special treatment.

Taking on an irate persona is the scammer’s means to bypass your standard authentication methods and induce fear. By being extremely unreasonable and unbearable to deal with, they hope to exploit the “customer is always right” mentality and have you expedite the process. They may even throw threats to have you fired if you don’t comply.

Another red flag is if the caller goes in the opposite direction and tries appealing to your emotions. They could say they got into an accident and can’t remember their account details or lost their credit card while traveling abroad. 

This behavior’s goal is the same as acting angry; the scammer wants to bypass the standard authentication procedures and access the information they want.

The third type of attitude they could do is trying to build rapport. They seem extraordinarily kind and may even flatter and befriend you. Then slowly, over a few calls, they make small changes to their victim’s account information before fully taking over. 

Remember always to stay professional and that overly friendly callers may subtly manipulate you into giving up crucial data.

4. Verify customer history

Even if a scammer has a customer’s information and answers the KBA questions, their behavior while on the call may not match their history. Install software that logs a customer’s behavior through your company systems, such as logins and previous payments, and have an agent bring these up when speaking to a client.

Some signs that a scammer is on the other side of the line are if there are different logins from different locations or devices or if their most recent payment or withdrawal is significantly higher than previous transactions.

5. Be wary of several requests

If the scammer successfully obtains sensitive information, they want to lock out the original owner while stealing details from their other accounts. 

They do this by asking call center agents to change information on their accounts, such as their addresses or the names of supplementary account holders. These methods make verifying information in succeeding calls or giving access to their colleagues easier.

Multiple requests could mean they’re trying to verify account details for online transactions, which allows them to drain bank accounts or obtain the owner’s contacts list, so they have more victims.

6. Listen for pauses after asking questions

Many people can quickly answer KBA questions regarding their social security number, mother’s maiden name, or latest purchase. However, scammers who steal information may have several documents or screenshots to go through. 

If you’re asking KBAs and they take time to answer, it could be a significant red flag that means a scammer is trying to look for the correct information from their database. It may lead to other suspicious behavior, like making excuses as to why they can’t answer a KBA question. 

Different responses could include asking you to wait before giving you an answer or saying they forgot.

7. Check for several attempts to access information

Some call centers have software installed that tracks a caller’s history. By looking up their number or using KBA questions, you can find out how many times a caller tried to access or change a victim’s information. If they tried to get inside an account several times, that could indicate that they’re a scammer.

Take action depending on the call center’s protocols. Ask more KBA questions to verify your suspicions and observe their behavior. If they pause after your questions, demand access, or attempt an emotional appeal, there’s a good chance that the caller is fraudulent.

8. Use two-factor authentication

Aside from KBA, a call center sometimes requires that a caller undergo two-factor authentication if they have an existing account. Send a code through a customer’s phone number on file, which the caller will need to either input or repeat to you.

Though there are several ways that a scammer obtains a person’s sensitive information, two-factor authentication stumps them because they don’t have access to their victim’s phone. While it’s possible to clone another person’s phone, it isn’t easy to do and requires a lot of time and resources. 

While not completely foolproof, two-factor authentication is one of the most effective ways to deter or stump fraudulent callers.

Constant Vigilance is the Key

Scammers target the human elements in a call center because they’re the most likely to make a mistake and provide sensitive information. As a call center agent, you must stay vigilant against fraudulent callers’ tactics.

Remember to follow your company’s security protocols in verifying a caller’s identity and to observe their behavior while they’re on the line. If they can’t answer your questions, have long pauses, are irate, overly friendly, or seem desperate, those could be potential red flags. 

If your call center has two-factor authentication, it can be one of your most effective defenses and may be enough to deter a scammer.

Executive Boutique Call Center helps safeguard customers’ card information for businesses. We’re a PCI-compliant call center that employs in-depth security training for all our agents to ensure customer data is fully protected. 

In addition, we provide a round-the-clock workforce with industry-specific experience to deliver the best support you need.

Get in touch with an expert today for a free quote!

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/operations/how-to-detect-call-center-scammers-8-tips-for-call-center-agents

Publish Date: April 4, 2023


The Future of Call Centers: 16 Must-Know Statistics and Trends

Data is the closest thing leaders have to a crystal ball when predicting the future of call centers. Without it, modern call centers would be stumbling through the dark, wasting resources on efforts that customers ultimately don’t find relevant or beneficial. 

Call centers have evolved along with other technological advances. From inbound and outbound calls, call centers have developed into providing omnichannel services to businesses that need such services. Staying updated on the current industry statistics and trends is vital to adapt to changing customer behaviors and improve the customer experience.  

No leading business wants to work with an outdated call center. Keep your business relevant by learning the latest industry statistics and trends. Read the infographic below to learn more.

Understanding the current landscape of call centers is essential in adapting your business to customers’ demands and needs. 

Customer Satisfaction

  • 88% of customers believe trust becomes more important in these changing times (Salesforce, 2022)

During the past few years, the entire world collectively went through a period of uncertainty. In that time, trust has become invaluable in helping one another. As the world continues to adapt to new ways of working in the post-pandemic landscape, customers require brands to be even more trustworthy moving forward. 

  • 44% of people report being annoyed or irritated when kept on hold for 5-15 minutes (Replicant, 2021)

As technological innovations increase, customers’ patience begins to decrease. Optimizing your operations and training your agents to resolve concerns quickly will avoid angry customers. 

  • 80% of consumers are willing to speak to a machine if it means avoiding long wait times (Replicant, 2021)

Sometimes, agents won’t be able to address every single customer. By setting up a machine, you help ease the customer’s frustrations.

You must know the capabilities of the software you use to help resolve customer problems. While machines respond to customers quicker, they must also provide valuable solutions.

  • 90% of customer service leaders report that customer expectations are at an all-time high (HubSpot, 2022)

Customers expect high-quality customer service at all times, highlighting the importance of covering all your bases when it comes to improving your operations. High-quality customer service ranges from the agent’s phone conversation skills to the way different departments work together to resolve the customer’s concern. 

Call Centers and Technology

  • The call center artificial intelligence (AI) market is expected to reach $7.5 billion globally by 2030 (Data Bridge Market Research, 2022)

This forecast highlights how businesses are becoming more comfortable investing in AI. It also shows that such technology might not be as much of a trend as many think: it’s most likely here to stay.

  • 83% of call centers consider AI a high priority (Commbox, 2020)

AI is set to disrupt the future of call centers and other industries like advertising, cybersecurity, and transportation. It allows businesses to automate repetitive tasks and work much better with data, improving performance and quality.

  • 50% of customer service leaders have implemented basic customer relationship management (CRM) service features (HubSpot, 2022)

According to HubSpot, these basic features included a help desk, a knowledge base, and shared email capabilities. These features are so helpful that HubSpot became aware of how almost all customer service leaders consider using CRM software to boost productivity.

  • 80% of customers found that using chatbots made them more frustrated (UJET, 2022)

Despite machine learning technology getting smarter, authentic human conversations have a spontaneous flow that many chatbots currently can’t keep up with. It’s best to be aware of a chatbot’s limitations before implementing it in your operations.  

  • 53% of businesses use digital call transcriptions to boost productivity (Salesforce, 2022)

Transcriptions allow agents to catch every detail of a customer’s concerns, making it much easier to reference for future training sessions or meetings. Moreover, a transcription helps agents store specific customer information, allowing them to quickly pick up where a customer might’ve left off. 

Call Centers Channels

  • 41% of businesses prefer voice calls for resolving customer issues (Hiya, 2022)

Roughly 2 in 5 (41%) companies found that resolving customer issues through calls is much more effective than text. It highlights how, while there are more methods of resolving consumer problems, the traditional phone call isn’t likely to go extinct anytime soon.   

  • 57% of customers prefer email interactions (Salesforce, 2022)

Emails are a growing channel for customer interaction, with more than half of Salesforce’s survey respondents choosing it in 2022. It could encourage companies solely focusing on calls as their primary channel to begin branching out, accommodating more customers. 

  • 51% of customers are likely to buy from a company again if they support live chat (Kayako, 2022)

One could consider live chat the ideal middle ground between email and phone calls: real-time interactions on a text-based medium. Businesses could rely on chatbots or live agents to respond to these messages; either way, they still need to provide prompt and accurate responses.  

  • 43% of customers prefer non-digital channels (Salesforce, 2022)

There’s often no beating an authentic voice interaction between two people. Despite automation and software becoming more popular in the industry, you must remember the value of training your agents to interact with customers effectively.   

Contact Center Industry

  • Experts predict the global contact center market to grow to $607.6 billion by 2027 (Research and Markets, 2022) 

The contact center market is invaluable to how businesses operate globally. It’s a thriving industry expected to rise throughout the years, making it an ideal time to find more opportunities now than later.  

  • Roughly $30 billion of the Philippine economy comes from the BPO industry annually (Nexford University, 2021)

This statistic shouldn’t be a surprise, considering that the Philippines is one of the most popular countries for Western businesses to outsource their customer service operations. However, one must be aware that the greater the competition is with more people outsourcing to the country, so if you plan to outsource to the Philippines, it’s best to find opportunities quickly. 

  • 20% of call center workers in the Philippines would consider resigning rather than returning to on-site work (CNN Philippines, 2022)

The pandemic changed the standard perspective of work. Now, more people are comfortable working from home and prefer it over working on-site daily. Considering the Great Resignation occurring during the early months of the global pandemic, businesses should heed their employees to remain profitable. 

Emerging Call Center Trends to Watch For

With the call center industry changing as the years go by, it’s best to be aware of the upcoming trends.

1. Digital transformation

More customer service companies are shifting to digital operations. They’re adapting digital tools and software to connect with customers better. Contact center digital transformation reaches different departments, influencing internal processes and outputs. 

Call center companies can do so much more with the help of digital tools, whether it’s automation or cloud-based services. Executive Boutique Call Center has technology partners to continue providing their clients with the best customer service. 

2. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Dealing with customers isn’t the only task of a customer service representative, and many repetitive tasks are often urgent but not entirely value-adding. More call centers are adopting AI to improve efficiency and productivity. 

AI in the call center industry has become increasingly popular in recent years. It innovates the sector in several beneficial ways, including live tone and mood detection. AI detects the customer’s tone—whether frustrated, disappointed, interested, or disinterested—to help agents respond accordingly. 

These are invaluable benefits that modern call centers will continue adopting to provide better customer service. 

3. Omnichannel support

Omnichannel support allows call centers to respond to customers regardless of their channel, from live chat and text messages to social media and phone calls. Businesses providing a unified and seamless experience across these platforms allow them to meet their customers effectively at every touch point. 

4. Cloud integration

Cloud technology became indispensable during the pandemic when businesses needed to stay aligned while working distances from each other. With 9 out of 10 firms (90%) using cloud computing, it’s integral to familiarize yourself with it and maintain business relevance. 

5. Upskilling and reskilling 

With more responsibilities being handed over to automation, businesses must train and encourage their employees to upskill continuously. 

According to Nexford University, upskilling and reskilling employees help encourage employee retention and loyalty. It also enables you to develop a team with diverse skill sets, differentiating your business more from your industry competitors. 

6. More data-driven solutions

You can’t discuss the future of contact centers without talking about data. Call center trends indicate that contact centers are becoming more data-driven to drive better results and provide better customer service experiences. 

Data helps you evaluate your team’s performance, allowing you to track valuable metrics such as total backlog and call completion rate. These allow you to identify what problems your team is currently facing. 

7. More use of self-service tools

Self-service tools include instructional videos, frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages, and blog content that guides customers through their problems. They’re valuable assets to produce, providing value to your customers even during off-work hours.

Prepare for the Future of Call Centers Today

The future of the contact center industry remains uncertain. Still, a quick snapshot of how call centers operate today helps you improve your services to earn more clients. 

Businesses are always looking for call centers to keep up with their customers. Understanding these statistics and integrating these trends into your workflows help you adapt to the changing demands of both modern businesses and consumers. 

If you want to outsource your customer service functions, consider working with Executive Boutique. We’re a progressive call center in the Philippines that ensures your business remains relevant to your customers and ahead of your competitors in the following years. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you. 

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/operations/the-future-of-call-centers-16-must-know-statistics-and-trends

Publish Date: March 29, 2023


A Guide to Discovery Calls: How to Successfully Close a Deal

When in business, nothing feels better than successfully closing a deal after a long call. But more often than not, doing this can be challenging for many entrepreneurs. Between negotiating, finding common ground, and figuring out fair compensation, everyone has their own style of handling these experiences. 

If you face many challenges in closing your deals during a call, you might be doing something wrong. Learn more about how you can turn your situation around by becoming an expert in discovery calls through the infographic below. 

What Are Discovery Calls? 

After you connect with a prospect, your first call will be considered the discovery call. During this time, you can ask your potential customer a few questions to get to know them and their needs      concerning your product or service. 

For example, a potential client may contact you about your service. To ensure that your brand matches their needs and goals, you’ll need to know more details about what they expect from you and if they can get the desired results. 

A Guide to Discovery Calls: How to Successfully Close a Deal 

1. Uncover your prospect’s problems

To ensure that you give your customer the best service, talk more in-depth about the issues they’re facing. It can include the cause of the problem, how often it reoccurs, and their main concerns. 

2. Ask the right questions

Focus on the current issue and avoid stretching the conversation to other topics. The right questions will always revolve around the center of the problem or make their way towards it. 

3. Stay conversational 

Keeping the tone conversational can help your customers feel more relaxed and answer better. Rather than pressuring them to leak information, make them feel they can trust you with the information they give you. 

4. Maintain the ideal talk-to-listen ratio

Getting interrupted constantly can ruin the flow of the conversation and make your clients feel like they can’t fully express themselves. It can cause them to hold out on valuable details of their problem, which can be harder to solve. 

5. Subtly add a small value 

Suggesting small recommendations to your clients can give them simple ways of remedying the issue. It can be helpful to them while being careful not to overwhelm them with multiple options. 

6. Repeat a few important factors

Reiterating key phrases from the conversation helps make your client feel they’re being paid attention to. These phrases should be major contributors to the idea discussed. 

7. Always clarify your understanding 

Assumptions won’t lead you anywhere. Rather than ending the conversation after your client explains their end, keep asking questions to get a full idea of the situation. 

8. Use assumptive selling tactics

After a great conversation with your client, create further exchanges as if they’re already buying your offer. The key is to be assertive enough to convince them, yet not too pushy that it can lead them away.

9. Provide a synopsis

Summaries help both parties fully realize if you’re on the same page or not. Give a quick rundown of each major factor in your discussion, from the cause and known issues to the proposed solutions.

How to Set the Stage during Discovery Calls?     

Before the Call:

  • Research about the company

Get to know your prospect’s business in every aspect imaginable. Take a deeper look into their values and goals and see how their problems affect those checkpoints. It’ll help you better understand their needs and provide a solution to meet them. 

  • Have solid product knowledge

Before you can help anyone else, you need to establish yourself as an expert in what you do. It starts with understanding the ins and outs of your products to see if they can be a compatible solution for your clients. 

  • Prepare discovery call questions

Always have your questions ready before you initiate a call with your prospects. It’ll give you enough time to determine if your queries are suitable for the client or not. 

  • Qualify the prospect

Since your resources are limited, they won’t always be compatible with your clients. To ensure that you can effectively help them with their issues, you must determine if they qualify for your services. 

  • Set a time and date convenient for both parties

Find out when it’s convenient for both parties to have a lengthy conversation about your client’s issues. It’ll give you enough time to prepare as you establish a goal and agenda. 

During the Call:

  • Ask more about the company

You’ll clearly understand your client’s goals and values by getting them to elaborate more about what they do. It’ll help you get to know both the business and the client, which is essential for establishing a good relationship

  • Know who you’re talking to

Understanding someone is easier when you have a one-on-one conversation. Ask about the client’s position in the company and what they do. While you can always do your research, you can unlock more details when you lead the discussion.

  • Ask about the problems encountered by the company

Discuss the concerns in detail and why it’s an issue for your client. It can help you empathize and better understand the problem.

  • Know what solutions they’ve tried

Being given the same advice repeatedly can be tedious and frustrating. Avoid making your clients go through this and ask for solutions they’ve already tried before you suggest new ones.

  • Move the deal forward

Once all the final details have been established, encourage your client to move the deal forward and check if everything is acceptable. It’ll help prevent major revisions to the plan and save both parties more time. 

Qualifying vs. Disqualifying Questions during Discovery Calls     

Qualifying and disqualifying questions both have a purpose during the discovery call. 

Qualifying questions help uncover the needs and challenges of your client, telling you which of your products can apply to the situation most. Asking these questions is also necessary since it’s the first part of the sales qualification process. 

Here are some examples of qualifying questions:

  • What are your goals?
  • What are the problems you’re trying to solve?
  • What’s the source of these problems?
  • What’s your priority today?
  • How do you envision a successful outcome?
  • What’s keeping you from addressing these problems?

While qualifying questions help you understand your client and their needs, disqualifying questions eliminate other factors that may not be as important. These usually consist of deadlines, budgets, limitations, and many more details. 

Here are some examples of disqualifying questions:

  • What are the roadblocks to implementing the plan?
  • Whose budget does the funding come from?
  • What’s your timeline for implementation?
  • What’s the approximate budget?
  • Is the budget provider an “exclusive sponsor”?
  • Are you flexible with other solutions?

Nail the Landing: Tips and Reminders on Closing a Deal

As a business owner, the goal is to help your clients get what they need according to the set expectations. But sometimes, doing this can be easier said than done, especially when you don’t know how to properly close a deal with a difficult caller. 

Approaching every prospect should be done with caution and careful consideration. Learn how      to polish your discovery call approach with the right call center outsourcing service. Reach out to Executive Boutique Call Center to learn more today.

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/uncategorized/guide-to-discovery-calls-how-to-successfully-close-a-deal

Publish Date: October 11, 2022


Data Privacy in Call Centers: An In-Depth Look Into HIPAA

The health sector faces a bulk of work daily as the demand for quality healthcare continues to increase. Even as the world is slowly returning to a pre-pandemic state, their services are needed now more than ever. 

With that in mind, major industry partners and multiple other sectors look to business process outsourcing (BPO) services to manage this growing public interest.

Since the healthcare industry deals with highly confidential information, outsourced partners should always be aware of how they can comply with data protection regulations. This involves getting familiar with a national standard called Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA. 

To guarantee that your call center is HIPAA-compliant, use the infographic below to learn about HIPAA protocols.

What is HIPAA?

Signed by the former U.S president Bill Clinton, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law established in 1996. The U.S. government set it in place to ensure that there would be a regulated national standard in how healthcare institutions in the country safeguard patient health information.

Unless the laws of the involved state are classified as more stringent than HIPAA, this act can override other legislations involving the safety of a patient’s medical information. Through this, medical facilities can’t disclose private information regarding your medical accounts without your prior knowledge or consent. 

In terms of its use, medical institutions can efficiently cut costs on healthcare by having a standardized electronic system that manages financial information and administrative transactions. Also, this allows workers to gain continuous health insurance coverage if they lose their job or source of income.

What is HIPAA Compliance?

The HIPAA provides a standardized ruling for sensitive patient data protection. All related industries dealing with protected health information (PHI) must comply with established rules and procedures. Covered entities specifically include:

  • Healthcare providers
  • Health plans
  • Healthcare clearinghouses
  • Business associates

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stresses the importance of HIPAA compliance as more healthcare facilities begin to adopt computerized operations. 

Physical and technical safeguards are required for all parties that will host sensitive patient data to help organizations follow these protocols. These can include audit reports, tracking logs, and limited facility access.

HIPAA Compliance Requirements Essential for Call Centers

Some requirements for healthcare facilities and business associates may differ since they can have varying uses for sensitive patient information. Because many health organizations are extending their operations to outsourcing partners, call centers must comply with these established standards.

If you’re looking to partner with one for your operations, here are a few factors you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • Privacy rule

The HIPAA privacy rule limits how related healthcare organizations can use and disclose PHI without the prior consent or knowledge of the corresponding patient. It also allows individuals to easily get a copy of their health records and gain the right to use and correct their information as needed.

  • Security rule

The HIPAA security rule compliance covers electronic PHI, thus mandating technical and physical safeguards. It would be best if you also protected physical devices to avoid the risks of theft and unauthorized access to healthcare information and other related records. Call centers must limit access and audit controls to designated workers. 

  • Business associate agreement

Business associates are any person or entity that performs functions and activities on behalf of the covered entity. Through this contract, outsourced call centers mustn’t disclose information beyond what’s permitted in the agreement. Additionally, they must report any data breaches or cyber fraud incidents as soon as it occurs.

Important Practices for a HIPAA-Compliant Call Center

Partnering with a HIPAA-certified call center can help ensure that your patients’ data and other sensitive information will remain safe and secure. To do this, you’ll need to establish proper protocols to guarantee your business will make no violations.

Below are a few major practices worth taking note of:

  • Enforce data encryption

Data entry encryption allows you to protect private data by enhancing the security of your networks. If an unauthorized person accesses your data, the encryption will prevent them from easily gaining valuable information from your system. 

  • Secure messaging solutions

In a call center, a dedicated team should regularly check apps, software, and servers for any vulnerabilities that may allow cybercriminals to sneak through daily operations. Customers should also be reminded to avoid connecting to unsecured networks that may increase their risk of cybersecurity issues and other online threats. 

  • Conduct regular HIPAA training and refreshers

While the HIPAA was established to provide a standardized approach to data security, changes to these protocols can still change over time. Using a call center vendor with updated training methods is best to keep your business HIPAA-compliant.

  • Limit access to patient data

Avoid allowing general workers full access to the database to ensure the security of your network. Limit these to higher-ups and assign dedicated accounts to easily track who goes in and out of your system.

  • Report data leaks and breaches immediately

Whether intentional or otherwise, data breaches can happen at any time. Because of this, your partner call center should always monitor any abnormalities and report them immediately to mitigate risks. 

  • Create detailed internal practices

An internal process lets you know what’s going on with your system and complies with regulations more efficiently. It also gives you better control over your operations, despite working with third-party vendors, as your operations will follow standard practices daily.

  • Safeguard PHI

Utmost care should always be observed when handling and transporting PHI to any medium. To avoid accidentally leaking any private data, ensure that it isn’t connected to any distribution systems, auto-forwarding marks, or portable devices within the call center.

Success and Security through HIPAA Compliance

The healthcare industry provides equal access to quality healthcare and social health protection. Now that the world is slowly moving towards a pre-pandemic state, the demand for healthcare services continues to grow. 

But without the proper protocols or strategies, data management in the healthcare sector can easily become hectic as factors like security breaches and data theft are added to the equation. 

To prevent data theft and efficiently control how PHI is used within operations, becoming HIPAA compliant is a must for both covered entities and business associates. It would help if you considered a HIPAA-certified call center partner like Executive Boutique Call Center to avoid legal complications and other conflicts. 

A HIPAA-compliant partner will help you build your credibility in the market and ensure progressive growth towards management and control over your network.

Get in touch with our team of experts today to learn more!

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/outsourcing/data-privacy-in-call-centers-hipaa

Publish Date: August 18, 2022


9 Essential Tasks to Outsource for Your Ecommerce Business

As the world continues to depend on technology for everyday needs, the ecommerce industry has shown significant growth over the years. Global online sales increased more than 24% as consumers shifted their spending to digital sources in 2020. These numbers are mostly due to the pandemic as everyone was forced to stay indoors, limiting physical and social contact. 

This gave businesses a chance to transition into the ecommerce space and gain certain advantages in their respective fields. While some could adapt quickly, others had to take on unfamiliar strategies to stay ahead of the competition. Plus, with consumer demands rapidly changing, many businesses were overwhelmed with more tasks than they could handle. 

When managing your ecommerce business, it’s important to have a checklist of essentials for a seamless operation. But if you aren’t sure about those, this article can help give you a better idea of the kind of tasks you can outsource to a reliable team. Let the infographic below guide you toward the best decision for your business. 

9 Essential Tasks to Outsource for Your Ecommerce Business

These days, outsourcing makes it possible for businesses across industries to relay tasks without needing to recruit in-house talents. For ecommerce, multiple functions need to be fulfilled to ensure smooth and consistent operations per customer order. With a team of experts, you can manage your company better by outsourcing these essential tasks:

  1. Website development

Website developers ensure that your ecommerce site runs smoothly and allows users to access the needed information when they’re about to make a purchase. This is important as 42% of visitors will likely leave your site if it has poor functionality.

  1. Product listing and optimization

This task focuses on creating and improving a catalog of items to be sold on your ecommerce store. On each listing, there should be a product description, creative copy, and a list of other related information on each product in your shop. It’ll help your customers better understand your offerings and how they work. 

  1. Inventory management

Inventory management allows your team to keep track of how many products you have left in stock at any time. While monitoring purchases is tedious work, it’s important because it ensures the availability of items that customers are looking to purchase.

Outsourcing inventory management tasks can help you analyze which goods sell best at which time so that you can meet demands better.

  1. Customer service

Outsourcing your customer service allows your ecommerce business to create better relationships with your patrons. It includes answering inquiries, collecting feedback, and providing basic assistance to customers and prospects, whether they’re difficult callers or otherwise.

Partnering with experts in this field is important, as studies show that 93% of customers are more likely to stay loyal to your brand if you provide great customer service.

  1. Order processing and fulfillment

This process involves the delivery of goods and services to your customers based on the data recorded on your system. In this step, your outsourced ecommerce team takes care of picking, packaging, and shipping out goods to your customers.

For order processing and fulfillment, you must select the right outsourced company to work with because this is one of the most crucial ecommerce tasks on the list.

  1. Graphic design and video

Research proves that around 90% of information that people absorb is visual. You must create good graphics and videos to retain current customers and attract new ones. Opting to outsource professional creative work helps your customers and prospects positively associate and remember your business in today’s digital market. 

  1. Social media marketing

Promoting your ecommerce business through platforms like Facebook or Instagram can make it more convenient for your audiences to look at your products. Social media marketing strategies include posting helpful content in blogs or vlogs, running online campaigns, and offering subscriptions. 

  1. Product sourcing

Before your business can sell anything, you must find ways to gain stocks, materials, and equipment to create your product. By assigning this task to an outsourced team, you’ll have one less thing to worry about. You’ll get help finding the necessary resources and equipment to produce your merchandise.

  1. Accounting and bookkeeping

Accounting and bookkeeping outsource experts keep you briefed on your income and expenditures and provide the information you need to make good business decisions. They also help ensure that your business’s financial health remains safe.

Benefits of Outsourcing Ecommerce Tasks for Your Business

Outsourcing select tasks in your ecommerce business can help ease your load and open opportunities to learn from other experts. For many brands, it’s also a good way to improve overall operations by gaining the following benefits:

  • Reduced operational costs

Outsourcing ecommerce tasks can be a good alternative to help your company save on overhead costs, particularly on in-house resources. Generally, these teams are already equipped with their own tools to perform specific tasks you assign them. There’s also no need to provide other requirements, such as employee benefits and training. 

  • Improved efficiency

Having a team of experts manage your other ecommerce tasks can help streamline your operations and improve your productivity. It allows you and your in-house employees to focus more on core responsibilities to scale the business forward. 

  • More flexible hiring processes

Outsourced teams can be hired on flexible terms depending on your requirements. If you only need help during peak season, you don’t have to commit to a full-time partnership. 

  • Retained competitive advantage 

Many outsourced workers have the necessary skills and knowledge about a particular field that your company may not be equipped with yet. Utilizing this can help you stay updated with trends and gain new insights to help you compete in the market. 

  • Boosted overall profits 

Outsourcing different ecommerce tasks can improve your standard operations and help your team focus on closing sales better. When aligned with other strategies, your business can be sure to retain customers and gain a loyal following.

  • Quick kickstart to other projects

With other duties out of the way, your business can work towards its goals faster while allowing you to develop and discover new ways to expand your brand. It’ll enable you to do more while consistently improving your business operations.

Boost Your Business through Outsourcing

Managing an ecommerce business can be challenging, especially for those unfamiliar with the digital landscape. As such, getting off on the right foot within the industry is important, and you can do this by ensuring you have the right people on your team.

While recruiting in-house workers can help your operations gain more structure, outsourcing is another option that can help you get your name out more quickly in the ecommerce market. Not only can outsourcing help you save on your business resources, but outsourced teams can also give you the expertise you need to stay updated in the ever-changing world of ecommerce.

Ready to partner with an outsourcing company? Check out Executive Boutique Call Center! We are an American and Australian-owned call center outsourcing service and business process outsourcing provider in the Philippines that can handle your ecommerce business’s needs and more!

Learn more about how we can help elevate your operations. Contact us today!

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/outsourcing/tasks-outsource-ecommerce-business

Publish Date: July 12, 2022


8 Must-Try Team Engagement Activities for Your Remote Team

Employee engagement is one of the tell-tale signs of employee satisfaction. Typically, it isn’t easy to do, as each team member comes from different background. To add to that, most of us work in a remote work setup today wherein we get to have little to no social interaction with our co-workers.

With this type of setup growing 173% since 2005, remote working has only contributed to this difficulty for management. As such, workers of all ranks and roles need a regular boost to feel motivated and feel a sense of belonging in the company, especially those who have yet to get used to a remote work setting. 

However, workers aren’t the only ones who benefit from team engagement—businesses thrive with engaged and motivated employees.

Companies that emphasize team engagement found a 21% higher profitability and healthier employees. If you’re searching for ways to build or improve your team engagement initiatives, this article can provide you with a list of activities that can help you with that boost. Read on to learn more.

What is Team Engagement?

Team engagement, sometimes called employee engagement, is an act or process of making employees feel contented and loyal to their workplace. When companies started mandating the remote work setup due to the COVID-19 outbreak, team members became individuals in an isolated space in their homes. 

Team engagement activities address the communication gap and low morale issues. These activities allow employees to feel appreciated and decompress as they participate in collaborative activities designed to boost team morale.

However, measuring team engagement in your workplace can be difficult, as it can widely differ from member to member. The best way to gauge all your employees’ engagement levels is by asking about their concerns on workload or passion levels, listening and responding to their feedback, and helping them get back in step with the company.

Why is Team Engagement Important?

  • It boosts workplace productivity

Team engagement helps improve the productivity of employees. According to a Gallup report, engaged team members are 17% more productive than disengaged employees. With the management’s efforts to keep them included and involved, their enthusiasm to work increases, thus, making them more motivated.

In a workplace, managers need to get creative so that employees remain spirited. Creating challenges can help others stay diligent in performing their duties better. Remember to prioritize feedback and constructive criticism to develop new ideas and solutions to increase team productivity.

  • It improves employee retention

According to Forbes, engagement is a symptom of success. Employees who feel good about their contribution are more likely to be happy to report to work daily because they feel their inputs are valued. The feeling of accomplishment comes in acknowledgment, making them want to stay.

In a Glassdoor study, four in five employees say they’re motivated to work when they’re appreciated. A culture of appreciation shows your employees that they provide value to the company, which improves retention rates.

  • It enhances company culture

Company culture determines the how and why of a company. This can reflect your business’s environment, behaviors, values, and even language. According to a Columbia University study, the likelihood of a job turnover is considerably lower with high company culture (13.9%) than with low company culture (48.4%)

Engaged employees are one with the company in improving their culture just from their mindsets. These conditions give a contagious feeling to other employees, exemplifying a culture of engaged employees.

  • It increases customer satisfaction

Richard Branson, the founder of The Virgin Group, says, “Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business.” 

Engaged employees are fully attached to their work, which means they will go above and beyond their spheres of responsibility. Engaged and properly compensated employees will go the extra mile to resolve clients’ problems by working effectively and efficiently to deliver on time.

  • It improves an employee’s home life

When employees are satisfied with what they do for a living, they’re more productive on the clock, giving them one less thing to stress about when it’s time to go home and call it a day at work.

Effective team engagement means fewer complaints about co-workers or company rules. When workplace issues are not brought up after hours, your employees will have a happier life at home. 

In fact, according to a Kansas State Study co-researcher, Satoris Culbertson, “Individuals who were engaged in positive experiences at work and who shared those experiences with significant others perceived themselves as better able to deal with issues at home, became better companions, and became more effective overall in the home environment,”

8 Team Engagement Ideas Perfect for Remote Teams

  1. Organize regular check ins

Remote working can be unmotivating for some of your employees. Not everyone can sit eight hours a day without human interaction. As an employer, it’s essential to keep your remote workers in the loop on projects, team progress, and company news. 

Moreover, it’s essential to check in with them on their current health or simply catch up to show that you’re concerned and want to see how they’re doing in a remote setup. 

When remote workers are included in the conversation, they will feel more connected and engaged in their work. Check with your remote staff regularly so that everyone has an opportunity to touch base and have a pulse on the firm.

  1. Recognize and celebrate wins

Remote working doesn’t mean you should disregard your employees’ wins. If anything, this is the perfect time to celebrate your team’s wins, no matter how big or small. Since you’re not in the office to personally thank them or take them out to lunch for their milestones, find ways you can do so.

Recognition can range from a quick call with your team and commending them for their efforts or going as far as ordering take-outs for everyone in a team lunch. Though small and simple, these gestures will greatly help boost your team’s morale.

  1. Encourage feedback sharing

No matter the work setting, feedback is extremely important. Workplaces should cultivate an open-feedback environment because this is an effective communication tool that can help businesses succeed and thrive. 

The feedback helps employers learn more about their teammates, including their strengths and weaknesses, behaviors, and decision-making patterns that directly affect others. Furthermore, effective two-way communication increases both employer and employee self-awareness and encourages personal development.

  1. Host virtual game nights

The way game nights are conducted significantly changed over the years. With remote teams, it’s difficult to play the classic games we know, but technology has found a way to allow team members to decompress from the stressful week through virtual games.

For your next team engagement, here are some virtual games you can try with your crew:

  • Jackbox

This virtual game is easy to use. One person in the group must purchase the game, making them the host. Jackbox has many games to choose from, such as Drawful, Fibbage, and an adult version of Pictionary.

  • Words With Friends 2

The goal of this game is simple. You only need to create words from the scrambled letters you’re given, and whoever gets the most points wins. This game is available on Google Play and App Store. 

  • Skribbl

Skribbl is a free virtual game you can play online. Each player is provided a word they have to draw on the board, and the first to get the correct answer receives the highest points. The player with the most points at the end of a round wins.

  1. Take an interest in their personal circumstances

Working at home brings both comfort and discomfort to an employee. Interacting with a remote team member can bring about family-related or personal issues in casual conversations. 

As an employer, you know that your employee’s home experience can directly affect their output and overall motivation at work, so remember to check up on them from time to time without overstepping.

You show your employees that their team can offer support where needed and provide a safe space for them. It also builds trust and transparency, leading to higher employee confidence for you and your company.

  1. Offer different remote working options

Your remote team may consist of different people with diverse backgrounds. You might even have someone working from the other side of the world. As an employer, ensure that you provide your employees with ample options where they can fully exert their efforts to deliver.

These can include selections for different working times and locations. Everyone thrives differently at work, so provide choices where your employees will feel their most productive. Set clear expectations and regularly check in on them to ensure they’re not having difficulty.

  1. Use the appropriate software for your employees’ needs

One major factor of a successful remote working setup is the medium used. Remote working thrives on portable and reliable technology that will give your employees an edge to perform their best, despite not being in the office. 

For example, when tech issues arise, your team should be equipped with the right communication tools to connect them to your IT support team. Provide your team with the appropriate hardware, such as laptops and tablets, and access to a fast internet connection to help them perform productively and communicate better with others.

  1. Encourage health and wellness

Employee wellness should be your top priority. If your staff becomes ill, they can’t perform their best–or even at all. 

You can try incentivizing to get your team to go outside, cook a decent meal, work out, or develop a healthy habit. This will not only benefit your employees’ health, but it will also bring the team closer together as you demonstrate your concern for their general well-being.

Make Remote Work Fun

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed companies to take on remote work setups without guaranteeing if it will benefit their business and people. Regular team engagement activities can help your employees feel motivated, and this increase in morale can translate to the quality of their work and their overall outlook on the company they work for. 

If you want to expand your workforce with professionals who can service and support your current remote team management operations, look no further. Our pool of experts at Executive Boutique Call Center can provide best-in-class call center outsourcing services to help you scale your business. Contact us today to learn more!

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/outsourcing/team-engagement-activities-remote-team

Publish Date: June 16, 2022


Outsourcing in 2021: A Year-End Report

Growth is always a welcome development for most businesses. However, rapid growth will inevitably hit a plateau that can stunt your venture’s earning power. One business practice you can consider to prevent this is business process outsourcing (BPO).

While expansion is one of the main reasons companies have tapped the services of various outsourcing agencies, there are other perks that come with hiring such services. Ultimately, the efficiency they can provide for the costs they incur can significantly help your company’s bottom line.

Unlike other fields that were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, global outsourcing industries have experienced remarkable increases in their businesses and received positive projections in the coming years. In this article, we will provide you with relevant outsourcing statistics for a clearer picture of the current and future state of the dynamic outsourcing industry all over the world.

While the global health crisis has limited the growth of some businesses, the outsourcing industry has seen significant changes that are projected to carry through in the years to come.

In 2019, the industry’s global value hit the $92.5 billion mark. With strong optimism for the field’s future direction, a Grand View Research study estimates it to expand to $405.6 billion come 2027 at a CAGR of 8%. This leap shows how more companies are starting to see the value outsourcing can bring to their business, even when everything goes back to normal.

2. The Philippines’ BPO industry generated $26.7 billion in 2020. (IBPAP)

Even as the health pandemic affected the economy, the BPO industry in the Philippines saw a revenue increase of 1.4% in 2020, recording a $26.7 billion total. According to the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the climb reflected the efforts of BPO companies to ensure continued operations amid the global health crisis.

In terms of employment rate, BPO establishments hired 1.8% more people in the same year, resulting in 1.32 million direct employment in the country.

3. The United States remains the biggest client for outsourcing companies. (Reliable Plant)

Even before 2020 changed the way businesses operate, companies in the United States have always been the top subscriber to BPO services. It’s not unreasonable to think the same thing rings true today, as at least 68% of American companies still rely on third-party contractors to do some of their work for them.

Interestingly, as the top digital nation in 2021, the United States is among the largest supplier of online labor in the world. In their rising gig economy, 16% of Americans are reported to have earned money from an online gig platform.

4. Call centers will remain an integral part of customer retention strategies. (Morph Networks)

Many businesses closed due to the pandemic, so retaining customers can become a tough task to accomplish. The numbers paint a different picture, though. Call centers increased their volumes by 14% in 2020 to meet customer demand. Moreover, over half of all businesses partner with a third-party customer support business in 2021 to enhance their customer experience.

A Salesforce report reveals that at least 84% of customers stay because of loyal customer service. Additionally, companies that invest in customer retention initiatives by at least 5% see their profit rise between 25-95%. These statistics alone make call centers a vital component of your business strategy.

5. Cost reduction is the leading reason for outsourcing work. (Deloitte)

Not many companies have fully recovered from the pandemic’s impact on their coffers due to the current global economic situation. As such, at least 70% of companies that use outsourcing services attribute their decision to reduce costs.

Meanwhile, flexibility (40%) and speed to market (20%) are the second and third most important factors businesses consider when opting for an outsourced partner for their operations. Other attributes like access to tools and processes and agility (15%) are also included on the list.

6. The move to cloud services will only accelerate the rise of outsourced work. (Fortunly)

Aside from video conferencing tools, the pandemic also highlighted the importance of cloud servers to hold crucial files during a remote setup. Data shows that more than 93% of businesses are considering or have already implemented cloud technology as part of their processes.

As it allows for more effective and efficient work, a third of all companies are willing to increase their operating budget if it means getting better-outsourced support.

7. IT work is the most outsourced work worldwide. (Clutch) 

The outsourcing industry long held the reputation of only handling a company’s customer service needs. However, 2021 was a different tale as more skilled labor is being outsourced by companies worldwide.

According to a Clutch study, 27% of small businesses outsource their IT work. This can be attributed to the technical nature of the work that some smaller companies have no resources to build themselves. Furthermore, the report shows that 23% relegate their finance operations, 21% want a third party to handle their legal needs, and 20% tap another company for their marketing work.

8. A more efficient workflow is the leading reason behind most outsourcing orders. (Clutch)

Most small businesses will outsource work to get a more efficient workflow. In fact, 24% of business owners opt to outsource for this reason alone. An increase in efficiency means spending less time delivering products and services to make room for other tasks.

Efficiency isn’t the only reason most enterprises tap outsourcing companies, though. Some want to get expert help (18%) on their processes, while others use such services to provide more flexibility (16%) to their work.

9. More IT companies are opening up to the idea of outsourced work. (Fortunly) 

Although once aloof to the concept of outsourcing, the IT industry is now becoming more receptive to such work. Today, at least 44% of chief intelligence officers welcome the idea of outsourced teams handling some of their tasks for them. 

Functions that have to do with software application development make up most (64%) of the field’s outsource requests. Meanwhile, technology executives delegate application and software maintenance (51%) and data centers (40%).

10. India and the Philippines continue to dominate the outsourcing industry. (Outsource Accelerator)

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian countries remain at the top of the outsourcing list, specifically India and the Philippines. The two countries are the world’s most preferred outsourcing hubs for different services. India specializes in IT and software development, while the Philippines is better known for customer service and back-office work. 

Move Forward to Greater Success with Outsourcing

Outsourcing has long since shed its customer service roots and is now an asset for big and small companies. With this list of strong facts and figures as a basis, you now have a snapshot of the industry’s potential moving forward.

In case you’re looking for a call center outsourcing partner to scale your business, there’s no better place to go than Executive Boutique Call Center. We are a team of highly-skilled customer service specialists that can provide you with optimal results to increase your bottom line. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/outsourcing/outsourcing-year-end-report

Publish Date: February 14, 2022


10 Ways to Improve Teamwork in Your Customer Service Team

A day’s worth of work in a call center can be unpredictable. Employees have a hectic schedule to follow that changes daily, as they interact with numerous customers with varying levels of concerns and demands. Despite this, people from the customer service track need to be headstrong throughout the adversity to provide quality services.

As a manager, it’s integral to foster a positive environment for your employees to boost team morale and performance. However, like all valuable efforts within a company, this cannot happen overnight.

To help you get started, this guide will walk you through tips on improving teamwork in your customer service team and creating the ultimate ideal workplace for everyone. 

The Importance of Teamwork

Although having skilled individuals is a definite advantage in any team, customer service work requires teamwork more than you might think. Since it revolves around a series of processes, a seamless internal collaboration leads to faster service, satisfying 75% of customers who want a consistent quality service experience.

Apart from building strong relationships, reactive and proactive members can help eliminate stress and exhaustion within the group. With 74% of agents at risk of burnout, having an easy and even distribution of work can snowball into improved team performance, boosting overall business numbers.

How to Improve Teamwork in Your Customer Service Team

If you’re yet to come up with strategies to enhance your customer service team’s teamwork, here are several effective ones you can try:

1. Establish and optimize communication channels

“Communication is key” is a commonly used phrase in most businesses—and for good reasons. Whether you’re working in-person or remote with your team, it’s a must to communicate effectively to serve customers properly and resolve any issues quickly.

A straightforward way of maintaining contact internally is through team chats or meetings. Besides aligning for customer-related tasks, conversations can also involve brainstorming, evaluations, and suggestions on how the group can improve. Keep in mind that each session must have a primary focus to emphasize productivity.

Google Meets and Zoom are a few common channels you can use in your operations. Alternatively, you may look into Slack, which allows for private messages, team huddles, and data storage to keep things organized.

2. Align internally on team goals and beliefs

Having an outline of your team goals enables each person to dedicate themselves to their roles. The point of this is to create a timeline of what you want to accomplish, as focusing on a clear target in a customer service environment can ultimately lead to better performance.

Take the average response time as an example. According to a recent report, it takes around 12 hours and 10 minutes for a team to handle a request. With this, a goal you can set for your group is to have a quicker response time that doesn’t affect quality.

3. Clarify and distinguish roles and responsibilities

Individual roles and responsibilities play an integral part in line with team goals. Each member should be comfortable and confident with their job to perform effectively. You must clearly communicate each one’s responsibilities and your expectations about them. To achieve this, you need to seek feedback from your employees and schedule productive team meetings. 

Through these methods, you will see if there’s a need to reorganize the team’s dynamic. As a manager, this allows you to place people on tasks they’re good at and happy to do. Remember, finding the fit for the roles ensures quality work. 

4. Encourage out-of-office hangouts

Having after-hours hangouts is a vital part of building team chemistry. Casual events such as out-of-office dinners and weekend movie nights are a great way to establish trust and rapport among team members. 

Other activities such as out-of-town trips and holiday parties are major get-togethers to look forward to. This allows employees to socialize with others more, encouraging open communication in the workplace. 

5. Empower employees

An American Psychological Association (APA) survey shows that 93% of employees who feel appreciated are motivated to do their best at work. With data to back it up, be sure never to miss a chance to recognize your employees’ contributions.

Showing appreciation and encouragement are some of the simple ways you can boost your employee’s morale. You want to create a positive atmosphere that encourages everyone to keep working hard and promotes a constructive dynamic. Working in an unappreciative environment is toxic not only for your crew but for the enterprise at large.

6. Incorporate a task management system

Task management systems are used to streamline daily operations and increase team productivity, which is why it’s essential when improving teamwork within your customer service group.

One of the most recommended collaborative work management apps today is Trello. Conveniently, it allows you to schedule tasks, organize multiple schedules, and post documents with the option for everyone in the workspace to collaborate. With Trello, numerous people can share an assignment to speed up the process while managers monitor the progress.

7. Improve customer service strategies

Sure, having a set of updated strategies can provide better quality and increased customer satisfaction. But did you know it can also make a grand impact on your team’s harmony?

When the clients win, your employees win as well, which is why it’s vital to revamp your customer service methods on a schedule to make both parties happy. If your playbook is due for an upgrade, here are a few things to consider for the new one:

  • Having consistent availability or coverage
  • Engaging with customers on various social media platforms
  • Assigning the right representatives to specific customer needs

8. Enhance employee engagement

No matter how skilled and experienced your employees are, there could still be a dent in their performance if they’re unhappy with their overall work experience. Because of this, it’s important to know how the team feels, as it can improve the work they’re doing daily. 

Engaging with them through suggestion boxes, surveys, or one-by-one meetings is one way to do it. You may utilize an employee engagement template to get an insight into what your staff feels and what you need to change to make them feel better. 

Much like a chain reaction, as you promote positive changes within your crew, you can be sure to see happier employees right after.

9. Consider flexible work hours

There are different types of people in the workplace. Some are early starters, while some are more productive later in the day. With customer service almost always on-demand, considering to allow flexible work hours might just level up your crew’s productivity rate, especially when all are working in the hours they’re most comfortable. 

Aside from that, such flexibility can also promote collaboration with members who are working simultaneously, which ultimately increases the job done in a day.

10. Create an open communication

There are customer service teams with strict hierarchies when it comes to communication. Especially when a pressing issue arises, the flow of resolution is longer where the employee would report to the supervisor, who would then report to the manager.

To avoid such a stretch in workflow, encourage open communication within your group. Doing so will allow your representatives to solve customer issues faster, especially if other members—whether on the same level or higher—may be more knowledgeable about specific concerns.

Make it Work with Teamwork

Being in a demanding field such as the call center industry is already tough, but managing a customer service team takes this challenge up another notch. Apart from providing excellent service for your customers, it’s also well within your scope of responsibilities to look after your members’ welfare as a manager. 

A straightforward process, a fair distribution of workload, and a fun out-of-work engagement activity can make all the difference in improving the overall working conditions of your team. Remember, fostering a positive dynamic between everyone can translate to greater work performance for your customers.

If you need to partner with a call center outsourcing service that has great teamwork and even better work performance, check out Executive Boutique Call Center. Our team is one of the best in the Philippines, composed of highly trained agents ready to provide quality support for your business and clients’ needs. Learn more about our best-in-class customer service when you contact us today!

Source: https://ebcallcenter.com/outsourcing/improve-teamwork-customer-service-team

Publish Date: January 31, 2022

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