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Call Center Operations

4 Ways to Establishing a Better Relationship with Your Partner Contact Center

contact_center

contact_centerA good number of companies are outsourcing their business processes to contact centers for a variety of reasons.

For one thing, outsourcing allows them to focus on their core businesses while handing off tasks such as customer service, technical support and telemarketing to companies that are specializing on them.

Because contact centers interact with your customers regularly, building a great working relationship with them is vital for your company’s success.

They are your ears and eyes on how well you are doing in serving your customers. Their feedback will be crucial in improving many aspects of your business, allowing you to stay on top of the game.

Here are four ways for you to build a better relationship with your partner contact center.

1. Communicate your needs

Your business is unique in a lot of ways.

From the delivery of your products and services to target customers, you will have particular goals, needs, and preferences that you have to communicate to your contact center all the time.

For example, you might be looking for representatives with experience in outbound sales or a technical support expert with a background in web development.

Hiring talents is just one area where you will need to be clear about your needs.

You might also want certain processes in dealing with return order, customer complaints, or underperforming representatives.

By being transparent about what you want, your contact centers can fluidly execute action plans that will better fit your business.

2. Hire an account manager

An account manager is a liaison officer between you and the contact center.

You might need one especially when your business is rapidly growing, you are serving a large customer base, or you are contracting several contact centers in many different locations.

An account manager will be responsible in maintaining channels of communication, meeting managers and representatives on site, and following through mutually agreed business terms.   

3. Keep a listening ear

Another way in keeping a great relationship with your contact center is to listen to them.

They offer valuable insights about your customers especially that they interact with them every day. They can help you find ways to further enhance customer experience and identity areas of improvements.

Additionally, you can also benefit from their feedback on how you can improve your business processes and tools.

Most of all, they feel valued as an integral part of your company when you listen to them and respond positively on their constructive feedback.

4. Give incentives

When they do a great job, reward them. It will be advantageous to your bottom line if you do.

Rewarding excellent work will encourage them to always meet or even exceed your expectations.

You can give incentives to teams, representatives, or managers who are doing well in sales, customer satisfaction, and other business processes.

In turn, your customers are going to be taken care of by motivated people. They will stay as a fan of your business which can translate to increase in repeat sales and boost your company’s overall reputation.

Your next steps

Treat your contact centers as you would a business partner.

They are your frontline brand ambassadors representing your company every time they communicate with your customers.

By bringing your relationship with them to the next level, you can rest assured that your customers are treated with world-class service experience.

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5 Signs that Your Organizational Culture is Headed for the Gutters

organization_structure

organization_structureCulture is a tricky thing.

When it’s working fine, no one notices it. But when it starts to deteriorate, everyone scrambles to find out why.

That’s the reason successful companies do everything they can to build and keep a healthy organizational culture.

They know that it sets a productive atmosphere in the workplace, which helps motivate employees to bring the business to the next level.

So they actively find ways to keep engaging their people, rewarding positive attitudes, and nurturing the right core values.

But while it takes time and energy to maintain a great culture, it can be easily undermined by complacency and hiring the wrong people.

As a business-owner, how will you know that the culture in your organization is headed for the gutters? Here are 5 red flags that can tell you things are going downhill.

1. No one knows the vision-mission statements

If no one knows the vision-mission statements, the organization is in trouble. It means that nobody cares.

Vision-mission statements are not just shiny words next to the company logo on the wall.

They represent the very identity of the business.

They spell out the purpose of why you’re doing what you’re doing and articulate the methods on how to reach your goals.

And when they are not discussed openly, when no one talks about them and how they can be put into action, they become a string of words that are empty of meaning.

2. Gossips, not feedback

Feedback is the breakfast of champions. It helps spur innovation and effective decision-making.

But when people would rather join chitchats than communicate, the organization is failing in creating a sense of trust and safety for feedback to flourish.

In turn, ideas that could have pushed the company forward do not reach the decision-makers and instead are allowed to morph into resentments.

3. Lack of excitement

An organization with a great culture is humming with activities. People are standing up, talking, collaborating, and making meaningful connections.  

A declining one is marked with a lack of team spirit and a lack of enthusiasm. Employees are stiff, isolated, and focused on unhealthy competition.

4. You are surrounded with “yes-people”

Having employees who are great to work with is good. They make your life in the office less stressful.

However, it’s not to your advantage if you are surrounded by yes-people.

Yes-people bend over backwards to make you feel good about the way you’re running the business even when things are going to the wrong direction.

They’re the type who people who aren’t really interested in doing hardwork and making an impact to get promoted, they’re more into giving the business owners (or their superiors) some lip service to gain their approval and be promoted.

These are the kind of people who are only think of themselves, and aren’t interested in helping their colleague or the company grow.

5. No accountability

Another telltale sign of a culture that’s going bad is the lack of accountability.

When wrongdoings go unpunished and good deeds are not rewarded,  people will develop the wrong set of skills and attitudes.

They will try to game the system, do everything they need to avoid getting caught, and shift blame to other people.

What’s next?

When you see any or all of the above signs, act quickly. Not doing anything will only make the situation worse.

You can begin by reviewing your vision-mission statement, improving the way feedback is handled, opening channels of communication, and creating clear reward-and-recognition program.

After all, keeping a finger on the pulse of your organizational culture is essential to your success.

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

newly_hired_customer_service_agents

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.

Conclusion.

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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How to Show Recognition to Your Call Center Agents

call center agents

call center agents

Call center agents have it tough. Let’s face it: being stationed in a cubicle while addressing multiple customer concerns for hours is not an easy job.

High attrition rates are quite common in the call center industry, which goes to show that it takes a lot of work on the part of a call center organization to retain its employees.

If recent studies are anything to go by, it is in the best interests of call center companies to invest a big chunk of their resources into rewarding and recognizing their agents.

By doing this, companies are able to show their employees that they are valuable to the company, which in turn motivates them to stay consistent or even do better.

It’s not that simple, however, since it’s important to understand what motivates your workforce.

Additionally, performance targets need to be clearly defined to ensure that the rewards you offer are reinforcing positive behavior.

Here are five reward and recognition ideas you can try.

1. Offer them material rewards

Material incentives are effective in reinforcing positive behavior. After all, call center agents put in the hours to earn money. Giving them extra rewards makes them feel compensated for their hard work.

Budget constraints can make it difficult for a company to give everyone a raise, but an incentive program can be put in place to ensure that the best performers are rewarded.

It’s always advisable to provide cash rewards to the best employees, but you can also offer a variety of material rewards such as gift certificates, coupons, meals, coffee, and more.

2. Personalize your rewards

Rewarding call center agents with a company mug or a Starbucks gift card for doing well even on a specific task makes them feel appreciated, but only up to a point.

There will come a time when an employee  only sees these rewards as nothing more than just token gifts.

It’s always good practice to reward employees with personalized items from time to time. You can purchase gifts related to an employee’s hobbies or interests — anything a friend would give.

Doing this inspires loyalty in the employee because it makes him feel that the company appreciates and values him as an individual.

3. Offer special work conditions as incentive

One of the most challenging aspects of working in a call center is having to deal with shifting schedules.

As such, many call center employees will welcome the opportunity to have some control in their working life.

So reward your best performers with perks like allowing them to bid for their most-preferred shift schedule, extra paid leaves, choosing accounts, and more.

Knowing that they are offered opportunities to get some reprieve from the stressful aspects of the work gives employees a good reason to stick with the company.

4. Develop team-based reward systems

Offering rewards or incentives to reps on account of group performance motivates and inspires them to work better as a team.

This also prompts members to engage each other in friendly peer pressure, which in turn creates opportunities for peer-to-peer learning.

5. Provide positive feedback at every opportunity

Call center employees face stressful situations regularly, so don’t pass up the opportunity to give a compliment when they deserve it.

Remember, even a small gesture of appreciation — a congratulatory pat on the back or a smile of acknowledgement — can go a long way into making agents feel better about their day.

What’s Next?

For a reward system to be effective, you have to develop a credible system for collecting and interpreting performance metrics.

Otherwise, inconsistent and faulty evaluation of employees may lead to bickering, which could in turn negatively impact company culture.

Here at EB Center, employees are our greatest asset. We take great pride in our competitive incentive package, which we developed to ensure that our employees are sufficiently rewarded for their hard work.

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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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Stress Management Tips for Team Leaders

Stress management tips

Stress management tipsExperiencing stress is part of the job when you’re working in a call center. This isn’t at all surprising given the fast-paced environment the nature of the work requires.

When you’re cramped in a cubicle for 8-10 hours a day, the job has a way of taking its toll on you.

While stress can’t be dealt with entirely in day-to-day operations, a company’s leaders and managers should foster a working environment that helps employees manage stress better.

It’s been widely proven that a stressful work environment doesn’t only negatively impact a call center agent’s mental health and well-being, it can also hinder a company’s productivity.

This is why every team leader should take on the responsibility of managing his or her team’s stress levels.

Allow me to share with you several tried-and-tested tips on how you, as team leader, can manage your employees’ stress level with considerable success.

1. Foster a culture of transparent and open communication

As a team leader, you should always encourage your agents to express their thoughts openly without fear of consequences.

You should value your agent’s opinion whether you agree with it or not. This not only makes them feel valued, it also fosters a sense of community and shared purpose.

2. Reward and Praise Best Performers

When an agent has done an exceptional job, make sure that you give him or her a word of praise.

Do this and that employee will most likely be inspired to stay consistent or even do better.

Rewarding agents with incentives and formal recognitions boost employee morale, making them feel that their contributions are integral to the team’s success.

When agents are rewarded for their efforts, they are able to manage stress better. More importantly, the company will be able to retain its best employees.

3. Show empathy and compassion

As a team leader, expressing empathy is a critical skill that you need to develop.

When you show your team members that you acknowledge their feelings, they tend to trust you more.

If they trust you, they are more likely to follow your lead.

When you show an agent that you’re always willing to listen and are committed to helping them with their challenges, they become more receptive to your suggestions and advice.

What’s more, agents who feel that their feelings and needs are acknowledged by their leaders are motivated to work harder and exceed your expectations.

4. Encourage team bonding

If you want your team to work effectively as a group, each agent should be made to feel that the team itself is a support system he can rely on when the tough gets going.

By fostering trust, accountability, and good teamwork within a team, each agent will feel empowered working in a team environment.

Just the thought that the team has his back is a major stress buster.

As a team leader, you can organize team-building activities and conduct weekly catch-up sessions to ensure that the team shares a strong sense of purpose.

5. Conduct one-on-one meetings with your team members

Setting up regular meetings with each member of your team allows you the opportunity to directly address stress-related issues that are hampering their performance.

It’s important that each session should feel open and relaxed. Otherwise, you’ll just exacerbate the stress an agent might already be feeling.

When the agent feels acknowledged and respected, you can get him to open up more.about issues that are having a negative impact on his performance.

Final Word

By employing the techniques above consistently, you’d be able to skyrocket your team’s productivity.

Remember that happy employees are productive employees.

It’s a cliche because it’s true.

What’s next?

What are some of the best stress management tips that you can share as a team leader?

If there’s anything that you’d like to share with our community, then please comment below. Cheers!

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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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Four Reasons Why Contact Centers Need to Have a Positive Work Culture

Contact Centers

 

Contact CentersDo you ever wonder how customer-oriented call centers continue to maintain excellence in providing quality service?

Three words: Positive Work Culture.

Merriam Webster defines culture as a shared set of values, beliefs, practices, and goals within an organization.

Simply put, it is our shared identity — who we are whenever our bosses aren’t in the room, or how we respond whenever faced with forks in the road.

Here are four good reasons why contact centers need to have a positive shared identity in the workplace.

1. Corporate unity

Creating a shared positive culture allows agents to align their heartbeats to that of the organization.

Whenever these employees are placed in conflicting situations, these individuals can always make responses that benefit the agency despite the lack of clear-cut instructions on what exactly to do in the employee handbook.

Because the company practices a lifestyle out of embracing organizational values and interests, these agents are able to exercise discretion that forwards company goals because of their awareness and constant application of such.

2. Increased motivation

Sharing a collective identity makes agents more concerned about the success of the entire organization and not just their personal interests.

A study published in Harvard Business Review show customer satisfaction levels to be linked to employee motivation factors as determined by strong workplace cultures. The same article also revealed a connection between organizational drive and increased revenue production.

Patty Vogan, a leadership columnist of Entrepreneur.com, believes that creating an atmosphere of positive culture in the workplace starts and ends with top management.

Agents look towards company leaders when forming their ideas and beliefs of organizational culture before adopting and integrating these norms into their personal drives.

3. Improved retention

Stronger company cultures result in more employee talents being retained.

Departments of an insurance company that aligned its workplace environments to company culture were found to have 30% less turnover as compared to the other units.

The lower churn rate would translate into lesser organizational expenses spent on hiring and more chemistry among your team’s agents.

One reason why individuals immersed in company culture choose to stay is that of the feeling of being part of an extended family. An article from Catalyst.org shows that almost 50% of employees who shared organizational values feel a greater sense of inclusion at work.

4. Brand image

The type of identity we share inside our organization can be seen by potential employees and customers from the outside.

Treating employees well and having a light and fun workplace environment may cause prospects to see and believe that your company’s brand is filled with laughter and generosity.

One study shows that college students are willing to accept 7% less starting pay just to be in organizations that have cultures they appreciate. Another article in Forbes shows that millennials are willing to trade $7,600 worth of salary per year for better work environments.

Even another publication showed that 70% of millennials would opt to spend more money on brands that support causes that these individuals care about.

What are your thoughts?

We believe that positive culture is essential to the developing excellence in the contact center workplace. It is because of these values and beliefs that we hold and practice that we are confident in providing outstanding customer service to our clients.

How about you? Do you agree with the importance of positive work culture in the organization? And what values and practices do you uphold in your company?

Let us know in the comments below.

(If you are looking for solutions to improve your workplace culture, then contact us.)

Resources:

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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.

Resource

https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/documents/PCIDSS_QRGv3_1.pdf

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