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Customer Service

Why Companies Should Outsource Customer Service

When people speak about your company, what do they say?

Would they say they love your products and the service you provide, or do they just see you as another company?

Hopefully it’s the former… we’ll rephrase this…  it should be the former. Customers pay attention to the care you give, if it’s personable and efficient it makes an impact. This is also true for sub-par customer service, it makes an impact, but not the type you want.

One route thousands of companies in the United States have taken toward customer service excellence is the outsourcing of these operations. Outsourcing customer service yields many benefits, and each company that decides to do so does for their own reason. Most companies are happy with making this decision, with 78% of businesses worldwide feeling positive about their outsourcing partnership.

Why are all these businesses happy with their decision?

They Are Saving Money

This is a given. “Cost-cutting” is the top reason for outsourcing among companies that currently partner with an outsourcing company. But there are many areas that we don’t typically think of when we calculate costs. Costs incurred from renewing subscriptions to cloud services or printing new training materials are no longer a part of the picture. Not only will you save money, but you’ll make money too. According to a study conducted by American Express, 2 out of 3 consumers are willing to pay more for exceptional customer service.

They Are Saving Time

Your employees should wear many hats, but there’s such thing as too many hats. You can free up your employees’ time to perform other, more important tasks, while your outsourcing partner can handle those time-consuming customer service issues. Providing top notch customer service requires constant re-evaluation of practices, and when adjustments are made, the staff will require more training on any new procedures.

They Have Access to Top Talent

Hiring employees that meet your company’s needs and standards takes time, anyone who’s been on Indeed and seen the same job posted every week knows that much. When you outsource your customer service operations, you give yourself access to a wide range of talent.

Their Operations Have Become Efficient

With around-the-clock service, live chat, and services like Automated Call Distribution (ACD), it’s safe to say that outsourcing customer service means that they’ll be more efficient. In the event of power outages or cyberattacks, you can take comfort in knowing your customer’s information is stored safely in a cloud, set up by your outsourcing partner.

They Have Access to Top Industry Tools

Technology is growing ever-more important in today’s business climate, and having access to software and equipment that’s reliable is key to maintaining a successful customer service operation. Not every company wants to spend the money on setting up equipment or paying companies for disruptive on-site installation or take the time to set up live chat on every one of the office computers. Partnering with an outsourcing company means that your company will keep up with the times, and your customers will never have to deal with faulty systems and choppy connections.

Streamlining your customer service operations could revitalize your company, and any organization struggling to keep pace in the current consumer environment could use a second wind. Here at Executive Boutique Call Center, we have the means, talent, and technology to breathe life into your customer service operation.

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3 Ways to Motivate Your Customer Service Team

Anyone who has worked in the customer service field knows just how stressful it can be, as well as how easy it can be to experience burnout. Customer service staff are the face and voice of your company, so it is important to be understanding and motivating in your support of them. Here are some tips for getting your team back to their best:

Communication

Maintaining an open line of communication between service staff and management is one of the most helpful things you can do. Even though it is easy to see customer service as a low-skill position, quite the opposite is true and the impact of your representatives’ work on your company is undeniable.

The more comfortable your representatives feel about communicating with management, the greater insight management will have into making positive decisions for the staff overall. Having good relationships between management and your service team helps maintain morale, motivation, and support.

Encourage Positive Work

Every moment that you spend communicating one-on-one with one of your representatives is valuable. Management can often make the mistake of thinking of their representatives as disposable, rather than take the time to help them develop and improve in their work.

Take the time to provide encouragement to your staff. Let them know when they’ve done a good job, and give them plenty of constructive feedback when there is room for improvement. Connect with them, maintain that line of communication, and watch your representatives blossom.

Provide Your Staff with Proper Resources & Equipment

It’s easy to lower staff morale by accidental negligence. Since customer service can be seen as work that requires few skills, workers often lack the equipment and resources to do their job correctly. Poorly-performing equipment (phones, computers, workspaces) can lead to delays and lower service quality, potentially decreasing customer satisfaction. Ensuring that your staff has the proper resources to do their job can motivate them to do their best work, which benefits everyone involved.

Providing thorough, proper training is another great way to ensure that your representatives are prepared to provide exceptional service. These trainings can help your staff develop skills, but can also be used to boost team morale.

 

You don’t have to wait for your employees to burn out to get them back on their feet. When in doubt, provide clear communication and support.

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How Live Chat Can Improve Your Customer Service

Customer service is the face of an organization, and while the methods for delivering that service have changed, the goal remains the same. You want your customers to feel good about your service.

It’s for this reason that many companies have started to implement live chat into their customer service operations. Traditional phone-only communication is now coupled with live chat, and many companies are seeing the benefits of using this hybrid formula.

If your organization has been tossing around the idea of implementing live chat into your customer service but still don’t know if it’s a good fit, we’ve provided a run down of benefits which could help you in your decision.

Cost Efficient

Anyone who’s been tasked with setting up a call center’s phone lines can probably tell you not only how time consuming it is, but also about the costs. Setting up phone support is expensive and involves a variety of factors that must be in place before it can go operational. Implementing live chat support only takes only a few steps and requires less of an investment.

Some companies take this a step further and outsource their live chat for even more efficient operations and less costs.

Visual Aids

A large part of the population are visual learners, meaning that no matter how many times you lay out a solution to them over the phone they still won’t truly get what you’re saying. One benefit of live chat is being able to show a customer what you’re talking about. Whether it’s a product guide, screen sharing, a graph, or an animated GIF, visual aids can help customers better understand their issue and the solution.

Remote Real Time Assistance

No one likes being put on hold, and a call into a company’s customer service department is almost certainly going to result in one. Live chat eliminates this issue by putting a customer directly in contact with an agent.

Customers want answers, quick. In fact, Forrester Research found that 57% of customers will abandon their purchase if their questions aren’t answered quickly. They also found that 44% of online consumers find live chat to be one of the most vital features a website can have. Chat support provides agents the tools needed to guide customers through step-by-step instructions.

Agents are also able to handle multiple customers at once, adding an extra layer of efficiency to your operation.

Understand Your Customer Base

Learning about your customer base is the best way to create an experience that they will remember. Live chat can help you do just that. A comprehensive live chat software comes with features and tools that provide insight into customer behavior.
Customer data and relevant customer analytics can give your company insight and help you identify problem areas in your customer service experience.

Some of the data you can get for every live messaging session include:

• Time spent on site
• Referral links
• Customer location
• Operating system/device used

As you can see, implementing live chat can help your company continually modify its customer service experience to accommodate a changing customer base. If you’d like to learn more about live chat, or even outsourcing your live chat operations, click here.

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6 Tips for Providing Awesome Customer Service

Customer service is more important today than ever before, considering that people now have extensive options for products and services available with the click of a button. Providing a customer service experience that leaves people wanting more cannot be obtained simply by slapping a headset on an agent. Instead, it has to be developed through training and practice. We’ve provided some ways to revamp your customer service experience – many of which are currently being used by industry giants today.

Implement Live Chat

More companies are using live chat in addition to their traditional telephone customer service, and the resulting benefits are clear. Statistics show that many customers prefer live chat because it allows them to perform other tasks at the same time. Knowing that you’re not taking a customer away from their day’s plans can provide a positive experience for both parties.

Get Better at Saying No

An inescapable part of customer service is at some point saying “no” to a customer. The guilt you feel for saying no doesn’t mean you’re a bad worker. In fact, it makes you a better agent since you are identifying with the customer’s issues. When saying no, remain sympathetic with the customer, but don’t promise anything you can’t deliver.

Roleplay During Meetings

The best way to prepare for real world customer service issues is to roleplay with other employees during training sessions and meetings. Not only does this provide an opportunity for creativity and even some fun, the more hypothetical situations you’re exposed to the more prepared you’ll before anything that arises.

Utilize IT Automation

According to Spiceworks’ 2019 State of IT report, 43% of financial service organizations have implemented IT automation into their operations. Automated services, when applied to customer service operations, increase efficiency and reduce call abandonment rates. Customers are also more likely to prefer a callback later as opposed to staying on hold for an extended period of time.

Monitor Social Media

What started as a way for people to connect with friends and family online has become a vessel for everyone around the world to display their thoughts; great news for companies in good standing with consumers, bad news for those that mess up those interactions. You can keep a good reputation with your customers by constantly checking your social media accounts for any messages or mentions, keeping an eye out for anyone venting frustrations. If your company is called out publicly, it’s better to address it head on. Many times, just replying to a customer is enough to let people know you care.

Watch Your Tone

Have you ever heard the saying “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?” A large percentage of customer service calls will end with no solution for the customer’s problem, but they can end on a positive note. Maintaining a firm, confident, and sympathetic tone with your customers keeps you in control of the call, while also validating their issues. You may be surprised when you start receiving good feedback on what you perceived as a negative issue for the customer.

Finally, to implement all of these points – if you’re looking to make your company’s customer service experience more efficient or want to cut down on the costs of maintaining the operation in-house, outsourcing your customer service could be the answer.

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3 Ways to Motivate Your Customer Service Team

Anyone who has worked in the customer service field knows just how stressful it can become, as well as how easy it can be to experience burnout. Customer service staff are the face and voice of your company, so it is important to be understanding and motivating in your support of them. Here are some tips for getting your team back to their best:

Communication

Maintaining an open line of communication between service staff and management is one of the most helpful things you can do. The impact of your representatives’ work on your company is undeniable, so it’s essential to treat them with respect by communicating well. The more comfortable your representatives feel about communicating with management, the greater insight management will have into making positive decisions for the staff overall. Having good relationships between management and your service team helps maintain morale, motivation, and support.

Encourage Positive Work

Every moment that you spend communicating one-on-one with one of your representatives is valuable. Management can often make the mistake of thinking of their representatives as disposable, rather than take the time to help them develop and improve in their work.

Take the time to provide encouragement to your staff. Let them know when they’ve done a good job, and give them plenty of constructive feedback when there is room for improvement. Connect with them, maintain that line of communication, and watch your representatives blossom.

Provide Your Staff with Proper Resources and Equipment

It’s easy to lower staff morale by accidental negligence. Make sure your staff has the equipment and resources to do their job correctly. Poorly-performing equipment (phones, computers, workspaces) can lead to delays and lower service quality, potentially decreasing customer satisfaction. Ensuring that your staff has the proper resources to do their job can motivate them to do their best work, which benefits everyone involved.
Providing thorough, proper training is another great way to ensure that your representatives are prepared to provide exceptional service. These trainings can help your staff develop skills, but can also be used to boost team morale.

You don’t have to wait for your employees to burnout to get them back on their feet. When in doubt, provide clear communication, support, and make sure they are taken care of. Additionally, you can ensure that you have a customer service team that is treated well and equipped with the proper resources by outsourcing your customer service work with a company you trust.

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4 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Customer Service

Customer service is a vital part of running a business. Even if your company is selling the best product or service in your industry, customers won’t stay loyal if they don’t feel heard, supported, and respected in their business with you. Unfortunately, many companies are running low on resources and don’t have the time (or staff) to tend to their clients’ post-purchase needs. Outsourcing customer support can help your company maintain a connection with its client base, as well as improve its brand. Read on to discover even more benefits.

Stress Relief for In-House Staff

One of the most prominent concerns regarding outsourcing is that a company will lose the personal touch that comes with in-house service staff. This is a valid concern, but it is important to consider that overworked staff often have service calls fall to them, and this can increase their stress and prevent them from properly fulfilling their duties. With the right steps, your outsourcing company will be able to capture your business’s personality while also removing extra burdens from your staff’s shoulders.

There’s No Need to Train New Employees

Everyone knows how to use a phone, but it’s much more difficult to communicate in a professional, personable, and inviting manner. Your company is responsible for its employees and how they engage with your clientele, so if they fall short on their duties, you have to improve their training – which means more time and money. Outsourcing the task allows you to avoid this and hire representatives that already have the necessary skills for the job.

24/7 Service

Convenience is an important factor in customer service. Consumers love being able to send an email, pick up a phone, or jump into a live chat session when it is most convenient for them. For some people (such as those who work night shifts or live in a different time zone), this extended availability is even more helpful. It typically isn’t a realistic option for in-house staff and is also much cheaper when outsourced.

Flexibility

Call volumes fluctuate throughout the day, which can cause your in-house staff’s daily, non-support-focused work to go to the wayside. Outsourced call centers are designed with the purpose of constantly tending to customers’ needs, and since they usually have multiple clients, the rise and fall of call volumes are less severe for them. Representatives can work more efficiently, and their managers can schedule staff to best address their clients’ needs.

Outsourcing is an innovative, efficient business practice. Leaving customer service to the experts will allow you to maintain a better connection with clientele, relieve stress for in-house staff, and save you the time and cost of training more representatives.

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The Importance of Following Up in Sales

Great sales includes following up with your customers, and this practice can be a valuable asset for a growing business. To break through the noise of your customers’ crowded inboxes, a personal connection needs to be made, and here are a few reasons as to why doing this is crucial to your sales:

Following up builds trust

Part of a salesperson’s job is to encourage a prospective customer to purchase a product. This process starts at the beginning, with the very first conversation. In this conversation, a salesperson should be walking a customer through the reasons why this potential purchase is worth the customer’s time and money. This encouragement should continue in subsequent follow-up contact, which can help build trust. Trust in a product can lead to loyalty to the brand, potentially leading to more sales in the future.

Follow up contact adds value

Instead of relying on deals and promises made during a meeting, follow-up contact can help a salesperson be sure of where they stand within a current deal. It can also help them ensure their connection with a customer and provide growth for that relationship. Even if a deal seems closed, follow up contact shows the customer that the salesperson is interested in maintaining a long-term relationship and that they’re not only interested in the possible, short-term commission reward.

Following up can address problems early

A customer can sometimes have issues that get overlooked during the sales process. These issues can lead to cancellations or returns, which is not ideal. By actively following up with customers, salespeople can provide themselves with an opportunity to address customer frustrations and further secure a sale. Make sure to encourage your customer to ask questions, and answer all of them before ending the conversation. Apart from securing the sale, you’re also showing your customer that your business provides outstanding customer service.

In a study done by Roshan Shetty, it was found that the most successful salespeople are consistent in following up with their customers via phone and email. If you want to add an extra edge to your sales skills, follow up with your customers more. In the same study mentioned, it was shown that major mortgage lenders attempt to follow up with their customers a minimum of four to five times, with some major lenders following up over a dozen times. When in doubt, reach out!

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4 Reasons Your Company Needs to Implement Live Chat

In a digital world, speed is vital. Customers want products and services as soon as possible, and this expectation has become the standard. One aspect of the market that hasn’t quite caught up to this is customer service. The average response time for a customer service request received via social media is ten hours, with those received via email taking longer than 12 hours. It’s crucial to respond to your customers quickly to prevent a loss in business, and implementing a live chat software and staff can help with this. It can also help your company:

Provide a Better Website Experience

Live chat allows your customers to immediately have their questions and concerns addressed by a live person. Forrester Research found that 57% of customers will abandon their purchase if their questions aren’t answered quickly. They also found that 44% of online consumers find live chat to be one of the most vital features a website can have.

Prevent Unnecessary Costs

Calling customer service hotlines costs time for the consumer and money for the company. The longer a customer is on hold, the more time one support representative is spending on a single call. Live chat typically runs more smoothly, is easy to set up, offers more transparency, and is a low investment method that increases customer reach.

Increase Sales

A customer who visits your website is likely already interested in what your company has to offer. Live chat has become popular because it allows representatives to nudge customers toward other products without being obvious with a hard sell, and by making contact during the decision-making process, you increase the chance of your customers making a purchase. Research reflects this, with one group finding that customers who use live chat features are three times more likely to buy a product or service.

Gather Data

Live chat software collects data, and adds an extra layer to your tracking tools. The data gathered varies by platform, but some common information received includes:
• The link that referred the customer to your site
• If the customer is active or idle
• How long (and how many times) the customer has been on the site

This information can help you establish a better relationship with and experience for your clientele.

For both consumers and companies, the advantages of live chat software ring loud and clear. Live chat leads to increased customer satisfaction, which results in increased sales and profits.

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5 Voice Tips for Dealing with Customers Over the Phone

Have you ever had communication with someone turn sour because you came across as angry or frustrated, even if you weren’t? It happens to all of us, and it can be very frustrating. Often, these conflicts can be easily avoided by being more conscious of your tone of voice. This goes for customer service as well. Since most of your interactions with customers will take place over the phone, it’s important to remain conscious and purposeful in verbal communication. Here are 5 helpful voice tips for dealing with customers over the phone.

1) Pay attention to context.

While customers typically prefer a casual, friendly tone, each person is different. A good customer support provider should be able to assess the situation and adapt to it appropriately. It is best to start with a neutral tone and change it according to your customer’s demeanor.

2) Identify the tone you would like to use with the customer.

The first step in communicating effectively is to be clear in how you want to portray yourself. Do you want to seem smart and casual, empathetic and understanding, or humorous and entertaining? While these are just a few examples, consciously choosing your intended tone of voice can provide a good framework for positive communication.

3) Be aware of the speed at which you’re speaking.

Talking quickly or slowly is an easy trap to fall into, especially if you’re nervous. However, it can be detrimental to your experience with a customer. Whether you’re speaking too fast or too slow, both can make your customer nervous, or perhaps lull them to sleep. Practice speaking at a moderate pace by recording your voice and playing it back to get a good idea of your tempo and adjust it accordingly.

4) Be conscious of your breathing.

Most people can become shallow breathers when they are under pressure. This is problematic because when it happens, your vocal chords can tighten, making your voice’s pitch sound high and strained. You can fix this by trying to take slow, deep breaths. It’ll help you relax, bring down your pitch, and create a calmer tone of voice. You also don’t want to be breathing directly into the phone, as this will distort anything you’re saying to the customer.

5) Smile while you’re speaking.

Even though no one will see your face, smiling while you speak is a good way to get into a positive tone of voice. When you smile, the soft palate at the back of your mouth rises and makes sound waves more fluid. If you sing, you have probably noticed that the wider you open your mouth, the better tone you get – this can also apply when you’re on the phone. Smiling helps your voice sound clearer, friendlier, and more receptive.

Effective customer service requires close analyzation of each situation and the ability to adapt to new circumstances. Every customer has unique needs, and your talent in identifying the correct response is what sets you – and the business you work for – apart from the rest to truly get the job done right and efficiently satisfy the caller. Always ensure that your phone communication is enhanced with a proper tone of voice and speed of conversation.

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Customer Retention Solutions that Work in the Age of Dying Brand Loyalty

Customer Retention

Customer RetentionBecause of the new companies popping up every.single.day — together with the plethora of innovative features they offer — the customer tug of war in just about any industry has become even more cutthroat.

What’s more, these businesses aren’t slacking off in their marketing efforts either.

They’re bent on pouring budget on their marketing pockets or coming up with guerilla marketing tactics to get their brands in front of their target audience.

Having said all that, business owners are now at their wit’s end when thinking of ways to establish brand loyalty.Are you struggling with the same thing? Are you looking for ways to improve your customer retention?

If you answered with a “yes,” then please read on — you’re in the right place.

Have extensive knowledge of your product.

Your types of callers are varied, some being new to your product others longtime customers. Once a customer feels like you don’t know anything about your product and that you are wasting their time, it will leave a negative impact on customer retention.

Win the callers confidence by being an expert in your product. So go beyond the usual briefing and call scripts. Get a deeper understanding of your product by experiencing it from the customers perspective.

Possess extraordinary courtesy.

Be extremely courteous in your calls, control your tone of voice and treat the problem in a dignified manner. For troubleshooting calls, your customer might already be irate, to begin with; your job now is to pacify his emotions.

For sales calls, make sure your customer is in a good mood when you engage in the call, he may be busy or is going through something important, chances are if you force your sale he won’t buy it even though how good your product may be. Cut the call yourself and tell him you will reach out to him at a more opportune time.

Avoid trigger words that causes conflict.

From the very start of your call, use words like “we” or “our” to signify this is something that both of you will work on together. As much as possible do not assign blame to the caller by telling them, they must be doing something wrong.

Be diplomatic in your calls, share a mindset that this problem is no one’s fault, but you will work together to solve it anyway. This language puts both you and the customer on the same boat.

Find ways to re-target your customer by being proactive.

Way before your customers will start experiencing problems with their product, call them up and get feedback and how they find it so far. Pre-empting the issues like we do at our call center in the Philippines, will lessen the frustration of your customer, and they will appreciate your concern in their welfare.

Set schedules to call existing customers already utilizing your product, giving customers a sense that your company was not only after their money but is keen on meeting their needs.

You then establish a relationship way beyond the seller and the buyer. And that goes to show that you also prioritize customer  retention.

Utilizing these solutions to your advantage.

Use all available techniques to your call, and you will win a customers loyalty as long as your company exists. Your goal is to have a long streak in the retention of your customers. The elements of ensuring this happens are the ability to go the extra mile and to do more than what your competitors can.

What’s your strategy?

So what do you think? Are the techniques and solutions mentioned enough to ensure customer retention? Do you have even better strategies that you want to share?

Do let us know by giving feedback or sharing this article.

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