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Taking You Forward, Inc. - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog Page 4

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Questions to Ask Your Recruitment Process Outsourcing Provider

Your business is doing well again. More people are buying and your shares are soaring. Perhaps it’s time to expand and hire again. Why not? If you’re thinking of hiring, don’t do it in-house. Let a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solutions provider take over your hiring and staffing needs. 

You have come a long way in rebuilding your brand and business after the recession, and you can’t make the same mistakes again, not when the economy is doing relatively well and making steady progress. You decide to let go of a few things that don’t define your business. This time, you want to bring in the right type of employees. If so, then partnering with the right RPO solutions provider can help you land the best talents. 

But not so fast! If you want to have the right people work for your company, then you will have to cooperate. You must let your RPO partner know what you are looking for in an ideal employee(s). You should explain your reasons and needs behind your unique selection criteria. Tell them what you need, but before everything else, ask your RPO provider some vital questions: 

  • Do you have background knowledge of our industry?  To help you find the right candidates for the vacancies you advertise, your RPO partner must know a thing or two about your industry. Such knowledge will help them gauge the abilities of applicants who are suited to work in your industry.
  • Do you have experience in recruitment and/or outsourcing? In general, outsourcing, when done wrong, can cost you more money and your peace of mind. If you demand that applicants must meet certain criteria to land a position in your company, the same thing should be done too with your desired RPO partner. You want them to be experienced in what they do (or claim to do).
  • Are they labor law compliant? You’d want to be careful with this, since you could be outsourcing your recruitment process to a call center in the Philippines. Ask them what they know about labor and tax laws in your country and how they are going to comply with them.
  • What technologies do they use? You would want your RPO partner to be tech-savvy and more efficient and effective with recruitment than that brick-and-mortar manpower agency that operates around the corner. A good RPO provider should utilize various technologies in finding potential candidates: Social media, resume databases, mobile recruiting, videos, blogs, and websites.
  • Can they visit your workplace? You desire highly talented people to work for you, but you’d like them to fit your culture and embrace the values that define your business. It would be good if your RPO partner can visit your base and observe the culture and values at work. This will help them find the candidate whose attitude and personality can go along with your company’s atmosphere.
  • What guarantee can they offer? How can they make sure they’ll send you only the most qualified candidates? What if the candidate is not a right fit for the job? Will they send a replacement right away?

If you no longer want the wrong people to work in your company, then you must make sure you’re partnering with the right recruitment process outsourcing solutions provider. Of course, this will still depend on your level of cooperation. Business is booming again, and you don’t want to ruin yo

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/recruitment-process-outsourcing/questions-to-ask-your-recruitment-process-outsourcing-provider/

Publish Date: January 15, 2016 5:00 AM


Understanding the 5 Steps of the Outsourcing Process

Before you enter the wide and wonderful world of outsourcing, it’s important that you have an idea of how the entire outsourcing process works.  You can make better decisions and be prepared for challenges when you know what to expect from this business move. We’ll take you through the process of outsourcing to a call center company, step by step.

Step 1:  Plotting the change and preparing

When you’re seriously considering outsourcing, you begin by conducting thorough research.  Discuss with your management team what your goals are and what you hope to achieve through this venture.  Risks are inevitable for any business move so it’s also crucial to weigh the risks and think of alternatives should this move prove to be unsuccessful.  A lot of people are also going to be affected by your decision and you need to plan how to approach everyone involved: from your employees, to your investors, and especially your customers.

Step 2:  Striking a partnership

Once you’ve considered all the pros and cons and finalized your plans, then it’s time to start looking for a BPO or business process outsourcing provider. Ask around and contact several before you make your choice.  Consider their experience, pricing, specializations, testimonials from clients, infrastructure, and management. Remember, that what would ultimately benefit you is a provider that can satisfy you in the long run. Be clear about what you expect from your preferred provider when it comes to responsibilities, communication, performance, and issue resolution.

Step 3:  Making the shift and re-organizing

Once you’ve sealed the deal, it’s time to delegate.  You hand over the duties and tasks to your BPO partner.  They will begin hiring and training your new personnel.  However, it will still take some time before the formal launch of the new setup.  To ensure success, you need to be actively involved throughout the whole process, from the selection process to the training program.  If you have employees who will be affected by this change, don’t neglect to provide for them or transfer them to a different department where they can be more productive.

Step 4:  Controlling

Make allowances for a period of adjustment for all concerned.  Track the progress of your new and existing employees.  Re-train or coach anyone who does not meet standards and reward those who are doing well.  Acknowledge the progress of your provider and any improvements they’ve made to the system.

Step 5:  Evaluating performance

Throughout the adjustment period, continue to constantly get feedback from your customers.  At the end of the adjustment period, evaluate the growth of your business based on the provider’s performance.  By this time, you make changes to or extend your business contract with your BPO provider.  If things don’t work out for either of you as a result of the evaluation, you may also decide to part ways and end the contract.

All these steps will be easy and can lead to growth and profit if you make methodical, careful plans, and choose an excellent BPO partner.  When you partner with a fast-growing call center company in the Philippines, like us at Taking You Forward, Inc., you can be assured that we won’t leave you groping in the dark.  We’ll guide you all the way to success.  

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/understanding-outsourcing-process/

Publish Date: December 28, 2015 5:00 AM


Criteria for Choosing a Call Center Company

What do you go for in a call center company? Is it the location or the company culture? Of course, these things will factor in your choice of a call center. However, in many instances, they may not amount to anything.

Outsourcing your customer service to a call center in the Philippines or India may be cost-effective for your business, but it’s a thorn in the side of customer satisfaction, as many American customers are reported to have an unfavorable opinion of overseas call centers. There is no arguing it’s cheaper to outsource outside the country, but you may be required (or be forced) to compromise on quality, security, and customer satisfaction.

On culture affinity, if you’re someone who pays more emphasis to performance and results, you may not care how Westernized your outsourced team is or what clothes they wear to work, as long as they understand both your business and your customers. What’s important is that they boost your sales and make your customers happy and well-informed.

But what should you look for in a call center company? Please keep the following criteria in mind:

1. Experience – If your company conducts market or social research coupled with outbound (outgoing) calls, but your desired call center has experience with inbound (incoming) calls for online retailers, they wouldn’t be the perfect match. Choose a call center that understands not only what you sell or produce but what your kind of business or industry does. Always go for experience as it would vouch for the call center’s skills, knowledge, expertise, and…

2. Track record – Can your desired call center perform consistently no matter the season? Can they thrive in high-pressure situations? If yes, then that’s the kind of call center you should do business with. A call center with a proven track record will assure they field in only the best people who can meet or even exceed your expectations.

3. Technology – Do they already have the tech tools needed to carry out the tasks you intend to outsource? Or are they willing to invest in your desired technology? It is important that you examine your desired call center’s technology capabilities before working with them.

4. Security – Is the call center PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant? Call centers are obliged to protect their clients’ and customers’ personal data (most importantly, credit card and bank details) and other confidential data, especially if they are servicing online businesses and financial firms. A physically and technologically secure call center is almost certain to provide you and your customer peace of mind.

5. Disaster planning – You will never know when disasters will strike the area where your desired call center is operating from. You may not even know if their building or base of operation is disaster-resilient, so for your peace of mind, choose a call center that has a comprehensive disaster plan. Get assurance that they are ready to provide you uninterrupted service in any emergency situation. See to it that they have some sort of disaster and emergency preparedness training.

If you want to protect your business and your customers, make sure you find and choose a call center company that will help you achieve that purpose, not just offer you great pricing.

Are you looking for a call center company that meets the aforementioned criteria? Look no further. Taking You Forward is ready to provide you uninterrupted service in any emergency and in any season. Call us now to find out how we achieve that.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/criteria-for-choosing-a-call-center-company/

Publish Date: December 25, 2015 5:00 AM


Call Center Company: 7 Things You Can Do For Business

Companies that haven’t outsourced yet would want to venture into outsourcing once they have erased all doubts or settled all concerns that they have about the widely popular (yet heavily criticized) business practice. They don’t want to feel guilty about doing business, but they want to feel good about making “certain sacrifices” in hopes of getting the results or return of investment (ROI) they expect when partnering with an outsourcing provider.

When you consider any action on outsourcing, you may ask yourself, “How can a call center company from an offshore location benefit my business?” The following answers should help you:

1. Reduce costs – Non-essential and repetitive processes such as payroll, bookkeeping, data surveys, and market research are money guzzlers. For a new startup or small business like yours, why have or keep them when you’re running short of funds for new projects? The big businesses have outsourced them, so why not take a cue from them?2.

2. Free up space and resources – Need space to accommodate more guests or concessionaires in your hotel or resort? Need more money to buy new production equipment? Need more people to work on a new project, but can’t recruit at the moment? If yes, then outsource.

3. Save you time – The more time spent on non-essential tasks is less time being used to work on the business (and to grow your business), as in an example of a bakery manager spending more time taking orders from customers instead of baking the delicious goodies that his customers love.

4. Enhance and expand customer service – As your business grows, it would be a challenge to put up with demanding customers who now want immediate response, timely results, and 24/7 service – but you may not be up for the challenge because you don’t have enough employees to interact with them around-the-clock. The least you can do is to outsource your customer service to a call center company that has a great reputation for client service and can cater to your customers not only over the phone, but also through email and social media, and via online chat.

5. Run your processes efficiently – It’s bad for your call center partner’s business and reputation if they deliver the exact opposite of what they promise, so rest assure they will never mess up with your processes. Excellent and efficient client service is what a trusted call center should ensure every time they manage your customer service.

6. Gather data and feedback – Do you lack the numbers to carry out field work for your market research? Do you want to know how customers think about your business? A call center can take surveys and manage your social media to gather data and feedback that you need to arrive at a conclusion or improve your business, respectively.

7. Find new customers – It’s less expensive to attract new customers than keep existing ones, but still that’s not the reason why you should keep lead generation and sales acquisition in-house. Competition is increasing and people now have more options to choose from. So what’s your chance? Partner with a call center that keeps track with new telemarketing strategies and tools to convert leads into sales.

Think about the countless things that you can do for your business if you outsource some or most of your processes to a third party like an outsourced call center company. To sum in one single answer,  a call center can help you grow your business.

Are you ready to outsource to a call center? Let us know how ready you are. Call Taking You Forward, a fast-growing call center company in Cebu, Philippines. We are ready to help you grow your bus

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/call-center-business/

Publish Date: December 17, 2015 5:00 AM


Call Center: 5 Questions Companies Must Ask Before Outsourcing

It’s no secret that practically all industries are outsourcing to call centers. There are plenty of success stories worth recalling. You hear of startup companies, small to medium enterprises, and multimillion-dollar conglomerates outsourcing to call centers as a cost-saving and effective business strategy.

You’re probably asking yourself:  “If they are doing it, why can’t I?” What’s keeping me from also enjoying business success through call center outsourcing? Before you start seriously contemplating jumping on the bandwagon, consider asking yourself the following important questions:

1. Do you have the time to do all your business functions in-house?

They say that “time is gold”. Every second you spend on useless business strategies is money lost forever. Make a thorough examination of all the current business functions you have – customer service solutions, marketing, payroll, recruitment, sales, etc. Are you spending enough time with every service? If you’re too busy with your sales and marketing efforts and you fail to take care of your customer service, then you’re better off outsourcing your customer service to a call center.

2. Do you have the budget to hire in-house employees to handle all your business functions?

Every business function you establish requires resources – “money, equipment, and people”. The more functions you have, the more resources you need. Remember that in-house employees demand certain legal requirements, like minimum wage, taxes, and healthcare. Call center outsourcing spares you from such legal liabilities. If you have a startup with limited funds or a multinational corporation with plans of saving investments for future expansion, then call center outsourcing is your best recourse.

3. Do you lack critical business functions or services due to limited resources?

Have you tried eating with just one hand because your other hand is injured? It’s a messy predicament. That’s the scenario if you lack certain business functions. It’s like having a full-scale sales and marketing department without customer support since you can’t afford one yet. Outsourcing your non-core business functions to an established call center in the Philippines is much cheaper and produces 100% positive results. It’s encouraging to know that the Philippines is the call center capital of the world.

4. Do you feel comfortable with another company doing your business functions?

You may have initial apprehensions about handing over your business functions to another company, but that shouldn’t be a worry. As a precaution, you can always scrutinize the track record of that call center and ask around for feedbacks. Once you establish the credibility of the call center, then you just need to entrust your business functions to them. But you need to do your part – you need to manage well your outsourcing efforts.

5. Are you ready to commit long-term with a call center as your business partner?

Call center outsourcing may be done on a short or long term basis. Lots of big companies are outsourcing for the long haul in order to accumulate huge savings that they can use for further expansion.Outsourcing to a call center is basically establishing a business partnership. By establishing a sincere business relationship with the call center, you make a serious commitment to have full trust in the call center’s ability to take good care of your business. If everything works out fine, then be open for the possibility of a long-term and fruitful engagement.

If planned and executed perfectly, call center outsourcing can do great things for your business. If you still have serious doubts about outsourcing to a call center, we can help. Contact us at Taking You Forward, a fast-rising call center in the Philippines.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/call-center/

Publish Date: December 7, 2015 5:00 AM


Call Center Company: 7 Things to Expect When You Outsource

Companies that haven’t outsourced yet would want to venture into outsourcing once they have erased all doubts or settled all concerns that they have about the widely popular (yet heavily criticized) business practice. They don’t want to feel guilty about doing business, but they want to feel good about making “certain sacrifices” in hopes of getting the results or return of investment (ROI) they expect when partnering with an outsourcing provider.

When you consider any action on outsourcing, you may ask yourself,

“How can a call center company from an offshore location benefit my business?”

The following answers should help you:

  1. Reduce costs – Non-essential and repetitive processes such as payroll, bookkeeping, data surveys, and market research are money guzzlers. For a new startup or small business like yours, why have or keep them when you’re running short of funds for new projects? The big businesses have outsourced them, so why not take a cue from them?
  2. Free up space and resources – Need space to accommodate more guests or concessionaires in your hotel or resort? Need more money to buy new production equipment? Need more people to work on a new project, but can’t recruit at the moment? If yes, then outsource.
  3. Save you time – The more time spent on non-essential tasks is less time being used to work on the business (and to grow your business), as in an example of a bakery manager spending more time taking orders from customers instead of baking the delicious goodies that his customers love.
  4. Enhance and expand customer service – As your business grows, it would be a challenge to put up with demanding customers who now want immediate response, timely results, and 24/7 service – but you may not be up for the challenge because you don’t have enough employees to interact with them around-the-clock. The least you can do is to outsource your customer service to a call center company that has a great reputation for client service and can cater to your customers not only over the phone, but also through email and social media, and via online chat.
  5. Run your processes efficiently – It’s bad for your call center partner’s business and reputation if they deliver the exact opposite of what they promise, so rest assure they will never mess up with your processes. Excellent and efficient client service is what a trusted call center should ensure every time they manage your customer service.
  6. Gather data and feedback – Do you lack the numbers to carry out field work for your market research? Do you want to know how customers think about your business? A call center can take surveys and manage your social media to gather data and feedback that you need to arrive at a conclusion or improve your business, respectively.
  7. Find new customers – It’s less expensive to attract new customers than keep existing ones, but still that’s not the reason why you should keep lead generation and sales acquisition in-house. Competition is increasing and people now have more options to choose from. So what’s your chance? Partner with a call center that keeps track with new telemarketing strategies and tools to convert leads into sales.

Think about the countless things that you can do for your business if you outsource some or most of your processes to a third party like an outsourced call center company. To sum in one single answer, a call center can help you grow your business.

Are you ready to outsource to a call center? Let us know how ready you are. Call Taking You Forward, a fast-growing call center company in Cebu, Philippines. We are ready to help you grow your business.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/call-center-outsourcing-philippines/

Publish Date: December 1, 2015 5:00 AM


Call Center Company: 8 Simple Questions You Must Ask

Once an SME business owner decides to outsource, they don’t just hire right away the first business process outsourcing provider or call center company that comes knocking. As a business owner poised to make a significant investment, you do your research first and then ask around. It’s expected that you’ll be talking to several providers before choosing your future partner. Now once you’ve gotten hold of these providers, or they you, what are the basic questions you must ask?  Let’s simplify them into Who, What, Where, Why and How.

 

WHO

  • Who are your clients?

If you can, talk to some of their present or previous clients or refer to their testimonials or reviews. Be fair by carefully weighing the positive and negative reviews you hear.

  • Who are your workers? What are the qualifications and skills of your talent pool?

Ask for a little background on the people who will be handling interactions with your clients, especially financial transactions. Find out how the provider ensures their people are skilled and ready.

WHAT

  • What’s the history of your company?

It would be good to know the leadership that controls the company and influences the people, as well as the values they adhere to. Looking at the company’s history will also give you an idea how long they’ve been in business and if you can potentially establish a long-term relationship with them.

  • What are your resources, infrastructure and security procedures for keeping our data safe?

Your BPO provider should be able to reassure you of the security of your company’s and your customers’ information.  You can also assess how capable they are of meeting your business needs if they’re equipped with the resources and infrastructure needed to handle your business functions, particularly if you offer 24 hour service to your customers.

WHERE

  • Where are you located?

Get some information on the society and culture of the company. Can they adapt to your customers? You should also be aware of any legal policies in the provider’s location that might affect their or your business.

 

WHY

  • Why should we choose you?

What can this provider offer you that’s better than other companies? Do they have a better payment scheme or a more customized approach? Can they assure return on your investment?

HOW

  • How do you deal with performance issues?  

The provider needs to have a system and programs for managing the performance of their employees and increasing productivity.

  • How do you prepare for natural disasters or security concerns?

As much as possible, they should have a business continuity plan in place to ensure your business is not interrupted or at least, can resume normal operations sooner.

These are just the initial questions to ask BPO providers.  Based on their answers to these questions, you can narrow your list to the top providers you’re considering.

As one of the fast-rising call center companies in the Philippines, Taking You Forward, Inc., is best able to provide high quality results to clients like you.  Call us today and let’s discuss how a partnership with us can benefit you.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/call-center-company-philippines/

Publish Date: November 24, 2015 5:00 AM


Call Center Company: 3 Customer Service Activities to Outsource

Like all other businesses, hotels, restaurants, cruise lines, and other establishments in the hospitality sector face the question(s) of outsourcing: To outsource or not to outsource? What to outsource and what not to?

Outsourcing is a highly debated topic in the hospitality industry, which is putting it under the microscope because they (still) believe or think that the strategy can hurt the industry rather than help due to its impact on customer service. (However, establishments can outsource activities that have nothing to do with customer service, such as bookkeeping or recruitment).

In the business perspective, it would be risky to outsource activities that entail physical presence and contact with guests, so it’s best that only in-house employees should fulfill them. But there are activities that you can indeed outsource to an offshore call center. In some ways, outsourcing can be a brilliant strategy to improve customer service in the hospitality industry.

  1. Call center services

Hotels, resorts, restaurants, cruise lines, airlines, and vehicle rentals can benefit from call center outsourcing. It would be expensive for such establishments to put up their own call center team, and if they do so, they will later regret making such a foolish investment.

Outsourcing your call services to offshore call centers doesn’t only give you the cost-saving benefits that you want, but also the service that you badly need to serve foreign guests: Multilingual customer service that’s available 24/7. By providing such a service, foreign guests can develop a positive impression of your business.

  1. Booking and reservation

Make every space count… and work in your hotel, restaurant, or resort. Work spaces that are occupied by staff or departments handling routine, non-essential processes, such as booking and reservation, would be more useful if converted to accommodate more guests or leased to concessionaires.

As for the booking and reservation services, outsource to a call center company that specializes in hospitality back office processes. Take full advantage of your outsourcing partner’s IT and call center solutions to provide your guests a multi-channel option to transact, book, or reserve through phone, email, chat, or social media. You can also contract your partner to create for you a website or app that guests can access to inquire about service or facility rates, reservations, and availability of rooms, or to view photos of your facilities.

  1. Social media

Social media is a must for all hospitality establishments today, when speaking about brand awareness, customer service, and customer feedback. But forget about creating your own social media team. Leave it to the experts.

Why outsource social media? Four reasons. One, you likely don’t have time to manage social media by yourself. Two, it takes several hours a month to handle all social media platforms effectively. Three, you don’t have the knowledge to run social media campaigns or create the right content to post and share. And four, you can’t afford to hire a social media specialist.

You can elevate the service quality of your hotel or restaurant by outsourcing customer service duties to a trusted call center company that provides exceptional back office processing and customer service to hospitality establishments.

How can you make your hospitality business truly customer-centric? Let Taking You Forward help you answer that. We are a fast-growing

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/call-center-company/

Publish Date: November 17, 2015 5:00 AM


Outsourcing’s Effect on Customers

What happens to your customers when you outsource your SME services to an offshore BPO company? As a small to medium enterprise, you need to keep as many of your customers as you can and you would of course be concerned on the effect of this business move on them. The effect on your customers and on their experience may actually range from positive to negative and even hilarious.

The Good

- Expertise – You get a team of representatives and/ or a management team who already has experience with this line of work. They also undergo a comprehensive training program so they can deliver excellent customer service solutions for your customer’s needs.

- Team of customer service specialists – Your support team is dedicated purely to caring for your customers. Their focus is on fulfilling and improving your customers’ satisfaction.

- Availability – Your customers can call in 24/7 and be assured of reaching someone who will talk to them anytime. You have enough manpower to handle all calls which means lesser hold time while waiting for a live representative.

The Bad

- Language barrier – Customers are often doubtful of an offshore representative’s ability to comprehend what they’re saying and are even more apprehensive of their own ability to understand the representative.

The Funny

- Cultural gap

Transformer – Call Center Agent

If you’ve ever seen the first Transformers movie, there’s a scene where Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and his team are fighting a Decepticon in the desert and he hurriedly calls the Pentagon in the middle of all the chaos, but is routed to a call center first. The representative responds to him in a flat voice, seemingly uncaring of the screams and gunfire he hears in the background and even offers him a premium package.

Here you have an example, though extreme, of a customer and representative with no language problems but are still unable to connect. Stories abound of the outrageous things representatives say or do, and sometimes, the representatives are not even aware of their faux pas.

Ultimately, for your outsourcing effort to succeed, your primary goal should be optimizing your customer’s experience. Cutting costs should be secondary to customer satisfaction. And to ensure customer satisfaction, you also need to deal with the potential negative effects of outsourcing to an offshore call center right from the onset.

You can minimize the language barrier and cultural gap issue when you outsource to a country whose people are not only English proficient but also familiar with Western culture, such as a call center in the Philippines. It also helps that one of the traits Filipinos are known for is hospitality which in business translates to exceptional customer service.

So remember, choose the right call center and you’ll have your customers laughing with delight, not reacting with frustration.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/outsourcing-customer/

Publish Date: November 10, 2015 5:00 AM


Customer Service Outsourcing: 6 Ways to Protect Your Customers

Outsourcing your customer service and back office processes is an important decision to make. Even more important is your choice of a call center company. When considering customer service outsourcing, you must take into account the safety and welfare of your customers, not just the pricing and service packages of potential outsourced call centers.

Customers, not processes; trust, not just cost-savings

When outsourcing, you do not abdicate your responsibilities towards your customers, but you remove the burden that comes with certain processes that you or your staff perform – a burden that stands in the way of your relationship with customers or suppliers. On the money side, your business saves a lot of money by paying for performance, not tenure. No results, no pay – that’s how outsourcing goes.

Businesses should utilize outsourcing as a tool to rebuild relationships with their stakeholders and regain their trust and confidence. True, outsourcing can result in reduced costs, increased production, and improved efficiency, which are all benefits evident to one’s business. However, they do little to drive customers to your store or e-commerce website. Customers, not you, should be the primary beneficiaries of your outsourcing decision.

Customers First When Outsourcing

When customer service outsourcing is done wrong, your customers will be the biggest victims. This could spell a PR disaster that you can’t easily shake off. Take for instance, the companies that outsourced their manufacturing to China, a country long riddled by poor quality manufacturing and proliferation of counterfeit goods. Your customers’ health, comfort, and privacy are not bargaining chips for any sort of cost-savings.

Here are ways to protect your customers:

  • Get references – It is difficult to judge a call center company’s skills and reliability from afar, so ask for at least three to five references. Contact all of them and ask how happy or satisfied they were with the company.
  • Know the company’s credentials – Is your desired call center a licensed and registered business entity? Do they have a history of breaching confidentiality rules or violating intellectual property rights? How do they recruit people for similar campaigns?
  • Test their technologies – It pays to visit your desired call center’s operation base not only to observe how their employees work, but also to assess their technologies. Are they up-to date? Are they secured against internal or external threats? Are they the ones you really need for your campaigns? Can they acquire the tools you need?
  • Put everything into writing – Make sure the service legal agreement (SLA) and other policies you draw up with your chosen call center company are clearly written and duly notarized.
  • Establish strong security policies – You can’t just rely on your call center to protect your customers’ personal data for you. You must take responsibility by choosing the right company. Establish security policies to protect customers’ data in your provider’s location and understand local regulations that may impact customer information.
  • Get involved in recruitment – If you can, ask the company to let you get involved in the hiring process, not just in training. This is to make sure you train only the people who can work or handle personal data just as you do in your country.

Don’t overlook your customers’ safety and welfare when choosing a call center company. Protecting your customers is protecting your business and your bottom line.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/customer-service-outsourcing/

Publish Date: November 3, 2015 5:00 AM


Inbound Call Center: 7 Reasons to Choose Cebu Over Manila for Outsourcing

Are you looking to move your inbound call center and BPO operations? If yes, then consider the Philippines, which has eight cities or metropolitan areas in the rankings of Tholons’ Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations for 2015. Two cities, Manila and Cebu, are in the top 10, ranking 2nd and 8th, respectively.

You may be tempted to invest in Manila since it’s the capital of the Philippines, but don’t you know that many call centers and BPO companies are moving to Cebu? You’d wonder why. Should you be following their lead? Here are seven reasons why you should:

  1. Low unemployment rate by region – Quick stats from the Philippine Statistics Authority place the unemployment rate of the National Capital Region or NCR (where Metro Manila is located) at 9.8 percent (as of Oct. 2014). That’s higher compared to the 5.4 percent unemployment rate of Central Visayas (where Metro Cebu, the biggest economy, is located).
  2. Affordable cost of living – Bigger is not always better (or cheaper). Metro Manila may be more urban than Metro Cebu in terms of entertainment, infrastructure, and transportation, but guess which metropolitan area has a higher cost of living? You guessed it right! Expats and even locals will attest that the cost of living in Cebu is lower than in Manila. With Cebu’s less expensive cost of living comes…
  3. Lower operating and overhead costs – Many inbound call centers are seeing Cebu as an alternative business destination due to its lower business operating costs. BPO companies believe they can expand in Cebu on a tight budget. Labor costs and utility (water and electricity) rates are significantly lower in Cebu compared to Manila, and so are office rental rates (up to 20-50 percent lower than in Makati and Quezon City). In Cebu, you have a better chance at business expansion despite your limited budget.
  4. Protection from natural calamities – Cebu’s unique geographical location helps to minimize damages caused by natural disasters. Unlike Manila, Cebu is well outside the typhoon belt and is surrounded by different islands that act as a buffer against tropical storms. There aren’t even any volcanoes in Cebu. The floods are not that bad compared to Manila, where floods are a common sight every monsoon season.
  5. Haven from political troubles – Cebu is not a political hotbed like Manila, where huge political demonstrations often disrupt business operations. International businesses may be wary of the political instability of the capital at times, but they would have no trouble relocating their inbound call center and BPO operations to a more peaceful and stable Cebu to get away from the political drama.
  6. Education resources – Cebu’s colleges and universities are as good as, if not better, than the top schools in Manila, which are said to be the most preferred schools by employers. Cebu schools produce thousands of high-quality, competitive, English-proficient professionals in the fields of IT, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing, Education, and Law. Who says only Manila can have it all?
  7. Strong IT/ICT infrastructure – Local government units within Cebu continue to entice businesses and investors to put their money in the emerging telecommunications and BPO industries. As if that’s not enough, they even allow real-estate developers to develop large tracts of land into IT-BPO hubs and encourage private businesses to contribute to the growing IT-BPO industry.

Aren’t these reasons enough to convince you to outsource to Cebu? If not, what other reasons are there? If not Cebu, then where?

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/7-reasons-to-choose-cebu-over-manila-for-inbound-call-center-outsourcing/

Publish Date: October 26, 2015 5:00 AM


3 Free Online Tools To Boost Your Lead Generation

Do you know how to get more customers to increase your sales? The answer is Lead Generation, which is the process of collecting relevant contact information of your prospective customers.

So before you lose your mind figuring out where to get more customers, check out below the 3 absolutely free Internet tools that can dramatically improve your chances of getting more customers through lead generation.

1. Rapportive

Rapportive – 3 Free Online Tools To Boost Your Lead Generation

Ever wondered how to double-check if the email address you found is legit? Try Rapportive, a free social and communication online tool.

Acquired by Linkedin in 2012, Rapportive is a Gmail add-on for the Google Chrome and Firefox browsers. Rapportive shows you important contact details connected with a valid email address.

If you’re not sure if you got the correct email address, simply compose a new blank message in Gmail and type in the email address in the recipient’s or “To:” field.

If you typed in the correct email address, Rapportive will show a lot of relevant information associated with that email address, including the profile picture, social media links (e.g. Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter), and possibly phone numbers.

Rapportive is a great tool to generate your sales leads. It helps you verify that you send your marketing emails to the right contact persons and reach out to them via social media.

2. Google Sheets

Google Sheets – 3 Free Online Tools To Boost Your Lead Generation

Alright, you got all your thousands of leads and contact information collected. So, where do you save them? No worries! If you have a Google or Gmail account, then you can use Google Sheets to store virtually unlimited leads.

Google Sheets is a free web-based spreadsheet application software and – together with Google Docs and Google Slides – is part of the office suite offered within the Google Drive service.

Aside from from its hundreds of powerful spreadsheet functions, Google Sheets also provides the convenience of synchronized and collaborative work. Multiple users can flawlessly work on the same Google Sheets spreadsheet at the same time.

Offering both online and offline access (even without Internet connection), Google Sheets is the perfect database tool for your sales lead generation.

3. Linkedin

Linkedin – 3 Free Online Tools To Boost Your Lead Generation

Don’t you hate it when you can’t find a contact person in a company’s website? Chances are, the company and its employees have Linkedin profile pages.

Several claims have it that Linkedin is the world’s largest social media network for professionals. It may be so since a lot of billion-dollar companies are investing their presence on Linkedin.

With almost 400 million registered users worldwide, Linkedin has grown to be a great sales and marketing tool. Start-ups and multinational companies turn to Linkedin for both recruitment and potential business.

With the right strategy, Linkedin is a gold-mine for your lead generation initiatives. With the proper tools – Rapportive, Google Sheets, and Linkedin – you’re on your way to increase your profits.

Do you want to know the right strategies for lead generation? Contact us now at Taking You Forward, Inc. We’re a fast-growing call center company based in the Philippines.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/3-free-online-tools-to-boost-your-lead-generation/

Publish Date: October 19, 2015 5:00 AM


The Truth Behind Recruitment Process Outsourcing Myths

It’s been a long time since you’ve found out your company has hiring and staffing issues, but you haven’t found a solution until now, or perhaps you refuse to find one. Why? What’s stopping you from seeking professional help? Is it because of what other companies have said about recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)? And you believe them?

What people say about RPO are pure hogwash, and it’s unfortunate that many believe them because they are misinformed. These lies are so often repeated that many businesses and professionals believe them to be the truth, much to the satisfaction of the critics of outsourcing.

But once you uncover the truth behind the lies critics spread about RPO, you will realize that it’s the best solution to your hiring and staffing woes.

Get to know the facts behind every RPO myth:

  • RPO is only for big companies. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also have trouble landing highly qualified talents; such an issue is not limited to large organizations. RPO providers have solutions that can custom fit the needs and budget of any business, large or small. Dispel the myth by working with RPO providers that offer flexible services.

  • Companies lose control over activities outsourced to RPOs. You can either outsource all recruitment activities to the RPO provider or else use them for selected tasks, but you will never lose control over the outsourced tasks. In fact, you actually gain control. You hold your provider accountable for the metrics, analytics, and results. Just make sure you choose the right RPO provider, define the processes, and agree upon metrics.

  • RPO is expensive. On the contrary, recruitment process outsourcing has been proven to help companies reduce overall recruiting costs through faster sourcing and hiring time, and lower turnover. These are the benefits you get from working with an expert RPO provider who knows how and where to land better job candidates. Focus not on the pricing, but on the long-term financial benefits that RPO will bring to your company. More importantly, make sure you hire the provider who will deliver your money’s worth.

  • RPO leads to layoffs. Outsourcing your recruitment is not about replacing your current recruiting team, but helping them improve their processes and fill the positions that need to be filled in the soonest possible time. If your team is not the problem, then there is no reason to give them the sack.

  • RPO solutions can’t be customized. This myth persists due to the inability and incapacity of some RPO providers to meet the unique needs of their clients. These providers operate only on a one-size-fits-all solution model, which doesn’t work for all companies. Avoid these providers. Dispel the myth by partnering with a recruitment process outsourcing provider who can understand and meet your unique needs.

So now that you know the real score behind the myths, is there any other reason (or myth to believe) why you shouldn’t seek help from a professional RPO service provider? The myths have been debunked, so now is the time to solve all your hiring and staffing issues through RPO.

Today is the time to solve all your hiring and staffing problems! Call us now at Taking You Forward, Inc., a fast-rising call center company in the Philippines.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/recruitment-process-outsourcing/the-truth-behind-recruitment-process-outsourcing-myths/

Publish Date: October 12, 2015 5:00 AM


Movie Production Strategy for Your Business Success

Movies are both entertaining and inspiring. In 2015, we have every reason to get excited as a string of blockbuster movies are scheduled to hit theaters – The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Furious 7, Spectre (the latest James Bond film), and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 2), just to name a few. It’s a totally awesome experience to watch these movies on the big screen.

Behind every epic movie is serious business, the “money-making” business that is. If a movie gets a very warm reception from audiences in cinemas around the world, it could very well mean a huge payday for everyone involved in making the movie. The financial success of a movie can also propel sequels and the potential to generate more money.

The movie industry is a billion dollar business. As of the first quarter of 2015, the movie industry has grossed over USD $3 billion. The highest grossing film so far is Avatar with over USD $2.7 billion in global revenues. Behind every box-office hit is a collective effort of the film studio, investors, producers, director, film crew, cast, and distribution partners.

A big-budget motion picture, starring an Academy Award-winning cast, doesn’t always guarantee Box Office success. With cost overrun-risks and steadily-increasing overhead costs – most notably the multimillion-dollar salaries of the A-list cast – film producers struggle to finish their movies within budget. Plus, film studios have to contend with very expensive film equipment (such as cameras, monitors, and lighting) and a myriad of licensing fees.

In an effort to curb expenses – and partly due to resource limitations – while keeping the film on schedule and within budget, major film studios are forced (but in a good way) to outsource a lot of their operations. Check out some of the filmmaking processes that are outsourced to third-party but more experienced companies.

  • CGI (computer-generated imagery), animation, visual effects, and graphic design
  • Film scoring, video and audio editing, and soundtrack production
  • Storyboarding and film production
  • Casting and film crew management
  • Marketing, ticket sales, and customer service solutions (most probably to a reputable call center in the Philippines)

As they go through the film production cycle – development, pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution – film studios employ every strategy in the book to maximize resources and produce top-grossing films that will hopefully be remembered by audiences for generations to come.

Outsourcing is nothing new in the film business. It has definitely contributed to the amazing world of movie magic. Also, outsourcing has done wonders to businesses in every industry, most especially to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME). Because of outsourcing to a call center in the Philippines, SME business processes are highly optimized. Outsourcing is simply the ultimate cost-saving solution for every resource-strapped business.

Don’t you also want to experience wonderful things happening to your business? Try outsourcing. It can do “magical” things for you. Call us now at Taking You Forward.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/movie-production-strategy-for-your-business-success/

Publish Date: October 5, 2015 5:00 AM


4 Tips for Your Customer Service Team to Be More Effective

Improve Your Customer Service

Your customers’ needs and expectations have changed a lot in the last few years. Can you adapt to their changing attitudes and demands? It’s time to improve your customer service.

Let’s look at the struggles your customer service team is going through. If they’re facing difficulties or challenges (whatever term you prefer) in delivering an exceptional customer experience, it could be that you and/or your team have failed to gauge customers’ evolving expectations. Consider it an opportunity for change.

If your customers have changed, why not evolve with them? Other than rolling out new and improved products, roll out new approaches. Add a twist to the script. Shake things up. There is always some room for you and your customer service team to learn and be better.

  1. Multitask – To meet the evolving needs of customers, your agents should learn how to handle new responsibilities and take on different roles. This is not only for your company’s benefit, but also for their career growth. Though stressful, it would be a great learning experience for your team to learn to do multiple things in one sitting, if they want to stick around longer in a competitive inbound call center. By overhauling your customer service, you help your company embrace its new role(s) in today’s marketplace.

  2. Drop the script – Your customer service team will read and follow a script to make sure they handle customers’ calls accurately, but at times, it makes them sound like a robot, right? No wonder customers are dropping calls and switching brands. Why not allow your team to drop the script and make their own lines? Don’t you trust them? Let them infuse their own personality in conversations with callers to develop rapport. That way, you make it easy for both team and callers to open up and comfortably discuss the reason for the call.

  3. Let go of negative beliefs – What lowers one’s morale and motivation in an inbound or outbound call center? Negative beliefs. Your customer service team may strain themselves to meet the average handle time (AHT) grade. Work-related stress and calls from angry customers erode their will to believe in their abilities. Train your team to be the kind of people who don’t take hurt personally, but use it as a motivation to strengthen their character. Instill in them positivity.

  4. Lengthen patience – Your team may find it tempting to curse at customers who curse at them during calls, and perhaps you’d feel the same too. What about customers who make nonsensical demands and off-the-wall requests? It would be better to hang up on such customers than answer them back or shout at them – but no. Again, help your team to not take hurt personally. Help them develop patience and strengthen their resolve.

Other than investing in your product and brand reputation, invest in the skills and abilities of your customer service team. Being the mouthpiece of your business, your team needs all the support they need to meet your customers’ evolving expectations.

Source: http://www.takingyouforward.com/blog/sme/4-tips-for-your-customer-service-team-to-be-more-effective/

Publish Date: September 28, 2015 5:00 AM

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