Archive for June, 2011

Inbound Call Center: Career Coaching

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Being an inbound call center agent is really a tough job.  Meeting the expectations of the organization, the supervisor or team leaders stressing operational efficiency and at the same time dealing with the demands of customers who want problem resolution or satisfaction can be very stressful. Thus you might be dissatisfied and unhappy with your customer service job and might look for something else but you might not be sure about what exactly it is.

 

If you are contemplating a change in career or feeling stagnant in your job, having a professional career coach maybe just what you need to help you make an informed decision about your future. Career coaching helps individuals discover what they really want to do with their lives and then develop a strategy to achieve it. A career coach can help you in deciding your career path. They are like sports coach who can motivate you, inspire you, guide you and assist you towards a strong career. They can help you gain clarity in your life. Most people don’t know what they really want in their careers. Even the ones that do, they don’t know when they get it. You can also find out what motivates you. It is about realizing how you were wired since birth and how to use that programming to achieve happiness which we call values and beliefs. Knowing what is important will make it easy to say no to things and people that waste your time. At the same time, you will discover opportunities that in the past have avoided you. And while you will raise the bar, you will also get the encouragement, recognition, support that you deserve. This will help you achieve results much faster.

 

 

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Philippine Call Center: Work and Parenthood

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Before, in the typical Filipino family, only the father worked while the mother usually was the housewife and was there to take care of the children. But now it’s different, there have been remarkable changes in that picture because of the economy and people’s status in life. There are a lot of families find that they need two wage-earners in order to buy a home, pay the rent, or simply to maintain the family budget. And the worst thing about this, both parent has to leave for abroad to earn more.

 

Combining parenthood and work is a constant balancing act and a challenge. For Philippine call center agents, demands and expectations come at you from every direction, making it very difficult just to deal with, let alone successfully organize and prioritize your daily inbound and outbound tasks. Our children deserve our attention just as much as the organizations that pay us.  When both parents are occupied with their jobs for eight or more hours per day, there are obvious effects on the family. On the positive side, the family has an increased income and thus fewer financial stresses. Also, when both parents work, there is a potential for greater equality in the roles of husband and wife. Depending on the nature of the parents’ work, as well as the family’s values, fathers may assume more responsibility for child care and housework than has traditionally been the case. So in order to successfully manage the challenges of being a working parent, it’s important to better plan, be more flexible and develop greater patience. You need to squeeze time out of your busy schedule to interact with your children and never be the parent that is more of a stranger at home.

 

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Call Center Career Tips: The Value of Punctuality

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Philippine call center life – especially as an urban dweller – can be most chaotic. However, the importance of punctuality should never be underestimated – showing up on time to an appointment or work is the mark of a truly professional inbound and telemarketing agents. Being punctual for your work day, your appointments, and your deadlines shows respect for others and for yourself as well. Being habitually late shows a serious lack of organization skills and perhaps will even give the impression that you do not like your job or the person you are meeting with. Here are a few tips to help you be on time:

 

Organize Your Pre-Work Routine: Get your clothes ready the night before, give yourself an extra thirty minutes to get ready, leave earlier than you absolutely have to. These are all things that can help you get ready and out the door so you can face the world—in the punctual way.

 

Know the importance of rest. Being well rested is another key to having your day go on schedule. If you are tired and fatigued you are less likely to be prepared for the next day. Just like having a set time to get up in the morning, you should also have a set time to go to bed.

 

Make a Record of Your Attendance: If your boss isn’t doing it for you and sending you reminders, make a record of when you come in to work late and when you get there on time. This may give you a clearer picture of how often you are tardy.

 

Work on Time Management: You are not going to get things done if you don’t make the time for that to happen. Most people can’t make up success as they go along.

 

 

 

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Philippine Call Center: Fast Food Facts

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

With today’s fast-paced call center lifestyle, fast food is the fastest way to satisfy those hungry stomachs. Philippine call center agents generally eat fast food because it’s convenient, cheap and usually tastes pretty good. However, many aren’t aware that it’s usually cheap because it’s often made with cheaper ingredients such as high fat meat, refined grains, and added sugar and fats.

 

Fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy, but most of the time it is; outbound call center agents often order foods with more fat, calories, sugar and sodium, and less nutrition and vitamins than is necessary. For all we know, there is no such thing as bad food for as long as you don’t have it on a regular basis. Because fast food is high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, eating too much over a long period of time can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.  But today, more and more fast food restaurants are offering healthier options and new menu items. There are also ways you can customize your order to be healthy for you. You should practice portion control and go light on toppings such as mayonnaise, cheese, gravy and salad dressings. It may seem like a bargain to super-size your order but try to avoid that. Choose water, low-fat milk, or diet sodas instead of regular sodas, milkshakes, or whole milk which can be a huge source of hidden calories and sugar.

 

Always keep in mind that balance fast food with other nutritious foods throughout the day and make healthier choices whenever possible. Fast food does not have to be bad for you. By making smart choices, eating fast food restaurants can be healthy.

 

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BPO Service: A Great Business Website

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Is there any business at the present time that doesn’t have a website yet? I must say, there are still that are not aware of the internet age. For all we know, a company’s website is the sensible representation of your business whether your business exists physically or not. It is the prime connection between you and the all-important customer base, upon which every business relies. So it makes sense that everything a person sees on a website should project an image that is consistent with your corporate identity. But if you have just started a small business and wanted to focus more on important matters like making an income, hiring Philippine BPO for your business support service needs is a great way to be competitive enough.

 

When you’re setting up a company’s website, it’s like your sales people. Would you allow them to face your customers unprepared and not properly dressed? Definitely not, by making your employees dress professionally, you’re letting your customers know that you are concerned about. This works simply because first impressions still matter. Likewise, it’s the same with your internet site. If your website is untidy and unorganized, you’re literally telling your customers that you’re not professional and you don’t give importance to quality. The website does not have to be the most technical and flashiest website in the world. To start with, all you would require is a website with a couple of pages that detail what your business is about. You also need to motivate your audience as well as to focus and define your website content. It also has to be simple and understandable for global audience.

 

 

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Philippine BPO: Importance of Blogs in Business

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

It is a fact that before, we could just write long-involved posts about what we did last weekend or some interesting things that happened to us. But now, when the art of social media, specifically twitter and facebook, has arrived, it seemed like blogging is just a minute and click away. But many call centers in the Philippines still don’t know that blogs hold tremendous power that even every small business needs to utilize.

 

Blogging has emerged as one of the best marketing tool on the web. From the ease of creating to the convenience of interacting with possible customers and clients, blogging has given a new way for the Philippine telemarketers to do what they do which is to promote. Let’s say out of your ten readers, one of them is your lead. This is definitely possible for a reason that you already have a loyal fan base that trust you and are willing to take and apply your suggestions, that is why they subscribed to your blogs. Each time you launch a new business or service, your blog can act as that medium to reach to your leads. The more you blog, and the more helpful your blog is, the more customer and brand loyalty you’ll be creating. Not every blog post is designed to get customers, nor should it be. But the more people who come to read your valuable information, the more likely they’ll be to become your customers when they need what you have. But until your readers become your customers, you’re building up your brand. Brand recognition is extremely important as it plays toward perceptions which are also passed along. Brand loyalty builds word of mouth, which in turn, builds more customers.

 

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BPO: Essential SEO Tips

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Basic SEO is all about common sense and simplicity. The purpose of search engine optimization is to make a website as search engine friendly as possible.

 

First of all, you have to build a great website when doing SEO. Your internet site will be the hub of your web business; it’s the practical representation of your business whether your business exists physically or not. SEO isn’t also a one-time event. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the tactics that worked last year may not work this year. It requires a long-term outlook and commitment. Getting ranked in search engines doesn’t happen in a click. When you do SEO, you have to be patient. Results often take months to see, and this is especially true the smaller you are, and the newer you are to doing business online. You also need to start a blog and participate with other related blogs. Search engines, Google especially, love blogs for the fresh content and highly-structured data. Beyond that, there’s no better way to join the conversations that are already taking place about your industry or company. Reading and commenting on other blogs can also increase your exposure and help you acquire new links as well. On the other hand, when outsourcing to Philippine call center to do your SEO, it’s your job to know what kind of tactics the company uses. Ask for specifics. Ask if there are any risks involved. Then get online yourself and do your own research—about the company, about the tactics they discussed, and so forth.

 

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Philippines BPO: One of the Leading Players in Services Exports

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

The World Bank has ranked the Philippines among the best performers in the services exports, particularly in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, but urged further reforms in the travel and tourism sector if the country intends to sustain growth moving forward.

 

Based on the past IT industry, while the development of service sectors was traditionally assumed to be confined to developed countries that have mature markets and industrial sectors, it has recently been found that with the appropriate educational and other supporting bases, developing countries like India and the Philippines can also take this path. Specifically, the rise of IT-enabled services (ITES) outsourcing or business process outsourcing (BPO) has allowed these countries to develop a new kind of export sector focused on business services. The principal strengths of the Philippine I.T. industry include a well-educated, price-competitive labor force, English proficiency, growing track record of successful I.T. work, fast-growing telecom infrastructure, government interest in the industry, less regulation than some neighbors, good capabilities for dealing with foreign partners, and strong entrepreneurship. This increasingly demand in such services made Philippines as the third largest player in BPO in the world, accounting for 15 percent of the global BPO market, after India (37%) and Canada (27%). Considered as a top offshore BPO destination, the country boasts one of the fastest growing outsourcing industries in the world. BPO sector currently employs close to 500,000 people and generated about $9 billion worth of exports in 2010. The industry’s target in terms of annual revenue is $25 billion by 2016 and a direct workforce of 1.3 million. It is with no doubt that the future of the country’s BPO industry has never looked brighter.

 

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Inbound Call Center: A Service-Oriented Culture

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Great customer service is about much more than merely serving customers; it is first and foremost a mindset, an attitude and a commitment. Many inbound call centers don’t realize this and tend to initiate customer service training programs that focus only on the actual skills and tools required for customer service. Without addressing the underlying attitudes, perceptions and beliefs about self, the world and work that shape behavior, change cannot be lasting. To develop customer loyalty, companies must realize that customer service is more than simply understanding and responding to your customer’s needs. It also requires a service-oriented company culture and employees who are committed to delivering exceptional care.

 

Gain commitment from the top. Commitment starts at the top, with the business owner or manager.  Your interactions with customers set the tone for how the entire organization views customers.

 

Empower your employees. You need to treat your employees the way you want them to treat your customers.  Respect them.  Offer encouragement and guidance.  Give them the right tools, equipment, and training to perform their jobs well.  Make sure they understand specifically what is expected of them.

 

Know your customers. The best way to find out what your customers expect from you is to talk and interact with them. Review complaints, ask for feedback and listen to what your customers are saying.  If more than one has the same complaint, chances are there is something that needs to be addressed or a change that needs to be made.

 

Creating a great customer service strategy and building a customer oriented culture is more than just telling all your employees to smile. It moves beyond general, high-level advice about customer service and provides a true road map that employees, managers, and executives can follow to transform themselves and their organizations.

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Attrition: Challenge in Philippine Call Centers

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Despite the phenomenal growth, Philippine call centers are still facing major challenges. One of which is the high attrition rate. According to study, the average length of employment for full-time agents working at 34 percent of the call centers surveyed is two years. Agents working at 27 percent of companies surveyed left their jobs after only six months to a year. This is a serious problem for call centers in the Philippines because hiring and training a new agent is expensive and each time you lose an agent and have to train a new one. This is affecting the bottom line, and with high attrition rates, this is a huge financial burden for any call center.

 

The top three reasons for call center turnover are: better opportunities elsewhere, lack of career development and repetitive work. For those who haven’t worked in call center may say that it’s a great job, because you get paid to sit at a desk and talk on the phone all day. But the reality is that, it is a very stressful job. Dealing with customer service everyday and having to reach quotas and the pressure of making the numbers creates a high burnout rate. And with so many agents working same job in inbound call center, it’s very hard to be recognized and to be acknowledged for their accomplishments.

 

So what must call center management do? You need to understand what motivates employees and what de-motivates them; you then know which areas to focus on to improve attrition. Not only is the training investment lost with high turnover, so too is the knowledge that comes with experience. That’s why call centers must know how to manage their attrition rates to ensure that levels of service are optimal and consistent.

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