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Business Process Outsourcing

A Remote Team’s Guide to Asynchronous Communication

asynchronous-communication
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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.

  1. Micromanagement

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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

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11 Customer Service Trends You Should Expect in 2022

customer-service-trends
customer-service-trends

Customer service plays an integral role in growing a business, and implementing customer service best practices and good strategies will help your company reach its goals.

According to recent reports, 90% of American consumers consider customer service a primary driving force when deciding whether or not to do business with a company, with 89% of consumers choosing to do business again with the same company after a positive customer experience.

Customer service has evolved through the years, especially now that many companies have gone digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With new technological advancements constantly arising, businesses need to stay up-to-date with the latest customer service trends to accommodate consumers’ ever-evolving needs and have a leg up on the competition. 

With that in mind, let’s discuss the various customer service trends expected to dominate 2022.

By exploring new and emerging trends, you could find solutions to address some of the issues your company is facing. 

1. More mobile-optimized customer services

Towards the end of the past decade, smartphones have been the preferred medium by customers to conduct business. In fact, mobile accounted for 65% of all e-commerce traffic and 53% of sales in 2019, and the mobile commerce industry is expected to surge at a 25.5% CAGR, hitting $488 billion by 2024.

With the continued rise of mobile, businesses should make their customer services options mobile-optimized. Realizing that mobile is not a trend but the future, companies can calibrate their online customer services to improve their overall performance.

2. Social media as the main channel for customer engagement

Nowadays, most consumers discover brands, products, and services online. Currently, 58.4% of the global population uses social media, translating to 4.62 billion users, while 91% access social media platforms with smartphones.

Social media is no longer just for the younger generation. These platforms are necessary for businesses more than ever, as they are the new primary tool customers use to engage with companies. Being active on social media can build brand loyalty and trust, providing an avenue for your company to interact with customers regularly and easily.

3. Higher demand for real-time support

The need for immediate response has risen through the years. With smartphones providing consumers everything they want and need at the palm of their hands, having real-time support can prove beneficial to your company.

In terms of satisfaction ratings, real-time support such as live chat is favored by 85% of customers, coming second to phone support with 91%. However, 41% of consumers say they prefer live chatting over phone support (32%), email (23%), and social media support (3%).

4. Added self-service options for customers

Modern consumers tend to be more independent and look for answers before contacting the business. A Statista survey supplements this, with results that show 88% of U.S. consumers expect organizations to have online self-service portals.

Having a FAQ page, community forum, or mobile application set in place can help optimize your operations and urge customers to inquire about your products or services further.

5. Video call integration

Video calling has been around for some time now. However, the pandemic made this fundamental feature essential. During the second quarter of 2021, 38.5% of Internet users worldwide have used video calling apps with their mobile devices in that specific examination period.

With the global health crisis still ravaging the world, this trend is projected to continue even after the pandemic. Now, more than ever, people realize video calling’s potential as a more convenient way of conducting business while companies have the opportunity to address issues remotely.

6. Rise of chatbots and artificial intelligence 

Per a Juniper Research study, chatbots could help businesses cut costs by $8 billion every year by 2022. It also projects that between three-quarters and 90% of queries related to healthcare and banking will be resolved by chatbots within a five-year time frame, resulting in up to $0.70 of savings per interaction.

Implementing chatbots can help businesses with round-the-clock support by providing solutions to frequently asked questions, automating routine questions, aiding lead generation, and enhancing agent experience by prioritizing customer requests. With the advancements in technology seeing a steady increase, artificial intelligence like chatbots will continue to evolve and be more potent in recognizing user behavior.

7. Added focus to personalization

According to a report by Accenture, 91% of customers are more likely to do business with brands that provide offers and recommendations tailored to their preferences. Personalized customer care adds value to customer experience, increasing the chances of consumers’ loyalty and retention.

Hyper-personalization can be achieved by investing in customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Their primary function is to unify and organize all interactions from various touchpoints, giving businesses insight on how to customize each offer for a specific customer.

8. Increased focus on proactive support

The norm for multiple companies has been reactive customer support for the longest time. However, with the business world being more competitive than ever, consumers appreciate companies who practice proactive support—when they take the initiative to follow up or seek feedback from their consumers.

Proactive support urges companies to assess the status of a consumer before they reach out. This allows businesses to identify possible problems and necessary improvements before it materializes. In a survey by Gartner, only 13% of 6,000 customers surveyed received proactive customer support.

9. Establishing omnichannel

According to a study, businesses with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their clients, contrary to the 33% rate of establishments with underdeveloped omnichannel customer engagement.

By definition, an omnichannel is a lead nurturing and user engagement approach that unifies all existing social media channels of a business, streamlining all its processes to result in consistent service.

10. Increased outsourced customer service work

With the pandemic’s unpredictability on businesses, companies enlisted the help of third parties to accommodate the sudden shift in their work volume. This makes outsourcing a new commodity for enterprises looking to accomplish and achieve quality work. 

Outsourcing has been around for decades. However, with COVID-19 causing delays and shutdowns to industries across the globe, outsourcing has been helpful for those seeking a sudden workforce injection without sacrificing output quality. Based on research, 300,000 jobs are outsourced by the U.S. yearly, with 70% of the reason being a significant cut in cost.

11. Small Businesses Communicate With Their Outsourced Teams Daily for Maximum Results (UpCity)

To maintain consistent, open communication, 53% of U.S. and Canadian small businesses reported that they correspond with their outsourced teams on a daily basis. This allows them to ensure that day-to-day tasks are running smoothly and that roadblocks are quickly resolved. Overall, businesses still want to contribute their input to outsourced projects.

For Consistent Customer Service Today and Beyond

Customer service has evolved exponentially through the years due to the ever-changing trends in the business world. As such, your company needs to keep up and formulate new plans that would fit the wants and needs of your customers. Let this serve as a guide when considering customer service best practices that correlate with your company’s vision and help your business meet its goals.

If you’re looking for a trusted company to help you enhance your overall customer service with these practices in mind, consider Executive Boutique Call Center. Our team ensures that you have the best customer experience possible with our pool of highly skilled agents and state-of-the-art technology. Check out our various services, or contact us today to learn more.

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Outsourcing in 2021: A Year-End Report

outsourcing-year-end-report
outsourcing-year-end-report

Growth is always a welcome development for most businesses. However, rapid growth will inevitably hit a plateau that can stunt your venture’s earning power. One business practice you can consider to prevent this is business process outsourcing (BPO).

While expansion is one of the main reasons companies have tapped the services of various outsourcing agencies, there are other perks that come with hiring such services. Ultimately, the efficiency they can provide for the costs they incur can significantly help your company’s bottom line.

Unlike other fields that were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, global outsourcing industries have experienced remarkable increases in their businesses and received positive projections in the coming years. In this article, we will provide you with relevant outsourcing statistics for a clearer picture of the current and future state of the dynamic outsourcing industry all over the world.

While the global health crisis has limited the growth of some businesses, the outsourcing industry has seen significant changes that are projected to carry through in the years to come.

In 2019, the industry’s global value hit the $92.5 billion mark. With strong optimism for the field’s future direction, a Grand View Research study estimates it to expand to $405.6 billion come 2027 at a CAGR of 8%. This leap shows how more companies are starting to see the value outsourcing can bring to their business, even when everything goes back to normal.

2. The Philippines’ BPO industry generated $26.7 billion in 2020. (IBPAP)

Even as the health pandemic affected the economy, the BPO industry in the Philippines saw a revenue increase of 1.4% in 2020, recording a $26.7 billion total. According to the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the climb reflected the efforts of BPO companies to ensure continued operations amid the global health crisis.

In terms of employment rate, BPO establishments hired 1.8% more people in the same year, resulting in 1.32 million direct employment in the country.

3. The United States remains the biggest client for outsourcing companies. (Reliable Plant)

Even before 2020 changed the way businesses operate, companies in the United States have always been the top subscriber to BPO services. It’s not unreasonable to think the same thing rings true today, as at least 68% of American companies still rely on third-party contractors to do some of their work for them.

Interestingly, as the top digital nation in 2021, the United States is among the largest supplier of online labor in the world. In their rising gig economy, 16% of Americans are reported to have earned money from an online gig platform.

4. Call centers will remain an integral part of customer retention strategies. (Morph Networks)

Many businesses closed due to the pandemic, so retaining customers can become a tough task to accomplish. The numbers paint a different picture, though. Call centers increased their volumes by 14% in 2020 to meet customer demand. Moreover, over half of all businesses partner with a third-party customer support business in 2021 to enhance their customer experience.

A Salesforce report reveals that at least 84% of customers stay because of loyal customer service. Additionally, companies that invest in customer retention initiatives by at least 5% see their profit rise between 25-95%. These statistics alone make call centers a vital component of your business strategy.

5. Cost reduction is the leading reason for outsourcing work. (Deloitte)

Not many companies have fully recovered from the pandemic’s impact on their coffers due to the current global economic situation. As such, at least 70% of companies that use outsourcing services attribute their decision to reduce costs.

Meanwhile, flexibility (40%) and speed to market (20%) are the second and third most important factors businesses consider when opting for an outsourced partner for their operations. Other attributes like access to tools and processes and agility (15%) are also included on the list.

6. The move to cloud services will only accelerate the rise of outsourced work. (Fortunly)

Aside from video conferencing tools, the pandemic also highlighted the importance of cloud servers to hold crucial files during a remote setup. Data shows that more than 93% of businesses are considering or have already implemented cloud technology as part of their processes.

As it allows for more effective and efficient work, a third of all companies are willing to increase their operating budget if it means getting better-outsourced support.

7. IT work is the most outsourced work worldwide. (Clutch

The outsourcing industry long held the reputation of only handling a company’s customer service needs. However, 2021 was a different tale as more skilled labor is being outsourced by companies worldwide.

According to a Clutch study, 27% of small businesses outsource their IT work. This can be attributed to the technical nature of the work that some smaller companies have no resources to build themselves. Furthermore, the report shows that 23% relegate their finance operations, 21% want a third party to handle their legal needs, and 20% tap another company for their marketing work.

8. A more efficient workflow is the leading reason behind most outsourcing orders. (Clutch)

Most small businesses will outsource work to get a more efficient workflow. In fact, 24% of business owners opt to outsource for this reason alone. An increase in efficiency means spending less time delivering products and services to make room for other tasks.

Efficiency isn’t the only reason most enterprises tap outsourcing companies, though. Some want to get expert help (18%) on their processes, while others use such services to provide more flexibility (16%) to their work.

9. More IT companies are opening up to the idea of outsourced work. (Fortunly

Although once aloof to the concept of outsourcing, the IT industry is now becoming more receptive to such work. Today, at least 44% of chief intelligence officers welcome the idea of outsourced teams handling some of their tasks for them. 

Functions that have to do with software application development make up most (64%) of the field’s outsource requests. Meanwhile, technology executives delegate application and software maintenance (51%) and data centers (40%).

10. India and the Philippines continue to dominate the outsourcing industry. (Outsource Accelerator)

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian countries remain at the top of the outsourcing list, specifically India and the Philippines. The two countries are the world’s most preferred outsourcing hubs for different services. India specializes in IT and software development, while the Philippines is better known for customer service and back-office work. 

Move Forward to Greater Success with Outsourcing

Outsourcing has long since shed its customer service roots and is now an asset for big and small companies. With this list of strong facts and figures as a basis, you now have a snapshot of the industry’s potential moving forward.

In case you’re looking for a call center outsourcing partner to scale your business, there’s no better place to go than Executive Boutique Call Center. We are a team of highly-skilled customer service specialists that can provide you with optimal results to increase your bottom line. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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10 Ways to Improve Teamwork in Your Customer Service Team

improve-teamwork-customer-service-team
improve-teamwork-customer-service-team

A day’s worth of work in a call center can be unpredictable. Employees have a hectic schedule to follow that changes daily, as they interact with numerous customers with varying levels of concerns and demands. Despite this, people from the customer service track need to be headstrong throughout the adversity to provide quality services.

As a manager, it’s integral to foster a positive environment for your employees to boost team morale and performance. However, like all valuable efforts within a company, this cannot happen overnight.

To help you get started, this guide will walk you through tips on improving teamwork in your customer service team and creating the ultimate ideal workplace for everyone. 

The Importance of Teamwork

Although having skilled individuals is a definite advantage in any team, customer service work requires teamwork more than you might think. Since it revolves around a series of processes, a seamless internal collaboration leads to faster service, satisfying 75% of customers who want a consistent quality service experience.

Apart from building strong relationships, reactive and proactive members can help eliminate stress and exhaustion within the group. With 74% of agents at risk of burnout, having an easy and even distribution of work can snowball into improved team performance, boosting overall business numbers.

How to Improve Teamwork in Your Customer Service Team

If you’re yet to come up with strategies to enhance your customer service team’s teamwork, here are several effective ones you can try:

1. Establish and optimize communication channels

“Communication is key” is a commonly used phrase in most businesses—and for good reasons. Whether you’re working in-person or remote with your team, it’s a must to communicate effectively to serve customers properly and resolve any issues quickly.

A straightforward way of maintaining contact internally is through team chats or meetings. Besides aligning for customer-related tasks, conversations can also involve brainstorming, evaluations, and suggestions on how the group can improve. Keep in mind that each session must have a primary focus to emphasize productivity.

Google Meets and Zoom are a few common channels you can use in your operations. Alternatively, you may look into Slack, which allows for private messages, team huddles, and data storage to keep things organized.

2. Align internally on team goals and beliefs

Having an outline of your team goals enables each person to dedicate themselves to their roles. The point of this is to create a timeline of what you want to accomplish, as focusing on a clear target in a customer service environment can ultimately lead to better performance.

Take the average response time as an example. According to a recent report, it takes around 12 hours and 10 minutes for a team to handle a request. With this, a goal you can set for your group is to have a quicker response time that doesn’t affect quality.

3. Clarify and distinguish roles and responsibilities

Individual roles and responsibilities play an integral part in line with team goals. Each member should be comfortable and confident with their job to perform effectively. You must clearly communicate each one’s responsibilities and your expectations about them. To achieve this, you need to seek feedback from your employees and schedule productive team meetings. 

Through these methods, you will see if there’s a need to reorganize the team’s dynamic. As a manager, this allows you to place people on tasks they’re good at and happy to do. Remember, finding the fit for the roles ensures quality work. 

4. Encourage out-of-office hangouts

Having after-hours hangouts is a vital part of building team chemistry. Casual events such as out-of-office dinners and weekend movie nights are a great way to establish trust and rapport among team members. 

Other activities such as out-of-town trips and holiday parties are major get-togethers to look forward to. This allows employees to socialize with others more, encouraging open communication in the workplace. 

5. Empower employees

An American Psychological Association (APA) survey shows that 93% of employees who feel appreciated are motivated to do their best at work. With data to back it up, be sure never to miss a chance to recognize your employees’ contributions.

Showing appreciation and encouragement are some of the simple ways you can boost your employee’s morale. You want to create a positive atmosphere that encourages everyone to keep working hard and promotes a constructive dynamic. Working in an unappreciative environment is toxic not only for your crew but for the enterprise at large.

6. Incorporate a task management system

Task management systems are used to streamline daily operations and increase team productivity, which is why it’s essential when improving teamwork within your customer service group.

One of the most recommended collaborative work management apps today is Trello. Conveniently, it allows you to schedule tasks, organize multiple schedules, and post documents with the option for everyone in the workspace to collaborate. With Trello, numerous people can share an assignment to speed up the process while managers monitor the progress.

7. Improve customer service strategies

Sure, having a set of updated strategies can provide better quality and increased customer satisfaction. But did you know it can also make a grand impact on your team’s harmony?

When the clients win, your employees win as well, which is why it’s vital to revamp your customer service methods on a schedule to make both parties happy. If your playbook is due for an upgrade, here are a few things to consider for the new one:

  • Having consistent availability or coverage
  • Engaging with customers on various social media platforms
  • Assigning the right representatives to specific customer needs

8. Enhance employee engagement

No matter how skilled and experienced your employees are, there could still be a dent in their performance if they’re unhappy with their overall work experience. Because of this, it’s important to know how the team feels, as it can improve the work they’re doing daily. 

Engaging with them through suggestion boxes, surveys, or one-by-one meetings is one way to do it. You may utilize an employee engagement template to get an insight into what your staff feels and what you need to change to make them feel better. 

Much like a chain reaction, as you promote positive changes within your crew, you can be sure to see happier employees right after.

9. Consider flexible work hours

There are different types of people in the workplace. Some are early starters, while some are more productive later in the day. With customer service almost always on-demand, considering to allow flexible work hours might just level up your crew’s productivity rate, especially when all are working in the hours they’re most comfortable. 

Aside from that, such flexibility can also promote collaboration with members who are working simultaneously, which ultimately increases the job done in a day.

10. Create an open communication

There are customer service teams with strict hierarchies when it comes to communication. Especially when a pressing issue arises, the flow of resolution is longer where the employee would report to the supervisor, who would then report to the manager.

To avoid such a stretch in workflow, encourage open communication within your group. Doing so will allow your representatives to solve customer issues faster, especially if other members—whether on the same level or higher—may be more knowledgeable about specific concerns.

Make it Work with Teamwork

Being in a demanding field such as the call center industry is already tough, but managing a customer service team takes this challenge up another notch. Apart from providing excellent service for your customers, it’s also well within your scope of responsibilities to look after your members’ welfare as a manager. 

A straightforward process, a fair distribution of workload, and a fun out-of-work engagement activity can make all the difference in improving the overall working conditions of your team. Remember, fostering a positive dynamic between everyone can translate to greater work performance for your customers.

If you need to partner with a call center outsourcing service that has great teamwork and even better work performance, check out Executive Boutique Call Center. Our team is one of the best in the Philippines, composed of highly trained agents ready to provide quality support for your business and clients’ needs. Learn more about our best-in-class customer service when you contact us today!

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10 Tips to Help You Deal With Difficult Callers

Individuals with customer service jobs are the most prone to burnout. Working under extreme pressure, they deal with complex problems, handle tedious administrative tasks, and interact with demanding customers daily. Due to the nature of their work, these professionals must carry qualities or be trained to be more empathic, efficient, and calm under extreme stress.

Amid adversity in a fast-paced environment, service representatives need to develop resiliency. Given that they handle numerous calls each day, it’s not a surprise if they end up interacting with a demanding customer. In such circumstances, correctly assessing the situation and approaching these clients with the right tactics will help manage things with ease and avoid burnout.

If you want to improve your interactions with your customers, you’ve come to the right place. This infographic will list down useful customer service tips on how you can deal with difficult callers!

The Value of a Pleasant Customer Experience

Companies usually overlook customer experience because its success and value are difficult to measure. Yet, without a customer focus, companies won’t survive. 93% of customers say that they will make repeat transactions with a brand that provides excellent customer service. Similarly, companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%.

Indeed, during this period of commodity trap, too many products and services are the same. To stand out in a saturated industry, customer experience is the perfect way to create a competitive edge. However, providing a pleasant customer service experience can be challenging with demanding consumers.

9 Types of Difficult Customers

1.     Highly Aggressive

Aggressive customers scream, complain, and often get verbally abusive to get what they want. This behavior is because they think their needs and demands are superior to everybody else’s; hence, their needs are more urgent and important.

2.     Vague and Indecisive

An indecisive caller is notoriously fickle. Consequently, they ask lots of questions and keep shifting between different options. Not only can these discussions ramp up handling times, but they can also be confusing to deal with.

3.     Demanding and Impulsive

This type of customer usually makes decisions at the spur of the moment. Triggered by emotions and feelings, their excitement can turn into entitlement. They demand special treatment and think your business will not survive without them.

4.     Overly Critical and Cautious

Critical callers can be a considerable challenge. They seem to know it all and are very critical of your suggestions. Moreover, a problematic, over-cautious client can become a frustrating lead. They ask more questions than anyone else and hesitate to complete a sale until they’re 101% sure.

5.     Complainer

Generally, callers have complaints. And it’s a good thing because negative comments can be a rich source of constructive feedback for your company. But when you encounter a customer who makes a fuss about everything–even about the pettiest of things–you may have a chronic complainer on your hands.

6.     Impatient

Impatient callers are the kind who don’t care that something is not available or can’t be completed at the moment. They can’t imagine you don’t have some features or services available at all times.

7.     Talkative

Talkative customers tend to deviate from the real issue and talk about something else. While having someone talk your ears off is better than being screamed at, chatty customers can harm your average handle time and keep you from helping other callers in your queue.

8.     Know-it-All

They seem to know everything about anything, including your business, product, or service. But unfortunately, these callers could be highly critical and rude in their bid to showcase their knowledge. They also tend to speak a lot and dominate the conversation.

Know-it-alls believe they are always right, and it’s almost impossible to change their beliefs. This type of caller can be complicated because you can’t tell what they want.

9.     Penny-Pinching Customers

Sure, everyone enjoys a reasonable price. But some clients try to stretch things too far by asking for freebies or accusing you of nickel-and-diming them. These customers might present your price tag as life-or-death when it isn’t necessarily the case.

How to Cater to Difficult Clients

1.     Remain calm and collected

Take deep breaths and harmonize into your emotions when interacting with demanding customers. Your conversation with them is more likely to succeed if you learn to recognize and modulate your feelings. It is in your interest to relax and make every caller interaction as smooth as possible. When you stay composed, you keep the situation from escalating into a more complex discussion.

2.     Validate the customer’s feelings

The person shouting at you on the phone often wants you to recognize that they are upset for a good reason. Unfortunately, many customer service professionals tend to calm the caller because they don’t understand what is happening. Rather than telling them to calm down, try acknowledging the problem first and then finding a solution.

3.     Understand the customer’s point of view

When managing a demanding caller, take time to reflect on their point of view. Practicing empathy acknowledges the present emotional state of the caller and allows you to respond accordingly. If you want to understand their point of view better, try asking questions. Clarifying their needs will show them your genuine desire to make it right.

4.     Assess their needs

One of the most effective ways to deliver customer service is by discovering each caller’s specific needs. Understanding the caller’s expectations and the solutions they desire will help you resolve their issues more efficiently. Let the caller know that you will try everything in your power to address their complaint.

5.     Speak in a soft and understanding tone

When a customer raises their voice, it may be best to speak even more softly than usual. Speaking softly is a strategy that is useful for de-escalating tense conversations. You may want to communicate with them calmly and talk lightly. A serene presence helps to keep the situation under control. Their anger will generally dissipate as you approach the problem unaffected by the caller’s tone or volume.

6.     Practice active listening

Active listening helps you understand the significance of the caller’s words to do your best to make the situation better. Active listening is especially relevant when your customer needs reassurance that you’re engaged in the conversation.

One technique to practice active listening is to use verbal affirmations that let the client know you are listening and engaged in the discussion. It involves focusing your attention on the caller, understanding what they are saying, and responding thoughtfully.

7.     Keep communication professional

When communicating with a customer, remember that your behavior reflects your employer. Therefore, it is always good to be mindful of your words and repress any impulses to take the problematic customer’s behavior personally. To manage professional communications, keep a service-oriented demeanor. Use an even tone and show the caller that you’re open to the feedback they’re giving.

8.     Seek multiple solutions

It can be helpful to ask the customer what they need directly. Asking can help you get straight to satisfactory solutions. Focusing on solutions will give you a greater chance of resolving the situation quickly. This option is best when you’re unsure which actions would ease a customer’s mind. Knowing what they want will help you reach their expectations and find a compromise.

9.     Don’t make promises you can’t keep

It’s natural, when panicked, to tell someone exactly what they want to hear and get off the phone as quickly as possible. However, if you don’t figure out what’s wrong, the customer will either keep calling back or take their business elsewhere.

This person needs a real solution, so it’s better to tell them in definite terms what you know, and if you don’t, be transparent and tell them that you will do your best to find a resolution.

10.  Give a recap of the next steps

Before you end the call, let the caller know exactly what to expect, and then be sure to follow through on your solution. Document the call to ensure you’re well prepared for the next interaction.

The Customer is King

There are different types of difficult callers, and providing a remarkable client experience is crucial to the sustained growth of any company. To ensure that you give callers the service they expect, always be polite and prioritize their needs. If customer service isn’t your realm of expertise, you should consider partnering with a reputable outsourcing vendor.

Fortunately, acquiring EB Call Center’s Customer Service Expertise will increase sales, optimize conversion rates, and create a positive experience with your clients. As a premier call center in the Philippines, our pool of highly trained agents will treat your clients with the care and attention they deserve. Take the next step in providing a remarkable customer experience and contact us today!

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Everything You Need to Know About Call center Fraud and How to Stop Them

Today, the world is growing reliant on the web and other digital tools, making people’s lives easier and more convenient. But with ease comes its risks, as cybercrime cases are also steadily rising over the years. As more and more people run their business operations online, hackers get more opportunities to infiltrate and steal valuable information.

Large and small businesses are targets of cybercriminals, as they can be sources of enormous profit out of their resources, assets, and critical data. Some of the companies that cybercriminals target are healthcare centers, financial institutions, and call centers. Since support agents manage sensitive data regularly, hackers can pose as customers to trick them.

With cybercriminals getting more creative and innovative with their tactics, it’s imperative to educate yourself about call center frauds to help prevent one from happening to you. Here’s an infographic that discusses the common fraudulent methods they use and how you can stop scam calls.

3 Types of Call center Frauds

Call center fraud can happen without you realizing it until it’s too late. Once fraudsters trick agents into believing they are legitimate account holders or customers, they can do virtually anything from there. Below are the common methods they use that you should be aware of.

●        Account Takeover

Account takeover, also referred to as customer impersonation, is when fraudsters pose as real customers when speaking with call center representatives. They use social engineering tactics to convince agents into revealing personal information for illicit purposes.

When successful, fraudsters can take over the account, allowing them to change contact information or account PINs to lock out the real user. Before impersonators attempt to call contact centers, they research online about the critical details behind the account owner like their pet’s name, favorite teacher, mother’s maiden name, and other personal information.

●       Identity Theft

Scammers who can get their hands on critical personal information through call center interactions can commit identity theft. They obtain the necessary information so that they can use the account holder’s identity to apply for credit cards, make purchases, get loans, and conduct other illegal activities.

Fraudsters start to gain personal details through stolen devices or by hijacking unsecured networks. When they find a target, that’s when they contact the victim’s financial company to get other personal information.

●        Card Not Present (CNP) Scams

Since COVID-19 kept people holed up in their homes, more and more consumers are shopping online. From groceries and food deliveries to casual shopping, it’s become commonplace for individuals to make purchases or transactions online or through their phones.

Cards that are not present or swiped through a machine are another way cybercriminals can scam account holders. Fraudsters use stolen credit cards to purchase items online or over the phone. Often, the order is processed and delivered before the real cardholder realizes they have been a victim of fraud.

Call centers must be aware of this since they manage and process transactions made through a phone call. 

6 Tips to Keep Fraudsters at Bay

To steer clear of call center frauds and ensure the safety of their customers’, organizations must adopt a multi-layered approach to security. As you become aware of the different signs of fraud, you should also learn about the different ways you can stop scams from happening.

1. Double-down on employee cybersecurity training

Refine your cybersecurity employee training process. Both new and experienced call center agents must be informed of your procedures and policies regarding scam calls and malicious callers. You should conduct training on cybersecurity to make them aware of such behaviors and help them stay vigilant.

You must train your employees to identify potential fraudulent calls, what to do when a caller is suspicious, and the questions they can and cannot answer.

2. Make use of multi-factor authentication

As new technologies emerge and cybercriminals find modern ways to infiltrate and manipulate individuals and call center agents, organizations must elevate their security and means of authentication.

Explore identity and access management solutions, such as PINs or passwords (something you know), smartphones (something you have), and face or voice recognition (something you are) to integrate into your processes.

You can use SMS-based OTPs (one-time passwords), knowledge-based questions, and biometric authentication methods. Biometric authentication, like voice recognition, is a unique identifier that can’t be replicated or stolen, making it an ideal method for enhancing your security and flagging signs of fraud.

3. Set restrictions among employees

It’s not uncommon for customers to call for assistance when they need to change their credentials. With this, agents address such requests and are more than willing to assist. Unfortunately, this is why some agents fail to recognize fraud attempts, and scammers get away without being flagged or caught.

A solution to this is to limit or deny some types of requests or transactions for further verification, especially if they ask to change details like address and phone number. You can also consider limiting access to certain information to senior employees.

4. Invest in CRM solutions

Legitimate customers wouldn’t want to go through a series of interrogating questions before completing a transaction. To help you filter malicious calls without compromising good customer experience, harness the power of technology.

Using CRM solutions with promising fraud analytics tools will allow your agents to monitor and read cross-channel and channel-specific behavior insights. Such tools will help call center representatives ascertain suspicious activities or actions that fall within a threshold of suspicion. Agents can flag these calls and transfer them to fraud specialists for further assessment and management.

5. Work with fraud specialists

Hire fraud specialists to take on sensitive calls. Fraud experts are trained to be constantly vigilant to detect imposters and recognize the risk associated with their behavior.

Instead of training all your agents to expertly flag fraudulent attempts, which can take a lot of time and resources and affect their productivity, you can instead set up a specific team for managing the tricky and sensitive nature of malicious calls.

6.Partner with third-party agencies

If you’re shorthanded and not equipped or knowledgeable enough about handling call center fraud, you can work with third-party providers. They can integrate a fraud prevention process or utilize their knowledge and expertise to take over your customer service.

Combat Call Center Frauds

It’s crucial to know and understand that fraudulent activities are socially engineered attacks that use manipulation. Technologies and tools can help detect vulnerabilities, but it’s still important to educate your agents about spotting scammers before they can pull off their tricks. Contact centers should be prepared and have protocols in place to take control of customer security.

To prevent cybercrime and malicious callers from infiltrating your system and manipulating your agents, work with a HIPAA-certified outsourcing partner that upholds security and values to deliver a quality customer experience.

EB Call Center is a call center in the Philippines made up of highly trained agents equipped with the right skills to deal with call center fraud. Contact us to learn more! 

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Positive Reinforcement: How to Turn Customer Behavior into Sales

A PwC study shows that 71% of American consumers would still rather interact with a person than a chatbot or other automated solutions when it comes to their inquiries.

While customer service automation has certainly made a significant impact, support representatives are still a top choice for consumers when looking for a personalized and immediate response. Not only that, but call center agents also help companies boost their customer’s experience and satisfaction, which is why the nature of their job can affect company sales.

When on the job, agents must always practice patience and understanding towards clients. However, you can’t avoid challenges. There can be concerns when it comes to closing deals or bad engagements with some customers. As such, you must constantly develop new strategies and practices.

Apart from developing a better script and creating lucrative deals, one effective way you can capitalize on conversion opportunities is to understand the psychology of your customers. In this guide, we’ll discuss the concept of positive reinforcement and how you can use it to your advantage.

What Is Positive Reinforcement and How Does It Work?

In B.F. Skinner’s theory of operant conditioning, positive reinforcement is the addition of a pleasant stimulus to encourage certain behaviors. When the subject performs the desired action, they associate it with getting a reward and do the act more often.

A simple example of positive reinforcement is when you hold open a door for someone, and you receive praise and thanks. When that person affirms your actions, you feel good and appreciated, which will lead you to hold open the doors for other people in the future.

Positive reinforcement is also when dentists offer lollipops to children who visit and get their mouths checked. By providing a reward after checkups, kids will be encouraged to come back and be less scared during the next visit.

5 Ways Positive Reinforcement Can Affect Sales

Positive reinforcement towards customers can impact your sales because you delightfully encourage them to transact with you. Whenever they feel good during an interaction, your brand’s relationship with them deepens, translating into desirable behaviors. For further details, let’s look at the ways positive reinforcement can affect sales.

1. Positive reinforcement encourages action

The backbone of every rewards program is positive reinforcement. Brands use this psychological principle to generate high average order values, promote repeat purchases, and strengthen connections with each customer.

Using positive reinforcement through a rewards program creates a strong link between the action you want the customer to take and the benefits they can enjoy. With a consistent strategy, your customers will be conditioned to repeat the behavior you want them to do (e.g., referring friends or making purchases to earn points) because they want to continue getting rewards.

2. It attracts new customers

With positive reinforcement, you can turn new customers into loyal patrons, as studies prove that 74% of consumers choose to interact with a company that has a strong rewards program. There’s a high chance that first-time buyers will return when they get perks from making transactions with you. Hence, you must leverage each customer interaction with positive reinforcement to drive and retain new customers.

3. It helps keep your best customers

When you find money on the street, it puts you in a good mood, whether it’s only a dollar or a hundred dollars. According to psychologist Norbert Schwarz, “It’s not the value of what you find. It’s that something positive happened to you.” This psychological behavior can also apply to customer incentives.

Your company can’t have customer loyalty if your customers don’t emotionally connect with you. To create an emotional connection, they must feel a sense of belonging and have positive experiences. Showing gratitude through positive reinforcement will elicit emotions, regardless of the incentive’s value.

Your rewards don’t have to be grand. Just by positively reinforcing your customer’s actions with offers will keep them coming back to your business.

4. It creates brand advocates

When your customers are happy, they become brand ambassadors or people who refer your company to their family, friends, and even social media followers. According to studies, 92% of people believe in word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family over any type of advertising and marketing. As such, you must create a positive reinforcement strategy that shows how much you value your customers.

5. It brings back lost customers

There are many reasons why customers stray. If you want them back, you must give them a great reason to do so. You can lure inactive customers with enticing offers and rewards. Your strategy must be worth their time, or else they won’t bite. With this, you can personalize the offer or leverage their historical data by finding out why they left in the first place.

How to Use Positive Reinforcement to Your Advantage

Now that you know how positive reinforcement can encourage your customers to do more for your business, you must know how to use this psychological method to your advantage. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Build a loyalty program

With a loyalty program, you can explicitly specify what kind of customer behavior you’d like to see. It’s a concrete framework that motivates your customers to continue patronizing your brand.

A successful loyalty program should make your customers feel extra special whenever they transact with you. You can add incentives like birthday deals or free classes. As such, they’ll feel connected to you, and your company will keep a low churn rate.

2. Send thank-you notes and specialized offers

A small gesture, such as a thank-you note via a follow-up email or a card in your customer’s next order, can bring in big dividends as it strengthens your emotional connection with them. With this, you can add specialized offers and personalized recommendations to give a sense of exclusivity. This helps distinguish your brand from competitors, increase retention, and boost customer lifetime value.

3. Provide excellent customer support

When you give your customers the help they need every time they need it, you create a delightful experience that encourages them to reach out. Keeping their satisfaction high will lead to repeat purchases and more referrals.

According to a 2020 Walker study, customer experience will outweigh price and product as the key brand differentiator. When your customers feel valued by the company, their price sensitivity will drop, and they will be more willing to spend more.

4. Improve your return process

Offering a product return policy increases your customer’s order tendency. However, if you don’t handle it properly, they can become frustrated, and you risk losing them for good. As such, you must apply a customer-focused return policy. You can do this by:

  • Making a simple and seamless exchange process by having your customer service representatives ready for all situations;
  • Covering shipping fees; and
  • Offering a generous return/exchange window.

Your brand’s return and exchange process is a crucial part of your customer loyalty and retention efforts. Avoid frustrations and lead your customers to repeat purchases by offering them an exemplary return process.

5. Incentivize loyal customers with a referral program

A referral program bridges your loyal customers and the new ones. It encourages them to share their love for your brand and incentivises both the advocate and the referred friend. The rewards can be free products, discounts, or cash rewards. Customer referrals have a domino effect. When implemented successfully, it can lead to exponential sales growth.

Use Psychology as a Competitive Strategy

Positive reinforcement plays a significant role in strengthening your sales strategy. When your support agents get to know your customers and understand how they think, your representatives maintain retention, acquire new buyers, and turn customer behaviour into sales.

Ensure that your customers are taken care of by partnering with a call center in the Philippines with customer support experts who take the time to understand your audience. Contact EB Call Center today for reliable and top-notch service.

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A Primer on Effective Data Entry and How it Improves Your Customer Database

For any call center business, one sure way to provide optimal customer service is to get the right customer information. Almost everything starts with this. From demographic data such as name and age to service-specific information such as point of concern, feedback, and type of service, the whole transaction revolves around data entry.

This article will provide a complete guide to call center data entry and how it plays a huge role in managing a customer database.

What is Data Entry?

Data entry refers to the use of data processing programs and tools to enter information into a database, electronic service, or documentation platform. It also includes transcribing information from phone conversations or recordings. While most data entry functions are carried out electronically, paper documentation may be used as well.

How to Do Data Entry Like A Pro

Here are some tips and strategies on how to effectively and efficiently execute data entry:

1. Sort data properly

Beyond speed, accuracy is just as important in data entry. In fact, getting the details right should be the utmost priority. That said, it’s equally crucial that the data are organized correctly. 

From this standpoint, it’s crucial that your employees understand the importance of entering the right information. Explain to them how inaccuracy can negatively affect the business. Knowing the importance and gravity of data management will make your employees feel more responsible for the data, improving their overall efficiency.

There are various online applications your employees can use to improve their data sorting skills. Encourage them to use these programs to enhance their computer proficiency. They can also watch related online videos to enrich their software know-how.

2. Embrace digital solutions

Technology can help decrease the amount of work and time needed to finish a task, allowing you to get more out of your day. Whenever possible, make the most out of digital tools and solutions. An optical character recognition software, for instance, automatically extracts data from written or printed text, enabling quick conversion of scanned documents to searchable text files. 

Automatic error reporting technology is another useful tool you can explore. It automatically sends an alert in case of a system bug or error. For example, if there is a mistake in the input data, a pop-up appears to notify the employee of the issue, enabling them to address the problem immediately. 

By maximizing the benefits of digital tools, you reduce the workload of your employees, giving them more time to check and analyze the data.  

3. Always keep an eye for errors

When erroneous information is entered into the database, the conclusions will be skewed and inaccurate. That’s why you should ensure your employees review their work before submitting it. Have them proofread their data entries multiple times. While this is not practical in terms of large volumes of data, regular detailed checks can help identify areas of improvement.

4. Build reports for analysis

Data entry not only involves entering and organizing information. It also includes compiling data and creating reports for analysis. The results will guide you in your next steps in managing and growing your business at both strategic and operational levels.

To come up with insightful reports, it’s crucial that your employees identify which data are essential. Putting all information in a single file can result in a cluttered report, making it difficult to derive logical conclusions. Deciding in advance what data are going to be relevant will help facilitate the report-making process. 

5. Don’t forget to have backups

One of the biggest advantages of backing up data is the chance and ease of recovery in case of a system failure. A backup is incredibly useful in case of a major hard drive error, as it allows you to retrieve your files easily. It also protects your data from being permanently destroyed if a virus infiltrates your system.

A cloud storage system is a great option for backing up your data. It not only allows you quick access to the information but also enables you to open the files from anywhere. Whether it’s a random blackout, a virus, or a system failure, regularly backing up will help ensure all the critical information is protected.

5 Ways Effective Data Entry Improves Customer Database

Effective data entry can significantly improve customer database management. Read on to find out how.

1. It keeps everything organized

Data entry facilitates database management by organizing customer information, making it easier to pull out the files whenever you need them. Aside from allowing ease of access, data entry also helps prevent duplication of entries. Since the process filters the database by removing redundant details, all you need to do is to update the data when necessary.

2. It is accurate and specific

Data entry utilizes tools and programs that detect erroneous entries. With this checking mechanism, you can avoid coming up with unreliable conclusions that can harm your company’s brand credibility. By ensuring all the information entered is accurate, an effective data entry process helps guarantee that your customer database is error-free.

3. It offers customer data security and confidentiality

The use of multiple password protection is a standard operating procedure in data entry. Also, agents are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which prohibits them from divulging any information they will come in contact with during the course of their employment.

These security measures ensure that customer data are kept confidential and will not end up in the hands of any unauthorized party. They also warrant that customers’ sensitive information will not be used for purposes other than what they signed up for. 

4. It gives every agent access to a centralized and intuitive database

A centralized database is often used to manage customer information. This allows for ease of keying in additional data and updating existing ones since every agent has access to the database. In turn, it helps accelerate the data entry process. 

In addition, exporting data from one platform to another can be time-consuming, particularly if large amounts of data are involved. Hence, a centralized database can go a long way in making the operations faster and more efficient.  

5. It helps you track the progress of each customer transaction

Since all customer information is stored in a central database, transactional data movements reflect in the system. This allows you to monitor the progress of each customer transaction, including the amount spent, what product was sold, and when it was purchased.

These details–alongside customer engagement trends–can help you make informed decisions and avoid risks while maximizing your opportunities for growth.

4 Business Benefits of a Competent Customer Database

With an effective data entry process in place, you can build a complete and competent customer database. This enables your business to gain an advantage. Below are some business benefits of having a comprehensive and efficient customer database:

1. Saves you time and money

Dealing with duplicate entries or missing information can be time-consuming, not to mention it takes up extra resources. By maintaining a well-organized customer database, you can input data efficiently and manage them at a reduced time scale. In addition, you can limit errors, enabling you to come up with reliable reports that reflect accurate information.  

2. Keeps your agents efficient

A competent customer database typically incorporates automation technology, which helps speed up business processes by automating recurring tasks, allowing employees to focus on other functions. This contributes to employee efficiency by freeing up the agents’ time to take on other important work. 

Other programs and software, such as artificial intelligence, are also used to maintain a customer database. Their ease of use, scalability, and data management features help facilitate the execution of tasks, reducing chances of errors while increasing employee productivity.

3. Allows you to review your current strategies

In evaluating the effectiveness of your current business strategies, you will need data on which to base your assessment. In this case, an organized and updated database can serve as a reliable guide. The database can help you figure out your customers’ preferences and determine areas where intervention is required. 

A complete and competent database can also guide you in modifying weak approaches, allowing you to boost your customer engagement effectively. In turn, this can help increase your profitability.

4. Assists you in developing business plans and goals

Having chunks of unorganized data can cause several issues down the line. Out-of-date information, incomplete details, and erroneous entries cannot benefit the business in any way. If anything, it can lead to substantial financial losses and misinformed decisions. 

By organizing and standardizing your data, you’ll be able to derive accurate and reliable insights which you can use to leverage business opportunities. A well-organized customer database also enables you to make data-driven decisions, which can help reduce costs by improving your operational efficiency.

Effective Data Entry Can Help Boost Your Business

An effective data entry process can greatly improve customer database management. In turn, it can help reduce operational costs by enhancing your organizational efficiency. It can also facilitate data-driven decision-making, thereby increasing your company’s profitability.

If you want to work with a call center in the Philippines that offers data entry services, EB Call Center can give you the competitive advantage you are looking for. Just head on over to our Contact Us page and drop a message.

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Understanding the Sales Call Steps: How to Close More Deals

As Henry Ford once said: nothing happens until someone sells something.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business, which is why the sales department often has the most significant impact on a company’s operations. As such, everything revolves around the sales forecast, including the company’s target goal attainment and, thus, your KPI.

The problem is selling is a hard skill to pin down. As with anything that entails human-to-human interactions, whether in-person or via calls, it requires a lot of context and comprehension to conduct. Moreover, you must tailor each conversation for each customer who needs different solutions for different problems.

While every sales situation is different, almost all follow a general pattern towards a conclusion. And when patterns arise, so does the opportunity for replication and scaling. Creating a sales playbook is an excellent step to replicate and scale your methods to achieve bigger goals, and every playbook starts with an understanding of the sales process.

The sales process is the invisible blueprint that most sales calls follow, and this infographic will provide a top-to-bottom guide on the steps of the sales call.

The 7 Steps of a Sales Call

The following steps serve as an outline of the structure that most sales calls should follow. The process starts before a call is made. That is, finding out whether a lead is sales qualified and tailoring your presentation for their specific needs. 

Next is the actual call itself, where you present your case, handle objections, and, hopefully, close the deal. The last step is maintaining your relationship with the customer. 

However, do not think of this as a script to follow to the letter. Since you will be presented with different situations for each call, some improvisation will be needed. With that said, it will be a lot easier to improvise if you know which step in the process your conversation is currently in and where it is heading next.

So, now, let us delve deeper into the steps of a sales call: 

  1. Prospecting

It may be helpful to create a buyer persona to help you narrow down your leads. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that represents an ideal member of your target market. It enables you to categorize people with similar goals and pain points. You can use this to standardize your playbook when encountering a customer with similar characteristics as your buyer persona.

Ideally, prospecting should happen before you make the call. However, on the off chance that the lead approached you first, ask the prospect leading questions about their pain points and listen carefully to their answers.

  1. Preparation

Now that you have identified a potential customer, it is time to acquire as much information as you can get before you approach them. Research about their company and industry, and do not forget to observe their competitors, as well. It is at this point that you will tailor your sales pitch for their needs. 

  1. Approach

Introduce yourself and your company well. You should have developed a sales script for your product and company by now. Start with rapport-building and try to segue into the sales presentation by asking pre-qualifying questions to the client.

  1. Presentation

While having a PowerPoint presentation is a no-brainer for business proposals, you would not have that luxury when presenting via a phone call. Instead, list down the benefits of your product or service that are most beneficial for the customer. Use the information you’ve gathered earlier to keep pressing the pain points of the client.

Again, while it is best to have a script, improvisation is key. Actively listen to your client’s questions and react accordingly.

  1. Handling Objections

After your main presentation, your customer may have more questions and hesitations before accepting your proposal. Try to prepare a script for the common customer objections and always handle these concerns politely and tactfully.

  1. Closing

While it is possible to close the deal right there and then, what is most likely going to happen is that the customer will require more time to think about the purchase and discuss with other people if they should go through with it or not. Try not to push too hard. Instead, find out when you can get their decision and regularly communicate with them to follow up.

  1. Follow-up

Send a thank-you note after the meeting and after the deal is closed. You should also answer their product concerns once they arise and ask for feedback.

How to Win More at Sales Calls

Now that you know the steps of the sales call, here are five tips to help you improve your sales call game:

  1. Be confident

An insecure salesperson will have a hard time appealing to a potential customer. Always maintain composure, assertively address their objections, and be firm when you give the big ask. Confidence often comes from knowledge of your product and service. So, study up!

  1. Take control of the situation

When you feel that the conversation is starting to stall, try to get the ball rolling again by asking leading questions and articulate why your product or service is essential for their situation. Knowing which stage your conversation is in the sales call will help you segue to the next one.

  1. Find a customer’s place in the buyer’s journey

Knowing where the customer is in the sales funnel will allow you to tailor your approach to their needs.

A prospect at the awareness stage needs more information about your product or service to advance to the next stage of the funnel. Meanwhile, those already farther along the funnel may only need a nudge (i.e., a special offer) to push them towards the purchase.

  1. Don’t hard sell

Nothing turns off a buyer quicker than a seller who is too aggressive. Using hard-selling techniques may backfire on you as the customer may opt to fight fire with fire.

Always remember that selling should work out a solution that works for the customer and not just closing the sale. Using aggressive selling techniques can win you sales in the short term, but good luck trying to retain these customers for the long haul.

  1. Listen and build a conversation

Another thing to always keep in mind is that you are dealing with humans. Don’t just rattle off about your product’s benefits or your company’s values. Active listening and giving an enthusiastic response will signal to the customer that you do indeed care about them and what they are saying.

Sales is Still the Most Important Part of a Business

The art of selling is hard to master because the variables are different every time. However, following the blueprint of the sales process can help you tame this wild beast and even systematize and replicate it. A way to have access to a high-performing sales team that can scale your business is by working with a call center provider.

If you want to work with a call center that can help you close deals with high potential, EB Call Center offers excellent and top-notch service. Head on over to the EB Call Center Contact Us page and drop a message!

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Customer Experience 101: Best Practices for Call Centers

With marketing becoming more competitive, your business must constantly find ways to outperform rival companies. Offering state-of-the-art products or having high-quality services may convince people to transact with you and even make repeat purchases, but these alone aren’t enough to guarantee your success.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, know that your efforts won’t matter if your customer support process is poor. Over 61% of consumers say that they have stopped transacting with a business after a poor service experience. This means that if you leave your customers on hold, engage with them rudely, or fail to address their concerns, you’re preventing yourself from attaining growth. 

To help your company improve its customer support process, this guide will teach you how to treat your clients right.

Nothing grows your business more effectively than loyal customers. Having a comprehensive marketing strategy may help you attract new leads, but creative ads and beautifully designed assets aren’t enough to make every customer an advocate of your brand. Since loyal customers are likely to make repeat purchases and recommend you to their friends, customer retention should, therefore, be a top priority.

Luckily, you can build a strong customer base by generating positive experiences for your clients. But you may be wondering, how can I provide excellent customer support? Before we dive into the details, let’s start by defining the term customer experience. 

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience refers to how you’ve made your clients feel throughout their interactions with your business. Responding quickly, personalizing interactions, and providing effective solutions are great ways to influence their perception of your brand positively. In turn, an improved image in the market will lead to more sales opportunities, which can significantly impact your bottom line. 

This is precisely why customer service is a vital factor in attaining business success. If you want to meet and exceed customer expectations, being aware of the best practices in customer service should be your next course of action. 

Customer Experience Best Practices

Below, we’ll discuss the ideal practices that will improve the experience of your customers.

  1. Know the customer

Your support team should have an excellent understanding of your target audience. Apart from demographics, your representatives must be able to take advantage of their characteristics and tendencies. 

If your business is still new, one of the best ways you can help out your support team is to create buyer personas. Having semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers will give your team a better idea of how they should engage with them. 

  1. Master your product or service

Have you ever inquired with a support representative who didn’t know the answer to your dilemma? If yes, then you probably remember how frustrating that interaction must have been. Keeping that in mind, you should already know that your clients also get frustrated if your agent isn’t knowledgeable about your company’s services. 

Whether you’re building an in-house team or planning to outsource to a call center in the Philippines, ensure that the team members know the ins and outs of your business.

  1. Aim to solve an issue in the quickest way possible

Along with the quality of your solutions, your support team’s reply speed can also greatly influence the customer’s experience. Consider this analogy: a website that’s beautifully designed will not satisfy its visitors if it takes forever to load. Your clients will never say it directly, but keep in mind that they prefer to get their issues solved as quickly as possible. 

  1. Avoid long hold times

Following the previous point, it’s essential to show your customers that you value their time. Along with improving your response speeds, avoid leaving them on hold for too long while rerouting them. Leaving them hanging will put them in an unpleasant mood, which can negatively influence their perception of you. 

  1. Have a positive and helpful attitude

As you go about your daily operations, your customer service team will inevitably deal with rude and angry clients. When facing these kinds of situations, remind your team members to take the high road and stay positive. Retaliating against negative behavior will make matters worse and may even pave the way for other issues. 

  1. Tailor the experience to every customer

Always remember each customer is unique. Having a standardized script to follow may help your team members stay organized but encourage them to add a human touch to their interactions. Adjusting to a customer’s tone, being aware of what stage they are in the buyer’s journey, and sending tailor-fit offers are just some of the ways to personalize their experience.

  1. Ask for feedback 

Giving your customers the chance to provide feedback hits two birds with one stone. First, it shows that you value them since you’re looking for ways to improve their experience. Second, it gives you useful insights that can help solve gaps in your operations. 

While collecting and processing comments may pose challenges, taking a proactive approach to feedback will hasten your company’s development.

Final Takeaways

With the points above in mind, you can start providing excellent customer service. Building a solid base of loyal customers won’t just ensure future profits; it will also guarantee business sustainability for years to come. Adopting the practices mentioned above and being aware of the latest trends in customer service will ensure your clients have a swell time with your brand, too. 

Empower your business with our pool of talented professionals! If customer service isn’t one of your company’s core competencies, let the experts take things from here. Outsourcing your customer support process to a reliable agency will be one of your best decisions since it can help decrease your company’s workload and entitle you to cost-saving benefits. 

Contact us today to learn more about our customer service expertise!

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