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Call Center Operations

How to Train Your Newly Hired Customer Service Agents to be More Engaging

newly_hired_customer_service_agents

newly_hired_customer_service_agentsWhether you’re running a product or a service-based business, living up to your customers’ expectations is a must if you want to succeed.

What makes this tricky, however, is the fact that your customers aren’t just looking for a solution to their problems, they’re looking for quick solutions.

They want their problems solved the soonest and would often ask to speak with a skilled agent who can do this for them.

Of course, if your company can’t give them just that, then they won’t hesitate going to your competitors.

This tells the business owners that for them to outdo their competitors, they need to provide exceptional customer service.

How are you going to accomplish that, you might want to ask?

Well, you can start by training your newly hired customer service reps to be more engaging and interactive.

The following are several crucial ideas and tips on how you can help your customer representatives become more engaging, more confident and more effective!

1. Start with the basic induction and let them learn the Product.

Induction is the first step that helps a new employee familiarize with the product and services that you are offering. Make sure you give your newly hired customer service reps a thorough insight of the products that you are offering.

They should understand the product or service as their own. The first part of their training should revolve around products, services and solutions that they can offer.

2. Conduct scenario-based training sessions.

While you train the new reps, throw multiple scenarios at them. This will help in two ways. One, your reps will understand the kind of queries they may face. Two, it will help them think of multiple ways to provide a solution to the customer.

This is a good way to build a line of communication and boost their confidence.

3. Recognize their mistakes and acknowledge their effort.

It is essential to tell your employees where they are going wrong. Guide them with patience and be professional when you criticism them.

Another thing that you must do is to acknowledge the efforts that your employees are making. A small dose of encouragement can make your reps move mountains (not literally). It can certainly help them display more confidence while speaking with a customer.

4. Include quests and challenges in your program.

Challenges evoke productivity and creativity. Therefore, make sure you add quests and challenges to your training program.

Take them through online challenges or ask them to take an impromptu call with a customer. Such challenges can help your new hires learn quickly and perform better.

5. Assign mentors to new hires.

You can hit two birds with one arrow if you practice this. Assigning a mentor to a group of new hires will not just help in their training but also encourage your existing employees to perform better so as to grab the position of a mentor.

If your newly hired customer service rep is motivated to perform during the training session, they will be able to absorb the knowledge efficiently and excel while enrolled on-process.

Conclusion.

A well-trained and enthusiastic customer rep can help your business expand in ways you’d never imagine.

Always devote enough time in training them with new materials and they’ll most likely perform better with how to address your customer’s concerns.

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4 Time-Tested Tips to Reduce Background Noise in a Contact Center

reduce-background-noise

reduce-background-noise

One distractor that can hinder your employees from performing at their highest capabilities is noise. The OSHA reports that every year, twenty-two million workers are exposed to harmful noise. They also report that in the previous year, U.S. businesses paid over $1.5 million in penalties for failing to protect their workers from noise.

Although it’s unthinkable to put an exact number to the human toll of hearing loss, it is estimated that $242 million is spent yearly on workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability.

If your employees work in an open environment like a contact center, the noise comes from all different directions and in all shapes and volumes. How do you reduce background noise in a contact center? Listed below are a few time-tested tips to reduce noise drastically.

Train employees to keep their voices down

Perhaps one of the most efficient and obvious ways to reduce noise in a contact center is to train your staff to lower their voices. In coaching and training, be sure to iterate to your employees the importance of balancing their volume levels. Teaching your staff to speak at lower volumes that are respectful to other employees will drastically reduce noise levels in the contact center.

Install white noise machines

Installing white noise features such water machines and other features can help reduce unnecessary background noise often found in a contact center. Also, adding plants and other similar features such as fabric screens and putting artwork on walls contributes to fill voided space and lessen distracting noise.

Separate employees with partitions

Installing barriers to separate employee’s desks is a very efficient manner to reduce noise levels. The more separation that can be put between employees in a contact center, effectively creating more barriers for sound to cross, the more probability there are that employees will be less distracted by noise and will have an easier time focusing on their work.

Reduce staff density

The most efficient way to reduce contact center noise is to reduce staff density. The more agents are packed into small space of an office then naturally more noise will be created. The ideal scenario is to have about 120 square feet per employee. Giving agents more room to breathe makes the contact center a more relaxed and natural feeling environment, reducing employee stress levels and in turn reducing noise levels.

What’s Next?

Before moving forward to implement any of these tips, be sure to speak with your employees and collect their ideas on how to reduce noise levels in your company’s contact center. Your employees will often understand best where the sound comes from since they are present in the office throughout the day.

Lastly, if you know of any time-tested tips on how to reduce noise levels in a room, please share them whether they are new or old. Your contribution will help to create a better and more efficient working environment for all.

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Improve Your Customer Support Operations Using These Tips

Customer Support Operations

Customer Support Operations

Instead of looking at optimizing your customer support operations 10,000 feet above ground, you might want to tackle your endeavors one simple task at a time. As you can probably imagine, once you’ve gotten several small enough wins, your entire operations will end up becoming optimized.

So the game plan is, just focus on doing the next right thing. Once you do enough of these “right things”, you’ll be in a place where your customer support operations will run like clockwork.

What “right things” am I talking about, you might ask? Read one…

Regular Meetings and Q&As

This is a big one. Many customer service agents are relegated to the desk and computer for extended periods of time- not only is this boring, but it can result in lowered morale, which in turn affects performance. It’s important to have your employees interacting with each other and with you face-to-face.

Regular meetings are necessary to learn from your employees on the ground what customers are thinking, what they’re having problems with, and what you can be doing to improve.

Encourage Collaboration and Communication

Don’t try and keep your employees locked into single-desk cubicles. Open it up a bit- give them room to maneuver and space to breathe. No matter how good your customer support agents are, a single one might not know all the answers. Allowing your employees to work together and in groups not only has a positive impact on morale, it allows them to get help if they need it while helping your customers out.

In addition, open communication means that problems can be noted as soon as they begin and dealt with promptly. While regular meetings are great, a problem arising in the office can be more quickly fixed, on the spot, through the usage of good communication between employees.

Keep Morale High

You’ve seen morale mentioned a lot in this article, but let’s take a moment to talk about why it’s important. Low morale means that your employees aren’t engaged with your business and their jobs. People working in customer support need to be upbeat and engaged in order to be effective, so as to avoid making a poor impression on a customer that’s already frustrated and needs help.

Keeping morale high means that your employees are motivated, which encourages higher productivity.

Identify Employee Weaknesses

Unfortunately, your employees may not be suited for their jobs. Ask supervisors or coworkers about how various employees are doing, and take a look at performance statistics. Employees who are performing poorly should be evaluated. Ask them what’s hindering their performance, and what you could do to help them improve. Your customer support team is full of people with all kinds of different strengths and weaknesses- arrange them properly, and good things are sure to happen.

Closing

While there are certainly other strategies that you employ to optimize your customer support operations, the above tips I shared above are a good place to start.

To learn more about customer support, service and satisfaction, read our blog or contact us for a consultation.

Photo Courtesy – © Rawpixel.com / Dollar Photo Club

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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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How to Become a Green Establishment

Green Establishment
Green Establishment
© Rawpixel / Dollar Photo Club

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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Call Center in the Philippines: Green Office Tips

Call center - Executive Boutiuqe
Call center - Executive Boutiuqe
© ptnphotof / Dollar Photo Club

Many Philippine call centers talk about social responsibility but how many of them actually understand that? Unfortunately, when it comes to deciding profits and the environment, the last is often loses.  But, despite this, a few call centers in the Philippines are proving that eco-friendliness and profitability do go hand in hand. Going green at the office can be very effective in demonstrating practical benefits of being environmentally friendly as well as saving business money.

Say it through e-mail.

E-mail and instant messaging make interoffice communications quicker and easier than distributing paper memos. E-mail newsletter distribution means your customers receive information about your business sooner. Your company can use social media similarly, by offering promo codes and discounts for mentioning tweets and other messages from your business.

Making paper cuts.

Print and copy on both sides of the paper whenever possible, and post instructions near the copy machine and printers to eliminate excuses. Or consider making this the default option on office equipment. Use a smaller font to print documents when possible. Reduce junk mail in a variety of ways.

Use it again.

In situations where maintaining your corporate image is not necessary, re-use envelopes. Cover your address with a mailing label, or buy specially designed labels that identify the envelope as “recycled.” This habit may even boost your image as a “green company”. When you receive packages, keep bubble wrap and other packing materials for re-use.

Think before you buy.

Ask inbound and telemarketing agents to bring in their own mugs instead of stocking the break room with styrofoam cups. Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible, and buy recycled printer ink. Bulk purchases can save your business money, but wasting supplies is never an efficient use of your company’s funds.

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Eco Friendly Practices in Philippine Call Center

Maybe, we think that the only thing green about business was the color of money. This is definitely wrong. We live in a time when corporate responsibility is a household word. Environmental policies of green companies can hold as much importance as advertising campaigns.

As Philippine telemarketing agents, we spend nearly a third of our waking lives at our places of work. Our activities there can have as much effect on the environment as what we do at home, but few among us think a great deal about it. While some of these ideas can, and should, be instituted at a desk-side level, many of them require the buy-in of management to make them effective, and often even possible.

This can be done by forming a “green team”. A team approach will help to ensure the success of your recycling program. Encourage participation, and allow input, from all staff. Make it fun. Distribute fact sheets, offer incentives, or host promotional events. Keep all staff informed of the results of their efforts. Provide recycling bins in the photocopy room and lunch room, and replace work station garbage cans with recycling bins. Set up an e-filing system and encourage people to e-file rather than print out hard copies of emails and documents. As well, office supply catalogues aren’t necessary, as most products can be searched and purchased online.

People need to work towards change, towards sustainability in all walks of their life, both at home and at work. Instituting a few green changes at Philippine call center can be a part of the solution, and will help to increase awareness at the very least. And perhaps this increased awareness can carry over into the personal lives of more people.

 

 

 

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Philippine Call Center: Job Satisfaction

It’s a fact that call center in the Philippines is growing rapidly because of its competitive advantage. For the past decade, the Philippines has been an attractive call-center destination due to its educated, English-speaking population employing 350,000 workers. This has opened doors for many job seekers who want to pursue their call center career. It is no doubt that many Philippine call center agents are enjoying the benefits of choosing such job but on the other hand, some don’t seem to understand their roles and expectations at all that leads to job dissatisfaction.

Employee satisfaction and retention have always been important issues for call center industry. After all, high levels of absenteeism and staff turnover can affect your bottom line, as temps, recruitment and retraining take their toll. But few practices have made job satisfaction a top priority, perhaps because they have failed to understand the significant opportunity that lies in front of them. Satisfied employees tend to be more productive, creative and committed to their company.

Call centers that can create work environments that attract, motivate and retain hard-working individuals will be better positioned to succeed. Call center management even discover that by creating a positive workplace for their employees, they’ve increased their own job satisfaction as well. We all know that the biggest issue in call center is work burnout. Repetitive call every day, lack of sleep, dealing with difficult customers – these are some of the few things that affect call center agents perception about their work. However, if the management will be able to deal with these problems, call center agents will more likely to stay and enjoy their jobs to its fullest.

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Green Company: Action on Climate Change

The warming of the climate system is explicit. It expects that temperature extremes, heat waves and heavy rains will continue to escalate in terms of both frequency and intensity and that the earth’s temperature and seas will keep on rising. Continued emission of greenhouse gases is expected to cause further warming and changes in the global climate system. All aspects of life, the ecosystem, food, settlements and health are expected to be impacted. This should be a warning to every human being but it’s not too late to act.


Businesses can be a green company and can take a lead role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by implementing actions that save money, improve productivity, protect the environment and increase the nation’s energy security. There are specific actions that businesses like call centre can do to reduce gas emissions while also saving money. One way is to educate themselves, their customers and their suppliers on the possible effects of future climate change. Developing and implementing an effective corporate energy management program allows companies to manage energy with the same expertise used to manage other aspects of their business. Leading businesses can provide a powerful example promoting greenhouse gas reduction strategies through corporate incentives such as financial assistance for employees who use public transportation, car-pooling and even telecommuting. Other green practices such as recycling and purchasing recycled materials also contribute to emissions reductions. Corporate policies involving employees and day-to-day operations can have a positive impact on the climate in and outside the office.

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