A Three-Step Guide to Effective Contact Center Management

In today’s highly-competitive industry, it is no secret the primary goal of every entrepreneur is to attract and maintain customers, ensure their business’s success in the long run. This is due to the fact that corporations go head-to-head when it comes to providing the same products/services, leaving consumers with a wide variety of choices and ultimately, giving them the power to choose which brand is better, which lacks the ability to satisfy consumer needs. In light of this situation, companies see the only way to increase sales is to make sure customers keep coming and keep purchasing. Hence the birth of a more elaborate and organized customer service and support system.

Not until recently, business owners saw the worth of customer service as a minor factor in the development of their corporation. But with the growing competition among industries, followed by rapid changes in market trends, corporations are forced to invest and provide more attention to customer service, to building relationship between the company and its target market. In line with this new marketing strategy is the birth of the contact center, a system under a company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) department that handles customer issues. Generally, contact centers are the ones responsible in maintaining good customer relationship, it’s main role is to provide a clear communication line where customers can conveniently voice out their requests and concerns.

Here are three simple but essential steps to help you better manage your contact center.

Know Your Role

It’s hard to do your job if you have no idea what your duty really is. You’ll perform to your potential if you’re well aware of your role – the nature of your work, why it’s important, and what you’re doing it for. Knowing the importance of the contact center, as well as your company’s benefit, will give you detailed reason why the job is crucial. This way, not only will you learn how to act accordingly, you will also find some motivation to help you focus on your work.

Act the Part

However, knowing the nature of your job is not enough. The next step is to act the part. Once you understand your role to the full, it’s time to set goals that would lead to the success of your department and the company as a whole. It is essential that you and your team work in synchronized manner, with the same ideal in mind. Just like in a play/movie, each person has a role, and the whole cast/company has to perform as one unit for the play to really work. The same is to be said in contact center management: for the whole crew to build a harmonious connection with the customers, everyone has to play the parts assigned to them. Only in this way could the team achieve the set goals, which includes maintain a good relationship with the clients.

Own the Part

The ultimate role of a contact center team is to make sure customers get the attention they want and deserve. Meaning, a contact center system works for the sole purpose of endorsing their company’s good image, by presenting an excellent customer service performance. Contact center teams need to keep in mind the department exists to increase customer retention rate. This being said, they should know that their job as contact center personnel essentially means the success or failure of their company.

While it is true that modern technology is of great help in enhancing customer service performance, it can also be said that the technical aspect is not enough to build a strong foundation for a customer support. The real deal still fully relies on the ability of the employees to perform in accordance with the standards of their clients.

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How’s Your Outbound Sales Performance Doing?

Five Tips for Providing the Best Customer Service Experience

Expanding Your Business Reach: Multilingual Contact Centers

How’s Your Outbound Sales Performance Doing?

One way businesses generate (revenue) leads and sales is through outbound marketing: sales representatives reach out to existing and prospective customers, promoting products and services. However, this marketing tactic is often overshadowed by inbound marketing, what most companies don’t realize is that outbound marketing is just as important as any other marketing strategies.

While it has its own flaws and disadvantages, outbound marketing can potentially increase not only leads and sales, but the number of loyal customers as well. In today’s industries, consumers not only look for quality product and services; customer service and support are just as important.

Consumers are more inclined to patronize a brand if it delivers well in customer service; they will trust your company if you show a sense of responsibility and empathy. To earn and build loyalty, you have to be sincere in your efforts, and communicating you want the best for them is priority.

This is accomplished in outbound marketing, where sales representatives engage and develop trust with clients. Since their job is to persuade consumers to buy products, outbound sales agents can make use of personal strategies in establishing rapport with customers. This method can be effective if the goal is to generate sales. But how can you be sure if your outbound marketing team is doing their job right?

How is your company’s outbound sales performance doing?

As experts put it, business is not just about product/service quality, there’s also emphasis on customer relationship. Corporations have to realize the way customers think, something which changed over the years. It is still essential to secure a special connection with them. The ultimate goal for every company is to build and maintain a good and trustworthy image. This involves providing high-quality products, and effective customer service and support. This principle is applied in outbound marketing. Anticipating the challenges involved, here are two simple tricks you can implement:

1. Identifying, understanding your prospects

Outbound sales representatives need to know, having basic information about clients won’t do them any good. If they want to really see some progress, sales agents have to understand the way customers think. They should be able to relate to the clients’ situation – how it is in their customers’ shoes, how would they respond to the call or offer? Would they consider buying if the conversation is lighthearted? Does straight-forward work to them best? Agents should be able to contemplate these things before planning their marketing approach.

2. Build lasting relationships

Once the agents establish a connection with prospects, the next important thing to do is to nurture that relationship. Customers who feel a certain bond with a company are most likely to continue patronage with them. One way to do this is with consistent follow-ups, updating on new products or promos that could stir interest. It’s these little things like these send customers the impression that your company has a focused and dedicated customer support system.

While some customers may be a little hard to persuade, following these steps can change the course of your outbound sales. The key here is that your company must convey your message (that your customers are important) clear and loud. As a business owner, the first step you need to do is to find people who can successfully do the job. Look for employees who are effective communicators, good decision makers, great listeners, and most importantly, those who have dedication. Do this and your outbound marketing team should be fine.

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Maximizing Customer Retention: Handling Complaints

Five Tips for Providing the Best Customer Service Experience

Five Tips for Providing the Best Customer Service Experience

A bad customer experience can ruin your business reputation, drive customers away. This is unfortunate realization for companies forced to recall products, compensate for poor service. It’s really difficult to make up for such scenarios, especially when you’re up against angry customers who just wouldn’t quit. This is why many consider customer service outsourcing an efficient solution to complaint management. Whether your customer support is in-house or leased, these best practices should spare you from mistakes too many companies fumbled with.

1. Provide a clear explanation

You’re very familiar with your industry’s technologies and terminologies, and they say familiarity breeds contempt – towards your customers. If you can’t explain your service in plain and simple terms, the customer will feel misunderstood, even patronized. The clarity of communication is important because it affects everything you do. It influences the customer’s decision in buying as well as their experience in using the product or service offered.

Aside from slangs, colloquialisms, or technical jargon, you should also avoid passive-aggressive language and negative undertones. Explain things in chronological order or in order of difficulty, complemented by a friendly voice; your customers appreciate clarity.

2. Active Listening

In answering queries and dealing with customer complaints, listen with an intent to understand what the real problem is. If you ignore the issue or fail to meet your customer’s expectations, the situation could worsen or escalate.

To save you from failed communication, pay close attention to the words used, as well as the tone and other nonverbal signals used in a conversation. Through this simple practice, you would know where a customer is coming from, and you can address the problem correctly and efficiently. If you’ve considered customer service outsourcing, invest in training and coaching programs to ensure your support is equipped to handle the worst customer complaints.

3. Use Positive Language

One way you’ll steer clear of accidental conflicts brought by failed communication is to use positive language. Instead of saying “can’t” or “unavailable,” shift to words that propose a definite solution. When the focus of the conversation is on the outcome, the customer is less likely upset in the end. Done professionally and formally, the angry or frustrated customer will still trust your brand.

4. Follow up on Customer Requests

Whether you promised to give an update on a request or not, the customer expects the agent to follow through until completion. Failing to do leaves the impression you’re unprofessional, and may smear the reputation of your business. Before it happens, keep in mind all the requests deserve an immediate response, ensure your customers are guided from start to finish. Remember to be accountable for the customers’ satisfaction, making them feel important and valued.

5. Close the Conversation on a Good Note

Closing a conversation is more than just saying thank you and goodbye. A good agent doesn’t leave an issue hanging and unresolved. He/she guarantees that every transaction completely addressed the customer’s question or achieved the purpose of the call. Your willingness to close a conversation correctly shows that you want to get things right and care about the customer’s gratification.
A good customer experience sustains retention. Manage your customer base well and watch your prospects grow through word-of-mouth, on social media. Building a good reputation takes time; value what you’ve accomplished by keeping constant pulse on your customers.

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Maximizing Customer Retention: Handling Complaints

Essentials of Contact Center Management: Call Handling

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Media Managers

Expanding Your Business Reach: Multilingual Contact Centers

The Philippines is a primary source of English-fluent customer service employees, no doubt a feasible destination for companies in need of business process outsourcing. Did you know opportunities also abound not just for Anglophiles, but for multilingual customer service representatives? What makes multilingual contact centers prime potential, for companies looking for cost-effective solutions to sales and customer support? Your business has a lot to gain, whether you’re a start-up or large corporation. How can you take advantage of it? Here are points to consider before you invest:

A Culture Open to Influence

Most Filipinos are at the very least bilingual—learning English side by side with their native tongue at the start of their schooling. Many even have third or fourth languages, dialects learned in childhood. Thoroughly exposed to Western culture, Filipino contact center employees are surely comfortable in dealing with foreign customers. Their openness to other aspects of foreign cultures help them adjust and adapt to change, too—from their knowledge of Western pop culture to the influences of Malay, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean culture in their vocabulary and lifestyles.

Moreover, outsourcing employees who are well-versed in more than two tongues is an easy feat, given the prevalence of students studying in language institutes across the country.

Crucial Aspects in Maintaining a Good Multilingual Contact Center

Having a vast talent pool of people fluent in English, Mandarin, Spanish, Korean, or other languages is a good start. However, it’s better if you find other essential aspects before you invest in the country. This includes building a solid sales team who can easily fire on all cylinders to scout new demographics. Furthermore, it’s important your talent is thoroughly trained to be language and culture competent.

Investing in human resource outsourcing means investing in their potential. Employers must require more than fluency, since the customers they face will have different temperaments. For instance, German and Japanese customers are more likely to expect more efficient responses, given the importance of time in their cultures. Moreover, train your employees to know the variations in spellings in English—no matter if it’s American, British, Australian, or other varieties.

Developing a multilingual contact center pays off in the long run. So long as you make the most of your teams’ potential, you’ll always have someone able to step in to handle foreign-language clients.

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Why Project Outsourcing (Still) Points East: Take Your Market Research Calls to the Philippines

While the global economic climate has succumbed to caution and slower growth, the Philippines remains a lucrative destination for project outsourcing needs, including the expanding industry of market research. With enough decision-making work on your hands, it’s time you consider taking on the world’s largest outsourcing market, one of Asia’s most English-proficient countries—ultimately meeting your market research call needs in the process.

A Large English-Speaking Talent Pool

To effectively gauge your customers’ reactions towards your product or service, you must have a certain understanding of their daily routine and how it relates to what you offer to them. Filipinos themselves are highly Westernized, which makes their calls feel more authentic. No customer would feel comfortable talking about their products to a stiff-sounding robot, which is why Filipinos, with their first-hand experiences of Western products, can very much relate to the experiences of your customers. Perhaps they can even throw in a pop culture reference or two (when appropriate, of course), to make your business feel more human.

Lower Costs

Despite the abundance of qualified talent, the Philippines is still known for being a cost-efficient, project outsourcing destination. In the realm of market research calls, that simply means your expenditures for customer support take a nosedive, while the development of your business can finally take a huge chunk of the company budget. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Intense Competition, Higher Quality

Open a Filipino classified ad or job website and you’d be hard pressed not to find a BPO company. According to the Oxford Business Group, it’s even become an $18 billion-dollar industry in 2014. Competition, in turn, has become rife as an abundance of outsourcing companies vie to give the best contact services possible to their offshore clients. You can expect to avoid paying top dollar for quality.

A Tech-Savvy Generation

The Philippines is no stranger to the newest technologies, especially in its young workforce. Developments in consumer electronics and telecommunication are immediately adopted and applied. This is seen in all IT industries: transitioning in-house tasks offshore is easier if you’re working with teams that easily adapt. Technical and specialized processes are competently handled; couple this with English-proficient professionals and you have the ideal talent pool.

Project outsourcing is good for business because it reduces operation costs. If you’re partnered with the right teams, then you’re also guaranteed efficient processes. If you’re considering locations to expand, there’s no better place to start than the Philippines.

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Essentials of Contact Center Management: Call Handling

There are instances when call center agents get a rough time handling customer calls. With the variety of phone connectivity available, numerous troubles, concerns, and complaints need to be addressed accordingly. There’s always the option of contact center outsourcing, and there’s always room for improvement; here are some steps to implement with your teams. Let your teams work on these strategies, improving the overall call handling performance of the agents.

Answer Incoming Calls Immediately

If you want to convert customers, answer their calls. Even if you think it’s only a complaint, every call you receive is worth the company’s income. Through this fundamental gesture, your customers feel valued. If the roles were reversed, you don’t want to be on the other line, waiting for someone to pick up the call even though it has been ringing nonstop. Make sure that your agents answer the calls properly and on time. This is a great start to help you convert more calls into customers.

Ask for Contact Information

When the consumers call, it’s possible that they are considering doing business with you. In this case, you better train your team well and provide an effective system that helps them collect the name, email address, and contact number of each potential customer. This is an essential step in contact center outsourcing, knowing how to follow-up on consumers for possible leads or other special offers, even if you have multiple agents receiving the calls. After all, you don’t want to lose a lot of information in the shuffle of different people answering the phone.

The Art of Putting Calls on Hold

Remember that the longer you keep a caller on hold, the less likely that customer stays on the phone. With this in mind, train your agents to have a clear understanding of how to keep callers on hold for the shortest time possible. In fact, it can be observed that the average waiting time of most callers is more or less within the 50-second range. It is best to make the most of the customer’s time by moving with a comprehensive system of gathering information, providing solutions, and the like.

Developing dynamic, efficient contact center outsourcing involves equally effective methodologies. Stay on top of processes, and don’t hesitate to apply feasible ways of improvement. You’ll know the teams are doing well with significant decrease in complaints, and increased rate in customer satisfaction.

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