Business Process Outsourcing
The IT-BPM sector in the Philippines: Trends and Statistics
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. stated his plan to improve the country’s digital connectivity in his inaugural State of the Nation Address this year. Boosting digital processes is particularly beneficial to the development and efficiency of Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) in the Philippines.
The president commended the IT-BPM industry for its exceptional growth and job creation over the last four years. According to Malacañang, at least three US-based IT-BPM firms have responded to President Marcos Jr.’s call to expand their operations in the Philippines.
Unlike other industries, IT-BPM thrived during the pandemic as companies struggled to digitize and modify many operations. Continue reading to learn how the IT-BPM sector benefits the country by creating revenue and jobs, and how it remains resilient in the face of a crisis.
What is the IT-BPM Sector?
IT-BPM, or Information Technology and Business Process Management, is the management of specific work operations by third-party vendors for foreign brands, multinationals, or start-ups.
Companies frequently outsource work because outsourcing provides several advantages that help them create value and transform their businesses. Cutting costs, reinforcing global presence, focusing on performance, and maximizing profits are some benefits they gain from outsourcing. IT-BPM in the Philippines is on a promising growth trajectory. It’s the global leader in voice-based services and is constantly improving in non-voice and complex process outsourcing. The revenue and jobs that IT-BPM has generated over the years characterize it as a pillar of the Philippine economy.
The IT-BPM industry in the Philippines generated an estimated revenue of $26.7 billion in 2020, reflecting a decrease of 0.5% from the previous year. The disruptions in operations because of the global COVID-19 pandemic caused a decline in revenue. However, the industry quickly recovered over the next two years.
The Philippine IT-BPM sector has reached its 2022 target, ending 2021 with revenues amounting to 29.49 billion USD.
The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) also stated that the industry’s revenues in 2021 increased by 10.6% from the 2020 figures.
Jobs Created in the IT-BPM Sector
While many industries laid off employees to reduce costs and mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the IT-BPM sector soared in employment. IBPAP said that the number of full-time employees grew to 23,000 in 2020, increasing the total industry headcount to 1.32 million.
In 2021, IT-BPM full-time employees in the country increased by 120,000, bringing the sector’s total employment to 1.44 million—a growth of 9.1% compared to 2020.
The IT-BPM industry also contributed to job generation in the countryside through the increasing popularity of remote work. The rising demand from global customers, higher confidence in work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, and growth in eCommerce and technology helped fuel its expansion.
Effects of COVID-19 on the IT-BPM Sector
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges. However, the IT-BPM sector proved its value to the Philippine economy. The following are a few effects of the pandemic on the IT-BPM industry:
- The BPO industry fared better compared to other sectors during the pandemic
When governments imposed global lockdowns, most industries suffered. However, business process outsourcing (BPO) was one of the remaining operational sectors.
At the pandemic’s peak, many firms chose to outsource their business processes because of an increased push toward digitalization and lower operational costs. In 2021, remote work was projected to increase by 300%, and the role of the BPO industry will only grow in importance.
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is growing steadily
During the pandemic’s economic devastation, digital technologies have emerged as a critical component of economic and social resilience. It facilitated faster economic responses to the emergency by allowing businesses and governments to continue operating during lockdowns.
ICT has played a critical role in ensuring the safe relief and treatment of affected populations, emerging as a vital means of resolving pandemic-related challenges and responding to the “new normal.”
Profits at technology companies whose services saw a significant increase in demand during lockdowns reached all-time highs, far outpacing those of companies in other sectors.
- There’s an increase in the demand for BPM industry services
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked drastic changes in business operations globally. IT-BPM harnesses the power of computers and rule-based engines to provide companies with services adapted to the changing processes involved in business operations.
When Zoom became the pandemic era’s leading video conferencing platform, the U.S. firm turned to the Philippines, the world’s call center capital, for customer and operations support.
- Social distancing measures drove digital transformation
Companies worldwide used IT-BPM to keep their businesses running to prioritize employee safety during lockdowns. Social distancing measures shifted brand-consumer relationships to the virtual realm. This shift forced firms to go digital, increasing demand for remote services.
As firms adjusted to the pandemic’s restrictions, they turned to BPO solutions to handle critical business functions. eCommerce orders and financial service inquiries temporarily boosted activity for IT-BPM operators with call centers in the Philippines.
- There’s a growing demand for artificial intelligence, business automation, and cloud services
The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the demand for artificial intelligence (AI), business automation, and cloud services.
The increased clinician burnout prompted health systems to deploy AI tools to assist with time-consuming documentation tasks. With growing strains on healthcare systems and faster technological advancements, outsourcing healthcare via digital platforms has become more appealing.
As more businesses outsource, a greater demand for talent in social media management, omnichannel communication, and data-driven analytics surfaced.
Predictions and Expectations of the IT-BPM sector
Since 2010, the Philippines’ IT-BPM industry has surpassed India’s long-held position in voice-based services. It won’t be long before the Philippines overtakes all other countries as the top outsourcing nation. The IT-BPM sector has the following expectations and predictions:
- BPOs are moving away from low-cost clerical tasks and toward professional tasks
The BPO industry has diversified and evolved, with companies now carving out a niche in sectors and the types of services they provide to gain expertise. There are hundreds of BPOs, each with its own set of services that aren’t limited to call centers.
While call centers in the Philippines provide outstanding service, they’re only a subset of the BPO industry. BPOs cover many business processes, including back-office services, service management, web development, and digital marketing.
- IBPAP projects an 8-10% increase in revenues and a 7-8% increase in full-time employees by the end of 2022
Despite recent economic, health, and social challenges, the IT-BPM industry has remained an invaluable foundation of the country’s economy. The IT-BPM sector continues to demonstrate tenacity as it strives to contribute to economic growth and transform opportunities for the country.
Revenues in the IT-BPM industry were $29.5 billion in 2021, up 10.5% from $26.7 billion the previous year. In 2021, the industry employed 1.44 million people.
The Philippine IT-BPM sector will significantly impact the country in the coming years through rural employment, digitally enabled solutions, and various services.
- Over 1 million additional jobs are anticipated to be added in the IT-BPM sector by 2028
The Philippine government expects the IT-BPM sector to add 1.1 million new jobs over the next six years. Skilled employees and enhanced business processes will increase employment and attract international investors.
Collaboration between the government and telecommunication companies will help to achieve this target. The IT-BPM sector will successfully increase employment through government policies specific to IT-BPM, remote work, reliable digital infrastructure, and talent development.
International investments will further the growth of the Philippines’ IT-BPM industry. President Marcos’ working visit to the United States in September 2022 resulted in $3.9 billion in investment pledges, which can generate around 56,000 jobs in the IT-BPM sector.
- The IT-BPM sector is anticipated to grow at a rate of 10-15% per year
The IT-BPM industry will grow at 10-15% annually, the fastest rate of any local industry, as per Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual. He observed that the opportunity has grown as a byproduct of the pandemic’s increased use of digitization and online services.
The Philippines’ IT-BPM competitive language and service quality advantage explains the unending global demand for Filipino talent. Innovation, international competition, and new technologies will fuel the continued rise of the BPO industry, as outsourcing allows businesses to increase earnings while decreasing costs.
- IT-BPM sector revenues are projected to nearly double by 2028
According to the Philippine IT-BPM Industry Roadmap 2028, the industry aims for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.4% over the next six years, with annual revenues expected to reach $59 billion by 2028.
IBPAP also highlighted the importance of rebranding to emphasize the Philippines as a provider of high-value services to attract more investors.
- IBPAP hopes to increase the Philippines’ IT-BPM GDP contribution to 8.5% by 2028
Despite the pandemic, the IT-BPM industry has remained resilient in 2021, with revenue and employment increasing. It contributed 7.5% to the country’s GDP in that year.
According to Jack Madrid, President of IBPAP, the industry aims to increase its contribution to the Philippine GDP to 8.5% by 2028. Madrid believes that the Philippine IT-BPM sector is on the verge of a new and exciting era, with the future ahead of us being the brightest it has ever been.
- The DICT encourages IT-BPM employee upskilling and reskilling
The need to address the imbalance between talent supply and demand has never been greater. Beginning in 2022, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will allocate funds for employee upskilling and reskilling to support the IT-BPM industry.
DICT’s Digital Cities 2025 program has also identified 25 locations to focus on developing into new business destinations for IT-BPM operations.
IT-BPM in the Philippines Remains Competitive
Given the expected exponential growth of the IT-BPM sector in the coming years, the government’s support for this industry is meaningful. However, this expansion demands that the sector adapts to clients’ needs.
The Filipino workforce is critical to the IT-BPM sector’s rise to the economic powerhouse status it is today. With digital transformation defining future career paths, upskilling has become a priority. Collaborating with a call center in the Philippines is a wise investment because of Filipinos’ proven ability to provide global clients with an unparalleled service experience.
Contact Executive Boutique Call Center for a free quote if you’re looking for a dependable, PCI-compliant call center that can help your company boost productivity and minimize operational costs while protecting customer data.
Executive Boutique Call Center offers cost-effective services in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
How to Choose the Best eCommerce Customer Service Provider
Customer service plays a significant role in a business, especially in eCommerce. It drives sales, boosts marketing efforts, and increases customer satisfaction, resulting in business expansion. eCommerce customer service is even more critical as it supports and keeps up with the growing demands of consumers.
It’s not enough to have regular customer service in eCommerce. Your service must be exceptional because 95% of consumers believe that customer service can achieve brand loyalty.
Further statistics show that 68% of customers say they are ready to buy products and services from
companies providing excellent customer support.
Amongst millennials, 21% are willing to pay companies with good customer service. While 80% of businesses say they have excellent customer service, only 8% of customers agree. Such disparity in perception can result in a mishap for business owners.
This guide will help prevent this setback as it talks you through eCommerce customer service and how to choose the best provider.
What is eCommerce Customer Service?
ECommerce customer service covers everything to do with assisting customers, from helping them make purchase decisions to responding to their queries and concerns. A client’s shopping experience is mostly made simpler through eCommerce customer service. This service facilitates a seamless customer experience while using your platforms and channels.
Because of the rapidly growing demands and evolving trends in the industry, customer service shouldn’t be optional but a requirement to cope with changing times, meet goals, and ultimately reach success. It also helps in establishing a stellar reputation for your company.
How is eCommerce Customer Service Different from Plain Customer Service?
Traditional businesses also have customer service to assist their consumers with transactions and inquiries. However, eCommerce customer service differs in some ways. The most notable distinction is that eCommerce is entirely digital. Since this type of business is online, buyers and sellers don’t have any face-to-face interaction.
Unlike conventional industries, eCommerce explores options such as outsourcing. Companies usually need to outsource eCommerce customer service and call center training to accommodate multiple time zones and prevent lags in catering to consumer needs. In a way, eCommerce customer service is more reliable and flexible.
What to Look for in an eCommerce Customer Service Provider
It’s crucial to find the best customer service provider out there. Excellent eCommerce customer service is a game changer because of all the benefits it can offer.
ECommerce customer service can increase brand recognition through efficient telemarketing, address concerns effectively, drive conversion and sales, build brand reputation, and establish trust. It also entails conducting customer surveys, which you can use to enhance products and services.
Multiple eCommerce business process outsourcing (BPO) services are available globally. However, the following characteristics make the difference between a good eCommerce customer service provider and a great one.
1. Has organization
One of the most important traits an eCommerce customer service provider should possess is the ability to organize. A highly equipped and motivated team becomes inefficient without organization.
Staying organized means keeping track of transactions and conversations with customers. The eCommerce industry can get very hectic, especially those handling numerous consumers. Strategies such as using a shared inbox can help manage customer requests in an orderly, effective way.
2. Understands customer needs
In eCommerce, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. Customers have varying needs, and it’s up to businesses to make an effort to meet those demands and win them over. A wise way to do this is by understanding them and embracing the approach that fulfills a customer’s constantly shifting expectations and behaviors.
Adjusting to a consumer’s preferred mode of communication is one way of showing customer care. Some consumers prefer to talk over the phone, while others would rather chat through email.
3. Makes matters more convenient
A good eCommerce customer service provider should be able to develop websites or mobile applications that consumers can easily navigate through to do simple tasks. Although customers like to have some assistance, others prefer automated self-service. Those that offer the least resistance work the best as these support seamless transactions.
For instance, customers can find their way through easy-to-use mobile apps, from browsing products to choosing and purchasing what they like. It would also help to have a FAQs section to address common queries.
4. Knows how to personalize services
There’s nothing better than setting up a personalized approach for your customers. They love feeling heard and getting the extra care that eCommerce customer service can offer. One way to achieve this is by giving expert advice.
Businesses that sell products should consider being available for consultations because this can significantly boost conversion and sales. It can also make customers see that you value them, establishing trust and loyalty.
5. Offers live chat
Another excellent characteristic to look out for in eCommerce customer service is the live chat availability. Usually, this is where it pays to outsource to other countries. Since eCommerce isn’t limited to one country or time zone, it significantly helps to have this feature ready for queries 24/7.
ECommerce BPO outsourcing services can provide great support in customer care by answering client questions from your website through the live chat option. Real-time interaction with an actual person strengthens customers’ desire to buy. Response time will shorten, and as a result, sales and conversion rates are more likely to rise.
6. Uses multi-channel communication
The eCommerce industry is continuously booming, so platforms and channels are expanding. To provide exceptional customer service, you should aim to be available on as many channels as possible.
Besides your eCommerce website, there are many modes your customers would like to communicate in. These include email, SMS, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Your presence in different channels provides convenience and enhances the customer’s shopping experience.
You can serve more customers using multi-channel communication. On top of communicating with them through various platforms, you can also market to them. Hence, your marketing approach is broadened and will reach more audiences.
7. Supports customer reviews
Customer satisfaction should be a business’s primary goal. To achieve this, it sometimes takes asking for their feedback. You can gain insights through survey forms and product reviews. Although some businesses fear seeing negative comments, any and all feedback is powerful because it can help you improve business operations.
ECommerce customer service providers who can harness the weight of customer reviews can do wonders for boosting client satisfaction while advancing your business.
How to Choose the Best eCommerce Customer Service Provider
Now that you know what characteristics to search for in an eCommerce customer service provider, it’s time to learn how to choose the best one for your company.
Find a provider that meets your requirements
You’ll have specific needs depending on what your business sells and how you run it. Some eCommerce software requirements range from technical and functional to general and administrative.
For example, an eCommerce business in the clothing industry may focus on functional requirements such as web store features, marketing and promotions, customer service, and design and development. These elements are typically essentials for the nature of business.
The best service provider you can get is the one with the experience and expertise. They should be knowledgeable about your sector or industry, including the selling processes, internal structures, and other important know-how.
Choose a company that provides reasonable costs
The cost is always crucial. A wide range of pricing structures is available for eCommerce solutions. Some online retailers charge fixed subscription fees, while others charge separately for hosting partners, support, connector, and license fees.
While some eCommerce customer service providers might appear to have the most affordable rates, they might be more expensive overall. Be on the lookout for hidden fees and ask for a clear overview of everything you’ll be paying for.
Research the eCommerce provider’s track record
Many service providers aren’t legitimate, their sole purpose being to scam companies for money. To avoid this, allot some time to investigate your chosen eCommerce customer service provider. Ensuring they have a clean and outstanding record secures your company and its future.
Consider if the solutions are compatible with your current tech stack
Consider how your prospect solutions might integrate with your existing IT setup and technology stack. System silos that require more resources, maintenance, and room for error should be avoided, as these might only lead to more expenses due to fixes or adjustments.
For instance, your eCommerce website and other business processes are powered and run through cloud technology. Would your eCommerce customer service provider be able to integrate into your platform seamlessly? Or would there be some issues along the way? These are some questions you need to consider.
Check how quickly they can act
For most businesses, time is of the essence, especially when dealing with customers. It’s important to inspect how quickly your chosen eCommerce customer service provider can offer solutions.
Select a provider you can partner with
Choosing a service provider that fits well with your company is more important than it seems. Besides the good experience and skill sets, the best people to collaborate with are those who share or complement your company’s culture, professionalism, and organizational methods. Doing so will result in more effective and efficient teamwork.
Finding an eCommerce customer service provider that matches your company is even more critical as they are the ones representing your brand and dealing with consumers.
For example, hiring service providers who are passionate about lifestyle and health would be great for health-related businesses. They’ll not only be enthusiastic in their job but will be able to embody the company as well.
Weigh their support capabilities
Companies usually have other needs besides the services they’re looking to hire, and these needs vary depending on the nature of the business. Your chosen service provider should be able to meet your support and servicing requirements to guarantee the success of your eCommerce operations.
For customer care concerns, for instance, it’s important to find out if their availability is limited to a specific region only or if it’s worldwide. Ask other questions, like how long it takes them to respond to calls and emails or whether they offer education or provide expert advice to customers.
Use a structured RFP
A request for proposal (RFP) is one of the easiest things you can work on to help you choose the best eCommerce customer service provider for you. Make it in a detailed format, enlisting all requirements, questions, and particulars. Doing so makes it easier to compare your top choices since the information is itemized.
Choosing the Best for Your Customers
There are many factors to consider when selecting the ideal eCommerce customer service provider for your company. Still, it would be best if you narrowed down your options to choose the one with characteristics that meet your standards and culture.
Any eCommerce business has the chance to be successful since such industries have become popular over the years. However, standing out would need an eCommerce business to have excellent customer service.
Outsourcing certainly broadens the talent pool and selection for companies. If you’re interested in a call center in the Philippines, you can check out Executive Boutique Call Center. We provide inbound and outbound call center solutions, customer service outsourcing, and BPO. Contact us for your inquiries.
2022 Call Center Training Guide: Key to the Best Customer Experience
Call centers, just like other industries, require well-trained employees.
It’s a must for newly hired employees to be provided with adequate training given the skills they’re required to master. If managers skip new employee training, it can lead to them repeating mistakes, which can be detrimental to their growth and the company’s progression and reputation.
By undergoing thorough training and proper management, call center agents can render excellent services to clients. It also means building good chemistry with their team and the people they’ll work with.
Essential Call Center Agent Skills
Working for a call center entails being consistently sharp and having the flexibility to widen skill sets. Here are seven essential call center agent skills to master during training:
1. Having consistent organizational skills
In any field of work, organizational skills allow employees to plot out daily tasks with ease and structure. They can develop greater attention to detail when working on projects, enabling them to produce high-quality work outputs.
The life of a call center agent can be hectic. Whether handling multiple customers or dealing with ineffective team members, multitasking is an inevitable part of the job. Forming consistent organizational skills is key to managing the workload well.
The littlest things matter in the long run. From tracking down all customer requests and issues to finding solutions to time management, these skills are vital to how effectively your employees can handle the daily pressures of being a call center agent.
2. Practicing empathy with others
It pays to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Understanding their wants and needs can help strengthen your relationships with them, which, over time, creates more trust and confidence. However, some customers can be difficult to deal with due to unreasonable demands or impatience.
Responding angrily to irritated customers won’t alleviate the tension in these situations. Although it can be hard to avoid giving in to personal feelings, reminding your employees to continue exercising patience and empathy is the best way to minimize friction and get to the root of your customer’s problems.
Your job is to understand what’s bothering your customers and provide recommendations to solve them and eliminate their frustrations. Using intuition is another good way to deal with troubled customers, which can help anticipate potential problems.
3. Sharpening communication skills
Sharp communication skills are a major component of a call center agent. Your employees will be tasked to deal with multiple customers daily and note various inquiries.
Communicating effectively with customers doesn’t just involve practicing empathy. It also means knowing how to relay information most clearly and effectively as possible. Moreover, part of having sharp communication skills is maintaining a clear line of communication with your customers, even though they can be unclear.
4. Being a collaborative member
As they say, teamwork makes the dream work. An effective call center agent works well with teammates.
Your employees can’t handle all the work alone, nor can their teammates. Through being a collaborative member, good character isn’t just demonstrated; they also have to prove they’re a reliable team player and are willing to assist when needed.
5. Developing strong problem-solving skills
Regardless of your role in a call center (e.g., customer support team member, salesperson), problem-solving skills should be part of your arsenal. One of your primary responsibilities is finding solutions that immediately address the customer’s problems or concerns.
For a sales agent, determining the customer’s needs and problems is the first step. From there, your employees also need to find out which of your products best solves your customer’s issues, and persuade the customer to study and purchase those recommended products.
For a support agent, problem-solving applies but goes beyond merely addressing your customer’s problems. Functioning as a support agent requires the appropriate skills to deal with angry or difficult customers and properly diffuse tension if the situation escalates.
6. Working at the right speed
Call centers in the Philippines constantly receive calls from customers. With the number of people calling by the hour, it’s critical to be punctual in answering and addressing as many concerns as possible. The longer agents take to handle one customer, the higher your risk of angering customers and causing them to avoid contacting you in the future.
The last thing you’d want to receive are complaints from customers about how slow and inefficient your call center is, which is why it’s crucial to work at the right speed, as this affects both customer satisfaction and your call center’s cost efficiency.
7. Knowing your products and services by heart
Technical and soft skills aren’t the only things your employees need to master as call center agents. Whether their focus is on sales or providing customer support, employees must know all the products and services by heart, as their knowledge determines how well they can persuade your customers to purchase them.
From product types to service fees, your employees should be able to answer questions about these in detail, especially if the questions are frequently asked. As for complicated queries, by dividing information into your products and services among other call center agents, you’ll get an effective strategy for handling difficult customer concerns to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Best Practices for Call Center Training
Onboarding can be tedious and nerve-wracking for newly hired employees, followed by an adjustment period. To make onboarding a productive and smooth process, consider creating a set of training guidelines for them to follow.
As a business owner, you should have a set of training guidelines that clarifies all the work processes your newly hired employees must be familiar with. These guidelines are also meant to walk employees through how to form positive experiences for customers when engaging with them.
Here are nine call center training practices you should implement:
1. Acquaint all staff with the business
Working at a call center isn’t just about ensuring that new employees master their assigned roles. Your employees also represent your call center, so you must make it a point for them to understand how your company works in terms of business and operations.
They also should be informed about your core values, mission and vision, company culture, and business goals. Your agents would then be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to handle customers in a way that aligns well with your company’s values.
2. Explore the implementations of customized training
No one thinks the same. Adjusting to how each new employee learns and processes information is critical to their becoming familiar with their roles in the most effective way possible.
Knowing the approaches to take determines how well your newly onboarded employees will progress throughout their training and careers. Do they learn better through video training? Are they more comfortable holding one-on-one sessions?
3. Incorporate video training
Video training is an engaging way to educate new employees. Videos allow them to learn about your company’s work processes and their roles at their own pace, plus they can review their lessons as much as they need to since this video training is easily accessible.
4. Train agents to establish customer relationships
One way to measure how new employees perform is by monitoring how they develop customer relationships. Before that, they must be trained to understand various aspects of establishing customer relationships, such as customer lifetime value, the effects of negative interactions with them, retention, loyalty, and many more.
Acquiring a good grasp on these aspects can help your newly onboarded employees improve their listening skills and achieve consistent customer satisfaction.
5. Teach your agents about call center etiquette excellence
Knowing what to say and what not to say to customers is critical in forming healthy and positive relationships with them. You can teach call center etiquette guidelines through customized training or a mentor-mentee relationship with a more experienced call center agent.
The more new employees are taught, the better their understanding of dealing with all types of customers in various situations.
6. Teach your agents about call handling best practices
When training new employees in call handling best practices, you should provide clear examples of appropriate greetings and transfer techniques during customer conversations. That way, they’re given a specific format to follow from the beginning to the end of customer calls.
To better understand how these calls are handled, it would be a good idea to make them listen to recordings of previous calls that they can analyze and learn from. Doing this also helps them become more prepared to handle a wide range of calls and callers.
7. Hold individual call center training sessions with your agents
It takes time for new employees to become fully familiar with and proficient in their roles. Holding individual training sessions with them can give you an idea of their learning gaps and other areas they need to improve.
It’s also helpful to know how much your onboarded employees have learned about their roles, such as the products and services they need to promote, their complexity, training protocols, and management strategies.
8. Emphasize practical call center agent training
The best way to learn is through experience. Adopting job shadowing and role-playing practices are good ways to help new employees get settled and develop their skills.
9. Evaluate their progress
Evaluate how far your new employees have come since their first day. Assessing what’s working and isn’t working should motivate them to adjust their approach.
Another way to assist new employees in improving their performance is to provide them with extra tools that can give them direction in refining their approach and overall interactions with callers.
Enhancing Your Call Center Training for Better Customer Experiences
Call centers can be overwhelming places to be in. Companies need to provide free training for their call centers that includes the latest training trends for newly hired employees to follow. Doing this can help them learn efficiently and master their skills well.
Interested in learning more about call center training? Contact Executive Boutique Call Center for more information.
A Guide to Discovery Calls: How to Successfully Close a Deal
When in business, nothing feels better than successfully closing a deal after a long call. But more often than not, doing this can be challenging for many entrepreneurs. Between negotiating, finding common ground, and figuring out fair compensation, everyone has their own style of handling these experiences.
If you face many challenges in closing your deals during a call, you might be doing something wrong. Learn more about how you can turn your situation around by becoming an expert in discovery calls through the infographic below.
What Are Discovery Calls?
After you connect with a prospect, your first call will be considered the discovery call. During this time, you can ask your potential customer a few questions to get to know them and their needs concerning your product or service.
For example, a potential client may contact you about your service. To ensure that your brand matches their needs and goals, you’ll need to know more details about what they expect from you and if they can get the desired results.
A Guide to Discovery Calls: How to Successfully Close a Deal
1. Uncover your prospect’s problems
To ensure that you give your customer the best service, talk more in-depth about the issues they’re facing. It can include the cause of the problem, how often it reoccurs, and their main concerns.
2. Ask the right questions
Focus on the current issue and avoid stretching the conversation to other topics. The right questions will always revolve around the center of the problem or make their way towards it.
3. Stay conversational
Keeping the tone conversational can help your customers feel more relaxed and answer better. Rather than pressuring them to leak information, make them feel they can trust you with the information they give you.
4. Maintain the ideal talk-to-listen ratio
Getting interrupted constantly can ruin the flow of the conversation and make your clients feel like they can’t fully express themselves. It can cause them to hold out on valuable details of their problem, which can be harder to solve.
5. Subtly add a small value
Suggesting small recommendations to your clients can give them simple ways of remedying the issue. It can be helpful to them while being careful not to overwhelm them with multiple options.
6. Repeat a few important factors
Reiterating key phrases from the conversation helps make your client feel they’re being paid attention to. These phrases should be major contributors to the idea discussed.
7. Always clarify your understanding
Assumptions won’t lead you anywhere. Rather than ending the conversation after your client explains their end, keep asking questions to get a full idea of the situation.
8. Use assumptive selling tactics
After a great conversation with your client, create further exchanges as if they’re already buying your offer. The key is to be assertive enough to convince them, yet not too pushy that it can lead them away.
9. Provide a synopsis
Summaries help both parties fully realize if you’re on the same page or not. Give a quick rundown of each major factor in your discussion, from the cause and known issues to the proposed solutions.
How to Set the Stage during Discovery Calls?
Before the Call:
- Research about the company
Get to know your prospect’s business in every aspect imaginable. Take a deeper look into their values and goals and see how their problems affect those checkpoints. It’ll help you better understand their needs and provide a solution to meet them.
- Have solid product knowledge
Before you can help anyone else, you need to establish yourself as an expert in what you do. It starts with understanding the ins and outs of your products to see if they can be a compatible solution for your clients.
- Prepare discovery call questions
Always have your questions ready before you initiate a call with your prospects. It’ll give you enough time to determine if your queries are suitable for the client or not.
- Qualify the prospect
Since your resources are limited, they won’t always be compatible with your clients. To ensure that you can effectively help them with their issues, you must determine if they qualify for your services.
- Set a time and date convenient for both parties
Find out when it’s convenient for both parties to have a lengthy conversation about your client’s issues. It’ll give you enough time to prepare as you establish a goal and agenda.
During the Call:
- Ask more about the company
You’ll clearly understand your client’s goals and values by getting them to elaborate more about what they do. It’ll help you get to know both the business and the client, which is essential for establishing a good relationship
- Know who you’re talking to
Understanding someone is easier when you have a one-on-one conversation. Ask about the client’s position in the company and what they do. While you can always do your research, you can unlock more details when you lead the discussion.
- Ask about the problems encountered by the company
Discuss the concerns in detail and why it’s an issue for your client. It can help you empathize and better understand the problem.
- Know what solutions they’ve tried
Being given the same advice repeatedly can be tedious and frustrating. Avoid making your clients go through this and ask for solutions they’ve already tried before you suggest new ones.
- Move the deal forward
Once all the final details have been established, encourage your client to move the deal forward and check if everything is acceptable. It’ll help prevent major revisions to the plan and save both parties more time.
Qualifying vs. Disqualifying Questions during Discovery Calls
Qualifying and disqualifying questions both have a purpose during the discovery call.
Qualifying questions help uncover the needs and challenges of your client, telling you which of your products can apply to the situation most. Asking these questions is also necessary since it’s the first part of the sales qualification process.
Here are some examples of qualifying questions:
- What are your goals?
- What are the problems you’re trying to solve?
- What’s the source of these problems?
- What’s your priority today?
- How do you envision a successful outcome?
- What’s keeping you from addressing these problems?
While qualifying questions help you understand your client and their needs, disqualifying questions eliminate other factors that may not be as important. These usually consist of deadlines, budgets, limitations, and many more details.
Here are some examples of disqualifying questions:
- What are the roadblocks to implementing the plan?
- Whose budget does the funding come from?
- What’s your timeline for implementation?
- What’s the approximate budget?
- Is the budget provider an “exclusive sponsor”?
- Are you flexible with other solutions?
Nail the Landing: Tips and Reminders on Closing a Deal
As a business owner, the goal is to help your clients get what they need according to the set expectations. But sometimes, doing this can be easier said than done, especially when you don’t know how to properly close a deal with a difficult caller.
Approaching every prospect should be done with caution and careful consideration. Learn how to polish your discovery call approach with the right call center outsourcing service. Reach out to Executive Boutique Call Center to learn more today.
Data Privacy in Call Centers: An In-Depth Look Into HIPAA
The health sector faces a bulk of work daily as the demand for quality healthcare continues to increase. Even as the world is slowly returning to a pre-pandemic state, their services are needed now more than ever.
With that in mind, major industry partners and multiple other sectors look to business process outsourcing (BPO) services to manage this growing public interest.
Since the healthcare industry deals with highly confidential information, outsourced partners should always be aware of how they can comply with data protection regulations. This involves getting familiar with a national standard called Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA.
To guarantee that your call center is HIPAA-compliant, use the infographic below to learn about HIPAA protocols.
What is HIPAA?
Signed by the former U.S president Bill Clinton, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law established in 1996. The U.S. government set it in place to ensure that there would be a regulated national standard in how healthcare institutions in the country safeguard patient health information.
Unless the laws of the involved state are classified as more stringent than HIPAA, this act can override other legislations involving the safety of a patient’s medical information. Through this, medical facilities can’t disclose private information regarding your medical accounts without your prior knowledge or consent.
In terms of its use, medical institutions can efficiently cut costs on healthcare by having a standardized electronic system that manages financial information and administrative transactions. Also, this allows workers to gain continuous health insurance coverage if they lose their job or source of income.
What is HIPAA Compliance?
The HIPAA provides a standardized ruling for sensitive patient data protection. All related industries dealing with protected health information (PHI) must comply with established rules and procedures. Covered entities specifically include:
- Healthcare providers
- Health plans
- Healthcare clearinghouses
- Business associates
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stresses the importance of HIPAA compliance as more healthcare facilities begin to adopt computerized operations.
Physical and technical safeguards are required for all parties that will host sensitive patient data to help organizations follow these protocols. These can include audit reports, tracking logs, and limited facility access.
HIPAA Compliance Requirements Essential for Call Centers
Some requirements for healthcare facilities and business associates may differ since they can have varying uses for sensitive patient information. Because many health organizations are extending their operations to outsourcing partners, call centers must comply with these established standards.
If you’re looking to partner with one for your operations, here are a few factors you’ll need to keep in mind:
- Privacy rule
The HIPAA privacy rule limits how related healthcare organizations can use and disclose PHI without the prior consent or knowledge of the corresponding patient. It also allows individuals to easily get a copy of their health records and gain the right to use and correct their information as needed.
- Security rule
The HIPAA security rule compliance covers electronic PHI, thus mandating technical and physical safeguards. It would be best if you also protected physical devices to avoid the risks of theft and unauthorized access to healthcare information and other related records. Call centers must limit access and audit controls to designated workers.
- Business associate agreement
Business associates are any person or entity that performs functions and activities on behalf of the covered entity. Through this contract, outsourced call centers mustn’t disclose information beyond what’s permitted in the agreement. Additionally, they must report any data breaches or cyber fraud incidents as soon as it occurs.
Important Practices for a HIPAA-Compliant Call Center
Partnering with a HIPAA-certified call center can help ensure that your patients’ data and other sensitive information will remain safe and secure. To do this, you’ll need to establish proper protocols to guarantee your business will make no violations.
Below are a few major practices worth taking note of:
- Enforce data encryption
Data entry encryption allows you to protect private data by enhancing the security of your networks. If an unauthorized person accesses your data, the encryption will prevent them from easily gaining valuable information from your system.
- Secure messaging solutions
In a call center, a dedicated team should regularly check apps, software, and servers for any vulnerabilities that may allow cybercriminals to sneak through daily operations. Customers should also be reminded to avoid connecting to unsecured networks that may increase their risk of cybersecurity issues and other online threats.
- Conduct regular HIPAA training and refreshers
While the HIPAA was established to provide a standardized approach to data security, changes to these protocols can still change over time. Using a call center vendor with updated training methods is best to keep your business HIPAA-compliant.
- Limit access to patient data
Avoid allowing general workers full access to the database to ensure the security of your network. Limit these to higher-ups and assign dedicated accounts to easily track who goes in and out of your system.
- Report data leaks and breaches immediately
Whether intentional or otherwise, data breaches can happen at any time. Because of this, your partner call center should always monitor any abnormalities and report them immediately to mitigate risks.
- Create detailed internal practices
An internal process lets you know what’s going on with your system and complies with regulations more efficiently. It also gives you better control over your operations, despite working with third-party vendors, as your operations will follow standard practices daily.
- Safeguard PHI
Utmost care should always be observed when handling and transporting PHI to any medium. To avoid accidentally leaking any private data, ensure that it isn’t connected to any distribution systems, auto-forwarding marks, or portable devices within the call center.
Success and Security through HIPAA Compliance
The healthcare industry provides equal access to quality healthcare and social health protection. Now that the world is slowly moving towards a pre-pandemic state, the demand for healthcare services continues to grow.
But without the proper protocols or strategies, data management in the healthcare sector can easily become hectic as factors like security breaches and data theft are added to the equation.
To prevent data theft and efficiently control how PHI is used within operations, becoming HIPAA compliant is a must for both covered entities and business associates. It would help if you considered a HIPAA-certified call center partner like Executive Boutique Call Center to avoid legal complications and other conflicts.
A HIPAA-compliant partner will help you build your credibility in the market and ensure progressive growth towards management and control over your network.
Get in touch with our team of experts today to learn more!
9 Essential Tasks to Outsource for Your Ecommerce Business
As the world continues to depend on technology for everyday needs, the ecommerce industry has shown significant growth over the years. Global online sales increased more than 24% as consumers shifted their spending to digital sources in 2020. These numbers are mostly due to the pandemic as everyone was forced to stay indoors, limiting physical and social contact.
This gave businesses a chance to transition into the ecommerce space and gain certain advantages in their respective fields. While some could adapt quickly, others had to take on unfamiliar strategies to stay ahead of the competition. Plus, with consumer demands rapidly changing, many businesses were overwhelmed with more tasks than they could handle.
When managing your ecommerce business, it’s important to have a checklist of essentials for a seamless operation. But if you aren’t sure about those, this article can help give you a better idea of the kind of tasks you can outsource to a reliable team. Let the infographic below guide you toward the best decision for your business.
9 Essential Tasks to Outsource for Your Ecommerce Business
These days, outsourcing makes it possible for businesses across industries to relay tasks without needing to recruit in-house talents. For ecommerce, multiple functions need to be fulfilled to ensure smooth and consistent operations per customer order. With a team of experts, you can manage your company better by outsourcing these essential tasks:
- Website development
Website developers ensure that your ecommerce site runs smoothly and allows users to access the needed information when they’re about to make a purchase. This is important as 42% of visitors will likely leave your site if it has poor functionality.
- Product listing and optimization
This task focuses on creating and improving a catalog of items to be sold on your ecommerce store. On each listing, there should be a product description, creative copy, and a list of other related information on each product in your shop. It’ll help your customers better understand your offerings and how they work.
- Inventory management
Inventory management allows your team to keep track of how many products you have left in stock at any time. While monitoring purchases is tedious work, it’s important because it ensures the availability of items that customers are looking to purchase.
Outsourcing inventory management tasks can help you analyze which goods sell best at which time so that you can meet demands better.
- Customer service
Outsourcing your customer service allows your ecommerce business to create better relationships with your patrons. It includes answering inquiries, collecting feedback, and providing basic assistance to customers and prospects, whether they’re difficult callers or otherwise.
Partnering with experts in this field is important, as studies show that 93% of customers are more likely to stay loyal to your brand if you provide great customer service.
- Order processing and fulfillment
This process involves the delivery of goods and services to your customers based on the data recorded on your system. In this step, your outsourced ecommerce team takes care of picking, packaging, and shipping out goods to your customers.
For order processing and fulfillment, you must select the right outsourced company to work with because this is one of the most crucial ecommerce tasks on the list.
- Graphic design and video
Research proves that around 90% of information that people absorb is visual. You must create good graphics and videos to retain current customers and attract new ones. Opting to outsource professional creative work helps your customers and prospects positively associate and remember your business in today’s digital market.
- Social media marketing
Promoting your ecommerce business through platforms like Facebook or Instagram can make it more convenient for your audiences to look at your products. Social media marketing strategies include posting helpful content in blogs or vlogs, running online campaigns, and offering subscriptions.
- Product sourcing
Before your business can sell anything, you must find ways to gain stocks, materials, and equipment to create your product. By assigning this task to an outsourced team, you’ll have one less thing to worry about. You’ll get help finding the necessary resources and equipment to produce your merchandise.
- Accounting and bookkeeping
Accounting and bookkeeping outsource experts keep you briefed on your income and expenditures and provide the information you need to make good business decisions. They also help ensure that your business’s financial health remains safe.
Benefits of Outsourcing Ecommerce Tasks for Your Business
Outsourcing select tasks in your ecommerce business can help ease your load and open opportunities to learn from other experts. For many brands, it’s also a good way to improve overall operations by gaining the following benefits:
- Reduced operational costs
Outsourcing ecommerce tasks can be a good alternative to help your company save on overhead costs, particularly on in-house resources. Generally, these teams are already equipped with their own tools to perform specific tasks you assign them. There’s also no need to provide other requirements, such as employee benefits and training.
- Improved efficiency
Having a team of experts manage your other ecommerce tasks can help streamline your operations and improve your productivity. It allows you and your in-house employees to focus more on core responsibilities to scale the business forward.
- More flexible hiring processes
Outsourced teams can be hired on flexible terms depending on your requirements. If you only need help during peak season, you don’t have to commit to a full-time partnership.
- Retained competitive advantage
Many outsourced workers have the necessary skills and knowledge about a particular field that your company may not be equipped with yet. Utilizing this can help you stay updated with trends and gain new insights to help you compete in the market.
- Boosted overall profits
Outsourcing different ecommerce tasks can improve your standard operations and help your team focus on closing sales better. When aligned with other strategies, your business can be sure to retain customers and gain a loyal following.
- Quick kickstart to other projects
With other duties out of the way, your business can work towards its goals faster while allowing you to develop and discover new ways to expand your brand. It’ll enable you to do more while consistently improving your business operations.
Boost Your Business through Outsourcing
Managing an ecommerce business can be challenging, especially for those unfamiliar with the digital landscape. As such, getting off on the right foot within the industry is important, and you can do this by ensuring you have the right people on your team.
While recruiting in-house workers can help your operations gain more structure, outsourcing is another option that can help you get your name out more quickly in the ecommerce market. Not only can outsourcing help you save on your business resources, but outsourced teams can also give you the expertise you need to stay updated in the ever-changing world of ecommerce.
Ready to partner with an outsourcing company? Check out Executive Boutique Call Center! We are an American and Australian-owned call center outsourcing service and business process outsourcing provider in the Philippines that can handle your ecommerce business’s needs and more!
Learn more about how we can help elevate your operations. Contact us today!
5 Cybersecurity Threats for Call Centers and How to Solve Them
The emergence of the pandemic led many industries to face a lot of new challenges, such as the sudden shift to remote work setups and the rise of cybercrime.
Data security is a serious concern for everyone. Online fraudsters are becoming more aggressive with their approaches now that sensitive data is mostly stored online. To make matters worse, many businesses aren’t equipped with the right tools, and most employees lack the essential knowledge to identify and prevent cyberattacks.
Around 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error, like opening an email with malware and clicking on suspicious links on a random website. Hence, more organizations are making cybersecurity a higher priority to keep their employees and customers safe.
Cybersecurity should be of utmost importance in the call center industry since employees deal with personal and sensitive data daily. Cybersecurity threats can come in from any angle, so it’s important to know how to deal with them immediately.
Read on for tips on cybersecurity that you can apply to a call center setting.
What is a cybersecurity threat?
Cybersecurity threats classify as any action that exploits vulnerabilities in a system. It aims to steal, damage, or disrupt information. These attacks typically use elements like computer viruses, data breaches, and other attack vectors to access a company’s network.
Cybercriminals, also called bad actors, usually launch their attacks from remote locations through unknown parties or unsafe software. But, it’s also possible for them to physically breach your site and gain access to your network from your devices.
Major Impacts of Cybersecurity Threats
Any threats to your security can mean potential dangers for your company and customers. Here are some consequences you may face from a cybersecurity threat.
- Reputational costs
Service providers like call centers should protect their client’s information and provide good customer support. However, cybersecurity issues resulting in a massive data breach can automatically ruin your image. If customers know their information isn’t safe with you, they’ll reconsider their options and move to your competitors.
- Financial losses
Data breaches can imply significant financial losses. Cybercriminals can steal information that grants them access to financial resources and other information they can sell.
- Regulatory fines
If you can’t prove that you can protect personal data, your business may experience more cybersecurity threats. Not meeting the minimum regulatory compliance can result in more fines and other consequences.
- Operational disruptions
Your company may take more time to recover from large-scale cyberattacks. These threats can put your operations on hold while establishing the necessary security protocols to keep your system safe again.
5 Cybersecurity Threats Common in Call Centers
As technology continues to develop, fraudsters are coming up with new ways to steal your data. Some of the methods you may face can include the following:
- Denial-of-service attacks (DoS)
DoS attacks happen when a cybercriminal directs traffic to your network and causes it to crash and shut down. Without strong network security in place, this can prevent you and your customers from accessing your system and getting the resources you need.
- Data breaches
Malware attacks or hacking attempts cause data breaches that aim to expose or steal personal or sensitive information. While most cases have malicious intent, some can happen unintentionally, like when an employee neglectfully reveals important data.
- Threats to physical security
A cybercriminal can also access your network by stealing your devices and logging in through your accounts. If your physical workplace doesn’t have any security measures, such as guards, biometric entry systems, or CCTV cameras, it may be easier to get what they want.
- Identity theft
Data is the most valuable resource in the world today. Cybercriminals use strategies to pose as customers and steal information from call center databases. The reverse can also happen when fraudsters make sales calls to your customers and pretend to be from your company to fetch valuable information.
- Social engineering attacks
Social engineering attacks focus on elevating your sense of urgency by manipulating the situation. These can include pretexting, persuasive speech, and phishing schemes where bad actors psychologically control you to take action quickly without giving you time to assess the problem at hand.
Best Practices for Strong Call Center Cybersecurity
Keep cybercriminals at bay by establishing strong cybersecurity protocols in your organization for on-site workers and remote employees. Here are some call center security best practices you can try.
- Improve physical security
Invest in options that make your physical branch safer, such as installing CCTV cameras and hiring trained guards. You can also optimize your entrance doors with security passcodes and biometrics systems and set up passwords for employees’ work devices.
- Implement role-based access
Limit access to certain points in your network to team leads and trusted employees. This practice will help control the traffic in your system and make it easier to trace different activities, whether the person is reporting on-site or remotely.
- Update software regularly
Software support with regular updates often includes security fixes that make your system harder for bad actors to penetrate. These upgrades can boost app performance and remove outdated features that hinder your operations.
- Invest in staff training
Teaching your staff how to spot abnormalities in your system and suspicious activities can keep your network safe. With proper training, they can perform tasks with more caution and avoid making basic mistakes like clicking on unsafe links.
- Use authentication and authorization systems
Authentication systems use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to ensure that only legitimate users with the right credentials can access your network. You can also combine these systems with other protocols like two-factor authentication to challenge cybercriminals in accessing your data.
- Maintain regulatory compliance
Legal compliance with regulations such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other data privacy laws should always be one of your priorities. Doing so saves your business’s resources and reputation, as well as proves that your company can uphold customer data protection.
- Test your security
Perform regular vulnerability assessment tests on your network to secure any holes that cybercriminals can exploit. This practice will help reassure you and your customers that your portals are safe and protected with the best cybersecurity protocols against cyberattacks.
- Make use of the cloud
When a cybercriminal breaches your network, it may take a while to recover and return to normal operations. If you migrate to cloud-based services, you can immediately shut down your processes to avoid more damage and restore your network faster. Opting for cloud solutions mitigates any operational disruptions, eliminating further losses.
- Use the right tools
Utilizing the right tools (like encryption applications, firewalls, and antivirus software) in your daily operations can help you establish good cybersecurity. The integrated tools can simplify your processes and expand your company’s capabilities beyond network security.
Rest Easy with the Right Cybersecurity Solutions
While remote work setups are growing popular in different industries, challenges like cybersecurity threats are becoming more rampant. Fraudsters are getting bolder with their approaches. This leaves your system and employees vulnerable to attacks, especially when they’re home without the right tools to protect them.
While you can always train your workers to spot abnormalities in your system, partnering with a firm with a better cybersecurity protocol may be a stronger way to keep your business safe. If you’re looking for a call center outsourcing group that can make your cybersecurity their top priority, then Executive Boutique Call Center is for you!
Reach out to our team of experts today to learn more about our services.
8 Must-Try Team Engagement Activities for Your Remote Team
Employee engagement is one of the tell-tale signs of employee satisfaction. Typically, it isn’t easy to do, as each team member comes from different background. To add to that, most of us work in a remote work setup today wherein we get to have little to no social interaction with our co-workers.
With this type of setup growing 173% since 2005, remote working has only contributed to this difficulty for management. As such, workers of all ranks and roles need a regular boost to feel motivated and feel a sense of belonging in the company, especially those who have yet to get used to a remote work setting.
However, workers aren’t the only ones who benefit from team engagement—businesses thrive with engaged and motivated employees.
Companies that emphasize team engagement found a 21% higher profitability and healthier employees. If you’re searching for ways to build or improve your team engagement initiatives, this article can provide you with a list of activities that can help you with that boost. Read on to learn more.
What is Team Engagement?
Team engagement, sometimes called employee engagement, is an act or process of making employees feel contented and loyal to their workplace. When companies started mandating the remote work setup due to the COVID-19 outbreak, team members became individuals in an isolated space in their homes.
Team engagement activities address the communication gap and low morale issues. These activities allow employees to feel appreciated and decompress as they participate in collaborative activities designed to boost team morale.
However, measuring team engagement in your workplace can be difficult, as it can widely differ from member to member. The best way to gauge all your employees’ engagement levels is by asking about their concerns on workload or passion levels, listening and responding to their feedback, and helping them get back in step with the company.
Why is Team Engagement Important?
- It boosts workplace productivity
Team engagement helps improve the productivity of employees. According to a Gallup report, engaged team members are 17% more productive than disengaged employees. With the management’s efforts to keep them included and involved, their enthusiasm to work increases, thus, making them more motivated.
In a workplace, managers need to get creative so that employees remain spirited. Creating challenges can help others stay diligent in performing their duties better. Remember to prioritize feedback and constructive criticism to develop new ideas and solutions to increase team productivity.
- It improves employee retention
According to Forbes, engagement is a symptom of success. Employees who feel good about their contribution are more likely to be happy to report to work daily because they feel their inputs are valued. The feeling of accomplishment comes in acknowledgment, making them want to stay.
In a Glassdoor study, four in five employees say they’re motivated to work when they’re appreciated. A culture of appreciation shows your employees that they provide value to the company, which improves retention rates.
- It enhances company culture
Company culture determines the how and why of a company. This can reflect your business’s environment, behaviors, values, and even language. According to a Columbia University study, the likelihood of a job turnover is considerably lower with high company culture (13.9%) than with low company culture (48.4%)
Engaged employees are one with the company in improving their culture just from their mindsets. These conditions give a contagious feeling to other employees, exemplifying a culture of engaged employees.
- It increases customer satisfaction
Richard Branson, the founder of The Virgin Group, says, “Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business.”
Engaged employees are fully attached to their work, which means they will go above and beyond their spheres of responsibility. Engaged and properly compensated employees will go the extra mile to resolve clients’ problems by working effectively and efficiently to deliver on time.
- It improves an employee’s home life
When employees are satisfied with what they do for a living, they’re more productive on the clock, giving them one less thing to stress about when it’s time to go home and call it a day at work.
Effective team engagement means fewer complaints about co-workers or company rules. When workplace issues are not brought up after hours, your employees will have a happier life at home.
In fact, according to a Kansas State Study co-researcher, Satoris Culbertson, “Individuals who were engaged in positive experiences at work and who shared those experiences with significant others perceived themselves as better able to deal with issues at home, became better companions, and became more effective overall in the home environment,”
8 Team Engagement Ideas Perfect for Remote Teams
- Organize regular check ins
Remote working can be unmotivating for some of your employees. Not everyone can sit eight hours a day without human interaction. As an employer, it’s essential to keep your remote workers in the loop on projects, team progress, and company news.
Moreover, it’s essential to check in with them on their current health or simply catch up to show that you’re concerned and want to see how they’re doing in a remote setup.
When remote workers are included in the conversation, they will feel more connected and engaged in their work. Check with your remote staff regularly so that everyone has an opportunity to touch base and have a pulse on the firm.
- Recognize and celebrate wins
Remote working doesn’t mean you should disregard your employees’ wins. If anything, this is the perfect time to celebrate your team’s wins, no matter how big or small. Since you’re not in the office to personally thank them or take them out to lunch for their milestones, find ways you can do so.
Recognition can range from a quick call with your team and commending them for their efforts or going as far as ordering take-outs for everyone in a team lunch. Though small and simple, these gestures will greatly help boost your team’s morale.
- Encourage feedback sharing
No matter the work setting, feedback is extremely important. Workplaces should cultivate an open-feedback environment because this is an effective communication tool that can help businesses succeed and thrive.
The feedback helps employers learn more about their teammates, including their strengths and weaknesses, behaviors, and decision-making patterns that directly affect others. Furthermore, effective two-way communication increases both employer and employee self-awareness and encourages personal development.
- Host virtual game nights
The way game nights are conducted significantly changed over the years. With remote teams, it’s difficult to play the classic games we know, but technology has found a way to allow team members to decompress from the stressful week through virtual games.
For your next team engagement, here are some virtual games you can try with your crew:
This virtual game is easy to use. One person in the group must purchase the game, making them the host. Jackbox has many games to choose from, such as Drawful, Fibbage, and an adult version of Pictionary.
- Words With Friends 2
The goal of this game is simple. You only need to create words from the scrambled letters you’re given, and whoever gets the most points wins. This game is available on Google Play and App Store.
Skribbl is a free virtual game you can play online. Each player is provided a word they have to draw on the board, and the first to get the correct answer receives the highest points. The player with the most points at the end of a round wins.
- Take an interest in their personal circumstances
Working at home brings both comfort and discomfort to an employee. Interacting with a remote team member can bring about family-related or personal issues in casual conversations.
As an employer, you know that your employee’s home experience can directly affect their output and overall motivation at work, so remember to check up on them from time to time without overstepping.
You show your employees that their team can offer support where needed and provide a safe space for them. It also builds trust and transparency, leading to higher employee confidence for you and your company.
- Offer different remote working options
Your remote team may consist of different people with diverse backgrounds. You might even have someone working from the other side of the world. As an employer, ensure that you provide your employees with ample options where they can fully exert their efforts to deliver.
These can include selections for different working times and locations. Everyone thrives differently at work, so provide choices where your employees will feel their most productive. Set clear expectations and regularly check in on them to ensure they’re not having difficulty.
- Use the appropriate software for your employees’ needs
One major factor of a successful remote working setup is the medium used. Remote working thrives on portable and reliable technology that will give your employees an edge to perform their best, despite not being in the office.
For example, when tech issues arise, your team should be equipped with the right communication tools to connect them to your IT support team. Provide your team with the appropriate hardware, such as laptops and tablets, and access to a fast internet connection to help them perform productively and communicate better with others.
- Encourage health and wellness
Employee wellness should be your top priority. If your staff becomes ill, they can’t perform their best–or even at all.
You can try incentivizing to get your team to go outside, cook a decent meal, work out, or develop a healthy habit. This will not only benefit your employees’ health, but it will also bring the team closer together as you demonstrate your concern for their general well-being.
Make Remote Work Fun
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed companies to take on remote work setups without guaranteeing if it will benefit their business and people. Regular team engagement activities can help your employees feel motivated, and this increase in morale can translate to the quality of their work and their overall outlook on the company they work for.
If you want to expand your workforce with professionals who can service and support your current remote team management operations, look no further. Our pool of experts at Executive Boutique Call Center can provide best-in-class call center outsourcing services to help you scale your business. Contact us today to learn more!
A Remote Team’s Guide to Asynchronous Communication
The concept of remote work is nothing new, but with the COVID-19 pandemic taking its toll on the world, it has become the norm for companies across all industries over the past few years.
Pre-pandemic, only 17% of U.S.-based employees worked five or more days per week from home. However, that number drastically increased during the height of the pandemic, wherein 44% of workers started to report to work at home.
With telecommuting becoming the new normal today, multiple ways to work productively have surfaced. Besides having a proper workstation setup, establishing effective communication amongst your team members will be vital. One method business owners could strongly consider and look into is asynchronous communication.
But what is asynchronous communication, and how can it be an asset to remote teams? Let this infographic serve as your guide to asynchronous communication, its benefits, drawbacks, and how to successfully practice this form of communication in your organization.
What is Asynchronous Communication?
Asynchronous communication is when two or more individuals communicate without being present in real-time. In other words, it’s sending a message without the immediate need for a response. This type of communication allows employees and employers to set their schedules and answer inquiries without much dependence on the availability of others.
Employing asynchronous communication aids in staying connected with members of the company and ensuring everything is operating efficiently, regardless of time zone, location, and other factors.
Benefits of Asynchronous Communication
Now that we’ve established what asynchronous communication is, let us discuss the various benefits of utilizing this form of communication.
- More thoughtful communication
In work conversations, workers often feel obligated to come up with an immediate response, which may not be relevant or conscientious.
With asynchronous communication, team members get more time to digest new information, formulate an answer, and mull over crucial decisions that lead to more strategic conclusions.
Additionally, asynchronous communication decreases distractions. Without an immediate need for a response, workers can reply when their set schedules allow it, improving concentration and productivity.
- Better productivity rate
Asynchronous communication grants remote teams more flexibility to prioritize important work. There will be instances employees would feel obligated to respond to every message sent their way, which could be detrimental in the long run.
Constantly taking time off your day to get back to a considerable volume of requests and questions prevents you from conducting deep and meaningful work. This communication method enables you to deal with these tasks at your own time and pace, putting more critical and urgent work atop of your to-do list.
- Documentation for transparency
Documentation, whether through writing or pre-recorded videos, gives your team a clear vision and timeframe of their duties. With asynchronous communication, all traces of internal exchanges and relays get automatically documented.
This could be beneficial as the logged data could be easily referenced or shared for others to review.
- More honest communication
Asynchronous communication improves honesty amongst your team members due to the higher quality of feedback it allows. Some employees have no problem being true when confronted in a one-on-one setting. However, others may find it difficult to have to answer immediately.
Due to conversations and evaluations not being done in real-time, asynchronous communication gives adequate time for your employees to voice their concerns more accurately when they’re most comfortable.
- Decrease burnout chances
Constantly staying on top of things can be taxing. Through asynchronous communication, stress is diminished as it grants your team more control over their pace at work.
Conventional synchronous communication setups often tether you to your desk to deal with work-related issues immediately. This ability to step away and recuperate could positively improve employees’ physical and mental health, drastically decreasing the chances of burnout.
Drawbacks of Asynchronous Communication
While asynchronous communication certainly has its merits, it also has its drawbacks. Consider the following if you’re looking to make it a staple in your business’s day-to-day.
- Inconsistent immediacy
One big drawback of employing asynchronous communication is the inability to address urgent situations because business is not conducted in real-time. As such, it’s best to plan accordingly in case an immediate need arises, as it will require synchronous communication to solve the urgent problem.
- Unclear tone-of-voice
Unlike its synchronous counterpart, where it feels more intuitive, natural, and human as it gets the point across with the help of body language and tone of voice, asynchronous communication doesn’t always convey the necessary emotion to make people feel connected.
The lack of this real-time communication element could lead to miscommunications and disconnection that could affect the efficiency and productivity of your team.
- Decreased spontaneity
Synchronous communication allows employees to conduct brainstorming sessions and exchange ideas in real-time. While patient reflection can be helpful in many business situations, unfortunately, the async method falls short of the quick, witty, and spontaneous elements essential for collaborative and real-time ideas.
- Lack of community
Since most asynchronous communication doesn’t require deep in-person engagements, it may magnify feelings of isolation for teams working remotely. While it allows employees to function independently, this freedom diminishes the opportunities for direct interpersonal interactions.
Strong connections are essential to building a cohesive team. Although it’s not impossible to develop bonds through asynchronous communication, the process can be arduous.
The key to any high-functioning team is trusting your fellow teammates. However, due to the inability to give instructions personally, some superiors might resort to micromanaging their subordinates.
This type of management could strain working relationships if practiced regularly, as your employees could feel alienated due to constant scrutiny.
How to Successfully Practice Asynchronous Communication
Learning the various pros and cons of asynchronous communication is a start to implementing this strategy. To effectively introduce and incorporate this form of communication into your team’s daily routine, let us discuss the best practices for this technique.
- Set rules that work for everyone
If your business utilizes internal communications, you will likely have defined work channels in place. Have a clear strategy on what should be communicated in each designated space, who needs to be included, and what channels are for private and public use.
- Integrate the right tools
As established, asynchronous communication doesn’t require employees to work simultaneously. However, it’s imperative to integrate the right tools to ensure that every individual can work in sync despite not working with each other in real-time.
Tools like time tracking apps, communication platforms with multiple features, knowledge management tools, and task management software can aid an asynchronous team to work in harmony despite the circumstances.
- Avoid information overload
The business world can sometimes run at dizzying speeds, leaving some important information overlooked due to employees’ substantial volume of work. However, ensuring content relevancy regarding disseminating information allows you to avoid information overload.
One efficient way to achieve this is segmenting workload by criteria, such as department, location, language, and interest. Doing so ensures that every employee gets the right message at the right time without risk the benefits of asynchronous communication becoming irrelevant.
- Provide easy methods for employee feedback
Conducting intuitive employee surveys and collecting feedback allows you to analyze and formulate actionable recommendations to improve the current communication setup you have in place.
- Make content fun and easier to understand
Keeping your employees engaged will become increasingly difficult as the workload piles up. However, making your content fun and easier to consume could make an otherwise monotonous routine engaging.
Think about producing webinars or podcasts to gain your employees’ attention, especially for important company-wide announcements.
- Understand your workforce
Having a clear understanding of your workers’ responsibilities allows you to gain better insights on what you can improve upon as a group to create a more successful asynchronous environment.
Take into consideration their strengths, weaknesses, and how they conduct their work in this remote setup, and evaluate how you can help them be more effective in the workforce.
- Advocate patience
The corporate world is guilty of expecting immediate results and instant gratification. However, practicing patience can be more rewarding.
Through asynchronous communication, you can connect with your employees better by giving them a sense of security about communicating in their own time unless it’s a highly important or time-sensitive task.
- Build trust
Trust is an important factor in any and every kind of business, especially when it comes to an environment with little to no personal contact, like asynchronous communication. If supervisors and workers lack trust in one another, employing this method will be futile.
Stay In Sync with Asynchronous Communication
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many changes in people’s personal and work lives. While some weren’t too keen on working from home, methods such as asynchronous communication allowed teams from all across the board to operate efficiently. This specific technique offers many benefits for businesses whose employees report remotely full-time.
However, with benefits comes drawbacks and constant learning. Keep in mind all the things stated, and you can effectively incorporate asynchronous communication into your practice.
In case you need a call center outsourcing firm to help with your asynchronous team, consider Executive Boutique Call Center. Executive Boutique Call Center provides best-in-class customer service that can cover all of your back-office needs and increase your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more!