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From the blog

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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Maintaining Culture & Quality Calls in a BPO

BPO
Quality Calls in a BPO
© leungchopan / Dollar Photo Club

Philippine call centers operate at nighttime because it is daytime in most continents. This kind of working shift is new to Filipino workers making them prone to habits to help them adapt to their new environment. However, there are certain mannerisms that should be prevented at all costs to avoid poor quality calls.

Agents are trained for as little as 4 weeks or as long as 6 months. During these times, Philippine call center agents are made to develop their communication skills, customer service skills, product knowledge and culture. Outbound or inbound call center agents come from all walks of life. It is important that everyone has the same business goals when they start working in the production area  no matter what.

When employees have problems at home, it is required that they leave it there. Going to work in a bad mood can result to agents having a bored or monotonous voice tone. Customers expect a willing and enthusiastic customer representative to answer their inquiries. The last thing they want to hear is someone who sounds like they don’t want to help. Let agents know that HR is there for them to hear their problems out. More importantly, since agents are representatives of a company, it is only proper to address clients formally as Miss or Mister. Save the nickname calling for other agents only, not clients.

A call center is a fun working environment where different personalities meet. However, employees should be reminded that the production area is for work related activities only. Eating and talking unnecessarily should be avoided to prevent the client from hearing noise. It shows disrespect and lack of attention. The use of foul or offensive language or tone is never welcome in a call center. Pacify customers with understanding words and do not make the situation even worse by projecting negativity. An office lounge can be of great help to agents who want to pass time and chat while on break.

Excellent customer service can be provided when employees are pleasant and in a good place. Management can help them achieve this by setting realistic goals and expectations. Employees often imitate what they see, so it’s important to be good examples to them as well. It is ideal to maintain a happy culture at work, but one should never forget to ensure quality work and calls first.

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Improving Call Center Agent Efficiency

Agent efficiency
Agent efficiency
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The competence of agents in making sure tasks are delivered successfully can strongly affect the productivity of a Philippine call center entirely. Agents who have difficulty in achieving standards in metrics, performance level and even attendance can weaken the foundation of the BPO since the employees behind it do not perform well. Improve agent efficiency with these simple methods that are proven to be effective in any offshore call center.

Consistent and continuous training

It is important to constantly find ways to improve and develop call center agents performance and skills. A consistent training period enables agents to develop skills as well as improve what they already have through ample lectures, mock calls and exams.

Fixing common issues at work

Make sure to immediately fix common issues at work by mediating when agents have concerns. By doing so, conflict and coming up with incorrect solutions are lessened or avoided at all. A common database of tried and tested solutions is beneficial for agents who want a quick reference.

Monitor live calls

By monitoring calls in real time, supervisors are able to listen in on actual calls and provide agents with feedback and coaching. Agents learn more with proper mentoring.

Optimal team leader to agent ratio

The ratio between these employees are important so that supervisors are able to make time for everyone in the team. If the agents are well supervised, they become efficient. Team leaders who have enough agents can equally provide feedback and attention to all agents.

Call Center agents are able to interact better with customers if they are motivated and calibrated well. Listening to their concerns is important for them to feel valued. By implementing these practices, employees are guaranteed to be productive and happy which can help you reach business goals efficiently and effectively.

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Call Center Concerns Answered

Call center concerns
Call center concerns
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Outsourcing to a call center is very important for companies who want their customer service to excel. It is difficult to find a Philippine call center that can get the job done. However, the right contact center has leverage to a company and its brand management. Here are answers to common questions prior outsourcing to an offshore center.

Will hiring a call center make my company any better?

An outsourced inbound or outbound call center team becomes the front-liners to a company’s customer service department. As they become the POC or person in contact for inquiries, the outsourced call center can set the impression desired. Call center agents have the advantage of gathering customer data which they can use to provide accurate solutions to their problems. Information from surveys such as preferred social media site, consumer trends or product comments and suggestions can go a long way to make the company better.

By knowing the clients preference, managers are able to modify, improve and even discontinue the service and product accordingly to what the customers want. The data gathered by the agents should be generated daily for reporting. It is better for these reports to be given frequently in order to maintain excellent customer service.

With all the call centers everywhere, how do I choose the right one?

Prior to hiring a call center, it is important to do an extensive research about all the possible center options. Look into detail their track records and how they manage and deliver their campaigns. Set a meeting with the managers and ask for a thorough rundown of how the day-to-day operations work. Do not forget to ask for actual office pictures. In most cases, a home based call center is not the best option, look for a real outsourcing firm located in a business district and see to it that their goals match yours.

Schedule a visit to the call center facility and observe how the employees work. A good outsourcing firm is able to establish good communication between the client and call center all the

I will be away most of the time, how do I make sure the outsourced job is done right?

Working with a team abroad could be daunting, but if you manage them properly, operations will run smoothly. Remember to set expectations and goals so employees will know where they stand. Take responsibility and ensure effective communication between the client and center at all times. Provide training materials and recruitment standards to ensure that only the most suitable employees get hired for your campaign. Supervise the offshore office as you would a team locally.

Effective collaboration can lead to a successful campaign. Choose an outsourcing company wisely.

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The Importance of Treating Employees Like Customers

Employees
Employees
© pathdoc / Dollar Photo Club

The main duty of Call Centers in the Philippines is to serve customers by providing excellent customer service through courtesy and product knowledge. Agents represent the company brand and that is why only the best practices are given to the callers.

Outstanding customer service begins at the workplace. Without harmony in the office, agents will not be able to produce such enthusiasm to provide what customers need. The Philippine contact center environment can often times be a place of competition or loneliness. To rule out these situations in a team, interaction within the workplace must be encouraged.

Here are ways on how to maintain a positive and professionally healthy relationship in a Call Center Outsourcing office.

Be an advocate of Positivity

A good employee exudes positivity in everything he does. Constantly fretting and complaining about work is a sign of negative vibes which can eventually bring the team’s spirit down. Encourage optimism by reminding them of how lucky they are to be employed and the incentives they’ll be getting if they perform well.

Listen more

Empathize with your coworkers and help them with their workplace-related issues. A successful team assists each other in the office for their well being including the company’s.

Open communication channels

Managers and agents alike should keep all communication channels accessible. Just as it is to customers, so should it be in the office.

Employee value

Philippines business process outsourcing call centers offer incentives to patron customers who have given them support over the years. It is also advisable to give out rewards to agents who have been loyal employees. There is no achievement too little; exceeding quotas, good performance, or perfect attendance all deserve recognition.

The effectiveness of a team’s customer service effort starts with how they interact with each other in the office. Practice these simple steps to create a conducive place for working and positive thinking.

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Maintaining Productivity in a Philippine Call Center

Philippine Call Center
Philippine Call Center
© Khvost / Dollar Photo Club

Philippine call centers are known worldwide to be very competitive and productive. As a matter of fact, this is what makes them stand out globally.

A contact center outsourcing’s productivity will vary depending on the season. The queue rates will differ as a national event or global holiday fast approaches. On a full calendar year, productivity can soar high or even decline flat.

Circumstances like these are unavoidable that is why outsourcing services providers find ways to keep operations productive all year with the following practices.

Boosting Employee Morale

Goals can only be met if employees work together. Call Center agents down to team leaders, support and managers should be updated with the goals of the season entirely. Working together on the same page is very important for a team to succeed and excel. Call center agents are trained and provided with knowledge about the functions of the services they provide. Consistent and up to date customer service training are very important to make sure your business is customer service oriented. Employee morale are also boosted especially when managers are regularly trained on leadership.

Sufficient Equipment Supply

It is very important for Inbound and Outbound Call Centers in the Philippines to acquire the latest in Technology when it comes to equipment. High speed computers with own data servers, clear and noise canceling headsets are essential to making sure that each call is in excellent reception. Professional call centers in the Philippines have an in-house IT department that does regular computer maintenance for efficient operations.

Employee Engagement and Reinforcement

Inbound and Outbound call centers that have the most activities employ more contented and happy employees. Event, contests and other motivational changes are beneficial to call center agents as they can have fun, interact and stay motivated to work. The ideal employee is inspired and energetic. Philippine business process outsourcing call centers who reward, promote and value their employees can also reap good outcome.

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Getting Ready for Work After a Long Break

Call Center Work After Long Break
Call center vacation
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Reporting back to work after a long vacation or an eventful weekend can be tiresome and will need extra push. Especially if you have to work at night in a Philippine call center.

Do not let a new workweek stop you from being productive and hungover from the holidays. Make the first day back an opportunity to improve yourself and work habits.

Here are tips on how to start the week fresh and eager to work again.

1. Plan your activities

Make adjustments to you schedule for the last day that you’re on vacation. Avoid activities that can tire you the next day to avoid fatigue and even hangovers. Another technique is to wake up early so you can sleep early during bedtime.

2. Prepare your things

Nothing is worst than having to bring an empty purse the next morning or forgetting to bring your ID. Call Center Outsourcing companies are very strict in terms of attendance. It is a bad start to be picking up your things all over the place in the morning. All the more being late.

3. Arrive early

It is likely that many were also on vacation just like you. Avoid the rush on the first day back to work by arriving early in the office. That way, you will look composed, settled and ready to start the day.

4. Think Positive

Work starts to become easy of you think of it as something you enjoy doing. Though you might have been struggling to stay awake while taking inbound call center calls, think of your outsourcing job as the source of all your vacation funds to get yourself motivated.

5. Focus on your work

There is nothing better than hearing stories from friends at work. However, save these for break time and concentrate on more important things so you wouldn’t lose your focus.

Being an inbound and outbound call center agent allows you to leave all your work worries behind as the day ends. Work hard, do your best and prepare for another adventure to motivate you.

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Excellent Customer Service: What Call Center Agents Do Best

Excellent customer service
Excellent customer service
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Customer service is what makes a business stand out. Establishments and service providers are reviewed on two things – the goods  and the experience they give to customers. According to a recent in-house survey,  70% of employees in outsourced customer support in the Philippines said that customer experience is very essential to them. In decision making, the group preferred to revisit the establishments who made them feel welcome and important.

Customer service providers and representatives are the front liners of a business. Since customer service is so important nowadays, companies have turned to Philippine call centers as outsourcing partners. The advantage of hiring a contact center is that you get to have your own team that focuses exclusively on your clients by making sure they get the best customer experience.

On the other hand, call center agents are more than happy to provide excellent customer service because they are generously rewarded for almost every effort that they make. Inbound call center agents are trained and supervised to find solutions in the best way that they can for your customers.

Another reason why these outsourced individuals do their work so well is that they are made to work in a comfortable office with complete amenities that sets a productive atmosphere. With a Philippines business process outsourcing call center, you are guaranteed that your outsourced call center agents are ready, able and willing to serve your customers 24 hours a day.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving
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Today marks a special day for the United States and all Philippine call center employees who have American clients. Thanksgiving Day is one of the most important holidays in the year. Though it is important to be thankful every single day, Thanksgiving is the day to celebrate its appreciation, meaning and reflection. It also means no work for most call center agents.

There is always something to be thankful about. From the roof on your head, the shoes on your feet, the people who keep you company or the call center outsourcing office you are employed at.

If you are still not convinced of how blessed you are, here are some things at work that are very important but have been neglected because it is always there.

Internet access, air conditioned rooms and comfortable seats are not available at every workplace. Think about it and be thankful since many have to work under the heat of the sun or sit at chairs with no back support.

Philippine contact center employees are paid above the minimum wage. Aside from monetary and health benefits, call center agents also have many learning opportunities such as the ability to improve their communication skills through training and coaching.

A supportive, understanding and approachable management is also something to be thankful for. Working for a good boss is very motivational and not everyone has the privilege of doing so.

Another thing to be grateful for is being around colleagues that are helpful and nice.

The most rewarding aspect of being employed in a Philippine business process outsourcing company is the sense of importance and worth. Call center agents are essential in providing customer service and to their families as they bring home the bacon.

What are you thankful for? Share your thoughts and be sure to let your friends and family know too. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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