Category

Business Improvement

IdeasUnlimited Has Achieved Another Milestone: Top Customer Support Company Award by Clutch, 2019

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Call Center Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Multilingual Support, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Endeavoring to provide the highest quality of service, IdeasUnlimited has achieved commendable success in delivering support services to many companies across the globe. These services have recently been recognized by Clutch in its 2019 Leader Awards.

Clutch is a leading platform that provides data-driven analysis, reviews and ratings for B2B buying and hiring. It values the importance of efficient business services and human resources for a responsive and intuitive organization. Therefore, it uses market research, analytics, and verified user reviews to filter the best service providers in the industry to help clients easily identify the best options for themselves.

With an overall 4.5/5 rating, Clutch has chosen IdeasUnlimited amongst more than 470  competitive IT and business services firms as a Business Leader in several categories: Please create dark blue (logo color) fancy boxes for this list

Medical Billing

Customer Support

Inbound Appointment Setting

HR Recruiting

Benefits Consulting

HR Outsourcing

We are proud to mention that we have achieved this Business Leader Award based on reviews from our esteemed clients, industry knowledge and experience, client satisfaction, and our ability to perform a range of support services par excellence. IdeasUnlimited has been a reliable partner to its clients for customized and focused support services across the clock.

Not only this, we received another positive manifestation on Clutch’s sister website, The Manifest. It has mentioned IdeasUnlimited as the best HR Outsourcing Company in Houston on the basis of our wide range of services, projects, and client reviews.

2019 has been a remarkable year so far and IdeasUnlimited’s team is grateful.

We cannot wait to work harder and serve global businesses in an even better manner!

Norwegian Customer Service by IdeasUnlimited

God morgen! A New Era of Norwegian Customer Service

By | Call Center Support, Customer Service, Multilingual Customer Service, Multilingual Support, Receptionist Service, Transcription, Translation, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

When you say the word ‘Norway’ what comes to mind? Is it the fjords? Skiing? Or maybe the glorious Vikings? Whatever stereotype you choose, good customer service is likely not in the top ten. IdeasUnlimited is here to help change that. We can help take your companies’ online web presence and sales and elevate them so that you are creating connections while upselling. This allows you the freedom to focus on improving your value offering while we provide exceptional Norwegian customer service.

Apparently, there is national recognition of passivity or inaction in retail. ScienceNordic details a study conducted recently which concluded that “companies are once again paying attention to the importance of how their employees treat customers”.

This research campaign brought to light a tendency to forget upselling and a decrease in securing final sales from 18 to 14 percent. Norwegian salespeople are now much better at greeting customers with that sunny smile and Nordic disposition, but there just has not been that follow through to secure the sales. IdeasUnlimited’s Norwegian customer service representatives can manage phone sales and even online orders to increase your company’s conversion rate. As a company, we have a large pool of native Norwegian speakers. Hence, you will have that cultural continuity while being assured that your hires will be trained to fit your standards. This allows your efforts to be spent best on optimizing your core business competencies.

IdeasUnlimited can also provide you workers to oversee quality assurance or customer satisfaction research for you. This can be vital, as “asking customers how satisfied they are does not always give a true picture of how well employees do their work”, especially when asked directly. Responses are often much more honest when done behind a barrier, so to speak, or anonymously to an individual who can hold accountability. You can only then receive honest feedback as to the tone of the interaction, how empathetic the customer support agent was, and whether customers were offered incentives to stay with your brand. You can know exactly where changes need to be made. It isn’t enough to just meet your sales goals, you need a team who believes an understanding of what it is that drives people is more important to continue progressing to the next level. By visualizing your customers perceptions, you can carve out solutions.

One of the examples that Norway is learning from is Tesla. They are a story of what exactly not to do then taking the time to make corrections. As of 2018, Norwegian Tesla owners reported “ridiculously long wait times and un-returned phone calls as Tesla’s service centers in Norway are overworked and low on parts”. Many customers had to make trips to customer care centers specifically just to find someone to communicate with who could direct them to help. Others were given surprise notifications for repair dates that they had not made. At one point, the lack of communication within their customer service department was so pervasive, that messages were actually being sent to the founder, Elon Musk. Luckily, 2019 has seen several changes in procedures.

Several initiatives like seeing service team sizes doubling by the end of the year were introduced. But what were the actual results? Well, Tesla grew its service team in Norway by 30% this year and added more shifts. Greater coverage meant more claims could be taken in. Customers could finally speak to a human being within a reasonable time.

But IdeasUnlimited knows you can do better than that. That you WANT better than that. This is why we want to set you up with a team that will make this a reality. When you have the right product or service, a perfect ratio of customer service and a unified management, you can do just about anything. So, let us find the right local customer service representatives for you while you strengthen your retail strategies.

Get yourself a secret weapon

How to Get Yourself a Secret Weapon

By | Backend Support Services, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support Services, Receptionist Service, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Some Tips to Map Virtual Assistance Requirements and Benefits for Your Business

The owner of a home-based catering service was rude to my friend when contacted for order confirmation and delivery date. As a result, my friend cancelled the order despite an explanatory message from the owner that it happened due to fatigue.

Ecommerce Evolution and Entrepreneurship

How many times have you heard something similar or experienced poor customer service or management while dealing with a small business?

It is becoming quite common as every 1 in 5 small business owners reports burn out. Additionally, one of the major reasons for the closing down of a new start up is that the entrepreneur tries to do everything himself/herself and fails to address customer services and marketing adequately. This results in inefficiencies and setbacks.

The trials of a start-up or growing business

Today, individuals as well as organizations are engaged to and through technology. Remote work is climbing the workspace trends very fast and one of the most popular remote jobs brought in by technology has been Virtual Assistant Support. The nomenclature makes it seem like a high-flying business requirement only as well as costly. But it is very much a technological boon that can aid in several aspects of ecommerce support and backend support for every business.

If you are struggling in your new venture or thinking of a start up, you will find invaluable tips here regarding how to delegate and whom to delegate to achieve long term success and life-work balance while being cost effective.

Scope of Virtual Assistance

In a nutshell, Virtual Assistance covers a broad spectrum of services which provide a business administrative support as well as operational support. These assistants work remotely, providing expertise and specialized skills to your business. You can hire one for:

  • Personal Assistance
  • Planning and Scheduling
  • Social Media and Email Support
  • Accounting and Book Keeping
  • Complete Ecommerce Support
  • Correspondence Management
  • Publishing Services
  • Reports Writing and Presentations
  • Data Analysis and Spreadsheets
  • Research, Marketing, Selling
  • Backend Support
  • Technical Support
  • Reservations and Bookings
  • Administrative Support Services
  • Project Management

The best part is, you can hire a virtual assistant for every imaginable task specific to your industry and language. A well trained and supervised Multilingual Virtual Assistant can give you optimum productivity and broader reach in international markets. Similarly, an experienced and qualified Administrative Virtual Assistant can help you save time and allow you to focus on important matters while taking care of all scheduling, communication with stakeholders, and other administrative tasks.

Benefits of A Virtual Assistant

From Ecommerce Support to Backend Support to Operational Support, a VA can be the secret weapon for a modern business, whether it is a start up or a growing business. The ease of hiring through a dedicated service provider makes it very feasible to hire a separate VA for each project, or conduct seasonal/hourly hiring, whatever suits your business needs. They provide a dedicated service, while you enjoy total control of your time and resources, confidentiality of data, and hassle-free management of a remote team.

  • As 37% of Americans have moved towards telecommuting, and the trend is on rise in the world, the decision to hire a remote worker can introduce you to an amazing and rich talent pool from where you can hire someone for just about any task you wish to be done professionally and in a timely manner.
  • Moreover, these skilled workers cost lesser than an in-house assistant. You are not obliged to pay for transportation costs, trainings, holidays, healthcare, or any other benefits.
  • You get freedom and flexibility with hiring a Virtual Assistant. You can hire them and let them go according to the needs of your business. You can scale their tasks and hours up and down as well.
  • Hiring specialized Virtual Assistants allows to you to get access to a very wide range of skillsets. You can easily get Multilingual Support for your business and even cover different time zones.

Bonus Tip: Remote workers are on average 20% more productive than their counterparts. Contracting a VA through a reliable service provider can ensure trained and supervised staff, which ensures higher productivity.

When to Delegate and What to Delegate

It’s not the 1820s when friends and family would help unconditionally in running your business; you need professional support! Fortunately, it is easier than ever to get it too, but it’s important that you are yourself familiar with your specific needs to select a provider.

  • As mentioned before, new business owners either do not feel they have enough work to hire someone else or they believe they can do everything themselves.
  • Be proactive and hire yourself a virtual assistant for Administrative Support Services when you find yourself doing low value, repetitive tasks, which keep you away from important planning.
  • Similarly, do not over expect from yourself and try to master everything. Instead, hire a specialist for Ecommerce Support and Backend Support for your new business. This will not only save your time and efforts but also keep you relaxed and focused on your key areas.

Bonus Tip: VAs are an expert on the niche they serve. However, no VA comes out of the box for you. A little patience and training about your business can go a long way in establishing the VA as your secret weapon. Or simply contact a support services provider who has a compelling history of successful projects in dealing with global businesses, explain your requirements and then relax!

Combating Food Waste on the Micro level - IdeasUnlimited

Combating Food Wastage on the Micro Level

By | Entrepreneurship, Food for thought, IdeasUnlimited Let's Contemplate Fridays | No Comments

Our IdeasUnlimited team has a tradition of sharing something positive and something thought-worthy every Friday before we all leave for a relaxing weekend. This gives us a chance to discuss our thoughts and bounce ideas off each other about giving back to the society in any way that we can. Coming from all over the world, the IdeasUnlimited’s team brings in knowledge of ground-level realities and a varied experience and input on every topic that is under the limelight each Friday.

This is in spirit with the IdeasUnlimited ambition of mutual growth and becoming conscientious world citizens.

A few Fridays back, our CEO Shahzad Yaqoob (Nick) initiated a discussion on food wastage across the continents. It got us all thinking about how we experience food waste as individuals and how can we counter it.

Food wastage is a complex and multidimensional issue. It impacts human existence through nutritional and environmental degradation.

Research shows the increasingly dismal situation of food availability, usage, distribution and access disparity amongst the developed and developing countries of the world over the years.

The stark differences in economic development are also reflected in the prevalent levels of food poverty and food waste reduction efforts among nations. The nature of food insecurity, hunger, food waste and food loss varies across the globe. Thankfully, there are many international and local initiatives that have prioritized food waste eradication as their main goals.

For a succinct and holistic report on Food Wastage and Loss Around the World prepared by IdeasUnlimited, please

click here

However, food wastage largely remains a societal issue which needs attention from all segments of the society. It is important to bring this narrative under discussion and share techniques for combatting this growing menace at households, organizational, and national levels.

One of our colleagues at IdeasUnlimited, Ashlie, has shared that she feels very strongly about food waste at the household level. Food wastage for her is eatables thrown away because of thoughtlessness, which is in effect food that did not reach the deserving families who are starving. Ashlie aptly calls food hunger as “a branch of poverty, yet arguably a symptom of uncontrolled luxury”. She practices portion control for adults in her household and only cooks a healthy version of the food her young son likes to eat, in order to avoid throwing away cooked and uncooked food. She suggests the creation of food drop-off points in every locality to utilize food that is not being used in homes.

This way instead of throwing it in bins, we can forward it to our fellow citizens who are facing food shortage.

On the same lines, Shakira advocates and practices controlled grocery shopping. This involves buying grocery only when needed and in quantities that can be utilized before the food goes bad in the kitchen. She is also a strong proponent of repurposing leftover cooked ingredients into snacks or supplementing them with another small dish for another meal. This not only reduces the burden of cooking but ensures that food never finds its way to the bin. Better yet, she packages up any leftovers and gives them to the less privileged around her.

Shahzad thinks developed nations should play a major role in eradicating this global issue, as these countries are more proficient in terms of technology and resources. As the developed world has a much more significant proportion of food waste around the world, they should be looking into making permanent and universally applicable laws for reducing portion sizes at restaurants and establishing food pick-up points after lunch and dinner hours to help the needy populace receive food parcels (with due regard to hygiene and health issues) which would otherwise be thrown away as wasted food items.

Shahzad postulates the usage of robotics and artificial intelligence to set up a permanent facility in every neighborhood for transferring food from those who do not need it to those who are looking for it. Not only would this assist in sorting any food parcels from households, restaurants, and supermarkets, it can match it with those who need it. This one-time investment can be fruitful in expanding the radius of collection and delivery of such food.

Moreover, a website or app can be set up that is updated at the backend in real time with available food packages and the contents of each.

Those seeking assistance in getting access to safe and healthy food can sign up for this service and get notifications on availability of the same. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) behind it can match the food packages to those in need closest to that location. The possibilities are endless!

He also believes that more investment should be made towards advocacy campaigns to educate households about efficiently utilizing food products and forwarding them to the less privileged in case of any excess.

I believe the major reason for food waste in today’s world is uncontrolled and growing consumerism. I see how we over-buy at giant food suppliers and hypermarkets because of cheaper prices and promotional offers on bundle purchases. I often find myself becoming a victim of these marketing gimmicks. An international law on food wastage and recycling for Hypermarkets should be implemented to monitor and control food wastage practices.

However, moving from a developing country to developed country, I have noticed how the number of needy people and the nature of food waste changes. Back home in Pakistan, it is very easy to find someone to whom you can give your excess cooked or uncooked food. It is very common at my parents’ house to pack all leftovers and distribute them to the poor people they find on roads on their way. Moreover, there are numerous local food points locally called ‘lunger’ where anyone can drop off cooked as well as uncooked food or even money, to be used by the administration there to feed hungry people. This is done as a form of charity.

Whereas in many developed nations like UAE, government takes full responsibility of its people and their wellbeing. One cannot find hungry or needy people and children asking for food on the roads or pavements. Here, it is very important that you shop and cook wisely to avoid filling your bins instead of nourishing other humans in need. Having said that, to feed people there are government established food or charity centers where you can help in preparing and serving food and provide raw food that can be cooked and distributed amongst the needy.

We always have a choice of being proactive and resolving a growing crisis or contributing to it. Together as a team at IdeasUnlimited, we have become more resolute to reduce food wastage in and around our spaces—resolving the problem at our own micro level. As a result of this discussion, we have come to realize the exponential and multilayered effects of food waste and loss around the world.

Hence, we have decided to become a strict advocate of food sharing and managed grocery shopping to perform our part of helping this world become more equivalent in terms of food distribution. As, indeed, if we do not practically become a part of solutions for Food Wastage and Hunger, we will certainly remain a part of the problem.

Careers on the Spectrum: All Abilities Welcome at IdeasUnlimited

By | Employee Management, Inclusive Workforce, The IU Way | No Comments

For as long as I can remember, I was ‘different’: from my family, my friend group, from even my small Christian college campus. ‘Different’ was not always bad though. My mom called me unique, but I grew up with the belief that unique just meant to be funny or a great writer. I had a small group of close friends and I put my brains to good use on the Speech Team as a debater. But with all of those strengths, I found myself frustrated at my inability to succeed at math, the difficulty I faced in learning how to drive, or how initiating friendships was a struggle. I came into adulthood accepting these flaws, yet I still wanted answers. After a visit with a health

professional, what were stereotypical behaviors that girls are raised to believe they are not going to excel in turned out to be something else: Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, a spectrum disorder.

I am an individual with high functioning autism.

It took time to accept the label, but it didn’t change who I was. It just led to an awareness of my deficits and how to work on them, which has become a gift. Many non-diagnosed individuals struggle with their own setbacks but lack the impetus to fix them. That peek into who I am deep down has saved me from personal pain but has also been an asset in the workplace since it objectively sets boundaries and highlights the areas where I really shine. Marcie Ciampri, an autism expert, has argued that companies “should look into bringing on an autistic as a community manager (or similar job title), to serve as an autism expert during company-wide meetings, managerial sessions, and/or monthly newsletters” (ERE Media, 2018).

IdeasUnlimited has empowered me to take my experiences and develop full-fledged company-wide projects aimed at recruiting individuals with other mental and developmental health concerns. I have been able to lend immediate diversity within my work environment and dramatically alter the conversation since “hiring a neurodiverse workforce involves not just understanding commonly known aspects about autism but knowing the possible reasons behind the facts” (ERE Media). My methods may be misunderstood, but they are also innovative. Within IdeasUnlimited, I have developed a sense of purpose without having to sacrifice who I am.

IdeasUnlimited is a progressive company that is not only having a conversation on mental health, but we are living it through actions. By educating our staff on disabilities and placing a priority on recruiting individuals with disabilities, we are following HR Management best practices and investing in the global community. I have personally seen an investment in my own life as I have been tasked with the responsibility to lead over numerous projects. Many autistic individuals get pigeonholed as the ‘techie’ in the workplace, but “they are as unique in their skills and aptitudes as any other human being” (ERE Media). I love administrative-type duties, and to utilize my creative writing skills and I get to do that every day. I get paid to play, and not everyone is blessed to say that. We work hard every day at IdeasUnlimited to create an inclusive, adaptive environment where our expectations/values are clear so that any candidate could jump right in.

Generation Z and Their Expectations from your Customer Service Representative

By | Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support Services, Multilingual Customer Service | No Comments

It is important to understand the product needs of your customer. It is equally important to learn about their spending behaviors and expectations from the customer services.

There exists no business today which can get a referral and customers’ trust without providing them a good experience at the hands of the customer service representative. An era has begun where the customer care center is as important as the good/service itself, sometimes even more. Every business now requires new stratagem from its customer service center to pave the path to success.

The key to better customer support is to identify the customer type and customer need as early as possible. Therefore, a customer service representative must undergo rigorous training to assess and satisfy customer needs and requirements without fatiguing the customer.

In today’s market, generation Z (people born from 1995 to 2012) is the most powerful consumer group. They have not known a world without the internet, they have experienced 2008’s recession, and they are used to receiving information quickly. There are many terms used to describe Generation Z as consumers, such as

  • Independent
  • Focused and determined
  • Competitive
  • Prefer self-service, personalization and accessibility
  • Fiscally prudent

Generation Z will represent 40 percent of American consumers by 2020, while their purchasing power is predicted to reach USD600 billion. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that your company’s support staff is trained and skilled to handle this influential set.

By keeping in mind the common characteristics in Generation Z consumers, your customer care center can serve them better. Setting up some rules to be followed by every customer service center representative can also be very helpful, such as:

1. Be honest, transparent, and loyal to your consumer

Generation Z does not prefer hierarchy and power structures. They are concerned with results and need solutions from you quickly when they cannot find them for themselves. Also, Generation Z is aware of marketing. They have shifted the focus from consumer to producer for brand loyalty. It is the consumer who has to be treated as gold to make repeated sales and give positive reviews on social media.

To serve Generation Z, the customer service representative has to be proficient in delivering the relevant information without taking much time. Additionally, the customer service representative should follow-up till the customer is fully satisfied and his/her requirement has been met.

2. Offer immediate and perfect solutions

Most people from the iGeneration look for self-help options and FAQs. They contact a customer service representative as a last resort, when they have reached a dead end. They expect personalized customer care and immediate solutions. They do not care about the company’s operations and procedures; they are only concerned with the solutions the customer service center can provide them.

You must serve them correctly and timely, otherwise they will move on to someone else!

3. Be available—24/7 and through all channels

This generation has not known the world before technology took over. They are always with their mobile phones and look towards tech-savvy options.

Customer care center leaders or managers need to focus and deliver through different means of communication. Thus, it has become crucial to adopt omnichannel support to deliver uninterrupted services at your customer care center.

4. Bad experiences will last forever!

This rule is the most important to remember. Studies have shown that more than 40% consumers do not forget bad experiences even after two or more years. And negative experiences are more likely to be shared on social media platforms. This implies a very long-lasting negative impact on a brand’s image.

From the receptionist service to the customer care center, every employee involved in customer interactions should be trained to build and uphold a positive image of the company.

Generation Z expects every customer service representative to treat them as their priority and offer quick results. This includes engaging them through channels they feel comfortable with, in languages they prefer and with the information that serves their purposes. They are well-versed in navigating and filtering through options. They are intelligent and make product comparisons often before finalizing purchase(s). They are also well-informed so they choose a more convenient yet economically safe product/service. Once they have selected your brand, they expect the customer service to be extraordinary and well-integrated to give a positive review and to keep them coming back.

To stay ahead of the curve and earn the loyalty of this crucial segment of your target market, invest in improving your customer service center right away!

5 Easy Tips for Creating a Better Brand Image as a Receptionist

By | Administrative Support, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Receptionist Service, Remote Work, Technical Support | No Comments

A good receptionist service constitutes performing a number of administrative support tasks. Administrative support services are the backbone of a successful business; hence, they require a combination of skills for efficient delivery, namely technical, interpersonal, and communication skills. A receptionist typically handles all telecommunication, receives and guides office visitors, manages itineraries and prepares for meeting and training schedules.

All administrative support workers who are responsible for customer support are brand ambassadors since professional receptionist service provides the first contact point in most interactions. Therefore, a receptionist holds greater responsibility of conveying the company image correctly and professionally. Use these 5 easy to implement yet very powerful training tips for a receptionist to define the company image in a better manner:

Positive Language and Tone

Your enthusiasm and warm tone can help you bring in meaningful connections for your office. It is important that you avoid a negative tone and phrases. Avoid phrases that are cold and demanding. Instead, use friendlier, warmer phrases to deliver the same message.

Phrases to AvoidPhrases to Use
You need to…I’ll be happy to find a solution for you
…can’t be doneGladly! / My pleasure!
I don’t know!Happy to take your message
No problem!May I put you on hold?
Hold, Please!Will have the call returned
… not availableI’ll be happy to follow-up with you
Just a sec.One moment please
Who is this?May I ask who is calling?
What?Will you please repeat that?

Usage of correct tone and phrases goes a long way in establishing a positive image of your company and products/services in the minds of your potential connections. Your welcoming language will show that you are concerned and demonstrate your sincerity and ability to help.

Gatekeeping Skills as a Brand Ambassador

Receptionist service training constitutes discerning between clients, potential clients, and mere inquiries. A trained receptionist shields the people in-charge from interruptions to help them focus on their tasks. This is when a receptionist performs the role of a gatekeeper. Like for b2b sales, receptionists take the calls and set appointments. They are rarely involved in final decision-making but they are the ones who decide who gets through to make a pitch and who does not.

Here, a receptionist gets a chance to act as a gatekeeper as well as a brand ambassador. While screening for unwanted calls, keep your questions simple and your tone friendly. Invest your time to identify a potential, new business opportunity and deal accordingly. This showcases the professionalism of your company with which it handles clients and customers.

Connect to the Relevant Person

As you have trained yourself to assess caller/visitor agenda, make sure you refer them to the appropriate department or person without delay. This saves time for all the parties. It also shows that your company is resourceful and organized along with creating an image of specialized and cooperative staff.

A Quick Recap and Follow-Up Message Before the Call Ends

Setting up clear expectations and definite timeframes create a professional environment for carrying out business activities. A receptionist can make callers comfortable by helping them get things done. For quality customer experiences, the receptionist service should include a quick recap of the information gathered and a follow-up time for the caller. This makes things easier and clearer for the one who has approached your company, resulting in higher chances of positive reviews.

Share Informational Material About Your Products and Services

In addition to showing your dedication by reiterating the information received from potential clients and providing them a follow-up schedule, a little marketing could also help create a better brand image.

You can take permission from upper management and then share relevant authorized material with your clients through any channel they may prefer such as emails, fax, post, text messages, etc.

This can provide supplementary information to the clients about your company and its goods and services. Additionally, it can show them how things are carried out in your organization and what range of solutions are offered to clients. This might also lead to further opportunities with the client and a recommendation for potential collaborations.

Are you speaking your customers' language?

Are You Speaking Your Customer’s Language?

By | Customer Service, Multilingual Customer Service, Multilingual Support, Remote Support Services, Remote Work | No Comments

In this new business era where many terms have become buzzwords and many theories redundant, Customer Services and Inclusivity have become the kings of modern commercial activities. However, language differences pose the biggest barrier to their delivery.

The Need for Multilingual Customer Service

Customer services have evolved drastically over time and it is now essential to reach out to your customers before and after sales in their native languages. It is also very important to make all business communications as stress-free as possible on all channels of interaction with customers. In a nutshell, today your business must be able to communicate effectively in the language preferred by and in ways that are convenient for your customers.

According to Wells Fargo’s International Business Survey of 2017, 81% of US companies expected to expand their international business operations and 70% plan to increase their multilingual engagement. All this global expansion has exponentially increased the importance of multilingual support, making it more of a necessity than a competitive differentiator. It is now the only means of effective global expansion and delivering exceptional customer service.

Importance of multilingual customer service

Today in US alone, 51% people prefer online shopping. To expand globally, simply offering your goods and services to international customers is not enough. You can only garner sales when the buyer understands the specifications of the products and services being offered and that is only possible when these are translated into their native languages. According to a survey by Gallup, 40% buyers do not make a transaction on a website which is not in their own language and 19% people never deal with foreign-language-speaking agents.

In this situation, when 86% contact centers have non-English speaking customers, you must ensure your website and offerings are translated into the customers’ preferred language(s) and customers interact with agents speaking their own language(s). This is the only way to broaden your customer base internationally

How to Get Premium Customer Service

In this global business arena where a buyer from Puerto Rico can order goods from a retailer in New Jersey, customer services should also be universally inclusive, to make your customers feel valued. If your designated customer support representative cannot handle calls, emails, and chats in the major languages required by your business, it is certainly time to rethink your customer service strategy. You must speak your brand to more prospective customers in their preferred language(s).

However, opening your business to the world should not break your bank and we have the perfect solution for you: working with a firm providing Multilingual Call Centre Services.

Work with a multilingual support services provider who can help expand your business in more lucrative markets, create a dynamic online presence, hire a local remote team, and deal with local customers with English and non-English preferences. Going down this route would eliminate your overhead costs of infrastructure, recruitment and human resource management, IT and other requirements of in-house employees.

Not only will this allow you to communicate effectively with your customers in other languages, you will be getting omnichannel support, creating that stress-free communication loop that guarantees a competitive edge. Moreover, a competent services provider can fully comprehend the nature of your business activities and offer customized solutions suitable for your business’ needs. Best of all, such multilingual support offers scalability for seasonal surges and business expansion.

Look for a service provider who can provide you a specialist bilingual or multilingual call center representative for each target region or to cover specific queues or timings. This will enhance your brand image, improve customer loyalty and increase customer retention, broadening your customer base.

Regions and Languages to Focus On

The best new market for American businesses

European and Schengen countries not only have the purchasing power but are interested in purchasing US goods and services. To take advantage of this, get multilingual call center services that cover:

  • Norwegian Customer Service
  • Finnish  Customer Service
  • German Customer Service
  • Swedish Customer Service
  • And any other languages that are important for your business.

Conclusion

Do not wait any further to expand your global footprint and do not deny support to customers who do not speak your native language. Let IdeasUnlimited assist you in expanding your business globally. IU can provide Multilingual Support constituting call center support, administrative support and receptionist services, data and customer management support, operational and backend support, and even ecommerce support, among a plethora of other services. With a fully trained and experienced remote workforce, IU can offer these services across several channels and languages, including but not limited to Norwegian customer service, Finnish customer service, German customer service, and Swedish customer service. IU also offers customization of multilingual support services to fully accommodate your business’ requirements and your customers’ preferences.

Remember, improved support means improved business ventures!

Preparing for Employees Going on Annual Leave

9 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Employees Going on Holiday Leave

By | Business Improvement, Call Center Support, Employee Management, Time Management, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Last year’s holiday season retail sales in the US alone topped $161 billion and 43% shoppers supported small businesses on Small Business Saturday. With the holiday season coming up, now is the time to plan out a company strategy to ensure you have backup staff handling essential business activities at all times.

Figures for Holiday Season Retail Sales

You don’t have to dread the holiday season when your employees go on leave, when the company’s manpower is down and productivity seems to nosedive. Simply follow our tips that we’ve practiced and improved upon through trial and error over 8 years of operations and you will be well prepared. You can easily handle holiday leave while maintaining a healthy culture and employer brand.

  1. Use a Workforce Management Software

Using a scheduling and staffing software or even a shared Google calendar can make your life infinitely easier. This way you won’t have clashes in scheduling vacations and can plan accurately in advance for holidays. Most workforce management softwares have additional features like communication, task management, and time reporting. Here is our rundown of some effective softwares:

Deputy

With unlimited users, shift swapping, forecasting and QuickBooks integration, Deputy is a mobile platform that can cut your time spent scheduling considerably. It is perfect for small to medium businesses employing shift workers.

When I Work

Offering templates and shortcuts with its mobile and desktop adaptive platform, When I Work is also integrated with some POS and Payroll systems and has a very intuitive user interface (UI).

Quinyx

It allows you to schedule work keeping in mind employee contracts and working time directives. You can also set up an optimal schedule matching the best employee to the most appropriate task and set up a staffing schedule taking expected sales into account.

TrackSmart

Their online time and attendance management software allows for scheduling based on employee availability and job skills. You can even set up recurring schedules. All these are accessible from all devices 24/7. These smarter schedules will ensure you are never understaffed, even for the holiday season.

  1. Be Transparent

Make sure you communicate your holiday leave policy and vacation policy to your employees as soon as they are hired. Is it first come first served? Are there any vacation blackout periods when no vacation requests would be entertained due to an expected rise in traffic or a special project? Will you be encouraging them to take their vacation in the slower periods? Communicating all this in advance will be fairer and more acceptable to your employees. Make sure any vacations are granted judiciously—with employees fully cognizant of the decision-making criteria—after due deliberation and without any favoritism.

  1.  Set a Deadline

Set a deadline by which employees can request holiday leave. Depending on your needs, this can be anywhere from a few days to several weeks before the staff wants to use leave time. This deadline should be far enough in advance for you to ensure that it does not affect a project’s productivity or deadline and you are not understaffed. Also cap the number of employees of each specialization who can take off at the same time.

  1. Get Pertinent Information

When an employee puts in a leave request, request a report on current projects. Ask them how they plan to meet deadlines before they head out the door. Nicolas Gremion told SmallBizTrends that this process “gives me piece of mind that their absence won’t be problematic and they can leave knowing that they’ve tied up any loose ends.”

Get a detailed breakdown of projects they are currently working on, tasks to be performed, access details for pertinent files and accounts, deadlines for current projects, important contact information, and any other information needed by the employees covering the vacationers’ jobs. Create a checklist of these that each vacationing employee can tally against before leaving.

Project NameDeadlineTasks to be PerformedContact PersonContact InformationAccess Details
AccountPassword
Project 1
Project 2
Project 3
  1. Delegate Tasks

Then make sure that someone is covering for the missing employee. Sometimes, that requires handing off tasks and projects to a few different people in the office instead of asking one person to do the work of two. Crosstrain employees in preparation for the upcoming holiday season, ensuring that the backup employee is fully conversant with the appropriate project training manual.

  1. Trade-off

Trade-off between your employees. Some employees may have important commitments at other times of the year that they can take time off for and then work during the holiday season. Allow employees with similar job descriptions to trade off their vacations with each other, one picking up the slack when the other is on leave. Stagger your employee vacations so you always have coverage; allow some to work the morning shift, some the afternoon shift, or schedule one set of employees for the first few days of the week and the other for the rest of the weekdays during the holiday season.

  1. Offer Incentives for Working Employees

Give cash bonuses, extra paid leaves redeemable after the holiday season, and other incentives for those willing to work during the most popular vacation periods. This will ensure that you have a productive skeleton staff even during the heart of the holiday season. It will also boost the morale of those who have to work over the holidays when the other employees are on leave and enjoying themselves.

  1. Hire Temporary Support

In some cases, you can even hire a temporary virtual assistant to pick up the slack in an employee’s absence. Especially in the retail industry, business booms in the holiday season and having employees on holiday leave can cause a stress on operations. Hire a qualified virtual assistant to take care of ecommerce sales, provide administrative and operational support, or even act as a virtual receptionist service during the holidays.

You can even hire a temporary call center operator or a customer service center to handle customer service, field incoming calls, generate leads, and make telemarketing calls to take advantage of the boost in sales in the holiday season.

Having part-time staff as backup all year round is always a sound decision, so they can come in if you have any shortages and during the holiday season when most employees are on leave.

  1. Prep for the Manager’s Leave

What if the manager is the one going on leave? We suggest that you let your employees know far enough in advance so they can prepare. Make the manager’s calendar public so that the staff will know when he or she will be back. Ask the manager to train the second-in-command to pick up the slack. The administrative support staff must also be familiarized with how to handle certain tasks while the manager is out of the office, such as where to direct calls and how to respond to requests. Then, consider having a protocol for an emergency, so employees can determine when to call the manager while he or she is on leave.

With these tactics, you can ensure that handling the holiday season won’t be such a hassle. Let us know down below what some best practices are that you have seen or used for handling employee leave during the holiday season.

Do You Need an Inbound Call Center Solution?

Do You Need an Inbound Call Center Solution for Your Business?

By | Call Center Support, Customer Service, Inbound Call Center Solution, Remote Support Services | No Comments

With customer service at the forefront of business competitive differentiation in today’s global marketplace, and 81% of marketers estimated to be competing on the basis of customer experience by 2020, you need to evaluate your customer care center and see whether you need an inbound call center solution.

What is an Inbound Call Center Solution?

An inbound call is initiated by a customer, employee, vendor, or other stakeholder who wants information or assistance with some aspect of your product or service. Your business is not initiating the call. An inbound call center solution constitutes the management of all inbound channels of contact that any stakeholder can use to reach out to your business. All inbound calls, messages, or chats are routed to an available agent with the required skillset and these can constitute queries, technical support requests, order processing requests, etc.

Firms providing call center support offer both inbound and outbound call center services. However, if more than 50% of the calls are inbound, the call center is classified as an inbound call center solution.

Benefits of Having an Inbound Call Center Solution

A reliable customer and vendor support system enhances brand value. It not only significantly improves the conversion rate, it assists in cross-selling and upselling, and the after-sales support ensures customers stay with your brand for longer.

Improved Bottom Line

Customer service is more often that not the deciding factor in ensuring a positive customer experience and retaining current customers—customer experience leaders outperform laggards by 25%. Customers purchase more after a good customer service experience and stop buying or even avoid a business after a bad customer support interaction. More important still, customers share their good and bad experiences, so your customer support has a direct impact on your brand reputation and long-term profitability.

An effective inbound call center solution improves your customer service, enhancing the bottom line by creating more positive customer support experiences.

Importance of Good Customer Service - Inbound Call Center Solution

Customer Retention

70% of businesses believe it is cheaper to retain a current customer than to acquire new ones and, depending on the competitiveness of your industry, acquiring a new customer can be 5 times more expensive than retaining a current one. Couple that with a 60-70% probability of selling to an existing customer, your primary focus should be on your current customer base to improve the bottom line.

A mere 5% increase in your retention rate has the potential to increase your profits by 25–95%, the magnitude of gains depending on your business model. Loyal customers buy more from the company and become brand evangelists, spreading positive buzz. Not only are they willing to pay premium prices for assured quality and reliability, the operating costs of serving them is lower, so you must ensure they stay with your brand and do not switch to a competitor.

The best way to retain and grow your customer base is investing in an effective inbound call center solution.

Handling Important Accounts

Your most important accounts need special care since 20% of customers typically account for more than 80% of sales. Providing these accounts special care will have an exponential positive impact on your profitability. You can have an inbound call center solution with dedicated agents for these accounts to provide them enhanced customer support.

Importance of Customer Retention- Inbound Call Center Solution

Better Customer Insight

An inbound call center solution helps build a better understanding of the common issues faced by customers, their problem points as well as main complaints. This would allow you to tailor your value proposition accordingly. For example, if you get to know through customer feedback that your product gets soggy in humid climates, you can focus on better vacuum-sealing protection. You can also add enhanced features that customers have shown an interest in and proactively determine how customer interactions with the product are changing.

Checklist to Conclusively Determine the Need

Use this simple checklist curated by us to determine whether your business needs an inbound call center solution. Any of these would require specialized call center support to increase sales and productivity.

Receptionist Service—Your business gets a large volume of calls for scheduling and confirming appointments, asking to be redirected to various departments, and miscellaneous other queries for which you need an inbound customer service center.
Inquiries—Potential customers get in touch for queries about your product, process, or service before making the purchase decision. This may be directly related to the composition and function of the product or service or its recyclability, sustainable sourcing, the location of your outlets etc. These must be handled professionally for maximum conversion to sales.
Order Processing—Customers require assistance in processing orders, confirming sizes, choosing between alternative modes of shipment, tracking orders etc. Your business needs to process orders given live across multiple channels by customers and enter them into the database, allowing you to deal with rush periods and ensure timely delivery.
Bookings and Reservations—You handle reservations and bookings for conferences, hotels, trips and holidays etc. and need an efficient system for ensuring nothing slips through the cracks.
After Sales Support—Current customers need troubleshooting assistance, technical support, assistance with upgrades, usage instructions, repair and maintenance, and call center support is needed to handle these communications. SAAS providers like Intuit and those selling goods that need technical support get a lot of incoming traffic for this reason.
Marketing Support—Customers contacting your company must be told of your range of products and services and combinations of products that would enhance their experience, to increase their share of wallet.
Billing Support—You get incoming queries regarding modes of payment, payroll processing, and tax liabilities that a trained customer service representative must address.
Global Customer Base—Customers from all over the globe use your product or service and require 24 hour call center support to cover differing time zones.
After-Hours Support—You must be available for your customers after hours too since you are an emergency service provider or ecommerce business with customers in various time zones.
Multilingual Support—Your customers, vendors, and/or employees speak multiple languages and multilingual call center services would make communication efficient and enhance brand loyalty.
Omnichannel Customer Experience Management—With the proliferation of points of contact, customers and other stakeholders reach out via various mediums: calls, text, live chat, social media messages, fax etc. and you need an omnichannel management system for all of it.
Vendor Support—Multiple vendors contact your business to confirm orders you have given, shipments received, invoices and payments. An inbound call center solution would manage your vendor communication and relationships.
Large Volume of Job Applications—You receive a large volume of incoming calls, emails, and social media messages from potential workers for job applications and then subsequent application status inquiries. These need to be handled by HR through dedicated lines of communication.
Multiple Departments—Calls and other incoming inquiries may be relevant to any of several departments, business units, branches, or outlets and need to be directed to the relevant employees.
Type of Need—The features of the inbound call center solution depend on the time-sensitivity and type of the inbound communication:
  •  Very Time-Sensitive: You will need 24 hour call center support if the inbound communication is very time sensitive—if the query is not resolved as fast as possible, the customer can switch to a competitor’s brand or the business will lose money. For instance, having 24/7/365 support for a payroll software is necessary because if the glitch is not resolved immediately, the checks will not go out in time.
  • Small Queries: Live chat support is required for small queries to help redirect customers on the website, resolve small login issues and other problems that have instantaneous fixes.
  • Requests for Quotes and Meetings: In case of queries that require research and strategizing, email support is a better alternative. For instance, if a firm needs a quote from you for a strategic partnership, it can wait till you put together a proposal and the best form of initial communication is email support.

Features Needed for Inbound Call Center Solution

The next step is figuring out what features you need in your inbound call center solution and which ones can wait for now and you can opt for once your business has expanded sufficiently.

Characteristics of Customer Service Representative

Some of the most crucial characteristics of a customer service representative are:

Basic Skillset

Each customer service representative must be well-trained in customer care, with communication skills par excellence.

Well-Prepared

The agent must be well-versed in the product or service, order processing, and common issues customers face. He or she must be able to handle any type of incoming query.

Handle Pressure

Should be able to easily deal with the pressure and volume of incoming calls.

Omnichannel Experience

The customer service representative must be able to handle all points of contact and all mediums used by stakeholders.

Features for Business VoIP Platform

You must analyze your inbound call center solution needs and decide whether you need each of the following features in your business VoIP platform.

Channels Covered

Determine the current main contact channels like phones, text messaging, social media, live chat etc. as well as those you want to target.

IVR

Do you want to automate the first step and direct calls to the relevant departments and agents as efficiently as possible?

International Inbound

Do you receive calls from international numbers? Do you want to make it simpler for your international callers to get in touch with you?

Number of Extensions & Queues

Do you need several extensions to create multiple points of contact for various departments and branches?

Online PBX Controls

Do you want a Private Branch Exchange that is stored and managed over the internet rather than end-user hardware?

Voicemail Box

Do you need one or several voicemail boxes and do you want to receive transcriptions of voicemails in your email for better management?

Call Flows & Failover

Figure out whether you need to set up a route for incoming calls and emails so that no incoming communication slips through the cracks.

Greetings & On-Hold Options

Do you need hold and forwarding capabilities? Analyze whether custom greetings and on-hold messages add value.

Call Monitoring

Is there a need for recording and monitoring calls, with options for the supervisor to override calls and/or assist the agent?

Wait Time Announcement

Would you like to announce an approximate wait time to your callers, especially at times of long call queues to create greater trust and transparency?

Caller Information

Would your team better handle callers and live chat customers if they get some information on the customer before they pick up the call or respond to the chat?

Advanced Call Analytics

Will insights into call patterns, locations, extensions, and agents help you in strategizing and improving productivity? Do you need basic or advanced analytics?

Partnering with a Call Center Support Provider

Once you have determined that you need an inbound call center solution and the features you need, you must ensure that it is a seamless extension of your brand image. This requires customer service expertise. But do you need an in-house customer care center, with the associated HR admin expenses, overhead costs, benefits, and paid leaves?

A more efficacious option is partnering with a call center support provider since you would be assured of reliable customer support that builds brand value. Each customer service representative will be experienced, highly skilled, and well-trained at not only handling incoming communication but also cross-selling and upselling products and services.  Most call center support providers cover 24/7/365, ensuring your business is never out of reach of your stakeholders, especially your customers.

This is also the more scalable option that will allow you to expand operations easily without doubling your overhead costs. It is ideal for businesses that face seasonal fluctuations in sales volume.

Take the time to determine whether you need an inbound call center solution, which features you need, and how to quickly and cost-effectively get one for your business. Our advice is, contact a specialist call center support provider for a custom inbound call center solution that best suits your business’ needs.