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Philippine Call Center Blog

How to Confront Without Rocking the Boat

Working in a customer service job is one of the most stressful jobs someone can be in, because you’re dealing with — you guessed it — people. Not just people, but oftentimes disgruntled people. People who aren’t very kind. Sometimes, there are moments where we might have to confront someone, but we don’t want to do it to the point where it blows up in our faces and creates a bigger problem, right? So here’s what we’ve come up with on how to confront someone, but without rocking the boat:

Make an observation, then ask a question. This is probably one of the easiest and non-confrontational ways to confront someone about something. You telling them what you have noticed and perceived is a great way of avoiding labels and diagnosis, and asking the follow up question gives them a gentle push towards an explanation and open dialogue: “I’m noticing ______. I’m wondering if _______.”

Being direct doesn’t have to mean being rude. Direct conversation is probably one of the most valuable forms, but also one that gets a bad rap as being “rude” and “blunt.” The fact of the matter is, you can be direct without coming off as a stuck-up know it all. Always start your conversation with a compliment; it not only disarms the person you’re confronting, but also lowers their walls and opens them up for what you’re about to say. The words coming out of your mouth need to be either neutral, or positively associated words — so avoid words like “never,” “lazy,” “disappointed,” etc. Direct communication also means walking into the conversation with a solution already on hand, relaxed body language, and a smile. Your goal is to talk about the important parts without sounding like you’re condemning the other person.

Understanding your own emotions is just as important as acknowledging the other person’s emotions. If you find that you’re in a high-emotions situations, and you can’t seem to allow yourself a deep breath, then it’s okay to get a rain check on the conversation. If you cannot fight back the anger or the tears (sometimes they come hand-in-hand), then you cannot confront the situation in a healthy and professional way. There is no shame in taking a step back.

No one is a real fan of confrontation, but if it’s done in a calm, cool, and collected manner, then the experience really isn’t as scary as most people think. The goal is to be open and accepting of the other person; have a discussion, not an argument.

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Why Cybersecurity is Essential for Retail Businesses

Online shopping has possibly become the easiest way to get what we need and get it fast — we use it to order food, entertainment, clothing, and even groceries and anything else! With a convenient click, and copying a few numbers down from a plastic card, we have the world at our fingertips. The only downside? We’re copying a few numbers from a little plastic card. As it turns out, though, these numbers have a grave weight in the world; It’s astounding to think that something so small can have such a massive impact on our lives — we use them so much and rely on them far more than we do cash, and if anyone got a hold of our credit or debit cards? Yikes. So, it’s important to make sure that your retail business is armed to the very teeth, because cybersecurity…

Boosts clientele.

If your customers know that your website is not only useful, but also safe, then they will be sure to spread the word about it to their friends and family. Keeping your current customers safe is the best way to get a bigger client base.

Protects your products.

If someone can hack into the most secured part of your website and access all of the sensitive information, there’s no telling what can sneak in with it; they could pull the card numbers and do all kinds of damage in the process or on the way out, like just a physical robbery.

Protects your business.

Not only will you lose hundreds — maybe even thousands — of dollars’ worth of products and potential, but you will also face possible legal action as well. PCI Compliance is a set of guidelines that all businesses that work with credit/debit card information are required to abide by, as stated by the PCI Standards Council. Should these guidelines be violated, you will most likely find yourself deep in legal paperwork and with a headache.

Cybersecurity is no longer a luxury for high-end websites; if you want to run a business from the web, you need it, and you need the absolute best. Without it, you will see a drop in first customer satisfaction, and then customers themselves will drop like flies, you will lose money, which is the opposite of what you’re doing with your business, and you will most likely find yourself a friend to your attorney. So, make sure you keep yourself safe!

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How to Identify Which Outsourcing Company is Right for You

outsourcing
Outsourcing

If you want to get more sales, offer better customer support, and increase your efficiency as a business (among other things), then you need to start outsourcing.

When you think about all the benefits you can enjoy from outsourcing, the business move to collaborate with a third-party BPO company just makes sense.

Even having said that, however, it’s worth pointing out that not all outsourcing companies are created equal.

There are those that provide real value to their partners, while there are those who produce less than stellar results.

In this guide, we’re going to talk about some of the characteristics that you need to look into when deciding if the outsourcing company is right for you.

If you’re about to outsource some of your tasks but aren’t sure which outsourcing company to work with, then this guide is for you.

1. Employee Training and Development

When outsourcing companies put value in employee training and development, it pretty much shows how they care about their clients’ welfare.

Since the outsourcing company’s employees are in the trenches, directly addressing the needs of the customers, they ought to be well-trained and equipped with the skills they need to be able to represent the company in the best way.

2. Infrastructure and Technology

The last thing you want is to experience downtimes upon downtimes, all because the outsourcing company you’re working with had an outage in their area.

That’s just one of the issues that can arise, by the way. There are security vulnerabilities and other compliance-related issues that you might face when dealing with a poorly-equipped outsourcing company.

3. Strategic Location

You need to consider the location of your prospective outsourcing partner before deciding to collaborate with them.

Here’s the thing, depending on where the company is situated, you might find it difficult to scale your business with them.

Supposing your company is fairly large and you need to add 200 more inbound/outbound call center agents to your team. If the outsourcing company is located in a provincial area where there aren’t that many universities, then they will most likely find it challenging to hire 200 more people to address your needs, simply because there aren’t that many skilled people in the area.

4. Affordability

Depending on the location of the outsourcing company and the type of service that you’re looking to outsource, you might have to pay between $6 – $50 per person per hour.

There isn’t an exact figure for this. And outsourcing companies would justify their pricing based on varying elements.

That is why you need to be thorough when screening and shortlisting your prospective outsourcing partner.

After all, it wouldn’t make sense for you to pay $40 per agent per hour when you can get the same level of quality and service from a company who would charge you $10 per person per hour.

What’s Next?

Partnering with the right outsourcing company can make or break your business.

It can spell the difference between you experiencing unprecedented growth, or you experiencing headaches upon headaches.

If you’re looking for an outsourcing company that you can trust, one that’s equipped with state of the art infrastructure, highly-skilled talents, and one that’s genuinely committed to grow your business, then call us now at 1-888-700-9555.

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Why Multitasking May Not Really Be the Best Strategy

We have all learned to do things in the most effective way possible, and oftentimes, we think that way might be with multitasking. We think that, if we can get two or three things done at the same or at about the same time, our days would be much easier, right? Well, the truth is, multitasking isn’t for everyone — or for just any project; you may actually be spending more time doing these things at once than you would if you did it all one at a time.

Multitasking isn’t really what it’s called; it’s a basic task-switch. You’re not really getting anything done because you keep switching from one task to another. Have you ever watched a toddler go from building a block castle to coloring a single page from a coloring book? When they switch off from task to task, neither gets done right away, or the way they want it. Or maybe you’ve noticed that it takes longer while driving to your destination while on the phone, rather than not? That’s because your brain is split between two different — and important — things, when the tasks really deserve your undivided attention. What will get things done faster, though, is doing things in batches. For example: send out all your emails at once, write your reports one after another, etc. Your brain gets super-focused on the task at hand and you fly right through everything.

Not only is it a total time-waster, but with the more projects or tasks you take on, the more mistakes you’ll make, especially when you’re doing something important that involves critical thinking. People can lose up to 40% productivity when they choose to task-switch, and honestly, that doesn’t sound worth the time you think you might be saving.

It’s also incredibly stressful! Have you noticed that the terms “busybody” and “hectic” always seem to coexist alongside individuals who try an multitask? That’s because it’s true! When you’re busy doing all sorts of things at once, your body jumps into an anxiety-driven panic, and your heart rate is stuck at a racing speed. So, by the end of the day, you’re exhausted, and have no energy for any other activities outside of work.

While we think that multitasking is a great way to get things done and have more time in the day, it’s more trouble than it’s worth; your work isn’t as neat, your body is tired, and your mind wants to shut down by the end of the day. So, take your time, work on one task before turning to another, and enjoy what you’re doing!

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How to Make Outsourcing Work For Companies New to the Business Model

How to Make Outsourcing Work For Companies New to the Business Model

Everyone’s been saying it. We’ve all heard and read about it, that outsourcing is an effective business strategy — even for businesses who are new to the business model.

It allows them to do more while spending less and it gives them real value for their money.

But having the confidence and being absolutely positive that outsourcing will, indeed, work for your company is not enough. You need to plan and sort out your gameplan to ensure (to some extent) that outsourcing gives you the results you’re expecting.   

Planning Your Outsourcing

So how do you make sure that outsourcing works for you even if you are new to it? What do you need to do to ensure success?

Here are some helpful tips and steps to follow:

Don’t jump on the bandwagon 

Just because you know someone who’s successful since they’ve started to outsource, you decide to do it too. You cannot go into outsourcing lightly – without knowing what you want to outsource, what your goals are, and how to achieve it.

Define Your Purpose

Just because others are doing it, you also decide to do it is not enough. You need to formulate and be conscious of your goal. Are you outsourcing because you need their expertise? Do you need to streamline your process? Do you need the workforce to support you for a short term project? 

Whatever your reason may be, you need to be specific and clear. With awareness, it becomes easier to determine whether outsourcing is working for you.

Know What to Outsource

If your reason for outsourcing is because you want to have more time to focus on your core business, start by identifying what’s keeping you from doing so. 

You notice that you are spending considerable time calling out to set appointments or arranging one, then you need a virtual assistant. Or if you’re taking way too much time doing your expense reports or you just can’t deal with numeric data, then you’d probably want to outsource accounting or bookkeeping tasks.

After defining your purpose, comes the awareness of what you want or need to outsource.

Choose Your Outsourcing Partner

Now that you are clear on the why, what you want to achieve and want to outsource, you now need to decide and choose.

With so many BPO companies in the market, you will need to do thorough research and background checks before deciding on an outsourcing partner. 

Having a complete understanding of your outsourcing needs will guide you in choosing your BPO partner carefully – one that is a perfect fit for your outsourcing goals.  

Set Performance Metrics

The last step in implementing a successful outsourcing strategy is for you and your BPO partner to formulate and agree on specific parameters for measuring results. 

Having a clear set of parameters in place tracks any progress you are making and helps you determine your outcome. 

What’s Next?

Are you ready to give outsourcing a go? Want to know whether it will work for you? Have you identified which functions you want to outsource?

Reach out to us at Executive Boutique. Whether this is your first time or not, we would be delighted to work out the perfect outsourcing solution for you – at the best rate possible.

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today and get a free, non-obligatory quote!

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Why Outsourcing is a Sound Business Decision (Regardless of Your Business Size)

Why Outsourcing is a Sound Business Decision (Regardless of Your Business Size)

It wasn’t too long ago when the word outsourcing was a very foreign-sounding concept. Today, however, it has become a buzzword in the business industry.

Thanks to the developments in our modern technology, outsourcing is becoming the go-to solution for the majority of business owners.

Outsourcing Defined

Outsourcing involves working with an organization/entity outside of a company to perform services or take care of specific tasks instead of hiring in-house staff.

Services such as telemarketing, payroll, and accounting, IT helpdesk, web design, customer service, administrative tasks are examples of functions that you can outsource. 

Outsourcing — A Smart Move 

But what do you stand to gain when you outsource? Is it really a sound business decision?

Here are some compelling reasons proving that outsourcing could very well be your best business move yet.

1) Let’s You Save on Costs

There are specific business tasks that are best left to outsourcing. It could be because they take up too much of your time or are highly specialized, requiring certified experts. Or it can be hiring a team, but you just don’t have the time for recruitment and training. Or perhaps you do not have enough resources to sustain a workforce.    

With outsourcing, you take a  shortcut – giving you a team of experts ready and able to extend all the help you need. 

It all comes like a neatly wrapped package. Because with the workforce, also comes the infrastructure, and equipment you need to deliver your products and services. It eliminates the need to spend on a workspace, equipment, and its maintenance too.   

2) You Gain Access to a Pool of Experts

If in the past, a one-person show couldn’t start a business, outsourcing makes it possible today because it provides the boost you need to gain competitive advantage.  

Even if you are alone in your venture, you will get adequate help with outsourcing. You will always find a web designer to work on your website or an assistant who will sort out and keep tabs on your schedules for you. 

What would have been a challenge in finding that perfect candidate to work with and for you, you will easily find through outsourcing. You won’t even have to spend so much time and resources in finding them. 

3) Let’s You Focus on Core Business 

There are just too many aspects to running a business. As a business owner, if you are not careful enough, you may get caught up in fulfilling tasks that are not critical to business growth or innovation.

Outsourcing lets you prioritize your daily to-do lists. Tasks that are time-consuming and critical, but not necessarily a core business function, you can outsource.

It is a smart way of going about your work. By delegating essential tasks to someone else, you can focus on what is vital to increasing your bottomline. 

4) Faster Turnaround and Improved Efficiency

Timing is paramount in our business setting today, where everything is instant. 

With outsourcing, you can work on that brilliant business concept asap. If you have a product or a service that you want to run by a specific audience, an outsourcing company can do your market research for you –   sooner and faster. 

In instances when you need additional workforce to meet an increase in business demand, outsourcing allows you to scale your business operations. Your quality and service delivery does not suffer.

What’s Next?

Ready to give outsourcing a go and take your business to the next level? 

We are here for you!

At Executive Boutique, we’d be happy to work out and implement the best outsourcing solution to match your needs at affordable rates. 

We offer you top-notch customer service, IT Helpdesk, Market Research, and a whole range of  other services.

Contact us now to find out more!

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Business Tasks You Should Consider Outsourcing Today

Business Tasks You Should Consider Outsourcing Today

Are you always pressed for time? Do you find yourself wishing that your business operations are running more efficiently?

It may be time for you to consider outsourcing.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a start-up or a large organization, outsourcing some of your business functions will help you streamline your operations.

There are several other reasons why you should outsource. But the most compelling ones are:

  • Doing so allows you to focus on core business function
  • It increases your productivity and efficiency
  • It helps reduce your overhead costs  

Business Tasks You Should Be Outsourcing 

With that in mind, here’s a list of business functions that you should consider outsourcing.

1) Administrative Tasks

Scheduling meetings and appointments, planning and booking your business trips, data entry, filing records, making reports, answering to customer queries and complaints – minor things that gets done fast. But if you are doing a bit of each in a day, it can quickly pile up and eat up your time.

You get so used to doing said tasks; you probably don’t even realize that this is what is keeping you busy most of the time.

Although these tasks are part and parcel to business operations, it is not a core business activity.

So do yourself a favor and start outsourcing admin functions – stat!

2) Customer Service

Providing customer support is a significant effort in your business. One which is best left for experts to do.

Customer service can be a massive effort which also requires investing in equipment. Instead of spending capital on infrastructure and equipment, as well as running round the clock operations in-house, choose to outsource. 

Not only will you significantly reduce  your operational costs, but you will also be providing high quality, professional service.  

3) IT Support

Running IT operations in-house can cost you a bomb. Also, an average business would most probably not know much about the intricate ins and outs of information technology, much less manage them. 

Outsourcing this critical business function guarantees you receive expert and qualified support at all times without costing you a fortune.

4) Accounting & Payroll

Accounting and payroll work is time-consuming. It is also a specialized field. 

Outsourcing this office function frees your time and ensures that everything is done correctly and following existing policies.

5) Marketing & Lead Generation

Both marketing and lead generation require concerted efforts from a team of people. It is, therefore, wise to outsource both functions to make sure it is carried out and executed correctly.

Also, most of the best marketing ideas come from outsiders or third parties whose ideas are free from any company bias.

6) Human Resources

Employee recruitment and human resource functions are best delivered by third-party vendors who specialize and are qualified in this particular field. They are more adept at advertising, screening suitable candidates, and checking references. They can also manage employee benefits adequately since they are expected to be up to date on the latest employment laws and standards.

What’s Next?

Executive Boutique is a leading provider of outsourced call center services in the Philippines.

We guarantee top-notch, quality support for your business needs.

Our services include inbound customer support, IT and help desk support, outbound call support for lead generation, market research, telemarketing, surveys, etc.

If you want to find out more, contact us today!

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Why Outsourcing Your Customer Support Needs Makes Perfect Sense

Why Outsourcing Your Customer Support Needs Makes Perfect Sense

Customer expectations and preferences continue to change as it is shaped by the progress and development of technology (among other things).

Convenience, resolution times, and agent expertise remain to be some of the main criteria for consumer satisfaction.

The Microsoft 2017 State of Global Customer Service survey reveals that 96% of consumers believe that customer service is essential and plays a huge factor in brand loyalty. 

It proves that providing customer service is imperative and is expected in businesses and organizations.

Outsourcing Your Customer Support Needs

Understanding that customer experience is a key differentiator is the easy part.

The challenge often lies on the implementation of the customer service efforts. Such is particularly you’re a startup since you might not have the time and resources to put your customer support workflow into action.

This is where outsourcing plays a significant role.

It may very well be the best solution to your customer support needs.

The following are the reasons why outsourcing makes perfect sense:

Cost-Saving Measure

Allowing you to cut costs on several ways is the number one benefit of outsourcing.  

First, it saves you time because it eliminates the need to find the right people to form your customer service team. As a business owner, you cannot afford to waste time on recruitment efforts because it is time-consuming. Instead, you should be focusing on what really matters to you and your business.

Second, it saves you from paying employee benefits. Your outsourcing partner provides you the team you need. Paying employee benefits and compensation is their responsibility.      

Third, it saves you office space and equipment. Running a customer service team means having adequate office space backed by state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

Outsourcing companies have well-maintained, fully equipped, and highly efficient workspaces specially designed to carry out massive-scale operations.  

Promotes Worry-Free Budgeting

Working with an outsourced partner means you pay a fixed monthly expenditure. You no longer have to worry about going over and above your budget. The anxiety of suddenly paying for equipment repairs are gone. Because with outsourcing, you already know the exact amount you need to fork out.    

Access to Talent

An outsourcing company is like a one-stop-shop. You will find workers with specialized skills and talents. You will find IT specialists, customer service specialists who can speak a different language, financial experts, medical transcriptionists, payroll experts, etc. That talent you have been looking for may just be waiting for you there.   

Enhanced Service Quality

Not only do outsourcing companies provide you with workers of different skills and talents, but they also offer you the best ones in their field of expertise. Reps working for outsourcing companies undergo a rigorous screening process and go through in-depth training to ensure they come out ready and able.   

You are guaranteed high-quality, professional service, meeting your picky consumer’s expectations.

What’s Next?

Need a reliable company to outsource your customer support needs? Executive Boutique is your call center partner in the Philippines! 

Our services include inbound customer service support, technical and help desk support, back- office support, and outbound call support for telemarketing, lead generation, market research, and the like.

We offer the best value for your money, without being tied down to a long term contract. 

Interested? Contact us today to find out more!

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Outsourcing Telemarketing: The Right Choice

Outsourcing Telemarketing The Right Choice
Outsourcing Telemarketing The Right Choice

Telemarketing can be a handy tool for businesses.

Not only is it a tried and tested method for lead generation, but you can straight-up increase your sales through telemarketing.

Of course, there are other benefits you can enjoy when you have telemarketing as one of your business’ marketing arsenal.

Telemarketing Defined

Telemarketing is essentially the process of generating leads, gathering marketing information or making and closing a sale through the phone, fax, internet, as well as via video conferencing.

It can also include contacting people to raise money for charity and carry out surveys. 

Benefits of Telemarketing

While telemarketing has become a popular tool in growing businesses, it also has its fair share of controversies due to its misuse. But negative publicity aside, this strategy continues to be widely used, and when carried out correctly, the advantages drowns out all negative feedback.

1) Gives Immediate Feedback

Being able to immediately measure your customer’s level of interest in your product or services is perhaps the number one benefit of telemarketing. Receiving direct and immediate feedback allows you to realign marketing campaigns, improve customer service, and develop new products and services.

2) Involves Human Interaction

Not only is the telephone an affordable and a statistically accountable communication tool, but it is also a very intimate and personal one, with two people talking to each other.

3) Has Wider Reach

Telemarketing allows you to reach a wider audience. It reaches not only your intended audience but also those who are on the other parts of the globe, as well as your not to internet savvy consumers. 

4) Provides Measurable Results

One of the best things about telemarketing is that the results can be analyzed and measured. It gives you insight into how successful (or not) your campaign has been and which strategy actually works.

Outsourcing Telemarketing

Deciding to outsource your company’s telemarketing efforts will multiply your benefits even more. 

The list that follows are just some of the advantages of outsourcing telemarketing.

  • Frees up your time 

By delegating your telemarketing campaigns to a professional third-party vendor, you can focus all your attention and energy to core business functions.

  • Increase in Productivity

With more time on your hands to zero in on core business matters, the rest of your team will also be able to focus on their assigned tasks, increasing their productivity.

  • Worry-Free Budgeting

With outsourcing, you can forget about worrying that you will go above your budget because you pay a fixed amount as agreed with your outsourcing partner.

  • Brings Huge Savings 

Outsourcing eliminates the need to invest in equipment and infrastructure because your outsourcing partner already has the cutting-edge technology in place to support your telemarketing needs.

It also saves you office space since you won’t need to house a team of telemarketers.

Perhaps the most significant savings will come from not having to spend on recruitment and training, as well as paying employee benefits. You will be tapping into the manpower coupled with the industry experience of your outsourcing partner.

What’s Next?

Executive Boutique offers a full range of telemarketing services, both inbound and outbound, from customer service, technical support, sales lead generation, and market research.

We offer high quality, professional services at affordable rates with flexible month-to-month options.

So contact us today for your free non-obligatory quote. 

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5 Underrated Customer Service Tips

If there’s one job that’s harder than it looks, it’s customer service. Anything that involves dealing with other people who may or may not have high emotions is hard, but being a good customer service worker? It’s tough – but rewarding to help others needing your product or service. So, whether you’re an HR rep, or a salesperson, here are our five underrated customer service tips:

  1. Always practice empathy. It’s something we take for granted because it comes naturally in certain situations, but it can be very hard to do when you’re faced with a rude customer. Be empathetic to what the customer or client is telling you – or possibly screaming at you – because there is most likely a way you can help them without it getting too nasty. Sometimes you can’t, but that isn’t your fault. Just remember to always give them the benefit of the doubt, and do your best to put yourself in their shoes. Empathy gets you a long way.
  1. You’re human, too, so show them! Identifying with the customer is one of the greatest ways to build their trust in you and your company. Express your similarities; if they like cats, mention your pet, or if they like a specific movie or movie genre, mention one you like, too. Too many customer service situations are approached with an automated system, and the splash of humanity gives them that breath of fresh air they so crave.
  1. Be honest. It’s easy to try and talk your way out of answering something you don’t know, but nine times out of ten, the customers can tell when you’re doing it, and then begin to distrust you. If you don’t know the answer to something, own up to it. “I don’t know” is an acceptable thing to say in these situations.
  1. Be accessible. It’s not something that everyone likes to do, but it gives you an added bonus when talking to a customer when you give them your contact information. That’s e-mail, phone, and some people even give them their personal number! (If that’s something you would like to do, just make sure you set up boundaries as to when they can and cannot call. They’ll understand.) Making yourself available at the customer’s disposal is another great trust-building habit you should cling to.
  1. Use positive language. The trick is to avoid negatives — can’t, won’t, isn’t, etc — when dealing with a customer. It’s not about what you can’t do, it’s about what you can! So, for example of negative: “I can’t get your shipment to you until Friday,” versus an example of positive: “I can have your shipment to you as soon as Friday!” The mood shift is what sells it.

In customer service, there are so many different tips and guidelines on how to do the job and do it well — add your favorite tips in the comments!

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