Working with an outsourced team is already tricky, but it’s definitely a different challenge measuring how they’re faring. Aside from the fact that you can’t monitor the employees 24/7, measuring their performance requires you to consider several approaches and angles.
The Importance of Performance Evaluation When You Have an Outsourced Team
Evaluating the performance of your outsourced team allows you to track their progress and check if their processes align with the project goals. It enables you to address loopholes and resolve them as they happen. Ultimately, it helps drive home the importance of performing well and sends the message of meeting or even exceeding expectations.
This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to evaluate the performance of your outsourced team effectively.
KPI and Metrics to Measure Performance
This key performance indicator (KPI) measures your outsourced team’s ability to deliver the standard service to your customers. It particularly gauges the time between the client calls in and when an agent responds to it. Average response time, resolution rate, and abandonment rate are the common criteria under this metric.
Backlog refers to unfinished tasks or customer orders that have been received but are either incomplete or in the process of completion. Tickets go unresolved for numerous reasons—it can be attributed to the agents’ slow performance or that there has been an unexpected peak. With a backlog metric, you can calculate potential revenue by plotting all work that has been accepted but not yet fulfilled.
You can measure backlogs in hours and then convert them into weeks. A healthy total backlog is four to six weeks for daily and weekly work. If the backlog is six weeks and no additional work orders are added, it will take six weeks for the crew to finish all job orders during regular work hours.
Also called adherence to schedule, this maintenance KPI calculates how much of the work scheduled for a certain period is completed on time. In essence, it measures your outsourced team’s ability to deliver results as promised.
This metric is calculated in percentage and derived by dividing the actual hours spent on the task by the total planned work hours. For example, if the week starts on Monday, the compliance factor should reflect the work scheduled for that week as of Monday morning.
Quality is “the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind.” The Net Promoter Score is a widely known metric for the quality of a product or service. It usually takes the form of a single survey question asking respondents to rate the likelihood that they would recommend it to others.
You can use other KPIs to measure your outsourced team’s performance in terms of quality, such as complexity metrics and the number of complaints per period. These are mainly used when what is to be measured is not numerical.
Quantity KPIs are used for projects that take the form of numbers and ratios. Counting is by far the easiest way to quantify something you’re observing, such as the number of satisfied customers and total sales. Percentages are an ideal option when you’re interested in how many of your target population matches your performance result.
Meanwhile, ratios are a great way to measure productivity—for example, total sales revenue divided by the total hours spent on sales calls or total sales revenue received divided by the total sales revenue invoiced.
Process metrics focus on efficiency, assessing how tasks were performed by measuring the systems and procedures against the goals. A commonly used tool is the balanced scorecard, which aims to align the workers’ performance with the project objectives.
High-level KPIs gauge the business’ overall progress, while low-level KPIs evaluate the processes in departments such as sales, marketing, human resources, and technical support, among others.
6 Strategies to Evaluate the Performance of an Outsourced Team
1. Assess your professional relationship
A good professional relationship hinges on setting your expectations of what success looks like clearly. There should be a point of contact on your side who frequently communicates with your outsourced team and who sees to it that tasks are progressing—for instance, through a project management system. This way, you can deliver output to your clients on time and within the budget and work specifications.
Studies have always underscored the importance of making your expectations known and clear when collaborating with other business organizations. One survey notes that firms that exhibit open communication tend to be more productive. You can leverage the power of clarity by outlining your objectives and conveying them to your outsourcing partner, making sure you are both on the same page.
2. Look at how they do system maintenance and management
Your outsourced team should be able to support your company’s needs and demands fully. Their IT infrastructure should include the latest technology and a reliable network of phone and internet lines. They should also be available through email, phone, or other messaging platforms at designated times.
If you’re operating in different time zones, your provider must make sure you regularly communicate to minimize communication gaps. You also need to agree on the point of contact for concerns and queries for a smooth exchange of information.
3. Notice how they communicate
Is your outsourced team capable of effectively communicating their concerns? Do they keep you informed of the issues with the system? It’s crucial that they keep you in the loop by giving regular updates so that you can monitor things and concerns can be promptly resolved.
According to a survey, 86% of corporate executives, educators, and employees cite ineffective communication and poor collaboration as reasons for failures in the workplace. With this in mind, ensure that matters don’t get out of hand by designating a point of contact. This way, you can ensure smoother operations.
4. Aim for transparency
Does your outsourced team make documentation and records available to you? Is there a client portal where you can access tickets and view system status? Do they openly share problems and issues they’re experiencing and how they plan to resolve them?
These are some important questions to ask when assessing your provider’s performance. A good outsourced team should act as a partner—they should be as open as possible and not make you feel like there’s a barrier between you. They should be honest enough to share information with you, even those that are not necessarily positive.
Another essential thing to note is that miscommunication can cost companies an average of $420,000 per year. Given this statistic, it’s always helpful to aim for transparency when working with an outsourced team to help ensure efficiency and productivity.
5. Establish the habit of follow-up and follow-through
One issue when working with an outsourced team is the lack of a follow-up mechanism. A survey revealed that 28% of employees consider poor communication as the reason for not delivering results on time. Given this possible consequence, thoughtfully following through helps bridge the gap and keep things smoothly going.
A regular follow-up ensures that your team is working towards the target results outlined in your contract, regardless of whether they’re in-house or outsourced. It will remind them to prioritize tasks, prompting them to align their processes with the project goals. With this tracking approach, work is adjusted according to client feedback, guaranteeing optimized results.
6. Make them accountable for promised output and results
In an outsourcing partnership, your provider has generally set the expectations by way of their proposal. Whatever bar they have set is what you need to measure them against. Whether or not they’re balancing multiple clients, you need to receive the support and services you signed up for.
A great tool teams can use to track their performance is the OKR or objectives and key results. It’s a management framework used by companies to implement and execute their goals. This should be a part of your outsourced provider’s evaluation strategy, as it is useful in determining whether or not they’re delivering what they say they will.
Evaluating Your Outsourced Team Impacts Your Project’s Success
Assessing your outsourced team’s performance enables you to identify areas that can be improved, which, in turn, can positively contribute to your project’s success. There are several metrics and strategies you can use to evaluate how your provider is faring. These indicators and methods provide you with a glimpse of how things are moving along, helping you manage your operations better and more effectively.
If you want to work with a call center in the Philippines as your outsourced team, EB Call Center offers excellent, top-notch services. Head on over to the Contact Us page and drop a message.
Publish Date: October 8, 2021 5:00 AM
As the world rapidly shifts towards the digital space, technological innovations continue to progress as well. While these developments grant millions the ease of doing business, one can’t deny that they also come with their fair share of risks.
But now that more companies are conducting their daily operations online, cybercriminals from all over the globe are working tirelessly to steal sensitive information.
To avoid these threats, organizations must take necessary measures to protect themselves from cyberattacks. More so, if you’re operating within the healthcare or finance sector. You wouldn’t want criminals to access critical data like customers’ or employees’ personal information and protected health information (PHI).
Eventually, a policy was created for companies involved in the healthcare industry to strengthen their infrastructure and avert breaches. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is now the standard for recording health data and electronic transactions. This policy prevents healthcare fraud by ensuring that all PHI is secured with restricted access to authorised individuals.
If you’re looking to outsource a particular business process, it will be in your best interest to transact with a HIPAA-compliant outsourcing partner. Since it’s your primary responsibility to protect your client’s information and your company’s data, doing so will ensure the confidentiality of all resources. Fortunately, EB Call Center is here to help you take a step in the right direction!
EB Call Center is Officially HIPAA-Compliant
Optimise your daily operations and ensure the privacy of all stakeholders! Now that Executive Boutique (EB) Call Center is officially HIPPA certified, our company will ensure that all your data is encrypted and transmitted through a secure cloud-based network, with only HIPAA-trained agents allowed to access them.
Our outsourcing company went through a strict HIPAA compliance certification process that the Compliancy Group supervised. The process included the completion of the six (6) audits:
These audits allow EB Call Center to comply with the HIPAA Security Rule’s administrative, physical, and technical safeguard requirements, adhere to the Privacy Rule standards, assess preparedness and risk management for a data breach, and have effective written procedures in place for breach notifications.
Outsourcing and Security
One of the biggest issues in the outsourcing industry is a breach of privacy and data theft. It’s crucial that you choose to work with agencies that follow data and compliance standards such as HIPAA. When outsourcing agencies are HIPAA certified, you can be at ease knowing that they will secure your company’s resources.
In the event of a breach, your HIPAA-compliant partner is required to follow the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule procedures. Since all implemented safeguards are recorded, an investigation will take place to discover how the breach happened. With this, all parties can be held accountable.
Power Your Company With a HIPAA-Compliant Outsourcing Partner
Healthcare information is possibly the most important data a company possess. It contains a patient’s medical history, test results, and perhaps details of their health insurance. That’s why it’s reassuring that HIPAA protects this kind of sensitive information.
Safeguard health data by working with a HIPAA-compliant outsourcing partner, like EB Call Center. Not only will you get to protect private information, but your organisation can also easily move data between parties without worrying about cybersecurity.
Ensure data protection and get in touch with Executive Boutique Call Center. Contact us today to learn more!
Publish Date: September 27, 2021 5:00 AM
At its core, selling is a conversation—it involves communication between two parties. While memorizing a script and knowing a product or service’s full suite of features is one thing, convincing a prospect of its benefits is another thing altogether. Persuasive speech is more than just calling a prospect, giving your pitch, and then closing a sale. It is an art that requires excellent communication skills and critical thinking.
This infographic will explain the art of persuasive speech, how it is used to make successful sales calls, and how it provides a great customer experience overall.
The art of persuasive speech works to convince the listener to accept the perspective you are presenting. For call centers, this means introducing products and services to prospects and compelling them to make a purchase.
Persuasive speech makes use of various communication techniques that appeal to both logic and emotions. This includes using certain verbal cues, word choices, conversation points, and the like. When used correctly, these techniques can convince prospects to accept the agent’s message and act on it.
When done right, a sales call can convert a prospect into a paying customer. Here are some sales call tips to help things go according to plan.
One big way to earn the trust of a prospect is to be clear about the agenda of the call. This helps the prospect know what to expect from the call and be open to hearing the agent’s message. Additionally, it lets the prospect feel like they are just as in control of the conversation.
For agents, setting a clear and focused agenda makes it easier to keep track of which points have and have not been discussed in the call. It also gives them an anchor to help steer the call to, especially in the event that the conversation strays.
Prospects are more likely to listen and be persuaded by an agent if they feel a connection to the message, and by extension, to the brand. By establishing a common ground between the brand and the prospect, it becomes easier to connect the sales pitch with the prospect’s concerns.
Having this common ground is also a good way to build trust and rapport with a prospect further. If they aren’t ready to purchase yet by the end of the call, they will, at least, be more willing to accept future calls that may push them into agreeing to the sale.
While sales are matters of practicality, they can also be emotionally driven decisions. A good sales call allows for a two-way conversation between the agent and the prospect. With this, an agent can steer the conversation to find what motivates a prospect and what emotional triggers work best with them.
Like with finding common ground, this information can be used to deliver the sales pitch in a way that is tailor-fit to the prospect’s exact concerns and address their needs. This can make all the difference in making the call more persuasive.
A challenge that sales calls have is the lack of visuals—a prospect can only rely on the agent to provide enough information for them to envision the product or service being offered. The best way agents can make up for this is to use highly visual language that engages the prospect’s senses.
Visual language can even serve to highlight key features through the use of descriptive scenarios and situations, making it easier for prospects to visualize their use and applications.
The words “features” and “benefits” are par for the course when convincing prospects that a product or service is right for them. Sometimes these words are used interchangeably, but mixing up the two can lessen the credibility of a sales call.
To distinguish the two, keep in mind that a feature is something that the product or service is or does. Meanwhile, a benefit is the value added to the customer by using the product or service. A sales call that makes both these features distinct and apparent is more likely to convince a prospect.
Sometimes, using industry terms and business-related jargon is a way to flex a brand’s expertise in the field. However, too much jargon can be confusing and end up alienating the prospect. It can also make a sales pitch less personalized, making prospects less likely to make the purchase decision.
Instead of focusing on jargon, discuss the product or service in easy-to-understand terms that make their features and benefits clear.
In a highly competitive market, brands and their offerings need to distinguish themselves from their competitors. For agents, getting prospects to agree to a sale means showing them exactly what they stand to gain when making a purchase with the company.
Emphasizing a brand’s uniqueness and the USPs of its offerings can create a more persuasive pitch. The goal is to demonstrate to the prospect that not only are they buying into a solution for their needs, but they are also receiving something exclusive to this brand.
While preparation is key for any sales call to succeed, not everything will go according to plan. Adapting quickly to the changes in the conversation can help steer the call back on track or to a more desirable outcome. Being adaptable is also an essential skill for agents to pick up on a prospect’s cues and address them while keeping the conversation flowing smoothly.
Mastering the art of persuasive speech is crucial for any successful sales call. Agents who can hone this skill are able to both sell for a brand and communicate effectively with prospects and customers alike.
Get ahead of your competitors by partnering with a call center in the Philippines with professionals who are masters at persuasive speech. Contact EB Call Center today for excellent and top-notch service.
Publish Date: July 13, 2021 5:00 AM
Today, people live in the age of technology—a more comfortable and convenient life thanks to digital tools and machinery that are transforming industries. One of the latest technologies that are disrupting businesses is artificial intelligence (AI).
Many people still associate artificial intelligence with science fiction, but it is no longer a new concept and buzzword that holds ambiguous meaning. AI has gradually become commonplace in people’s daily lives, continuing to break into industries such as food, transportation, security, and many more.
Soon, AI will enter the call center industry, and people are looking forward to the promising integration of AI and call center. The infographic below will walk you through how AI will be incorporated in the call center industry’s existing processes to keep you up to speed with the latest developments between this merge.
As technology advances, many tasks and issues can now be resolved with a click of a button. With this, customers’ expectations in addressing inquiries and problems are growing higher. Regardless of the medium, they expect immediate solutions and quality customer experiences.
The introduction of artificial intelligence in the call center industry gave people the impression that live agents will soon be replaced with machines. In reality, AI is implemented to complement the human agents’ work and make their job more efficient and effective. AI is breaking into the industry to enhance—not replace—customer service representatives.
For instance, when customer interactions are simple, a chatbot can take over such basic inquiries without any significant value needed to be generated or exchanged. If the query requires more than a few clicks to solve, that’s when a call with a human agent would be better. AI is effective and highly helpful because it provides data to agents as they need it, elevating the customer experience in real-time.
About 69% of consumers actively select chatbots to help address their basic queries because they are faster. Chatbots make for excellent assistants, taking care of the rational side of customer service. However, an expert still works best to manage the emotional side of the job and other more complex issues.
Resolving simple questions automatically reduces or eliminates holding times. If a human agent were to answer basic queries, it might take them a couple of minutes or more to find the proper script or resolution for the problem. Automation allows customers to get the answers they’re looking for with reduced friction, regardless if it comes from a live agent or a combination of both humans or chatbots.
AI tools are programmed to capture and learn data collected from every customer interaction, which goes through their analytics engine. The insights can then be used to improve and optimize the call center process and customer experience.
For instance, AI tools that run sentiment analysis can catch tone, mood, and language signals that entail impatience or dissatisfaction faster than a human advisor can spot.
To help your agents focus on what they do best, you can free up their time from performing menial, routine tasks with automation.
AI technology for customer service can take care of queries like bill payments, address or account changes, and more. Additionally, workflow automation can aid agents with everyday tasks, like inputting and locating data, sending emails, creating a profile for future reference, and following up with leads.
By equipping agents with advanced tools, call center companies can encourage their employees to focus on elevating the customer experience and reduce costs in inadequate training and onboarding processes.
Call center AI offers in-depth insights of individual customer calls at a level human managers or specialists cannot provide. This ability to capture customer data trends allows managers to set up best practices and predict the end-result or consequences of any particular course of action.
For live agents who are new, inexperienced, or don’t have the natural ability to discern customer emotions during a call, the AI technology can notify them when their clients are growing moody so that the agent can adjust correspondingly. This can help resolve problems before the caller gets snappy or worked up.
Automating certain processes in any industry is not new. AI-supported call centers harness the power and benefits of combining analytics and machine learning and human skills and techniques, bridging the gap in inefficiency.
While AI is slowly taking over the industry and helping call center companies improve their customer experience and employee satisfaction, there’s one thing it can’t replace: human connection.
If you’re looking to outsource certain business functions, consider working with a call center in the Philippines. Executive Boutique Call Center provides top-notch service that can serve your business well. Head over to the Executive Boutique Call Center Contact Us page and drop a message to learn more!
Publish Date: May 10, 2021 5:00 AM
Outsourcing is the process of hiring another individual or company—either domestically or internationally—to handle business activities and tasks. Hiring an outsource company has become a standard practice as it allows businesses to acquire services and skills that are usually hard to develop due to financial or workforce restrictions, sometimes even both.
By outsourcing, entrepreneurs get to focus more on core competencies, cut costs, and improve the efficiency of their business. Compared to hiring someone locally, outsourcing can save business owners as much as 60%.
With the onboarding of this team in your company, it’s only natural to face challenges when managing a remote team to work productively and achieve the results you want. In this article, learn more about the speed bumps in working with an outsourced team and how to come out on top of these challenges.
Admittedly, managing your in-house and outsourced teams require two very different styles. Here are some of the challenges that go with managing an outsourced team:
It is likely that the outsourced team lives on the other side of the world and, therefore, in a different time zone from yours. Some offshore teams are willing to adjust their schedules to match their employer’s time zone, but then, there are also the holidays of their respective countries. Another scheduling conflict that could arise is their perspective of time—some countries are strict with time, while others are lax about it.
You can overcome these scheduling conflicts by doing the following:
When working with a remote team, communication is crucial. Some countries have a good grasp of the English language, while others don’t.
When hiring a member or a company to become your offshore team, check which language they can speak and communicate in. Use simple language to explain tasks, deliverables, and overall goals. Moreover, establish clear and open communication channels with your team.
Conduct video calls so that everyone can become familiar with his or her communication styles, ticks, and gestures. This also helps your team associate a face with the names and voices they will usually work with.
Each country has a different culture, belief, values, principles, and habits; these differences are inevitable when working with an offshore team. Overcome these first by acknowledging the differences from the very beginning.
Practice basic courtesy and work ethics, and make sure everyone in your group knows what these are so they are aware. Ask your recruitment firm or HR personnel to conduct culture and sensitivity training for your offshore and onshore teams.
For many companies, setting unrealistic expectations is one of the top problems of outsourcing. Manage expectations by defining and identifying your offshore team’s roles, responsibilities, and priorities to minimize or prevent mistakes and failed expectations. Provide project briefs that give your team the scope of work that needs to be done, the exact dates and deadlines, and the like.
In a traditional work setting, there is always a manager on the floor keeping members motivated and making sure that they meet deadlines and that the same high quality is maintained. Assign a point person in your team to act the role of a project manager.
He or she can help mitigate the challenges of cultural differences and scheduling difficulties and help you understand these differences, as well as your team members, better. At the same time, the project manager will help the offshore team channel their work problems with you.
After being aware of the various challenges you may face when working with an outsourced team, how can you solve such hurdles? Read on to equip yourself with the best solutions you can implement with your outsourced team.
For a virtual team to work harmoniously with you, make them see and believe in your company’s goal. Have them understand how vital your company is to you and what your definition of success is. Maybe then, they will feel motivated to work hard for you and, thereby, share your vision. If needed, remind them about the company’s goals.
Keep everyone on the same page and up-to-date with his or her tasks, deadlines, and expectations. By ensuring cohesion within and between your outsourced team, they get to accomplish valuable work. To keep everyone in the loop, choose one out of the numerous communication tools that everyone on your team will use, and make sure that they align with the type of work involved.
In addition, encourage accountability within your team through collaboration tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive. These tools will help you see your team’s progress, thereby encouraging them to spend their time efficiently.
Not everyone responds well with a rigid structure or micromanaging. Maximize your team’s efforts by ensuring that they can work when they feel most energized and motivated. At the same time, you should trust your offshore team. Never forget that you hired them for their expertise in a particular field or task. Make your team feel that you trust them to make decisions based on their professional judgment.
Ask for their opinions and make them feel included in the project or task. Encourage them to ask questions, get involved, or speak up.
Sometimes, saying “good job” and “thank you” already makes a world of difference to an employee. This can boost productivity because they feel appreciated. Your appreciation and gratitude can also come in the form of a gift or award. There is a reason why many companies nominate someone as their “Employee of the Month.”
To amp up your team’s productivity, introduce incentives or rewards systems for their outstanding effort. These are great ways of encouraging your team to work better and meet their deadlines or targets and demonstrate their involvement with the team and the company despite being miles away.
Once in a while, check-in with your offshore team outside work hours. This gives you and your team a chance to get to know each other beyond emails and deliverables, thus strengthening your relationship with them. This also shows them how much you value their work and the effort they have put in for your company.
When it comes to working with an offshore team, there will always be challenges, but these can be resolved through open communication, understanding, and working together toward a common goal. Outsourcing should not be a burden but rather help alleviate problems and tasks that you cannot do alone.
If you are looking for professionals to execute certain functions for your business, work with a call center in the Philippines for excellent and top-notch service. Visit Executive Boutique Call Center and drop a message here.
Publish Date: March 22, 2021 5:00 AM
The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry which includes outsourcing of call centers is one of the fastest-growing sectors for many years now. The BPO industry continues to create job opportunities for many people across the globe, largely contributing to the economies of Asian countries including the Philippines and India.
While some critics have wrongly predicted the demise of call centers due to advances in artificial intelligence (AI), the industry continues to thrive and is still evolving and innovating—just as new technologies and tools continue to emerge. With these new technologies, BPO industry veterans look forward to creating more value for their customers and making the job easier for businesses and call center agents alike.
With that in mind, let’s take a look into the future of this continuously-growing and evolving industry. This visual graph below illustrates a complete picture of call centers—the figures and trends to keep watch so you can stay on top of the game. Let’s get started!
As a business, it’s understandable that you want to differentiate yourself from other organizations and stand out from the competition.
As part of your plans and strategies to keep on improving, this can also mean that you outsource certain business functions to better-skilled professionals. This will allow your company to uncomplicate issues and unload you of tasks, providing you more time to focus on important matters such as maintaining high customer satisfaction.
Many technological advances are emerging and there will only be more to come. Considering the numbers and the new trends mentioned above, you could better improve processes by looking into the right metrics, using automation tools, and implementing machine learning, among others, to reduce the number of frustrated customers and elevate your satisfaction score.
More brands and businesses are turning to chatbots. A study shows that consumers would like to use chatbots to get quick answers during an emergency (37%), to resolve an issue (35%), and even make reservations (33%), among others.
Messaging platforms serve as the primary drivers for the growth of chatbots. Platforms that feature chatbot functions can improve brand awareness, sales or lead generation, and customer support services. What’s more, chatbots are available 24/7 and can respond almost in an instant, even when managing multiple conversations.
As chatbots utilized by contact centers get more advanced and sophisticated, they will be able to incorporate more empathy and personalization in their conversations. Implementing chatbots in contact center companies enable them to cut costs and allow agents to focus on more pressing calls while providing a positive experience to users.
Prior to the introduction of new technologies, contact centers depended on their quick-thinking and experienced team leaders and managers to lead their agents and boost their performance. But, in this data-driven era, analytics and insights now influence long-term strategy development and approaches for better decision-making, identifying the root cause of a problem, and evaluating agent performance to propel the business in the right direction.
Since call center companies serve as the point of contact between businesses and their customers, it makes sense to utilize advanced analytics software and tools to churn out information from their interactions.
The data collected and studied highlights valuable insights regarding important metrics like average handling time, agent idle time, first call resolution, and more. It also includes user information, such as demographics and preferences, to help develop more effective strategies for better customer service.
Conversational commerce is growing, and it’s changing the way people communicate with businesses. This convenient communication method allows customers to chat, make purchases, ask questions, and receive help from companies whenever and wherever they want.
Statistics show that on Facebook Messenger alone, people and businesses exchange 20 billion messages each month. Messenger for Business allows brands to provide support via Messenger, which is one way to simplify the customer journey. Customer service centers are exploring this new way of communication to enhance customer experience and generate additional revenue.
Customers connect with businesses on social media platforms and expect to receive a quick response. About 37% of consumers expect answers on their queries or complaints within a day. Additionally, more than 76% of people message businesses to get customer service support for a product or service.
Users go on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to talk about and get in touch with brands, which is a clear indication that you must invest in social media.
Forming your social media support teams will let you tap on more customers and foster brand communities. As such, consider including investing in training and social media management tools for more efficient, responsive, and personalized two-way conversations.
In line with this, new customer support platforms allow agents to have all of their customer interactions in one window. This platform has access to all forms of communication such as Facebook, Viber, WeChat, Twitter, etc.
Nowadays, call center businesses recognize the practicality and functionality of cloud-based platforms as they help remote agents interact with customers the same way they would on-site. Using cloud computing applications for your contact center not only let you gather and generate data from customers, but they also do so smoothly and conveniently by making customer files accessible online.
Given this, you can subscribe or avail of a cloud-based tool on a pay-per-usage basis instead of spending a chunk of your marketing spend on IT and infrastructure. This allows brands to serve more customers and have the advantage of flexible time, as well as hire skilled agents from other parts of the world for round-the-clock support.
AI is leading the conversation around call center trends as it’s one of the more exciting and powerful technological disruptions in the industry.
AI solutions and machine learning can filter complex conversations and redirect them to contact agents for comprehensive support. It can determine the next steps when interacting with customers based on its previous interactions.
For instance, it can detect the customer’s language and tone by looking for specific keywords and utilize sentiment analysis algorithms to manage calls more accurately. This helps route calls to the skilled agents at the right time, boost agent productivity and performance, and ensure customer satisfaction.
For example, Cogito has a human-level of artificial intelligence that’s aware of all conversations and in real-time analysis as well. It studies multiple conversations and provides the best guidance for agents to converse with empathy, and confidence.
There you have it—the leading figures and trends at play in the BPO and call center industry. Acknowledge these new technologies and statistics or you risk getting left behind, as other organizations adapt and advance. Being a leader in the outsourcing industry means keeping up with the latest innovations to meet your customers’ expectations.
Are you looking for ways to outsource specific functions of your business? Executive Boutique Call Center is a reliable and progressive call center in the Philippines that provides excellent and outstanding service. Visit the Executive Boutique Call Center Contact Us page here and drop a message to get started.
Publish Date: October 9, 2020 5:00 AM
Businesses who are putting more weight on customer-centricity are now investing in modifying their processes, services, and operations.
While the pursuit is essential in boosting brand loyalty and business performance, it hasn’t all been easy.
After all, you need advanced technologies, streamlined methods, and other resources to implement customer centricity well — all while coping with the daily business work demands.
To help them achieve customer centricity, these enterprises have considered outsourcing, but not without doubts about how external service providers can do that.
Outsourcing companies, though, have a deep understanding of customer-centeredness that trickles down to the offered third-party services.
That said, If you’re one of those businesses wondering what outsourcing looks like in an era of customer centricity, then read on to find out.
BPOs that are customer-centric make consumer satisfaction a core value and business philosophy
These BPOs put a premium on providing excellent customer experience and employ systems that best suit and meet your customers’ needs.
Because of that, outsourcing firms invest in innovation, top talents, and other resources to enhance customers’ access to services and technical assistance.
With this customer-focused philosophy, BPOs can better handle consumer support issues, engage with leads and buyers, and deliver efficient solutions.
If you have omnichannel schemes, BPOs can support you by using and centralizing appropriate technologies, tasks, channels, and strategies, among others.
Outsourcing agencies, for example, integrate live chat, emails, social media, SMS, phone calls, and other communication mediums to ensure that messaging is consistent and continuous.
BPOs save and record information from these systems so the agents know precisely the details of your customers’ transactions at all times.
BPOs with omnichannel capabilities also use methods that make customer support and shopping experiences more convenient and seamless.
Knowing how rampant cyber crimes have become, outsourcing companies are keen on protecting customers’ sensitive information.
BPOs invest in robust encryption technologies, as well as install and update mechanisms like firewalls, anti-virus and anti-malware software programs.
Outsourcing firms even enforce strict security protocols and diligently follow data privacy regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
BPO representatives also undergo intensive training where they learn to detect phishing techniques and avoid clicking malicious links or downloading questionable files.
Customer-centric BPOs make sure they follow extra preventive measures, so they don’t compromise the confidentiality of your consumers’ information.
Outsourcing companies are now, more than ever, more inclined towards leveraging customer data to improve service delivery.
BPOs gather and analyze data about your shoppers’ buying behaviors, product preferences, and interests through their purchases and brand interactions.
From these data, outsourcing firms can form compelling sales and marketing strategies.
For instance, BPOs can determine the best ads to display at which time, write content addressing your customers’ pain points, recommend products similar to previous purchases, and more.
By leveraging customer data, BPOs can increase the likelihood of your consumers responding to your sales offers.
If you’re struggling with establishing customer centricity for your business, we’ll be most pleased to assist you.
Our call center has advanced, relevant systems and technologies, top talents with extensive industry and technical knowledge, and other resources to elevate your customer experience.
Reach out to us anytime, and we can discuss our partnership in your pursuit of customer centricity.
Publish Date: March 20, 2020 5:00 AM
Teamwork is one of the most important parts of just about any job, because one way or another, we will find ourselves working alongside others in some aspect. Without a properly functioning team, the work becomes tedious, the days long, and the efficiency of your work takes a nosedive into the red zone. So what can we do to keep the team afloat? What things need to be done to make sure every member of the team is putting out exactly what they need to — and doing it happily? Here are some five tips on how to improve team efficiency.
Whose job is it, anyway? While it may take the entire team to work on a project, there needs to be some kind of “job assignment”, so things can get done effectively, rather than everyone picking on the portion of the project they want to work on and avoiding all the others. The team leader needs to portion tasks out fairly, but also take into consideration the team members’ passions and strengths, as well as weaknesses.
It’s about strengths AND weaknesses. Knowing each and every team members’ strong points is one thing; it might just lead you down the right path for a great outcome, but without knowing what they struggle with, you’re putting the team at risk of faltering. Delegating jobs based on not only their skills, but also the things they struggle with, if the best way to get your task or tasks done without many hiccups.
Communication!!! Yes, that definitely deserves three exclamation points, because without communication, you cannot function as a team. It’s just not possible. There are hundreds of ways to communicate with your team, and unless you want to watch the chaos descend upon your project, then you need to utilize at least one of them.
Use incentives. The hard truth is that people tend to work happier, faster, and better when there are incentives involved. Think up rewards, even if it’s just something like “if this gets done early, then you can all go home early, too.”
Be a good example for your team members. As a team leader, your teammates will mimic your behavior when it comes to approaching their project. Should you face something with a negative attitude and snarky remarks, the others will do the same, because you haven’t given them anything else to go on.
So long as you remember these things, your team will remain successful in all that they approach. These people are like an extended family, so take the time to treat them and train them right, and everything else will follow!
Publish Date: October 21, 2019 5:00 AM
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By delegating your telemarketing campaigns to a professional third-party vendor, you can focus all your attention and energy to core business functions.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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