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Customer Support

How to Train Your Newly Hired Customer Service Agents to be More Engaging


newly_hired_customer_service_agentsWhether you’re running a product or a service-based business, living up to your customers’ expectations is a must if you want to succeed.

What makes this tricky, however, is the fact that your customers aren’t just looking for a solution to their problems, they’re looking for quick solutions.

They want their problems solved the soonest and would often ask to speak with a skilled agent who can do this for them.

Of course, if your company can’t give them just that, then they won’t hesitate going to your competitors.

This tells the business owners that for them to outdo their competitors, they need to provide exceptional customer service.

How are you going to accomplish that, you might want to ask?

Well, you can start by training your newly hired customer service reps to be more engaging and interactive.

The following are several crucial ideas and tips on how you can help your customer representatives become more engaging, more confident and more effective!

1. Start with the basic induction and let them learn the Product.

Induction is the first step that helps a new employee familiarize with the product and services that you are offering. Make sure you give your newly hired customer service reps a thorough insight of the products that you are offering.

They should understand the product or service as their own. The first part of their training should revolve around products, services and solutions that they can offer.

2. Conduct scenario-based training sessions.

While you train the new reps, throw multiple scenarios at them. This will help in two ways. One, your reps will understand the kind of queries they may face. Two, it will help them think of multiple ways to provide a solution to the customer.

This is a good way to build a line of communication and boost their confidence.

3. Recognize their mistakes and acknowledge their effort.

It is essential to tell your employees where they are going wrong. Guide them with patience and be professional when you criticism them.

Another thing that you must do is to acknowledge the efforts that your employees are making. A small dose of encouragement can make your reps move mountains (not literally). It can certainly help them display more confidence while speaking with a customer.

4. Include quests and challenges in your program.

Challenges evoke productivity and creativity. Therefore, make sure you add quests and challenges to your training program.

Take them through online challenges or ask them to take an impromptu call with a customer. Such challenges can help your new hires learn quickly and perform better.

5. Assign mentors to new hires.

You can hit two birds with one arrow if you practice this. Assigning a mentor to a group of new hires will not just help in their training but also encourage your existing employees to perform better so as to grab the position of a mentor.

If your newly hired customer service rep is motivated to perform during the training session, they will be able to absorb the knowledge efficiently and excel while enrolled on-process.


A well-trained and enthusiastic customer rep can help your business expand in ways you’d never imagine.

Always devote enough time in training them with new materials and they’ll most likely perform better with how to address your customer’s concerns.

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5 Tips to Improve Customer Loyalty and Retention

improve customer loyalty

improve customer loyaltyIn today’s ever-competitive business environment, it’s imperative for every business owner to build sound strategies that positively impact customer loyalty and retention.

To do this, special emphasis needs to be placed on great customer service.

Why? For starters, a 2009 survey suggested that the most common reason why customers cancel a service is because of poor customer support.

There’s no surprise there, really.

After all, the customer service agents is a business’s front line when interacting with customers. It’s how a company can establish a relationship with its client base.

Listed below are tips to improve customer loyalty and retention

1. Interact with customers on a personable level

Customer service agents play a crucial role when it comes to “humanizing” a business entity.

This bit is crucial since people highly prefer to deal with people — and not companies or brands.

Customers in general want to feel that they are valued as people first, not just for the business opportunities they provide.

There are many ways your customer service team can pull this off, but perhaps the shorthand of it is to employ effective “soft skills.”

This can mean everything from greeting the customer by name, to showing courtesy at all times during each call, to thanking the customer for calling.

If recent studies on customer interaction are any indication, it is that clients are more likely to stay loyal to your brand if they are treated by customer service personnel in a personable manner.

2. Reduce customer effort

Customers grow frustrated when their issues are not resolved quickly, even more so when the resolution offered requires them to do some of the lifting.

According to a study published in Harvard Business Review, reducing customer effort positively impacts customer loyalty.

Train your employees to resolve issues more efficiently and chances are your customers will be less likely to cancel the service on a whim.

3. Go the extra mile for your customers

Another way to make customers stay with the company is to regularly offer them rewards and incentives.

By rewarding clients, you are showing them your appreciation for their business. More importantly, you are giving them good reasons to continue purchasing your services.

Another important strategy you can adopt is to regularly offer goodwill gestures to customers who have issues with the service.

For instance, you can offer customers a refund to compensate for the inconvenience they experienced on account of, say, a technical issue.

It’s important to note that goodwill gestures have more positive impact to customer loyalty when they are offered even if customers didn’t ask for them.

4. Be proactive

An amazing strategy to boost customer loyalty and diminish churn rates is to be proactive at all times.

What this means is that you have to anticipate the customer’s needs at every available opportunity.

Will the service be undergoing a service maintenance which could cause technical problems for customers? Inform them at least a few days in advance through all available channels.

Being forthcoming with customers in regards to information that concerns them inspires confidence and brand loyalty.

5. Foster customer-centered behavior into company culture

Emphasizing to agents that the main thrust of the company’s strategy is to deliver great customer experience can go a long way into making sure that every hand on deck is on board.

It makes for an easy integration of customer-centric policies and procedures into the company’s operations, resulting to positive results in customer support interactions.

Final Word

Increasing customer loyalty and retention is essential in securing a business’s long-term goals.

We at Executive Boutique know this all too well, which is why we are committed to training our agents to be well-versed in the best practices that have been proven to improve customer experience.

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Preventing PHI Data Breaches in Contact Centers

PHI data breaches

PHI data breaches

PHI data breaches can cause a lot of problems for both the medical organizations and for the patients to which the protected health information (PHI) belongs to.

PHI holders whose information have been breached can experience severe social damage to his or her career, reputation, family, and even lifestyle.

The impact of PHI data breaches are so severe that it can even lead PHI holders to sue the organization and demand compensation for the damages that occurred.

Because of these repercussions, it is highly important for medical establishments to only work with contact centers that are HIPAA compliant and that practice a high sense of PHI data security.

This blog post will cover two important tips on methods that HIPAA-compliant contact centers can use to prevent data breaches.

Our goal at the end of this post is that you’d be able to identify contact centers that use methods and strategies that are aligned with preventing data breaches.

Employing Risk Assessments

Risk assessments involve utilizing a third-party security expert to conduct a thorough check up on the kind of safety and security level that is used in a contact center’s operating procedures.

These experts then give feedback to the agency on how they could improve their safety standards to prevent becoming a victim of possible data breaches.

Consider some of the following scenarios:

  • Agents leaving their desktop computers open and accessible while taking a break, allowing unauthorized individuals to view and even access the PHI.
  • PHI storage devices not utilizing any encryption software, thereby leaving the data easily accessible in the event of the device either being stolen or lost.
  • Agents discussing confidential PHI details among their peers, colleagues, and other individuals who are not authorized to know these details.

Because lapses such as these can sometimes be overlooked, investing in risk assessments would help pinpoint vulnerable areas in a contact center’s information handling and storage.

These lapses and vulnerabilities can then be corrected by the agency via proper employee training or by using the right cyber-security and encryption tools.

Utilizing Uniform Training

Another way of reducing the likelihood of a data breach is to ensure that all employees go through and pass a uniform training program that focuses on HIPAA compliance.

These employees should be fluent with the HIPAA compliance guidelines and should be kept up-to-date with any changes and updates to the Act’s regulations.

The agency’s management should also regularly remind and emphasize to agents the important operating procedures and policies that they need to maintain as they go about their daily tasks.

Some of these procedures could include the following:

  • Agents ensuring that their screens have to be protected from the view of other unauthorized individuals at all times.
  • Agents storing files in secured locations and utilizing secure emails and phone lines when disseminating sensitive PHI.
  • Agents encrypting files before sending them and utilizing password-locks when taking breaks to ensure that unauthorized individuals could not access their devices.

Emphasizing these guidelines and setting consequences for compliance-failure would lessen the chances of data breaches happening because of any lapses on the agent’s part.

What’s Next?

If you’re looking for a HIPAA-compliant contact center to outsource your patient’s PHI handling, storage, and management needs, allow us to help.

Executive Boutique is a fully-compliant HIPAA call center that is well-versed with patient privacy and never overlooks data security.

For more information, click the contact button on the upper-right part of this page to contact us today.

Also, got any questions, concerns, and feedback?

Comment below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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Frequently Asked Questions Business Owners Have on PCI Compliance

PCI Compliance

PCI Compliance

Let me guess: You want to learn more about the Payment Card Industry (PCI), don’t you? However, with all the things that you need cover, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed. As a PCI DSS compliant call center, we’re here to help you with just that — learning about PCI compliance.

We’re going to walk you through some of the basics of the industry, hoping that we’ll be able to address the burning questions that you have about it.

Today, we’re going to do this by answering ten common queries that a lot of first-timers have on PCI compliance.

Without further ado, let’s hop right in.

1. What is the PCI DSS?

PCI DSS stands for the “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.” This is a set of security protocols and guidelines designed to make sure that all companies that accept, store, process, or transmit any credit card information would maintain a secure environment.

2. What is the PCI SSC?

PCI SSC stands for the “Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.” This council is a body launched last September 7, 2006 for the management of the growth and changing dynamics of security standards in the PCI.

The PCI SSC administers and handles the PCI DSS and focuses on enhancing account security through the payment and transaction process. This body was made by leading payment card brands, namely: MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, and JCB.

3. Is the PCI SSC responsible for enforcing compliance?

No. The acquirers and payment brands are responsible for compliance enforcement, not the PCI council.

4. Does the PCI DSS apply to my business?

If your company transmits, stores, or accepts any cardholder data, then the PCI DSS applies to your organization no matter its size or transaction amount.

5. What is a merchant?

A merchant is any entity that accepts any payment card that bears a logo of any of the PCI SSC members for payment of goods or services.

6. What is an acquirer?

An acquirer is an entity that processes transactions for merchants. These entities are usually financial institutions and are explicitly defined by a payment brand as such. Other names that it may carry include “acquiring bank,” “merchant bank,” and “acquiring financial institution.”

7. What is a service provider?

A service provider is any entity

  • That is not a payment card brand; and,
  • That is directly involved in cardholder data storage, processing, or transmission.

8. Can a merchant also be a service provider?

Yes. If your company stores, processes, and transmits cardholder data, and if your organization also accepts payment cards as a payment for services or goods, then your business is both a merchant and a service provider.

9. Are there penalties for non-compliance?

Yes, there are. If non-compliance is spotted, payment brands may fine a bank $5,000 to $100,000 each month for every violation. The bank would usually pass along the fine until it would eventually reach the merchant.

Also, banks may either increase transaction fees or terminate your relationship depending on the violation performed.

10. What happens if my business chooses not to cooperate?

PCI DSS is not a law and just a standard. However, merchants who do not comply with PCI DSS may receive fines at the discretion of service providers and acquirers if a violation was spotted.

Also, any breach events that occur may incur forensic audits and card replacement costs from these acquirers or service providers.

What’s next?

Do you still have more questions about PCI compliance?

Let us know about them in the comments below.

(Note: If you’re looking for a PCI DSS compliant call center to help administer your customer’s sensitive authentication data. Contact us now.)

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What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About PCI Compliance

PCI Compliance


PCI Compliance

Regardless of the type of industry that your business is in, security is one of the crucial things that you shouldn’t neglect. As a PCI DSS compliant call center, we’d like to share this guide with you to help you in keeping your business secure with PCI compliance.

If you’re new to PCI compliance and are wanting to learn about how it works, then this guide is certainly for you.

Let’s hop right in.

What is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS means “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.” This was created by the PCI Security Standards Council — a global body comprised of five major card brands located worldwide.

These five companies include:

  • Visa Inc.
  • MasterCard
  • JCB International
  • Discovery Financial Services, and
  • American Express.

This standard aims to reduce credit card fraud by placing safeguards on how sensitive authentication data is stored, processed, and transmitted. Any companies using any one of the five card payment systems are required to comply with the regulations set by the council.

Why is telephone card payment security essential?

Many regulatory bodies require companies to record and store phone conversations in different situations. In line with this, many fraudsters are currently shifting towards the telephone-order medium to steal data due to increased security and risk-mitigation factors in e-commerce environments.

Because of this regulatory compliance to other authorities, organizations who take customer card details over the phone may be exposing the obtained cardholder data to unnecessary risk due to being in contravention of the established PCI DSS requirements.

What are PCI DSS compliant call centers?

In a nutshell, call centers who comply with the PCI DSS standards have to ensure the following requirements:

  • Implement and maintain an appropriate sensitive-authentication-data retention policy;
  • Mask the primary account number of customers whenever it is displayed;
  • Render the customer’s primary account number as unreadable whenever being stored;
  • Encrypt the cardholder data before transmitting it through public networks;
  • Implement proper user authentication for agents, staffs, and administrators;
  • Adhere to a security policy on information;
  • Label, inventory, and render unreadable any media that is used to record information as guided by PCI DSS requirements; and,
  • Implement all PCI DSS requirements.

How do I know if a call center is PCI DSS compliant?

You can identify if call centers who take over-the-phone credit card details are PCI compliant or not.

Ask them to prove how they comply with PCI DSS regulations, and ask them to explain to you how they eliminate any sensitive authentication data from their recordings. This removal of data ought to be automatic and with no manual intervention from the staff.

What’s next?

If you’re looking for a PCI DSS compliant call center to help you with administering your customer’s sensitive authentication data, then contact us now.



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Your Ultimate Guide to HIPAA – Part Two

Guide to HIPAA

Guide to HIPAA

Welcome back to our ultimate guide to HIPAA series. We’re at the second part of our three-part series, where we dissect the ins and outs of the HIPAA guidelines. As a HIPAA compliant call center, we decided to run this three-part series to help you have a better understanding of how HIPAA words.

Let’s get back to where we left off.

On healthcare fraud and abuse prevention, administrative simplification, and medical liability reform

Title II of the HIPAA defines guidelines, policies, and procedures for how the security and privacy of identifiable health information of individuals ought to be maintained. Title II also outlines a number of offenses related to healthcare and sets the criminal and civil penalties for the violations of such offenses.

Though several programs were created under Title II to limit abuse and fraud within the healthcare system, perhaps its most significant provisions are its administrative simplification rules.

The title required the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to formulate rules that focus on increasing the current health care system’s efficiency by creating standards for healthcare information use and dissemination.

These rules are applied to what HIPAA and the HHS define as “covered entities.” These entities include health care providers with healthcare data transmission regulated by the HIPAA, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses (such as community health information systems and billing services).

As required by Title II, five rules were promulgated by the HHS regarding Administrative Simplification, namely:

  • The Security Rule;
  • The Enforcement Rule;
  • The Privacy Rule;
  • The Unique Identifiers Rule; and,
  • The Transactions and Code Sets Rule.

Security rule

The Final Rule on HIPAA’s Security Standards was announced on February 20, 2003, taking effect on April 21, 2003, with its compliance date of up to April 21, 2006.

The Security Rule specifically deals with Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI). Three types of security safeguards were laid out and required for compliance, namely: administrative, physical, and technical.

The rule has identified various security standards for each type, and it also named both addressable implementation specifications and required specifications for each standard.

Required specifications are those that have to be adopted and administered as how the rule stipulates and dictates. Addressable specifications, on the other hand, are more flexible, as individual covered entities are given the privilege to evaluate their situation with these types of specifications and determine what the best way of implementing these are.

The complete details on the specific standards and specifications of the security rule can be read by clicking on the link in the resource section of this guide.

Enforcement rule

The HHS issued the Final Rule regarding the implementation of HIPAA on February 16, 2006. This rule took effect on March 16, 2006.

The Enforcement Rule has civil money penalties set for violating HIPAA standards and also has procedures for hearings and investigations for HIPAA violations established, as many years have passed with only a limited number of prosecutions for violations.

As of March 2013, there have been over 19,306 cases investigated by the HHS that have been resolved by requiring corrective actions or changes in privacy practice.

There have been many complaints investigated against multiple types of businesses, such as primary healthcare centers, national pharmacy chains, hospital chains, insurance groups, and other small providers.

According to the official website of HHS, the following is a list of issues that have often been reported according to frequency:

  • PHI misuse and disclosure;
  • No protection where health information is located;
  • Patients not being able to access their medical information;
  • Disclosing or using more than the necessary minimum amount of protected health information needed; and,
  • No electronic protected health information safeguards.

Privacy rule

The Privacy Rule’s effective compliance date was April 14, 2003, with a year’s worth of extension for “small plans.”

The Privacy Rule of HIPAA regulates how Protected Health Information (PHI) that are held by covered entities are being used and disclosed. Per HHS regulation, the HIPAA privacy rule is also extended to independent contractors working with covered entities that fit the definition of “business associates.”

PHI is any information that is held by a covered entity that involves healthcare payment, healthcare provision, or health status that possibly can be linked to an individual. This definition of PHI is interpreted quite broadly and also includes any portion of a person’s payment history and medical record.

Within 30 days upon request, covered entities have to disclose PHI to requesting individuals. They are also required to disclose PHI whenever required to do such by law.

However, covered entities are not allowed to disclose PHI without the patient’s written expressed authorization for health care operations, payment, or to facilitate treatment. Any other PHI disclosure requires written consent from the individuals to be obtained by covered entities.

Also, when covered entities disclose any PHI, a reasonable effort has to be made to keep the necessary information disclosed to the bare minimum needed to achieve its purpose.

Unique identifiers rule

HIPAA covered entities are required to use the National Provider Identifier (NPI) to identify health care providers that are covered in standard transactions starting from May 23, 2007 (or May 23, 2008, for small health plans).

All covered entities that use electronic communications, such as health insurance companies, hospitals, physicians, and so forth, have to use a single new NPI starting May 2006 (or May 2007 for small health plans).

Though NPI replaces all other types of identifiers used by Medicaid, Medicare, health plans, and other government programs; the NPI still does not take the place of the tax identification number, state license number, and DEA number of a provider.

The NPI contains ten digits, may be alphanumeric, and has its last digit as a checksum. The NPI is simply an ordinary number that does not provide any additional meaning in itself and does not contain any intelligence embedded within it.

The NPI is never re-used and is unique and national. Except for institutions, a provider usually can have only a maximum of one. Organizations may obtain multiple NPIs if they have different parts or subparts of itself, such as a rehab facility or a freestanding cancer center.

Transactions and code sets rule

With intentions to make the current healthcare system in the United States much more efficient by having healthcare operations standardized, HIPAA added to Title XI of the Social Security Act a new Part C that is titled “Administrative Simplification.”

This added part aims to simplify healthcare transactions by necessitating health plans to engage in all healthcare transactions in a format that is standardized.

Health plans that are covered by HIPAA are now required to use standardized electronic transactions. A number of electronic data interchange transactions are currently being used for HIPAA compliance. More about this can be read about by clicking the link in the resource section below.

HIPAA violations

HHS received about 91,000 complaints between April 2003 and January 2013 for HIPAA violations. 22,000 of these led to various kinds of enforcement actions, while 521 resulted in criminal action referrals to the Department of Justice.

There are two types of penalties that can be incurred: civil penalties and criminal penalties. The most prominent difference between the two is that civil penalties do not include imprisonment while criminal penalties do.

For a clear comparison of the differences of civil and criminal penalties, the following are some examples of violations that may incur civil penalties:

  • Individuals not knowing that they violated the HIPAA even after exercising reasonable diligence;
  • HIPAA violation that is due to reasonable cause but not due to willful neglect;
  • HIPAA violation that is due to willful neglect, but the violation was corrected within the specified or required time; and,
  • HIPAA violation that is due to willful neglect and was not corrected.

While the following are examples of violations that may incur criminal penalties:

  • Specified individuals and covered entities who “knowingly” disclosed or obtained individually identifiable PHI in an unauthorized manner;
  • Offenses that were committed under false pretenses; and,
  • Offenses that were committed with intent to transfer, sell, or use individually identifiable PHI for personal gain, commercial advantage, or malicious harm.

Part three of your ultimate HIPAA guide soon

While we tried our best to add the most crucial parts of the second title of HIPAA, the guide we shared is by no means complete.

If you still would like to read more on the contents of Title II: Preventing health care fraud and abuse; administrative simplification; medical liability reform of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, do check out the resource section of this guide, and click on the link below.

Stick around for Part Three of Your Ultimate Guide to HIPAA.

(Note: If you are looking for a HIPAA compliant call center to assist you with administering your customer’s sensitive medical records. Contact us now.)



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Your Ultimate Guide to HIPAA – Part One



Let me guess: You want your patients’ medical records handled with utmost care and security, don’t you? That is why you’re looking for a HIPAA compliant call center to partner with, so you can be confident that the way your customers’ medical records are handled is in accordance with the HIPAA guidelines. Of course, we can help you with just that since we are a HIPAA compliant call center.

However, in addition to supporting you through our services, we’d also like to bolster your current understanding of the act by educating you with the ins and outs of HIPAA.

We’re going to run a full-blown series talking about the guidelines and workings of HIPAA. At the end of the series, we hope that you’ll have a better understanding of how HIPAA works, so that you can stay compliant and avoid the hefty fees that comes with violating their rules.

Let’s hop right in.

HIPAA in a nutshell

If you didn’t already know, HIPAA is an acronym that stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

It is an act that was enacted by the U.S. Congress on August 21, 1996, and was also signed by President Bill Clinton in the same year. It’s also known as the 191st Public Law of the 104th U.S. Congress.

Other names that it goes by is the Kassebaum–Kennedy Act or the Kennedy–Kassebaum Act, which is named after two of its main leading sponsors.

It’s official long title is: “An act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets, to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery, to promote the use of medical savings accounts, to improve access to long-term care services and coverage, to simplify the administration of health insurance, and for other purposes.

The long title above mentions multiple actions that HIPAA covers. Parallel to the aforementioned enumerated processes that the act aims to accomplish, HIPAA is seen to be divided into a total of five different “titles” or parts in its table of contents, namely:

  • Title I: Health care access, portability, and renewability
  • Title II: Preventing health care fraud and abuse; administrative simplification; medical liability reform
  • Title III: Tax-related health provisions
  • Title IV: Application and enforcement of group health plan requirements, and
  • Title V: Revenue offsets

Let’s start this series by tackling the contents of each of these titles bit-by-bit. We are going to dive into each of these titles, and take a closer look at what each title is all about.

Up first is the healthcare title.

On health care access, portability, and renewability

The first title of HIPAA contains how the breadth and availability of some individual health insurance policies and group health plans are now regulated.

It amended acts such as the Public Health Service Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and the Internal Revenue Code.

Group health plan coverage and limitation

The first title requires that group health plans would cover individuals that have preexisting conditions. This title also limits the restrictions that a group health plan could place on the benefits for preexisting conditions.

The way it works is that group health plans could choose to refuse to provide benefits that are related to preexisting conditions for a term of 12 months after being enrolled in the plan or a period of 18 months in cases of late enrollment.

Title I also allows individuals to have the exclusion period of their group health-plan reduced depending on the amount of time of “creditable coverage” that they had right before enrolling in the plan. It also allows individuals this exclusion period reduction after “significant breaks” in coverage.

For a quick definition of these terms:

  • “Creditable coverage” has a broad definition, but includes almost all individual and group health plans, Medicaid, and Medicare.
  • “Significant breaks” in coverage is operationally defined as any 63-day time without any creditable coverage.

Title I comes with an exception though that allows employers to tie premiums and copayments to body mass index and tobacco use.

Another thing that the title requires is that policies ought to be issued without exception to individuals that are leaving group health plans with a creditable coverage that exceeds over 18 months.

This title also requires insurers to renew individuals regardless of health condition and without exclusion so long as these policies are being offered, or to provide alternatives instead to the plans that are discontinued so long as the insurer would stay in the market.

Exemptions on Title I requirements

Some health care plans are exempted from the Title I requirements as mentioned above.

Some of those that are exempted include long-term health plans and other plans that are limited in terms of scope, such as vision and dental plans that are often offered separately from general health plans.

However, if the general health plan includes the benefits mentioned above, then the HIPAA still applies to those kinds of benefits.

For example, if dental benefits are included in the new plan offer, then it has to count the creditable continuous coverage that is under the old health plan in determining any of the plan’s exclusion periods for dental benefits.

Alternate methods of calculating creditable coverage

Available as well to the health plans that are under Title I is an alternative method of calculating creditable continuous coverage.

There are categories of health coverage that can be considered separately, and these benefits, if offered separately, are not subjected to HIPAA requirements, such as:

  • Limited scope vision and dental benefits;
  • Nursing home care benefits;
  • Long-term care benefits;
  • Community-based care benefits;
  • Home health care benefits;
  • Any combination of the previous four benefits mentioned above, and;
  • Other similar limited benefits that are specified in regulations.

Anything that is not under the categories mentioned above has to use the general calculation.

A practical example for this would be to have the beneficiary counted with 18 months of the general coverage but only for six months of dental coverage because of how the beneficiary did not get a general health plan that was able to cover the dental plan up until six months before the application date.

Other features and concerns of Title I

There’s this odd case that exists in which applicants who enter into general group health plans cannot obtain certificates of continuous creditable coverage for independent limited-scope plans, so that they could use these certificates to apply towards the exclusion periods of the plan because of how the limited-coverage plans are exempted from HIPAA requirements.

Also, Title I does not allow the validity of hidden exclusion periods.

Clauses, such as “To be covered, the accident must have occurred while the stated beneficiary was covered under the same health-based insurance contract,” ought not to be acted upon and imposed by the health plan, and has to be re-written as to comply with HIPAA standards.

There is even more guidelines and details mentioned in Title I: Health Care Access, Portability, and Renewability of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

However, despite all that we’ve tackled so far, we are still just scratching the surface as compared to all the contents that the first title of the act has to offer.

If you would like to read more on the contents of Title One, or if you would like to read more about the whole HIPAA itself, you could find the link to its official publication on the Government Publication Office website down in the Resource section below.

More about HIPAA soon

We are going to end the Part One of our series here. I hope that you’ve found value in what you’ve read so far.

For a teaser on the upcoming article, we are going to be continuing our extensive yet easy-to-read discussion on what HIPAA is all about and on why call centers have to be HIPAA compliant.

In the next article, we will be continuing with the next title in the list of titles under HIPAA, Title II: Preventing Health Care Fraud and Abuse; Administrative Simplification; Medical Liability Reform.

We will be explaining what this second title of the act is all about, and we would also be going over significant topics under the title that are highly relevant towards getting closer to explaining why you need a HIPAA compliant call center.

A brief look into some of the topics under Title II that could be read in the upcoming article would include contents of the enforcement rule, the unique identifiers rule, the security rule, the transactions and code sets rule, and the privacy rule.

These are just some of the insights that you would be getting regarding the HIPAA in the next article.

So, stay tuned for Part Two of our Ultimate Guide to HIPAA.

(Note: If you’re looking for a HIPAA compliant call center to help you with administering your customer’s sensitive medical records. Contact us now.)



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HIPAA Compliant Call Center

hipaa compliant call center

hipaa compliant call center

If your organization handles patient healthcare information, your staff and your back-office support need to know how to keep that information safe and secure. The HIPAA privacy, security and notification rules can seem complex. Ensuring that your back-office support is violation-free by working with a HIPAA Compliant Call Center is one step toward managing the burdens of HIPAA compliance. But do you still feel unsure of how your in-office staff should handle patient information? Let’s make it easier by exploring three main steps for meeting HIPAA regulations.

First, what is HIPAA and what does mishandling data look like? HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act under U.S. federal law, originally passed in 1996 and now including the 2013 Omnibus Provision on data privacy and security. Its goals include:

  • ensuring that patient information is used only according to patient consent,
  • protecting paper and electronic storage of information from wrongful access or dissemination,
  • requiring patients to be notified by organizations handling health care information if data has been wrongfully accessed or otherwise breached, and
  • enforcing these privacy, security and notification rules through audits, fines, and criminal penalties.

Data can be mishandled or breached during a lot of everyday tasks. Has any of this happened at your organization?

  • Information is left openly available on computer screens that can be seen by parties not authorized by the patient.
  • Computers and devices storing patient information do not have encryption, allowing access to private health information if the device is lost or stolen.
  • Uninformed employees mishandle patient information by discussing it with third parties or disseminating it through social media.
  • The organization lacks guidelines on proper handling and safekeeping of patient records.

Each one is a violation of HIPAA.

Every organization, big or small, that handles Protected Health Information (PHI) can suffer the costs of notification, can be fined and individuals within those organizations can be criminally penalized for failures to follow HIPAA rules. So let’s make sure you’re covered, with these three tips:

1. Setup and maintain an internal procedure for handling PHI.

Create a clear set of rules and policies that make it easy for your staff to keep patient information secure. Clearly outline how information should be created, where it should be kept, and to whom it can be disclosed.

Establish and make equally clear the penalties for violating any of these procedures. An organization may expose itself to HIPAA fines and penalties for failure to identify mishandling of data, failure to correct any mishandling, or failure to maintain consistent accountability for data breaches. A system for disciplinary action reinforces the importance of safe data handling, so make sure that you have one in place.

2. Invest in training your workforce on HIPAA compliance.

Make employee training on HIPAA a standard part of new employee orientation, and keep existing employees up-to-date with regular training on HIPAA updates.

The most common violations are likely to come from issues such as employees failing to understand that computers screens need to be protected from view, that files have to be kept in secured areas, or that unsecured emails can lead to breached data. Highlighting these issues promotes a mindset of security among your staff.

Focus on the issues most relevant to your employees, including document handling and information sharing. Also train your staff about HIPAA fines and criminal penalties, and any in-office penalties for failing to make security a priority.

Careless handling is so much easier to avoid when your employees understand what is required and what is at stake.

3. Employ apt security measures on your computers and other devices.

Even a knowledgeable staff can only handle information properly when the equipment they use is also secure. So make sure that your computers and other electronic devices are setup to protect patient privacy.

Use the right technology:

  • Install encryption programs that prevent data from being read if a device is lost or stolen.
  • Set up firewalls to prevent outside access to your secured data.
  • Use a malware-scanning program to detect malicious software that can give outsiders access to secure data.
  • Regularly update your software to ensure that all security features are up-to-date.

In addition to preventing outside access, use your technology to limit internal access to PHI. The fewer employees that handle sensitive information, the less likely a breach due to careless handling will occur.

Take these steps to prevent unnecessary access:

  • Make all secure electronic data accessible only by password.
  • Identify which employees need access to what information.
  • Create a system that allows only authorized users to access specific information, such as by using password protection that limits access to various tiers of secure data.

What’s Next:

Are you struggling with HIPAA compliance? Partnering with a HIPAA Compliant Call Center can help you manage and grow your healthcare business. Let’s talk more about how Executive Boutique can help. Please reach out to us using this contact form.

Additional resources:



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19 Industry Experts Share Their Best Tips to Providing Stellar Customer Service

customer service

customer service

Note: While the title says, “19 Industry Experts…” you’ll see that the post features over 25 industry experts (at this time of writing, at least).

We will continue to grow this post since we hope to make it the ultimate hub where people who need help with providing stellar customer support can go to.

That being said, if you’d like to be included in the list and you have an important tip that you can share about providing stellar customer support, then please reach out to us.

The customer is king! That is a creed that most (if not all) successful businesses live and die by.

Take good care of your customers, and your business will grow. Treat your customers poorly and you can say goodbye to your business.

Competition is cutthroat in the realm of business; companies do all sorts of marketing gimmicks to capture the attention of prospective customers.

The good news is, not many of these businesses give as much emphasis on customer loyalty. For some reason, a good number of these businesses are only keen on acquiring new customers, and are neglecting to provide stellar customer support to their existing customers.

If you fall within that bracket, and are looking for ways to start providing stellar customer support, then you’re in the right place.

We’ve asked 19 experts from different industries for tips on how to provide the best customer service. If you’ll pay heed to their tips, you’ll surely get the information that you need to transform your company.

Let’s dig in.

1. Megan Dougherty – Firepolemarketing.com

Customer Service - Megan Dougherty
“I’d say that I live and breathe customer service – except that we don’t do it.

We do not believe in “Customer Service” as it’s generally understood. What we try to practice is partnership.

Partnership, to us, means that we will do absolutely everything in our power to help, support, encourage and serve someone who is as invested in their success as we are. When someone is NOT invested in their own success – and does not approach our content in the spirit of partnership, then we fulfill our terms of service to the best of our abilities – but that is all.

Partnership means that two parties, in this case us and our students are both working towards a mutual outcome – the success of our students, and so calling it customer service would be a misnomer. We are not merely serving – we are actively working towards this outcome, and we expect the same of our community members

This takes a lot of time and energy (we currently have 8 full time people to work with our students in this way!), but it gives our work so much meaning, and allows us to have real relationships with our students.

So I guess that is my biggest customer service tip – if you can avoid framing the relationship as customer-provider, and look at it as partnership, you’ll get the best possible outcomes.”

2. Deborah Sweeney – MyCorporation.com

Customer Service - Deb

“Follow-up after completing an order. This has to be one of the easiest, quickest, and most effective ways to beef up customer service. One of the most common complaints we hear from new customers who used competing services is that, once they paid for their order, they never heard from the company again. Their order was processed, shipped, and closed. That just sends the wrong message – that, once you get paid, you don’t care about your customers anymore. I’ve integrated following-up after an order is completed into the sales process since it helps ensure our customers are happy with their order, and if there are problems, we get to nip them at the bud before anyone feels they have to officially complain.”

3. Michel Fortin – Workaholics4hire.com

Customer Service - Michel Fortin

“Customer support is a disguised sales position as far as we look at things at Workaholics4Hire.com. It’s what happens AFTER the sale is made. Everything on the frontend — the website, the sales copy, the advertising — all of that is happening before the sale is made.

But what happens afterwards is just as important. It’s the part that makes or breaks a business in the long run. And it’s also the part that many business owners ignore.

You can have beautiful product launches. You can advertise your face off. You can do everything it takes to attract customers. But if you don’t follow through on the other side of things, if you don’t make the backend seamless, if you don’t make it possible for people to connect with you on a personal level, then you’re going to end up with the kinds of customers you DON’T want.

Stellar customer support is creating the systems on that backend to retain customers, to reduce refund as much as possible, and to make it possible for customers to love you and not just buy from you. Your philosophy on how you run your customer support has to be customer-focused; not business-focused. Because customer support has nothing to do with you.

This is where a lot of people drop the ball. They think, “Well, if I’m hiring a customer support rep, then they are my employee.” No, they’re NOT. They work for your customer. They are your customer’s advocate. They represent the customer to you, not the other way around. They shouldn’t answer to you.

Customer Advocates, as we like to call them, are your liaison between the world/public and the way that you run your business, because when you are in your business it’s very often easy to ignore big signs that there’s a problem.

Business people don’t know what their customers see. They’re so busy in the back-office wondering why they’re not making money that they’re not seeing what the customer sees. So walk through the purchase process, from the front to the back.

Take some time to go through the entire process, like your own customers. Go through the front door. See what your customers see. Get down on the floor and see the “dirt” your customers are looking at. And you have to be willing to do that with open eyes and an open heart.

And that’s what your customer support team needs to be doing for you. They are the voice of your customers. They are not the voice of your politics. They’re not there to please and appease customers. They are there to make sure the customers are getting what they want out of your business.

That’s critical and oftentimes the sole determinant of how successful your business becomes — and how successful it remains.”

4. Kevin Rocci – Magoosh.com

Customer Service - Kevin Rocci

Be a Teacher

Great customer support is not about speed, and it’s not about handle time. The true measure of greatness for a customer support team, and any customer support agent, is how much you teach your customers. Be a teacher—not a customer support specialist!

Ask anyone—who was your favorite teacher? The responses will be diverse, but there will be a common thread among the teachers mentioned. The teachers cared about them, empathized with them, and helped them to achieve something they didn’t think possible.

Delivering great customer support is no different.

Think of yourself as a teacher when handling issues with customers. Listen to what their issue is. Empathize with how they are feeling and their situation. Find a solution that solves the problem right now. Then do something truly unique. Begin to teach that person. Provide that person with something extra. Teach them so that they can do something they couldn’t do before. Maybe it’s as simple as teaching them about your Knowledge Base or Help Center. Maybe it’s teaching them how to use the feature so they don’t need to ask the question again. The goal should be to empower the person you are helping so that they can help themselves next time.

At Magoosh, we are incredibly lucky because we work with students and part of our goal is to teach them. But I’ve seen how this mindset of teaching is so helpful in every aspect of customer support. Whether a student wants help resetting their password or figuring out how to review questions from their practice test, we are always approach each student and each problem as a teacher, and I think that’s why we are able to maintain such a high customer satisfaction rating (98%).”

5. Alex Hillsberg – FinancesOnline.com

Customer Service - Alex HillsbergAlex Hillsberg is a leader of a team of experts writing software reviews for FinancesOnline.com, a top review platform for companies looking for B2B and SaaS solutions.

Use customer support to get more customers

Many companies don’t realize that customer support is a great sales tool. You can leverage it to get new customers (or upsell to an existing customer). For example, start dishing out customer support to your qualified leads even before they become customers.

Buyers today take the initiative to assess you and won’t wait for your sales rep. This is highlighted in the latest Google/Millward report. They do online research to check your social proofs and read customer feedback about you.

In the SaaS industry (which is my area of expertise), I believe the best way for vendors to showcase exemplary support is to give it to prospects who subscribe to a free trial offer and make an impression on them right away. Give them the attention early on and they’ll carry this positive opinion about you throughout their relationship with you. That means not only replying to their email queries when they have a question, but assisting them through the free trial phase, when they likely need help. Don’t wait for their questions because many won’t bother to ask; they’ll just leave out of frustration.

Of course, you cannot attend to all your leads, so you need to qualify the prospects with the most promise. Run your metrics on how to identify these promising leads. One good technique is to provide proactive customer support like sending prospects the next tutorial stage, one email at a time. Those who accept the offer, you know, are interested, so you move them further down to the next tutorial stage until, at the last email, they’re ready for a paid plan. That’s customer support with a direct ROI.”

6. Sean Ogle – Seanogle.com

Customer Service - Sean Ogle

“The one best customer service I’ve got is pretty simple: reply to email – personally. When people get an email from me, especially one in a timely manner, it says a lot about the business and my commitment to them. Even though it might take a few extra hours each week to give email a bit more personal attention, I’ve found it’s paid off both financially and in the relationships I’ve grown through the business.”

7. Penny Gardner – Careeraddict.com

Customer Service - Penny

Sell to yourself

One of the most significant pieces of advice we would give is putting yourself in your clients’/customers’ shoes. How would you like to be approached when you called or contacted a customer service representative? No one would want to deal with a perpetual cycle of call transfers while slowly going insane because of the same loop of Kenny G soft jazz, you would want to talk to a single, very knowledgeable individual that will help you solve your issue with minimum exposure to aforementioned psychosis inducing soft jazz. You’re calling customer service soft jazz is unavoidable but the less of it you have to hear the better.  You’d also want someone that treats you as a human being and your issue with a certain level of concern, if possible the same level of concern you have even if that’s an overly-optimistic expectation. Finally never forget that the person on the other side of the line needs help and you are the person they turned to, with great power comes great responsibility (I know that’s a Spiderman quote but it seems more than appropriate for the matter at hand).”

8. Kathryn Aragon –  Kathrynaragon.com

Customer Service - Kathryn Aragon

“Treat them (your customers) as people, not just customers. Treating people with respect includes respecting their time, being polite, and giving them choices. Do that, and you’ll not only win their business but their loyalty as well.”

9. Sudipto Basu – Onecentatatime.com

Customer Service - Sudipto Basu

“Stellar customer support comes from the ‘wow’ factor. Do something for the customer when it’s least expected. Offering to return items even after the return by date, is one such example. Other examples could be offering alternate solution when what customer is asking for can’t be met.

A customer is the lifeline for any business, they are also the investment for future growth. One happy customer can bring 5 other customers to the business. On the other hand if you lose one customer then you are in-fact losing unlimited number of future customers.

So invest a portion of your revenue in improving your customer service.

For my blog readers, I always try to provide superior content so that they get more than what they asked for in a Google search bar. I improve so that my regular readers are ever engaged and are always wait for the next article to come out.

In social and online economy not only the good words spread out loud and fast, the bad words also go viral and go on to kill businesses. Never let customers complain.”

10. Prof. Arpan Kumar Kar – Business-fundas.com

Customer Service - Prof Arpan Kumar Kar

“Today depending on the business nature and its dynamics, customers engage with the firm through multiple communications channels like email, facebook, twitter, and other offline channels. It is important to listen to the voice of the customer at all times. Typically every highly satisfied customer brings in 3 times the revenue from his own business and from his network, as compared to if he is less than satisfied. And don’t forget the consequences of customer churn. It takes 5 times more cost to acquire a new customer than it takes to retain one. In view of these facts and statistics, it is of utmost important to develop systems and enable them using technological platforms. Social CRM is one such on the cloud kind of platforms which may enable you to listen and address your customers in a way that benefits their business and yours. You may be able to connect and leverage upon the knowledge residing in your customer networks to actually design or redesign your offerings in line with the needs of the market. Further the analytics may enable you to leverage upon the data and make informed business decisions.”

11. Chance Madsen – Socialbarrel.com

Customer Service - Chance Madsen

“The best I can say is to listen deeply both to the people you are helping and to the data you are looking at. Make sure that everyday your main goal is to be the absolute best that you know you can be and do not be afraid to be different as this is what makes businesses great.”

12. Melissa Bolton – Themogulmom.com

Customer Service - melissa bolton

“When it comes down to it, as entrepreneurs we’re selling solutions, not products. That’s why making an emotional connection with customers is so important. Anyone can sell a product, but your customer is buying into you. By providing offerings that make our customers’ lives better and by going above and beyond to ensure they’re thrilled, we strive to not only earn mindshare, but true loyalty. Brand evangelists are worth their weight in gold. “

13. Mike Vardy – Productivityist.com

Customer Service - Mike Vardy

“I think the best tip I can offer is to ensure – even when starting out – that you have a separate email account just for customer support. Too many solopreneurs use email filters instead to segment out the types of email they are receiving but if you have a separate account for sales-oriented queries and deliverables (like Productivityist did even when it was just me handling them), it allows you to see them and focus on them almost immediately which keeps them from falling through the cracks. In addition, once you are able to bring on someone on board for customer and sales support, you simply hand over the keys to them with virtually no friction involved.”

14. Marko Saric – Howtomakemyblog.com

Customer Service - Marko Saric

“One best tip for providing stellar customer support is to actually acknowledge the customers writing to you and do your best to help them out. A recent study I’ve done showed that 87% of all customer posts were ignored by brands in social media. So if you can do this part right you will be ahead of the majority of other brands on social. Acknowledge your customer, try and help out, or at least refer the customer to the best place where they can get help. This will work wonders and improve your relationship with your customers.”

15. Jesse Eisenstein – Webpagefx.com

Customer Service - Jesse

“Aside from genuine politeness and positive language, it’s always helpful to ask if a customer fully understands a service or report. Using data points and comparison metrics such as month-over-month and year-over-year help many customers visualize results better and can help them be more excited about growing their business. Going that extra mile to translate data for your customers demonstrates you truly care about and understand their business.”

16. Tresha Moreland – hrcsuite.com

Customer Service - tresha moreland

“The best customer service advice I have comes down to one word – listen.

Companies over time tend to get lost in their own policies, procedures and methods, that listening to the customer has almost become a lost art. Think about it. As a customer ourselves we are told what to like, how to dress, what to eat, and what care products to use. In essence, customers are ushered into pre-made boxes without another thought.

A successful business leader or owner will leverage the lost art of listening. By mastering the skill of listening, a business can become innovative leader in the marketplace.

I do have a featured article on customer service if you wish to include it:


17. Branden Williams – Brandenwilliams.com

Customer Service - Branden Williams

“My biggest tip is: Be sincere. People can read your body language and know if you don’t really mean what you say.

My post on customer service remains one of my most popular.


18. Inan Iftekhar – Pagewiz.com

Customer Service - Iftkhar

“When you are conversing with a customer – think of him/her as your friend, and act/talk the way you do when trying to help a close friend achieve their goal. I’ve found that this approach helps me maintain a positive attitude, and keeps clients happy time and time again.”

19. Charlie Nadler – Simplemachinesmarketing.com

Customer Service - Charlie Nadler

“Client support always goes smoother when you set expectations. Set clear expectations for meetings and for next steps so that there’s no confusion or unpleasant surprises.”

20. Roland Hanekroot, Owner and Founder of New Perspectives Business Coaching

Existing customers are your greatest source of new prospects. Prospects who are referred to you from existing happy customers are far more likely to buy from you than any other prospects. They buy quicker and more and are less likely to want to haggle over price. Best of all, you don’t need to spend money on marketing to have them come to you. I often say to my clients: Consider your annual marketing budget, stop spending half of that money and spend the remaining half on turning your existing customers into Raving Fans, people who go out of their way to refer their friends families and colleagues to you.

Ask yourself, every day: How can I deliver just that little bit more than my customers expect, every day, across all facets of your business: Quality, delivery time, friendliness, access to warranty, service and maintenance, responsiveness, cleanliness, you name it.

They say you never get a second chance at making a first impression and in your quest to turn your customers into Raving Fans, the first thing to consider is how your customer support staff answer the phone. Start there and then work your way through all the other aspects of your relationship with your customers. It will change your business and your life… I promise you.

21. Jon Covey, Multi Award Winning Success Coach at JonCovey.com

I feel many people put lots of energy and focus on providing the greatest customer support, yet fail to realise that they need customers to support before they can offer stellar customer support.

What do I mean? Simply put, get the customers first… Dedicate a significant proportion of your time generating new business, winning new clients and selling more product.

I’m a firm believer that you have to give more than you get and not a huge fan of the term win/win. You see the only win should be for your client, give them so much that they want to not only work with you but want to recruit and hire you! ‘Give more than you get, and eventually, you will get more than you give’.

So to summarize, if you want to provide the greatest customer support, first get the client, then give them everything you have to give, and when you feel you have amazed yourself in the execution and delivery, give a little more. This extra 5% is all it takes to disrupt the entire market because everyone stops short of the 100%, by you going all the way and beyond, the market is wide open for you to take.

Give more than you get! That’s my number 1 tip for giving world rocking stellar customer support.

22. Jennifer Dawn, Owner and Founder of Jennifer Dawn Coaching

Focus on just one big problem to solve for your clients and then do it better than anybody else in the world. In today’s market it’s very easy to solve lots of issues for our clients, but then our offering can get watered down, and we feel stretched thin trying to be an expert in so many different areas. My solution to extraordinary customer service has been to focus on doing one thing really, really well. Not only can I deliver better results for my clients, I enjoy my work more because who does not love being the very best in their field!

23. Tammy Adams, Founder of The Local Small Business Coach Podcast

Over the past 30+ years of working with customers and clients in various fields and businesses, a nugget I learned a long time ago is just as true today as it was 30 years ago, Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers.

When you have a team, they are the face of your company. They interact with most, if not all your customers and clients. You personally can be the poster child of customer service, but if your team doesn’t believe in your customer service vision, or feel you are just as passionate about them, why on earth would they provide great customer service?

Your folks need to feel that you care about them just as much as you do your customers or clients. You already know that great customer service comes from listening to your customers, resolving their problems, coaching them along the way and helping them with a smile and genuine concern. Guess what? That is all your employees want from you as well.

So if you want to take your customer service to the next level, then make sure you employee customer service is top notch too!

24. Adrian Miller, President & Founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training

Stellar customer support means doesn’t mean that the customer is always right but they are always the customer and so if you want to retain and grow their business you will attempt to make them feel appreciated, recognized and ultimately satisfied with your product or service.

25. Patricia Fripp, Presentation Expert at FrippVT.com

To improve service every team members says, “Consider it done” to each client request and follow through.

26. Jack Daly, CEO of Professional Sales Coach

Ask questions and listen.

27. Donald C. Kelly, Chief Sales Evangelist at TheSalesEvangelist.com

One thing I alway share with my podcast community and clients is that in order to be successful, you need to treat others the way THEY would like to be treated. This essentially is the idea of empathy. Too often businesses seek first to fulfill their own needs and growth objectives, that they neglect to offer their buyer’s the thing they need the most. Often time this leads to a disconnect and a decline in customer retention. However, when businesses seek first to help their clients find success, the business in a whole will increase in sales. Therefore, help your customers by giving them what they want and they will help you achieve what you need.

28. Peter Gianoli, Sales & Marketing Strategist, Author, and Public Speaker at Petergianoli.com

The best tip I can offer when it comes to providing stellar customer support is to always deliver Awesome Cutomer Service. You should not be satisified with just providing good or great customer service as this will simply result in your customer continuing to do business with you. An Awesome Customer Service advocate does not rest until their customer becomes an ambassador for your business and is so satisfied with your service they will go out of their way to promote your business to their own network.

Believe it or not achieving this is often quite simple, generally all you have to do is honour your marketing messages and pledges.

29. Kim Orlesky, The Leading Sales Coach at KimOrlesky.com

Customer support comes from really listening to the client. Too often we hear a problem and we immediately want to solve it. However the client needs to have acknowledgement that you’ve heard them, feel validated if they are upset, have the problem reiterated back to them to test for understanding, and then offer a solution with the ask, “would that make your experience with us better?”. With this approach you aren’t just solving the problem you are creating a client that is brought back to loving their experience with your company.

30. Vladimir Gendelman — CompanyFolders.com

Customer Service

The key to providing great customer service is to provide unexpected services. For example, we don’t use the automated attendant on our phone system. We always answer the phone right away so customers don’t waste time navigating prompts. This allows us to learn more about the customers, their needs and their businesses by speaking with them directly. We also extend our services past the point of purchase by offering a lifetime warranty on all of our products. We put our money where our mouth is and provide long-lasting quality in a way no other printer does by providing this service.

What next?

If there are customer service tips that you feel we should added in the post, please share it in the comments section below.

We’ll be more than happy to update the post and add your tips in it.

Also, if you’re looking for a team of professional and highly skilled agents that can help you with your phone support, you can contact us using this form.

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How to Benefit from Your FCR (First Call Resolution Metric)

first call resolution

first call resolution

Whether you think it’s realistic or not, your customers expect their problems addressed during the first call that they make to your customer support hotline.

Of course, inasmuch as you’d like to accommodate their expectations, there is only so much that you and your customer support team can do. Sadly, there are times when it takes more than just one call to solve your caller’s problems.

Even having said that, the businesses are still striving to improve the quality of service that they provide to their customers, so they can address their customer’s issues during the first call.

That’s where the First Call Resolution metric comes in.

The more businesses fine tune their processes, the more optimized the quality of their support becomes making it possible for them to solve their caller’s problems on the first call.

Allow me to show you 3 ways that a business can benefit from using first call resolution as a metric.

Survey: turning customers’ scars to business’ stars

When it comes to uncovering areas where your business needs to improve, your customer feedback can be such a goldmine. Since your customers are the recipient of your services, they should be able to give you a clear idea of what’s working for them, and what isn’t. Their feedback serves as a valuable yet free market research that can make or break your business.

Having said that, getting your customer’s feedback through surveys can help you determine whether the first call resolution of the call center company you partnered with is effective or not.

Cost reduction

More often than not, your customers will make a callback because their problems weren’t addressed adequately on their first call.

As you can probably imagine, these callbacks can spell all sorts of problems for your business. Not only will your operation costs increase, but so will your call volume.

It’s because of this that contact center companies like outsourced customer support in the Philippines are keen on improving their team’s performance towards their First Call Resolution metric.

When their teams are doing great in their FCR performance, they’ll inadvertently be able to avoid more callbacks, leading to them having reduced operational costs, and them being able to take on more clients.

Customer loyalty

When FCR as a metric is given priority in a company, their customers end up feeling more valued, appreciated, and treated with more respect. Simply because the customer service team’s action plans and the way they diagnose the caller’s problems are geared towards giving the callers an immediate solution to their problems, and one with longevity at that.

When the customers feel valued, they will never think about transferring to another service provider, since they have no complaints whatsoever to the kind of service and support that they’re getting. This means that the First Call Resolution metric is an effective driving force in improving your customer retention, and helping you capitalize on repeat business.

What’s next?

If you have questions, suggestions, or ideas that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section below.

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