Archive for the ‘green call center’ Category

Ways to reduce hold time and dropped calls in Call Centers

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Executive Boutique Call Center Agents

 
It is a customer’s worst nightmare to be put on hold. Callers who seek out the assistance of Philippine call center agents are in a hurry and want solutions fast which is why every second matters. “Please hold” are the two words that can decrease the levels of customer experience. At the same time, it can also raise tempers up. In worst cases, many of these calls are hung up or abandoned.
 
A customer’s problem level determines the amount of patience he has on the phone. It is less likely for a caller to hang up if the issue is believed to be unresolvable without the aid of an inbound call center agent. Dropped calls are usually the result from callers who have found a solution while waiting in queue. A BPO with high dropped call rates does not look good to potential clients. Instead of using the dreaded phrase, give the customers other options that they can choose from.
 
• Easy Do-it-yourself options
Easy and self servicing sections are more convenient than letting customers wait on the phone. Examples are mobile apps, FAQ pages and even how to videos. With these easy to use applications, customers are able to do things themselves, at the same time, ridding the call center of abandoned call volumes.
 
• Mobile and Desktop Channels
Not all customers are comfortable to talk on the phone. Open non-voice channels such as email, social media (Facebook and twitter), live chat and even text messaging. This can also be a great option for customers to contact again after the call has been ended without it being resolved.
 
• Always do a callback
It is always appreciated when customer representatives call back when they’ve promised to do so. Callbacks are not only limited to phone calls, but are also applicable when a follow up is done through email. This method reassures clients that their concerns are not neglected. It shows that the service provider cares and chooses to fix the issue even outside the first transaction.
 
A Call center in the Philippines that truly cares for its customers will always provide excellent customer service. Transactions are carefully done leaving the customer with a memory that entices one to transact and patronize even more.

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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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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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Maintaining Productivity in a Philippine Call Center

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Philippine call centers are known worldwide to be very competitive and productive. As a matter of fact, this is what makes them stand out globally.

 

A contact center outsourcing’s productivity will vary depending on the season. The queue rates will differ as a national event or global holiday fast approaches. On a full calendar year, productivity can soar high or even decline flat.

 

Circumstances like these are unavoidable that is why outsourcing services providers find ways to keep operations productive all year with the following practices.

 

Boosting Employee Morale

 

Goals can only be met if employees work together. Call Center agents down to team leaders, support and managers should be updated with the goals of the season entirely. Working together on the same page is very important for a team to succeed and excel. Call center agents are trained and provided with knowledge about the functions of the services they provide. Consistent and up to date customer service training are very important to make sure your business is customer service oriented. Employee morale are also boosted especially when managers are regularly trained on leadership.

 

Sufficient Equipment Supply

 

It is very important for Inbound and Outbound Call Centers in the Philippines to acquire the latest in Technology when it comes to equipment. High speed computers with own data servers, clear and noise canceling headsets are essential to making sure that each call is in excellent reception. Professional call centers in the Philippines have an in-house IT department that does regular computer maintenance for efficient operations.

 

Employee Engagement and Reinforcement

 

Inbound and Outbound call centers that have the most activities employ more contented and happy employees. Event, contests and other motivational changes are beneficial to call center agents as they can have fun, interact and stay motivated to work. The ideal employee is inspired and energetic. Call Centers who reward, promote and value their employees can also reap good outcome.

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Getting ready for work after a long break

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

call center agent

 
Reporting back to work after a long vacation or an eventful weekend can be tiresome and will need extra push. Especially if you have to work at night in a Philippine call center.
 
Do not let a new workweek stop you from being productive and hungover from the holidays. Make the first day back an opportunity to improve yourself and work habits.
 
Here are tips on how to start the week fresh and eager to work again.
 
1. Plan your activities – Make adjustments to you schedule for the last day that you’re on vacation. Avoid activities that can tire you the next day to avoid fatigue and even hangovers. Another technique is to wake up early so you can sleep early during bedtime.
 
2. Prepare your things – Nothing is worst than having to bring an empty purse the next morning or forgetting to bring your ID. Call Center Outsourcing companies are very strict in terms of attendance. It is a bad start to be picking up your things all over the place in the morning. All the more being late.
 
3. Arrive early – It is likely that many were also on vacation just like you. Avoid the rush on the first day back to work by arriving early in the office. That way, you will look composed, settled and ready to start the day.
 
4. Think Positive – Work starts to become easy of you think of it as something you enjoy doing. Though you might have been struggling to stay awake while taking inbound call center calls, think of your outsourcing job as the source of all your vacation funds to get yourself motivated.
 
5. Focus on your work – There is nothing better than hearing stories from friends at work. However, save these for break time and concentrate on more important things so you wouldn’t lose your focus.
 
Being an inbound and outbound call center agent allows you to leave all your work worries behind as the day ends. Work hard, do your best and prepare for another adventure to motivate you.

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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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How to become a green establishment

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

These days, many Philippine call center offices and businesses are already eager to create environmentally sound and safe work places to make it better for the employees and the environment. There are just so many ways to become a green call center and it won’t even cost you extra. Here are a few tips on how to be one.

 

E-mail and instant messaging make interoffice communications quicker and easier than distributing paper memos. E-mail newsletter distribution means your customers or clients receive information about your business sooner. Instead of printing out e-mail messages, file them in Outlook or another e-mail system. File the attachments on your hard drive or on a shared drive. Convert an e-mailed invoice to a PDF. Print any documents only if absolutely necessary. Change all of your light bulbs to CFLs, LEDs, or other energy-saving alternative light bulb solutions. Turn off and unplug all computers and electronic devices after office hours; because even when these devices are turned off, they will continue to use electricity unless you unplug the power cord to keep them from charging all night.

 

Likewise, you should also unplug coffee machines and other appliances at the office when they are not in use so they don’t pull electricity all day. Reduce office trash as much as possible, and compost or recycle the rest. You may not consider commuting to be a part of your office’s environmental impact, but your transportation policies can make a large difference. Make walking or riding a bicycle an easier option by offering showers and private changing areas at your office. If inbound call center agents and outbound call center agents agree to walk, bike, or take public transportation to work, offer them a small bonus for encouragement. Use recycled products everywhere you can around the office. Reuse folders, boxes and all other office supplies for as long as possible before purchasing any new ones.

Going green at Philippine contact center can be very effective in demonstrating practical benefits of being environmentally friendly as well as saving business money.

 

 

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