Category

Business Improvement

How to Grow Your Ecommerce Business

By | Administrative Support, Call Center for Small Business, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Multilingual Support, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Buying and selling online is one of the most lucrative business ideas that you could come up with today. The 21st century consumer is primed and hungry for more and more opportunities to be able to finish their shopping experience with ease from the comfort of their own home. But you have to be smart about the strategies you use. If you know how the consumer’s mind works, the task becomes absolutely smooth sailing.

  1. Strategically Market Your Business

Buy ad space on popular websites and search engines to market your business. Focus on video ads and only market your most popular products.

The first major decision-making junction comes at the stage of marketing. Let’s say you already have a website or an app. How are you going to let people know about it? Which products will you market? Where will you market them and how? These all might seem a bit overwhelming, but they follow each other naturally and once you get the ball rolling, it will gather momentum on its own.

The ideal solution would be to buy advertisement space on popular websites like YouTube and Facebook and search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! etc. Your ads should preferably be in video form, since the typical consumer spends 88% excess time browsing a website with video (especially without sound). Videos create more engagement with the user and that results in positive action.

  1. Focus on Customer Retention

Retain your current customer base and offer frequent incentives to make them feel appreciated.

The importance of a loyal and regular customer base cannot be emphasized enough. They are the ones who will visit your website or app again and again and buy multiple items. 65% of a company’s business comes from previous customers. Maintaining these customers with good customer service and showing them you value them beyond one-time customers creates goodwill, word of mouth marketing, and a steady increase in sales. One popular, tried and true way of doing this is by having loyalty cards. Great emphasis should be placed on customer satisfaction at every stage of interaction with your business; you should work with a call center support services provider like IdeasUnlimited that specializes in customer retention.

  1. Affiliate Marketing and Discounts

Get more customers through affiliate marketing and entice them to purchase.

Partner with another business and offer promotions and discounts specific to those customers to bring in new users. Not only will you develop a strong business partnership, these new website visitors would have a high conversion rate due to the strong referral.

Flash sales are also effective ways to create urgency to boost sales and profits, because customers do not want to walk away from a good deal. Never miss out on having sales during festive occasions or celebrations and holidays. Your ecommerce business will generate the most revenue in that time.

  1. Widen Product Base

Widen your range of products to cater to a wider clientele. These can include supplementary products and services related to each other as well as completely fresh product lines.

Although most ecommerce businesses start out small, it is prudent to slowly try to attract other market segments as well. If you have a stationery business and the primary consumer is a school-going child, it is highly likely that their parent or caregiver is doing the online shopping. Think about the extra traffic and revenue you would generate if you increased your range of products to entice mothers with kitchen utensils or home décor, for instance.

  1. Optimize the Customer Experience

Ensure you have good customer support, a user-friendly website/app interface, and a hassle-free shopping experience.

The first-time user especially will not take long to form an opinion and turn away from the website if their initial experience was negative or anything less than ideal. You need to make certain all issues are dealt with before they even become actual problems by ensuring your ecommerce support is par excellence.

A user-friendly interface means optimizing your website for mobile devices or even creating an app for it. 79% of smartphone users have made an ecommerce transaction in the last six months, so this is just astute business sense.

Your call center support should be professional, courteous and, above all, make the customer feel heard, understood and helped. You don’t need to invest in anything in-house; simply find a reputable call center for small business like IdeasUnlimited or partner with a firm that can handle your established business.

Do you feel like your business has stagnated and is not producing the desired profits? This is the ideal time to think outside the box. Come up with creative and fun marketing techniques. Use social media and affiliate marketing to boost your audience reach. Never underestimate the importance of your happy return customer. Most importantly, find an ecommerce support services provider who is experienced in tackling all the above.

Lost in Translation—Overcome It with Multilingual Support

Lost in Translation—Overcome It with Multilingual Support

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

In today’s world, where physical borders have become blurred and your business’ customers may hail from any of the world’s 195 countries, focusing on one “world” language like English to cater to your customers can be a costly mistake. In the face of stiff competition, your business will lose non-English-speaking customers if your customer service does not cater to them. The days of differentiating yourself by solely providing a 24 hour call center are long past. You will only acquire and retain customers if you speak to them in their language.

Multilingual Support—The Solution

Companies that wish to expand globally and build a loyal customer base overseas must cater to these customers in their native languages with multilingual support. Multilingual support eliminates communication barriers and errors in translation—open and accurate communication with your customers is only possible in their native languages. You can retain more customers by making them feel like they are dealing with a local company, or a company that values them as a customer, since only 8% of repeat purchasers account for 40% of an average store’s revenue. Having specialized multilingual support in a non-global language—like Finnish customer support for your Finnish customers—can make them feel valued in a way that even the best English customer support cannot achieve.

Benefits of Multilingual Support

Multilingual support creates the optimal customer interaction experience at every stage of the sale and after-sales process.

  • Greater customer loyalty and positive word of mouth
  • Less chances of miscommunication due to language barriers
  • Greater customer lifetime value with repeat purchases
  • Easier integration into overseas markets with better brand credibility
  • Exponential global growth into new markets
  • Greater likelihood of converting a query into a sale and a complaint into a resolution
  • Successful diversification of risk and smoothening of demand cycles for the business
  • Greater competitiveness locally and in the international market

Why Should You Work with a Multilingual Support Services Provider?

  • Working with a specialist requires less investment of time and effort and a lower cost than building an in-house team. Taki Skouras, the CEO of international wireless retailer Cellairis, advises working with a support services provider for multilingual support if you don’t have the budget for full-time in-house translators.
  • Reliance on experts will protect businesses from the pitfalls of expanding globally. They will help you understand the local market and ensure that you comply with local regulations.

A well-informed decision when choosing your multilingual support services provider will guarantee that the positive effect on your business is immediate. The multilingual support services provider should have these characteristics:

 It must have agents with native proficiency in more than one language other than English.

 It should not have large overhead costs that pay for the VIP culture of upper management.

 It must be experienced in providing multilingual support to global companies.

 It should be flexible and scalable to a 24 hour call center as the business grows and calls for round-the-clock customer support.

 It should have agents specialized in providing support in European languages such as French, German and Finnish customer service.

 Call center agents must be experienced with VoIPs, inbound and outbound calling, and resolving customer queries in a timely fashion.

 It should have “live” staff that can understand the nuances of customer behavior and respond accordingly.

 It should be fast, friendly, and reliable, with proven results.

Multilingual Support at IdeasUnlimited

IdeasUnlimited has more than 8 years of experience in providing multilingual support to clients all over the world. Not only does it check all the requirements above, it customizes a solution according to the business’ requirements. Contact us today for a customized multilingual support solution.

How Remote Work Saved Me! Conquering All Odds

How Remote Work Saved Me! Conquering All Odds

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Business Sustainability, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Employee Management, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, The IU Way | No Comments

 LinkedIn: shahzadyaqoob/  Facebook: shahzad.yaqoob.125
 Upwork: shahzadyaqoob
Email: shahzad@osbprovider.com

Shahzad Yaqoob (aka Nick) is an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a family man, and a human being with a strong resolve. He is an avid reader, a keen sports fan, and loves to spend time with his kids.

He has travelled across the oceans and built a remote career for himself, which no one except his brother believed could work out. He has been successful in establishing an award-winning company that not only offers a professional and flexible work environment but is productive and rewarding for all those involved—the IdeasUnlimited Family.

He is the founder and CEO of IdeasUnlimited, a business support services providing firm that is headquartered in Houston.

Self-discipline and a strong drive can help you overcome any situation and Shahzad proved that in quite short time. He has become an inspiration for all those who know him in a professional capacity.

A chat with him revealed much more about his struggles and relentless efforts to gain a reputable position for himself and help others see the light at the tunnel’s end.

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Social Anxiety and Remote Work

Nick's Story of How Remote Work Saved Him

Like me, most of you must have heard of and may have met people dealing with some kind of psychological struggle. But it is hard to fathom the agony they must be going through in order to meet day to day expectations as a family member and a worker. Typically, our society does not consider them fit to be a part of normal life.

Social anxiety impacts a worker’s life as soon as the day starts. A worker starts worrying about commuting to work, meeting people, deadlines, and the office environment. These worries also have spillover effects in their personal life.

It is usually advised to work on your anxiety disorders and then re-enter the workplace. However, it is neither financially nor professionally feasible. There are many different types of anxiety conditions but the proven key to success despite anxiety issues is to find an outlet and not let anxiety control your life.

Remote work has been a blessing in disguise for many of us facing geographical, health, and social constraints.

Shahzad had been struggling with acute social anxiety since his teenage years but in 2010 it worsened as a never-ending turbulence for his social existence. He was so perturbed that he could not contemplate any other solution other than ending everything, including his life.

As he left his regular job, he got called in for a part time remote job as an outbound caller. Halfheartedly, he accepted it and soon realized the opportunities that remote work could offer.

It gave me hope and that was a big thing… remote work can give you time to settle. You can explore the possibility of making likeminded friends or exploring other avenues of tackling social anxiety, or any other psychological or physical limitation you might have.

IdeasUnlimited’s existence shows me the importance of a support system in your life. It might be just one person. But someone to support and understand you, someone to show trust in your strengths and help you overcome your weaknesses, can take you a long way in life. For our CEO, this constant support has been from his brother. Today Shahzad considers all his colleagues as his support system, but it is primarily his brother, Shahid Yaqoob, who recognized Shahzad’s potential and guided him well at every step.

My brother has been the most positive influence in my life and career, my strongest support…I must thank my brother who helped transition everything without a hassle. I still look up to him for business advice…

IdeasUnlimited Making Lives Better

I had a chance to talk with Shahzad recently and it made me realize that everyone has their own battles and you never get a level field to achieve your ambitions. It is important to fall and then learn to stand tall. I realized that every company was once just an individual struggle, and every CEO-ship was once just a start…

In 2010, Shahzad took his brother’s advice and registered his company in USA. He worked day and night and built his credibility in the remote work industry and continued to build his team. Despite all hurdles, he stayed consistent and expanded his business to hundreds of workers from Pakistan, Philippines, India, USA, South America, and Europe.

I have been running this business remotely for nine years now! I manage call center locations myself in Karachi (Pakistan) and in Houston (USA), and then have partners run several call center locations in the Philippines.

Shahzad initially faced the common issues of remote team members. However, after sporadic work and trials and errors, IdeasUnlimited developed a very effective recruitment and monitoring process that facilitates competent workers in achieving the results expected by the clients. There is no discrimination and IdeasUnlimited promotes an inclusive workplace for anyone who is willing to unleash their potential and achieve results.

Now we have highly professional and trained HR and Administration teams, along with precisely tested processes to assure top productivity and efficiency, and a workforce that possess the required skills, attitude, and intent to do well.

Over time Shahzad has trained himself to stay calm and not let anxious thoughts take over his decision-making ability. He did not let initial failures deter his perseverance to achieve his dream. Interestingly, his dream has never been to succeed alone, it has always been about allowing people suffering in any way find HOPE for their future. And quitting was never an option.

This [quitting] never crossed my mind even when we went down to only one major project in 2013 for three to four months. We had a major downfall for no discernable reason, but quitting was just not an option.

The beauty of a struggle is that it helps you relate to those who are in the same boat. But the beauty of success comes when you work to let others be a part of the new possibilities too. It is when you build collaboratively to help others benefit from it as well. Shahzad proves how honest struggle creates empathy and the desire to improve the lot of others like you.

Knowing and having gone through such feelings [anxiety] and then finding remote work, which helped me gain my confidence back in life, has convinced me to show this path to others as well.

IdeasUnlimited in the Future

Shahzad often talks about mutual growth and giving back to society. He frequently initiates discussions about global social and economic concerns on the company’s platforms and I find him very ambitious towards finding solutions to major world problems. He envisions an inclusive company that provides opportunities for those with talent and one that sponsors education for orphans and the less fortunate all over the world.

He sees the remote work industry expanding in terms of innovation, coverage, and workforce. But he is looking forward to this industry getting globally regulated and judicated to meet new challenges of fraud and digital deception.

IdeasUnlimited is one of the highest-ranking companies for remote contracts and has recently won recognition on Clutch Awards and The Manifest. Shahzad thinks it is because of his team that his vision is gradually becoming a reality.

Shahzad values his workers and strictly believes in mutual growth. He always mentions each one of the senior members of his team in connection to IdeasUnlimited’s consistent upward track record.

With the same regard and passion, he wants to take the company forward in a way that it is rewarding for all those involved.

IdeasUnlimited is aspiring to become a company that meets the expectations of its clients at competitive pricing while the workers grow professionally, without being restricted by any personal circumstances.

IdeasUnlimited gives me hope for all the conditioned workers in the labor force today—they too can work with a vibrant, growing company and build their remote careers. I will always be proud to have worked in an organization that values and builds its success with people, without discriminating or benching someone for something beyond their control.

It is a company that is future forward. It has the potency to help millennials choose their lifestyle as well as workstyle.

Shahzad Yaqoob has been successful in creating an organization that has commendable work ethics and quality of service while focusing on agility and technical standards required by their fast-paced, modern clients.

Shahzad has learnt the art of balancing life and work and not taking anything for granted. He is helping others strive for this balance too by believing in their strengths and conquering the odds set against them.

If you are interested in Shahzad’s complete narrative, you will find here a detailed question and answer session I had with the CEO of IdeasUnlimited. It is a story of his perseverance and personal struggles that have led to the success of many.

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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The Future of Omnichannel Customer Support is NOW!

By | Backend Support Services, Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Employee Management, Entrepreneurship, Remote Work, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant | No Comments

Not very long ago, customer services were predicted to get revolutionized leaps and bounds by the end of next decade. The future is already here! A future-oriented customer service center focuses on all key aspects of modern consumer preferences delivered jointly, through groundbreaking interactive technology and optimally skilled call center support teams.

Plenty of new trends have infiltrated into customer services and support services over the time.  Many predictions were called and some of them have stood the test of time well. Digital innovation has transformed a customer service center in terms of communication channels, modes, services, time zones, and digital and human interactions.

Today, customer service is rapidly weaving into the core and unified systems of a business setup. Thanks to cloud-based technology, a customer service center is now a successful integration of skilled humans, innovative processes, and cutting-edge technology.

Creative disruption is playing a critical role in this integration. Work centers are decentralized, and innovation is elevating and sharing operations across desks and boundaries. In such an environment, a reliable firm can play a vital role in creating such synergy for you, and that too cost effectively. It can help you set a truly omnichannel customer experience by knitting marketing, PR, helpdesks, and social media together.

Why do you need a specialized customer service center if digitization is taking over? Let’s answer this question after we consider some features of a future-oriented customer service center that are proving to be absolutely necessary and seem to be bringing in the revolution at a faster pace:

  1. Personalized Omnichannel Support

Customer experience has been bombarded with several buzzwords, new concepts, and practices since last two decades. Creating value for customers has taken the forefront in service delivery and communication has become the key. This ‘communication’ is multifaceted and multichannel-ed; therefore, it is polarized into automation and live person-person talking.

Companies are using customer demographics extensively to sieve customers through their communication network. They have social media, telephone, and email to connect to its customers. With social media customer services as a first priority for Gen Z, Millennials preferring live chats and video calls, and Gen X reaching out to a live customer service representative, the newest ways of integrating social media, voice infrastructure, and CRM systems have to be worked on. However, telephonic conversations are a priority for they bring the most personalization, better Customer Effort Scores, and ease of shifting between mediums to resolve complex issues in a timely manner.

  1. Voiceprint Identification

There has been an exponential increase in the use of smart devices since 2000s and this will further increase by 2025. This takes us to the next aspect of personalization and customized customer support.

A future-oriented customer service center is now working towards ‘Token-ising’ the identity of a caller through voice recognition. This information is passed through the data channels and information is sorted and displayed for the customer service representative accordingly. This will help in end to end encryption, identification, and verification of data through core contact centers and CRM applications. Moreover, this helps the agents deliver exceptional level of personalized services without wasting time on gathering primary information each time. Long wait time for retrieving customer history puts off the modern consumer. Nor do they like repeating themselves at each interaction.

  1. Shopping the Customer Experience

Another complementary feature is the growing trend of letting the customers ‘shop customer service experience’ for themselves. This means customers can see a list of agents available, their characteristics, experiences, lingual skills, technical skills, location, and reviews. Depending upon their preferences, they can select an agent and a communication channel.

Customers can further decide if they want to share their profile with these agents for all future interactions and solutions. This signifies the worth and impact of quality human-to-human interaction. This also emphasizes the fact that consumers are not ready to compromise on time or quality of their interactions. They are comfortable in share their profiles if they expect credible value in return.

  1. Video Sessions

The key is to avoid any communication break, which might lead to customer churn. This has led to a movement between different communication mediums at a given time. Resultantly, there is a growing need to manage the shift from interactive channels to interactive sessions in customer dealings.

Nothing works in isolation in this new customer service center model. Therefore, these customer engagement sessions can start from an interactive self-help library search and move to real time

chat, then to voice and video chat in one complete session.  A smart contact customer service center needs to incorporate video support calls, which will be the main differentiator of premium services.

Video calling will be augmented through rich data, content, and tools. Just like telephonic conversation with a customer service representative, looking at an agent on your mobile screens will help develop a better and more emotionally stronger bond of understanding and credibility for the customers. It will help meet the quintessential need to employ technology but keep the human contact intact.

Future of Customer Service Center - IdeasUnlimited
  1. Data Enrichment and Advanced Analytical Tools

Data Enrichment and Big Data are proving to be game changers. Tools for capturing data, analysis, and transforming insights into valuable actions for customer experiences will continue to gain importance. Detailed analysis is required for understanding customer journeys, identifying bottlenecks, improving customer touch points, and reducing customer effort in order to increase brand loyalty.

Customer feedback and survey analysis, social media traffic analysis, and text and speech analytics can help in highlighting issues as well as in bringing continuous improvements in the future. Smart workers in smart contact centers will be able to generate and handle data analytics in a sophisticated manner to yield maximum benefits for the company. A well-rounded team in a customer service center can not only record data but also gather individual and specific feedbacks and use advanced tools for results.

  1. Proactive Sales and Marketing

The customer service center is also becoming a part of proactive sales and marketing operations. It helps businesses monitor and track service or product usage to offer resubscriptions, updates, or repairs. These marketing offers target customer engagement and customer loyalty by making it easier for customers to decide, purchase, and use.

This task is informed through data analytics but captured by humans sitting in a customer service center. Your future-oriented customer service center requires a unified system of information exchange and strategy to provide value to their customers in order to build brand value.

All the above-mentioned features are the uncontested need of the hour and requirement to be part of the future. It is very evident that human factor has not been and cannot be discounted when it comes to the future of customer services.

To step into the future you require a technically adaptive customer service center, where a multitasking agent can competently resolve complex issues by escalating between channels and take a customer interaction from start to finish without breaks. As you cannot drop communication to change channels, you can also not drop communication to change agents.

A 24/7 diverse and dedicated multilingual customer service center is not just an add-on to reap the benefits of globalized business environment, it has become the necessity and a basic need for globalized business operations. You do not have to wait any further to shift to a more sophisticated, and digitally advanced customer support that is inclusive of the winning human factor. Contact a specialized call center support provider and get a customized solution right away!

Partnerships That Build Value in Healthcare Transformation

By | Administrative Support, Call Center for Small Business, Customer Service, Employee Management, Healthcare Call Center Support, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Medical Virtual Assistant, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, The IU Way, Time Management, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

The healthcare industry is busy responding to the growing expectations of their patients. Like other evolving industries, this industry is also facing demands of personalized care, convenience, value add-ons and options. Patients now are actively involved in informed decision-making, owing to the influx of online reviews and ratings and self-payments.

Current healthcare consumers research and look for a provider that can consistently provide them a good experience. The significant decrease in funding, rising self-payments, copayments and deductibles, have resulted in a greater demand for finding healthcare options at competitive rates.

Resultantly, healthcare providers are working to create better relations with the patients based on trust and reliability. Studies have shown that long-term patient relations uplift revenue and are directly affected by improved and coordinated care delivered by engaged workers.

Patient Experience

From the point that an individual starts looking for a healthcare service to the time care is delivered, everything constitutes the patient experience. On the basis of this patients decide whether they have been satisfied with the facility or physician’s practice or not.

Positive patient experience is an important goal in itself. Every interaction with the healthcare system adds to the patient experience. This includes their health plans, insurance policy, treatment from doctors, nurses and general hospital staff, laboratories and other healthcare facilities.

Healthcare processes and outcomes such as clinical diagnosis and outcomes, medical advice, and safety practices are the obvious factors that structure a patient’s experience with any health provider. However, another very important set of factors is often neglected during medical services delivery: Communication and Administrative Support Services. Patients expect a service that is not only available but also respectful, convenient, and compliant with their preferences and special needs.

IU Healthcare Call Center Support - Important Stats

Many CAHPS studies have shown significant results that link

  • good communication
  • timely appointments and follow ups
  • easy access to information, and
  • immediate response from the providers

to positive patient experience. Therefore, it is mandatory to look at each aspect of delivery and association between patients and healthcare providers. In order to improve and deliver overall care services to engender positive patient experiences, non-medical staff also has to be trained and motivated to deliver effective support services to the healthcare seeker.

Employee Engagement and Quality of Patient Experience

Quality patient experience and employee engagement are two positive forces that reinforce each other. Among other macro benefits, this cycle also benefits the facility with lower employee turnover, greater patient and employee satisfaction, improved medical processes and systems, and certainly, an improved bottom-line.

Research has shown that employee engagement motivates and develops the current workforce to perform better. All healthcare staff, be it administrative support, general support services, nurses or physicians, needs to be empathetic, professional and efficient. Engagement of employees—at all tiers—influences them to do their best and provide medical care in the most personal and effective manner. In short, employee engagement is an important goal that leads to the achievement of another goal: Quality Patient Experience.

If a patient rates your facility 5 stars for the great care experience they received, then it’s a win-win for all. Researches have shown that organizations with engaged employees report a lower mortality rate around the world. Similarly, the incidence of medical errors also reduces, which is the third largest reason of deaths in US today, after cancer and heart diseases.

Evaluation of a complete healthcare quality picture shows substantial proof that many aspects of non-medical tasks and services are also key determinants of a quality patient experience. When a care seeker reaches out to any healthcare facility, they expect immediate response and effective solutions. Quality interaction with the administrative support team and hospital reception, as first contact points, are as significant as the medical procedures for a positive patient and family experience.

Stress-Free Work Environment

It is not only doctors and nurses who work under pressure in a medical facility, non-medical staff that renders support services is equally taking the physical and mental toll of the work pressure.

Here it is important to understand that employee engagement is a long-term process that can yield customer-focused, profit-generating benefits in the longer run. Thus, it is not a human resources initiative that can be implemented every year or so. In fact, it is a cultural change—strategically embedded motivators that influence the employee’s performance, patient-focus, safety measures, accomplishments, and continuous improvement throughout the year.

One of the main determinants of employee engagement is a stress-free work environment that helps the employee work hard, in an efficient and timely fashion. Such an environment filters unnecessary delays and miscommunications. It fosters cordial coworker relations, teamwork, employee development, and quality patient care. Resultantly, a healthcare facility needs to invest in tools, resources, and trainings that would generate such a conducive environment.

Support staff like receptionists and other administrative support workers, accounts service providers, customer service staff, and technical support staff knit the work pattern and culture in a healthcare organization. Their duties are as vital as those of the medical staff. Their support and coordination for carrying out medical processes and delivering positive patient and family experiences is invaluable.

Patients and families are not very satisfied or cooperative when:

  • they are not immediately connected to the right medical staff,
  • when their inquiries are not answered satisfactorily, or
  • they face problems in clearing payments.

Online and telephone inquiries, data entry and coordination, insurance claims, appointment scheduling, follow ups and feedback, are some of the repetitive, routine tasks that take up a major chunk of your support services employees’ energy and time. These tasks seem very basic but are most crucial in improving patient satisfaction. During busy hours it becomes difficult for administrative support teams to catch up and coordinate with medical staff and patients simultaneously. Similarly, insurance claims, ERM and feedback calls exact a considerable toll on hospital resources and manpower.  With multiple insurance plans, multilingual and multiethnic patient groups, it is not easy to multitask and deliver care process timely. Running on tight budgets with several safety and coordination concerns, support services at a healthcare provider need to be most organized, relaxed, and efficient.

You must free up the time and resources for your healthcare administrative support workforce so that they don’t feel trapped or overwhelmed. It is more important to let them focus on core care activities and their specializations. A support services employee who is not overburdened or burned-out will feel more engaged and will endeavor to give personalized advice, directions, and full attention to each case.

What are you waiting for? Make the changes to your set up today so that you are not left behind as the healthcare industry evolves. Overwhelmed? Contact an expert healthcare call center support provider to get a customized solution for your business.

Best Project Management Software and Tools for a Remote Team in 2019

By | Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Customer Service, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

A New Era and the Use of Project Management Software and Tools

Ever wondered how technology has encompassed every field of life today? For businesses, small or big, technology has enhanced the way teams are created and the way they work. Projects can now be delivered by a remote team spread across the globe, an in-house team, or a combination of both.

How is that convenient, you ask? Are you also wondering if such work arrangements will be productive?

The global remote workforce has been growing over the last few years because collaborative and interactive technologies have dissolved all geographical barriers to create efficient virtual workspaces. Reports on remote work show that 35% companies have currently employed a remote workforce, while 89% respondents are involved in fulltime or part time remote or virtual work. Moreover, a remote team shows 10-43% higher productivity as compared to an in-house team.

Benefits of Project Management Software and Tools for a Remote Workforce

Are project management tools effective for virtual teams?

Project management is difficult with an in-house team, and with virtual teams it becomes even more overwhelming. But technology provides the ideal solution. An ideal project management software helps a remote team in project planning, time management, resource allocation, and change management. As virtual workspaces are here to stay, effective project management is a must to build a remote workforce that is competitive, responsive, and successful. A good project management software serves to overcome the time-consuming communication issues and aids in efficiently streamlining processes and tasks.

Project management software and tools serve as a classic solution for keeping things organized and meeting deadlines—leading to greater profitability. Just like for an on-site team, the benefits of using project management software and tools for a remote workforce are innumerable:

 Better planning, execution, and monitoring

 Maintaining work schedules

 Better and clearer delegation of tasks

 Better collaboration

 Efficient problem solving

 Meeting deadlines

 Faster delivery of projects

 Better evaluation of performance

To give you a head start, we have compiled a list of the best project management software and tools for managing a team, especially a remote workforce. These have been handpicked based on ease of use, agility and advanced features, free trials, and quality of customer support.

Wrike is a cloud-based leading project management solution for team collaboration that serves well for both in-house and remote workers. It has won the Best Project Management Software award in 2018 and has 99% positive user reviews. It has a user-friendly, convenient interface, easy set up, and it works just as well on mobile devices. Wrike provides tutorials, documents, and live webinars for training.

It works well for prioritization, visualizing workflows, and analyzing results. Wrike’s features such as Gantt Charts, templates, built-in time tracking tool, scalability, and workload view are equally popular among project members and project managers.

It also offers cost-to-completion tracking for better budget management. Therefore, it has a dual functionality as a resource management cum project management tool. Wrike is a comprehensive software which comes with flexibility and customization to suit each team’s needs. Furthermore, it gives you the flexibility to easily integrate with various tools.

It is particularly beneficial for a virtual workspace because of its many data management and collaborative features. It helps in creating a remote team that is self-sufficient and productive.

Teams up to 5 members can reap its benefits for free. Bigger teams or enterprises can try it and then opt for a professional plan. However, reviews show it works best for marketing and design teams with 20+ members. It comes with a 24/7 support through a live customer service representative, which most definitely is a big plus!

Previously known as Dapulse, Monday.com has revived its image and has emerged as a fun, visually appealing, intuitively easy to use, and organized project management resource.

It offers collaboration and communication tools and provides integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, and Slack.

It is popular for remote workforce management because it is easily customizable, provides in-built tracking and monitoring, and can seamlessly become part of any established software system.

With a common dashboard, centralized communication and data management, the entire team stays in the loop. Different bright colors for each project stage, easy to add to-do lists, and member-designated tasks help the teams efficiently plan their timeline and use resources.

Its strongest feature is a URL mirrored Mobile Application. This is invaluable for those who are always on the move—as is the case for most remote workers. Monday.com offers the same interface on mobile as on PC/laptop, edging Monday.com over its competitors because of the easy integration and connectivity with the team.

It is most popular with creative agencies but is equally convenient for all other industries. It does offer a free trial and has different plans depending upon the features required and number of team members. Users find Monday.com intuitive but in case you have any difficulties, its robust customer service is always available to respond to queries.  This excellent and reachable customer service sets them apart from many other viable options.

This is one of the cloud-based software from Zoho with a focus of providing all basic features of project management. It has a simple pricing plan for both the web and mobile applications.

With clear user design, its best feature is its strong integration with other services from Zoho as well as Google and Microsoft. Moreover, the in-built chat option saves the user the hassle of opening external tools and keeps things simpler and timely.

It helps a remote team become organized through its time tracking, problem resolution, and document management tools. Progress tracking is also easy and quick due to easy-to-access Gantt charts, reports and analyses, and individual workflows.

It has a multiple view option and the members can choose their own style, depending on their preference for tasks lists. Impressively, Zoho Projects has shown continuous improvements, giving its users a better interface with many stable, customizable, and advanced features.

Along with tutorial videos and webinars, it also provides in-person trainings for the optimum use of the software. It has a free version for unlimited users, but the features remain restricted. For paid plans, you can enjoy a 10-day free trial to see if the plan suits your specifications or needs any revision. All their plans are flat rate and are very cost effective for larger teams.

Do you often find yourself scrambling at the last minute while trying to manage routine tasks and organizing work schedules for your remote team?

Asana might be a solution to your needs. It is another popular cloud-based project management suite that effectively helps you track the progress of your remote team and meet targets. It offers a simple layout, where all project and task details can be added for easy view.

The easy, flexible layout and mapped-out details for each task benefit the team in staying organized, identifying and rectifying any loopholes or errors, and adjusting schedules instantaneously. Thus, a remote team not only collaborates through Asana but efficiently completes a project by setting priorities, adjusting work structure, and assigning tasks—eliminating overlaps and delays. For routine tasks, a process timeline can be used and

shared as a template for all similar future tasks.

Asana can tie it all together for you with more than a hundred tools for integration, be it email, file sharing, data security, anything you can think of! It has gained popularity among small as well as large businesses and has 96% user satisfaction reports. It also acts as a resource management and collaboration software. Moreover, the mobile application helps with real-time updates and tracking.

It has a basic free version, while the premium and enterprise plans—with advanced and collaborative features—are billed yearly. For a larger team, the premium plan can come cheaply, and it offers exclusive projects, unlimited guests, unlimited dashboards, data export, central administration and other advanced features. Enterprise plans provide agile tools and customer support. Other than higher security and backup options, this plan also guarantees a dedicated customer success manager and instant customer support throughout the year.

Basecamp is most popular in creative agencies and it is very similar to a personal assistant who takes care of everything from assigning tasks and tracking the progress, marking them as done and then moving onto the next stage of the project. It is equally popular among entrepreneurs, contractors, small and medium businesses, and departments of larger organizations.

It has an easy, efficient system that helps in long-term planning and resource management as well. It gels conveniently for multi-customer and multiple projects firms.

It has all the features for collaborating on a project such as to-do lists, message boards, schedules, documents and file storage, and group chat. Since a decade Basecamp has been helping teams to organize, delegate, and monitor tasks.

It has a good file management system and integrative tools that helps virtual teams easily access what they require and finish tasks uninterruptedly. Team members can store, link, tag, share, and comment on project documents and files. The built-in real-time chat room is great for sharing ideas, proposals and discussions, and keeping the entire team on the same page. Therefore, Basecamp is your go-to tool when groups need to efficiently monitor their projects and achieve targets in a timely manner.

Basecamp gives you the freedom to set a date range, prioritize and rearrange tasks according to your needs. By the end of each operation, an automated report can be generated to analyze the progress and save time.

Use your google account to log in and you can enjoy a 60-day free trial of this software. The paid subscription is a fixed annual payment and depends upon the type of use.

For paid plans, the best part is that basecamp comes with all updates and IT issues are taken care of by 24/7 technical assistance. Users can also join a live Q&A base for instant solutions to their queries.

Here is another camp for you to join and enjoy some campfire with your team members!

Freedcamp is a cost effective, user-friendly software that has excellent features for seamless and convenient collaboration of remote teams. It is easily used through iOS and android applications too.

It is a project management solution that is not heavy on the pocket. It is used by a diverse clientele from many industries, ranging from retail, marketing, architecture, interior design to IT services, manufacturing, construction and many more.

Freedcamp features and tools facilitate project management through project scheduling, document and issue management, task management, reporting and time tracking. It has an in-built calendar for scheduling, reminders, tasks and monitoring events. It also has invoicing and billing and project templating tools.  Similarly, Wall is the interactive feature which allows instant communication between all parties. The settings can be used to adjust who sees what. This plethora of add-ons make up for the lack of a vibrant interface for Freedcamp.

It has a comprehensive and responsive customer service. Freedcamp has a general free plan for unlimited users and projects. Moreover, the company offers advance plans to non-profits, teachers and students without any costs.

Conclusion

Using the right set of tools is necessary to reap maximum benefits of a remote team and its potential talent. At IdeasUnlimited, we have honed our remote workforce optimization strategy over the last 8 years to ensure the best quality of work from a geographically dispersed team. Our workers have a wide range of experience of using the above project management tool in several industries—be it real estate, sales, IT etc.

We would love to hear from you! If you have tried any other tool for virtual collaboration that has worked wonders for you, then please share your experience in the comments below.

 

Improve your customer service center for customer retention

What Are Customer Retention Strategies?

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

Originally posted as an answer on Quora for What are customer retention strategies?

Answer by Saira Zafar, Content Contributor, IdeasUnlimited

sairaz@osbprovider.com

Successful customer retention is a major sign of business health and it is closely related to the growing concept of customer success through a well-established customer service center.

It works simultaneously as a marketing strategy while also aligning the company’s vision as part of its strategic goals. Customer retention means you are focused on developing a long-term relationship with the client rather than extracting short-term, temporary transactions.

Previously, marketing strategy revolved around convincing a consumer to buy your product/service and realize that it is at least marginally different from the other alternatives available in the market. Now, marketing strategy must work on the entire customer purchase pattern and create consumer success—tangible rewards and benefits that the consumers will receive by making your company a long-term member of their consumption bundle.

This shift brings more challenges, but results in higher retention rates, lower costs of sales, and an improved bottom line.

It is crucial to understand that a customer retention strategy requires detailed study of successful consumers, their buying behavior, preferences, and disposable income. Top of FormThese customer retention strategies can vary from business to business. As a rule, it should be kept in mind that customer retention entails keeping the old customers with you, lowering exit rates, and increasing sales.

Let’s elaborate each of these concepts to help you formulate your own strategies for each step and retain customers successfully.

Keep Existing Customers Close to You:

A simple look around you can show you how expectations have changed and how an influx of choices has made consumption more complicated.

It is common for businesses to divide their customers into demographic profiles for setting marketing and sales goals. It is about time that these profiles are scrutinized to understand customers’ thought processes and buying patterns.

As customers are changing, your company should be able to keep up with their changed preferences to give them the choices and products they are looking for now. There can be a number of ways to retain your customers once you have outlined their preferences and are ready to meet their expectations.

Selling More and Often:

Brand Loyalty Programs can be introduced that are most likely to attract new and keep your existing customers coming back to you. They key factors here are features, designs, and quality you offer your customers. 66% consumers tend to stay loyal to a brand if they find features, quality, and design as per their changing demands.

Similarly, Coupons are a very effective and popular way of retaining customers. Offering coupons to your existing customers for their preferred item can motivate them to make an immediate purchase, especially after 30 months of association. This also gives them a feeling of personalized service, which further instills brand loyalty. In a study, 60% consumers agreed to Surprise Rewards being a major factor for their staying loyal to a brand.

Value Added Services or Cross Selling with a partner brand also keeps customers coming back to you.  Data-sharing partnership is also a potential avenue for increasing customer retention by letting partner companies share data and collaborate for time, season, and location-specific offers.

Rebrand your business to meet customer expectations. As Richard Branson has very aptly said, do not just meet expectations of your clients but exceed them.

It is equally important for acquiring new customers as well as retaining existing customers that a business is rebranded. Rebranding helps you move with customer preferences, as mentioned earlier. It is evident that modern customers are always on the look-out for something fresh and new. Therefore, it is feasible to rebrand and accommodate existing customers to show them all new customer success to convince them to stay. Rebranding helps to overcome an outdated image of a company and helps in exceeding the expectations of your existing clients.

Where Is Customer Churn Taking Place and Why?

In connection to the above discussion, reviewing customer behavior and company-client relationships can give valuable insights for retaining customers. One important information is to know where the customer exits and why?

Monitoring customers’ online journey can tell you the exact point which disturbed the customer enough to withdraw from your company and move onto someone else for a purchase. It may be long delivery times or dodgy/outdated payment options. It can also be the outdated overall layout of your website and poor social media presence. Most importantly, customer churn can take place due to improper handling at the customer service center.

Revamping the Customer Service Center

For modern consumers, online presence, customer service and delivery service have to be top notch. A well maintained customer service center can be an answer to all three of these goals.

To build a successful, longer term client relationship, your company has to build an effective customer service team. You require a friendly, personable team that is agile, technically smart and is trained to show gratitude and courtesy to the customers. Agents should have product and policy knowledge and the ability to resolve issues satisfactorily. This also leads to the capacity of a customer service center to quickly respond to a query in the required language, take required actions immediately, document, and follow up.

To have a versatile customer service center, it is most feasible to contract a company with prior experience of multilingual call center services, omnichannel support, and capable of managing and monitoring the teams to provide hassle-free best results for your company.

A good CRM tool is also a vital investment to keep your relationship organized and documented. It can cover all channels of support. To keep customer engaged through your online presence and product lifecycle, reemphasizing their customer success is important.  Influencers and arranging Q and A sessions can ensure a lot of engagement and build stronger relationships. A good customer advocacy program or creating online customer groups, webinars, and user group meetings are also some ways of bringing customers together.

Customer retention is a goal and strategy in itself. As the technology is advancing and nothing is inaccessible for a modern consumer, it is important that your business is able to deliver products and customer services that match the requirements and ideas of your customers. Targeting new customers improves revenue but keeping old customers intact helps in building company value and sustainable growth.

Swedish Customer Service Can Be “Sweet” (Swede!)

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

Ikea. Delicious meatballs. ABBA. Sweden has provided the world with some legendary gifts. So maybe it is time for the world to give back. We could do this by helping expand business presence in Sweden. IdeasUnlimited wants to take that sunny Swedish disposition and put it on display with our Swedish customer service par excellence. With friendliness and multilingual support skills, our workers can take your customer services to the next level. And IdeasUnlimited is the vehicle to connect the Swedish talent to the world, with our superior support services and remote workforce management.

How easy is it to expand into Sweden to do business?

Simple enough “that it now ranks number one on the Forbes’ annual list of the Best Countries for Business. Compare that to economic powerhouse the US, which is in 23rd place”.  Sweden also boasts a high employment rate as well as having relative gender equality in its workforce. The labor market is not suffering from decline or chaos, so it is stable footing for any new business to increase its global presence. New satellite sites or franchises can be established, or an expat could potentially move to Sweden and open an entirely unique business model. There is a lot of room for flexibility here. And best of all, you don’t need to do everything on your own. You can work with experienced support services providers to get assistance with everything from operational support to Swedish customer service and other multilingual support.

So what makes the Swedes an exceptional group of people?

They are highly skilled and educated. Sweden publicly invests in its education, so there is no reason to not go and become as highly trained (academically or practically) as possible. The Nordic European lifestyle is highly supportive of literary advancement, which has built some of the greatest graduate programs in the world.

The close proximity of the Nordic/Baltic countries creates an atmosphere where individuals are introduced to a variety of languages at a young age. Many members of the workforce travel between multiple countries during the course of their projects or engage with representatives from other countries. The service industry in Sweden only highlights this diversity. ContactCenterWorld, a call center focused website, states: “Sweden is the largest labor pool in Scandinavia with multilingual Nordic capacity – Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Danish. In the service agencies, 45 percent use the Scandinavian languages daily”. So not only are the Swedish a large portion of the service industry as a whole, but they also have the language skills to cover a variety of markets. They can switch between languages to reach multiple countries as opposed to being capable of only fulfilling one countries’ needs. At IdeasUnlimited, our multilingual call center services are provided by agents well-versed in several Nordic languages who can provide multilingual support for sales, customer relationship management, vendor management, administrative work, and much more. So start with Swedish customer service and with the same agents, expand to nearby markets with no additional overhead costs.

Even with its growth, Sweden is a small nation that does require outside companies to bolster its revenue and support economic structuring. Trying to find native Swedish workers for your local business? Contact IdeasUnlimited for handpicked candidates, relieving you of the hassle of advertising, shortlisting, and running background checks on your Swedish workers.

 

With the latest call center programs, virtual assistance, and 8-year experience, the options at IdeasUnlimited are endless! Contact us today to see how our Swedish customer service and multilingual call center services can benefit your business.

The Benefits of a Call Center for Small Business

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Multilingual Support, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

“Why should I pay for call center services? How does this benefit me? I struggle as it is!” I’m sure these are all things you are mentioning in a cold sweat. But don’t be alarmed! I have some great news for you: a call center for small business can cut costs for you long term and ease your workload significantly. Do I have your attention now? Call center support experts all agree that “a call center opens up communication within departments by outlining what needs to be collected on their end, establishing a hand-off process, and ensures accountability”. It lets you do what you need to do—lead—while putting control in the very hands you have hired. Call centers can result in optimization in many different aspects.

Time and Cost Savings

One of the first resources you will find yourself gaining is time. For a lot of small business owners, it can be difficult to just jump right into work and prepare for the day, because there is always a cluster of after shift messages left on the phone and emails to get to. Hiring an expert support services provider will allow you not only to provide after-hours support to your clients and vendors but also offer 24/7/365 service at a fraction of the price of in-house employees.

24 hour call centers are also deal with all the ancillary tasks for your business:

Administrative Support
Sales Support
Marketing Support
Multilingual Support
Order Processing
Ecommerce Support
Technical Support
Community Moderation
Data Entry
Content Moderation

It can be extremely difficult to focus on basic work tasks while juggling customer and vendor requests. Especially on the days when everyone is on autopilot. Those are the days when documents and important information fall to the wayside. Hire a call center for small business to take care of the innumerable small tasks that take up most of your time but do not entail your core business operations. The daily din can be minimized so you can focus on getting it done, and getting it done right. So take that time away from the phones and start working with the best remote workforce that you can get!

Excellent Customer Service

Call center agents can also help your team as a whole get out closer to on time, or even early, by handling overflow calls and extra customers in the system. Those extra ‘hands’ so to speak get every customer through efficiently. This allows you to dedicate more time towards excellent customer service and away from tackling complaints. No one likes being put on hold. Such agents can help customers move onto the next life task without long hold times, and you can move towards solving your next office problem.

Inbound and outbound call center services can save your finite small business resources by maintaining good customer service. In case of most businesses, customers wait in long queues to talk to an impatient and overworked employee. This is not the case with a call center, since call centers maintain a consistent level of service that is easily scalable and flexible, with workers trained to flourish under pressure. So say goodbye to those bad Yelp reviews due to frequent dropped calls and work with a specialized call center for small business!

Hedging Your Bets

Nobody wants to have their business face an emergency, but preparedness can increase chance of continuity and time to go back to serve the public. A natural storm could take out your local business, but a multilingual call center service could still take orders and get products out or reschedule appointments.

Lower Fixed Costs

These call center operators don’t necessarily need to be full time, they can be part time holiday contractors as well. So in this respect, the fixed labor cost of your business becomes a variable cost—hire workers only when you need them and scale back when you don’t. Even in case of such short-term work, you can minimize the tangible cost of training, as skilled resources and training can be easily provided by the center itself. You will be free of the hassle of not only recruiting and training new workers but also monitoring and managing them.

Highly Skilled Resource Base

Using a call center for small business will give you access to a talented pool of multi-skilled individuals who can seamlessly switch between a range of different tasks and handle omnichannel support. Call center agents can switch between inbound and outbound calls so you do not need two separate teams for each—saving time and money. That kind of money can be put towards increasing current staffing wages or invested in the marketing of your business to continue its growth.

Conclusion

Talk to IdeasUnlimited today for a customized solution to your business requirements. Even small changes can catapult your small business into the global business arena.

How IU’s US Remote Workers Are Making a Difference in the Workplace

By | Administrative Support, Business Improvement, Call Center Support, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Remote Support Services, Virtual Assistant Support | 4 Comments
Hannah - IdeasUnlimited US Worker

Helpful. Valuable. Friendly. By the time you finish this article, when you see these adjectives, you will think of IU’s very own Hannah Sartin. She is a fantastic representation of the premier quality found in our US remote team. As the Account Manager/Head Admin (Finance), Hannah ‘adds up’ to what makes IdeasUnlimited such a wonderful place to work for and she really is what defines IU’s differences from the competition.

I was grateful to be able to interview Hannah, and get a refreshing take on just what makes IU’s US remote team such a transformative force: both for our clients and in our workers’ lives.

Just from our initial interaction, it was easy to see why there was a rush to hire her. In her words: “I found IU through Indeed.com and was almost immediately contacted for an interview!” Her friendly demeanor drew me in. I could tell that she was someone you would want on your team. I asked her what she believed truly makes her stand out, what she thinks makes her a continual asset in both the company, and as an example for why clients should reach for our US workers. She says: “I am very dependable and thorough. I make sure my work is top-quality.” Her resume must have delivered on her promise since every management and employee testimonial agreed with that assessment.

I asked Hannah to take the readers through her day. No two days are the exact same, but there is a thread of consistency with what her job description details, and how that manifests:

“Every day is a bit different for me, and several projects pass through my hands. On a typical day, I will check my emails first and create a checklist of tasks that need to be completed either throughout the day or during the week. I follow the list as closely as possible, but of course, several other tasks and mini projects will arise throughout the day. I will get as many tasks done as possible before logging out for the day. On occasion a task/project may be ongoing for several weeks or even months.”

Hannah is able meet our goals of providing business support services globally by keeping the machine oiled, so to speak. Her awareness of finance and project funding serves as a gatekeeper for how much progress can be forged ahead. Projects can be on the micro or macro level, but they all shape a client/company’s vision for the near future. Her strategic action for tackling her day as efficiently as possible is a prominent quality that I’ve seen through multiple IU workers, as it is an organizational priority and theme we hold in great esteem. Being a self-starter and an ability to gauge value are clearly a personal purpose for her, as she “focuses all her energy throughout the day on the tasks placed before me and prioritize urgent requests. I go out of my way daily by pushing personal events to the side to focus on only working. Many times, I work into the evening on pressing projects”. Hannah Sartin get things done: fast and right the first time!

Her quality contributions have certainly not gone unnoticed by our clients. At IU, we all work hard as a team to help each other get the most out of our respective positions and to minimize obstacles that could create stress. One of the ways we do this (that I love) is by practicing great communication. Our US financial maven agrees by sharing that: “I love that, no matter what, I am always able to get in contact with Nick or the company admin. Communication is important in any job and with IU communication is very easy and open!”

It can be very easy for remote programs to let communication fall to the wayside, and to have their workers become lonely islands unto themselves. But at IdeasUnlimited, our clients have a continual point of contact to get their needs met—our project management department. Our remote workforce optimization strategy entails three-tier management so not only will you be covered in terms of project management and administration, we take care of monitoring too.

We also want to highlight and commend our remote workers for their exceptional jobs. So again, thank you Hannah for your wonderful work as part of our team!

And to potential clients: what are you waiting for? Go ahead and hire your Hannah today!