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Inbound Call Center Solution

How to Make Sales During a Pandemic

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Ecommerce Support Services, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Inbound Call Center Solution, Outbound Call Center Services, Receptionist Service, Remote Support Services, Technical Support | No Comments

As the world collectively prays for a speedy recovery from COVID, business must go on. Maintaining quarterly performance and hitting quotas is more difficult than ever, but there is also a great opportunity for all of us to solve new challenges.

We won’t bother you with stats and figures showing how the pandemic is wreaking havoc across our economic landscape (there’s enough of that on the internet already). Instead, here we’re focusing on how you can soldier on and maintain, or even grow, your sales in this strange new situation we find ourselves in. And it all begins with a basic three step plan: ‘Go online’, ‘put people first’ and ‘be flexible’.

Go Online

Brick and mortar establishments will always have a place in our markets, but all organizations must develop an online channel to fall back to. While the pandemic continues to stifle traditional business, ecommerce, on the other hand, is experiencing a massive boom. Walmart and Amazon have both reported a staggering 40% to 97% increase in their onlines sales just this first quarter.

If you don’t have a digital market in place, now is the time to give it a serious thought. If you feel you have no experience or knowledge to make the switch to the internet, don’t worry. For small businesses, creating an ecommerce platform has never been easier with numerous third party services specializing in creating one for them. What you need to worry about is how soon you are willing to pull the trigger.

Put People First

Our quarantine lifestyle has made face-to-face interactions problematic, but you still need to find ways to show your customers that you care. A good rule of thumb is to always have more online calls than what’s required. Meetings should rarely be ‘presentations’. Avoid PowerPoints slides in favor of good old fashioned conversations where you try to understand the client; who they are, where they come from, etc. When a client senses empathy, they are more likely to do business with you.

Sales is a pursuit to satisfy customers. Simply delivering isn’t enough. You need to go above and beyond to nurture a strong connection with your clients. While marketing can fulfil this need, your sales, project management, business development and other teams must all collectively touch bases with your clients during the bidding process.

Be Flexible

The pandemic is a que for everyone to start thinking out of the box. Put aside tried and tested business models and ask yourself; how can I tailor my business to all types of needs? Car companies are altering their assembly lines to build ventilators and airlines are using their fleet for cargo delivery. Maintaining revenue is all about providing a service in any way, shape or form.

You don’t need to simply come up with new products and services. Instead, accommodate your clients as best you can. Change your pricing model, provide installment options or agree to something outside your SOP’s. The goal is to get the ball rolling with a potential client. One example is that here at IdeasUnlimited, we offer turn-key solutions based on a holistic approach. Now, we have changed our packages to be smaller and scalable in the long run. This allows clients, who are now more risk-averse than ever, to be more comfortable in working with us since we give them the option to initiate without a huge investment.

While there are plenty of reasons to lament a global health crisis, we ultimately see great hope. IdeasUnlimited believes in the power of human ingenuity and we have always bet on people’s ability to find creative solutions for even the most complex problems. We are proud of our remote workforce who have skillfully navigated us through the pandemic and each one of them are ready to extend their assistance to you. If you’d like to know more, then be sure to read about how we helped a California based eshop reach global success. Whether it’s creating your own online store, assisting with customer service or providing operational support, we are always here to help! Contact us at sales@ideasunlimitedonline.com and give your business the boost it deserves.

Why You Should Hire a Healthcare Call Center During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Why You Should Hire a Medical Call Center During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By | Administrative Support, Business Sustainability, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Healthcare Call Center Support, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Inbound Call Center Solution, Medical Virtual Assistant, Outbound Call Center Services, Remote Support Services, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant, Virtual Assistant Support | One Comment

Being a healthcare professional is one of the most stressful jobs to have during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if your healthcare center does not cater to COVID-19 testing or treatment, you likely have several patients whose health you need to monitor closely in radically different conditions than any of us were used to previously.

Most healthcare providers cannot in good conscience neglect their patients, urgent or otherwise, for extended periods of time. Physician groups, hospitals, and clinics around the country are shifting to telehealth or minimum-contact patient care. However, they are not fully equipped to deal with these drastic changes. With most patients preferring to call in or video-link to doctors, but not willing to wait for care, it is important to ensure that these processes run like a well-oiled machine.

You need experienced medical call center agents to handle this sudden influx of calls. The calls might range from appointment scheduling, to prescription refilling, to questions about invoices, and reliable after care. Relying on your employees to do both this work and their usual roster of tasks will almost certainly result in poor customer satisfaction.

Why You Should Have a Medical Call Center

Give Your Patients COVID-19 Information

Healthcare practices are the first point of contact for people when they have questions about the pandemic. This is especially true for especially those specializing in general medicine or internal medicine. Since new information about COVID-19 is coming forth constantly, patients reach out repeatedly, trying to quell their anxieties about potential symptoms. Many also keep calling to ask how to stay safe in these conditions. Doctor offices around the world, from India to the UK and the US, are reporting a deluge of calls with a dearth of patient visits. Mobilizing to cater to these calls with a minimum of disruption to all other essential work is necessary. Your one solution to this problem; which will likely stretch to the next year and possibly beyond, is hiring a healthcare call center.

Improve Customer Satisfaction and Keep Revenue Streams Ongoing

These days, patient footfall has fallen drastically on site; so quality measures should focus largely on call responses instead of on-site dealings for the time being. Training a staff that is used to face-to-face interactions to transition to communicating only over call is an uphill battle.

However, keeping customer satisfaction levels high is as imperative as ever. Bear in mind that any patient receiving comprehensive and compassionate guidance from you during this time is likely going to show customer loyalty towards you for a long time. You will reap dividends many times over in the long run by focusing on patient satisfaction through healthcare call center support.

Patients are asked to provide information about their healthcare experience via the annual Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Unacceptable survey results can lead to hospitals losing some reimbursements from Medicare; an overall loss of over $1.7 billion in 2017. A healthcare call center influences and improves the patient experience, ensuring that a minimum of these reimbursements is lost. This is why two-thirds of US hospitals use healthcare call center support.

Healthcare Call Centers Can Save Money for Physician Groups

A healthcare call center brings with it a wealth of experience and guaranteed HIPAA compliance.

By sharing a healthcare call center across a physician group or a clinic shared by several providers, the cost of handling patients goes down considerably. Instead of hiring several people, one competent and trained healthcare call center representative can handle all calls made to the group. This brings down the immediate cost of labor for all physicians who are part of the group. The cost of training is reduced as well, while the cost of lost patient revenue due to irate clients becomes negligible.

If only one provider wants to hire a healthcare call center, that provider can hire a call center representative who works part-time but manages or returns all the calls made. Through IdeasUnlimited’s healthcare call center facilities, you can hire a call center representative to work for you for a pre-agreed number of hours per week. The healthcare call center’s focus leads to efficiency, with immediate results being apparent.

Lower Risk and Better Compliance

Having a HIPAA-certified agent handle your calls lowers compliance risk considerably. While initial HIPAA-training can take from 2 to 3 hours, the ongoing training and compliance is a struggle for each provider. HIPAA procedures need to be so ingrained in the staff that patient privacy and best processes take center stage. The best way to do this is by hiring a healthcare call center that has certified agents.

Identifying Where You Are Losing Money

Some healthcare call centers, such as those operated by IdeasUnlimited, offer a holistic package which includes cost audits. IdeasUnlimited’s healthcare call center service includes an audit of the business, which will identify where the healthcare provider is losing money. This service is imperative during the coronavirus crisis. Especially since healthcare providers and physician practices are being encouraged to operate at full capacity, yet income is slow with coming in. Reducing unnecessary costs and administrative bloating can improve the bottom-line manifold. Most healthcare providers who grow beyond an office of ten people don’t realize that their administrative costs are too high and can be reduced through consolidation. Having a third party objectively analyze your costs will identify where your business can improve cash flow in these trying times.

Access to Service Data and Quality Control

When you hire front desk representatives to take patient calls, you don’t have access to the kind of data you need for quality control. In such a situation, your options for keeping tabs on and improving customer service are very limited. On the other hand, healthcare call centers operate with strict quality measures in place, and content dashboards with access to service data. Having access to data regarding each patient contact grants you immediate feedback regarding services. Moreover, it helps you steer the direct and indirect messages going out to your patients.

IdeasUnlimited’s quality assurance team can take this task off your hands as well. The quality assurance team monitors calls and ensures that the standard operating procedures, as defined by the client, are observed. Quality assurance ensures excellence at each stage of contact with the patient.

By documenting each client contact in an easily searchable way, you ensure that your client contacts are up to par. You also have a detailed client contact history that enables you to have as complete a picture as possible when dealing with a client. Having detailed records also minimizes provider liability.

Why IdeasUnlimited is Your Best Choice for A Healthcare Call Center

Why IdeasUnlimited is Your Best Choice for A Healthcare Call Center

If you are not yet employing a healthcare call center, now is the time to take the leap and reap the dividends. Not shifting to a healthcare call center may actively be harming your business without your knowledge. IdeasUnlimited is the ideal partner to help you transition to a new way of handling your patients. Contact us at sales@ideasunlimitedonline.com to get a custom quote for your business today.

IU services in COVID-19

Is COVID-19 Harming Your Business? We Can Help

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Business Sustainability, Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Healthcare Call Center Support, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Inbound Call Center Solution, Marketing Virtual Assistant, Medical Virtual Assistant, Multilingual Customer Service, Outbound Call Center Services, Remote Support Services, Technical Support, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

The coronavirus pandemic has rained trouble down on small businesses from every angle. The business landscape is uncertain, and every sector has had to adapt. Whether business is reduced, or it is temporarily booming, we can help you get through this time. Our secret is leveraging and managing a remote workforce.

Chat, Email, and Call Center Support

Just like most businesses today, your business may be spread thin; perhaps employees are staying at home, availing PTO. Or perhaps you could not afford their services, but cannot handle all the work they were taking care of. If so, it might be time to look into hiring and managing a remote workforce.

Hiring a remote workforce during this time to take care of customer emails, calls and chat requests is the best way to ensure that your customers or clients feel well taken care of. While clients will understand that you are working with a reduced staff, they will appreciate your company much more and will not put services on hold if you are proactive in getting their work done.

A remote workforce is often much less expensive than local services. Not only will that drive costs down when margins are thin, managing a remote workforce through IdeasUnlimited will ensure that you know exactly what it’s doing any time it is on the clock. As industries have shifted almost entirely to telework, employers have been worried about paying their employees for work that doesn’t get done due to all the distractions at home. IdeasUnlimited remote oversight services guarantee that your employees are working on their job duties wherever they are in the world.

Chat support, email support, and call support can be customized to any business. If your emails are piling up, or clients are concerned about never being able to reach you, you can hire IdeasUnlimited services on an hourly basis today.

Remote_Work

Boom in Business?

If you’re experiencing a boom in business during the COVID-19 pandemic, you need to capitalize on this and handle it correctly with your customers. Responding to clients promptly and making sure that they do not experience any hassle in getting their order or service requests through, is paramount. This will pay dividends in happy, returning customers. Hiring a customer care center that is experienced in support services will ensure that you hit the ground running and do not need to waste time interviewing contractors. With top remote teams providing 24/7/365 support, fast scalability and flexibility, omnichannel support, and cost-effective packages, IdeasUnlimited will be the ideal partner to help you during this crisis. IdeasUnlimited will take most of the work of managing a remote workforce off your hands.

Healthcare Call Center Support

Hiring a remote workforce for a call center during the coronavirus crisis will provide the ideal infrastructure for handling all your client calls and queries. A healthcare service inundated with calls and questions during COVID 19 will have to scale up quickly, without any degradation in customer service. With most doctors switching to telehealth appointments amidst the crisis, having a remote workforce ready to handle potential healthcare clients has become even more important. Through IdeasUnlimited’s healthcare call center staff, you can hire remote call center workers to take care of both frontend and backend services. Frontend agents can set up appointments, handle prescription refills, check eligibility and benefits etc. The backend agents, who are also certified in all major EMR platforms, can enter patient demographics, claim scrubbing and submission, billing, etc.

Health care support services IU

Operations Support

Business relief plans offered through governments the world over do not cover contractor pay. Thus, you should look into hiring overseas contractors who will ease the financial burden on your business, since you will get the same work done for much cheaper. IU services such as marketing support, virtual assistant support, and call center support can help you keep your business going, but at a lower cost than usual.

Outsourcing invoice generation and collection, bookkeeping, and payroll will not only cut your employee costs down, it will allow you to focus on core business responsibilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, your primary focus should be on adapting your core business model to the changing conditions and appealing to existing customers. Support services can be outsourced at a cheaper rate than in-house employees or contractors.

Marketing and Ecommerce Support

With most brick and mortar stores being forced to close their doors, or having to adhere to strict restrictions regarding footprints, online shopping and deliveries have boomed. Your business needs to set up or enhance its ecommerce platform as soon as possible, because that’s where the bulk of your customers will be contacting you. IdeasUnlimited can help you with website development and have your website up and running as soon as possible. However; you need to market the website once it is published.  Providing a good customer experience on the website is also imperative. IdeasUnlimited offers a full ecommerce support package, including technical support, logistics support, marketing support, backend support, product research, and brand management. We can also help you with managing a remote workforce for website development and maintenance.

Billing Support

During the COVID-19 pandemic, your business should give clients a larger window of time to fulfill invoices; however, you should not be giving work away for free. It is necessary for cash flow that you track client work and bill them on time and accurately. You should try to stay on top of this; however, if you can’t, hiring a remote worker to take care of this for you may be the best option. IdeasUnlimited can provide you billing support at flexible hours per week, to make sure that your business does not lose money it should not be missing out on during this pandemic.

Contact us today to get a custom quote for your business at sales@ideasunlimitedonline.com.

Optimize Your Delivery Service - IU Inbound Customer Service Center

8 Tips to Optimize Your Delivery Services

By | Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support Services, Inbound Call Center Solution, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

The quality and efficiency of your delivery operations are a significant contributor to your business’ overall value proposition. You should be able to supply customers as quickly as possible, using an efficient inbound customer service center, without driving up your delivery cost or compromising on the product or packaging.

Learn How to Optimize Your Delivery Services to Deal with COVID-19

Better Communication Tools & Efficient Project Management

Better Communication Tools

Get better worker collaboration and communication tools so you can get in touch with your workers from anywhere, at any time during business hours. An efficient communication system that allows all your workers to get in touch with each other, from the warehouse workers to delivery workers, factory workers, managers, etc. would make decision-making faster and more accurate. This is crucial all across the business but more so on the delivery side, since fast and reliable communication is especially important there.

Efficient Project Management Tools

Even if all your employees work from one central location and meet each other every day, using a project management tool to manage operations is the best strategy. This will give you a better understanding of deadlines, a visualization of current progress, tasks remaining, and achievement of milestones with a bird’s eye view so things do not get overwhelming or overlooked. You can assign tasks with deadlines to different team members and each person can do their part to complete the task. We have vetted some of the most popular project management tools for you here. Most of them have free trials, so use them with your team and see which interface and features suit your business best.

Simplify Internal Processes & Effective Inventory Management

Simplify Internal Processes

Simply your internal processes for a fast and smooth transition of a task from one employee to another. Different team members and departments should not use several software applications to complete one task since you would be losing too much time in the transfer of tasks alone. For instance, your warehouse and delivery teams should be on the same wavelength and use the same software.

Effective Inventory Management

Your business must have an effective logistics team that ensures your inventory records are up to date and your customer support and sales team get quick responses from the warehouses. Your whole operations hinge on good inventory management since you can only make sales when you know how much product you have available to sell.

Flexibility and Easy Scalability & New Business Models

Flexibility and Easy Scalability

Your business will survive and even bloom through economic booms and recessions if your business model lends itself to easy scalability and quick adjustments. In times of excess demand, if you can easily expand operations, you would be in a better position to capitalize quickly. If your business can swiftly adjust to match supply to demand, you will surpass your competitors.

Introduce New Business Models

Focus more on your website and mobile app since the typical customer is moving away from in-store purchases. Create a secure online payment system and ensure good website traffic management, so your online store is capable of handling traffic surges. Your online payment system should not be limited to only bank transfers and credit cards, rather any money transfer and online payment methods should be compatible.

Introduce different delivery options, ranging from same-day or next-day delivery to slower but cheaper options. You will have to rework your delivery operations a bit, but this will attract all those customers willing to pay a bit more for convenience. It can be a valuable USP as well.

Stronger Customer Relations and Geographic Dispersion of Supply Chain

Stronger Customer Relations

Providing a unique product or service is not sufficient in itself for building a loyal, expanding customer base. You need an excellent  inbound customer service center to foster better relations, highlight customers’ pain points before they become issues, and resolve them in a timely manner. The most crucial part of delivery services is providing a robust tracking mechanism to customers, so they know where their package is at all times. Customers are understanding of delays in delivery, provided they are apprised of the reasons for these delays as soon as possible.

You also need fast responsiveness to customer inquiries as well as top-quality troubleshooting of any order and delivery problems they are facing. The human touch is invaluable, and you don’t even need to set up an inbound customer service center in-house to achieve this goal. Get call center support that seamlessly meshes with your business practices and acts as an extension of your business. Chat bots can only do so much, and they can definitely not calm down irate customers, so you need the human touch.

Your inbound customer service center can easily be virtually managed. Similarly, partnering with a good 24 hour call center or after-hours call center to provide technical support for your website, app, or product itself would garner manifold rewards over time. This center can also handle public relations and manage your online brand image.

Geographic Dispersion of Supply Chain

Collaboration and project management tools would be especially necessary if you disperse your vendors across the world to make your supply chain more robust and sustainable. Diversification of your supply chain would mean that any disruptions due to atypical or natural causes in one geographic region would not cripple your entire operations. You can easily switch over that segment of your operations to a substitute raw material, another factory, warehouse, or distribution center. This would not only optimize your delivery services but make them sustainable.

Conclusion

Creating a good product is not enough, you must be able to deliver it in a timely manner to the right customers to give them an excellent overall experience. Don’t wait any longer! See which of these 8 tips you can implement this quarter to swiftly improve the quality and efficiency of your delivery services.

IdeasUnlimited's managed ecommerce customer service for PatPat

Pat-Patting to Success

By | Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Holiday Season, Inbound Call Center Solution, Outbound Call Center Services, Technical Support | No Comments
The IdeasUnlimited-PatPat customer support team

PatPat has been one of IdeasUnlimited’s most valued clients for over 4 years now, and it will always have a special place in our hearts.

PatPat is an ecommerce brand committed to providing the highest quality, ultra-chic garments and accessories for children and their families. Our mission is to provide the best ecommerce customer service possible to PatPat’s customers and to elevate their shopping experience.

Keep reading to find out what gives PatPat its competitive edge, how our professional relationship began, and where we are now.

Introduction

PatPat is a flourishing ecommerce business based in California and started in 2014 by Albert Wang and Ken Gao, fast friends since their Carnegie Mellon days. When Ken was expecting his first child, he noticed the scarcity of good quality, stylish yet affordable children’s clothing. The rest is history.

PatPat’s unbeatable edge stems from their trendy designs and their extremely popular matching clothes for all ages. Their product lines majorly revolve around clothing for children of all ages and matching outfits for the family. Branching out into related paraphernalia like maternity wear, shoes, accessories, home goods, and more, PatPat soon became an international brand with satisfied customers and repeat buyers.

Their business model has been wildly successful due to a number of factors——the most significant being the fact that they collaborate directly with the product manufacturers. Affordable design has never been so hip!

Just a year in, PatPat was being recommended on the App Store homepage due to its high  ratings and reviews. In 2016, it became the Top Recommended Shopping App. And the accolades did not stop there. In 2019, it was named the ‘App of the Day’ by the UK App Store.

An innovative business model is not enough for carving out your place in the apparel industry.

So how did PatPat keep its customers satisfied and ensure that they returned? They unsuccessfully tried to find customer support agents themselves and then came to IdeasUnlimited to help manage their support tickets. PatPat partnered with IdeasUnlimited in 2015 so that we could manage their omnichannel customer experience—through customer support and ecommerce support services—while they focused on their core competency of supplying good-quality apparel. This added value created a win-win situation!

IU is responsible for the PatPat CSR team's success

PatPat initially needed one customer support agent, but the number grew exponentially as their business flourished, thanks to our unbeatable 24 hour call center support at our Philippines center. PatPat now has 40 handpicked and extensively trained IU agents ensuring an empathetic, timely, and effective customer care service.

IdeasUnlimited’s involvement with PatPat has increased over the years to keep up with its growth. Starting with a small group of moms in 2015, we now assist with customers in over 90 countries. IU’s ecommerce customer support has improved CSAT levels to 90%. This success shows how important a well-equipped customer care center is for continued growth of any ecommerce brand.

The IdeasUnlimited Philippines call center team

IdeasUnlimited's Ecommerce Customer Support

IdeasUnlimited agents are responsible for PatPat’s 24/7 customer experience management through:

  • Ecommerce Customer Service
  • Email, Chat, and Call Support
  • Order Processing Support
  • Backend Support
  • Marketing Support
  • Social Media Support
  • Online Reputation Management
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Ecommerce Website Development
  • Quality Assurance
  • Other Ecommerce Support Services

Our scalable solution easily adjusts to seasonal fluctuations, especially in the holiday season. We pride ourselves on finding satisfactory solutions to all customer problems and converting the most disgruntled customers into return buyers.

IU agents monitor and address PatPat’s bad reviews on sites like Trustpilot and resolve disputes on payment platforms like PayPal. We promptly address dissatisfied customers, resolving their concerns and providing information where necessary, all the while keeping refunds to the lowest levels possible.

PatPat Reviewing IdeasUnlimited's Ecommerce Support Services

Our diligent and excellent management of the omnichannel customer experience has helped expand the customer base and grow the brand.

IU's Additional Contributions to PatPat's Success

The IU team is continuously highlighting areas of improvement in PatPat’s operations and working with PatPat to rectify them.

We created templates for responses to typical cases and clearly delineated SOPs, so every customer query would be handled in a professional manner in the shortest amount of time possible. We also suggested adding Spanish and Portuguese languages to both the website and app. This dramatically enlarged the customer base.

Improving the Help Center on the website as well as overhauling its layout were also IdeasUnlimited’s suggestions, which we also helped implement. This streamlined customer queries, improving customer satisfaction, especially in the busy holiday season.

IU's contribution to PatPat's success
IU's suggestions for PatPat

PatPat had been plagued with quality issues, inaccurate item sizes, delayed shipping, etc. when it started operations. IdeasUnlimited highlighted these deficiencies and collected information with actionable insights for the PatPat team. This resulted in significant improvements in PatPat operations and fewer customer complaints.

Similarly, IdeasUnlimited’s pinpointing of products with recurring customer complaints allowed sweeping improvements in PatPat’s Product Team.

Behind the Scenes—IU Ecommerce Support Services

PatPat’s ecommerce customer support is wholly managed by IdeasUnlimited through a three-tier management structure.

IU's Managed Ecommerce Support Services Entail Three-Tier Management

PatPat is free of the hassle of recruitment, HR administration, and staffing and scheduling  since IU provides end-to-end managed ecommerce support services. We vet the most suitable candidates, test them extensively, and conduct background checks before considering them.

IdeasUnlimited solely hires based on merit, providing equal opportunities to all. This translates into a productive ecommerce customer service team that delivers results consistently. Our PatPat team was hired to incorporate the widest possible diversity. We place a special emphasis on facilitating and supporting working mothers.

Our second tier of management are our project managers, team leads, and subject matter experts, who ensure all agents are fully trained and capable of handling myriad customers, so all the performance metrics are consistently met and customer satisfaction levels are high.

IU has created a training program and a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) to ensure all agents on PatPat deliver a consistent level of ecommerce support par excellence. PatPat wants the best ecommerce customer service, great productivity and efficiency, and a cost-effective team—and we deliver all of that.

The quality assurance team creates a third tier of monitoring. All customer interaction is monitored and scored on the CSAT tool and weekly KPIs serve as performance benchmarks. We also conduct a weekly analysis of all agents’ productivity to highlight gaps. Hence, PatPat gets a detailed and transparent insight into our team’s performance on a weekly basis. One-on-one coaching is then carried out by IU Team Leads to ensure all the agents meet and exceed the KPIs set by the client.

IdeasUnlimited contributions to PatPat's Customer Satisfaction

IU’s managed ecommerce support services entail troubleshooting any customer and agent issues to deliver high quality service every time. Our team’s ecommerce support experience and strong command over the SOPs contribute to our laudable CSAT scores. This is the reason why we have long- term working relationships with all our clients.

At the backend, recognizing, nurturing, and rewarding merit has fostered a strong ecommerce customer service team at IdeasUnlimited that consistently delivers results. Our company- sponsored team-building and annual events, appreciation certificates, regular annual increments, and performance-based bonuses to celebrate all milestones help us maintain a happy and satisfied call center support team.

PatPat in turn recognizes our agents’ added value through performance bonuses at the team and individual levels. Our work relationship is thus mutually beneficial. We create value for them, so they reward us in return.

The Road Forward

PatPat has assured us that IdeasUnlimited will be their partner of choice when they start a new brand or venture. Our results speak volumes for themselves, so contact us today.

Essential Skills of a Customer Service Representative

Essential Skills of a Customer Service Representative

By | Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Inbound Call Center Solution, Outbound Call Center Services, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

A skilled customer service representative is the single most important asset of a growing business. Since 71% of customers are lost due to poor customer service, you can build a loyal customer base only if your customer service center is optimized. More importantly, existing customers spend 33% more than new ones, so your priority should be retaining your current customers and increasing their lifetime value. Hence, the most cost-effective way of increasing profits is focusing on these customers through good customer service, rather than intensifying sales efforts. A whopping 80% of your future profits will come from a mere 20% of your existing customers.

Decrease your Customer Churn Rate to increase profitability

The customer service representative is the face of the company—the first point of contact that establishes your brand image. To avoid customer service fiascos in this day and age of social media, when public opinion holds a great deal of weight in determining a company’s reputation, make sure that each customer service representative at your company has some essential skills. We have collated the 10 most important ones here for you that you should look for when hiring your customer service center team.

Essential Qualities

Each customer service representative must possess these skills to be able to effectively build customer loyalty, reduce attrition, and enhance the brand image.

1. Empathy

Empathy in customer interactions can make a marked difference in customer retention rates, since 68% of customers leave when they perceive a business as indifferent to them. A good customer service representative empathizes with customers, trying to understand their problem and resolve it as quickly as possible. Being apologetic for any inconvenience caused and treating the customer in a friendly manner are cornerstones of excellent customer service.

Walk in the customer’s shoes to understand their problem(s).

2. Patience

Stay patient to truly understand what the customer wants.

Customers usually get in touch with a customer service representative when they are confused about or frustrated with the product or service. Patiently hearing out the customer helps de-escalate the situation and improve understanding of the actual issue—improving the chances that it will be resolved expediently.

3. Clear Communication

Your customer service representative should have a strong command over the language and use simple, jargon-free sentences that a layperson can understand. Moreover, the call center operator should make sure to relay all the important information, leaving nothing to doubt. This entails a balancing act between reassuring the customer and promising only what you can deliver.

Make sure that you communicate in a clear and concise manner, using layperson terms.

Strong internal communication between departments, established SOPs, good organization of information into CRMs, and timely management of ticketing systems are all crucial. An experienced 24 hour call center would take all this hassle off your hands.

4. Sufficient Knowledge Base

Know the product or service better than the customer using it

A good customer service representative has a strong grasp over the ins and outs of the products and services being offered, billing procedures, refund policies, and basic troubleshooting steps. This is the only way the customer service representative will be able to answer customer questions accurately. Having an agent passionate about your service is the best possible sales technique since they would in turn convince customers to purchase your good or service.

5. Problem-Solving Initiative

Finding a viable solution for each customer query, to ensure higher chances of resolution on first contact— a higher FCR (First Contact Resolution rate)—is an essential quality in any customer service representative. He or she should know all about your value offering and be intelligent and dedicated enough to find a solution. Additionally, the customer service representative should have enough initiative to resolve as many queries as possible himself/herself, without escalating it to upper management levels.

Take the initiative to solve problems before escalating them.

6. Strong Organizational Skills

Need for good organizational skills in customer service.

Your customer service representative should update databases on time, find relevant information for each customer quickly, and ensure that the rest of the team is aware of the progress of that customer case (by creating notes on the CRM). Work with someone who has handled a range of backend databases, CRMs, and ticketing systems, so you don’t need to start from scratch to establish your customer service center.

7. Strong Listening Ability

The customer service representative should be a very good listener—attentive to the customer’s complaint and able to read between the lines. There should be no audio distortion on the call, so the VoIP should be up to par.

This entails not only listening to the customer’s complaint or question but rather understanding the root causes. Staying attentive to and reporting underlying common issues will help improve the overall omnichannel customer experience. For instance, if customers keep calling for assistance with tracking their orders, the tracking system has not been correctly and sufficiently highlighted on your website.

Only a good listener can unearth the root causes of issues and resolve them.

8. Using Positive Language

Use positive language to communicate with customers.

The language your customer service representative uses in communication has a very strong impact on your customers, especially via non-voice support channels, since connotations may skew negative. For instance, if you are unable to deliver a package on the expected date due to logistical issues, there is a negative way of updating the customer as well as a positive way.

Negative: We are unable to deliver the package tomorrow since you placed the order too late today.

Positive: The packages for delivery tomorrow have already been dispatched today. I will mark your parcel for express delivery and make sure you can get it early morning the day after tomorrow.

Both responses are correct but the second one uses positive language, which will certainly keep the customer happy.

9. Flexibility and Omnichannel Support

Today customers look for instant gratification for all their issues. Your customer service representative should be able to handle omnichannel support inquiries, sometimes at the same time, to deliver holistic customer service to each customer. More than that, he or she should be able to make connections, come up with creative solutions, and switch between support channels to understand each customer’s history with the company. Only then can the customer support be accurate and helpful for the customer.

Need for flexibility and omnichannel support in customer service.

10. Expert Time Management:

Manage time well to provide timely and accurate customer support.

An omnichannel customer service representative needs to handle several support channels at the same time. Handling all incoming queries in a timely fashion is only possible with discipline and expert time management skills. The customer service representative should also be able to prioritize tasks and support channels, handling each inquiry efficiently and give sufficient attention to each. For instance, a call is more urgent than an email and a troubleshooting chat must be answered before one inquiring about the services you offer.

These are a few of the most important qualities that you need in each customer service representative. Concerned about how you can find such a paragon? Hire an experienced agency to handle your customer service center so you get free of the hassle of recruiting and training each customer service representative. They will already be experienced in handling similar projects, so there will be a much shorter learning curve.

Have we missed any important qualities? Feel free to let us know by commenting down below.

Planet Call Center

Planet Call Center

By | Call Center Support, Inbound Call Center Solution, Outbound Call Center Services, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Ask you walk through the hubbub of a call center, you will find agents engaged in a variety of activities, working hard in an upbeat atmosphere. There will be agents making and receiving calls, a customer service representative leaning back to consult a colleague on a unique case, and a small group huddled around the coffeemaker discussing hot leads they’ll be chasing this week.

Working in the same environment, with the same KPIs and the same shifts that are diametrically different from typical 9 to 5 office hours, call center agents develop a unique culture—the Planet Call Center.

Camaraderie

Late night shifts in the dead of winter, seeing the same agents day in and day out, having similar job descriptions, and relying on each other’s knowledge and experience builds camaraderiethat usually translates into lasting friendships. Sharing amusing anecdotes about customer interactions during lunch breaks and comparing notes on how to deal with certain cases builds a culture unique to a call center. This is as opposed to any other office environment where every person specializes in his or her area of expertise, with a faint idea of what the others do.

Call Center Culture Builds Camaraderie

Shared Jargon

Call centers have industry-specific terminologies that are widely acceptable and used extensively in everyday interactions. Usage of ubiquitous call center terms like AHOD creates a language of their own, solidifying the feeling of a bubble surrounding the call center. This call center jargon becomes so innate to agents, after using it in a range of circumstances with different customers, that it spills over into their everyday lives. Even when meeting outside, discussions of handling times, newest campaigns, and FCR rates create a coterie of agents quite distinctive from other office colleagues.

Hard Work and Positive Atmosphere

With an upbeat atmosphere, call center agents work hard for rewards, benefits and bonuses. Depending on the direction of call center traffic, their motivation may be different. A call center operator providing outbound call center services may be primarily driven by competition for greater sales while an agent handling the brand’s inbound call center solution would be focused on solving problems.

Diverse Interactions

Not only is the call center workforce typically very diverse—with people of all genders, ages, educational and financial backgrounds and religions—each customer service representative deals with a range of customers over his or her career. This cultural diversity becomes so familiar and each call center operator has such widened horizons that the outside world seems slightly alien, with a relatively homogenous populace and informal interactions.

Cultural Diversity epitomizes call center communications

Using Second Language

Talking in a professional manner throughout the shift creates the call center bubble. The call center is even more of an isolated planet in areas where customer interactions take place in a second language that is not that predominantly spoken outside the walls of the center. Once agents walk out of the center, readjustment into the outside life takes a minute but then due to their training, they are more equipped to deal with the daily pressures they encounter in life.

Interpersonal Interactions

The comprehensive interpersonal communication training given to a customer service representative changes his or her daily interactions with everyone for the better, engendering empathy and a helpful attitude.

The IdeasUnlimited Experience

At IdeasUnlimited, wehave both physical call centers in the Philippines—where agents come in to the center to work—and remote teams handling call center support for other projects. It does not take long for the planet call center effect to come into play in both situations, where agents work hard and support each other, the jargon becomes generic usage, diversity becomes acceptable, and a positive culture is promulgated.

We are proud of promoting a positive, hardworking culture where excellent performance is rewarded, communication skills honed, and the planet call center values upheld, broadening the personal and professional horizons of our agents.

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.