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6 Ways IVR Systems Enhance Customer Service

IVR Systems

IVR SystemsImproving customer service remains a top priority in most call centers, and it’s just as well considering the major impact customer loyalty can have on a company’s bottom line.

That said, IVR systems have become even more integral in ensuring that customers are happy with the brand or service they have signed up for.

In fact, IVR (interactive voice response) systems account for 27 percent of total call experience, according to a report conducted by the firm JD Power & Associates in 2016.

Thanks to the emergence of cloud automation, IVR systems have become even more common as call centers rise to the challenge of keeping up with ever-evolving customer expectations.

Here are the top ways IVR systems enhances customer service call centers in the Philippines.

1. Improved call routing

Using voice prompts, IVR systems can identify and gather customer information efficiently. This information is then processed by the system, proceeding to route callers to the department that is most qualified to address and handle their issues.

By using an optimized and efficient list of menus, an IVR system ensures that customers don’t have to go through the hassle of being transferred from one department to another.

2. Personalized service

By identifying the caller ID of customers, IVR systems can be customized to provide a more personalized service.

An IVR system can be programmed to greet customers on their birthday, offer loyalty programs and personalized incentives to qualified customers.

Through personalized service, call centers can instill loyalty among clients, thus improving customer retention.

3. Reduce hold times and queues

An IVR system is an automated solution that can resolve and address multiple issues more efficiently than agents, resulting in reduced hold times.

And since some callers prefer to use the self-service option that IVR provides, the state of queues in the call center is more easily regulated and managed.

4. Empowers customers

IVR systems offer self-service options that empower customers who prefer to help themselves, thus improving overall customer experience.

This, in turn, gives customers a sense of autonomy in how they communicate with the brand and in how they manage their account.

Self-service options also provide customers with effortless engagement, giving them another good reason to stay loyal to your brand.

5. IVR systems don’t experience fatigue

While IVR systems don’t have the human element required to make genuine connections with customers, they do have an advantage over their human counterparts: they don’t get tired.

Agents are only human, making them susceptible to mistakes when they are feeling fatigued. IVR systems, on the other hand, don’t have that disadvantage. Since IVRs are automated, the quality of service they provide are always consistent, at least barring technical difficulties.

6. Improve first contact resolution

By routing callers to agents who are most qualified to address their issue, IVR systems can significantly shore up a call center’s first contact resolution.

The important of first contact resolution as a metric for call center performance can’t be emphasized enough.

In fact, a study by SQM group reports that a 1% increase in FCR also translates to a 1% increase in customer satisfaction.

Final Word:

As a business owner, it’s important to bear in mind that customer experience is always the most important metric in running a successful call center business.

There are many things you can do to keep customers satisfied with your service, and utilizing a sophisticated and intuitive IVR system should keep you on the right track.

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The Top Five Benefits of CRM Systems to Customer Experience

CRM Systems

CRM SystemsCustomers value excellent customer service when interacting with brands. It is known.

In fact, according to a Walker study, 86% of customers will be willing to pay more for great customer experience by the year 2020.

To the surprise of no one, technology always finds a way to keep up. Enter the CRM system, a tool that companies use to effectively and efficiently manage customer (both potential and existing) information.

Thanks to dedicated CRM systems, companies can now track and manage customer information, correspondences, conversations, and billing information, among many others.

As a result, call centers can deliver excellent customer experience with more regularity and efficiency.

Care to know how? Here are the top five benefits of CRM systems to the customer experience.

1. Faster resolutions

So a customer calls in, and the next thing you know that customer’s information pops up on the screen. Now that’s the convenience.

When that happens, it’s even possible for a call center agent to take an educated guess on why the customer is calling (agent should listen to the customer first, however)

Thanks to the case management functionality that comes with most CRM systems, agents can quickly provide relevant answers to customer queries and offer quick resolutions.

2. Fosters continuity

The point of delivering great customer service is that it builds relationships with clients. Clients want that too.

And for a relationship to prosper, there needs to be a strong sense of continuity in every customer interaction.

It’s roughly equivalent to calling your friend and asking her if she loved the gift you gave her for Christmas and giving her the lowdown on the latest gossip concerning the next-door neighbor.

Because of CRM systems, customers don’t have to repeat themselves over and over again every time they’re doing a follow-up call on a recurring issue.

The best thing about it is that customers will always feel that agents understand their needs and are likely to respond in kind.

3. Self-service integration

IVRs are notorious for stretching the limit of customers’ patience.

Thankfully, many CRM companies are now offering an integrated IVR and CRM solution, providing customers a seamless self-service experience.

With a CRM system in place, an IVR can identify each caller and then proceed to provide custom menu options that are relevant to that particular customer.

4. Find ways to serve customers better

CRM systems provide companies with measurable data that can help them come up with a myriad of actionable insights.

These insights offer opportunities that enable brands to serve customers better.

By offering a comprehensive picture of key performance metrics as they apply to customers, CRM systems make it easier for call centers to deliver customer-centric service on a consistent basis.

5. Better internal communication

Having a good CRM system in place enables companies to have a more efficient internal communication.

Seamless communication between different departments in regards to customer information allows for faster resolution and opens new windows of opportunities to serve customers better.

Conclusion

There are no two ways about it: investing in CRM systems is one of the smartest business decisions you’ll ever make.

Put your customers at the heart of your business, and your company is bound to reel in the profits. As is the case with any meaningful relationship, it’s an arrangement where both parties win.

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Four Steps You Can Make To Reduce Customer Churn

Reduce Customer Churn

Reduce Customer ChurnDo you want your business’s bottom line to get a big boost? Easy. Make a concerted effort to reduce customer churn.

Customers are the lifeblood of your business. And if you want to keep your business alive, you have to take the necessary steps to foster loyalty in your customer base.

In fact, according to Bain & Company, it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t exert some effort into recruiting new customers. If you have sound customer retention strategies in place, every new customer you recruit can potentially offer a lifetime value that will significantly impact your ROI in the long run.

Here are four steps you can make in order to reduce customer attrition.

1. Provide support round the clock

With the rise of multichannel services and social media platforms in the last several years, more and more customers are expecting businesses to be available round the clock.

Simply put, availability issues can have a lasting impact on how customers perceive a business or service.

If, for instance, a customer experiences connectivity issues on his broadband connection at 4 in the morning, being able to provide technical support right then and there not only makes a big impression, it sends the message that you care about your customers.

2. Make use of call notes

If a customer makes a follow-up call over a similar issue only to end up being asked to repeat himself again, chances are he’s going to entertain the notion of switching to another service.

Why? For starters, customers don’t want to feel like they’re being treated like cogs in a machine. They want continuity, and they’ll appreciate the service more if the context of every call reflects that continuity.

By integrating CRM with phone systems, your call center can keep track of customer logs and conversation details.

This approach keeps customers engaged, which will, in turn, instill loyalty in your brand.

3. Offer proactive support

If you want to inspire loyalty among your customer base, you’d do well to take a proactive approach in customer support.

What this means is that you have to identify and resolve customer issues even before they occur or become apparent.

If you’re worried about being a “bother” to customers by being proactive, it’s high time that you put your worries to rest.

To bring home the point, a study made by inContact discovered that 87% of customers are happy about being contacted proactively by companies concerning customer service issues.

4. Reduce customer waiting time

Customers don’t like being made to wait on the phone.

A study made by Arise in 2017 discovered that two-thirds of customers are willing to wait two minutes or less while 13% said that “no wait time is available.”

Considering how current technology has diminished our attention spans in the last decade, this isn’t at all surprising.

Tried-and-tested solutions that can reduce customer waiting time include addressing bottlenecks on a regular basis, creating self-service opportunities, and optimizing the contact center’s system and processes.

Conclusion:

Reducing customer churn goes beyond providing exceptional service and superior products, it also involves engaging your customers in a way that nurtures the business relationship.

To do this, you have to make a constant effort to keep track of your customers’ needs and then taking the necessary steps to address them through your products and services.

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Five Crucial Skills Every Call Center Agent Should Master

Call Center Agent

Call Center AgentIf you want your company to build and maintain a great relationship with customers, you need to have skilled call center agents on the front lines of your business.

Call center agents represent your brand and embody your company’s values, and as such will need the extensive skill set to consistently deliver favorable outcomes in each customer interaction.

As a business owner, you’d do well to invest in your call center agents, and to make your investment count, you need to put in place processes that take into account the following skills.

1. Empathy

The word ‘empathy’ has become such a buzzword in the business world for so many years and rightfully so.

While the concept may sound touchy-feely to some, there’s no denying that empathy is essential to human interactions.

Managers and team leaders need to constantly remind their agents to imagine themselves in the customer’s shoes in every customer interaction.

After all, by ‘owning’ the customer’s problem, agents are putting themselves in the best position to satisfy customers.

Empathetic statements let customers know that you care, and that makes a big difference.

2. Patience

Being a call center agent is a rewarding job, but we have to admit that having to deal with rude or irate customers on a constant basis can make it a little less fun.

That is why patience is a critical skill every call center should have.

When callers are upset about your brand’s products and services, they are likely to treat your agents as a sounding board for the simple fact that they have nothing else to vent their frustrations on.

But agents need to learn not to take it personally and instead be willing to listen and respond calmly in order to diffuse the situation.

That way, the agent (and the company) is able to leave a good impression no matter the outcome.

3. Clear communication

Call center agents need to communicate effectively in order not only to resolve issues quickly but also to ensure that customer interactions are as pleasant as possible.

To deliver on this end, reps have to speak the English language fluently. After all, spotty grammar will always leave customers confused, not to mention that it may take longer to arrive at a resolution and sometimes not at all.

Agents also need to learn how to straddle the line between being conversational and being formal, switching between the two as the situation dictates.

4. Active listening

In a customer interaction, what customers are saying is as important as what they aren’t saying. This is why customer service reps need to give their undivided attention to every call.

Active listening goes beyond just paying attention to the customer’s words. It also involves ‘listening’ with all the senses, meaning they have to respond appropriately, withhold responses when necessary, remember what is being said, and more.

5. Well-organized

Call center agents are regularly tasked to manage, record, and process various types of information.

To be well-organized means many things: taking down notes when appropriate, saving information under the right category, putting things in their proper order, and more.

Call center agents are entrusted with customer information every day and it is their responsibility (and yours) to handle it with care.

What’s Next?

Being a call center agent can be a demanding job, but with the right support and training, they can master all the crucial skills mentioned above with ease.

By training and cultivating these skills in your call center agents, you’re taking the first big step in increasing customer retention and fostering customer loyalty, which will in turn positively impact your business.

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Great Ways to Personalize the Customer Experience

Customer Experience

Customer ExperienceEvery business is forged by developing and nurturing relationships. Without that personal connection, businesses are bound to fail.

It is for this reason why businesses are always aiming to personalize their call center customer service in the Philippines. And now that multi-channel platforms have proliferated, more and more customers are expecting service providers to keep up.

That said, while digital channels offer new possibilities for customer interactions, customers are still seeking an authentic connection with brands.

And it goes without saying that you have to do your part as well.

Here are tips for personalizing customer experience in your call center in a way that drives brand success.

1. Offer multichannel customer service

Multichannel customer service processes offer customers multiple options to communicate with your brand.

By putting these processes in place, you are more likely to provide customers with a seamless experience on account of their preferred channel of communication.

This, in turn, positively impacts customer satisfaction and improves customer retention rates.

2. Personalize with CRM

A modern CRM plays an integral role in optimizing customer experience. Since all customer information is stored in the CRM software, agents can have immediate access to customer information that will give them a keen understanding of the customer’s needs.

Ultimately, the goal of a good CRM software is to ensure that your business is always adopting a customer-centric approach to interacting with customers. This, of course, positively impacts customer satisfaction, which in turn inspires loyalty to your brand.

3. Provide self-service solutions

According to a report by The Real Self-Service Economy, 70% of customers believe that business websites should have a self-service option.

While there’s no separate study exclusive to call centers, common sense dictates that the same sentiments still apply.

What this tells you is that customers feel more comfortable when they do things on their own.

Another advantage you get by offering self-service options to customers is that it significantly streamlines call center processes and reduces cost (since self-service options mean fewer customer service professionals needed on the phone).

4. Collect feedback

It’s always good business practice to solicit feedback from your customers since it helps you come up with better ideas to meet their needs and expectations.

By gathering data and information on how your customers are responding to your personalized strategies, you can analyze the resultant data and be able to refine your processes accordingly.

5. Always add some personal touch

If you want to build a strong relationship with customers, every interaction should have some personal touch added to it. Why? Because customers want to feel that they are valued and respected, not merely as a means to add revenue to the company.

Using a customer’s name in conversation, for example, is one good way to establish a personal connection. That advice may sound too simple, but it makes a big difference.

Moreover, using positive scripting that is warm, pleasant, and empathetic can go a long way into instilling trust in your customers.

Conclusion:

A comprehensive personalization campaign in your call center’s business processes can make a big difference in improving the quality of your customer service.

Personalization is not a mere trend; it’s a proven business strategy that pays big dividends in the long run. On top of the tips mentioned here, it will be in your best interests to come up with more ways to tailor your customer service processes towards personalization.

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Five Strategies You Can Do to Help Your New Call Center Agents Manage Their Average Handling Time

Average Handling Time

Average Handling TimeAHT (Average Handling Time) is one of the most important metrics in a call center. Simply put, a low AHT is one of the good signs that a call center is delivering great customer service.

That’s not in the least surprising. When customers call, they want solutions, and they want them fast.

Since it’s the goal of every call center organization to deliver a positive experience to customers, it only follows that you take the necessary steps to reduce the amount of time they spend on calls.

Here are proven strategies you can use to reduce average handling time in your contact center.

1. Strengthen your knowledge base

A strong knowledge base allows call center agents to pull up customer information and resolve issues with minimal effort.

When the knowledge base is optimized, agents can find relevant answers to even the toughest queries at their fingertips. This way, agents are able to close calls quickly, which in turn makes customers happy.

2. Record and analyze calls

A call center needs to have a system in place that records and analyzes calls. This makes it possible for you to identify which issues and questions are usually taking a long time to be resolved.

Once these issues are identified, you can come up with more efficient solutions to resolving them.

By training your agents to execute such solutions, average handling time can be reduced significantly.

3. Optimize call routing

One great way to reduce AHT is to optimize call routing. After all, a lot of time is wasted every time a caller is routed to the wrong department.

The best way to speed up your call center’s call routing system is to use a high-end automatic call distribution software (ACD).

When customers are always able to reach the agent qualified to handle their issues, it takes significantly less time to end a call.

4. Initiate call backs if necessary

Sometimes a customer will call in with an issue that is much too complex to be resolved immediately. Agents need to be able to identify such cases quickly since attempting to resolve the issue right then and there will only be a waste of time.

What agents can do instead is to initiate a call back at a time when answers and solutions to the customer’s issue are readily available.

5. Optimize the IVR system (Interactive Voice Response)

Recent studies show that more and more customers prefer self-service over having to speak with a customer service representative.

However, it can be frustrating to a caller when the IVR system eats up a lot of time promoting your brand’s wide range of products and services.

To optimize your IVR configuration effectively, you can start by structuring your IVR according to the customer’s perspective. Make your IVR scripts short and simple.

In addition, you can provide pre-recorded messages in a way where customers can help themselves better.

Final Word

While it’s crucial for every call center organization to reduce AHT to meet  KPI targets, care should be taken to ensure that the quality of service is not compromised in any way

A call center organization has to manage AHT the right way and for the right reasons, and you can pull that off by employing the five strategies mentioned above.

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Five Ways to Motivate Your Agents to be the Best in Their Job

Agents

AgentsWith the rise of data science, cryptocurrency, and cloud computing, many industries are currently on the verge of a systemic shift.

As a business owner, you need to be able to adapt to change if you want your business to thrive. That said, there’s one thing that will never go out of style: great customer service.

If you want your customer service to make customers happy on a consistent basis, you have to take the necessary steps to ensure that your agents are motivated enough to be at their best.

It’s not an easy task. For one, being a call center agent is a demanding job. If you don’t give agents enough reasons to stay motivated, your customers and your business are bound to suffer.

Below are tried-and-tested ways to ensure that call center agents are motivated enough to put their best foot forward at all times.

1. Foster a positive working environment

As a business owner, the onus is on you to take the initiative to reinforce the right attitudes and proper mindset among call center employees.

In short, you need to foster a positive working environment.

Sounds like hard work? Perhaps. But if you take the time to interact with every employee (not just agents) and take the steps needed to contribute to a pleasant and friendly environment, then you are well on your way.

After all, as a leader, all agents and managers look up to you for guidance. As a leader, what you do serves as the blueprint which employees will be adhering to.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to communicate your desire to create a warm and friendly atmosphere to managers and agents. As the business owner, you’ll have many opportunities to do that.

2. Encourage a feedback culture

Forget suggestion boxes and put them where they belong: the dustbin.

To ensure that feedback is always contributing to the improvement of the workplace, you have to encourage a culture or environment where ideas and feedback are freely shared by employees.

In turn, a system where ideas and suggestions can be reviewed quickly by a committee needs to be in place. For optimal results, a reliable feedback loop needs to be implemented as well.

When employees realize that their ideas are being taken seriously, they are more likely to realize that they’re part of the company’s growth and as such will feel more motivated to make contributions.

3. Recognize and reward employees for good performance

Everyone craves recognition for a job well done. Yes, even those who pretend that personal accolades don’t matter to them.

A word of praise, a pat on the back, or a simple complimentary shout out can go a long way into boosting an employee’s morale.

When an employee feels that her contributions are valued and recognized, the behavior that led to the positive feedback is reinforced. It gives the employee something to aspire to.

That said, agents who perform poorly need to be guided as well. But it should be done in private to save them the humiliation.

4. Assign agents a variety of tasks

Agents who are made to do the same tasks over and over again are likely to feel disillusioned and bored by their responsibilities down the line.

This is why agents need to be assigned a variety of tasks to keep them engaged and interested.

Instead of consigning an agent to voice work 100 percent of the time, you can ask them to work on email or web chat or other support responsibilities as well.

5. Promote from within

Employees will feel more motivated to do their best when they know that their hard work could land them a promotion.

After all, promoting from within is one of the best ways to show your agents that you appreciate them for their contributions. It gives them the validation that their talents are an asset to the organization.

In addition, setting up career development programs gives agents the support they need to advance in their career. It gives them a sense of direction and purpose, thus keeping them engaged and motivated.

Key Takeaway:

Every business is bound to face challenges that will make it difficult for employees to stay motivated.

But if you implement the steps above and ask each member of your team to support you in the endeavor, it will only be a matter of time before your business achieves the growth that you’ve been planning for.

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How to Retain a Customer who is about to Quit Doing Business with your Company

Retain a Customer

Retain a CustomerCustomer retention is crucial to the success and survival of any call center business, or any business for that matter.

Does that surprise anybody? Surely not. Without customers, there can be no business.

While customer attrition is sometimes inevitable, every business owner worth her salt needs to adopt a proactive approach in making customers stay.

To bring home the point, here are two important factoids proving why keeping customers should become a priority in your business:

  • Bain & Company study shows that increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent raises profits by 5 to 25 percent.
  • Harvard Business Review reports that “acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.”

Convinced? Here are the best ways a call center can retain customers who are on the verge of severing their business relationship with your company.

1. Process cancellations through voice channels

Before a call center can retain customers, agents need to be provided opportunities to work their magic.

One good way to do this is to direct the cancellation process through voice channels

While it may cost your company a little to encourage customers to speak with a representative when requesting a cancellation, having the opportunity to convince them to stay can significantly shore up your customer retention efforts.

2. Offer a cheaper option

Some customers choose to cancel their subscription due to money issues. In such cases, the best course of action is to offer a cheaper alternative.

Since there will always be customers, who aren’t aware that there are cheaper plans than the one they’re subscribed to, making the right offer at the point of cancellation is the logical next step.

Once a customer has decided to downgrade their subscription, kindly remind her that she can choose to upgrade anytime — preferably once her financial situation has improved.

If customers are calling in to cancel their subscription because they find the product or service wanting, reps should go the extra mile in helping them resolve their issues with the company.

In cases where they are requesting to cancel so they can switch to a competitor, make it a point to explain why your brand can offer so much more.

3. Offer inconvenienced customers gestures of goodwill

Customers can be impulsive sometimes.

When customers are having a bad day, even the smallest inconvenience where they feel that your company is to blame may cause them to make a rash decision.

Most of the time, a gesture of goodwill — a voucher or a one-off credit — can help dampen their temper, causing them to reconsider if cancelling the service isn’t such a good idea after all.

Of course, it goes without saying that whatever issue the customer may be having should be addressed as soon as possible.

4. Remind customers what they’re giving up

Your call center agents have to remind customers what they’re about to give up when they decide to stop doing business with you.

One great way to do this is to use a spiel, something that goes along the lines of, “Are you sure you want to cancel the service? If you unsubscribe, you will no longer have access to (insert your brand’s best offerings here)…”

If your company is offering loyalty incentives (and it should), the point of cancellation offers a great opportunity to remind customers about their eligibility to special offerings that may be coming their way if they choose to continue doing business with you.

5. Form teams of retention specialists

Setting up a team/s of retention specialists trained to engage customers who are on the verge of quitting is a great strategy to adopt in your customer retention efforts.

Since these specialized reps’ primary focus is to retain customers, they are more likely to become more effective in convincing them to stay.

For better results, a rigorous approach in selecting the best agents for the job has to be adopted (refined “soft skills” is an important qualification to have).

Key Takeaway

Retaining customers poses a lot of challenges for any business. After all, it’s difficult to convince people who appear to have already made up their minds.

But if you adopt the practices mentioned above with a conscious intent to keep customers happy, you are providing customers the best reason not to leave.

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Five Effective Ways of Maintaining Active Listening in the Call

Active Listening Skill

Active Listening SkillActive listening is a critical skill every call center agent needs to hone. By mastering this skill, an agent is highly likely to deliver a positive experience in each customer interaction.

It bears mentioning, however, that active listening goes beyond just hearing and understanding the words coming out of the caller’s mouth.

It’s a dynamic process that requires the agent’s full engagement.

Active listening can be a difficult skill to master, but far from impossible. Here are tips to help call center agents maintain active listening while on the job.

1. Be at the moment

A call center agent needs to give the customer her undivided attention the moment she finishes her standard welcome spiel.

In short, she has to be fully at the moment, not allowing distractions to draw her attention away from what the customer is saying.

Granted, customers go into tangent at times, and might even head towards boring territory.

That, however, is no excuse for agents to get sidetracked. The moment their thoughts start to wander, the agent has to force herself to refocus.

2. Empathize

Knowing how to put yourself in the customer’s shoes comes with the territory when you’re a call center agent. Additionally, empathy is a skill that can help agents focus better on what customers are saying.

This is why it’s essential that agents are trained and often reminded to always understand where the caller is coming from, even when that caller is unreasonable.

Listening is always easier when there’s a genuine desire to help. The same rule applies to conversations between customer and call center agent.

3. Don’t jump to conclusions

Call center agents often handle similar issues on a day to day basis, and doing so may make the job feel repetitive to them.

Because of this tendency, agents may fall into the trap of jumping to conclusions when a customer talks about an issue they’ve heard many times before.

This is a critical error customer service reps need to avoid at all costs.

When listening and talking to customers, agents need to keep an open mind. This ensures that they’re not missing out on critical information and subtle cues that can help them arrive at the best solution.

4. Ask for clarifications when needed

Even the most skilled listener can get confused by what a speaker is saying especially when it comprises many complex or seemingly unrelated ideas.

This is why agents have to be reminded not to shy away from asking for clarifications when something is confusing or unclear.

More often than not, callers will take it as a cue that the rep is listening and genuinely interested in helping out.

That said, agents have to wait for the caller to make a pause before asking for clarifications. Reps can say something along the lines of, “Back up a second, but could you clarify that for me, please?”

5. Master paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is the process of restating what the speaker has said, but in different words and, whenever necessary, in a slightly different context.

It’s an important skill to have because it shows the caller that the agent is paying close attention. It also assures the customer that the agent can fully understand his issue.

Ultimately, paraphrasing, when done well, makes customers feel that their issue is being addressed with a sense of urgency.

Key Takeaway:

In a world becoming even more beset with distractions, it’s starting to feel like active listening is becoming a lost art. Let this not be the case in your call center.

When push comes to shove, active listening is what makes it possible for us humans to make meaningful connections with each other. It goes without saying that the same rule applies to providers and customers.

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Why Promoting from within is Good for Your Call Center Business

Call Center Business

Call Center BusinessThe question of whether it’s preferable for organizations to prioritize internal hires over outsiders when filling a job vacancy has long been settled for years now.

And the general consensus is this: internal hires trump external hires almost every time.

What settled it was a 2012 study made by Wharton assistant professor Matthew Bidwell, who came out with these findings:

  • Internal hires perform much better on the job in the first few years following a promotion than outsiders who were recruited for the similar job.
  • External hires have higher exit rates than internal hires.
  • External candidates are offered higher salaries (up to 20 percent%) than internal hires.

All results point to the same conclusion: promoting those belonging to the existing employee base is far more recommendable than hiring from outside.

While there’s no study similar to Bidwell’s that exclusively applies to call center organizations, logic dictates that the same rule still applies.

Here are five reasons why call centers will do well to prioritize internal recruits over external candidates in their recruitment efforts.

1. It’s cost-effective

Call center organizations spend quite a hefty amount each year in recruiting new hires.

On top of paying for advertisements, the HR team also has to allocate expenses on pre-screenings and interviews before deciding to hire a new employee.

And don’t even get started on the training expenses. Do you know that the average call center spends nearly 2,000 dollars training each new recruit in a span of 4 weeks?

In fact, this Tenacity article has been kind enough to do the math for us.

Considering the high employee turnover rate in most call center organizations, there’s no question that prioritizing internal hires over outsiders is the more attractive route.

Besides, all the money expended on advertisements, screenings, training classes, etc. would be better spent on empowering your current employee base and boosting their morale.

2. Saves you time

As if the hiring process isn’t strenuous enough, the company also has to invest some time in orienting new employees to the company’s vision, values, technologies, and processes as soon as they are hired.

In addition, new recruits also have to go through a steep learning curve before they can get acclimated to their new environment.

In contrast, promoting an existing employee allows you to do away with all that. Considering the call center industry’s fast-paced environment, time is a luxury you don’t have.

3. Boosts productivity and morale

Rewarding productive employees with a promotion is an excellent way to foster a culture of loyalty, growth, and stability in the organization.

When employees feel that their hard work and dedication are rewarded by the company, they are more likely to feel more motivated to give it their best at work.

Moreover, unlike external recruits, existing employees are already familiar with the organization’s policies and procedures, and as such will be much more productive right from the get-go following a promotion.

4. Improves employee engagement

By promoting deserving employees, you are giving them a sense of growth and direction in their career within the organization.

This, in turn, motivates them to take ownership of their roles within the company and as a result, will give it their best efforts.

Conclusion:

While external hiring has its own merits (for example, new hires are more likely to bring new ideas to the company), studies and current sentiments show that internal hiring is far more preferable as a recruitment strategy.

When existing employees feel that they can count on the company to provide them career opportunities that they worked hard for, it gives everyone a better sense of stability.

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