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Call Center Agent Retention

Boost Your Team’s Efficiency With These Tips

Teamwork is one of the most important parts of just about any job, because one way or another, we will find ourselves working alongside others in some aspect. Without a properly functioning team, the work becomes tedious, the days long, and the efficiency of your work takes a nosedive into the red zone. So what can we do to keep the team afloat? What things need to be done to make sure every member of the team is putting out exactly what they need to — and doing it happily? Here are some five tips on how to improve team efficiency.

Whose job is it, anyway? While it may take the entire team to work on a project, there needs to be some kind of “job assignment”, so things can get done effectively, rather than everyone picking on the portion of the project they want to work on and avoiding all the others. The team leader needs to portion tasks out fairly, but also take into consideration the team members’ passions and strengths, as well as weaknesses.

It’s about strengths AND weaknesses. Knowing each and every team members’ strong points is one thing; it might just lead you down the right path for a great outcome, but without knowing what they struggle with, you’re putting the team at risk of faltering. Delegating jobs based on not only their skills, but also the things they struggle with, if the best way to get your task or tasks done without many hiccups.

Communication!!! Yes, that definitely deserves three exclamation points, because without communication, you cannot function as a team. It’s just not possible. There are hundreds of ways to communicate with your team, and unless you want to watch the chaos descend upon your project, then you need to utilize at least one of them.

Use incentives. The hard truth is that people tend to work happier, faster, and better when there are incentives involved. Think up rewards, even if it’s just something like “if this gets done early, then you can all go home early, too.”

Be a good example for your team members. As a team leader, your teammates will mimic your behavior when it comes to approaching their project. Should you face something with a negative attitude and snarky remarks, the others will do the same, because you haven’t given them anything else to go on.

So long as you remember these things, your team will remain successful in all that they approach. These people are like an extended family, so take the time to treat them and train them right, and everything else will follow!

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Why Are Business Ethics Important?

Maintaining a solid bottom line is what business owners want to achieve. However, the way that you achieve that goal is also important. Thoughtful business policies and practices are guided by business ethics, either set by the law or by the business itself in order to be accepted by the public.

The success of a business is dependent upon not only its financial stability, but also with the ways that the business is run ethically. If you are focusing on long-term success, remember that proper ethics take priority. When a whole company applies ethical practices, they reap the benefits of its long-lasting effects. So, what are these effects? Here are some ways ethical business practices can impact your business:

Improve public image

Aligning your business’s behaviors with its values is vital in creating a positive image. Modern customers are savvy – they do their research and are paying closer attention to how businesses conduct themselves and whether or not they commit to the values they preach. If your business follows its principles, that behavior will lay a good foundation in its endeavor to be positively-received by the public.

Support employee growth

When you run an ethical operation, your employees will feel like they are positively contributing to society. Applying ethics provides a sense of accountability for these employees and provides context and meaning to what they do every day.

Improve working conditions

Without business ethics, we would not have mandated minimum wages set across the country. Children would still be working in factories, 12+ hour days would be normal, and discrimination and unfair labor practices would be running rampant. By being proactive in your practice and ethically adapting with the times, your business will encourage positive working conditions.

Guide decision-making

Ethical practices in a business encourage a precedence of making decisions based on what is right. During rough times, a strong moral compass will guide you through conflicts by helping you make the right moves. It will also help you smoothly introduce change within your organization, which is something that is often easier said than done.

It is a business owner’s responsibility to consider and study the impact their practices have on their community, workers, and society. Once that information is obtained, they can choose the do the right thing, even if that decision is more costly than other unethical options. It’s crucial to our society that businesses treat their workers right and are conscious of the various impacts their behaviors can have on society as a whole.

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Coffee: A Call Center Staple

Coffee, is there anything more important at a call center?

Okay — sales are pretty important too, but that doesn’t mean coffee doesn’t rank high up there on the ladder. From our morning cup, to our mid-day treat that keeps us from crashing, coffee has been a key component of the call center workplace culture.

So much of the job revolves around this drink, and a good coffee situation can really help the overall mood of your employees. Here’s how to take advantage of, and improve, your workplace coffee situation.

Drink at the Right Time

Coffee’s natural ability to get us going has resulted in people downing cups of coffee the minute they wake up; this isn’t necessarily bad for you, but you’re not getting the most out of your drink that way. The reason being is that your body produces cortisol, a chemical that keeps people alert the most between the times of 8-9 am. By drinking coffee at this time, you are taking in caffeine when you don’t need it; instead, opt to have your first cup between 10-10:30 am for the best effect.

Use Creamer for Warmer Coffee

You may be one of those coffee drinkers that likes to look into their cup and see a void of never-ending darkness, but you may be surprised to find that adding creamer to your coffee actually keeps it warmer for a longer period of time.  Not everyone likes their coffee hot, but a warm drink means a slower sipping experience to enjoy while working.

Mind the H2O

A cup of coffee is about 98% water, which means that using the tap water from the sink for your pot results in coffee that taste like, well, tap water. You can better the taste of your coffee by always using water that’s been purified in a filter, or from a water cooler.

It’s also a good idea to run just water through your coffee pot every once in awhile to clean out the system, this removes any unwanted debris or tastes from your coffee.

Share the Love

If you’ve discovered a new favorite roast why not share it with your coworkers? When you can afford it, bring in a bag of coffee freshly ground at home and leave it in the breakroom. Who knows, the next week someone might bring in their own bag for you to try as well.

Fresh ground coffee isn’t the only thing you can share with your coworkers; new coffee pods, sugars, creamers, and other sweeteners can turn an ordinary breakroom into a mini coffee shop.

Now that’s something everyone in the office can get on board with!

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How to Create a Positive Work Environment for Your Employees

If we think about the workplace as a living organism, sustained by profit and constantly growing, the overall health would be the work environment. A healthy, or positive work environment is key to maintaining a successful business, one free of internal strife and the weights of negativity. The ideal environment for your business to thrive can be attained by implementing these practices with your employees.

Recognize the efforts of your employees.

The same care and attention we give to our bodies can be applied to the workplace, after all a healthy body is a healthy mind. If each department is a system, then each must be equally cared for and looked after. You want to let your employees know that they are appreciated, that each member of the team is important to the business’s success. Providing rewards and recognition for exemplary work helps employees feel good about themselves, and the work they do. The rewards do not have to elaborate, simply ordering pizza for your workers, or throwing a mid-day event to say thanks goes a long way.The last thing you want is your employees dreading the sound of their alarm clock every morning, so give them a reason to look forward to coming in.

Challenge your employees.

Exercise gives our bodies the chance to grow stronger and allows the mind to better navigate the stress in life. However, if you never get off the couch, the body never gets a chance to live up to its full potential. This same line of thought can be applied to your employees. Challenge employees to come up with solutions to existing problems. Encouraging workers to voice their ideas about the business or its practices ensures a feeling of involvement among employees. Never stifle any interest in the company, because your employee’s great idea might end up in the hands of a new boss. Fostering open dialogue not only gives your employees an outlet, but also creates an opportunity for you to communicate your thoughts, which brings us to the last topic.

Check in regularly with your employees.

Our bodies have been programmed to give off signs relative to its state, we feel sluggish when sick, and full of energy after a great night of sleep. Similarly, your employees’ state of mind will show in their work, excellent when happy and sub- par when they are not. Begin instilling a climate of communication by holding weekly meetings, nothing too structured, but just enough to allow your employees to voice their concerns. This is a win-win situation – your employees will feel comfortable talking to you, and this would be an opportunity for you to get your expectations across your team.

A business constantly in-touch with their employees’ ideas, concerns, and achievements will most certainly leave a positive impression on the current team and prospective hires.

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7 Motivational Quotes to Combat Burnout and Frustration

Are you feeling burnt out lately? Have your sales numbers taken a dip? A lack of motivation and inspiration can start to negatively affect your work, relationships and overall health. Successful and happy individuals all have one thing in common – they stay motivated. Whether you’ve been in a long-term slump or are simply dealing with temporary frustration after a bad call, these motivation quotes will keep you driven through the toughest times.

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde

It is important to remember that our hardest times turn us into stronger people and make us more equipped to handle future troubles that are thrown our way.

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Too often, we find that the harder we search for happiness and purpose, the more elusive they seem to be. Remember to be patient and keep an open heart and mind.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was a technological pioneer, and surely went through periods of doubt, whether in his own abilities or the prospects of his projects. Trust that if you make the best decisions you can, everything will work out.

“The number one reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors.” – Napoleon Hill

We all struggle with how much weight we should put into the opinions of others. No one is living your life but you, and you should make choices on your own accord because you believe the route you’re taking is best.

“If you don’t value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents; start charging for it.” – Kim Garst

It is incredibly easy to give too much of yourself away to the people or jobs you care about. Make sure that you are investing in relationships that give you a feeling of growth or satisfaction.

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

Don’t get caught up in wishing you had more. Be grateful for what you have – and if you need more, take action rather than simply dreaming. Focusing on the positive will serve you better and make you more likely to attract or earn what you want most.

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama

Life doesn’t always work perfectly in our favor. It’s crucial to remember that a seemingly foolproof plan can fail, and that isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes unexpected paths will lead you to a better future.

Staying motivated applies to all aspects of our lives, no matter how big or small. The next time you’re feeling workplace burnout, take a moment to reflect on the advice within the above quotes. Remember that you have the power to find motivation if only you choose to see it in the small reminders around you.

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How Philippine Call Centers Are Promoting Their Employees’ Welfare

Employee's Welfare

Employee's WelfareIn the Philippines, call centers are hailed as the sunshine industry.

For the past two decades, they have become one of the country’s important growth sectors that drive the economy, employing over 1.2 million employees according to Department of Labor and Employment. 

So why do many Filipinos choose to work in call centers? Here are six ways call center companies are looking after the employees’ welfare.

Above-industry compensation

Regularly, the government labor agency publishes minimum wage for all Filipino workers. It sets the starting pay all employers are asked to give to an entry-level worker.

Call center companies in the Philippines are consistently offering above-industry basic compensation. In the process, they provide agents a financial head-start in ensuring that they live a reasonably decent lifestyle.

Better benefits

The country’s Labor Code lists down many obligations of employers including tax, social security, health, and housing contributions for their employees.

Not only are call center companies in the Philippines doing their part on these items, but they also provide health and life insurance as part of their employee package.

In this way, agents will have fewer worries during times of illness or untimely demise, protecting them and the people they love from financial stress.

Generous incentives  

Call centers are attracting talents from the labor market through their generous incentives program.

Agents are given performance bonus and other incentives on top of their basic salary, increasing the amount of money that they take home from work.

Healthcare

Another way companies promote their employees’ welfare is health care. Many call centers offer free annual physical and dental exams as a means to check on the state of their overall health.

Additionally, they have also company clinics with the on-duty nurse to cater to any first-aid needs or medical concerns.

Job Security

One other great benefit is job security. As training new agents are costly, call centers tend to go out of their way to keep their best employees.

Moreover, they hire their managerial and leadership positions mostly from within the organization, rewarding successful agents with a well-defined career development path.

World-class training

Call centers boast of world-class training for English language, business communication, customer service, technical support, and leadership skills.

All of the above are very valuable business skills that allow agents to develop holistically in their line of work.

Personalized support

Call center agents are not set up for failure once they start working. They are constantly being mentored to become the best versions of themselves to succeed in their job.

For one thing, supervisors look after their employees’ welfare day in and day out.

Other support departments such as training and development, quality, and human resource departments also play important roles in their development.

Filipino employees’ welfare

Call centers doing business in the Philippines are not just providing good-paying, secure jobs to more than a million Filipino workers.

As great employers, they are also establishing great industry standards in looking after their welfare too.

They know that by taking care of their employees, their business will be taken great care of as well.

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5 Tips to Giving Your Call Center Office a Fun Environment

Call Center Environment

Call Center EnvironmentCreating a fun environment in your call center is not only going to be exciting for your employees, but it is also going to make a positive impact on your bottom line too.

When your workplace has a positive atmosphere, your employees will not dread going to work but instead will look forward to it every day.

Here are the five tips in giving your call center office a fun environment.

Give adequate freedom

Many business-owners are quite reluctant giving their call center agents freedom out of fear of what they might do with it.

Because of this fear, they are pushed to come up with too many rules and guidelines that leave little air for their agents to be creative and openly express their individuality.

Remember, customer service is a very personal experience. It is a conversation over the phone, email or chat box between two people: your agent and your customer.

Hence, champion self-expression. Give your call center agent enough legroom to freely deliver the job in a personalized way.

Of course, it is also your job that you safeguard the interest of the business by tracking how responsibly are they using the amount of freedom you are giving away. Establish clear expectations and monitor and correct any excesses as you deem fit.

Encourage collaboration

Create opportunities where they are going to be encouraged to work with their colleagues.

For instance, you can create small groups with minor responsibilities such as taking in charge of updating the board for sales quota, coming up with a list of best practices to be shared with new employees, and other similar tasks.

Do fun-filled activities

Create workplace memories through fun-filled activities that break the monotony of everyday job.

There are tons of celebrations to choose from such as birthdays of team members, Halloween, the triumph of a local sports team, or the finale of a beloved TV show.

You can do costume parties, impromptu programs, or company-wide viewing of a game or TV program.

Team-building activities

To build esprit de corps, you may also encourage team-building activities.

This can either be friendly competitions within or against other teams such as decorating workstation, out-of-town trips, team-building workshops that can develop each call center agent to develop holistically.

Celebrate business milestones

Another great way to creating a fun environment in your call center office is to celebrate important organizational milestones.

As an example, you can conduct company-wide town hall sessions where you update everyone about the current state and future direction of the business or celebrate the acquisition of a new client or when you certain important business targets.

Engagement is key

Remember that having a fun environment in your call center office is not just about having state-of-the-art facilities or acquiring the latest technology.

Instead, it is all about finding ways in engaging your employees to make them feel excited to go to work every day.

In turn, they will give their best in wowing your customers all the time, something that will surely bring in more value to your business.

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Why Volunteer Programs Are Crucial For Call Center Companies

Volunteer Programs

Volunteer ProgramsWant to boost your company’s bottom line in a big way? Easy. Give back to the community through corporate volunteer programs.

The above statement might sound like hogwash to some, but multiple studies prove that corporate volunteer programs can positively impact a company in more ways than one.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers made one such study and discovered that 88% of Millennials gravitate towards companies with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.

There’s only one obvious explanation for this: It always feels good to give back to the community. It’s a psychological need that validates our highest ethical aspirations as humans.

But what makes volunteer programs worth the investment in the call center industry? Here are five ways they can positively impact your company’s bottom line.

1. Increases engagement

According to a Gallup study, 70% of American workers are feeling disengaged from their jobs, contributing to a drastic drop in ROI over the years.

Meanwhile, more and more call centers are realizing the direct positive impact increased corporate volunteerism has been having on employee engagement.

What this shows is that volunteer programs give call center agents great opportunities to work in new environments, establish new social connections, and face new challenges.

With increased engagement comes improved performance, thus resulting in a much better ROI.

2. Promotes collaboration

When employees are allowed to work together in an environment where they can connect with each other on a human level, a significant uptick in collaboration is to be expected.

When employees work together for a good cause, they tend to trust each other more. Why? Because they collectively know that their efforts are rooted in something honest and noble and real.

3. Promotes positive work culture

The mere knowledge that your company cares about the plight of the less fortunate easily fosters a meaningful work environment.

Not only does it instill a deep sense of pride, it also inspires loyalty and boosts morale.

Moreover, studies show that employees are more likely to stay with a company that has a good corporate reputation.

Provide employees the opportunity to give back to the community, and it will work wonders for your company culture, thus improving employee retention and employee engagement.

4. Millennials love to volunteer

Millennials now comprise the majority of the workforce, and if studies about them concerning volunteerism are any indication, you will do well to create opportunities for them to help out.

Case in point: according to a 2015 Millennial Impact report, 77% of millennials would rather contribute using their skills instead of money.

Their reasons are not exclusive to altruism, either, as millennials also recognize how volunteer work positively impacts their growth and development in their chosen careers.

5. Skill development

Corporate volunteer programs allow call center agents to develop their skills in ways that can’t be done in a typical work environment.

Being able to work in a different setting and working with other people of different backgrounds allow agents to hone their already existing skills and also make space for acquiring new ones.

The same thing holds even more true for leadership skills. The best leaders in the industry are likely the ones who’ve employed and developed their skills in volunteer programs.

What’s Next?

As established, launching company-sponsored volunteer programs can have far-reaching effects that will prove beneficial to your company in the long-term.

We at EBCallCenter.com remain steadfast in our commitment to working with nonprofit organizations to support programs for the betterment of our community.

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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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5 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Call Center Agents

Call Center Agents

Call Center Agents

According to a study conducted by the Harvard Medical School, workplace appreciation and gratitude enhances company culture and ensures the wellbeing of employees.

It’s well known that the majority of call center agents are under constant stress. But, you can counter that stress and increase their motivation level by recognizing and respecting their efforts. In return, they will perform and deliver the best results for your company.

Here Are 5 Ways You Can Show Appreciation And Gratitude To Your Call Center Agents

1. Spend Time With Them

Employees prefer leaders over a boss because they can communicate and be themselves with them. Recognize their presence. Show them gratitude through gestures, words and actions like saying, “thank you”, taking them out for coffee, having a casual chat time-to-time, discussing their problems,  or life overall.

2. Provide Frequent Time- Off

The daily stress and continuous calls make the job of a call center agent quite taxing. They are under constant pressure to perform and meet their targets. So, it is only humane to give them a breather whenever possible. Being a boss or a member of the management team, you are able to provide them with the necessary time-off. It will allow them time to meet their personal needs.

3. Give Small Gestures of Recognition

Offer your agents sincere accolade and admiration whenever your agents do a good job or deliver. A small gesture of appreciation like this will go a long way. It will boost the confidence level of your agents and drive them to achieve targets and meet your expectations.

4. Provide a Ladder to Progress

When you work hard day-in and day-out, but are unable to push your career in the upward direction, it leaves you feeling dejected and demotivated. If your boss or manager steers your career on the right track, you’ll feel motivated to deliver and perform. Same goes for your agents. Show them the right path for career growth, and they will help your company to grow.

5. Give Bonuses

Working in a call center is both challenging and fulfilling, but these benefits run the risk of being overshadowed by stress incurred on the job. Pep-talks, accolades and gestures are the best signs of appreciation, but nothing can beat a monetary reward. You can offer annual bonuses to your agents, which demonstrates appreciation for their efforts, cooperation, and decision to be a part of your organization.

What do you think?

Call center agents are a crucial part of an agency. They are the source of communication between your firm and its customers. Keeping the agents happy, confident, motivated and appreciated, will help in maintaining good consumer relationships. Employees and clients constitute the top tier of a company pyramid. And keeping both these parties happy will ensure good health and success for your business.

It is not a selfish approach but rather a “give and take” relationship. Because, when you have a great team you have a successful business!

Feel free to reach out to us for consultation and expert advice on effective employee/customer management solutions.

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