Executive Boutique

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Your Call Center Partner in the Philippines

From the blog

EB Call Center Helps Calamity Victims

Calamity
Calamity
© lom742 / Dollar Photo Club

Executive Boutique Call Center, through its corporate social responsibility, has managed to donate over $1,500.00 worth of food, makeshift tents and other supplies to the victims of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that devastated Bohol and Cebu.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in making this Philippine call center effort possible.

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Skills You Need to Be Successful in the Workplace

Philippine-Call-Center
Philippine Call Center
© Jakub Jirsák / Dollar Photo Club

It takes more than good customer service skills to succeed in a Philippine call center. Though it is very important, there are other things that will make you successful and important in any workplace setting.

A typical Philippine call center outsourcing facility has over 100 employees. If you do not communicate well, you could get lost in a sea of employees all trying to vie for recognition. Communicating effectively and precisely in the workplace, particularly in a contact center can lead to great achievements. In order for a call center agent to communicate well, one must adapt to the habit of listening attentively and not just all talk. Make sense by understanding and asking questions rather than interrupting and making boisterous side comments.

Good communication skills are very important when building a professional network. By taking part in corporate activities, call center representatives are able to develop their coordination skills as they cooperate with their team to collaborate on several projects. As you go about your call center career, you can’t help but notice the individuals who are cooperative and practice team work while motivating everyone – they are the one’s who will end up becoming team leaders, supervisors and managers. So start treat them nicely.

Most call center companies require their employees to finish college, however, intellectually curious employees are acknowledged better since they are able to think and analyze what exactly is going on. Intellects have the passion to go beyond what they read in books or learn during training. They have the habit of excelling in everything that they do. Thinking outside the box for better solutions and even going the extra mile to provide the best customer experience are what they do best. Though these types may not be the ones who will lead the team, they set an example that is worth following and that what makes them the ideal employee.

The attrition rates at Philippine business process outsourcing call centers are very high. But if you have these characteristics, you will be able to make an impact on the right people and leave a lasting and positive mark when you leave the company in good faith. It also gives you the image of a responsible and trustworthy employee who managers can depend on for the company’s continuous success.

What kind of employee are you? What kind of colleagues do you have and what do you look for in an ideal employee? Share your thoughts.

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The Effects of Conflict at the Workplace

workplace conflict
Conflict at the Workplace
© Sergey Nivens / Dollar Photo Club

All call center agents who work in a Philippine call center have one common goal. These employees usually come from different backgrounds, have a diverse set of skills and more often than not, approach every task at their own pace and capability. Because of such dissimilarity, conflicts and other issues could arise when call center outsourcing employees are not managed properly. Common factors for such arguments are values and character, power, social factors and even attitude towards work.

The most important factor in achieving a common goal is communication. If you have a barrier which includes poor listening skills, insufficient information, misleading interpretation and perception of nonverbal communication, it will be very difficult for the team to succeed.

The size of the organization, attrition and retention rate, employee engagement, reward systems and level of work focus among employees are all part of the structural disagreements. Whereas personal factors are the employee’s self esteem issues, personal goals, value, needs and respect for oneself.

For these aspects to be dealt with accordingly and successfully – managers, team leaders and call center agents alike must understand its instability and impact on the team as an one unit.

However, not all conflicts have a negative effect. It also gives the opportunity for each employee to express their feelings and speak what’s on their mind that they believe is best for the team. Arising conflicts also enables the team’s problem solving and decision making skills to be put into use by motivating people to solve and analyze the situation. Call center employees follow a script while taking calls and encouraging them to express themselves and their ideas outside those calls is energizing as they try to seek the best solution. The most important thing when handling conflicts is your ability to handle it properly and constructively.

Having a productive and hardworking Philippine call center outsourcing team is every manager’s dream. But working together in peace is also a very important common goal. Team work is bounded by good leadership, cooperative team, effective communication and respect towards others and space.

Conflicts are normal, it’s just how you deal with it that makes it better or worst.

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Dressing Appropriately for Call Center Company Parties

Dress code
Call Center Company
© Morrison / Dollar Photo Club

Dressing for an office party can be quite stressful and confusing. Though preparing for an event may seem like fun, you still have to be conscious about looking appropriate for your bosses and supervisors. A call center outsourcing company is one of the businesses that hosts more than one event in a year. These outings take place because it motivates the employees and prevent further attrition among them.

It is a call center agent’s responsibility to do their job correctly on a daily basis. Whereas Philippine call center managers should also make efforts to motivate them through these parties.

No matter how fun and exciting the party theme is; limits, designs and even budget should always be remembered and set.

What to wear – Always be mindful of what you wear. Stick to the theme and dress code but be mindful of where the venue is. Long gowns and costume-like dresses do not belong in a bar that’s situated in a mall. Whereas shorts are inappropriate in a hotel ballroom setting – unless you want to look silly.

How much to spend – For practicalities sake, spend only within your means. Parties like these often award the best looking people of the evening with a sash and a little amount of money. Unless the prizes are higher than what you’ve spent or earn, save the couture and splurging for your wedding and raid your closet or the bargain section instead.

Be creative – mix and match and you will see a whole different look without burning a hole in your pocket.

Whether you are in a call center outsourcing company event or not, outfits should not be doing the advertising for you. Unless you want to give out the image and attention your attire displays – dress appropriately. Though your clothes may be a way of expressing yourself, some people and places won’t view it that way and you will end up being offended instead.

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Inexpensive Ways to Motivate Call Center Employees

Motivation
Motivation
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The ability to create a good working environment and to motivate call center employees is one of the best skills a manager can have.

It is every business owner’s dream to employ a hard-working and passionate team that is loyal and only aims to improve and grow. In a Philippine call center, it is very important to have this kind of attitude towards work, especially since attrition rates are very high. By hiring the right leaders to manage teams, you will be able to reinvent the culture, inspire call center agents to be passionate about customer service and improve the company though the employee’s outlook.

Here are ways on how to create a good working environment for everyone without spending a fortune.

Praise your employees

It is the easiest to give and everyone wants to hear it. A simple praise from a manager or CEO improves employee morale very much that they’d want to work hard and do more because of it. Be generous with it and give praises every time you see improvement from the team and if you can, do it in front of others.

Hire internally

Are you looking for a manager to supervise your inbound call center agents? Don’t hire one! Promote one from the team instead. Allow them to work together and on an equal level with each other. Hiring someone from the outside will result to a long transition phase or adjustment period and might not even gain the team’s respect. It will also motivate the rest to work hard so he’d be like the person who got promoted.

Share your ideas

Most people don’t like being told what to do. Instead of demanding what you want, ask them by sharing your idea and coming up with the phrase “What about…Do you think it will work?”.

Do not criticize in public

It is demotivating for employees to know that they did something wrong. Instead of correcting them while others are around, try an indirect approach and let them learn from their mistakes. Call center employees are already stressed out from talking to irate callers, the best you can do is find solutions and not blame people.

Make everyone feel important

A call center outsourcing company’s success cannot be achieved without the employees. Make everyone feel as if they are an important part of the team by highlighting and knowing their strengths and acknowledging them at the same time.

Give thoughtful small rewards

Internal contests, small pizza parties or track results displayed on a bulletin board are motivational and very inexpensive.

Share the success and the sadness

If your account or campaign goes well, celebrate and show that you are thankful of your employees hard work. If it does not, realize the cause and mentor the team into success.

The typical call center agent is easy to please – if you are lucky. Make the office a great place to work at by implementing these inexpensive ways.

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Lifestyle Change for Philippine Call Center Agents

Lifestyle change
Lifestyle change
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According to a study conducted by Nielsen Philippines, the cumulative compensation amount of BPO employees is about P250B annually. Call Center agents are paid more than most Filipino employees that are working in a different industry. As a matter of fact, call center professionals have become key to the growth of middle class communities in the country. Aside from that, the spending habits of those working at call centers are also different than of the non-BPO industry employee, they tend to spend more.

The reason why call center employees spend so much is that they earn more than the average Filipino employee. They alter their lifestyle to go with the demands of what they do which results to changing their consumption and purchasing habits. An example would be that of a Philippine call center‘s dress code. Instead of wearing casual clothes or company provided uniform, most employees have to purchase the latest trends to look good while working. Why? Because it boosts self esteem and confidence, which is very important when talking to clients; and because everyone in the area dresses nicely, and even tries to imitate America’s seasonal outfits.

Another lifestyle changing factor is the way these individuals consume. Since outsourcing companies are strategically located in or near commercial and retail districts, call center agents have the tendency to patronize the nearest and even most expensive establishments to get their coffee, breakfast or alcohol fix. Although call center employees are paid well for their hard work, most of them only consume processed and pre-packed meals during their breaks such as canned goods, fast food, biscuits, and chips. According to a recent survey, call center agents consumed these staples because it is the easiest to prepare and it is cheap, they’d rather spend their money elsewhere.

What kind of things you might ask? Designer coffee, weekly out of town trips, after-shift bar outings, pending loan bills, neglected credit card fees, and the latest in technological gadgetry. Mostly things that they could not afford but have always wanted when they were not yet working in a call center.

Call center professionals were also asked if they could actually afford these little luxuries, or do they only buy them for fulfillment and to keep up with trends and peers? Sadly, most of them said the latter.

Compared to the rest of the working population, those in call centers generally spend more. The only advantage is their contribution to the economy, but what about the concept of prioritizing? Is it not as important as it used to be anymore?

How has working in a BPO changed your lifestyle? Let us know in our comments section!

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How a Philippine Call Center Agent Can Save Money

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

The Philippine contact center is known for compensating inbound call center agents and outbound call center agents a hefty amount compared to other industries which is why many of these Philippine business process outsourcing call center agents live a lifestyle that involves a lot of shopping, bills, eating out and what not. Because of this way of life, many have turned to debt as they went beyond their means.

To save yourself from debt and have a decent savings fund, you need a reality check and keep in mind that you might not have your job, or your health tomorrow! But before anything else, rid yourself of debt first. Stop loaning for unnecessary expenses and if you already have, make sure you pay them on time; that way, you can have the money all to yourself already and not earn for someone else. It is also wise to set a goal with regards to the amount you’re saving. You don’t need to save so much on your first attempt, but at least have something to look forward to as a start. If you are looking into buying a house, you might want to save for the down payment first before the monthly payments – make sure you have a time frame too! You cannot just buy something then later on realize you can’t pay for it anymore.

It also helps if you keep a record of all your expenses and review it regularly so you get to see where your money is going the most. You can either cut down your expenses or reassess your way of spending by setting a budget for commodities and leisurely things. Another way is to stop using credit cards; as much as it is handy to swipe them in times of need, you can never be too cautious as you might end up swiping more than you can pay. Remember, if you think you can hide from collectors now, you cannot run away from having these records in your overall financial account permanently in the long run. So if you intend to loan a house, car or even apply for a visa someday, you might want to think about settling your credit card debts first.

More importantly, ask yourself, “Do I really need these things?” if you don’t, you might just want to close that half empty wallet instead.

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Reasons to Take Your Philippine Call Center Job Seriously

Call Center Job
Call Center Job
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Being an outbound call center agent is one of the most sought after positions in the Philippine BPO industry as well as being an inbound call center agent. Although the attrition rate is reportedly said to be high, the number of applicants who apply for a Philippine call center job has never declined.

On a typical weekday, over a hundred job applicants that include students, new graduates, career shifters and the unemployed line up early to try their luck at applying in a call center facility and start their new career through the initial step which is the recruitment process. But sadly, not everyone passes even the first stage. There are many factors to remember when applying for a Philippine call center job and the most important thing to keep in mind is that a call center facility is not a place to look for temporary employment and wait out time.

For most job applicants, seeking employment at a BPO facility is only transitory as they wait for nursing board exam results, an opportunity abroad that may or might not arrive and all the wrong reasons that will never include career growth and development. If you think about it, there is so much more than just momentarily working as a call center agent; when taken seriously, a career in the call center can bring you more than just employment but as well as financial growth, opportunities and even managerial positions that you can never seek elsewhere given your occupancy and age. So before you plan on going through the long recruitment process and plotting out your tenure at only six months, you might seriously want to consider these reasons on why you should take your call center job seriously.

  • The Philippine call center is only a very small percentage of  industries that can start you off with more than the minimum wage even if you only completed two years of college regardless of your academic course. Your salary doesn’t also depend on your connections (unlike many Philippine offices) with the management since legitimate call centers are based in the United States and have standardized pay.
  • Your promotion, evaluation and overall career growth will depend on your work performance. So it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, trendy or timid and what your gender orientation is; everything will be calculated accordingly by how you work. If you do not strive hard, you will never earn your bonuses and what not regardless of how good looking you are or how long you’ve been working there. In fact, there are many new call center agents that earn higher than those that have long been tenured because they perform better.

These are only few of the many reasons why working at a call center in the Philippines is better and should be taken seriously. Because if you don’t, you will end up applying and working at every facility which eventually makes you lose all your credibility. So step up and work hard at where you are.

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How to Become a Green Establishment

Green Establishment
Green Establishment
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These days, many Philippine call center offices and businesses are already eager to create environmentally sound and safe work places to make it better for the employees and the environment. There are just so many ways to become a green call center and it won’t even cost you extra. Here are a few tips on how to be one.

E-mail and instant messaging make interoffice communications quicker and easier than distributing paper memos. E-mail newsletter distribution means your customers or clients receive information about your business sooner. Instead of printing out e-mail messages, file them in Outlook or another e-mail system. File the attachments on your hard drive or on a shared drive. Convert an e-mailed invoice to a PDF. Print any documents only if absolutely necessary. Change all of your light bulbs to CFLs, LEDs, or other energy-saving alternative light bulb solutions. Turn off and unplug all computers and electronic devices after office hours; because even when these devices are turned off, they will continue to use electricity unless you unplug the power cord to keep them from charging all night.

Likewise, you should also unplug coffee machines and other appliances at the office when they are not in use so they don’t pull electricity all day. Reduce office trash as much as possible, and compost or recycle the rest. You may not consider commuting to be a part of your office’s environmental impact, but your transportation policies can make a large difference. Make walking or riding a bicycle an easier option by offering showers and private changing areas at your office. If inbound call center agents and outbound call center agents agree to walk, bike, or take public transportation to work, offer them a small bonus for encouragement. Use recycled products everywhere you can around the office. Reuse folders, boxes and all other office supplies for as long as possible before purchasing any new ones.

Going green at Philippine contact center can be very effective in demonstrating practical benefits of being environmentally friendly as well as saving business money.

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Customer Service 101

Customer Service
Customer Service
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Good customer service is the foundation of any business such as Philippine contact center. In today’s world, business competition is harder than ever and consumers are willing to spend more in exchange for excellent customer service. Most businesses realize the importance of being committed to customer service that’s why they outsource and make use of inbound call center services and outbound call center services.

A Philippine call center must know that they not only need to meet their customer’s expectations, but they must strive to exceed them. For inbound call center agents, there is more opportunity in exceeding customers’ expectations even when they’re complaining. The important thing is that you listen and don’t tell them that they’re wrong; then acknowledge the issue, try to reach an agreement, and do your best to keep them happy. They may not be right, but at least you listened to their point of view. Usually people just want to be heard. You must use this complaint as a positive thing to help you grow and improve.

In an outbound call center setting, you need to be flexible in your approach. Don’t just make a sale but rather, offer solutions in the best interest of your customer. You also need to let customers drive how you interact with them. Though you may not always be able to offer the type of communication channel your customers want, you can still be responsive to their behavior. Lastly, honor your word. If you tell someone you’ll follow-up with them by end of day, you have to do it. There’s nothing worse than having someone tell you they’ll contact you later, then having to track them down again. Keep in touch with customers and check if the products or services are good.

Good customer service results to repeat guests while bad customer service drives customers away taking their friends, family and workmates. It is very important to have a good customer service not just to make the customers happy but to attract potential customers. Call us today to find out how we can help you optimize productivity, deliver a better customer experience and provide outsourced customer service.

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