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STARTEK provides incredible customer engagement to some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Each day, our brand Warriors help our clients’ customers get answers to their questions and quickly solve their problems, ensuring those companies are well represented and their brands are protected and promoted. There is a Brand Warrior behind every customer interaction here at STARTEK, and we value our employees’ dedication to providing the best experience to everyone they reach.
Recently, we sat down with Brand Warrior, Janet Gore, to understand what makes STARTEK such a great company to work for. Janet is celebrating her 20-year anniversary this month, so she is certainly the expert when it comes to superb customer engagement.
What is the best part about working at STARTEK?
The best part of working here is the people! My co-workers are like an extended family, and I really enjoy coming to work with them every day.
What advice would you give to a new Brand Warrior?
If you work hard, you will be rewarded. Be on time, give 110% and encourage your team members to do the same. The collaborative work environment is one of the best parts about this job, so as long as you’re a team player, you too will be successful.
What is the most memorable customer engagement experience you’ve had during your tenure?
A customer once called because her washing machine was broken, and she was very distressed because she had no way of doing laundry for her family. Being able to console her during that time of chaos was very rewarding because I could tell how truly appreciative she was that I was able to help get her broken washing machine fixed quickly.
What are your goals for your bright future here at STARTEK?
I would like to step into a greater leadership role as a trainer so I can share my knowledge with others on my team.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your 20 years with the company?
I think my experience with different STARTEK programs has made me a better employee, and I really love how much I’ve been able to help people based on my knowledge of different industries. I learn new things all the time.
Publish Date: April 9, 2016 5:00 AM
Why Self-Service Technology?
Brands are using self-service technology in an effort to give consumers more convenience and a personalized experience, while also reducing human error. As consumers’ buying power continues to evolve, brands are on the hunt for new avenues to maintain open communication with digitally savvy consumers. As new support systems are integrated into customer engagement experiences, innovative DIY tools are attracting a new generation of consumers who want a more tailored brand experience.
Allied Market Research predicts that the self-service tech market will exceed $31 billion by 2020 thanks to retail chains, banking and healthcare industries integrating self-service kiosks as a part of their customer engagement strategy.
Understand the Audience
To expand a customer engagement strategy to include self-service technology, it is most important to know your customer and how they prefer interacting with you brand or company. If you don’t know your audience, how are you supposed to connect with them in a way that appeals to them?
Put the Customer in Control
In a constantly changing digital environment, people want to communicate with companies in a way that makes them feel comfortable. They want total control over their own support experience and self-service technology allows them to determine how and when they interact with brands. This creates a sense of instant gratification and provides an easy option for self-service.
Be the Best Resource
As technology is integrated into existing customer engagement strategies, brands must position themselves as a go-to resource and trusted advisor for answering questions and making recommendations. Continue to provide a stellar customer engagement experience by maintaining personal interactions online, use consistent messaging and feature up-to-date information on deals and promotions.
Do you think self-service technology will change the way consumers engage with brands?
Publish Date: March 31, 2016 5:00 AM
At STARTEK, we place a tremendous amount of focus on building trusted relationships that are established on a foundation of mutual respect, cooperation, and investment in one another’s success. It’s at the very heart of our Brand Warrior calling – to stand behind every team member so that you can stand behind every client brand. This is especially important during times when our employees face hardship.
In 2014, STARTEK launched Warriors In Need, a non-profit foundation designed to provide basic necessities and temporary financial relief for STARTEK employees who are in need as a result of a disaster or extraordinary life event. The program was developed by employees, for employees, and is primarily funded by STARTEK employee contributions to help one another during times of struggle.
STARTEK brand warriors hold fundraising events and donate through payroll deductions, even as little as one dollar from each paycheck, which goes into a fund to help other STARTEK employees who have experienced a catastrophe such as an unexpected illness, fire, flood or other unexpected event that causes them to need financial help.
Employees can apply to Warriors in Need for disaster assistance and an anonymous group of STARTEK employees reviews all applications and decides on which ones to fund based upon the merits of the request against a specific set of criteria.
Warriors in Need operates as a separate 501(c)(3) with its own committees and advisory board. As a Community Foundation, employee contributions are tax deductible and assistance grants are tax-free to recipients in the United States. Unlike a private foundation, Warriors in Need can accept contributions from many sources including employees, vendors, and clients.
The WIN program has already proven to be an essential resource for more than one Brand Warrior facing a critical crisis. In the past year alone, STARTEK employees have contributed thousands of dollars in personal donations and volunteered their time to help support their fellow Warriors in Need.
Here is the 2015 breakdown:
For more information about Warriors in Need, please visit: http://www.Warriors-In-Need.org
Publish Date: March 20, 2016 5:00 AM
Emerging technology and recent healthcare reform policies have propelled the industry to a point where consumers and providers alike are adopting ways to make patient care more convenient, accessible and cost-effective for everyone. Considering 2016 is an election year, now is the time to evaluate the current state of the healthcare industry and examine key trends that are expected to drive political campaigns and election ballots this November.
Here are five major healthcare trends to watch in 2016:
Proactive Health & Wellness
Consumers are redefining health by taking a proactive – even progressive – approach to maintaining their wellness. Growth rates in the wellness sector will continue as more patients and providers proactively shift dollars toward preventative care, changing the way they eat, exercise and manage stress.
Retail Health Care
Instead of making an appointment with a primary care physician, many consumers are now opting for quick visits to walk-in clinics located in a pharmacy, retail chain or supermarket to save time and money. The retail health industry is surging to accommodate the growing demand, with the number of clinics expected to grow 12 percent by the end of 2016.
Mobile health app adoption has doubled in the last two years putting health and personal care in the palm of your hand though smartphones and connected systems and devices. The shift to digital patient care helps lower costs for providers and increases access to patient monitoring, diagnosis and treatment. Connected care services like remote patient monitoring also lowers readmission rates for in-office visits.
As the health system moves away from fee-for-service, providers are turning to virtual medicine to expand services in areas like behavioral and mental health. Video chat consultation and live digital care provides a quicker, easier way for patients to connect with clinicians and decreases the volume and frequency of office visits. More insurers are covering telemedicine services in 2016, allowing consumers access health care 24/7 and at a fraction of the price. Telemedicine is especially beneficial for reducing volume in overcrowded facilities like urgent care, emergency rooms, after-hours clinics or in situations where patients are homebound and restricted in mobility.
In the 1930s, physician house calls accounted for 40 percent of medical visits, according to a 2011 article in the journal American Academy of Family Physicians. Several start-ups around the country are implementing home-based patient care programs that bringing care directly to the patient with the simple push of a button through a mobile app.
Publish Date: March 8, 2016 5:00 AM
What do Olympic athletes and STARTEK’s team members have in common? Both are determined, focused, committed and have a very strong work ethic – they are great team players and love what they do.
The annual STARTEK Leadership Summit brought leaders from across the company to Denver to discuss STARTEK’s strategic objectives and measurements of success; each department’s vision and goals; and how to empower each individual’s role in the organization.
A few key discussions focused on ways to disrupt the traditional BPO model and how our current offerings led to being the most “Trusted Customer Engagement BPO”. From networking to team building exercises and bowling to an Awards Ceremony, the weeklong event united the company and produced many great ideas for growth and built stronger internal relationships.
Above: Chad Carlson, CEO, kicking off the Summit
Highlights That Stood Out:
STARTEK invited a special guest to the Summit, 1998 Olympic Gold Medalist freestyle skier, Nikki Stone. Not only did she bring her Gold Medal for photo opportunities, she spoke about leadership and the importance of never giving up, specifically citing her Olympic story.
Above: Nikki Stone discusses leadership
Nikki discussed her motto, the “Turtle Effect”, that in order to be successful, you must be soft on the inside, have a hard shell, and be willing to stick your neck out. Her presentation was highly interactive, dynamic and was enjoyed by all.
Additionally, the team building exercises were one of the favorite activities of the Summit. This year’s challenge was to build bike. Each team came from different functional areas across the company and earned pieces of the bike by completing challenges that focused on STARTEK’s vision, values, capabilities and background. Teams competed in word search, Q&A, a word puzzle, and each team created name along with a performance – think skit, song, dance, etc. – that incorporated the team name.
Above: Team Blue, comprised of Randy Fischer, John Hoholik, Marsha Bogart, Tess Tijidor, and Eric Concepcion.
The Summit wrapped up with an Awards Ceremony on Thursday evening with Jennifer Newton receiving the prestigious 2015 President’s Award for her positive, significant, measurable and sustained impact on STARTEK and its clients’ business. Jennifer’s extensive company knowledge, responsiveness and professionalism has made one of the single biggest impacts to the company. Congrats Jennifer, it’s truly a pleasure to work with you!
Additional 2015 STARTEK Impact Players include;
Mario Baddour – Corporate Vice President, Operations
Chris Black – Myrtle Beach Site Director
Chris Bondoc – Makati Operations Manager
David Bullock – Corporate Director, Account Management
Linda Chambliss – Corporate Vice President, Operations
Erin Contreras – Corporate Sr. Director of Compensation, Benefits, and HRIS
Sol Cruz – Makati Senior Operations Manager
Mindy Cubrich – Greeley Site Director
David Deluna – Tegucigalpa Director, Operations
Aves Fermo – Makati Senior Project Manager
Josh Harris – Corporate Director, Real Estate
Roland Hessen – Mansfield Senior Operations Manager
Jane (Frances) Hidalgo – Iloilo Senior Operations Manager
Paul Higdon – Corporate Director, IT PMO & TAM
Chris Higgins – Grand Junction Site Director
Arika Isaacson – Colorado Springs Operations Manager
Saeed Jamshidinezhad – Corporate IT Support Services
Becky Johnson – Corporate HR Generalist
Dwain Kent – Corporate Director, Professional Services
Shelley Kwik Mitchell – Frontera Verde Director, Training and Quality
Jason Lamacki – Corporate Director, Account Management
Gerald Lucas – Mansfield Operations Manager
Tom Luther – Mansfield Site Director
Jay Mathewson – Corporate Director, PMI
Thangie McDermott – Jamaica Senior Operations Manager
Mark Munsayac – Iloilo Director, Operations
Jennifer Newton – Corporate Director, Financial Planning and Analysis
Joy (Christine) Rivera – Angeles Senior Operations Manager
Information Technology Team – Corporate
The annual STARTEK Leadership Summit was a huge success and brought a greater sense of collaboration that provided a jumpstart on several cross-functional initiatives for 2016!
Publish Date: February 18, 2016 5:00 AM
A strong social media presence is a crucial component of businesses large and small across all types of industries from retail to telecom. STARTEK understands that great social media can improve brand messaging, influence online sentiment and provide a valuable resource for customer service.
Today, STARTEK supports social care programs across leading retail, manufacturing, consumer electronics, automotive, technology and ecommerce brands. Through social best practices the team maximizes every interaction.
“In order to have a comprehensive brand strategy for social, a brand must embrace social care along with social marketing and social community management. A great social care strategy can increase customer loyalty, help improve brand perception and set your brand apart from your competitors. In addition, looking beyond Facebook and Twitter to areas other social areas like Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, Yelp and even Reddit will make sure that no customer, or potential customer goes unheard,” explains Roger Huff, director of social media & digital engagement for STARTEK.
To understand the benefits, here are five ways brands can successfully reach customers through social media.
Responsive Customer Service
If customers know that they can reach out to a brand through social media and are encouraged to do so, this presents an opportunity to provide great customer service in front of a large online audience. Quick, responsive customer service through social media ensures visible accountability for a brand and demonstrates the importance of quality customer care across a variety of mediums.
Rather than just focusing on the company and its products or services, utilize social media to educate and engage your customers in addition to providing the expected level of customer support. Be creative with social media content to establish your brand as a credible source. Share interesting industry news that aligns with your brand, ask engaging open-ended questions to promote social conversation and encourage existing followers to share with their own personal networks.
Organic Community Growth
Social networks offer brands the unique ability to expand its share of voice and boost online sentiment within key audiences through social sharing and authentic engagement. Creating a sense of community among existing followers is a great way to gain new followers that share the same values while also establishing and maintaining trust with the brand. People are more likely to trust organic content shared by someone in their social network over sponsored content served to them through audience targeting. Brands have the opportunity to reach new audiences through existing follower networks in an organic, non-intrusive way.
Understand Your Audience
With a myriad of existing social media platforms available to brands and more emerging by the day, it can be slightly overwhelming to determine which ones are most valuable in reaching company goals. The key to reaching customers on social media is understanding where they are spending their time consuming online content and how they are using social media to communicate with brands. By understanding customer habits and behaviors, brands can properly allocate resources and focus on the channels with the most opportunity for engaging customers and providing the best support.
Social media is always changing, so it is important to stay nimble and adjust your brand’s social strategy as the landscape continues to evolve. Evaluate social media efforts on a regular basis to ensure the existing strategy is meeting company goals and effectively reaching and engaging your customers.
Whether your brand is just getting started on social media or already has an established social presence, the opportunity to reach and engage audiences online will only continue to grow as the emerging generation of connected customers turn to social media for education, entertainment and ongoing support from their favorite brands.
For more information about STARTEK social media customer care programs, please visit STARTEK Solutions.
Publish Date: February 5, 2016 5:00 AM
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