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Customer Service

4 Ideal Characteristics of a Successful Call Center Manager

Call Center Manager

Call Center ManagerEvery call center needs great managers in order to thrive, even more so on account of the rapid changes in today’s business climate.

While each call center manager is different, the successful ones share distinct personality traits that drive their success.

And by “success” we mean their ability to encourage and motivate their agents to perform better on the floor. But then again, that’s not all there is to it.

With the way customer service processes have changed through the years, call center managers always have to keep up, and as such need to adjust accordingly in order to be more effective leaders.

So what are the common qualities that separate the great call center managers from the rest? Feel free to dive in if you want to find out.

1. Communicates with agents all the time

Since agents are the ones who talk to customers on a regular basis, they have a more profound knowledge of what customers need. Managers with good sense know this.

A customer service call center manager in the Philippines worth his salt will use this knowledge to the organization’s advantage, especially in terms of how to improve customer experience and inspire customer loyalty.

In addition, call center managers who talk to their agents regularly go a long way into empowering the workforce.

Furthermore, agents who feel that their thoughts and opinions matter will feel more motivated to be at their best.

2. Critical thinker

Call center managers are regularly tasked to come up with big decisions that will make a significant impact on the organization going forward.

As such, managers need to have the ability to think critically.

This means not taking everything at face value. By making it a point to look at challenges from every angle, a manager can come up with decisions where the positives outweigh the negatives not just for the present situation but in the long run as well.

Call center managers who are strategic-minded are a great asset to your organization because you can exchange ideas with them and in turn enable you to come up with great decisions yourself.

3. Excellent coach

According to recent research, the most significant ability that separates great managers from the middling ones is coaching.

By taking the time to have meaningful coaching sessions with agents, a call center manager can establish a meaningful connection with them. This, of course, leads towards meaningful growth.

Just the mere knowledge that the manager has his back engages the agent in more ways than one. It allows them to move forward positively but in a way where a sense of accountability is established.

4. Stays on top of the latest technological trends

The new wave of technology spurred on by the digital age has radically changed customer service processes as well as customer expectations.

A manager oversees many areas of a call center’s operations, and as such will have to stay updated on the latest innovations that would change the organization’s infrastructure.

If the call center is transitioning to the cloud, for example, a manager, who has more than a passing familiarity of how the technology works will be more able to help agents build and develop the necessary skills needed to thrive in the new system.

Key Takeaway

As the cliche goes, change is the only constant thing in this world. This is why being a great manager is a lifelong pursuit that needs to be taken seriously.

While it’s true that some people are born leaders, anyone can develop the leadership skills needed to thrive in any industry. You can certainly get a good head start by emulating the four characteristics discussed in this article.

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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4 Ways to Handle Irate Callers in the Call Center

Irate Callers

Irate CallersLet’s face it: handling irate callers is not fun. But then again, angry customers come with the territory when you’re a customer service professional.

As such, it’s worth noting that customers are far more likely to tell their friends about their negative customer service stories rather than the positive ones.

Which goes to show that if your agents haven’t been trained enough on how to handle irate callers, your organization is bound to suffer severe losses in terms of its overall bottom line.

While you can’t please every caller,  it pays to ensure that your agents are well-versed in the best practices when it comes to handling difficult customers in your call center.

Here are steps your agents can do to satisfy irate callers.

1. Sit back and listen

You can already tell by the customer’s voice that he’s upset, and he wants to tell you all about it, perhaps in the most colorful terms.

At this juncture, the best course of action is to shut up and listen.

It might be tempting to interrupt the customer if you know that it’s not entirely the company’s fault. But then again, doing so would only upset him more.

So listen. Really listen. By allowing the customer to vent his frustrations without interruptions, chances are he’ll be much calmer once he’s done.

Better yet, he might even have a better understanding of his situation or issue just by talking it out. Either way, once the customer is done talking, you’ll find that he’ll be much more cooperative.

And since you took the time to listen (and jot down notes), you’ll have a better understanding of the customer’s issue yourself and thus will be more equipped to work with him in coming up with solutions.

2. Apologize

Once the customer is done explaining the issue, the next thing an agent should do is apologize.

And yes, the same thing applies even if the issue is the customer’s fault. This is even more, the case if the caller is upset.

It is the call center agent’s responsibility to assist, not blame the customer for mistakes or misunderstandings about a product or service he has paid for.

By providing the customer a sincere apology, an agent is making it known that he’s there to help.

3. Provide solutions and be quick about it

If the customer is already feeling angry, it will only agitate him more if the agent is a slow poke at providing answers and solutions.

So make it quick. If possible, avoid putting the customer on hold. This way the customer will feel that their issues are being addressed with a sense of urgency.

Additionally, call center managers can help agents deliver solutions more efficiently by providing them with high-end cloud-based call center software.

4. Go the extra mile

One great way to appease irate customers is to offer them some form of compensation. No surprise there. After all, everyone wants free stuff.

By going the extra mile for upset customers, you are letting them know that you’re truly sorry for the inconvenience and that you value your business relationship with them.

If you’re worried about the financial losses that come with offering freebies, just take comfort in the fact that acquiring a new customer costs six or seven times more than to retain an existing one.

Final Word

On top of the tips mentioned above, call center customer service agents in the Philippines can go a long way into satisfying angry customers by maintaining professionalism, patience, and courtesy at all times.

Besides, irate customers are part and parcel of running a business. Above all, businesses that employ sound strategies to make grumpy customers happy will have increased customer retention and customer satisfaction, which will bode well for their ROI. 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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5 Creative Ways to Improve Customer Experience

Improve Customer Experience

Improve Customer ExperienceCustomer service has been undergoing rapid changes over the last several years, thanks to digital technology, automation, and cloud services.

While recent technological advancements has changed expectations for call center customer service  in the Philippines, one thing remains the same: customer experience impacts brand loyalty better than everything else.

In fact, studies show that customers are willing to pay more to get better customer service from their providers.

That said, it’s becoming tougher and tougher to impress customers these days. When one takes into account omnichannel solutions, it’s not in the least surprising.

But if you are willing to think of more creative ways to “wow” your clients, you’ll find soon enough that the effort you put forth in the endeavor will be more than worth it.

So how does one get creative in delivering positive customer experience to clients? Let us count the ways.

1. Personalize your service

Many studies suggest that personalization influences how consumers view a brand. When a business delivers personalized service, customers become more engaged and are more likely to make repeat purchases.

Thanks to CRM integration, call centers have a more efficient means to keep track of customers’ needs. Cloud software also allows you to personalize the call queue based on the information of the caller.

Personalization goes beyond the call center as well. With the help of multichannel platforms, you can interact with customers via the method they prefer, be it mobile, social media, or email.

2. Write a thank you note

If you want to show customers your appreciation for doing business with you, sending them a thank you letter should do the trick.

Besides, saying thank you is all about common courtesy, which is something your call center needs to show on a regular basis if it wants to run a customer-centric business.

A simple “thank you,” however, is not enough. If you want to inspire brand loyalty, you need to send a thank you note that is as personalized as it is thoughtful. One effective way to do this is to tell the customer why you are thankful in the first place.

3. Be proactive in delivering service

In order for you to deliver customer service that goes beyond clients’ expectations, you have to anticipate their needs at every opportunity and be proactive in your approach to fulfilling them.

With the help of CRM, you can keep track of customer sentiments across a variety of channels. With this wealth of information at your fingertips, you can eliminate product or service issues before they arise.

Keeping customers informed in advance and providing them with self-service options increase engagement, thus fostering customer empowerment and loyalty.

4. Implement a call-back solution

Customers don’t like having to wait on hold or call queue for minutes on end. To spare them from the frustration, you can offer to call them back at a time that’s most convenient for them.

Customers like being provided options, and a call-back solution is one option that allows them to manage their time in regards to their issue with the product or service.

5. Give them the good ol’ freebie

Customers do appreciate receiving free stuff from providers, especially when there are no strings attached.

Don’t settle for the generic stuff, though. Instead, give them something that they’re interested in. This is where CRM comes into play.

Final Word

Creating a positive customer experience in client-customer interactions is a long-term strategy that will pay dividends on your bottom line.

Your customers, after all, are the lifeblood of your business. To keep your brand alive, it needs a creative shot in the arm every once in a while. 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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3 Proven Techniques in Lowering Abandon Rates

Abandon Rates

Abandon RatesIf you’re running a call center, abandon rate is one of the most crucial performance indicators you should pay close attention to.

For one, a high volume of abandoned calls speaks volumes about the quality of your customer service.

Most of us have experienced abandoning calls after being made to wait too long on the line or having to go through circuitous IVR menus.

It’s not a pleasant experience, and it certainly doesn’t make you think highly of the company you’ve been trying to reach.

If your call center is registering a high amount of abandoned calls, it’s necessary that you make the necessary adjustments to curb that trend.

As a business owner, here are proven techniques you can employ to lower your call center’s abandon rates.

1. Streamline your scripts on your automated messaging system

We’re sure you’ve heard this a million times before: “Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line, and one of our representatives will take…” and so on.

To make matters worse, you have to listen to that same maddening script over and over until you decide you can’t put up with it anymore, hence the high incidences of abandoned calls.

That script  is not just outdated, it sounds cliche and boring. It gives off the impression that the call center is just phoning it in (no pun intended).

As far as your welcome message goes, the best approach is to tell customers upfront that they’re being held in a queue.

Better yet, you can provide customers more helpful information to listen to. By keeping them engaged, you are giving them more reasons to stay on the line.

2. Offer a callback option

Imagine this: you’ve already spent more than five minutes waiting for an agent to speak to you and you suddenly remembered you haven’t fed your goldfish the entire day.

And so you are left with two options: A) Abandon the call and feed the poor thing, B) Keep waiting (after all, you’ve spent several minutes on the phone so you might as well make them count).

The better choice, of course, is A. After all, keeping your goldfish alive should be your top priority.

But here’s the thing: you could have offered a third and better option. You could have offered a callback.

By providing callers the option to request a callback at their preferred schedule, you are providing them the convenience of being able to manage their time better.

Better yet, by offering a call back option, you can reduce the number of callers on the waiting-list during peak hours, allowing better management of call volume.

3. Increase the number of call center agents on the floor

The best way to lower abandon rates in your call center is to employ more agents. This, for obvious reasons, reduces the number of callers on the queue.

If that is not a viable option, you can also make changes in your staff scheduling. By assigning more agents on shifts where higher call volume is to be expected, you can reduce the number of callers on hold, thus lowering the chances of abandoned calls.

Key Takeaway

The three techniques mentioned in this article have been proven to reduce the amount of abandoned calls in customer service call centers in the Philippines.

The importance of abandon rates can’t be emphasized enough. For one, they have a tremendous impact on customer satisfaction. And it’s been long proven that customer satisfaction almost always translates to better business. 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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6 Ways IVR Systems Enhance Customer Service

IVR Systems

IVR SystemsImproving customer service remains a top priority in most call centers, and it’s just as well considering the major impact customer loyalty can have on a company’s bottom line.

That said, IVR systems have become even more integral in ensuring that customers are happy with the brand or service they have signed up for.

In fact, IVR (interactive voice response) systems account for 27 percent of total call experience, according to a report conducted by the firm JD Power & Associates in 2016.

Thanks to the emergence of cloud automation, IVR systems have become even more common as call centers rise to the challenge of keeping up with ever-evolving customer expectations.

Here are the top ways IVR systems enhances customer service call centers in the Philippines.

1. Improved call routing

Using voice prompts, IVR systems can identify and gather customer information efficiently. This information is then processed by the system, proceeding to route callers to the department that is most qualified to address and handle their issues.

By using an optimized and efficient list of menus, an IVR system ensures that customers don’t have to go through the hassle of being transferred from one department to another.

2. Personalized service

By identifying the caller ID of customers, IVR systems can be customized to provide a more personalized service.

An IVR system can be programmed to greet customers on their birthday, offer loyalty programs and personalized incentives to qualified customers.

Through personalized service, call centers can instill loyalty among clients, thus improving customer retention.

3. Reduce hold times and queues

An IVR system is an automated solution that can resolve and address multiple issues more efficiently than agents, resulting in reduced hold times.

And since some callers prefer to use the self-service option that IVR provides, the state of queues in the call center is more easily regulated and managed.

4. Empowers customers

IVR systems offer self-service options that empower customers who prefer to help themselves, thus improving overall customer experience.

This, in turn, gives customers a sense of autonomy in how they communicate with the brand and in how they manage their account.

Self-service options also provide customers with effortless engagement, giving them another good reason to stay loyal to your brand.

5. IVR systems don’t experience fatigue

While IVR systems don’t have the human element required to make genuine connections with customers, they do have an advantage over their human counterparts: they don’t get tired.

Agents are only human, making them susceptible to mistakes when they are feeling fatigued. IVR systems, on the other hand, don’t have that disadvantage. Since IVRs are automated, the quality of service they provide are always consistent, at least barring technical difficulties.

6. Improve first contact resolution

By routing callers to agents who are most qualified to address their issue, IVR systems can significantly shore up a call center’s first contact resolution.

The important of first contact resolution as a metric for call center performance can’t be emphasized enough.

In fact, a study by SQM group reports that a 1% increase in FCR also translates to a 1% increase in customer satisfaction.

Final Word:

As a business owner, it’s important to bear in mind that customer experience is always the most important metric in running a successful call center business.

There are many things you can do to keep customers satisfied with your service, and utilizing a sophisticated and intuitive IVR system should keep you on the right track.

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Great Ways to Personalize the Customer Experience

Customer Experience

Customer ExperienceEvery business is forged by developing and nurturing relationships. Without that personal connection, businesses are bound to fail.

It is for this reason why businesses are always aiming to personalize their call center customer service in the Philippines. And now that multi-channel platforms have proliferated, more and more customers are expecting service providers to keep up.

That said, while digital channels offer new possibilities for customer interactions, customers are still seeking an authentic connection with brands.

And it goes without saying that you have to do your part as well.

Here are tips for personalizing customer experience in your call center in a way that drives brand success.

1. Offer multichannel customer service

Multichannel customer service processes offer customers multiple options to communicate with your brand.

By putting these processes in place, you are more likely to provide customers with a seamless experience on account of their preferred channel of communication.

This, in turn, positively impacts customer satisfaction and improves customer retention rates.

2. Personalize with CRM

A modern CRM plays an integral role in optimizing customer experience. Since all customer information is stored in the CRM software, agents can have immediate access to customer information that will give them a keen understanding of the customer’s needs.

Ultimately, the goal of a good CRM software is to ensure that your business is always adopting a customer-centric approach to interacting with customers. This, of course, positively impacts customer satisfaction, which in turn inspires loyalty to your brand.

3. Provide self-service solutions

According to a report by The Real Self-Service Economy, 70% of customers believe that business websites should have a self-service option.

While there’s no separate study exclusive to call centers, common sense dictates that the same sentiments still apply.

What this tells you is that customers feel more comfortable when they do things on their own.

Another advantage you get by offering self-service options to customers is that it significantly streamlines call center processes and reduces cost (since self-service options mean fewer customer service professionals needed on the phone).

4. Collect feedback

It’s always good business practice to solicit feedback from your customers since it helps you come up with better ideas to meet their needs and expectations.

By gathering data and information on how your customers are responding to your personalized strategies, you can analyze the resultant data and be able to refine your processes accordingly.

5. Always add some personal touch

If you want to build a strong relationship with customers, every interaction should have some personal touch added to it. Why? Because customers want to feel that they are valued and respected, not merely as a means to add revenue to the company.

Using a customer’s name in conversation, for example, is one good way to establish a personal connection. That advice may sound too simple, but it makes a big difference.

Moreover, using positive scripting that is warm, pleasant, and empathetic can go a long way into instilling trust in your customers.

Conclusion:

A comprehensive personalization campaign in your call center’s business processes can make a big difference in improving the quality of your customer service.

Personalization is not a mere trend; it’s a proven business strategy that pays big dividends in the long run. On top of the tips mentioned here, it will be in your best interests to come up with more ways to tailor your customer service processes towards personalization. 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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Can Customer Service Increase Sales?

Think of a recent large purchase you’ve made? Chances are you’ve either saved up money or you made an impulse purchase. There are several factors that influence an impulse purchase but the most important is the customer service experience.

Think about it, if you really didn’t have the money you wouldn’t make the purchase, so cost isn’t always a factor. Your mood at the time can play a part but someone had to keep you in good spirits from the moment they said “hello.” Maybe the agent or associate you dealt with demonstrated value for you, or you found yourself laughing at several points in the interaction because they had a great sense of humor. Either way, you ended up making an impulse purchase because you felt good about the buying experience.

Customer service is the buying experience. It’s the stage where associates act in the starring role as lead influencer, delivering improvised lines that get your audience to buy tickets every time you’re in town. It doesn’t matter if this performance takes place in retail, healthcare, online sales, or a Girl Scout cookie table; the way you were treated helped you make the decision.

Repeat business is born out of a single interaction, it is where your reputation begins to take shape.  It just takes one customer to have a great buying experience, feel moved by it, and decide to post about it on their social media accounts. Now the world is witness to this one purchase, one shouldn’t underestimate the power of this resulting action. According to a survey conducted by PwC, 65% of consumers think a positive customer experience is more influential than advertising. Companies spend thousands every year on marketing but refuse to acknowledge their flawed customer service approach.

An example of this can be seen among American fast food companies; Chick-Fil-A has barely any television advertisements and a limited social media presence compared to places like KFC. However, Chick-Fil-A does better business than KFC and competitors in many markets because not only is their product excellent, but their customer service has a nationwide reputation for being top notch.

Too many companies fail to understand what the buying process looks like from the customer’s end, and in doing so try to solve what they perceive as problems instead of the real problems. Improving your customer service brings more people into your circle, people who will not only join your mailing list but actually read those messages about promotions or product updates instead of just sending them to the “junk mail” folder. They will want to be a part of your team because, in a way, you accepted them into your life when you made the effort to build a great relationship from the start.

Now, think about a recent large sale you or your company made. Something convinced your customer to go through with the sale, and if companies learn to channel that same “something” with every interaction, they can undoubtedly increase their sales.

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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