Archive for the ‘Call Center News and Events’ Category

Types of Industries that outsource to Philippine Call Centers

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The Philippines is one of the most reliable countries to outsource inbound and outbound call center services. Many companies outsource to a Philippine call center because it provides quality work and is not expensive. A good BPO has proven track record and solid clientele line up. An experienced outsourcing company is assured to provide clients with skilled professionals to get the job done right.

 

Clients can hire as many or as less agents according to their needs. Here are the main industries that commonly seek the services of a call center in the Philippines.

 

Service Industry

 

The most industry that is most advantageous of outsourcing is the healthcare sector. During the early years of call center outsourcing, accounting and legal practices were the most commonly outsourced services.

 

Consumer Goods

 

Retail accounts are now a common account in Philippine call centers. Agents handle everything from live chat functions, order receiving and processing, as well as post-sales transactions. Many of these transactions are from major retail brands.

 

Telecommunication Services

 

Telecommunication providers need call centers in the Philippines to handle customer service inquiries from customers. Agents also encourage subscribers to avail of additional services, upgrades and even buy new phone units.

 

Finance

 

Credit card, banking and insurance companies also outsource to Philippine BPO companies. Through inbound call center agents, these banking institutions are able to assist customers by providing solutions. On the other hand, outbound call center agents help banks and credit companies by reminding customers of their dues.

 

The industries that outsource to the Philippines do so to have a team focus entirely on customer support services. Not only does it cut costs, it also assures clients that their customers are well taken cared of. Technical support, telemarketing and other services are only some of the many back office services that a BPO can provide for your customers.

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Hiring the right type of agent for your call center campaign

Friday, June 27th, 2014

 
Not all Philippine call centers are the same. Outsourcing companies may handle accounts that are not another company’s niche. Before outsourcing to a BPO, you have to check if the call center employs specialist or generic agents.
 
Aside from being inbound and outbound call center employees, agents can also be classified as specialty and general services agents.
 
General Services / BPO Agents
 
General services agents, virtual assistants and call center representatives are agents who are able to handle several types of customers and support assistance. These employees can fill in tasks that could have been done by chat support representatives, tech support agents, customer service specialists and even sales.
 
BPO agents of this caliber are very good in time management, scheduling and organizing. They can take almost any type of calls and customers. Since transfer rates are so low with this type of setting, first call resolution rates are improved. Escalation calls are rarely needed since the agents can solve mostly everything themselves – so there is no need to transfer issues to another department. They can troubleshoot, help and even sell everything in one phone call.
 
Specialty Agents
 
Agents that specialize on specific accounts such as tech support, chat functions, telemarketing and sales require them to have special skills to deliver the job well. However, they have more knowledge than the generic services agent because they are experts on their accounts. More often than not, first stage calls are escalated to them when the need arises.
 
Specialists do not need as much training as the former since they are already familiar with the topics needed for the job. Therefore, eliminating excess costs.
 
Which of the two should I hire?
 
Both types of agents are efficient. The decision to hire all depends on what the business needs. In most cases, outsourcing providers hire both.

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Effects of good communication lines in a call center

Friday, June 13th, 2014

 
Solid relationships are built through good communication. In a Philippine call center, it is very important that communications are kept clear as to maintain a sense of efficiency and urgency. The opportunity to communicate with colleagues leads to better teamwork and even increased productivity rate. Here are the benefits of having good communication in the workplace.
 
Promotes real and engaging conversations
 
Technology has enabled people to communicate even better with almost everyone around the globe. However, its effect on society has made real live conversations a thing of the past. When call center outsourcing encourage employees to have face-to-face conversations such as meetings and coaching. Though effective tools that enhance communication is very important, having real interaction helps agents in dealing with customers as they practice their interpersonal skills. Sending emails and chat messages are the primary tools of BPO employees to communicate. These types of technology are essential when it comes to keeping up with different time zones and a fast paced environment. However, real conversations are important to build rapport among co-workers.
 
Acceptance of Constructive Criticism
 
Coaching agents not only improves their performance but as well as gives the opportunity for employees to speak out about their performance. Therefore, it will improve their communication skills. Assessment should be concise and encouraging. Generic sounding comments will most likely not have an impact on employees. Constructive criticism should be given for inbound and outbound call center agents to improve and realize their mistakes.
 
Improves Listening Skills
 
Agents who constantly exchange feedback become good listeners in the process. An employee with good listening skills can help delegate accurate information within the workplace.
 
Philippine BPO centers that improve communication channels have employees who are more productive and motivated. When agents have the freedom of professionally communicating with each other, teams become stronger and will give better performance results.

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Managing the effects of stress in a call center

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

 
Stress is a common experience in any workplace. There are many factors that make it possible. Meeting deadlines, shifting schedules or the pressure to make sure that customer concerns are met while keeping metrics high are only some of the stress contributors.
 
Philippine call centers are the most affected by this kind of situation and it can affect their performance and attitude if it is not addressed. Call Center Outsourcing heavily depends on its call center agents. Bothered employees will not make operations productive. These are the effects of stress and how it can be solved.
 
1. Productivity
 
Stress is the number one efficiency decline cause. Agents who are stressed are not able to focus and will not perform well. There will also be more absences and tardiness. Help by interacting with the team as to what might have caused such and figure out solutions together.
 
2. Customer Experience
 
Employees who bring their personal problems at work become stressed and grumpy. When this happens, the customers are the first ones who get to notice. Avoid having low customer service ratings by reminding agents to leave their worries behind and just work pleasantly. Motivational activities are a great way to boost their mood.
 
3. Resignation
 
Exhausted agents often think about resigning. The effects of stress are physical, mental, emotional and even psychological. When employees are burned out, all they want to do is quit. Avoid increased attrition by providing them with a healthy work environment to balance their professional and personal life.
 
4. Expenses
 
The cost of replacing agents are expensive. Advertising, hiring, training and paying for premiums are all put to waste if an employee quits right away. High turnover rates are also a sign of poor management. Avert the frequency of replacing agents by offering newly hired employees with benefits and working environment that they were promised with.
 
An office environment is made better by creating a positive work-life balance atmosphere for everyone. Agents are more productive when they are excited about going to work and concerned with operations and each other. A call center that does not have constant employee turnover will have a happy work environment since new agents and tenured ones are able to get acquainted even more. Call Center agents work in a stressful industry and it highly affects the customers if they are stressed. It is essential for management to look after the level of stress in the office for everyone’s sake.

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Maintaining culture & quality calls in a BPO

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

 

Philippine call centers operate at nighttime because it is daytime in most continents. This kind of working shift is new to Filipino workers making them prone to habits to help them adapt to their new environment. However, there are certain mannerisms that should be prevented at all costs to avoid poor quality calls.

 

Agents are trained for as little as 4 weeks or as long as 6 months. During these times, Philippine call center agents are made to develop their communication skills, customer service skills, product knowledge and culture. Outbound or inbound call center agents come from all walks of life. It is important that everyone has the same business goals when they start working in the production area  no matter what.

 

When employees have problems at home, it is required that they leave it there. Going to work in a bad mood can result to agents having a bored or monotonous voice tone. Customers expect a willing and enthusiastic customer representative to answer their inquiries. The last thing they want to hear is someone who sounds like they don’t want to help. Let agents know that HR is there for them to hear their problems out. More importantly, since agents are representatives of a company, it is only proper to address clients formally as Miss or Mister. Save the nickname calling for other agents only, not clients.

 

A call center is a fun working environment where different personalities meet. However, employees should be reminded that the production area is for work related activities only. Eating and talking unnecessarily should be avoided to prevent the client from hearing noise. It shows disrespect and lack of attention. The use of foul or offensive language or tone is never welcome in a call center. Pacify customers with understanding words and do not make the situation even worse by projecting negativity. An office lounge can be of great help to agents who want to pass time and chat while on break.

 

Excellent customer service can be provided when employees are pleasant and in a good place. Management can help them achieve this by setting realistic goals and expectations. Employees often imitate what they see, so it’s important to be good examples to them as well. It is ideal to maintain a happy culture at work, but one should never forget to ensure quality work and calls first.

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Improving Call Center Agent Efficiency

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Image from Stockton University

 
The competence of agents in making sure tasks are delivered successfully can strongly affect the productivity of a Philippine call center entirely. Agents who have difficulty in achieving standards in metrics, performance level and even attendance can weaken the foundation of the BPO since the employees behind it do not perform well. Improve agent efficiency with these simple methods that are proven to be effective in any offshore call center.
 
Consistent and Continuous Training
 
It is important to constantly find ways to improve and develop call center agents performance and skills. A consistent training period enables agents to develop skills as well as improve what they already have through ample lectures, mock calls and exams.
 
Fixing common issues at work
 
Make sure to immediately fix common issues at work by mediating when agents have concerns. By doing so, conflict and coming up with incorrect solutions are lessened or avoided at all. A common database of tried and tested solutions is beneficial for agents who want a quick reference.
 
Monitor live calls
 
By monitoring calls in real time, supervisors are able to listen in on actual calls and provide agents with feedback and coaching. Agents learn more with proper mentoring.
 
Optimal team leader to agent ratio
 
The ratio between these employees are important so that supervisors are able to make time for everyone in the team. If the agents are well supervised, they become efficient. Team leaders who have enough agents can equally provide feedback and attention to all agents.
 
Call Center agents are able to interact better with customers if they are motivated and calibrated well. Listening to their concerns is important for them to feel valued. By implementing these practices, employees are guaranteed to be productive and happy which can help you reach business goals efficiently and effectively.

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The importance of treating employees like customers

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

The main duty of Call Centers in the Philippines is to serve customers by providing excellent customer service through courtesy and product knowledge. Agents represent the company brand and that is why only the best practices are given to the callers.
 
Outstanding customer service begins at the workplace. Without harmony in the office, agents will not be able to produce such enthusiasm to provide what customers need. The Philippine contact center environment can often times be a place of competition or loneliness. To rule out these situations in a team, interaction within the workplace must be encouraged.
 
Here are ways on how to maintain a positive and professionally healthy relationship in a Call Center Outsourcing office.
 
• Be an advocate of Positivity
A good employee exudes positivity in everything he does. Constantly fretting and complaining about work is a sign of negative vibes which can eventually bring the team’s spirit down. Encourage optimism by reminding them of how lucky they are to be employed and the incentives they’ll be getting if they perform well.
 
• Listen more
Empathize with your coworkers and help them with their workplace related issues. A successful team assists each other in the office for their well being including the company’s.
 
Open communication channels
Managers and agents alike should keep all communication channels accessible. Just as it is to customers, so should it be in the office.
 
• Employee value
Call Centers in the Philippines offer incentives to patron customers who has given them support over the years. It is also advisable to give out rewards to agents who have been loyal employees. There is no achievement too little; exceeding quotas, good performance or perfect attendance all deserve recognition.
 
The effectivity of a team’s customer service effort starts with how they interact with each other in the office. Practice these simple steps to create a conducive place for working and positive thinking.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

 

Today marks a special day for the United States and all Philippine call center employees who have American clients. Thanksgiving Day is one of the most important holidays in the year. Though it is important to be thankful every single day, Thanksgiving is the day to celebrate its appreciation, meaning and reflection. It also means no work for most call center agents.

 

There is always something to be thankful about. From the roof on your head, the shoes on your feet, the people who keep you company or the call center outsourcing office you are employed at.

 

If you are still not convinced of how blessed you are, here are some things at work that are very important but have been neglected because it is always there.

 

Internet access, air conditioned rooms and comfortable seats are not available at every workplace. Think about it and be thankful since many have to work under the heat of the sun or sit at chairs with no back support.

 

Philippine contact center employees are paid above the minimum wage. Aside from monetary and health benefits, call center agents also have many learning opportunities such as the ability to improve their communication skills through training and coaching.

 

A supportive, understanding and approachable management is also something to be thankful for. Working for a good boss is very motivational and not everyone has the privilege of doing so.

 

Another thing to be grateful for is being around colleagues that are helpful and nice.

 

The most rewarding aspect of being employed in a Philippine outsourcing company is the sense of importance and worth. Call center agents are essential in providing customer service and to their families as they bring home the bacon.

 

What are you thankful for? Share your thoughts and be sure to let your friends and family know too. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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EB Call Center Helps Calamity Victims

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

 Executive Boutique Call Center, through its corporate social responsibility, has managed to donate over $1,500.00 worth of food, makeshift tents and other supplies to the victims of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that devastated Bohol and Cebu.

 

125 Pieces of Mats, Mosquito Nets and Blankets

 

Canned Food and Other Supplies

 

We would like to thank everyone who participated in making this Philippine call center effort possible.

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Dressing appropriately for call center company parties

Friday, September 13th, 2013
Ladies dressed appropriately for the occasion

Ladies dressed appropriately for a Philippine call center event

 

Dressing for an office party can be quite stressful and confusing. Though preparing for an event may seem like fun, you still have to be conscious about looking appropriate for your bosses and supervisors. A call center outsourcing company is one of the businesses that hosts more than one event in a year. These outings take place because it motivates the employees and prevent further attrition among them.

 

It is a call center agent’s responsibility to do their job correctly on a daily basis. Whereas Philippine call center managers should also make efforts to motivate them through these parties.

 

No matter how fun and exciting the party theme is; limits, designs and even budget should always be remembered and set.

 

What to wear – Always be mindful of what you wear. Stick to the theme and dress code but be mindful of where the venue is. Long gowns and costume-like dresses do not belong in a bar that’s situated in a mall. Whereas shorts are inappropriate in a hotel ballroom setting – unless you want to look silly.

 

How much to spend – For practicalities sake, spend only within your means. Parties like these often award the best looking people of the evening with a sash and a little amount of money. Unless the prizes are higher than what you’ve spent or earn, save the couture and splurging for your wedding and raid your closet or the bargain section instead. Be creative – mix and match and you will see a whole different look without burning a hole in your pocket.

 

Whether you are in a call center outsourcing company event or not, outfits should not be doing the advertising for you. Unless you want to give out the image and attention your attire displays – dress appropriately. Though your clothes may be a way of expressing yourself, some people and places won’t view it that way and you will end up being offended instead.

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