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Philippine Call Center Blog

How Outsourcing to a BPO Company Can Be a Deal Breaker For Startups

How-Outsourcing-to-a-BPO-Company-Can-Be-a-Deal-Breaker-For-Startups

Do you remember how your summers were spent as a child? You were either that kid who spent most of the summer frolicking under the sun or the one who got busy selling ice-cold homemade refreshments for some extra cash.

If you are the latter, you are probably longing for those good old days where things seemed so simple.

Contrary to your situation now as an adult, who just started your business venture,you are beginning to realize that running a business is far more complicated than how they were when you were selling homemade refreshments as a little kid.  

As a newly minted entrepreneur, you are continually finding yourself either doing administrative tasks that are repetitive, time-consuming, and not necessarily contributing to any of your company’s goals; or wishing that you would find a qualified and experienced person to do the same admin tasks that are eating up most of your time.

This is where working with a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company will make all the difference.

Alibaba, hailed as the world’s biggest online marketplace, started as China Yellow Pages. Their journey to become the giant global online marketplace that they are today started with outsourcing their web design.The Alibaba group is living proof that startups and BPOs are indeed, a perfect match

Especially now that the world is digitally connected, people demand efficiency and convenience. BPOs give startups the edge they need to survive in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive environment.

Perfect Match

The BPO industry continues to grow exponentially year on year. Here are some of the reasons why startups and BPOs are a match made in heaven.

BPOs are cost savers

As a fledgling company, you operate on a tight budget. Instead of hiring full-time staff and paying for monthly salary and benefits, your money is better off spent on product innovation or expansion.

Working with a BPO company will help get things done faster, for the same level of quality, but  a lesser financial investment.

It also helps you save money by eliminating the need to purchase equipment or technology, not to mention, maintaining them.  

BPO companies run state-of-the-art facilities which are maintained regularly to operate on tip-top condition. Consider this as one less concern ticked off from your long expense list.

BPOs allow company flexibility

As a startup, you need to be able to scale your business operations. Having limited resources should not stop you from meeting your clients demands. When in need of additional manpower, your partner BPO company can round up, or round down your workforce according to your needs. They help you manage your costs better.

BPOs helps streamline business process

By delegating tasks and projects to a BPO, you have more time to devote and focus on your core business functions. This takes away your involvement in needing to make decisions related to day to day operations. Not only does this save you time, but it also improves your company’s efficiency.

What’s Next?

Are you looking for your perfect match? Ready to give outsourcing to a BPO company a try?

Let Executive Boutique lead the way!

Our experienced team on BPO management, highly-trained, dedicated agents, and cutting edge technology will be with you to support you every step of the way. We offer a wide range of office tasks to support your business at attractive, competitive rates.

Contact us today to find out more!

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What Is PCI DSS and Why Is It Important?

Any business that handles credit card transactions needs to be aware of the requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This is a suite of security standards that is intended to ensure a secure environment for credit card information. These protocols are wide-ranging, affecting countless businesses. Here’s what you need to know about PCI DSS.

What exactly is PCI DSS?

The PCI DSS requirements were developed by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council. Every organization, including nonprofit entities, which accept payment cards must adhere to these standards. This includes debit and credit card transactions. It also includes any organization that indirectly manages these transactions through a third party.

What happens if my business is not PCI DSS compliant?

Non-compliant organizations are subject to fines and other penalties. The PCI Security Standards Council is backed by the five major credit card companies—American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and JCB (Japan Credit Bureau). These payment card companies, through the PCI Security Standards Council, are behind the potential penalties for non-compliant organizations.

Fines are imposed only rarely, but they can be substantial. They can range from $5,000 to $100,000 per month per violation. It’s more common for a non-compliant merchant to first receive a warning letter and guidance on the violation that requires correction. Subsequent violations may result in the cessation of payment card processing, either temporarily or permanently.

What are the requirements of PCI DSS?

There are 12 main requirements of PCI DSS. They cover the following areas:

  • The use of a firewall configuration
  • The use of custom, non-vendor-supplied default passwords and other security parameters
  • The protection of stored cardholder data
  • The encryption of data transmitted over open, public networks
  • The use and regular updating of antivirus software
  • Secure systems and applications
  • Restricted access to cardholder data
  • A unique ID for each person with computer access
  • Restriction of physical access to cardholder data
  • The tracking and monitoring of access to cardholder data
  • Testing of security systems and processes
  • Policy regarding information security

What if I use a third-party vendor like a call center?

Since call center operatives may manage credit card transactions, it’s crucial that you outsource your calls to a call center that is 100% compliant with the PCI DSS requirements. It may not be enough to simply know that the call center is compliant. It’s in your business’ and your customers’ best interests to choose a call center that has been verified compliant with the PCI Compliance Certification. This certification guarantees that the call center uses acceptable technology to protect credit card information during transactions.

Looking for a 100% compliant and certified call center? Executive Boutique is proud to maintain our PCI Compliance Certification because the safety and security of your customers is our top priority. When you choose our call center in the Philippines, your customers can safely enter their sensitive data directly into our secure service, bypassing the need for our call center agents to handle that data. In the event an agent does need to handle sensitive data, we use “pause and resume” technology that prevents credit card info from being recorded. We also use PCI DSS-compliant storage with encryption for all sensitive data. Get in touch with us today to find out how Executive Boutique can assist your company.

Additional resources on PCI DSS

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Outbound Call Center Services: We Make Calls For You

The success of your company is largely dependent upon its competitive edge. No matter how innovative your business model is, your company must still compete against countless other businesses in the same industry. And if you’re like many entrepreneurs, you simply don’t have the resources to maintain an in-house call center to generate leads and turn prospects into sales. By partnering with an outbound call center, you can gain that competitive edge you need to corner your share of the market. An outbound call center can provide many types of services for your company, including the following.

Appointment setting

These days, few businesses have time to spend making cold calls. But this method of drumming up new customers can be effective when it’s done by a skilled call center agent. You can outsource your cold calling to an outbound call center to boost your customer base by securing face-to-face meetings with qualified prospects. Cold calling professionals can set appointments for any purpose. Whether you need to get more clients or customers through your door or connect with potential buyers, an outbound call center is the versatile solution you need to scale your company.

Seminar and event registration

Seminars and other events can be invaluable ways of promoting brand awareness and positioning your company as an industry leader. But in order for your event to be a success, you need more bodies in the seats. The professional agents at an outbound call center can make the hundreds of calls necessary to register more attendees. In addition to boosting your registration list, these agents can perform the following tasks:

  • Alert attendees of scheduling changes
  • Up-sell or cross-sell sponsorship spots
  • Explain exhibiting opportunities
  • Conduct post-event followups

Market research data collection

Market research is the foundation of any effective marketing campaign. Unfortunately, it’s time-consuming and tedious—and often, it’s one of the least-enjoyed aspects of entrepreneurialism. By partnering with an outbound call center, you can completely outsource your market research needs. Qualified agents can perform inbound or outbound data collection campaigns, including surveys and polls, in order to deliver the insights you need to craft a winning marketing campaign.

Lead generation

Are you spending too much time generating and qualifying leads? These are tasks you could easily outsource to an outbound call center. Experienced agents can start with your lead list. After identifying and qualifying your prospects, the agents will distribute these qualified leads to your sales team, enabling your company to focus on what matters: Boosting revenue and reaching long-term objectives.

Executive Boutique: Your call center partner

Executive Boutique is an American and Australian-owned call center strategically located in the Philippines. Our professional agents can handle all of your outbound call center needs, from appointment setting and lead generation to market research data collection and seminar registration—just to name a few. We’ve worked with a diverse range of industries, including ecommerce, retail, healthcare, insurance, and financial. Streamline your operations by partnering with Executive Boutique today.

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Why is HIPAA Compliance Important for Healthcare Organizations?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is one of the most important pieces of legislation to impact healthcare in recent years, designed to address insurance coverage for individuals that would otherwise be left unprotected between jobs. The legislation also takes a focus on the protection of confidential information, as well as preventing fraud, making HIPAA essential to understand for healthcare organizations.

Benefits for Providers and Professionals

When HIPAA was enacted in 1996, it brought along with it a range of improvements for consumers in the healthcare industry. A central development that necessitated the introduction of HIPAA was the transition from paper records being the standard form of documentation to digital record-keeping, which required a new and comprehensive approach to patient privacy and organizational efficiency.

HIPAA helps ensure that sensitive healthcare information can be shared between insurance providers, employers, and other industry professionals can share information when necessary while maintaining the highest possible degree of confidentiality. Essentially, HIPAA helps streamline healthcare by facilitating effective communication between healthcare providers and those they serve, standardizing the process to promote flexibility.

Benefits for Patients

While HIPAA has had a transformative effect on the way the healthcare industry operates, it offers even greater benefits for patients. Where before organizations had individual privacy policies and would rarely face repercussions for exposing patient data, HIPAA protects private citizens by safeguarding personal information through a defined set of guidelines that govern healthcare providers, health plans, and other HIPAA-regulated entities.

The primary purpose of HIPAA from a patient standpoint is to define who can view patient information as well as limiting who the new data generated can be shared with. The legislation mandates that any information disclosed to a healthcare organization must be protected by stringent security standards, and patients have final determination over when personal information is released as well as who the organization’s records are shared with.

Another aspect of HIPAA is to prevent errors in data recording from negatively impacting patient care. Even the most meticulous organizations sometimes make mistakes when recording and transferring healthcare data, and giving patients the power to access these records allows them to inspect for inaccuracies. Obtaining copies of health records prevents tests from being repeated and critical information from being lost in translation.

In the wake of a severe incident, a person may be rendered unable to communicate with their healthcare providers, and so HIPAA also allows individuals to predetermine who can speak on their behalf where their wellness is concerned. Patients can select as many parties as they desire to communicate their needs in their absence, and under the act everyone elected as a representative as complete access to relevant medical records.

For patients taking an active role in their healthcare as well as organizations that rely on effective communication with other entities, HIPAA compliance is key. By giving both a new healthcare provider and a transitioning patient access to the individual’s entire health history, care givers can offer the right treatments faster and patients have more control throughout the process. Call our offices today to learn more about our HIPAA compliant call center services.

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4 Office Spring Cleaning Tips

The weather is warming up and winter is on its way out! Now is the perfect time to start spring cleaning your office. Organizing and cleaning any room, especially if it has gotten out of hand, can seem like an overwhelming project. We’re here to help! We’ve compiled a few tips to help get you started on getting your office back to the productive workspace it’s meant to be.

Clean out your desk.

Your desk should only hold your most important items. Computer, phone, notepads, pens, and other vital supplies are examples of these. If your desk has drawers, they should only hold important items as well. If your desk is cluttered with food wrappers, old documents or pieces of mail, it’s time to start cleaning it out. Only keep what you need and use regularly.

Get rid of your digital clutter.

Our online workspaces are important to our productivity just as much as our physical ones are. An inbox full of junk or unopened emails looks overwhelming to some. If you have a digital to-do list or schedule, optimize it so that it contains reasonable goals for each day. Keep up with it, too! If one task doesn’t get done, assign it to a different day where you’re sure you’ll have enough free time.

Clean your furniture.

When your desk and online workspaces are organized, it’s time to get down to the actual cleaning step. Wipe down all of your furniture surfaces with disinfectant. Dust your bookshelves. Polish your wooden furniture. These steps should be a weekly part of your routine. If you can’t keep up with it yourself, consider hiring a professional cleaning service.

Clean your floors.

You don’t want to ignore your floors! You’ll need to vacuum, mop, and (if needed) wax them. If you’re willing to make this project even bigger, get down to the baseboards, air ducts, and corners and clean up all the collected dirt and dust. Squeaky-clean floors will make the room seem bigger and more approachable.

Spring is a great time to kick-start your cleaning projects and it’s also an opportune time to set new cleanliness goals and habits for yourself. Take the time to deep clean your office and help it stay clean by working regular maintenance tasks into your routine. Something as simple as clearing clutter off your desk daily will make a big impact. Try not to think of these tasks as chores – think of them as you investing in your own productivity and success!

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Why Customer Service is Crucial to Your Business Success

customer service
customer service

There is a reason why you can find hundreds of resources, articles, and books, as well as dozens of seminars and workshops about customer service — it can make or break a company.

If you haven’t given the customer service arm of your business a close enough look, then it’s high time that you do so right now.

Importance of Customer Service

So why does customer service matter? The reasons are enumerated below:

1) Builds your company’s reputation

Your reputation goes a long way. With so much competition nowadays, consumers would, most often than not, base their decision to purchase, on a product review or what other consumers have to say about your service.

Even when your product is long gone, consumers will remember you for your interaction with them – your reputation lives on.

2) It is a reflection of your business

Consumers see your product the way you provide customer service. Your servicing is a reflection of your product. So if your customer servicing is mediocre, chances are, your customers also perceive your product the same way.

It is imperative as a business owner to also adopt the same mindset and to give effort and attention to how you service your customer. After all, customer service is king!

3) Customers want to feel valued

As is usual with human beings, we crave love and attention. Our emotions almost always dictate the decisions we make. Making your customers feel that they are valued and that you genuinely care for them can make all the difference to your business success.

4) Best marketing strategy – ever!

The world’s oldest and fail-proof marketing strategy is word of mouth. When your consumers speak favorably about your product, it’s result and effect is more than any best in class marketing strategy can ever bring. Customer testimonials and reviews carry a lot of weight.

So always put a  premium on your customer servicing to keep those testimonials coming.

5) Competition is always around

A survey done by Zendesk in 2013 showed that more than 50% of consumers stopped buying after an unpleasant customer interaction. We are in a global marketplace, and if you do not employ the right tactics to wow your customer,  there are always other options.

6) Directly affects customer retention

Research shows that acquiring a new customer costs (at the very least) 4 times as much as keeping an existing one. Retaining your existing customer base by keeping them satisfied and happy saves you from having to invest (money, time, effort) so much on attracting new clients.

7) Directly affects customer conversion rate

Drawing attention to your product is just a start. Converting them into a loyal customer is the ultimate goal.

On the same survey done by Zendesk in 2013, participants indicated customer service as the number one factor affecting vendor trust. It also goes on to say that 62% of B2B and 42% of B2C customers purchased more after an excellent customer service experience.

Providing excellent customer service is the key to conversion. As a company, this should be your mantra in your everyday operations.

What’s Next?

To help you stay competitive in today’s global economy, look to Executive Boutique to provide your business process outsourcing (BPO) needs in the Philippines.

We provide services designed to help your business elevate performance, and improve efficiency at the best rates possible.

To find out more, contact us today!

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What is Charismatic Leadership?

We’ve all learned about charismatic leaders throughout history. Some examples are Martin Luther King Jr., Sir Winston Churchill, and even Mother Teresa. What sets these kinds of leaders apart from typical leaders is that they are skilled communicators, have a way with words, and are able to communicate on an emotional level with their followers. What else does charismatic leadership entail?

Sensitivity to the needs of their followers.

A charismatic leader is always finely in tune with the needs of the people they’re leading. Many leaders simply focus on their goals and string their people along with them regardless of how it affects their peoples’ well-being. Charismatic leadership means knowing when your people need a break, when they need to be pushed more, and when they’ve reached a proper level of equilibrium between the two.

Articulate communication.

If you think of popular charismatic leaders, you’ll likely end up thinking about how well-spoken they are. Charismatic leaders know how to communicate on a deep level and inspire hope in the people who follow them. These types of leaders don’t just bark orders, they work with their people and motivate them to be their very best through intimate and moving language.

Prioritizing learning from mistakes.

Mistakes and mishaps are an inevitable part of working toward most goals, and charismatic leaders know and understand this. This plays into our first point of being in touch with the people who follow them – this includes knowing what kind of feedback motivates their followers the most. Being abrasive is not charismatic and doesn’t bring people together.

Inclined toward intelligent risk-taking behavior.

The best charismatic leaders know where and when to push the boundaries of what is considered normal and accepted. Moving toward change requires this kind of behavior, but the real skill comes in getting people to back them when they make these moves. Charismatic leaders are adept at working toward their goals in controversial ways and getting people to support them throughout the journey.

The world needs charismatic leaders because, typically, they advocate for a better world in whatever context that means to them. The scale can be as big as running for president or as small as motivating their sales team to meet their goals. They tend to have the courage to stick to their convictions despite pushback and advocate for what’s right. If you’re in a leadership position, take time to evaluate how you could incorporate these qualities into your own leadership style.

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4 Tips for Dealing with Angry Customers

Dissatisfied customers are par for the course when you work in a customer service role. However, you should note that each unhappy customer is an opportunity to maintain or even improve your customer base. Your response will determine whether the customer will spread bad publicity of your business or rave about your stellar customer service. When confronted with an angry customer, here are some things you can do to help resolve the situation:

Don’t evaluate whether the customer has a right to be angry.

When a customer calls and is unhappy with a product or service, it’s commonplace for the service representative to internally evaluate whether they think the customer is justified in their anger. The problem with this is that the only thing this thinking can do is frustrate you more if you don’t agree with their feelings.

Try not to do this and instead focus on the fact that the customer does have the privilege to be irate. If you listen carefully to their expression of their anger, you might be able to figure out the root of their concerns. This will help you resolve the complaint much more easily than internally judging the caller.

Be patient.

When the customer is at their height of expressing their emotions, be patient and listen to their concerns. Don’t interrupt them, as this will likely make them angrier and simply fuel the fire. Wait for the wave of emotion to pass and then interject with reassurances that you care about their business and are there to help. If the customer hits you with another wave of intensity, complete this process again. Wait for the customer to calm down before approaching the issue at hand.

Repeat the customer’s concerns back to them.

After you’ve thoroughly listened to the customer’s issues, reiterate the highlighted priorities that you believe you’ve heard from their perspective. This will help you figure out which aspects of the problem to tackle first and reassure the customer that you are on the same page with them.

Own the issue.

It doesn’t matter what happened before the customer came to you. Who created the problem isn’t important to your immediate task of providing excellent service. When confronted with an emotional customer, let them know that you own the problem and will work hard to achieve the best results possible for them.

Customer service is not an easy job, especially when faced with a combative customer. It’s important to remember that you can handle that kind of situation, even if it is overwhelming and sometimes confusing.

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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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The Advantages of Outsourcing IT Support Services

Technical support is an integral part of any business regardless of industry. This is especially the case for companies that provide online or digital services. Customers expect timely support when there is an interruption to the service they’re paying you for. This is where IT support comes in. While some companies have an in-house IT staff to resolve issues on the technical front, others are turning to IT outsourcing.

Why Outsource IT Support Services?

You should outsource IT support for the same reason you should outsource other non-industry-related operations like customer support and outbound calls. It takes the load off your shoulders, thereby freeing up valuable in-house resources. The biggest advantage is the reduced overhead. With few exceptions, outsourcing is almost always more affordable than hiring an in-house IT staff. With third-party outsourcing, you don’t have to deal with additional expenses, such as paid leave, severance packages, paid bonuses, turnovers, etc. Less overhead spending means you free up capital for use in other areas.

Create a Level Playing Field

Think of mega corporations like Google, Amazon, and Netflix. These companies have the budget to hire their own IT staff comprising of the best of the best, along with cutting edge technology. Smaller companies have no way of competing – at least not through hiring their own team. With outsourcing, their customers enjoy the same reliable and speedy access to technical support. This creates a more even playing field between young startups and large enterprises.

Third-Party Support Works 24/7

Having an in-team IT staff working around the clock is cost-prohibitive. Since the third-party provider focuses solely on IT and call support, they have the manpower to operate 24/7. If you serve international clients, that’s no problem. IT support is there for them regardless of time of day.

Even if a client is calling in the middle of the night in his or her respective time zone, a third-party provider can provide a range of support, such as software installation, site navigation training, app support, and more.

Outsource Your IT Support

IT and technical support is a necessity in this day and age of big data. This is where the tech support services of Executive Boutique comes in. Though we are based in the Philippines, we serve hundreds of companies spanning all industries and in countries like the U.S., UK, Canada, and more. Call us to get started. We are confident it’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

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