Archive for August, 2011

Philippine Telemarketing: Developing Appointment Setting

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

One of the many ways in which businesses can use outbound telemarketing methods is through telemarketing appointment setting. Telemarketing appointment setting is a great way to improve business development efforts, but successful telemarketing appointment setting requires extensive skills and particular techniques. It also needs to be carefully monitored and measured by the business conducting the campaigns to ensure that they are being undertaken correctly.


Qualify the Prospect. This refers to making sure that the person you are trying to meet with is a good fit for what you are trying to sell. The best way to qualify the prospect is to ask a couple of questions during the cold call to see how they fit with what you have to offer.


Decrease Guard. There are very clear and practical things that you can do to do this.  Two things in particular are that name drop other individuals in the organization that you are calling into and you can disqualify the prospect.


Build Rapport. This can be challenging on a cold call as you really only have between two to five minutes to work with.  But there are some minor things we can do to build rapport like confirming they are available, disqualifying, delivering a value statement, active listening, qualifying, etc.


Build Interest. One of the keys is to finding pain. If there is no pain, there is no reason to meet with you. Once you uncover pain, you can focus and connect to it the business value that you have to offer.


Tell, Don’t ask. Once you have effectively built interest, you should go trying to get the appointment set. One thing to help with this is to shift from asking for the meeting to telling.




Inbound Call Center: Dealing with Angry Customers

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

In the customer service industry, handling irate customers is not an easy task; it requires resilience, patience and a lot of mental strength on the part of inbound call center agents.


Assume that the customer has the right to be angry. In an inbound call center, the customer may be angry because he or she made incorrect assumptions that led to improper expectations. Regardless of the circumstances, acknowledge the customer has the privilege to be irate. Listen carefully to how the anger is expressed so you can find the root cause of the emotion.


Listen to emotion without emotion. Listen to the emotion as well as the words. This will help you to identify the specific item or items that need primary attention. But do not respond with emotion. Remember that the customer anger is not directed at you personally, even if the customer language is directed at you.


Be patient. When the customer is at the peak of expressing anger, be patient and listen. Always remember that it’s not effective to interrupt them. Reiterate your compassion; acknowledge the customer right to be angry and the catalyst for the emotional distress. Takes quiet deep breaths and wait patiently for your turn to speak.


Solve the issue. Correct the issue for the specific customer and also look for long term corrective measures. It may be appropriate to reassure the customer that you will be available to assist in the event that another different problem should occur again.


Follow up. Demonstrating compassion and attentiveness after a problem has been resolved is a powerful message to show that you really do care about the individual customer. This follow-up after the anger has subsided and the corrective action has been demonstrated as effective may be enough to retain loyal customers and earn a few new ones.



US Downgrade and Its’ Effect on BPO

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

The historic US credit downgrade is unlikely to impact heavily on local investments, according to President Aquino. He also said that the value of investments in this country will not change with what is transpiring in America and if it’s profitable to do business here, it will remain to be profitable.


Noynoy, in turn, was immediately in the news supposedly “scrambling” his economic officials to prepare for the impact of the credit downgrade. S&P’s downgrade, while unprecedented, has been a long time in coming. The US economy appears to have yet to rise from the 2007 financial turmoil and its consequent effect of a global crisis that hit most of the big European economies. But the worried question is how does this affect the outsourcing industry of the country? For an industry where the peso-dollar exchange rate plays a huge role, business process outsourcing (BPO) players will definitely see the effect of the US downgrade. Western companies may be a little bit more cautious when it comes to spending due to the current global economic situation. Since the US is the largest market of the Philippine outsourcing industry, this downgrade will surely be felt in one way or the other. However, the industry remains confident and optimistic and growth is still projected in the next few years.


For one of the poorest economies in the region, the Philippines’ strength remains in its labor force, something that Noynoy, like his predecessor, had failed to recognize in terms of policies to stimulate employment. It had taken the recognition of other countries for Filipinos to find dignity in work, be it on commercial sea vessels of the world that are manned mostly by Filipinos to business process outsource (BPO) businesses that mostly now value Filipino skills over any other nationalities.




Call Center in the Philippines: Green Office Tips

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Many Philippine call centers talk about social responsibility but how many of them actually understand that? Unfortunately, when it comes to deciding profits and the environment, the last is often loses.  But, despite this, a few call centers in the Philippines are proving that eco-friendliness and profitability do go hand in hand. Going green at the office can be very effective in demonstrating practical benefits of being environmentally friendly as well as saving business money.


Say it through e-mail. E-mail and instant messaging make interoffice communications quicker and easier than distributing paper memos. E-mail newsletter distribution means your customers receive information about your business sooner. Your company can use social media similarly, by offering promo codes and discounts for mentioning tweets and other messages from your business.


Making paper cuts. Print and copy on both sides of the paper whenever possible, and post instructions near the copy machine and printers to eliminate excuses. Or consider making this the default option on office equipment. Use a smaller font to print documents when possible. Reduce junk mail in a variety of ways.


Use it again. In situations where maintaining your corporate image is not necessary, re-use envelopes. Cover your address with a mailing label, or buy specially designed labels that identify the envelope as “recycled.” This habit may even boost your image as a “green company”. When you receive packages, keep bubble wrap and other packing materials for re-use.


Think before you buy. Ask inbound and telemarketing agents to bring in their own mugs instead of stocking the break room with styrofoam cups. Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible, and buy recycled printer ink. Bulk purchases can save your business money, but wasting supplies is never an efficient use of your company’s funds.



Philippine BPO: A Strategic Business Planning

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Before, outsourcing was the preserve of the biggest companies. International companies set up dedicated services that enabled large businesses to have information technology, payroll and other “back-office” functions managed by teams of specialists. However, the internet age has given smaller businesses the opportunity to gain from the concept. Increasing numbers of growing businesses are avoiding employing full-time human resources managers by obtaining advice and services through the internet.  Business process outsourcing – the off-shoring of a lot of jobs from the developed countries to the developing world became the main issue of global businesses.


Clearly, from the vantage point of the developing countries, outsourcing was hailed as their way out of poverty, as a slew of outsourcing companies set up in their homelands signified the start of abundant opportunities, rising incomes, and secure futures. Outsourcing is increasingly viewed as a strategic planning and business outcomes tool. The beauty of outsourcing is you can outsource an entire function or only a part of it. Organizations use this as a strategic initiative to improve customer service quality and reduce costs. Increasing global proficiency in English, rising quality of education in the developed countries, significant improvements in telecommunications and information technology – all have contributed to making the phenomenon known as outsourcing possible.


The trend toward deriving broader business benefits from outsourcing stems from both increased maturity and experience with the process and, the spread of outsourcing beyond IT departments. While IT services continues to be the leading outsourced function, more companies are turning to outside sources for supply-chain operations, learning and training, human resources, accounting and financial services as well as customer relationship management.