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Taking You Forward, Inc. - Blog Page 5

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A Travel Company Must Partner With A Management Expert

For most companies and even corporate travel agencies, travel management is not a core competency for these reasons:

  • It’s time-consuming and involves a lot of paperwork.
  • It requires industry knowledge and skills to handle travel, and the lack thereof will cost money and worse, lives.
  • It doesn’t directly concern travelers.
  • Moreover, it doesn’t bring money to the business.

The burden of paperwork and insufficient expertise are reasons why many businesses don’t consider travel a priority activity. But they can’t just disregard travel, an activity that can help them bolster their company profile and expand markets. They can, however, let go of the non-core processes associated with it – by outsourcing to companies that offer managed travel solutions.

Following Other Businesses’ Lead

Just like other businesses, the travel industry faces tough times. To remain in business, transport providers, travel agencies, and tour organizers must make tough choices… and they know how and where to start. They can take their cue from companies that have outsourced to business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. In their case, they should outsource to providers of travel management solutions.

Travel Solutions for Travel Businesses: The Benefits

Travel management covers a myriad of manual, non-core processes from booking to loyalty programs, from sales to customer service – tasks that you can outsource to a managed travel solutions provider. As a business, you would choose to practice your core competency well than to handle a lot of non-core functions poorly, so think of it as your primary reason to outsource.

Don’t think that outsourcing benefits only travelers and not travel businesses. Consider these benefits for your organization:

  • Cost reduction  – Turn non-core travel processes into profit-enhancing opportunities by utilizing your managed travel solutions provider’s tools and systems even without owning them.
  • Account management  – Passengers with special needs require special attention and the best service possible. Let your partner handle this. Rest assured your customers will be provided the best service by the account managers assigned to them. That’s a load off your back.
  • Travel policy compliance  – Your managed travel solutions provider can help you develop, implement, and monitor your policy to achieve better results and increase bookings while upholding industry standards and protecting your business requirements.
  • 24/7 support  – Weather conditions, traffic, transport strikes, and socio-political conditions may hamper travel operations, and there are passengers to worry about. Ease half of your burden by tapping into your partner’s call center company in handling customers’ queries, rebooking, and cancellation.
  • Shared risk management  – When certain crises or emergencies arise, you are not alone in ensuring the safety and well-being of your passengers. Your partner can serve as emergency support and main contact for passengers as you seek solutions to problems.

As a stakeholder in the travel industry, you should realize you are in a business that thrives on customers’ experience, which is an important basis for repeat business. So to cash into that opportunity or possibility, you will need to tap into someone’s mastery and professionalism.


Publish Date: September 21, 2015 5:00 AM

6 Methods To Increase Inbound Call Center Service Levels

One of the ways you can determine the success of your outsourcing venture is by measuring your progress. A key performance indicator called Service Level measures how many calls were answered and how many customers were assisted in a given length of time. This helps management quantify how accessible the company’s service is to customers who call in. Here are six methods to help you make sure the service level of your inbound call center is high.

    1. Manage agents to increase their schedule adherence

To ensure that there are enough agents to handle the amount of calls that come in, you need to impress upon the agents the importance of coming to work on time and being at their desk ready to answer calls right on schedule. This includes dutifully following their break schedule and returning to their desk immediately after their break.

    1. Improve your accuracy in forecasting your calls and staff

Being able to accurately predict the volume of calls you can expect for the day helps you plan for the number of staff needed for a certain shift. Consider other factors that might contribute to an increased volume of calls, such as holidays, international events, or product recall. Don’t forget to take into account and prepare for issues that might affect your agents, as well, like bad weather or major events.

    1. Motivate and coach agents to lower attrition

Attrition refers to the rate you’re losing employees, often through resignation or termination. You will need to look into the primary causes of the attrition and address them. Whether it’s job dissatisfaction or poor performance, you can implement some strategies to boost employee morale and improve performance.

    1. Train agents to improve first call resolution and customer satisfaction

Efficient handling of each call takes skills and knowledge, which some agents may lack. Conduct training programs to provide agents with the information they need, correct ineffective habits and further develop their communication skills.

    1. Offer customers other support channels aside from speaking with a representative

When the phone lines become congested from a high volume of calls, more customers are left waiting in the queue and they become more and more dissatisfied. To lessen incidences like these, you can provide your customers with other means of getting the information they need. Utilize your IVR service, and email and chat options, and post updates and answers to frequently asked questions on your website.

  1. Monitor changes in the service level and keep agents informed

Track any changes and progress in the service level and reward your employees for their performance and contribution to the improvements in your service.

Get solutions to your business process concerns and keep your customers satisfied by choosing the right inbound call center. Call Taking You Forward, a fast-rising call center company in the Philippines. We’ll help you rise above your challenges.


Publish Date: September 14, 2015 5:00 AM

Offering Multiple Avenues For Your Direct Response Support

Studies have shown that conventional forms of media like TV and radio are still popular despite the increasing hold of the internet. Marketing through direct response television remains effective and profitable. But for DRTV to be truly successful, support and customer service are essential. Your infomercials may generate interest but customers will quickly lose that interest without your timely response.

One of the best things about DRTV is that it can be nicely integrated with other platforms. You can therefore utilize different ways for customers to contact you:

  1. Telephone

Traditionally, direct response support and customer service have always been via telephone. Human interaction is still most preferred when it comes to service. But if you want your telephone support to be more accessible to your customers, why not continue to offer this service after regular office hours, including holidays and weekends?

  1. Email

Some customers choose to send an email when they’re too busy to call and don’t have the time to stay on the line with a representative. Giving customers the option to email you sends the message that you understand their busy schedule. They will appreciate the convenience of being able to send you their inquiry anytime, read your reply and decide at their own pace.

  1. Website and Live Chat

Using the internet to extend your reach offers numerous possibilities. Not only will your customers have the option to view your products anytime they want and from anywhere they are (if your site is mobile-friendly), you can also expand your market to include consumers from all over the globe. Some customers who are still on the fence about your product may also hesitate to call since making a call is a step closer to making the purchase. Letting them inquire via chat first can make them feel safer and more comfortable.

  1. Social media accounts

Businesses have social media to thank for the increased opportunity to nurture their relationship with their existing customers and build a connection with potential consumers. Since most customers are online daily on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter, they can contact you anytime they want. When you show these customers that you value them by giving appropriate and timely responses, they can also use social media to share your videos and promote your brand.

Even though offering more than one channel of support may seem too much for you at this point, there is hope. Leverage outsourcing and seek the help of an inbound call center company. Taking You Forward offers inbound and outbound services as well as back-office processing for several industries, including direct response support. Call us today and see your DRTV campaign succeed and your business grow.


Publish Date: September 7, 2015 5:00 AM

8 Things to Look For in an RPO Company

If you lack the necessary resources and tools for recruitment, the best thing you can do is to partner with a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) company. By entering into a “partnership” with an RPO firm (which is a third party agency of sorts), you get all the help you need with regards to hiring and staffing.

To maximize the benefits of using an RPO service provider, it pays to choose your provider carefully. Not all RPO companies are created equal. Employers can be easily swayed by the cheap pricing that many RPO companies offer, but their poor service will leave one disappointed.

How can you find the recruitment outsourcing company that’s right for your business? Pay attention to the following:

Track record – Has the RPO firm overcome challenges similar to yours or delivered results you’d like to see in a given time frame? Do they make their clients happy and successful? A company that performs (and delivers) makes a good business partner.

Experience and expertise – It’s important to work with someone who knows how your industry operates and how recruitment process outsourcing works in local, national, and global settings. Not all RPO firms can support all kinds and sizes of business, so find the expert who can support yours, whether you’re hiring in your area or for your international branch.

Competitive Pricing – Cheap doesn’t always mean better, but quality services need not be expensive either. Don’t be conscious about the price, but the quality of service that you should get. Is their service worth the price?

Services – Does the RPO company offer complete RPO services, from hiring to orientation (for new employees)? Can they recruit different kinds and types of hires? Can they provide on-site support when you ask for it?

Technology expertise – If you require certain solutions for recruitment and employee management, find the RPO provider that supports the technologies and tools you need. The right company will help you select the best solutions for your business requirements without you having to purchase and own them.

Flexibility and Scalability – Varying seasons, varying hiring demand levels. Can your recruitment process outsourcing partner work to meet your seasonal hiring demands?

Customized solution – The RPO solution models that work for large companies may not work for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and vice versa. The right RPO provider can and will customize the solution(s) to fit your unique organization.

Integrity – Outsourcing companies are mushrooming in developing countries, and a great number of them are adding RPO services. Some of them, however, are not legit businesses, and may not practice honesty and transparency in their dealings. Go for the company that you not only like, but is one you can trust.

Outsourcing your recruitment and other human resource functions can help your business grow in today’s highly competitive business atmosphere. With all the help you can get from your RPO partner, your business can become the next big player in your industry.

To land the best talents, you must team up with the leader in recruitment process outsourcing. You can trust Taking You Forward for your staffing needs. Please contact us today and let’s discuss how we can help.


Publish Date: September 1, 2015 5:00 AM

Outsourcing Hotel Bookings Is a 5-Star Move

Successful hotels know that the quality of customer service in hotels should be beyond reproach. They pride themselves on the myriad of services they do exceptionally well (e.g. hotel booking) to keep the hotel running smoothly. An establishment that offers rest, tranquility and recreation is actually quite busy behind the scenes. You’d be surprised at all the activity going on in the background just to offer guests the utmost luxury and comfort.

From the beginning to the end of their stay, friendly and efficient service is always expected so that guests can come away with a memorable experience. This starts with the hotel’s first contact with their potential customer, and this interaction is actually handled by a reservations or sales agent. Although a lot of hotels are switching to online hotel booking, most still offer the option to speak with a reservations agent as some guests prefer assistance from real people.

Now, what if you could get a specialist to manage these transactions? It sounds like a wonderful idea, but is this something you would consider outsourcing, such as to a call center in the Philippines, which has consistently been listed as one of the best BPO countries in the world?

Here are some of the most compelling reasons why contracting an inbound call center for your reservations can reap rewards for your hotel:

  1. Minimizes cost – The most obvious reason for outsourcing any process is that it helps companies save on cost and time. Hotels will be spending less time and money training and monitoring their reservations agents as the service provider will be doing this for them.
  1. Around-the-clock reservations service – Guests can call anytime from anywhere in the world. With dedicated reservations agents available to talk to your customers, the chances of customers being routed to voicemail will now be next to none.
  1. Support team with specialized knowledge – Delegating reservations inquiries and bookings to front desk staff can distract them from their duties.Your staff can now focus on improving your hotel’s customer service while your well-trained reservations team is fully equipped to answer inquiries, check bookings and process payments.
  1. High quality booking system and process – Service providers already have infrastructure, equipment and processes in place. The technology and programs they use are usually the latest in the market and they have the resources to maintain and upgrade their system.
  1. Potential to upsell or cross-sell – Your reservations agents can generate more profit for you as they have the opportunity and skills to offer and sell more services to customers.

Looking at the significant benefits of outsourcing, it’s no wonder some of the top hotels are using offshore centers for hospitality customer service or back office operations. And though there may be initial concerns, the advantages far outweigh the risks in the long term, especially if you choose the right provider.

So if you’ve started looking for the best inbound call center to help you achieve your business goals, contact Taking You Forward, Inc., a fast-growing call center company in the Philippines. Learn how our talented team of experts can help your hotel rise high in the industry.


Publish Date: August 14, 2015 5:00 AM

Defend Your Business Like Ronda Rousey

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you’ve probably heard of Ronda Rousey.“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is famous for the following reasons:

  • She won a bronze medal in women’s judo at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. She’s the first American to win an Olympic medal in women’s Judo since the sport was included in the Olympics in 1992.

  • She’s undefeated in all her 12 professional MMA (mixed martial arts) fights.

  • Rousey is the first and current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

  • She won 11 of her 12 fights in the first round.

  • Because she won 9 of her 12 fights by arm bar, she is also nicknamed “The Arm Collector.”

  • Rousey has the habit of quickly finishing her opponents:

    • On February 28, 2015 at UFC 184, she needed only 14 seconds in the first round to submit Cat Zingano by an arm bar. It was the shortest championship match in UFC history.

    • At UFC 175 on July 5, 2014, she defeated Alexis Davis by knockout in just 16 seconds of the first round.

    • In her latest fight at UFC 190 on August 1, 2015 in Brazil, Rousey crushed undefeated Brazilian Bethe Correia by knockout with only 34 seconds running into round number 1.


With every win, Rousey also increases her market value. Her earnings have significantly risen. UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) President Dana White is all praises for Rousey since every UFC event is sold-out whenever Rousey fights.

Often called the “baddest chick on the planet,” Rousey is practically a business entity herself. She has to maintain her fighting form if she intends to remain the undefeated champion and keep her high financial rewards coming in.

So what’s the connection between Ronda Rousey and running your business? Rousey – as a “money-making machine” – has to execute effective strategies to maintain her top status. These are the same strategies that you can use for your business. Let’s check out some of them:

  1. Teach yourself all the necessary skills

Rousey’s main skill is her Olympic-standard Judo. Although a 4th-degree black belt in Judo, she knew that Judo won’t be enough in an MMA fight, so she patiently learned boxing, kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu to complement her game. She slowly mastered other martial arts disciplines, so much so that she knocked out Bethe Correia with her ferocious boxing combinations, not with Judo.

In the ever-changing climate of business, you have to be always on guard against all kinds of threats and challenges. That’s why you also need to educate yourself on the necessary business strategies – such as outsourcing to a call center company in the Philippines – and tools to give your business a competitive edge.

  1. Fight smartly

MMA fighting is not just about fancy kicks or the fastest punches. It’s more about timing your moves and executing effective strategies, just like in a chess match. The objective is to protect yourself at all times while unleashing vicious attacks on your opponent.

In business, you don’t just blindly spend on marketing campaigns without first studying the pros and cons. Educate yourself on the best business practices and industry standards.

Ronda Rousey is an undefeated champion because she keeps on learning and adding more weapons to her already-deadly arsenal of fighting techniques. Plus, she fights smartly by executing her techniques at the right moment.

You, too, can put your business on top by smartly executing strategies at the right time. Find out what these strategies are and how to execute them to your competitive advantage. Call us now at Taking You Forward, Inc. We can make things happen for your business.


Publish Date: August 7, 2015 5:00 AM

5 Tips to Improve Your DRTV Customer Service

The Internet is a virtual marketplace where you can buy and sell almost anything with just a few keystrokes and mouse clicks. One other medium, the DRTV or Direct Response Television, is also offering a unique line of consumer products. In order for your DRTV business to compete with online retail and brick-and-mortar stores, you need to ramp up your customer service. Here are 5 tips to improve your DRTV customer service.

1. Make your customer service unique. Direct-response customer service tends to be the same in all DRTV companies: same opening line or greeting, same script, and same “robotic” tone of voice from customer service agents. Be different. Use a unique but pleasant greeting. Make your script more engaging and your agents’ voice livelier. Make your agents’ smile show in their voices. Impress your customers with a most pleasant and memorable customer service.

2. Make your customers happy. Learn how to deal with irate customers and make your satisfied customers happier. Invest in training your agents to understand customer psychology. Once your agents comprehend how a customer’s mind works, they can easily decide what right course of action to perform for any situation. The secret to your customers’ happiness is to fulfill or go beyond their exact needs.

3. Provide customer support via different channels. Social media on the Internet has grown into a powerful business tool to reach out to customers. Even big businesses acknowledge this fact. Invest precious resources to put up an accessible direct response support for customers in all the major social media outlets. Also, provide customer support in other channels, such as phone, online chat, SMS, and email. Build up your DRTV business’s universal appeal by being present wherever people gather in cyberspace.

4. Keep track of your customers’ buying habits. It’s a great idea to monitor your customers’ buying habits and product preferences. This is possible by keeping a record of your customer transactions using a web-based application, such as a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager). CRMs can also streamline your customer service processes by eliminating unnecessary or redundant questions from agents as everything’s found in the CRM. It’s also a great way to upsell with your existing loyal customers.

5. Treat your customers like family. In business, it’s so easy to get carried away with focusing on just the money-earning aspect and forget about building a good relationship with your customers. Business, in the first place, is all about earning as much money as possible, but it’s more than just that. Business is also about establishing great ties with your customers and other businesses. Treat your customers like family and this close-relationship will go a long way in bringing success to your business.

Maintaining excellent customer service should be top priority for any DRTV business. If you’re planning to operate your business uninterruptedly 24/7, then you have to invest in manpower and equipment, which will probably cost you a fortune and a lot of sleepless nights. There is a better way.You can do better by delegating your customer service to a world-class call center in the Philippines.

Outsourcing lets you save on spending costly resources as well as allows you to focus on your core business. To know more, contact us now at Taking You Forward.


Publish Date: July 31, 2015 5:00 AM

Run Your Business The Military Way!

What do most rich countries have in common when it comes to demonstrating their strength? It’s their military power. A military force can be a country’s great pride and joy as it’s the primary unit responsible for protecting a country against external threats.

Any established military is a wonder to behold as it uses its well-organized structure, authoritarian management style, state-of-the-art weaponry, and highly-trained soldiers to maneuver strikes and counterstrikes with great precision against the enemies of the state. Its strict adherence to protocols and chains-of-command may seem too old-fashioned for us ordinary (non-military) people.  But for civilian organizations, most especially businesses that struggle to find a system to keep their people disciplined and processes smoothly flowing, it’s a great idea to closely observe how exactly a military organization runs like a well-oiled machine.

So let’s take a quick look at some military strategies that you can apply to your business as you seek that elusive financial success.

  • Invest in valuable hardware to enhance your firepower. A military force is useless if it doesn’t have an effective weapons system: tanks, ammunition, aircraft, land vehicles, sea craft, artillery, armor, communications hardware, uniforms, and other essential military paraphernalia. In our present digital world, businesses thrive more as the whole world is now a marketplace, thanks to innovations in computer and communications technology. Take advantage of this opportunity by learning how to leverage the power of technology to grow your business. You’ll be spared the high cost of technology if you outsource to an established call center in the Philippines.

Enlist dedicated personnel to strengthen your corps. A country’s military is as good as the soldiers it recruits. Different branches of a military force conduct back-breaking trainings to choose the best of the best. The same should be true for your business – you must hire only the best. Don’t settle for anything less. Disloyal and lazy employees will only pull your company down. Businesses that focus on SME services can bolster their customer service solutions if they rely on the best personnel.

Adopt battle-tested processes to protect the chain-of-command. In order to be effective and consistent in its mission, a military force follows standardized procedures in its recruitment, training, communications, promotions, and all other activities. Its standard operating procedures are meticulously documented in manuals so that its traditions, customs, and practices are well-preserved. In your business, avoid a chaotic way of doing things by establishing industry-standard processes.

  • Serve first before being served. A military force strives to maintain a clean military leadership that values the supremacy of civilian authority above all, at all times. When top military officials demonstrate excellent and sincere leadership, then the rest of the corps of soldiers will exude selfless service to the constituents of their country. Strengthen your business with strong and trustworthy leadership. Show sincere care for all your employees and they will in turn work hard to grow your business. You may not necessarily follow the military’s famous slogan “Obey before complain”, but try to promote an open communication policy with your subordinates to motivate their career growth, which will in turn create a healthy working environment.

Running a business requires the management skills of a military tactician and the discipline of a drill sergeant. But more importantly, you need an army of dedicated professionals to help you win your battles towards business success.  


Publish Date: July 24, 2015 5:00 AM

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing an RPO Provider

When outsourcing your staffing and other human resources needs, you would want your recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider to deliver what they promise. But for this to come to fruition, you must first choose the right RPO company. This isn’t a hard task, but many employers fail at it for various reasons. These are what you need to avoid when opting for recruitment outsourcing:

  1. Lack of preparation

Employers don’t allow themselves enough time to learn how recruitment outsourcing works, much less research about the role and responsibilities of RPO companies. This is worse than not knowing what to look for in employees but hiring anyway.

To get the most out of RPO, you must set realistic and clear expectations, and provide the RPO company the appropriate metrics to carry out your human resource objectives.

  1. Mistaking any newbie for an expert

There are two types of newbies in the RPO sector: The one with the expertise and prior experience in recruitment outsourcing, and the one without. Though it’s always the best and safest option to partner with an established company, it’s also worth the risk to try out new companies that have something new and exciting to offer.

  1. Going for the cheap price

Many companies mistake cheap pricing for better quality service. Little did they know that cheap pricing is a tactic of many new but inexperienced businesses to sell inferior quality goods and services.

A reliable and trustworthy recruitment process outsourcing company will never rely on cheap pricing to secure contracts with employers. What they do is offer competitive pricing, employ various means and technologies when recruiting and identify well-qualified talents for employers. The quality of the hires will name the price.

  1. Outsourcing just for cost saving

Focus on the needs and requirements, not just cost reduction. If you are obsessed with reducing overhead and operating expenses, you might as well hire less-qualified employees, but who really wants to hire such people?

With recruitment process outsourcing, you have a partner who can source high quality, experienced job candidates who are not even available in the open market. This venture may be expensive at the outset, but considering the benefits, it’s worth the risk and investment in the long run.

  1. Lack of a better working relationship

Outsourcing is a new way to forge a partnership with another business, and continued coordination and cooperation lead to a better partnership. Too bad that some employers leave their RPO providers hanging, thus they aren’t able to deliver what they promise. To prevent this, communicate regularly with your RPO provider. Get involved (but not too actively involved) in the processes you outsource to your partner.

  1. Wrong choice of RPO company

Outsourcing, when done wrong, is the sure way to drive your business to total bankruptcy. To avoid this, you must do thorough research, pay closer attention to detail and clearly discuss your human resource needs with your desired RPO provider. It helps to check on their background and certification and talk to their former clients.

Recruitment process outsourcing can yield a lot of long-term benefits for your business. You just need to make the right choice and the right moves.


Publish Date: July 20, 2015 5:00 AM

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