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De-Stress Your Call Center: How to Manage In a Stressful Environment

The reality is that job-related stress has long been the nemesis of employees/employers around the globe. Stress has been linked in studies to everything from increased illness and related absenteeism, lower productivity to obesity. Given the economic situation we have experienced over the last few years, the reality is that many are working harder for less money, and still wind up wondering (and hoping) if they’ll have a job at day’s end. All of this combined with new technologies that make it easier than ever to work anytime, anywhere and you’ve got the “perfect storm” – high levels of on-the job stress.

The truth is that no matter who you are and/or what job you have, how good or bad the economy is, etc. we will all experience some level of stress on-the-job. So the answer isn’t waiting for the circumstances of your job and/or the economy to change. A better answer is to learn how to manage your stress before it manages you!

What is stress?

According to Dr. Hans Seyle, one of the prominent psychologists of the twentieth century and one of the first to research, understand and define stress; stress is the “single, nonspecific reaction of the body to a demand made upon it.” Put another way, stress is the psychological and physiological reaction that takes place when you perceive an imbalance in the level of demand being placed on you and your ability to meet that demand. The key words in the latter definition are the words, “you perceive.” Seyle said, “It’s not the event but your perception of it that makes all the difference.” So there isn’t a single event that categorically leads to stress. Two people faced with the same event may perceive it differently. One may find it stressful; the other may not.

According to Dr. Hans Seyle, one of the prominent psychologists of the twentieth century and one of the first to research, understand and define stress; stress is the “single, nonspecific reaction of the body to a demand made upon it.” Put another way, stress is the psychological and physiological reaction that takes place when you perceive an imbalance in the level of demand being placed on you and your ability to meet that demand. The key words in the latter definition are the words, “you perceive.” Seyle said, “It’s not the event but your perception of it that makes all the difference.” So there isn’t a single event that categorically leads to stress. Two people faced with the same event may perceive it differently. One may find it stressful; the other may not.

Is all stress bad?

To most of us, it implies something bad. The truth is that there is also good stress. There is actually a term for good stress: “eustress.” Eustress is what gets you up and running, what enables you to get to work, to get to the football game on time or to clean out the basement. Eustress is what provides us with stimulation and challenges and enables us to grow, develop and change.

What we typically associate with the word stress is, technically, distress. This is the kind of stress that makes us anxious, restless, irritable, exhausted, sad, etc. Distress is a reaction to some kind of external or internal self-imposed pressure, that illicit undesirable physical and psychological change.

Symptoms and Warning Signs of Excessive Stress (Distress)

  1. Difficulty concentrating
  2. Problems sleeping (falling or staying asleep)
  3. Loss of interest in work
  4. Fatigue
  5. Headaches, muscle aches
  6. Withdrawal from friends, family, social activities
  7. Stomach/digestive issues
  8. Excessive use of drugs/alcohol to cope

 

A Manager’s Role in Reducing Stress

 

Managers can look for signs and causes of stress. One of the first places to start is the chart below (Common Workplace Stressors). Use it to assess which stressors exist in your workplace, for you and your employees, and determine which ones you can impact/improve.

 

Common Workplace Stressors

 

Categories of workplace stressors Examples
Organization culture and/or structure
  • Communication processes
  • Management styles (participatory or non-participatory)
Interpersonal relationships at work with:
  • Managers
  • Co-workers
  • Peers
  • Direct reports
Career Path/development
  • Correct job fit
  • Job security
  • Career growth development opportunities
  • Overall job satisfaction
Role in the organization
  • Conflicting job demands, multiple managers)
  • Lack of clarity about job role, responsibilities, expectations.
Factors unique to the job itself
  • Workload (too much/not enough)
  • Pace, variety, meaningfulness of work
  • Autonomy (for example: the ability to make decisions)
  • Work hours (shift work, hours of work)
  • Physical environment (safety, noise, air quality, space etc.)
  • Isolation at the workplace (emotional or physically working alone)

 

Once you’ve identified the most common stressors in your organization, you can start to help reduce it by doing the following:

  • Improve communication. For example:
    • Share as much information as you can with employees to assist in reducing uncertainty about their jobs and the future.
    • Be sure that you clearly define and communicate each employee’s role, responsibilities and the expectations of the job.
  • Involve your employees. For example:
    • Consult with employees about scheduling and work rules.
    • Ensure that there is a right “job fit” for employees.
    • Give employees as many opportunities as possible to participate in decisions that impact their jobs.
  • Be sure that your organization’s policies and procedures are fair, applicable to everyone and are enforced consistently.
    • Ensure that employees understand the importance of their role and contribution to the “bigger picture.”
  • Reward and recognize the team and individuals.
    • Praise good work performance often and sincerely.
    • Provide opportunities for skill and career development

 

And remember, you are their leader. They take their cue from you, so being a positive role model for managing your own stress will go a long way to helping your team!

Photo Credit: http://kovacorp.com/

Article Provided by SCC Services Group

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team. If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization  improve  its overall performance please send an email to:info@sccservicesgroup.com.

Fenero is a leading provider of cloud solutions for contact centers. Based in Miami, Florida and headed by CEO Marlon Williams, Fenero helps companies to lower their contact center costs, increase agent productivity and create an exceptional customer experience through its flexible, reliable and scalable cloud contact center solution. Find out more at www.fenero.com

Source: http://www.fenero.com/stressful-environment/

Publish Date: October 31, 2016 5:00 AM


Ten Simple Strategies for Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

By Debra Semans

It seems that businesses are getting re-focused on customer satisfaction.  Are your customers satisfied?  How do you know?

Unless you are actively asking customers about their experience, you can’t really be sure.  Have they not come back because they had no need or because they had a poor experience the last time they did business with you? Customer Satisfaction Measurement means you will know the answer and what to do about it.

So, while you’re collecting data on customer satisfaction, here are ten simple strategies that will help you retain your customers (and hopefully attract some new ones):

  • Create touch points across various phases of the customer experience. If customers have recently purchased a product or service, be sure to follow up and
  • Give them an opportunity to provide feedback on the experience
  • Reward loyalty. A little goes a long way.
  • Keep in touch. By regularly reminding customers “you’re there if they should have any needs,” you’re likely to be the first one they think of when a need arises.
  • Consistently deliver top-notch quality and service.
  • Stay educated. Be aware of what your competition is doing, what the market is doing, and new trends in your industry.
  • Be engaged. In a study by the American Society for Quality, 68 percent of lost customers are turned away because of an attitude of indifference on the part of a service provider.
  • Establish sound processes for addressing customer issues. Take care of issues as quickly and effectively as possible. If a solution will take longer than anticipated, provide frequent updates so customers know the status of the situation.
  • A good relationship is give and take. In order to go that extra mile, consider holding a monthly or quarterly giveaway to treat customers and give thanks for their business.
  • Be courteous. Treat employees and customers with the utmost respect and courtesy. They deserve it and are often your biggest cheerleaders.
  • Listen. If asked, customers will be vocal about their needs. Do more listening than talking and do your best to offer them what they need.

Regardless of what the economy is doing, these simple steps will help you provide excellent customer service and retain and attract new customers.

Continuously asking customers about their experiences will make sure that you know the answer when you are asked: “Are your customers satisfied?”

Article Provided by SCC Services Group

Image Credit: shopware.com

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team. If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization improve its overall performance please send an email to:info@sccservicesgroup.com

 

Source: http://www.fenero.com/ten-simple-strategies-for-customer-satisfaction-and-loyalty/

Publish Date: August 15, 2016 5:00 AM


Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery in Customer Service

For larger companies, the contact center is a critical business system. These checklists, prepared by Roger Sumner, senior vice president of the Technology Office at Aspect Software, will help ensure that you ask the correct questions when planning for business continuity in this area.

First  acknowledge that the term ‘disaster’ encompasses a lot of unpleasant possibilities. Get specific about the types of problems your contact center might face:

Facility disaster:  The building is damaged

Facility downtime:  Power is cut from the facility or personnel cannot get to the facility

Component disaster/downtime:  One or more hardware components within a facility are destroyed or disabled

Application disaster/downtime:  One or more software applications residing on hardware within the facility are destroyed or disabled

Data disaster:  Data is corrupted or lost

Network disaster:  Data networks are compromised or disabled

Security disaster:  Company security for internal information is breeched and data is destroyed or modified.

A comprehensive disaster recovery plan needs to encompass processes and solutions that will address each type of potential problem.

Ask the right technology questions…

So how do you know if your disaster recovery plan is current and meeting management’s expectations? ‘Disaster recovery’ means different things to different people, but whether your definition focuses on high system availability, system recovery, or system redundancy, it’s important to look at both the technology you have in place and the processes around that technology.

Before you can develop an effective disaster recovery plan, you need to answer these questions about your contact center technology:

1.   Is the system redundant within itself? Does it have redundant internal workings?

2.  Is full redundancy required in a disaster situation?

3.  Can you run two systems, one primary and one backup, in two different locations?

4.  Can each of the systems – same location or not – be configured to handle the load for all transactions if one fails?

5.  Would the two systems share the load under normal operation?

6.  Does the system have a hot or cold standby if redundant concurrent systems are not desired/required?

7.  Does the hot standby system automatically start in the case of failure, or is manual intervention required?

8.  Can the cold standby system that is only called upon when primary technology fails and has regularly scheduled data backups can automatically be started in case of failure, or is manual intervention required?

Build people and processes into the plan…

It’s not enough though to have just the technology backed up. You also need to have processes in place for every possible type of disaster. For example:

  • Do your contact center employees know what to do if business continuity is interrupted?
  • Do they know where they should go to work, or if they have access to hosted applications that allow them to access contact center applications remotely from undamaged locations?
  • Will there be agents in other geographic areas who can log in and service the affected areas?
  • Are self-service applications required to free up agent resources for critical matters?
  • Is someone charged with ensuring that your self-service options are automatically updated?
  • Are scripting applications in place, and up to date, to allow for uniform customer service in case agents have to temporarily take on unfamiliar roles, and have agents been made aware of this possibility?
  • Are customer relationship management applications in place, and up-to-date, that will allow access to uniform customer information, and have the agents been trained to use the applications?

 

Assistance in developing a contact center disaster recovery plan can be found with most contact center solutions vendors. They can provide guidance on how to manage redundancy or failover and recovery processes with your existing contact center technology, as well as help your organization document and categorize all of the contact centers and services your organization provides and determine the impact a disruption will have on those systems.

The contact center should also be sure to coordinate its disaster recovery plans with the rest of the organization. There may be some overlap, and it is important not to assume that another area of the business is taking care of supporting the systems that overlap with the contact center.

Also, if you are outsourcing any portion of your contact center initiatives, you must be sure that the outsourcer vendor has its own recovery plans in place. Sarbanes-Oxley, in the United States, requires organizations to provide evidence of business continuity plans and this includes vendor-provided services as well, including outsourcedservices.

The best disaster recovery plan is worthless if it isn’t updated continually and tested regularly. All too often, call centers invest large amounts of time, money, and other resources into developing a plan but make the mistake of ignoring the maintenance required to keep the plan effective and efficient. The financial impact of relying on an untested or outdated plan can be devastating.

Article Provided by SCC Services Group

Picture Provided by: http://www.megabyte.be/en/it-infrastructure/security-solutions/disaster-recovery-plan-drp-bcp/

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team. If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization improve its overall performance please send an email to: info@sccservicesgroup.com

Source: http://www.fenero.com/business-continuity-and-disaster-recovery-in-customer-service/

Publish Date: August 1, 2016 5:00 AM


Press Release: Fenero Announces WebPhone Launch, Enabling Real-Time Contact Center Connections In The Cloud

Fenero Announces  WebPhone  Launch, Enabling Real-Time Contact Center Connections in the Cloud

 

Fenero’s new WebPhone release uses cloud-based application WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) enabling voice calls directly within your browser.

Miami , Florida – On  July 18th,  2016  contact center software provider,  Fenero ,  announced the release of its newest feature, the  Webphone; an in-browser application that lets customers make voice calls without the need for  additional hardware or installs.

Fenero  offers a suite of communication tools – including email, live chat, inbound-outbound calls, quality auditing, scoring, call recording and more. The SaaS solution cuts the need for IT setups and account executives, and customers are billed per interaction, reducing costs and risks for new businesses.

Fenero’s  Webphone is a cloud-based tool designed for sales and customer service operations worldwide. The business API uses in-browser WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) technology, enabling real-time communication supporting audio calls directly within a browser. This feature involves end-to-end Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption of all data that is communicated, provided a higher level of security than most commercial telephone systems.

The technology lets callers login to the platform without the need for a physical phone or installed applications. This saves time, money and resources for existing customers, who no longer need  additional  hardware. It also helps businesses to set up contact centers faster.

The need to deliver high-quality customer service in combination with newly available cloud-based SaaS providers has driven growth in contact centers.  Contact Babel estimates  there are around 44,000 contact centers in the U.S., employing over 3.4 million agents.  Deloitte’s 2015 global contact center survey   revealed that “SaaS-based solutions will fuel growth in contact center technology solutions.”

Fenero  has over 6,000 users and has handled an estimated 350 million calls, and counting. The company’s proprietary contact center services save clients an average of 70 percent of contact center software,  hardware  and  telephony  costs,  compared to alternative providers.

“Great customer service has become an integral part of any business operation,” says  Fenero  CEO and Founder  Marlon Williams.  “Cloud-based solutions make cutting-edge technologies available to all businesses.  Fenero’s  pay-as-you-go cloud solutions takes this one step further, removing all risk, cutting costs and enabling smoother setups for new businesses,” he added.

ABOUT FENERO

Fenero  is a leading provider of cloud solutions for contact centers. Based in Miami, Florida and headed by  CEO Marlon Williams,  Fenero  helps companies to lower their contact center costs, increase agent productivity and create an exceptional customer experience through its flexible, reliable and scalable cloud contact center solution.

Find out more at  www.fenero.com

CONTACT

Name: Jim Glade

Phone: 1-646-480-0356

Email: Jim@publicize.co

Source: http://www.fenero.com/press-release-fenero-announces-webphone-launch-enabling-real-time-contact-center-connections-in-the-cloud/

Publish Date: July 19, 2016 5:00 AM


Getting Your Team in the Zone

By Glenn Pasch

At one of the press conferences at the Masters Golf Tournament, Lee Westwood, the round two leader, was asked if he was worried because Phil Mickelson had caught up to him.  He answered that he could only worry about the shots he hit.  This got me thinking about two different types of call center agents: those that focus on what they can control and those that focus on what they cannot.

Have you ever worked with someone who always had a reason why they did not hit their production levels? When you speak to them, they usually give you excuses for their lack of success, usually something like this:

  • “It was the list of people you gave me to call.”
  • “I’m getting the people who just want information.”
  • “No one listens.”
  • “It’s just not my day.”

 

Just as any great golfer tells you that they get in the “zone” (meaning that they focus on what they are doing and block out everyone else), you can help your employees get into their own “zone” and stay there.

So how do you change the focus of your employees? To improve the training and performance of any employee, whether it’s customer service training, sales training, or management training, you need to assist your employees to focus on what they can control instead of what they can’t so they will be more successful.

Here is what your agents can control on the phones:

Tone of voice: Agents need to make sure that their tone is pleasant and clear and their volume matches that of the caller.

Attitude: Are your agents focused on the call they are taking and how best to serve this customer? Or are they still focused on the call they took ten minutes ago, when the caller frustrated them? Carrying that attitude into the current call will kill any chance of delivering great service.

Focus: Where are your agents looking when speaking to a customer? Are they focused on their screen, as if the person was sitting right across from them? Or are they more concerned with what is happening next to them – or across the room? They may not realize it, but if an agent is looking across the room, a distracted tone will come across in their voice, and the customer will feel that the agent is not listening or giving them his or her full attention.

Listening skills:  Nothing frustrates customers more than having to repeat themselves. Make sure your team is taking the time to listen and ask the correct questions to make sure they get all of the information they need the first time.

Pace: It is easy to speak to someone over the phone at the same pace as you would face-to-face. The problem is that people understand a good deal of what you are saying by your body language.  Over the phone, you do not have that benefit. I recommend having your agents speak at half speed. This will slow them down enough so those on the other end of the line can follow what’s being said.

Strive for understanding: Agents read their script repeatedly during the course of a day. Many of them begin to go into an “autopilot” mode, where they are not focused on making sure the caller fully understands what is being asked. Train your agents to take the time to repeat information back to the person or summarize it before ending the call.

 Here are some things your agents cannot control on the phones:

  • The agent is the fifth person to call them today.
  • The person’s child just spilled their milk.
  • They just sat down to dinner.
  • They are just walking out the door.

As your agent’s coach/supervisor, you must listen in on their calls and give them your feedback, pointing out when they are focusing correctly. This will help to train them to monitor their own progress.

Article Provided by SCC Services Group

Picture Provided by: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2864-customer-service-tips.html

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team.

If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization improve its overall performance please send an email to: info@sccservicesgroup.com

Source: http://www.fenero.com/getting-your-team-in-the-zone-2/

Publish Date: July 12, 2016 5:00 AM


Customer Experience Statistics

Customer Experience Statistics

You might find it interesting that it is projected by 2020 that customer experience will be the most heralded competitive differentiator for businesses, beyond products and services.

Below are interesting statistics to help you optimize your customer experience and increase customer retention.

 

  • 82% of consumers say the number one factor that leads to a great customer service experience is having their issues resolved quickly. (LivePerson)

 

  • Reducing your customer defection rate by 5% can increase your profitability by 25 to 125%.
    (Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy and Mark Murphy)

 

  • 62% of organizations view customer experience provided through contact centers as a competitive differentiator. (Deloitte: Contact Center Survey)

 

  • 51% of companies increased the staffing of their centralized customer experience team. (Temkin Group)

 

  • By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. (Customers 2020 Report)

 

  • 70% of customers will do business with you again if you resolve their complaints. (Ruby Newell-Legner)

 

  • 65% of 1,000 consumers surveyed said they’ve cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience. (Parature State of Multichannel Customer Service Survey)

 

  • 92% of companies surveyed reported a decline in customer satisfaction; consumers were most disappointed by inconsistent service.  (Salesforce.com)

 

  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while it falls to just 5-20% for new prospects. (Forbes)

 

  • Commerce spending for repeat customers is on average 105% higher than for new customers. (McKinsey)

 

Photo Credit: https://johnaduerk.net

Article Provided by SCC Services Group

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is  complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team. If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization improve its overall performance please send an email to: info@sccservicesgroup.com.

Source: http://www.fenero.com/customer-experience-statistics/

Publish Date: July 5, 2016 5:00 AM


Hiring the Right Talent

Hiring the right talent is crucial for any business especially for companies that have to communicate with their customers directly daily. In order for a company to be successful, they must have the right people, in the right place with the right training. Some companies do not devote the time in pre-screening candidates which results in bad hires. When bad hires are selected, high expectations are short lived and a waste of money. A poor decision can cost you thousands.

There are several things that can be done, to ensure you are hiring the best talent that will make your business flourish.

  1. Review resumes thoroughly and confirm job history – Candidate should be able to explain gaps and provide details on previous work experience.
  2. Incorporate pre-interview assessments – Depending on the industry, there are many online personality, writing, and customer service assessments that can be administered at no additional cost.
  3. Ask the right questions – Here are some important interview questions. These questions will help the recruiter and/or hiring manager determine the candidate’s thought process, personality, moral values and if he/she is a good cultural fit for your organization.

 

  •  Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths?
  • What would you like to further develop?
  •  What steps are you taking to develop that area?
  • What attracted you to this company?
  • What do you know about this industry?
  • What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
  • What did you least like about your previous job?
  • What’s your ideal company?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
  • What was your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
  • What kind of goals would you have in mind if you’re selected for this position?

 

Besides these pre-hire steps, I found that incorporating an additional hiring manager in the interview process is beneficial. You will be able to compare/contrast notes and discuss important details that may change the hiring outcome.

What do you integrate in your interview process?

Photo Credit: http://www.picgifs.com/

Fenero’s unique solution gives users a suite of applications for managing their contact engagement, including automated call distribution (ACD), manual, preview, and predictive outbound dialing, as well as interactive voice response (IVR), live customer chat and email routing. The contact center solution also supports quality assurance features including 100% call recordings, browser-based screen recordings, and detailed performance reporting. Visit www.fenero.com for more details. 

 

Source: http://www.fenero.com/hiring-the-right-talent/

Publish Date: December 5, 2015 5:00 AM


Fenero Awarded 2015 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award

Miami, FL, August 20, 2015 — Fenero announced today that TMC, a global, integrated media company, has awarded its Fenero Contact Center a 2015 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award.

“We’re committed to delivering on our vision of providing the most affordable, agile, and secure solutions for streamlining customer and business interactions and are honored to be a 2015 Product of the Year Award recipient,” said Marlon Williams, Founder and CEO of Fenero. “We have lots in store for our industry in the years to come.”

Fenero’s unique solution gives users a suite of applications for managing their contact engagement, including automated call distribution (ACD), manual, preview, and predictive outbound dialing, as well as interactive voice response (IVR), live customer chat and email routing. The contact center solution also supports quality assurance features including 100% call recordings, browser-based screen recordings, and detailed performance reporting.

“Congratulations to Fenero for being honored with a 2015 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “Fenero Contact Center is truly an innovative product and is amongst the best solutions that facilitate voice, data and video communications brought to market in the past twelve months. I look forward to continued excellence from Fenero in 2015 and beyond.”

About Fenero

Founded in 2013 and based in Miami, Fenero and its Contact Center platform is built upon open source and exemplifies what open software can do for contact centers. The platform offers a suite of features including ACD, IVR, outbound dialing (manual, preview, predictive), chat, email, call and screen recordings, and more. User sign up and call/data storage is 100% free, only having to pay for per call/email/chat charges.

For more information about Fenero, visit www.fenero.com.

About TMC

TMC is a global, integrated media company that supports clients’ goals by building communities in print, online, and face to face. TMC publishes multiple magazines including Cloud Computing, IoT Evolution, Customer, and Internet Telephony. TMCnet is the leading source of news and articles for the communications and technology industries, and is read by 1.5 million unique visitors monthly. TMC produces a variety of trade events, including ITEXPO, the world’s leading business technology event, as well as industry events: 2015 Connecticut Mobile Summit; Asterisk World; AstriCon; ChannelVision (CVx) Expo; DevCon5 – HTML5 & Mobile App Developer Conference; Drone Zone 360; IoT Evolution Conference & Expo; IoT Evolution Developers Conference; IoT Evolution Fog, Analytics & Data Conference; IoT Evolution Connected Transportation Conference; IoT Evolution Connected Home & Building Conference; MSP Expo; NFV Expo; SIP Trunking, Unified Communications & WebRTC Seminars; Wearable Tech Conference & Expo featuring Fitness and Sports Wearable Technology (FAST) Expo; WebRTC Conference & Expo; and more.

For more information about TMC, visit www.tmcnet.com.

Source: http://www.fenero.com/fenero-awarded-2015-communications-solutions-product-of-the-year-award/

Publish Date: August 24, 2015 5:00 AM


Customer Service Statistics

Some useful customer service statistics to remember and to share with your team.

56% of customers reported having to re-explain their issue at least once over the course of the service interaction.
(CEB Effortless Experience)

85% of VPs of Sales surveyed said that the lack of a single customer view led to business problems.
(Experian 2012)

62% of customers had to contact the company multiple times to resolve their issue. (CEB Effortless Experience)

54% of agents must use multiple sources to answer questions correctly.
(Forrester Study)

33% of companies analyze customer insight across organizational boundaries. (Experian Marketing Services, 2012)

82% of customers said that better customer service could have stopped them from switching to another brand. (Forrester 2014)

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. (McKinsey)

82% of consumers say the number one factor that leads to a great customer service experience is having their issues resolved quickly.
(LivePerson)

Reducing your customer defection rate by 5% can increase your profitability by 25 to 125%.
(Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy)

62% of organizations view customer experience provided through contact centers as a competitive differentiator. (Deloitte: Contact Center Survey)

51% of companies increased the staffing of their centralized customer experience team in 2014.
(Temkin Group)

By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
(Customers 2020 Report)

70% of customers will do business with you again if you resolve their complaints.
(Ruby Newell-Legner)

Only 14% of respondents in a 2014 survey of CMOs rated the customer-centricity of their organization as high; and only 11% believe their customers would say the same.
(2014 CMO Council Customer Engagement Report)

65% of 1,000 consumers surveyed said they’ve cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience.( 2014 Parature State of Multichannel Customer Service Report)

92% of companies surveyed reported a decline in customer satisfaction; consumers were most disappointed by inconsistent service. (Salesforce.com)

The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while it falls to just 5-20% for new prospects.
(Forbes)

Commerce spending for repeat customers is on average 105% higher than for new customers. (McKinsey)

60M hours a year are wasted on hold with call centers. (Fonolo)

Source: http://www.fenero.com/customer-service-statistics/

Publish Date: May 9, 2015 5:00 AM


Customer Service Tips to Handle Complaints and Keep Customers Happy

If customers are the lifeblood of businesses, then customer complaints are the antidote to a thriving business. Or, is it? While many businesses fear the onslaught of complaints from customers, in truth, proper handling of these complaints can work to a business’ advantage.

Whenever a customer complains, he is in fact handing you a lesson in how to please others for add-on business. So, take advantage of this opportunity with these seven customer service tips on how to handle complaints and keep your customers happy.

Act Quickly

When a customer complains, the best way to appease the customer’s bad feelings is to act on it quickly. Remunerate customers as fast as possible with a refund when appropriate, or offer an apology. Acting swiftly to correct the wrong consoles the customer and imbibes them with a sense of loyalty as well. You can be sure the customer will want to shop with you again because you handled his complaint timely and correctly.

Respond to Complaints Professionally

It’s easy to get carried away with a petulant customer and brush him off completely, but that could be costly for your business. Instead, take charge of the situation by being polite and listening intently to the customer’s problem. Taking this approach has a calming influence on the upset customer and more often than not, allows him to see reason and leave knowing that he’ll return again to do business with you.

Send Out Customer Survey Forms

This is important to ferret out customers who are unhappy with your business for some reason, but aren’t voicing their concerns. Rather than losing them for good to your competitors, get them to fill out customer survey forms and follow up with a phone call to as many of these customers as possible. Not only will this keep your customers happy, but you will have discovered new ways of fine-tuning certain aspects of your business.

Thank Those Who Complain  

This may sound odd to many, but customers who complain are doing you a service by helping you improve your business. The least any business should do is to thank them wholeheartedly. It may take these customers by surprise, but a simple “thank you” can lighten the atmosphere and allow unhappy customers to have a change in attitude and become your most loyal customers.

Reassure The Customer
Customers who complain very often feel aggrieved that their complaints come to naught because no one is listening. To tackle this situation, recap to the customer what you’ve just heard and then deliver an assessment of how you’re going to tackle the problem and inform him when it can be resolved. Many businesses are too quick to respond with an “Ok, I’ll fix that,” without the reassurances the customer sorely needs.

Provide A Space For Customers To Vent Their Frustrations
I don’t mean a physical space, though that could work in the most extreme of cases, but create an avenue for them to vent their frustrations without getting in the way. Only when they’ve settled down, then approach them with your questions to determine the cause of their problems. This works very well to get to the bottom of the situation without getting embroiled in unnecessary confrontations.

Track Customer Complaints
Once a customer has filed a complaint, it’s best to ensure that the particular complaint never arises again. The best way to do this is to track complaints, unearth its root cause and make sure it’s addressed once and for all. Tracking complaints can usually identify a pattern, giving you vital information to potential problems and addressing them before a customer can raise the issue. Let your customers know that you have such a system in place and they’ll appreciate the fact that you really care about catering to their happiness.

By Robert Moment

Photo credit Mark Anderson

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team. If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization improve its overall performance please send an email to: info@sccservicesgroup.com

Source: http://www.fenero.com/customer-service-tips-to-handle-complaints-and-keep-customers-happy/

Publish Date: April 3, 2015 5:00 AM


Revenue & Client Satisfaction Correlation

Small companies understand which client needs are most important to them.

There is a direct correlation between client or customer satisfaction and increased revenue. The impact of client satisfaction may increase revenue in some industries by as much as $1 billion annually according to experts at Forrester Research. This correlation also exists in smaller companies but on a smaller scale. However, the relevance is no less important. The key is determining which elements are most important for client satisfaction, quantifying that data and incorporating them into your business strategies.

Identifying Customer Satisfaction Elements

All clients, whether businesses or individuals, have certain attributes that are most important to them when making a buying decision. Those who purchase products may choose a small company for its quality, selection, style or parts availability. Business service clients may base their buying decisions on a company’s professionalism, unique industry niche or perceived capabilities. Identify the elements that appear to be most important for your clients’ satisfaction, as these are likely the ones that motivate them to spend more money. List all these elements on a sheet of paper. Make an assessment as to whether you are meeting each of the client satisfaction attributes to the best of your ability.

Data-Gathering Process

The best way to validate the importance of client attributes and their impact on revenue is through marketing research. Surveys — whether by phone, in-person or online — help you quantify the importance of certain client satisfaction variables. That is, you don’t just surmise their importance as a revenue contributor. You specifically ask clients what attributes are most important to them. Then you collect data from hundreds of individuals, the results of which are highly projectable across your entire client base. Incorporate your list of key client attributes into your survey questionnaire. Ask customers to rate their importance on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest and 1 the lowest. The attributes that are most important to clients will be reflected in the data.

Implementing Customer-Satisfaction Strategies

The best way to use client-satisfaction elements and increase revenue is by developing business strategies around them. Also, start treating customer service satisfaction as goals as you would any any other financial results. Provide clients with what they need the most — such as new product sizes, styles or services — to meet their needs. Give them a reason to purchase more products. Add an additional service for a business client, such as a free consultation fee. Structure your advertising around those attributes most important to clients. This strategy can help you attract new clients with similar needs, which is another way to build revenue.

Considerations

Consider implementing a loyalty program for your clients to build revenue. Loyalty programs typically reward customers according to the frequency of their visits and purchase volumes. The rewards become greater as a customer spends more money, which increases revenue. For example, a small beautician may reward a free haircut to clients with seven consecutive visits. The reward may increase in value to a free perm after three months. Use a loyalty program that best meets the needs of your own clients.

By Rick Suttle

Photo credit www.myplanmap.com

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team. If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization improve its overall performance please send an email to: info@sccservicesgroup.com

Source: http://www.fenero.com/revenue-client-satisfaction-correlation/

Publish Date: March 17, 2015 5:00 AM


Time Management in the Workplace

 

While speaking to friends, family and co -workers about their New Year’s Resolutions, many different resolutions were brought up. I’ve heard the common resolutions like losing weight/eating right, saving more money and finishing school; however, from all the responses, the one that stuck out to me the most was making the best use of time.

After further research, I realized that many people struggle with time management and it’s impacting their work/life balance.

Research by Top 10 Online Colleges, 2013

  • 76% put money and work as leading cause of stress in their lives.
  • 41% are stressed out during the workday, an increase from 36% a year ago.
  • Only 10% do their best thinking at work.
  • On days of extreme pressure, workers are 45% less likely to come up with a new idea or solve a problem.

 

Are you always racing against time? When was the last time you’ve completed all the items on your checklist with time to spare?

 

Here are 5 simple tips that will help you re-gain control of your time:

1.  Use the first 30 minutes of your day to plan and create your to-do list. This is the most critical part of your day as it helps organize your thoughts/responsibilities and prioritize them by importance levels.

2.  Set realistic goals and expectations. If you have 30 minutes available for a task but know this task will take at least an hour and a half, don’t start or expect to finish. This will help reduce anxiety.

3.  Refrain from picking up your phone and responding to emails. This will break your concentration and delay the tasks at hand. Disconnecting instant messaging or updating your  status to “away” or “busy” may limit interruptions. You can also stop notifications from Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets unless they are used to generate business for your company or used to communicate with your client(s).

4.  Learn to say NO and know your limits. Don’t take on more than you can handle. If no cannot be an option for you, provide a realistic time-frame to when task(s) can be completed.

5.  If task(s) can be done by someone else, consider delegating. Delegating will help you take a load off and you can focus on other important tasks.

Do you have more tips to share? Please share below in the comment area!

Photo Credit – www.mnn.com

 

Source: http://www.fenero.com/time-management-in-the-workplace/

Publish Date: January 17, 2015 5:00 AM


15 Statistics That Should Change The Business World – But Haven’t

By Colin Shaw

It still surprises me, even in this day and age, how many people still need convincing that improving the Customer Experience will generate revenue and save costs. As I read a great blog the other day, which highlights many stats from reputable sources clearly showing that improving your Customer Experience drives revenues and save costs, it made me wonder why people still question this.

Here are my top 15 favorite stats from this list:

1. Price is not the main reason for customer churn, it is actually due to the overall poor quality of customer service - Accenture global customer satisfaction report 2008.

2. A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related -Bain & Company.

3. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% -Marketing Metrics.

4. For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent -Lee Resource.

5. A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% -Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy.

6. 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back - 1Financial Training services.

7. A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. - White House Office of Consumer Affairs.

8. Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience. - White House Office of Consumer Affair.

9. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated -McKinsey.

10. 55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a betterservice - Defaqto research.

11. Customers who rate you 5 on a scale from 1 to 5 are six times more likely to buy from you again, compared to ‘only’ giving you a score of 4.8. -TeleFaction data research.

12. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience - “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner.

13. A 5% reduction in the customer defection rate can increase profits by 5 – 95% -Bain & Company.

14. It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one - Bain & Company.

15. eCommerce spending for new customers is on average $24.50, compared to $52.50 for repeat customers - McKinsey.

So my question to you is this: with this weight of evidence, why do organizations still not truly focus on improving the Customer Experience?

Photo Credit – www.onehourtranslation.com

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team. If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization improve its overall performance please send an email to: info@sccservicesgroup.com

Source: http://www.fenero.com/15-statistics-that-should-change-the-business-world-but-havent/

Publish Date: December 30, 2014 5:00 AM


Are Your Agent Schedules Ready for the Holidays?

With the holidays just a couple of weeks away, hopefully you have made the necessary preparations to handle all agent requests and the required adjustments with holiday scheduling. Typically it is at this time of year agents typically request time off and it also the time when call volumes are at the highest.

Forward planning is essential to ensure that you are properly staffed during busy this season. If you have a workforce management scheduling application/system you already know it eliminates a number of administrative tasks when dealing with time off requests.  Below are some things to consider to gain maximum benefit from your workforce management tool or if you manually tracking agent schedules via an Excel spreadsheet: 

  • Keep track of agents personal leave time,including earned, used, and available days 
  • Post center-wide available time off slots prior to agents requesting time off to ensure that their desired time is available
  • Time off requests should be granted in accordance with corporate rules
  • Verify each agent’s eligibility for yearly time off either from HR or personnel records
  • Establish limits for time off during various times of the year, including how many weeks can be booked during certain times when the call volume is likely to be highest, how many weeks can be taken consecutively, and any other parameters governed by corporate policy
  • Set rules that dictate days when no time off will be allowed, especially when high call volume is expected, such as certain holidays or major promotion periods when the center must be fully staffed
  • Agents should have the ability to request time off based on established corporate policies regarding seniority, rotation, or first-come-first-serve
  • Assign available time-off slots by agent group in order to prevent a negative impact on the center due to having too many agents with the same skill set in the same call center, or in other group categories, from taking vacation simultaneously
  • Establish parameters for time-off requests in the interest of fairness to agents

Photo Credit - www.callcentrehelper.com

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team. If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization improve its overall performance please send an email to: info@sccservicesgroup.com

Source: http://www.fenero.com/are-your-agent-schedules-ready-for-the-holidays/

Publish Date: December 18, 2014 5:00 AM


How to Retain Your Best Call Center Agents

Technology has inspired many changes to the call center, but one challenge remains unchanged, consistent and vital to the success of a business; finding and retaining outstanding agents. 

This article from ICMI was written in 2008, however the five tips it provides for agent retention are just as helpful today and perhaps even more so, as the people skills many of us used to take for granted continue to erode.

1. The First Impression

Employees remember more from the hiring process than whether or not they get the job. This is the first chance to create a positive impression of the call center as a friendly and supportive working environment. Employees are far more likely to remain with a company where they are treated with courtesy and respect.  

2. A Clear Vision

Call center agents are happier – and more productive – when they receive clear and specific guidance on their responsibilities. This should not be limited to product knowledge or company policy on customer interaction – they should know the goals and values of the company, and the role they can play in helping to achieve them.

 3. Custom Motivation

Different things motivate different people. So why rely on one set of motivation techniques for an entire call center agency workforce? Training sessions, special projects and incentives can be customized to each agent’s priorities.

4. Listen 

Call center agents appreciate when their ideas are acknowledged and their suggestions are adopted – especially if they are also rewarded for their effort. They also appreciate when schedules are flexible enough to accommodate a change in shift if a conflict arises. Listen to their ideas and their needs.

5. Consistency

A retention strategy is not something to be trotted out once or twice a year. It requires consistent application, and frequent reminders to both agents and managers that an employee’s value should be acknowledged and rewarded.  

Photo Credit - http://blog.intradiem.com/category/bestpractices-metrics/ – By Bob Fletcher 

Since 2000, SCC Services Group has been successfully providing services to the Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Travel, Telecommunication and Retail Call Center organizations. This depth of experience is complemented by our commitment to service excellence, a healthy corporate culture, and a highly skilled team. If you are interested in learning more about SCC Services Group consulting or business services offerings and how we can assist your organization improve its overall performance please send an email to: info@sccservicesgroup.com

 

 

Source: http://www.fenero.com/how-to-retain-your-best-call-center-agents/

Publish Date: November 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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