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From the blog

Why is PCI Compliance Important?

Different credit cards on table, closeup

PCI compliance is mandatory for every merchant that accepts credit or debit card payments on their website. The information entered by customers is sensitive data, so it must be well-protected.

The systems often store consumers’ credit card information for long periods of time, so it’s important that customers feel confident their information will not be compromised. In fact, a huge part of every customer’s buying decision is the degree to which they believe a website is trustworthy.

Technologies are advancing and being developed every day, so the amount of fraud activity is growing, and businesses can face liabilities as a result. That’s why every merchant or payment service provider with card payment solutions must be PCI compliant. Some people have been questioning the need for it, but here’s why it’s so important.

– Eliminate Risk

When you have a payment security option, your consumers will be happier with your product. When there is no security behind an online purchase, it’s available to the black market nearly immediately. In turn, your company could get sued.

– Fraud

As mentioned, purchasing anything online can be dangerous without security options. The black market is waiting to scam people out of their money. PCI compliance helps the consumer and the provider of the product or service.

– Secure YOUR Business

The world of business is tough and keeping your business safe is even tougher. If your payment system isn’t secure, you will have a problem at some point, if you haven’t already. It’s important to hold your payment system to as high a standard as you hold the rest of your business.

– Avoiding Fines

Fines can happen easily when you’re an online company.  Should your site get breached, not only will you have to deal with the loss of data, but you may also have to deal with fines or lawsuits from customers and other organizations. This could cost you hundreds of dollars if you’re extremely lucky, or hundreds of thousands if you’re only moderately unlucky.

– Standards

If your company is PCI compliant, it improves your reputation for everything. Assure your customers that your bottom-line is not your only priority, and that your company holds itself to a higher standard than competitors.

Companies that are PCI compliant are significantly more successful and safer. Many business leaders think PCI is not important for their business, but it is necessary for the consumer and producer. Consumers knowing that the information they put into a website is safe is of utmost importance. Protect yourself and your company by protecting your consumers.

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Customer Service Vs. Customer Experience – What’s the Difference?

Customer Service Vs. Customer Experience - What’s the Difference
Customer Service Vs. Customer Experience - What’s the Difference

Customer Service and Customer Experience have become synonymous to businesses nowadays. We often perceive the two words to mean the same and use them interchangeably.

However, they are not the same thing.

Customer Service is just a part of a bigger picture, a small piece of the puzzle, while Customer Experience is the sum of the entire customer journey.

Customer Service Defined

Between customer experience and customer service, the latter is probably the more familiar term, but it is also the more narrowly scoped.

Customer Service can be described as the advice or assistance a company gives to its customers. It is centered on human interaction and directly supporting customers.

It is provided to increase customer satisfaction. Being able to answer queries, educating prospects that result to them choosing the right product, how best to use the product, troubleshooting any issues, and making sure every purchase transaction runs smooth, are some of the ways to achieve customer satisfaction.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer Experience, on the other hand, goes above and beyond customer service. It is the total journey of a customer’s interaction with a brand – from research, to knowing the product, to shopping and purchasing, to actually using the product and following up with the brand afterward.

It is the entire customer lifecycle, the sum of all interactions where customer service is a vital part of.

Customer experience measures how customers feel about a company overall and include the emotional, physical, psychological connection customers have with a brand.

Customer Service vs. Customer Experience

The main difference between customer service and customer experience is that the former is reactive. It is often only used when a customer has an issue. Otherwise, if all is well and there are no questions about the product or service, there is no need to get in touch with customer service.

Customer Experience is the exact opposite. It is in every way proactive and aims to reach every single customer. The main point to customer experience is to build a personal connection and establish meaningful relationships with your customers.

This is better illustrated by a customer interaction that actually happened with Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer in Las Vegas. Zappos, imbibes the true meaning of customer experience and prides itself in making every customer interaction extraordinary.

Ryo, a Zappos agent, received a call from a woman who wanted to return the boots she bought for her father, who had since died. Not only did he give her a refund, but he also said that she didn’t have to return the boots and that she was free to give it away if she wanted to.

One would think that the service provided is already excellent. But Ryo did not stop there – he took an extra step and even sent her sympathy flowers. And this extra mile that he took makes an unforgettable and heartwarming customer experience.

The significant difference is that where customer service aims to be ready when a customer reaches out to them, customer experience, already anticipates the customer’s needs and gives it to them without them having to ask or say so. It is also exceeding customer expectations and making them feel special.

What’s Next?

Need that extra support to help you achieve memorable customer experiences? What better way than to outsource your customer support services to the Philippines?

At Executive Boutique, we share your passion for providing the best customer experience possible. Our agents have the training, experience, and willingness to make your customers happy.

If you would like to find out more, contact us today!

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Importance of Customer Service to Business Startups

Importance of Customer Service to Business Startups

Heard of the age-old business mantra that goes “Customer is King?” This pretty much translates to the importance of  keeping your customers happy to run a successful business.

That’s why customer service is imperative for every business, regardless of how long you’ve been in the scene. Much more so for startups.

As a startup trying everything for the first time, every feedback or review will matter. This serves as your guide to knowing what you are doing right from wrong and what you need to improve on.

What Great Customer Servicing Brings

The following are the top reasons why customer service is vital if you are a startup:

Free Advertising

As what Walt Disney, founder of Disney, famously once said: “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”

When you service your customers right, especially when you exceed their expectations, they won’t be able to stop talking about you to others. And word of mouth or writing about you in social media platforms is a surefire way to gain a solid reputation and recognition.

Promotes Customer Loyalty

According to a Harvard Business Review, emotions play a significant role in consumer buying behavior. So when a customer feels valued and is highly satisfied with your products and services, they will keep on coming back and become loyal patrons.

Becomes your Solid Foundation

For startups, it is easy to get caught up with the burning desire to perfect your product that customer service, most of the time, takes the backseat. Obsessing over every product feature is admirable; however, building the foundation of establishing customer relationships and nurturing them should also be a top priority.

Starting your business right is emphasizing on providing quality customer service. Instilling this concept from Day One guarantees your business growth and success. It becomes a regular and essential part of your business operations

Helps Build Trust

When your consumers trust you, they are with you for life. And one of the best ways to win over your consumers trust is to provide above and beyond customer service.

When they know they can rely on you to turn your service around when you mess up, and you genuinely appreciate them by offering them value-added service or product, they will stay with you no matter what.

Recruitment Becomes a Breeze

A company who handles customer service well also translates to how they take care of their employees. Just like how as a customer you want to feel valued, so it is the same with a job seeker.

It would not matter what kind of business you are doing; whether you sell cute handmade bags or bubble milk teas, you will attract the best and the brightest talents. And as a startup, you will need these kinds of talent.

A happy employee makes a happy customer. And a happy customer means a successful business.   

What’s Next?

Are you a startup looking to outsource your customer service operations to the Philippines, without paying top market dollar?

At Executive Boutique, we share your commitment to providing that “wow” experience every single time – at attractive rates! Our agents have the training, expertise and outstanding order taking and problem-solving skills, required to keep your customers happy and content.

To find out more, contact us today!

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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 Do Companies Choose to Outsource Work?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) originated in the world of manufacturing when companies began to outsource portions of their supply chains. However, the benefits of BPO have since enriched companies across industries. Advancements in cloud computing and related technologies allow companies to put third-party vendor networks and talent to work for them, allowing them to grow in an increasingly competitive climate.

Benefits of BPO

Administrative process outsourcing affords valuable flexibility, efficiency, and cost-savings. The benefits include:

  • Companies that outsource can streamline important administrative functions, freeing them up to focus on core processes
  • Outsourcing allows a company to benefit from advances in technology without investing in hardware upgrades
  • Use of a trained and professional work force means processes can be executed more productively
  • BPO services mean fewer employees and a reduced cost of management
  • Information security is improved when a professional BPO vendor handles processes from a fortified network
  • Freeing up employees to focus on their core tasks rather than administrative duties outside their fields of expertise improves company morale

In other words, with outsourcing of necessary tasks, you can prioritize the time of your employees while taking advantage of the investment in technological infrastructure by the service provider. This means lower cost and fewer headaches.

Outsourcing to the Philippines

Choosing a BPO vendor can afford these benefits and more.

  • The Philippines offers modern amenities and high standard of living, but also has a lower cost of living. This means Filipino workers can earn a living wage while working at rates that save international clients money.
  • The many Filipino universities mean there is never a shortage of educated talent.
  • Because English is the top language spoken in the Philippines, workers are equipped to serve American and other English-speaking businesses.
  • Filipino students learn English with a neutral accent and are exposed to a diverse cultural experience, allowing for flexibility in adapting to international expectations.

Working with BPO service providers in the Philippines means you do not need to sacrifice in order to save money. Filipino workers are uniquely qualified to serve English-speaking populations.

Why choose Executive Boutique for business process outsourcing

Demand for outsourcing services in the Philippines has grown in recent years and Executive Boutique stands at the top of the list of providers. Business Daily News rated Executive Boutique as the best call center in the Philippines and one of the best of the world.

Executive Boutique offers state-of-the-art telecommunications systems. Our agents are assigned to only one client at a time so they can function as an extended member of a client’s staff. With college educations and the ability to speak multiple languages, they are prepared to perform a variety of tasks, from the routine to the specialized.

If you are interested in learning more about outsourcing to the Philippines, contact Executive Boutique Call Center today to get a free quote.

Additional business process outsourcing resources:

  1. Investopedia, Business Process Outsourcing – BPO, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/business-process-outsourcing.asp
  2. Deloitte, The Outsourcing Handbook: A guide to outsourcing, https://www.deloitte.co.uk/makeconnections/assets/pdf/the-outsourcing-handbook-a-guide-to-outsourcing.pdf
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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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