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Cover Letters That Will Get You a Call Center Job

Call center job
Call center job
© BlueSkyImages / Dollar Photo Club

Whether you are looking to break into the customer service field or move from one call center to another, you need a well-written cover letter. If you don’t create a customized cover letter for each potential employer, you have very little chance of securing an interview. Follow these tips to create a cover letter that gets results.

Organize Your Letter Carefully

Your cover letter should have an introduction, several paragraphs detailing your skills and experience, and a strong closing paragraph. Organize all of the information in your cover letter in a logical order. You can start with your most recent achievements and work your way backward, or you can start with past achievements and close with information about your recent job.

Personalize Each Greeting

If you don’t know the name of the hiring manager at a particular company, don’t start your letter with “To Whom it May Concern.” Instead, take time to research the company and find the name of the person to whom you should address your letter. This demonstrates initiative and makes it more likely a call center supervisor will want to interview you.

Focus on Specific Achievements

The point of writing a cover letter is to make the hiring manager want to learn more about you. A generic cover letter is not likely to generate much interest, so use as much space as possible to describe your achievements in the call center industry. If you reduced your average handling time by 40 percent, make sure you mention this achievement in your cover letter.

Avoid Summarizing Your Resume

When you apply for a call center job, you need to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other applicants applying for the same position. Instead of rehashing the content of your resume, your cover letter should contain extra information to help the hiring manager learn more about you. Talk about your achievements or about any special training you have had in the industry.

Share Performance Metrics

Sharing performance metrics with potential employers is a great way to make them aware of your value as an employee. The first paragraph of your cover letter should tell the hiring manager how many calls you typically handle, your average call handling time, and metrics related to call abandonment.

Use the STAR Method

Use the STAR method to make your cover letter more interesting to employers. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. If you want to explain how you handled a problem, describe the situation, outline the task you had to complete, summarize the actions you took, and provide details about the result. This gives employers insight into your problem-solving abilities.

Include Relevant Keywords

Some companies have turned to automated screening tools to narrow down their applicant pools. If your cover letter doesn’t contain the right keywords, there’s a chance the hiring manager won’t see it. Use keywords related to the customer service industry, such as “call center agent,” “CRM,” “customer service,” “call center,” and “outbound calls.”

Address the Job Requirements

Your cover letter needs to be very specific to improve your chances of landing a job. As you write your letter, address each of the requirements listed in the job posting. If the advertisement says you need at least three years of experience, make sure you let the hiring manager know you’ve been working as a call center agent for more than three years.

Use a Strong Closing Paragraph

The closing paragraph of your cover letter should make a good impression on the hiring manager. Summarize the contents of your letter, thank the hiring manager for his or her attention, and request a follow-up telephone call or on-site interview.

Include Current Contact Information

If you do a good job writing your cover letter, the hiring manager will need some way to contact you to schedule an interview. Make sure you include a current email address and telephone number somewhere in your cover letter. Many people include this information at the top of the page, but you can also include it in your closing paragraph.

Proofread Carefully

Accuracy is a very important part of a call center agent’s job. If your cover letter contains several grammar mistakes or typographical errors, it reflects poorly on your ability to produce accurate documents. Before you send a cover letter to a potential employer, proofread it carefully. For best results, ask a friend to proofread it in case you missed any errors.

Conclusion

Your cover letter is usually the first thing a hiring manager sees when you apply for a job. Taking the time to write an excellent letter helps improve your chances of getting an interview and landing the job of your dreams. If you need help crafting the perfect cover letter, contact us to discuss your concerns.

Featured image – © BlueSkyImages / Dollar Photo Club

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Save Your Online Reputation with Call Center Outsourcing

online reputation
call center outsourcing
© tashatuvango / Dollar Photo Club

Social media is a new marketing strategy that companies use to reach new customers and keep in touch with current ones. Almost everyone has a social media account which makes it easier for consumers to communicate with their favorite brands.

Although social media access is very convenient, it also involves higher chances of a company being involved in negative publicity. Poor customer service, stock market crashes and even workplace controversies can go viral in second if not easily contained. Here are ways to avoid being in the center of social media drama.

1. Provide excellent customer service

The number one reason people take issues to social media is because they received poor customer service from inbound call center agents. In most cases, posts become viral when many consumers can relate to it. The best way to prevent these posts from making rounds on the internet is to make sure that everyone gets fair treatment which is excellent customer service.

2. Open communication lines

In some cases, people vent out on social media because they do not know who to call. Be sure to publish customer service hotline numbers and enable social media private messaging so the company can immediately address customer issues. Philippine call center agents will be glad to help customers out through these channels.

3. Understand the importance of customer resources

Understand that the customer is busy or has a financial timeline to follow. Customers want quality work delivered at their most convenient time. Outbound call center agents should call at times that the customer agrees upon and not bother them anytime throughout the day.

4. Be Clear

It is poor customer service to tell the customer to read the contract or anything else on their own. Terms and conditions should be explained to them as well as why certain issues have arise. Inform them if a new policy changes and let them know if something will be offline beforehand.

For more information about customer retention services, reach out and call EB Call center today.

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Ways to Increase Agents Product Knowledge

Product Knowledge
Product Knowledge
© kbuntu / Dollar Photo Club

Comprehensive product knowledge is an important factor for providing excellent customer service and experiences to the customers. Employees who are more knowledgeable about what they sell are more preferred by customers to answer their inquiries. Outsourced call center agents become the company’s representatives of reliability and expertise. The impression a customer leaves with depends on how an agent supports the transaction from the moment it begins.

Customer service representatives that know the products well are the most effective employees. Call center outsourcing agents who have this ability are able to generate more sales, have faster problem resolution times, and better performance in general.

Here are ways to prepare call center agents with the skills they need to exceed a customers expectations.

1. Regular and Standardized Training

Consistent training is an efficient method of making sure that agents are able to master the standardized processes from the same resources. Training should be conducted accordingly with the frequency of product updates.

2. Firsthand Participation

The effectiveness of a training session only comes into effect if it is practiced and put into use. A firsthand experience guarantees familiarity over the various products and services being offered to the customers.

3. Great Compensation

Training programs are effective. However, compensation and rewards must be added in order to motivate inbound and outbound call center agents to perform better. Companies can use a “points” system to recognize top performing agents and encourage those who are not meeting expectations.

4. Training Modules and Guidelines

A shared database, or reference booklet is useful for agents who want to access accurate information anytime. Guidelines such as information posted on bulletin boards and desks can also be used as cheat sheets. This kind of reference material is both practical and effective.

By implementing these small changes, managers can transform agents into experts that can convert leads into sales in no time. Turn a boring telemarketing spiel into a sales transaction effectively and watch your agents’ numbers hit new peaks.

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Most Effective Ways to Turn an Irate Customer into a Happy One

Irate Customer
Irate Customer
© ArtFamily / Dollar Photo Club

Philippine call center agents will always encounter angry customers, especially in an inbound call center setting. Even companies with the excellent customer service and product line encounter irate customers on a day to day basis and it is very important to fix the problem immediately.

Here are proven and tested ways to appease irate customers.

Apologize

Apologizing sincerely is the best way to express regret over the incident. In cases such as natural calamities or delays because of third party vendors, agents should always make sure to apologize even if it is not their fault and find a way to solve it. An apology should contain empathy that tells them they are being listened to, their importance and that the company is on their side. Learn to earn the customers trust as well.

Assessment

Assess the customer’s problem by asking what it is all about. Let them talk about their issue before asking any questions. If you question about their capability to fix it before they could explain further, the caller might see it as an insult instead of assistance.

Settlement

Earn back a customer’s loyalty and trust by always giving them something extra. Customers have gone through a lot which costs a lot of time. The least you can do is to extend an extra pleasant customer experience and service for them.

Follow up

Problems and fixes will vary according to the situation, but after-service should be done regardless of how small the problem is.

Customer service does not end after the product has been replaced or when the service is troubleshooted. It is important to make sure that the customer is satisfied after providing the initial customer service. There are three ways to facilitate after-service.

• Promptly – Following up promptly shows an agent’s sincere concern for the customer. This practice should be done if the problem has been transferred to another representative or escalated to another department.

• In-house Update – The call center agent should follow up within departments about the concern of the customer.

• Finalization – Conclude the transaction with a formal letter of agreement or a call that signifies the stability of a client relationship. This approach assures the customer that the problem has been solved already.

Do not forget to keep records of all the transaction so it will be easier to pull them out if another situation arises.

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Ways to Reduce Hold Time and Dropped Calls in Call Centers

Dropped Calls
Hold Time
© Vladislav Kochelaevs / Dollar Photo Club

It is a customer’s worst nightmare to be put on hold. Callers who seek out the assistance of call center agents are in a hurry and want solutions fast, which is why every second matters. “Please hold” are two words that can severely  damage the customer experience. At times, it can also raise tempers up. In worst cases, many of these calls result in hang ups or abandonment.

A customer’s problem determines the amount of patience he has on the phone. It is less likely for a caller to hang up if the issue is believed to be unresolvable without the aid of an inbound call center agent. Dropped calls are usually the result of callers who have found a solution while waiting in queue. A BPO with high dropped call rates does not look good to potential clients. Instead of using the dreaded phrase “please hold”, give the customers other options that they can choose from.

Easy DIY Options

Easy and self-servicing solutions are more convenient than letting customers wait on the phone. Examples are mobile apps, FAQ pages, and even video tutorials. With these easy-to-use applications, customers are able to do things themselves, and at the same time, rid the call center of abandoned call volumes.

Mobile and Desktop Channels

Not all customers are comfortable talking on the phone. Open non-voice channels such as email, social media (Facebook and Twitter), live chat and even text messaging. This can also be a great option for customers to contact again after the call has been ended without the issue first being resolved.

Always Perform Callbacks

It is always appreciated when customer service representatives call back when they’ve promised to do so. Callbacks are not only limited to phone calls, but are also applicable when a follow up is done through email. This method reassures clients that their concerns are not neglected. It shows that the service provider cares and chooses to fix the issue even outside the first transaction.

A Call center that truly cares for its customers will always provide excellent customer service. Pleasant customer experiences leads to a good reputation, and most importantly, repeat business.

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Types of Industries that Outsource to Philippine Call Centers

Outsource to Philippine Call Centers
Outsource to Philippine Call Centers
© Gajus / Dollar Photo Club

The Philippines is one of the most reliable countries to outsource inbound and outbound call center services. Many companies outsource to a Philippine call center because it provides quality work and is not expensive. A good BPO has a proven track record and solid clientele line up. An experienced outsourcing company is assured to provide clients with skilled professionals to get the job done right.

Clients can hire as many or as fewer agents according to their needs. Here are the main industries that commonly seek the services of a call center in the Philippines.

Service Industry

The most industry that is most advantageous of outsourcing is the healthcare sector. During the early years of call center outsourcing, accounting and legal practices were the most commonly outsourced services.

Consumer Goods

Retail accounts are now a common account in Philippine call centers. Agents handle everything from live chat functions, order receiving and processing, as well as post-sales transactions. Many of these transactions are from major retail brands.

Telecommunication Services

Telecommunication providers need call centers in the Philippines to handle customer service inquiries from customers. Agents also encourage subscribers to avail of additional services, upgrades and even buy new phone units.

Finance

Credit card, banking and insurance companies also outsource to Philippine business process outsourcing companies. Through inbound call center agents, these banking institutions are able to assist customers by providing solutions. On the other hand, outbound call center agents help banks and credit companies by reminding customers of their dues.

The industries that outsource to the Philippines do so to have a team focus entirely on customer support services. Not only does it cut costs, but it also assures clients that their customers are well taken care of. Technical support, telemarketing and other services are only some of the many back-office services that a BPO can provide for your customers.

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Hiring the Right Type of Agent for Your Call Center Campaign

Call Center Campaign
Call Center Campaign
© WavebreakMediaMicro / Dollar Photo Club

Not all Philippine call centers are the same. Outsourcing companies may handle accounts that are not another company’s niche. Before outsourcing to a BPO, you have to check if the call center employs specialist or generic agents.

Aside from being inbound and outbound call center employees, agents can also be classified as specialty and general services agents.

General Services / BPO Agents

General services agents, virtual assistants and call center representatives are agents who are able to handle several types of customers and support assistance. These employees can fill in tasks that could have been done by chat support representatives, tech support agents, customer service specialists and even sales.

BPO agents of this caliber are very good in time management, scheduling and organizing. They can take almost any type of calls and customers. Since transfer rates are so low with this type of setting, first call resolution rates are improved. Escalation calls are rarely needed since the agents can solve mostly everything themselves – so there is no need to transfer issues to another department. They can troubleshoot, help and even sell everything in one phone call.

Specialty Agents

Agents that specialize on specific accounts such as tech support, live chat services, telemarketing and sales require them to have special skills to deliver the job well. However, they have more knowledge than the generic services agent because they are experts on their accounts. More often than not, first stage calls are escalated to them when the need arises.

Specialists do not need as much training as the former since they are already familiar with the topics needed for the job. Therefore, eliminating excess costs.

Which of the two should I hire?

Both types of agents are efficient. The decision to hire all depends on what the business needs. In most cases, outsourcing providers hire both.

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Effects of Good Communication Lines in a Call Center

Communication Lines
Communication Lines
© UMB-O / Dollar Photo Club

Solid relationships are built through good communication. In a Philippine call center, it is very important that communications are kept clear as to maintain a sense of efficiency and urgency. The opportunity to communicate with colleagues leads to better teamwork and even increased productivity rate. Here are the benefits of having good communication in the workplace.

Promotes real and engaging conversations

Technology has enabled people to communicate even better with almost everyone around the globe. However, its effect on society has made real live conversations a thing of the past. When call center outsourcing encourage employees to have face-to-face conversations such as meetings and coaching. Though effective tools that enhance communication is very important, having real interaction helps agents in dealing with customers as they practice their interpersonal skills. Sending emails and chat messages are the primary tools of BPO employees to communicate. These types of technology are essential when it comes to keeping up with different time zones and a fast paced environment. However, real conversations are important to build rapport among co-workers.

Acceptance of Constructive Criticism

Coaching agents not only improves their performance but as well as gives the opportunity for employees to speak out about their performance. Therefore, it will improve their communication skills. Assessment should be concise and encouraging. Generic sounding comments will most likely not have an impact on employees. Constructive criticism should be given for inbound and outbound call center agents to improve and realize their mistakes.

Improves Listening Skills

Agents who constantly exchange feedback become good listeners in the process. An employee with good listening skills can help delegate accurate information within the workplace.

Philippine BPO centers that improve communication channels have employees who are more productive and motivated. When agents have the freedom of professionally communicating with each other, teams become stronger and will give better performance results.

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Managing the Effects of Stress in a Call Center

call center
Stress in a Call Center
© WavebreakMediaMicro / Dollar Photo Club

Stress is a common experience in any workplace and there are many factors that contribute to it. Meeting deadlines, shifting schedules or the pressure to make sure that customer concerns are met while keeping metrics high are only some of those stress contributors.

Call centers are the most affected by this kind of stress, having a negative effect on their performance and attitude if it is not addressed. Bothered employees will not be productive, or as productive as they can be.

In order to help address the stressful situations at your call center, learn to manage the stress with these tips.

1. Productivity

Stress is the number one cause for a decline in efficiency. Agents who are stressed are not able to focus and will not perform well. There will also be more absences and tardiness. Help by trying to understand what might have caused such stress and figure out solutions together.

2. Customer Experience

Employees who bring their personal problems at work become stressed and grumpy. When this happens, the customers are the first ones who get to notice. Avoid having low customer service ratings by reminding agents to leave their worries behind and just work pleasantly. Motivational activities are also a great way to improve their mood prior to taking calls.

3. Resignation

Exhausted agents often think about resigning. The effects of stress are physical, mental, emotional and even psychological. When employees are burned out, all they want to do is quit. Avoid increased tension by providing them a healthy work environment to balance their professional and personal life.

4. Expenses

The cost of replacing agents are expensive. Advertising, hiring, training and paying for premiums are all put to waste if an employee quits right away. High turnover rates are also a sign of poor management. Avert the frequency of replacing agents by offering newly hired employees with benefits and a working environment that they were promised with.

An office environment is made better by creating a positive work-life balance atmosphere for everyone. Agents are more productive when they are excited about going to work and concerned with operations and each other. A call center that does not have constant employee turnover will have a happy work environment since new agents and tenured ones are able to get acquainted even more.

Call Center agents work in a stressful industry and it highly affects the customers if they are stressed. It is essential for management to look after the level of stress in the office for everyone’s sake.

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