Executive Boutique - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Working in a customer service job is one of the most stressful jobs someone can be in, because you’re dealing with — you guessed it — people. Not just people, but oftentimes disgruntled people. People who aren’t very kind. Sometimes, there are moments where we might have to confront someone, but we don’t want to do it to the point where it blows up in our faces and creates a bigger problem, right? So here’s what we’ve come up with on how to confront someone, but without rocking the boat:
Make an observation, then ask a question. This is probably one of the easiest and non-confrontational ways to confront someone about something. You telling them what you have noticed and perceived is a great way of avoiding labels and diagnosis, and asking the follow up question gives them a gentle push towards an explanation and open dialogue: “I’m noticing ______. I’m wondering if _______.”
Being direct doesn’t have to mean being rude. Direct conversation is probably one of the most valuable forms, but also one that gets a bad rap as being “rude” and “blunt.” The fact of the matter is, you can be direct without coming off as a stuck-up know it all. Always start your conversation with a compliment; it not only disarms the person you’re confronting, but also lowers their walls and opens them up for what you’re about to say. The words coming out of your mouth need to be either neutral, or positively associated words — so avoid words like “never,” “lazy,” “disappointed,” etc. Direct communication also means walking into the conversation with a solution already on hand, relaxed body language, and a smile. Your goal is to talk about the important parts without sounding like you’re condemning the other person.
Understanding your own emotions is just as important as acknowledging the other person’s emotions. If you find that you’re in a high-emotions situations, and you can’t seem to allow yourself a deep breath, then it’s okay to get a rain check on the conversation. If you cannot fight back the anger or the tears (sometimes they come hand-in-hand), then you cannot confront the situation in a healthy and professional way. There is no shame in taking a step back.
No one is a real fan of confrontation, but if it’s done in a calm, cool, and collected manner, then the experience really isn’t as scary as most people think. The goal is to be open and accepting of the other person; have a discussion, not an argument.
Publish Date: October 4, 2019 5:00 AM
If you want to get more sales, offer better customer support, and increase your efficiency as a business (among other things), then you need to start outsourcing.
When you think about all the benefits you can enjoy from outsourcing, the business move to collaborate with a third-party BPO company just makes sense.
Even having said that, however, it’s worth pointing out that not all outsourcing companies are created equal.
There are those that provide real value to their partners, while there are those who produce less than stellar results.
In this guide, we’re going to talk about some of the characteristics that you need to look into when deciding if the outsourcing company is right for you.
If you’re about to outsource some of your tasks but aren’t sure which outsourcing company to work with, then this guide is for you.
1. Employee Training and Development
When outsourcing companies put value in employee training and development, it pretty much shows how they care about their clients’ welfare.
Since the outsourcing company’s employees are in the trenches, directly addressing the needs of the customers, they ought to be well-trained and equipped with the skills they need to be able to represent the company in the best way.
2. Infrastructure and Technology
The last thing you want is to experience downtimes upon downtimes, all because the outsourcing company you’re working with had an outage in their area.
That’s just one of the issues that can arise, by the way. There are security vulnerabilities and other compliance-related issues that you might face when dealing with a poorly-equipped outsourcing company.
3. Strategic Location
You need to consider the location of your prospective outsourcing partner before deciding to collaborate with them.
Here’s the thing, depending on where the company is situated, you might find it difficult to scale your business with them.
Supposing your company is fairly large and you need to add 200 more inbound/outbound call center agents to your team. If the outsourcing company is located in a provincial area where there aren’t that many universities, then they will most likely find it challenging to hire 200 more people to address your needs, simply because there aren’t that many skilled people in the area.
Depending on the location of the outsourcing company and the type of service that you’re looking to outsource, you might have to pay between $6 - $50 per person per hour.
There isn’t an exact figure for this. And outsourcing companies would justify their pricing based on varying elements.
That is why you need to be thorough when screening and shortlisting your prospective outsourcing partner.
After all, it wouldn’t make sense for you to pay $40 per agent per hour when you can get the same level of quality and service from a company who would charge you $10 per person per hour.
Partnering with the right outsourcing company can make or break your business.
It can spell the difference between you experiencing unprecedented growth, or you experiencing headaches upon headaches.
If you’re looking for an outsourcing company that you can trust, one that’s equipped with state of the art infrastructure, highly-skilled talents, and one that’s genuinely committed to grow your business, then call us now at 1-888-700-9555.
Publish Date: August 30, 2019 5:00 AM
Telemarketing can be a handy tool for businesses.
Not only is it a tried and tested method for lead generation, but you can straight-up increase your sales through telemarketing.
Of course, there are other benefits you can enjoy when you have telemarketing as one of your business’ marketing arsenal.
Telemarketing is essentially the process of generating leads, gathering marketing information or making and closing a sale through the phone, fax, internet, as well as via video conferencing.
It can also include contacting people to raise money for charity and carry out surveys.
Benefits of Telemarketing
While telemarketing has become a popular tool in growing businesses, it also has its fair share of controversies due to its misuse. But negative publicity aside, this strategy continues to be widely used, and when carried out correctly, the advantages drowns out all negative feedback.
1) Gives Immediate Feedback
Being able to immediately measure your customer’s level of interest in your product or services is perhaps the number one benefit of telemarketing. Receiving direct and immediate feedback allows you to realign marketing campaigns, improve customer service, and develop new products and services.
2) Involves Human Interaction
Not only is the telephone an affordable and a statistically accountable communication tool, but it is also a very intimate and personal one, with two people talking to each other.
3) Has Wider Reach
Telemarketing allows you to reach a wider audience. It reaches not only your intended audience but also those who are on the other parts of the globe, as well as your not to internet savvy consumers.
4) Provides Measurable Results
One of the best things about telemarketing is that the results can be analyzed and measured. It gives you insight into how successful (or not) your campaign has been and which strategy actually works.
Deciding to outsource your company’s telemarketing efforts will multiply your benefits even more.
The list that follows are just some of the advantages of outsourcing telemarketing.
- Frees up your time
By delegating your telemarketing campaigns to a professional third-party vendor, you can focus all your attention and energy to core business functions.
- Increase in Productivity
With more time on your hands to zero in on core business matters, the rest of your team will also be able to focus on their assigned tasks, increasing their productivity.
- Worry-Free Budgeting
With outsourcing, you can forget about worrying that you will go above your budget because you pay a fixed amount as agreed with your outsourcing partner.
- Brings Huge Savings
Outsourcing eliminates the need to invest in equipment and infrastructure because your outsourcing partner already has the cutting-edge technology in place to support your telemarketing needs.
It also saves you office space since you won’t need to house a team of telemarketers.
Perhaps the most significant savings will come from not having to spend on recruitment and training, as well as paying employee benefits. You will be tapping into the manpower coupled with the industry experience of your outsourcing partner.
Executive Boutique offers a full range of telemarketing services, both inbound and outbound, from customer service, technical support, sales lead generation, and market research.
We offer high quality, professional services at affordable rates with flexible month-to-month options.
So contact us today for your free non-obligatory quote.
Publish Date: August 8, 2019 5:00 AM
Whether you’re selling handmade art at the local farmer’s market, or running a large organization generating thousands in sales daily, PCI compliance is something that has been addressed when discussing payment.
That’s because company dealing with the payment, storage, or transmission of credit card information must comply with a set of standards and practices aimed at protecting consumers and businesses.
Examples of those required to comply with PCI standards include:
- Brick and mortar retailers
- Financial institutions
- Online retailers
- Insurance companies
- Hospitals and other medical facilities
- Farmer/flea market vendors
- Service providers
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council is responsible for the creation and advising of safe and ethical card payment practices. This body is made up of major credit card companies who found it in their best interest to protect themselves and consumers.
There are 4 Levels of PCI compliance for merchants, and 3 Levels for service providers. These levels are divided by the amount of transactions they complete, the amount of e-commerce transactions, and the number of accounts handled. Most small businesses are classified as Level 4 merchants since they typically handle between 20,000 and one million transactions a year.
PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance was initially rolled out as a way to keep up with the changing relationship between merchant and consumer, more specifically the way products and services are paid for. Online shopping was a major factor behind these efforts, with easier payments came more areas of vulnerability for criminals and scammers to capitalize upon.
But it’s not only credit card transactions to which these standards apply.
Gift cards provided a new area of concern for businesses and credit card companies; gift card recipients were at risk for paying with empty cards and online merchants could get scammed as well. With the growing use of gift cards issued by major credit card companies, the safety surrounding these transactions are taken even more seriously.
Failing to adhere to PCI standards is not illegal at the federal level, but it is in the best interest of merchants to follow them. Complying with PCI standards is not only ethical, but also necessary in order to avoid fines, lawsuits, and other security related issues. Fines incurred by data breaches or fraud loss can take a toll on a business, possibly to the point of bankruptcy.
PCI compliance should be taken seriously by a business if they want to succeed, if this can’t be done in-house then they should enlist the help of a company to assist in maintaining the standards. Free of fines and bad publicity, organizations can then do business knowing both them, and their customers are safe.
Publish Date: January 30, 2019 5:00 AM
The future of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines remains promising. Not only does it continue to provide jobs for millions of Filipinos, but it also helps sustain the country’s economy.
The BPO industry employs approximately 1.15 million people and together with remittances from overseas workers, it is our economic lifeline.
In recent years, we see a major shift in the BPO landscape with the introduction of automation.
What is Automation?
Also known as Robotic Process Automation or RPA, it is the usage of software robotics in capturing and interpreting existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulate data, trigger responses and communicate with other digital systems.
What It Means to the BPO industry
While it may be true that automation could mean the end of some jobs, on the flip side, it could also mean that greater emphasis will be given to higher skilled jobs.
So much focus is given to the negative impact that automation is bringing to the industry that we fail to see the role of technology in creating new jobs and making remaining jobs more productive.
Automation, even in its infancy stage, is complementing and augmenting existing human skills, resulting in workers becoming more productive and efficient and fewer in number while accomplishing the same amount of work.
The direct impact of automation, especially in its early stages today, has generated new jobs that require more advanced skills to build, train, manage, troubleshoot and enhance technology.
According to A.T Kearney’s study in 2017 on the widening impact of automation, existing workers, instead of being displaced, are actually moving into higher-value positions. The study also showed that one new automation management position is created for every four jobs that automation replaces.
The Philippines, Moving Forward
So what does all this mean for the Philippines and how are we coping?
Our track record says it all. We continually show significant improvements with an average annual expansion rate of 20 percent. Forecasts indicate that the BPO industry revenue is estimated to reach about $250 billion by 2022.
The first clear indicator that we have nowhere to go but forward is the fact that in 2017, 3.8 million square meters or 80% of total prime office spaces in Metro Manila were occupied by BPO companies as stated by global property consultancy firm Santos Knight Frank.
Add to this the fact that BPO hubs in provinces such as Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete, and Clark continue to be constructed as reported by Rural Impact Sourcing, a program which aims to expand BPO to rural areas.
Secondly, Filipinos are very empathic. This human component in servicing simply cannot be automated. And because the most common BPO service we offer are customer service types, the negative impact of automation is less likely felt in our country.
Thirdly, Our BPO industry is projected to move with the demand for a shift to Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) which deals in specialized sectors like Market Research, Fraud Analytics, Equity Research and Investment, Banking Insurance, Data Integration, Medical Transcript Preparation and Legal Processes. The jobs that automation will take away, will be replaced with highly skilled ones.
Need a BPO company to deliver top-notch quality service through highly trained personnel who provide genuine heartfelt customer service? Look no further than Executive Boutique!
With us, you will not be tied down with a long-term service commitment or contract.We give you the flexibility to modify your services according to your business need.
From routine data entry to specialized tasks with specific expertise, we have the resources and the expertise you need to make your business grow.
So call us today to find out more.
Publish Date: January 16, 2019 5:00 AM
Live chat software is becoming more widely used by companies of all sizes. The main reason for its popularity is speed and convenience. Your company may have a customer support telephone number and email address, but often making a call or waiting for an email is too time consuming. Customers may not find the time investment worth getting the answer to a simple question. This is where live chat comes in. Here are some ways implementing live chat software can help your business:
Quicker response times = more sales
Excellent customer service directly correlates to higher sales. When you use a live chat software, you can reduce purchase abandonment by directly address customer concerns in real time. When your company is responsive to buyers on their schedule, it leaves a positive impression on your customer base. It also leads to customers being more likely to follow through with prospective purchases.
Provides competitive edge
Responsive service contributes to a happy customer base, which results in customers coming back to you for your goods and services. Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, online shops lack a human touch. With live chat software, your company can initiate conversations with website visitors – this establishes rapport with the customer. Once you convince visitors of your product, word-of-mouth promotion can increase your sales numbers over time.
Provides insight into online visitor behavior
Understanding why customers are buying (or not buying) is important in today’s digital business arena. Customers’ buying patterns are continuing to evolve, and businesses can no longer afford to stay on sidelines, or else they risk becoming obsolete compared to their more active competitors. Live chat allows your business to directly ask customers what their doubts are and what may be discouraging them from following through with a purchase. Gaining these insights is invaluable — it can help you streamline your product.
Reduce business cost
Live chat software does not require coding knowledge, can be installed in a matter of minutes, and requires a fewer number of service representatives than telephone support. Each agent can handle 3-4 conversations simultaneously, which means your business can cut down on its support costs.
Modern customers desire fast, convenient, and immediate access to support. Businesses that implement live chat are going the extra mile to meet their customers’ needs, and this helps them stand out from the competition.
Publish Date: January 9, 2019 5:00 AM
Anyone who has worked in the customer service field knows just how stressful it can be, as well as how easy it can be to experience burnout. Customer service staff are the face and voice of your company, so it is important to be understanding and motivating in your support of them. Here are some tips for getting your team back to their best:
Maintaining an open line of communication between service staff and management is one of the most helpful things you can do. Even though it is easy to see customer service as a low-skill position, quite the opposite is true and the impact of your representatives’ work on your company is undeniable.
The more comfortable your representatives feel about communicating with management, the greater insight management will have into making positive decisions for the staff overall. Having good relationships between management and your service team helps maintain morale, motivation, and support.
Encourage Positive Work
Every moment that you spend communicating one-on-one with one of your representatives is valuable. Management can often make the mistake of thinking of their representatives as disposable, rather than take the time to help them develop and improve in their work.
Take the time to provide encouragement to your staff. Let them know when they’ve done a good job, and give them plenty of constructive feedback when there is room for improvement. Connect with them, maintain that line of communication, and watch your representatives blossom.
Provide Your Staff with Proper Resources & Equipment
It’s easy to lower staff morale by accidental negligence. Since customer service can be seen as work that requires few skills, workers often lack the equipment and resources to do their job correctly. Poorly-performing equipment (phones, computers, workspaces) can lead to delays and lower service quality, potentially decreasing customer satisfaction. Ensuring that your staff has the proper resources to do their job can motivate them to do their best work, which benefits everyone involved.
Providing thorough, proper training is another great way to ensure that your representatives are prepared to provide exceptional service. These trainings can help your staff develop skills, but can also be used to boost team morale.
You don’t have to wait for your employees to burn out to get them back on their feet. When in doubt, provide clear communication and support.
Publish Date: November 26, 2018 5:00 AM
PHI data breaches can cause a lot of problems for both the medical organizations and for the patients to which the protected health information (PHI) belongs to.
PHI holders whose information have been breached can experience severe social damage to his or her career, reputation, family, and even lifestyle.
The impact of PHI data breaches are so severe that it can even lead PHI holders to sue the organization and demand compensation for the damages that occurred.
Because of these repercussions, it is highly important for medical establishments to only work with contact centers that are HIPAA compliant and that practice a high sense of PHI data security.
This blog post will cover two important tips on methods that HIPAA-compliant contact centers can use to prevent data breaches.
Our goal at the end of this post is that you’d be able to identify contact centers that use methods and strategies that are aligned with preventing data breaches.
Employing Risk Assessments
Risk assessments involve utilizing a third-party security expert to conduct a thorough check up on the kind of safety and security level that is used in a contact center’s operating procedures.
These experts then give feedback to the agency on how they could improve their safety standards to prevent becoming a victim of possible data breaches.
Consider some of the following scenarios:
- Agents leaving their desktop computers open and accessible while taking a break, allowing unauthorized individuals to view and even access the PHI.
- PHI storage devices not utilizing any encryption software, thereby leaving the data easily accessible in the event of the device either being stolen or lost.
- Agents discussing confidential PHI details among their peers, colleagues, and other individuals who are not authorized to know these details.
Because lapses such as these can sometimes be overlooked, investing in risk assessments would help pinpoint vulnerable areas in a contact center’s information handling and storage.
These lapses and vulnerabilities can then be corrected by the agency via proper employee training or by using the right cyber-security and encryption tools.
Utilizing Uniform Training
Another way of reducing the likelihood of a data breach is to ensure that all employees go through and pass a uniform training program that focuses on HIPAA compliance.
These employees should be fluent with the HIPAA compliance guidelines and should be kept up-to-date with any changes and updates to the Act’s regulations.
The agency’s management should also regularly remind and emphasize to agents the important operating procedures and policies that they need to maintain as they go about their daily tasks.
Some of these procedures could include the following:
- Agents ensuring that their screens have to be protected from the view of other unauthorized individuals at all times.
- Agents storing files in secured locations and utilizing secure emails and phone lines when disseminating sensitive PHI.
- Agents encrypting files before sending them and utilizing password-locks when taking breaks to ensure that unauthorized individuals could not access their devices.
Emphasizing these guidelines and setting consequences for compliance-failure would lessen the chances of data breaches happening because of any lapses on the agent’s part.
If you’re looking for a HIPAA-compliant contact center to outsource your patient’s PHI handling, storage, and management needs, allow us to help.
Executive Boutique is a fully-compliant HIPAA call center that is well-versed with patient privacy and never overlooks data security.
For more information, click the contact button on the upper-right part of this page to contact us today.
Also, got any questions, concerns, and feedback?
Comment below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Publish Date: September 5, 2017 5:00 AM
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Zig Ziglar once said this.
When phone prospecting, this quote should be at the top of one’s mind.
Cold-calling is a challenging feat, with both parties on a seemingly unpleasant situation. The caller may interrupt the prospect’s day, and both just want to get off the phone as soon as possible. This doesn’t have to be the case.
Listed below are the five effective tips to make you great at what you do.
1. Be a consultant.
Sure you have to be thick-skinned to be a successful prospector, but you don’t have to be the annoying one that prospects want to avoid. Rather, you can position yourself as a consultant, offering honest and helpful advice for your prospect’s situation.
This means that you have to be knowledgeable about the product or service you’re proposing so you can provide the best product that suits them. You should be able to explain it clearly and effectively to different buyer personas.
Armed with your consultative information, this may just be the confident push you need.
2. Write your goals.
Did you know that just by writing your goals, you have a 40% higher chance of achieving them?
Goal setting opens up your mind to a different level of consciousness, ideas, and productivity. Not only that, when you take the time to write down goals, you are also taking a step towards being organized.
Push this further by scheduling your day and planning out your calls, and you’re sure on your way to closing more deals. You can use Google Calendar to help notify you and your prospects about your call appointments.
3. Warm up your calls.
With social media, everyone’s connected somehow. Use this to your advantage by researching on your prospect and following them on LinkedIn or Twitter. Share their posts or favorite their tweets.
In this way, you can understand your buyer’s context more, and you can better position yourself at selling a comparable product or service.
4. Choose the brighter side.
As a telemarketer, you need to generate quality leads, and chances are, you’ll go through an extensive list of rejections before you get to your pot of gold.
Staying positive is not just a practical tip, it’s key to survival. Good vibes not only increase your motivation, but it also leads to greater sales productivity and safeguards your health.
So before you feel the urge to give up, take a breather. Most of the time, its irrational fears that keep you from being great.
Once you take hold of that receiver on a positive note, the fears dissipate. By taking action, not only do you find out how to make things better, but you also silence your inhibitions.
5. Continuously learn.
Innovations are happening all around you, and everyone is learning something new every day. Embrace the training and impartations that your higher ups give. Allow yourself to be coached and open yourself up for nuggets of wisdom. When your prospects challenge your efforts, don’t balk at them. Instead, learn different approaches.
You can make a difference. Challenge yourself every single day and keep learning new ways to motivate yourself.
Phone prospecting is vital in any business. This is one effective way to create awareness for your products and services. Here at EB Call Center, we are always training and seeking ways to improve the quality of life for our call center agents. Connect with us through our contact page.
If you find this article helpful, do share it with others. If you have other effective tips that you would like to share, do comment below
Publish Date: September 5, 2017 5:00 AM
Do you ever wonder how customer-oriented call centers continue to maintain excellence in providing quality service?
Three words: Positive Work Culture.
Merriam Webster defines culture as a shared set of values, beliefs, practices, and goals within an organization.
Simply put, it is our shared identity — who we are whenever our bosses aren’t in the room, or how we respond whenever faced with forks in the road.
Here are four good reasons why contact centers need to have a positive shared identity in the workplace.
1. Corporate unity
Creating a shared positive culture allows agents to align their heartbeats to that of the organization.
Whenever these employees are placed in conflicting situations, these individuals can always make responses that benefit the agency despite the lack of clear-cut instructions on what exactly to do in the employee handbook.
Because the company practices a lifestyle out of embracing organizational values and interests, these agents are able to exercise discretion that forwards company goals because of their awareness and constant application of such.
2. Increased motivation
Sharing a collective identity makes agents more concerned about the success of the entire organization and not just their personal interests.
A study published in Harvard Business Review show customer satisfaction levels to be linked to employee motivation factors as determined by strong workplace cultures. The same article also revealed a connection between organizational drive and increased revenue production.
Patty Vogan, a leadership columnist of Entrepreneur.com, believes that creating an atmosphere of positive culture in the workplace starts and ends with top management.
Agents look towards company leaders when forming their ideas and beliefs of organizational culture before adopting and integrating these norms into their personal drives.
3. Improved retention
Stronger company cultures result in more employee talents being retained.
Departments of an insurance company that aligned its workplace environments to company culture were found to have 30% less turnover as compared to the other units.
The lower churn rate would translate into lesser organizational expenses spent on hiring and more chemistry among your team’s agents.
One reason why individuals immersed in company culture choose to stay is that of the feeling of being part of an extended family. An article from Catalyst.org shows that almost 50% of employees who shared organizational values feel a greater sense of inclusion at work.
4. Brand image
The type of identity we share inside our organization can be seen by potential employees and customers from the outside.
Treating employees well and having a light and fun workplace environment may cause prospects to see and believe that your company’s brand is filled with laughter and generosity.
One study shows that college students are willing to accept 7% less starting pay just to be in organizations that have cultures they appreciate. Another article in Forbes shows that millennials are willing to trade $7,600 worth of salary per year for better work environments.
Even another publication showed that 70% of millennials would opt to spend more money on brands that support causes that these individuals care about.
What are your thoughts?
We believe that positive culture is essential to the developing excellence in the contact center workplace. It is because of these values and beliefs that we hold and practice that we are confident in providing outstanding customer service to our clients.
How about you? Do you agree with the importance of positive work culture in the organization? And what values and practices do you uphold in your company?
Let us know in the comments below.
(If you are looking for solutions to improve your workplace culture, then contact us.)
Publish Date: July 20, 2017 5:00 AM
As a service-oriented outbound call center, we give the best of what we can offer not just to our clients on the other side of the phone, but also to our hard-working agents as well.
We firmly believe that offering our employees amazing benefits, rewards, and bonus packages will allow their joy and zeal to extend beyond the four corners of our office and even impact our customers that’s calling from across the globe.
If you’re in the process of putting together an incentive scheme to motivate your team, then you’re in the right place.
We’re going to talk about four tried and tested incentive schemes that you can use to encourage your team to perform better.
1. Paid Time-Off
Perhaps the best reward that agents in the call center industry could be given is to receive breaks and leaves that are fully compensated by the company.
According to CakeHR, the top incentive that employees wish to have the most are more vacation days. To be precise, 30% of company workers would like to have this paid time-off.
Compensated leaves come with a good amount of benefits to both employers and employees. Improved work ethics in the call center would perhaps be on top of the list of direct consequences, as agents would less likely call-in unexpectedly due to their time-off flexibility.
The vacation leaves would also allow employees to have an improved level of work-life balance. Giving agents the opportunity to relax would cause them to return feeling refreshed and motivated to tackle your client’s calls.
2. Peer Recognition
One of the best ways to not only to make your call center agents happy but also to boost their work performance and outputs is to utilize employee acknowledgment strategies in your incentive schemes.
An article in Forbes shows that 83% of organizations experience a deficit in recognizing their staff for their hard work. These companies were shown to be underperforming as compared to their peers.
Recognizing agents for their hard work packs a punch with respect to motivational impact.
Giving the due esteem to strong output producers encourages friendly competition between co-workers who would like to obtain the same level of appreciation as well.
The prestige that comes with being acknowledged by company management drives underdogs overlookers to step up their game. At the same time, performers are forced to strive harder if they want to maintain their status.
3. Company Freebies
Free merchandise, gift certificates, tickets, coupons, and offers are the kinds of perks that are often well remembered by call center agents.
Jerod Foos mentions that more than 65% of employees believe that travel packages and company freebies linger in their memories longer than cash benefits do. This tendency may have something to do with the sentimental value attached to these rewards.
It’s also worth mentioning that a merchandise that has the brand name and logo of your business plastered onto it may boost employee loyalty and retention rates.
Every time an agent would use a freebie that has your call center’s icon attached to it, they get to notice words and images related to your company. These employees can then associate these details with the good memories and values your organization carries.
Cash incentives are one of the most commonly used strategies for keeping employees happy.
What makes this incentive scheme remarkable is the fact that it is effortless to distribute. Employers can quickly add the money to their call center agents’ paychecks or even distribute the cash up front.
One of the downsides to cash investments, however, is the fact that it can cultivate the wrong mindsets in your employees.
According to Wharton, giving your staff strong financial incentives may lead them to overlook ethical boundaries in their workplace. Employees tend to take the shortest route to obtaining these benefits — believing that the end justifies the means.
Employees are the bread and butter of your company. Their excellent customer care and service are core factors in generating revenue for your company. It’s exactly because of this that keeping your agents happy and motivated is of prime importance to maintaining their performance at optimum levels.
What kind of incentives have you offered your employees? Did it ever like it? Did it resonate with them?
Please share your experience in the comments section below. Cheers!
Publish Date: July 17, 2017 5:00 AM
“Customer is King,” though this is a cliche, it doesn’t make it any less true. Customers are the backbone of every business — big or small. And today, a lot of emphases is given to offering the best customer experience. You’ll win half the battle if you’re able to meet the needs of your client and solve their problems.
One of the greatest challenges of a business is dealing with customer complaints. At the end of the day, customers are mere humans. It’s their nature to seek only the best.
If your clients are unable to get what they need from you, they’ll opt for your competitor’s service. It’s as simple as that. Satisfying your customer alone does not work, you need to delight and earn their trust. Here are practical ways on how to handle a client complaint.
1) Listen intently
It’s crucial to be a good listener, especially when you’re in the service industry. No matter how angry or irate your customer is, allow him or her to blow off some steam. Occasionally, respond with a simple, “Tell me more,” “Okay,” “I see” or “Hmm.” The client will automatically calm down after venting out his or her frustration. Then you can proceed with offering your solution.
2. Apologize sincerely
It doesn’t hurt to apologize. In fact, a simple “sorry” proves that you care enough to accept your fault. Same goes for dealing with customer complaints. When he or she senses that your company or its representative is genuinely apologetic, the customer will retract from being furious. All you need to do is say that you’re sorry and that you understand their situation.
3. Act on your callers’ issue intently
Offer immediate help to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Make your customer feel that you’ve taken his or her problem as a top priority task. Try offering a practical solution. And if it does not work, pass it on to the department that can. You will get a loyal customer if you act on the problem immediately.
4. Thank your client and do a follow-up
When a customer complains — regardless of the manner or language tone — you should always diffuse the situation with courtesies, and one of them is “Thank You.” The best customer experience involves strengthening the client relationship. So, follow-up with your customer, even after the problem has been resolved. It will make your customer feel good, and you’ll earn his or her loyalty.
Handling customer complaints is a strategic course of action. A trained and professional team can transform a negative situation into a positive one for your business. Therefore, it is important to learn and acquire all the necessary information and facts before handling a complaint or problem.
If you need advice or assistance in customer management, feel free to contact us. Also, share this article and help deliver the information to those who need it.
Publish Date: January 19, 2017 5:00 AM
According to some studies conducted by the Harvard Medical School, workplace appreciation and gratitude enhances company culture and ensures the wellbeing of employees.
It is known widely that majority of call center agents are under constant stress. You can increase their motivation level, by recognizing and respecting their efforts. In return, they will perform and deliver the best results for your company.
Here Are 5 Ways You Can Show Appreciation And Gratitude To Your Call Center Agents
1. Spend time with them.
Employees prefer leaders over a boss because they can communicate and be themselves with them. Recognize their presence. Show them gratitude through gestures, words and actions, like saying, “thank you”, taking them out for lunch or coffee, having a casual chat time-to-time, discussing their problems, life or enquiring about their families.
2. Give them frequent time-offs.
The job of call center agents is strenuous and taxing. They are under constant pressure to perform and meet their targets. So, it is only humane to give them a breather whenever possible. Being a boss or a member of the management team, you can provide them with the necessary time-offs. It will allow them to meet their personal needs and chores.
3. Give them a pat on the back.
Offer them your sincere accolade and admiration, whenever your agents do a good job or deliver. A small gesture and appreciation like this will go a long way. It will boost the confidence level of your agents and drive them to achieve the greater feat at work.
4. Provide a ladder to progress.
When you work hard – day in and day out – but unable to push your career in the upward direction, it leaves you dejected and demotivated. If your boss or manager helps and guides your career on the right track, you will feel the zeal to deliver and perform. Same goes for your agents. Show them the right path to their careers and they will help your company to grow.
5. Give a bonus
Working in a call center is both challenging and fulfilling. But it can cause significant stress to agents. Pep-talks, accolades and gestures are the best signs of appreciation, but nothing can amount to bonuses. They work as rewards. You can offer annual bonuses to your agents, appreciating their efforts, cooperation and association with your company.
What do you think?
Call center agents are a crucial part of an agency. They are the source of communication between your firm and its customers. Keeping the agents happy, confident, motivated and appreciated, will help in maintaining a good consumer relationship. Employees and clients are the top part of a company pyramid. And keeping both the parties happy will ensure good health and success of your business.
It is not a selfish approach but rather a “give and take” relationship. Because, when you have a great team, who cares for the agenda, goal and aim of your company, you have a successful business!
Feel free to reach us for consultation and expert advice on effective employee/customer management solutions.
Publish Date: December 14, 2016 5:00 AM
One distractor that can hinder your employees from performing at their highest capabilities is noise. The OSHA reports that every year, twenty-two million workers are exposed to harmful noise. They also report that in the previous year, U.S. businesses paid over $1.5 million in penalties for failing to protect their workers from noise.
Although it’s unthinkable to put an exact number to the human toll of hearing loss, it is estimated that $242 million is spent yearly on workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability.
If your employees work in an open environment like a contact center, the noise comes from all different directions and in all shapes and volumes. How do you reduce background noise in a contact center? Listed below are a few time-tested tips to reduce noise drastically.
Train employees to keep their voices down
Perhaps one of the most efficient and obvious ways to reduce noise in a contact center is to train your staff to lower their voices. In coaching and training, be sure to iterate to your employees the importance of balancing their volume levels. Teaching your staff to speak at lower volumes that are respectful to other employees will drastically reduce noise levels in the contact center.
Install white noise machines
Installing white noise features such water machines and other features can help reduce unnecessary background noise often found in a contact center. Also, adding plants and other similar features such as fabric screens and putting artwork on walls contributes to fill voided space and lessen distracting noise.
Separate employees with partitions
Installing barriers to separate employee’s desks is a very efficient manner to reduce noise levels. The more separation that can be put between employees in a contact center, effectively creating more barriers for sound to cross, the more probability there are that employees will be less distracted by noise and will have an easier time focusing on their work.
Reduce staff density
The most efficient way to reduce contact center noise is to reduce staff density. The more agents are packed into small space of an office then naturally more noise will be created. The ideal scenario is to have about 120 square feet per employee. Giving agents more room to breathe makes the contact center a more relaxed and natural feeling environment, reducing employee stress levels and in turn reducing noise levels.
Before moving forward to implement any of these tips, be sure to speak with your employees and collect their ideas on how to reduce noise levels in your company’s contact center. Your employees will often understand best where the sound comes from since they are present in the office throughout the day.
Lastly, if you know of any time-tested tips on how to reduce noise levels in a room, please share them whether they are new or old. Your contribution will help to create a better and more efficient working environment for all.
Publish Date: November 7, 2016 5:00 AM
For any business to reach greater heights, one of the main pillars they need to focus on is their customer service team.
For a customer team to become a powerhouse, however, the agents needs to have ample amount of training in positive scripting. That way, they can address their callers’ concerns without upsetting them even when they are declining the callers’ request.
Allow me to share with you three crucial points that you need to remember when creating a positive scripting for your call center agents.
Occasionally, you will run into situations when your customers are keen on buying one of your products, yet you’re out of stock.
In cases like these, instead of your representatives merely telling their callers that the product isn’t available or it is out of stock, a better way of going about it is for your agents to shift the guests focus on a different product that can still address their problem.
That way, your agents are still offering solutions to their callers’ problems, needs, or wants — albeit a different one.
This kind of positive scripting will make your representative seem capable and willing to help.
2. Transferring a customer
There will be times when your representatives need to transfer their callers to either a different department or to a supervisor.
When the need arises, your agents ought to create a positive scripting experience by telling their callers that they will transfer them to a department that can best assist them with their concerns. That way, the callers will have the notion that they are about to be connected to the best person who can help them.
When you compare that with your agents telling their callers, “I can’t help you. I need to transfer you, right now.” I’m sure you can see how big of a difference the callers’ experience is going to be on that phone call.
3. Closing a conversation
Ending a conversation in a positive tone is one of the most important aspects of creating a positive scripting experience. When your agent’s conversation with their callers ends positively, it will help nourish the relationship that you’ve established with your customers.
Regardless of how the phone call went — whether the agent was able to give the caller what they need or want — the call center agent can end the phone call on a positive note by thanking the customer for calling.
Call center agents are highly discouraged to end phone calls while emphasizing how they are sorry that they couldn’t help the caller or give them what they need.
Creating a positive scripting experience is not an easy task; however, it is one of the best tools any contact center representative can have to influence their callers to accept the solution that they are offering, instead of the caller complaining.
Are you looking for a contact center company that is keen on using positive scripting to give your customers the best customer service experience? If you answered with a “yes,” then you can contact us using this form.
Publish Date: October 20, 2016 5:00 AM