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Why Texas is Becoming the Next Silicon Valley

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AT&T, Hewlett Packard, Tesla and Oracle. These are just some of the companies who have planted their flag in Texas as the new company headquarters. While this development might seem sudden, it has been a transition that’s years in the making only to be accelerated towards a tipping point by COVID and the recent economic climate that’s sweeping the globe. Recently, business news has been dominated by this great ‘exodus’ of the tech industry from states like California and many of them are choosing to instead be in Texas.

Not long after its founding, IdeasUnlimited was quick to relocate to Texas given the large advantages it offered and we wanted to take this time to share some of the benefits we discovered. In this blog, we’ll be discussing why Texas is on the trajectory to being the next tech center of the United States and why it is a great choice if you’re thinking of starting or shifting your company.

Cost of Space

Companies have been on a leasing frenzy in Paula Alto, reserving office space and capturing the housing market. This has triggered a state-wide rise in cost of living and, more relevantly, cost of having an office in California. Many entrepreneurs and company founders are growing frustrated over the rising cost coupled with the aggressive tax structure and labor laws that are making it harder and harder for them to make ends meet in a state that’s meant to be an innovation hub. This has been the primary driver of some of the larger companies to relocate and find more profitable areas in the US.

Meanwhile, Texas has some of the most business friendly policies in the US with subsidies and tax breaks across a wide range of industries. When compared to California, Texas offers a much more enticing place to create a greatly profitable business. Furthermore, Texas also has a lower housing and utility cost (nearly half of California). For aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to be financially comfortable, Texas is just a much better option to set up shop. While other states such as California will always be home to the first generation tech giants like Intel, Microsoft and Apple, Texas is becoming the staging area for the tech giants of the future.

The Startup Boom

As we mentioned in the introduction, many large companies have moved to Texas and more are showing interest in following suit. This has triggered a heightened interest similar to the Silicon Valley “Gold Rush” that brought many companies and startups to the state. Now, Texas is experiencing its own influx of business which investors and industry influencers are keenly aware of. Many startups are taking advantage of this trend and are able to capitalize on the growing popularity of Texas.

Establishing a business in Texas now means getting a headstart in what could potentially be a huge market that rivals some of the other states. Some of the larger companies are already pouring capital into Texas and investing in small businesses. For example, Verizon increased spending in Texas adding another $97 million dollars to nurture the state’s markets with new products, services and partnerships. It would be wise for up and comers to participate in this growth while the competition is just starting.

Untapped Potential

There are many other hidden factors that make Texas a prime real estate for businesses all over the US. Take the workforce for example. Due to high living costs in states like New York and California, many fresh graduates and young adults tend to relocate somewhere more affordable. And with one of the lowest costs of living, Texas (particularly Austin) is proving to be the location of choice for young workers. Other than that, labor friendly laws and pro-union regulations have also encouraged many workers to seek employment in the state of Texas. The abundance of high caliber fresh graduates makes Texas a hub for new companies looking for capable employees to join their nascent companies.

In Conclusion

Whether you are looking to start a new company or finding the ideal spot to re-establish an existing one, Texas is a great choice for those looking for a place that offers exciting new opportunities in their field. IdeasUnlimited has been monitoring this change and has served many organizations who are looking to create a foothold in Texas. Through our support services, we have helped hundreds of clients find new opportunities and unlock their full potential. Our team is always ready to advise new clients. To reach us, feel free to send us a message by heading over to our contact page or simply leave a comment below.

Enhancing Customer Service Experience

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Inbound Calling and Customer Experience

Inbound call-centers are the best option to handle incoming queries. Using a nice blend of call-centers and remote support agents allows businesses to provide 24/7 support as various people are located in different regions and time zones addressing customers in their locale.

How Inbound Calling Works Today

Call centers these days also make use of different tools to help in the distribution of inbound calls. Generally, the representative would try to resolve the issue in the first interaction, however, if that is not possible then a follow up email or phone call is sent to the customer again. The general expectation is that the representative would help the customer until the issue has resolved. Although, traditionally inbound and outbound calling have been an integral part of customer experience. However, for the purpose of this blog, we will only be reviewing methods in which customer experience can be improved using inbound calling in call centers.

Increasing Revenue Using Customer’s Buying Journey

Today, firms are aiming to provide customer service using various communication channels. They realized that if they don’t aim to build a reputation with customers, they can easily lose their revenue. However, this also depends on where the customer is in their journey.

Role Of Call-Centers In The Past

Even today, call centers remain a critical element of the customer experience and can act as a competitive differentiator. With the advent of technology and the world-wide web, support representatives need to handle more complex issues including but not limited to providing technical support. Basic information is now accessible on the business’s own platforms. Today, call centers are handling much more technical questions and problems whereby the escalations and interactions with the agents have changed in nature. In the past, the questions used to be very basic such as ‘why has my product not been delivered yet?’ or ‘how do I get this product to work?’ whereas now customer support agents are dealing with much more complex issues.

Challenges Of Customer Service Today

In today’s modern era, customers expect that they will have multiple options for interaction with businesses. Due to the global pandemic, customers are now calling customer support representatives at higher rates as E-commerce and online shopping becomes more and more common. Since then, businesses have been trying to find alternate solutions to engage customers because walk-in services are no longer easily available. Today, there are several challenges that exist while managing inbound customer experience:

  • Making use of multiple channels to address customer concerns.
  • Identification of where the customer is in their buying journey
  • Increasing agility within the firm to provide customized solutions and to keep up with the customer’s ever-changing preferences.
  • Before the introduction of a new experience, testing and experimentation is needed which requires time, energy, and funds.

The old ‘service desk’ mechanisms which were used to provide customer service, now need to be scaled and innovated to properly connect with customers. Moreover, it causes businesses a huge hassle to balance cost effectiveness with responsiveness.

Objectives of Customer Experience (CX)

To overcome the challenges mentioned above, we need to focus on improving the complete customer journey which ranges from engagement, buying the product or service, using it, after-sales support and then making use of upselling or cross-selling to increase revenue. During each stage, we need to identify which channels and life cycle elements play a crucial role. Achieving customer experience goals for loyal consumers can be worth a lot more as compared to a new customer since it is much more expensive to acquire and retain them. Call centers must make use of CRM systems to keep track of all the call records and various systems of engagement. It is important to make use of APIs and integration to know where the customer is coming from, what the context is and where to take them ahead. Throughout the journey, it is important to align the strategy, policies, agents, and the technology in play.

Customized Solution Using Inbound Call Center Services

Many businesses today make use of artificial intelligence to have a more effective approach. Virtual agents are the best way to do this since they make use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to provide a more user-friendly experience. Virtual agents are not the same as chatbots since chatbots are provided with predetermined answers and scripts to respond to inquiries, whereas virtual agents handle human questions and contextualize them to fully understand the meaning. In other words, they allow composition of solutions based on the information provided regarding the problem.

Call Routing Towards The Best Agent

Businesses which make use of virtual agents can provide greater value and support to customers as they get the best agent every single time. Virtual agents can also be scaled as needed especially during pandemics or seasonal changes. Their availability to provide 24/7 customer support can ensure that customers in all time zones are catered to. Furthermore, it also allows businesses to optimize and route calls to the agents who are best suited to understand the problem. Call routing allows faster resolution and communication leading to increased customer satisfaction. Capabilities of routing are as follows:

  • It is generally done on a predefined criteria whereby specific agents handle certain queries.
  • Identification along with quick response is provided based on chronological order of issues along with problem priority
  • It significantly reduces call volume and allows management to handle peak seasons along with crisis situations such as COVID-19

Collecting and Analyzing Call Center Data

It is important to provide solutions which are configurable, reliable, and scalable. Agents need to have access to information in a way that it is easily searchable and not just in the form of a memorized script. Making use of behavioral analytics and advanced matching can help companies improve their overall revenue. A lot of unstructured data is being collected in terms of voice recordings and other parameters which can generate useful insights if cleaned and managed properly.

Investing In Training Of Agents

Customer service has long been considered an entry level job and it is often mistaken to be an easy job, whereas anyone who has ever worked in customer service can testify that this is not true. Hence, customer service skills need to be developed overtime and continuous training needs to be provided. Agents not only need to retain lots of information but also need to be good multitaskers, excellent communicators, and timely problem- solvers. Moreover, they need to learn the art of empathizing with their customers and putting themselves in their shoes to understand the problem and then deliver a solution. It is important to understand that customer service reps interact with your consumers more than anyone else in the business, hence they need to have the relevant training and support to represent your organization in the best way possible.

Efficient Call Center Solutions Today

To reduce the cost of phone support which only handles one person at a time, it’s essential to introduce other efficient channels such as e-mail support and chat support. While an average agent can only handle one phone call at a time, they may be able to handle multiple live chats especially if template responses can be used to address some of the common questions asked by customers. Discover more about providing such services here: https://ideasunlimitedonline.com/call-center-services/inbound-call-center-services/

Having An FAQS Page To Avoid Repetition

Customers enjoy self-serving methods of support. Not only does it save your time but it also provides a solution to some of the commonly asked questions along with easy instructions and resources to help empower the customers.

Tracking Metrics of Customer Experience

An important question that most businesses ask themselves is whether their customers are satisfied with the product offering or service that they’re providing and if the answer is ‘I don’t know’ several times then it is a good indication that the tracking methods need to be improved. Various call center methods include:

  • Time to resolution which is the average time it takes to solve an issue
  • Time to hold which is the average waiting time before speaking to someone
  • The call abandonment rate which is the number of callers who hang up the phone before they’re able to speak to someone

In Conclusion

It is integral to understand that the customer expectations have significantly changed especially during the last few years. Customers want a wider variety of options during their buying journey. The world is shifting towards on-demand customer service and communication. Hence, IdeasUnlimited offers inbound call-center solutions and lead verification services to work with businesses and provide them with a personalized approach towards customer experience. This can lead to significant increase in profits along with increased customer retention. For more details, learn about our offerings here.

multilingual support service

Why Does A Business Need Multilingual Customer Support?

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Introduction

With nearly 2 billion online shoppers surfing the internet daily, there is a certainty that some of them will attempt to contact customer service. And since over 75% of the world does not speak English, there is also a very high chance that those same customers will be connected with a representative they don’t fully understand.

The reason this is important to understand is because nearly 40% of buyers reconsider their purchasing decision if the service is not in their local language. For an ecommerce platform, this margin is simply unacceptable since it basically means that almost half of the website visitors will bounce off. For other types of businesses, the loss of customers can be even more damaging.

In this article, we ask a simple question: why is multilingual support so essential?

Importance of Multilingual Customer Support

Multilingual customer service entails entertaining customers from all across the globe, irrespective of their region or language. This poses a challenge since you need to assemble a team of bilingual and multilingual agents. While it is certainly an investment, multilingual support also serves as a mediator to open additional doors of opportunity for your business. It also helps build a strong relationship with customers who speak a different language. According to CSA Research, 74% of customers are willing to buy again if they receive after-sales support in their regional language. Multilingual customer support is crucial for establishing your brand in other countries or targeting specific overseas markets.

Enhanced Communication

Miscommunication, unsatisfied customer query and misinterpretation can all hurt your customer base. For most businesses, building trust with clients is an important step to keep customers coming back and spreading good word of mouth. Multilingual support is key for accomplishing this in overseas markets and companies avoid the risk of losing customers.

Emotions drive 95% of sales decisions. Creating a loyal customer base starts with making sure that every call, every online query and every interaction clients have with your brand leaves them satisfied. Even clients that don’t end up making a purchase might be enticed to return or tell an acquaintance about the great experience they had with you. It’s always paramount to focus on creating a great experience for your customer. Your product or service might be really well made, but unless it is delivered exceptionally well, it’s all for nothing. Poor customer service costs businesses up to $75 billion every year and something that can simply not be ignored.

Reduction in Service Lag

One of the ways companies are dealing with language differences is by using online translation tools. While this gets the job done, it comes at a significant cost; time. Relaying information back and forth can be too time consuming and, most of the time, enough to discourage customers from locking their purchase. It’s always better to have bilingual agents answering these calls and to have the proper call forwarding procedure in place so that clients can be entertained fast and without delay. Not only is this a much more efficient use of time, it also has the added benefit of saving cost on translation software, whose licenses are much more expensive than the rate of a single multilingual agent. Not only that, but it frees up the time of your administrative and technical staff to focus on other matters.

Data Driven Business

It’s important to understand that every interaction with a client is a learning experience. Not only are you understanding your audience better, you are also gathering precious information that could help you improve your products and services. BPO’s can provide the necessary infrastructure and software integration that help you record valuable metrics such as call duration, client satisfaction rating, response time etc. Analysis of this information can be invaluable in helping you understand what’s lacking in your business.

This is even more important with multilingual support. Trying to conduct business overseas can be tough since it’s akin to navigating uncharted territory. But with a more quantitative approach, your business can find the gaps quickly and address them accordingly to catch up to local competition.

Expanding Overseas

Arguably the biggest advantage multilingual customer support gives you is the ability to establish your products and services in overseas markets. By far the biggest obstacle to foreign expansion is the language barrier. Even the largest brands have struggled to make their name well-known overseas and it is partly due to not being able to connect with their language, culture and ideology. It is not just about knowing the language, it is about understanding your target audience at a personal level in order to address their pain-points within your marketing strategy. This is something that is much easier if you entrust your multilingual call center to a third-party that is already experienced and operating in your desired region.

This is the best way to build the most valuable asset for your company: customer trust. According to Unbabel’s Global Multilingual CX Report 2021, almost one-quarter of clients are unlikely to spend more than $500 if they do not obtain adequate language support. Not only can sales agents persuade customers better, but the positive experience will surely net you good word of mouth which will in-turn lead to even more customers coming to your business in that region.

Conclusion

The above-mentioned are just a few of the uncountable reasons why businesses need multilingual support services. Multilingual support is not just limited to large enterprises, but is also something SMB’s can deploy at a cost-effective manner. Be sure to get the right partner when looking for a call center service provider that can help you with the aforementioned support service.

With IdeasUnlimited, you get award-winning multilingual call center services driven by a staff that has excelled for more than 11 years in the industry. With more than 400 clients served, we are ready to turn your business into the success story you envision. To get started, simply head over to our contact us page, or email us at sales@ideasunlimitedonline.com.

What Should Startups Consider When Outsourcing Tech Support?

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Introduction

With a record number of IT startups springing up all over the world, the demand for delivering high quality technical support for customers is also rising simultaneously. BPO and business support providers are stepping up to fulfill the demand and it’s becoming easier than ever for both SMBs and enterprises to outsource their tech support services.

IdeasUnlimited has been on the frontline, providing technical support for many IT businesses looking to enhance their customer service experience. One of the most important pieces of advice we have for those looking to outsource is this; make sure your firm is prepared. Partnering a technical support provider is a partnership and it’s imperative that companies are ready to adapt to the new workflow. Here are some of the important pointers to keep in mind for those thinking about outsourcing their technical support services.

Software Integration

Let’s take an example scenario. You need a technical support provider to handle your inventory. However, you might be using a certain inventory management software like Channel Spyder that a provider either does not know how to use, or doesn’t have it installed in their infrastructure.

These types of conflicts are something we see happen all the time. It’s important to note that a technical support service may not be properly equipped to become a seamless part of your organization and the gap is usually in the software front. Before signing up, always make sure to share some information about what softwares might be required in order to allow the project to go smoothly.

It’s also important to keep in mind that if you plan on serving overseas, you may need to translate your product for the local region. This may cause complications with software integration but it is something most BPO’s are prepared for. Be sure to find out if software in multiple languages is supported.

Data Security

When working with a third party support provider, it’s important to note that there is a lot of exchange of information. This might include client data which is something that always needs to be handled with care. Trusting another firm to handle your client’s data with care can be daunting, but it’s important to know first hand that the support provider is equipped to protect data at all branches.

Certifications are some of the best indicators of data security assurance. In particular, PCI compliance and GDPR certifications mean that a company will always protect client data at all stages from payment to onboarding.

Another important thing to note is that the support service provider needs to be disaster proof. Power outages, natural disasters and cybersecurity breaches are just some of the things that can potentially leak sensitive data or leave the database open. Therefore, a technical support provider must be equipped with all the necessary measures to ensure that all digital information remains safe. Tools such as cloud storage and uninterrupted power supply can make sure that all systems remain online and data is preserved.

Multilingual Support

Before outsourcing your technical support, first analyze your customer base and find out their preferred language. IT support is complex as it is. There’s no reason to make it even more complex for your customers by delivering it in a language that is not native to them. Therefore, when outsourcing, always know first hand whether or not you will need your technical support delivered in more than one language.

Multilingual support comes in a few forms. You can have phone service in multiple languages or even chat/text service written in the language of your choosing. In our experience, many companies also recruit BPOs to help them localize their products in other countries so translation/transcription is also something that could assist IT businesses.

Text/Live-chat

More and more companies who provide IT services are beginning to switch to live-chat support. Live-chat allows your users to resolve small queries that usually don’t require a full phone call. It’s also not uncommon to add text alerts in your live chat support to inform users about the status of their query ticket. Therefore, it’s always wise to integrate live-chat and text support when outsourcing technical support.

Many companies offer automated solutions to make this simpler. Chat bots, automated messaging and other solutions can reduce the time it takes for you to respond to technical queries. But in the end, you will always need someone to be ready to on live-chat to have a full conversation with your customers. For this, make sure that your support provider is ready and capable to integrate their live-chat system with yours in order to provide seamless technical support.

Another important factor is whether or not live-chat/text can be supported 24/7. With live chat, you invite people from all time zones to interact with you and therefore, need to have your channels online at all times. Even a small downtime or a missed customer query can tremendously hurt your brand reputation.

Conclusion

For those looking to enhance their technical support, outsourcing it into the hands of experienced call centers and support service providers is the way to go. IdeasUnlimited has been in the business for over 11 years and our expertise allows companies of all scales to deliver high quality support services with all the benefits expected at enterprise level. To get started, simply visit www.ideasunlimitedonline.com/contact-us and our team will help you set up your own technical support.

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How do BPO Services Help Overtake Competition?

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Introduction

One of the profound effects of COVID has been on the business world. While remote work has become prevalent, another major change has been how companies have competed internationally. Competition is rising at an exponential rate and many have found several ways to stay ahead of the curb. The industries that saw the largest growth are particularly the eCommerce, finance and the IT industries. One of the major reasons for their rapid expansion may be attributed to “business process outsourcing”. 

First, we want to briefly introduce BPO Services.

BPO Services:

BPO is an acronym for business process outsourcing. It refers to the concept of hiring a third-party company on a contract basis and working for a set period of time. For example,  during peak hours, many businesses find it difficult to manage customer queries or lack the expertise of doing it  efficiently. In this case, companies might need additional assistance. You might need to recruit an expert virtual assistant or BPO call center service provider with exceptional customer handling experience to get your non-core activities taken care of without investing excessive resources.

However, there is an important note to this. There is a difference between call centers and BPO’s. Call centers are a subset of business process outsourcing and can come under the umbrella of BPO. Call center support can be outsourced and not just provide customer support, but can also take care of email, text, sales, invoicing, surveys and much more.

Nowadays, outsourcing is a significant factor in corporate success. It is estimated that the outsourcing sector will generate more than $600 billion by 2032 which is an impressive growth from $85 billion in 2018. This is a clear indication that more and more companies are turning to BPO’s for additional business support. For those on the fence about utilizing BPO’s, we wanted to go over some of the benefits of using third party business outsourcing and how exactly they help companies gain the upper hand in the business arena.

1. Cost Reduction

According to a Deloitte survey, 70% of the companies that work with outsourcing firms state ‘cost-reduction’ as the primary reason for it. These same companies saw substantial reduction in their yearly expenditure.  One of the biggest reasons for such a cost reduction is how BPO’s eliminate setup and overhead. Infrastructure, equipment, software, recruitment and training are some of the things that won’t be needed when working with a BPO who already has a facility fully operational. Outsourcing is a great way to channel the majority of your resources to your core business functions while letting third parties handle the rest.

2. Enhancing Service Quality

Competing with enterprise-level business while being a startup or a SMB can be challenging. There simply aren’t enough resources to boost the quality of service in the early to mid phase of business development.

However, BPO’s can help you bypass some of these constraints. For example, customer support is something that is not feasible to set up for smaller companies. However, BPO’s can play as a representative for smaller businesses while providing customer service that matches enterprise-grade quality. Overseas outsourcing and the availability of cost-effective technology has made this possible. While core operations can’t be outsourced, there are certainly some business activities that can be brought up to a high quality through outsourcing.

3. Business Expansion

One of the benefits of outsourcing is how it helps companies find new customers. Many BPO’s have centers and bases in foreign countries from where they can provide a variety of services such as multilingual support. Utilizing these BPO’s might help you connect with a market that was previously inaccessible due to language barriers.

4. Time Saving

While administrative work is essential, it is also one of the most time consuming work that yields no revenue. Managing emails, appointments, human resources and project management are all something that can be outsourced that helps smoothen the workflow of a business. While the correct term is ‘optimization’, one can look at this as an effective ‘time-saving’ strategy so that more focus can be placed on providing the best services and products.

5. Downtime Prevention

Staying available for your customer 24/7 has become not just the norm, but an expectation for most companies. However, it is impossible to keep the doors open all day. BPO’s help companies fill their downtime gaps by responding to customers while the core staff is off-shift. With the availability of virtual assistants, you can now always have some at standby on phone, email and text regardless of the time of day.

This is especially helpful for those looking to stay active overseas. Many companies in the US struggle to tap Asian markets due to the time difference. BPO’s help bridge the gap between multiple time zones in order to allow companies to expand overseas.

6. Managing Turnover

It’s not uncommon to see a high turnover rate in many business branches. For example, customer support tends to have many workers who are only present for a short stint before progressing to other positions.

Many BPO’s are keenly aware of this issue and therefore focus on effective human resource management. Many of the agents and workers they provide have several others ready to take their place. Plus, business requirements can change meaning that some workers will be needed for less or more hours. BPO’s specialize in being scalable and flexible to all kinds of businesses by making sure that a worker is always ready to take on a project as it changes over time.

Conclusion

There are several additional benefits to using BPO services that we did not get to touch on. Business owners around the world would be wise to reap the benefits of outsourcing and using third party assistance to augment their day to day operations. For those looking to get started, IdeasUnlimited is ready to handle all manner of business activities without requiring a large investment upfront. Stay ahead of the curb by contacting IdeasUnlimited today. With over 11 years of award winning business support service experience, we are ready to help anyone looking for a trusted US-based call center partner.

What is Needed to Set up a Tech Support?

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Introduction

Any IT business will at some point require dedicated tech support. The only question is; how to build one efficiently using the available resources? Whether you are a support service provider or an IT firm looking to service your clients, it is important to have a clear strategy on how you will go about establishing a team of trained agents ready to provide high quality tech support.

Tech Support call centers are in high demand, particularly in the United States. According to recent statistics, the worldwide market value of call centers is expected to reach $496 billion by 2027. IdeasUnlimited has been at the forefront of this arena for more than 11 years and has witnessed tremendous growth in this industry. Furthermore, the invaluable experience that we’ve gained has helped hundreds of clients create successful tech support. In this blog, we’ll be sharing some of that experience.

Research

To start off, it is important to do a thorough analysis of the requirements when setting up a tech support branch. This means studying your competitors in the local region, understanding the available market base and calculating how much investment would be needed to launch a successful tech support. This will give you a broader picture of what your tech support branch is going to look like in the coming years.

Make a list of your objectives and choose your target audience before beginning the survey. First, determine if the industry you intend to operate in is market competitive. Identify your USP (unique selling proposition) in this context. Make a business plan in such a way that it covers the pain points that clients are experiencing. Always ask yourself what sets you apart from your competitors. Then, depending on your research, generate fresh ideas. Though It is said that 50% of new business strategies fail after 5 years due to several reasons, whereas 30% have more probability of development.

Inventory

This is perhaps the most important aspect of preparing a tech support center. It needs to be geared up with all the essential equipment and software for your team to use. You need to make sure that you are ready to invest a moderate amount towards this. Not only does a tech support center need to have the right VOIP, IVR and CRM solutions at hand, all the necessary training needs to be done before the doors open for new customers.

That being said, it is no surprise that this is the most costly part of the business plan. Not only will the software licenses and equipment become a significant expenditure, the office space along with the cost of management and training will also raise the cost.

Legal Compliance & Branding

This depends greatly on the region your call center is set up. But it is still important to acquire all the necessary compliance and licensing requirements needed to operate as a tech support. Other than the general business license, you will also need to be certified in order to prove to your client that you are capable of serving them.

Generally, you want to create a strong brand by using the right legal channel while building your digital footprint. Get your company registered under the appropriate legal entity and find a qualified skilled web developer. As scams can be quite frequent, it is important to solidify your brand with the right documentation in order to build trust for your potential clients. Besides that, be aware of the cost requirements  when it comes to  developing your website. You want to build a high quality website, which may incur some extra cost, but the result of having a strong website to promote is almost always worth the investment.

Recruitment & HR

Hire a team that is experienced enough to handle your customer’s needs. Alongside, prepare an HR staff that is capable of managing the large manpower that you will soon need to supervise. The HR department is perhaps the most important branch in a contact center and if you’re about to build a tech support branch, it will also need significant management.

First, create the team. Agents who will take on customer calls, live chat or email need to be coached and trained. Not only will they need to have the right attitude when interacting with customers, they should also be comfortable with the tools and software that will be utilized. Overall, a high level of professionalism needs to be maintained by every support agent.

To manage these agents, you will also need a team of supervisors along with an HR staff that ensures that there are enough agents to service every project. This is crucial since tech support needs to be online 24/7 and even the slightest hiccup in the service can cause irreversible damage.

B2B Marketing

Setting up your facilities is only half the battle. The next phase is gathering enough leads to keep your team busy. This starts with a strong B2B marketing strategy.

It is important to understand that support service is a niche business. There is a very specific, yet lucrative, market that’s in need of call center support. Therefore, this makes finding clients a little tricky.

The best way to find your clients is through the web. In our experience, digital marketing tends to be the best method of promoting a call center business. With digital marketing, you need to build three fronts; social media, website and search engine. All three channels can be a significant investment, but with a bit of growth hacking, you can be well on your way without having to overinvest.

CONCLUSION

Whether you wish to build a dedicated tech support center or a branch in your existing company, call centers are, and will always be, a significant investment. That is why IdeasUnlimited has always recommended clients to partner with an existing tech support center rather than taking the risk of building one from scratch. Our experts are ready to help you provide all the necessary tech support not just for you, but also for your clients. Head over to our contact page and get it touch with one of our representatives for more information.

online chat suppor

What Pain Points do Customers Experience with Live Chat?

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Introduction

Customer service continues to be a key factor in the success for most businesses. Handling customer queries on a daily basis is crucial for B2C and even B2B companies that rely on high value clients for their revenue and continued operations.

Customers are the most crucial aspect of any successful business. They’re the ones who can make or break a company’s reputation. Their satisfaction is arguably the most vital factor when it comes to maintaining a good sales performance since one bad experience can have profound effects on a business. As one of the research says: The average American tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience.

Live Chat

Live chat is defined as the online chat channel which allows a website visitor to directly communicate with a company’s representative. Live chat support is always great to have on a business website since it helps customers resolve their queries instantly without having to go through long and tedious communication methods such as filling out a form. But live chat can be a double-edged sword since it needs to be implemented well. Any shortcomings will only frustrate your customer which will ultimately cost a business potential revenue in sales. One study shows that 66% of the customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction and never bothered to check back.

In order to create a smooth customer experience, it’s important to have an intimate knowledge about the pain-points customers experience while going through live chat support. Half the battle is knowing where to start when building a successful live chat service. Therefore, here at IdeasUnlimited, we’ve highlighted some important points on this topic based on our 11+ years of experience in the support service industry combined with our own research.

Every business is unique. Therefore, the challenges faced by a particular company might differ a little based on their products and service. Same goes for online chat support. There are always different set of challenges when building a successful online chat experience, but certain things are always a common issue across the industry.

Slow Response Time

This is perhaps the most important expectation from a customer. When they write a message in a chat window, they usually expect an immediate response. Furthermore, customers expect simple, quick responses as opposed to long and lengthy greeting messages which do more harm than good. They also hate being bombarded with supplementary questions like product information, asking for name, email, phone number etc. It’s tempting to use live chat to extract customer data, but wasting their time can make you lose a customer for good.

Lastly, the tone needs to be just right. You don’t need to speak to a customer with too much formality. Just keep it simple and semi-casual as if you’re having a light conversation. Guide them well and point them in the right direction to solve their query and fast as possible without any extra fluff.

Not Enough Knowledge

A solid lead can be lost if you’re unable to answer your potential buyer’s questions or persuade them gently. Listen carefully and try not to repeat your questions since asking the same thing over and over can frustrate a customer.

Because of this, it’s important to have the right person in-charge of your live chat. Preferably, it should be a sales representative from the right department with sufficient company information. If the chat is not resolved in time or if it needs to be transferred to another representative, customers tend to get annoyed and leave the conversation before you even know it.

Slow Transfers

Building on our last point, there are times when there is no choice but to transfer a conversation to another representative. In that case, it needs to take no longer than 10 minutes. According to research, 75% of customers say that they were “highly annoyed” when they couldn’t get someone in a reasonable amount of time.

Customers always loathe long wait times. Transfers can be done quicker in live chat as opposed to call centers, but the issue can still exist. In fact, according to one research, 12% of Americans rate their number one frustration with online customer service as “lack of speed” above everything else. Make sure your live chat support agent handles transfers quickly and efficiently without making a customer wait too long for their conversation to continue.

Language Barrier

Approximately 1.1 billion people around the world are English speakers out of a total population of 7.9 billion. This might seem like a surprising fact, but the majority of the world are not native english speakers. Consequently, some customers will expect online chat support to be available in their own language.

Therefore, you need to have bilingual agents ready to handle online chat when needed. While you can overcome some of the language barrier by using online translation tools, it’s still better to have a multilingual customer support staff who can keep the conversation flowing smoothly and communicate effectively.

Poor User Interface

Live chat is intended to ease customer experience and that needs to be matched by a simple, easy-to-use UI. Giving users a complex interface that requires too many clicks defeats the whole purpose of an online chat support. When choosing your online chat tool or plugin, be sure to go for the minimalist option. Avoid asking users to fill a form or provide information before they can start a chat. Reduce the barrier between your website visitors and the agent. You may also send auto responses just, such as a simple greeting message, in order to keep the user engaged before an actual agent takes over.

Inappropriate Conversational Tone

When we discussed ‘slow response time’ earlier, we also mentioned the importance of using the right tone with your customer. We want to elaborate this further.

One mistake a lot of companies make is relying too much on pre-written scripts or template messages. Customers can easily sense when a conversation is not genuine. Another common mistake is by communicating too formally. Customers don’t like to be treated as corporate entities and would rather have a simple, down-to-earth conversation. In fact, according to one research, “70 % of the customers believe that Friendly employees or customer service representatives are what makes a memorable experience that causes consumers to stick with a brand.”

So instruct your agents to chat in a friendly manner without using too many corporate jargon.

Lack of Effectiveness

When making a query, it is imperative that it is taken care of effectively. That means that their concerns are addressed properly such as a complaint about a product or an inquiry about pricing. The agent chatting with them must make sure that their tickets are resolved and that the customer leaves the conversation satisfied. According to Statista, 27% of Americans report “lack of effectiveness” as their number one frustration with customer service.

Another aspect of being effective is the ability to listen to your customers and take feedback and criticism in a professional manner. Irate customers are always common but agents should be well trained to handle them calmly without any miscommunication.

CONCLUSION

There are many ways to create a robust, effective and successful online chat support for your business. While there are many challenges along the way, the benefits outweigh the risk and IdeasUnlimited encourages every company to explore this option. If you need help to set up your own online chat service or just need to get pointed in the right direction, our experts are always available to help. Simply visit our contact page and get in touch with us today!

How to Choose the Right Call Center for your Business

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Customer service continues to be a key factor in the success for most businesses. Handling customer queries on a daily basis is crucial for B2C and even B2B companies that rely on high value clients for their revenue and continued operations.

With the assistance of trusted BPO firms, more and more companies are beginning to outsource their customer support to third-party call centers. This proves to be a more cost-effective solution compared to setting up an in-house contact center. However, there are many factors to consider before making such an investment. To help guide business owners, we have compiled a list of pointers that can help you make the right decision when choosing a call center.

Maximum Call Volume

Most call centers won’t work with a company unless they hire a minimum number of agents. However, there are call center service providers that offer scalable packages and are prepared to start from as low as 5-10 seats per client. The real concern for most companies should in fact be the call center’s maximum capacity.

When searching for a call center, you need to start by first understanding the number of calls you expect to receive on a daily basis. It’s important to note that customers might not always contact you via telephone. Some prefer messaging or email, so the actual ‘call’ volume could be higher than anticipated. Unless you have a dedicated staff to entertain text messages from customers, you should always ask potential call centers if their agents can handle those queries in a professional manner. Some call centers offer dedicated chat and email support and it’s important to include them in your package.Either way, no customer queries should be unattended and the call center you work with must handle each and every one of them.

Multilingual Capability

Multilingual agents are, more often than not, essential for most types of businesses. Online stores are especially prone to receiving calls from foreign customers. In 2020, both Asia and South America ranked as the top regions for online shoppers with almost 86% of the global share. Whether you’re looking to tap overseas markets or not, you need to ensure that the call center you hire offers support in the most popular global languages.

In our experience, customers tend to be more satisfied with a service if it’s provided in their native tongue. Plus, we see a larger percentage of those same customers coming back so enhanced retention rates is yet another benefit of being multilingual. Always select a contact center that offers fluent bilingual services along with any of the ancillary transcriptions.

24/7 Availability

Being always-on usually depends on the type of company in question. For example, B2B companies that specialize in niche verticals only need to be available during business hours. But an online store should always have a customer support service on standby, regardless of time zone.

Needless to say, 24/7 availability is a great feature to have for your business even if you feel it’s not necessary. Some call centers have agents operating in rotating shifts which allows them to be ready all the time, even during after hours and holidays. When selecting the call center you want to work with, always look for one which features 24/7 service along with a capable managerial staff who will ensure that there will always be someone ready to tend to a client.

Inbound & Outbound Services

Call centers are not just receiving calls, they also specialize in pursuing business leads. In fact, some call centers conduct more outbound calls than inbound. Services such as telemarketing and cold calling are vital for gaining new customers. However, it needs to be performed routinely and quite frequently in order to yield success. That is why using contact center outsourcing to offload this function to a third party is perhaps the best option for most companies.

Before choosing a call center, make sure that it offers high quality outbound call services in case you need to pivot your business strategy towards finding leads. Some centers can offer potential leads of their own, but they usually come at a high price. It is much more cost effective to be prepared with your own client list.

Monthly Reporting

Call center agents are the frontline of a business. They are the ones talking to customers, representing a brand and satisfying their queries. More importantly, agents understand the needs of your clients better than anyone else. Because of this, it is imperative that you work with a call center that regularly compiles and shares feedback information based on their interactions. This includes everything from written reports, performance figures as well as some samples of recent calls that they had.

Having an organized database of call center feedback can be extremely helpful for those who want to learn how to improve their products and services. Online stores can use such information to tweak their product lines in order to get ahead of the competition. Call centers provide the means to create an effective feedback loop and their ability to gather reviews from hundreds of customers can be an invaluable asset for a company.

Disaster Recovery

While 24/7 availability is important, even the most robust and well-equipped call center isn’t immune to unforeseen events that can knock out it’s operations. Natural disasters, cybersecurity attacks and network disruptions are just some of the things that can render call centers offline. While such disruptions are usually temporary, it can cause a substantial amount of damage such as revenue loss and information leak.

It is always prudent to check if a call center has a disaster recovery protocol before hiring them. Disaster recovery means that the call center has the ability to swiftly revert to its functional state. Cloud storage, uninterrupted power supply and standby computer systems are all standard disaster recovery equipment that a call center should have. Especially since safeguarding client details is extremely important for the integrity of your business.

CONCLUSION

Whether you are looking to expand your business or need to set up customer service for your brand, we hope this article helped you find the right direction before making a commitment. IdeasUnlimited is always open to sharing more business support expertise. Be sure to get in touch with us by sharing your thoughts in the comments below or by leaving us a message on our contact form.

The Role of Customer Service in an Online Store

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Starting an online store is one of the most accessible forms of business venture. Easy to set up, cost-effective and low on risk. It attracts entrepreneurs and enterprises alike by virtually guaranteeing a certain amount of return on investment.

But while creating an online store is simple, retaining it for long-term success is where things get tricky. Building brand loyalty and a robust customer base has always been a struggle, even for larger companies. Regardless of product quality, customer satisfaction can make or break your ecommerce business.

Here at IdeasUnlimited, we’ve learned the tremendous value of high-quality customer service in the ecommerce industry. Both for those on a tight budget or perhaps not convinced with the value of customer service, we’ll be discussing the role it plays for online stores and how it adds value to a business.

Improving Customer Trust

When it comes to engaging with your customers, there is no better alternative to having a voice to represent your company. 2020 saw the biggest surge in online shopping and roughly 60% of online shoppers ended up returning for more with companies that had good customer service.

By giving your customers a number to call in case they would like to speak to you is a simple but effective way to let them know that you highly prioritize their shopping experience on your website. Customer service has many functions but chief among them is its ability to push customers into the purchase funnel which results in a sale. When speaking with a responsive customer service agent, consumers will have the confidence and assurance to safely make a transaction knowing that there will always be someone to speak to should anything go wrong with their shopping experience.

Enabling 24/7

Brick and mortar stores can’t keep their doors open all day long but websites are live on the internet all the time. In the ecommerce world, 24/7 availability has become something of an obligation and companies that cannot achieve it are at a huge disadvantage. Online customers expect fast and responsive service for their queries. You never know when and from which country and customer might stumble on your website, so you need to be ready. More importantly, your customer service needs to be ready.

Contact centers are the key to serve customers during holidays and after-hours. They act as an ever present front for your business to ensure that your business remains operational non-stop. Customers are most prone to cancelling orders if their complaints or queries are not dealt with promptly so it’s important to be “always-on” and available even outside of your business hours.

Handling Irate Customers

No matter how good your products or services are, sooner or later, all B2C companies have to face unsatisfied customers. Angry customers aren’t necessarily a sign of poor product quality, they just happen to be an inevitability in the world of consumer business. The key is to respond to such customers professionally and to have a solid protocol to handle them in a way that doesn’t hurt your customer retention. Always to try and win back irate customers rather than avoid them.

This is where professional call centers can help tremendously. Most call centers have agents who are coached by experienced managers to smoothly handle calls from unhappy customers. They are trained to remain calm and professional in order to avoid compromising the company brand and it’s reputation. Having trained agents at the ready who don’t give in to emotions when dealing with clients are crucial to maintain a positive outlook for existing and potentially new clients.

Tracking Customer Feedback

Ecommerce is all about iteration and innovation. Offering your customers new and exciting products is imperative in order to keep them coming back for more. Most of the time, it’s about tweaking your existing offerings to match what your consumers desire rather than developing an entirely new product lineup. Getting this right can be challenging.

One thing call centers are extremely good at is building a database. Most contact centers maintain a record of things like what customers disliked the most about a product, how they wished it was different etc. When talking to customers, agents can conduct a scripted line of questions in order to judge what customers liked/disliked in any given product. Information such as this can be extremely valuable for online stores that are trying to brainstorm new product ideas.

CONCLUSION

An effective customer service is an essential part of a successful business and a professional team of call centers agents still prove to this day to be an invaluable asset. Building a responsive customer care function is vital to setup your ecommerce business for success and getting started is becoming easier than ever. IdeasUnlimited has helped over five hundred clients establish robust customer care. Whether you are a beginner or a well established franchise in the ecommerce arena, our support team is ready to help you enhance your services today. Be sure to get in touch with our sales team by heading over to our Contact Page and letting us know a little bit about your business.

Why Small Businesses Should Hire a Call Center

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The most valuable asset any company can have is customer trust. Having a robust customer base composed of long-term clients that openly endorses your business is the key ingredient for a successful company. The best way to gain loyal consumers is by crafting a great customer service experience. In the United States, when a person wants to contact a company for any reason, roughly 58% of them try to reach their customer service number

Building a strong customer base has always been a challenge. It takes years of establishing rapport, finding leads and brand-building. For larger companies, it’s a process worth spending billions of dollars on. However, small business owners simply can’t afford to balance both operating a business and providing a great customer experience.

The BPO industry has made great strides in seamlessly integrating with other companies as their primary customer support. Hiring call centers has now become an excellent option for those who are struggling with handling their customers. Here are 5 reasons why we think that partnering with a call center is an excellent business move for smaller companies.

Cost Reduction

Arguably the biggest benefit for hiring a call center is how much more affordable it is than developing your own. Running an in-house call center is a huge undertaking during which a company must, among other things:

  • Rent office space for support agents
  • Buy the necessary equipment and software tools
  • Manage turn-over and reduce their effect on projects
  • Purchase disaster recovery tools
  • Hire and train personnel constantly

For smaller companies, investing so much resources into a single business function is not applicable. That is why most call centers offer turn-key customer support solutions which allows anyone to have a customer support service up and running nearly overnight with minimum overhead.

IdeasUnlimited was established with the belief that call centers need to be extremely adaptable. It is natural for small businesses to scale up or down, or to have off seasons with little customer activity. To minimize financial strains, our call centers offer flexible packages where aspects like number of agents and monthly charges can be fine tuned on a per-need basis.

Overseas Expansion

Most smaller companies aspire to become larger and the only way to do that is to reach a wider audience. In our experience, we’ve had many business owners in the United States sharing their desire to expand in Asia but failing to do so simply because of the language barrier. Something as simple as a difference in culture can prevent smaller companies from tapping into overseas markets.

This is another reason for SMEs to seriously consider outsourcing to a call center. Knowing that Southeast Asia has now become a call center hub, this is perhaps the best time for companies in the West to work with a call center in order to target the East.

Many entrepreneurs in the startup culture have looked for ‘easy-wins’ to expand their business. Hiring a call center to gain access to markets overseas is perhaps just the right solution. Based on this notion, IdeasUnlimited offers multilingual support so business owners can gain customers from foreign countries without having to directly deal with them. Plus, it’s extremely cost effective to outsource. Infact, hiring translators from your local region can end up being even more expensive whereas an overseas agent will not only cost less, but will be better attuned to the local culture of the foreign country you wish to target. IdeasUnlimited is well accustomed with clients who wish to expand eastwards and our presence in Southeast Asia has helped many of them to reach that goal.

24/7 Availability

Roughly 64% of people who call customer service expect instantaneous responses throughout the day. Being responsive to your customers regardless of after-hours and holidays is vital for any business. Even when your staff is not in the office, someone always needs to be ready to answer calls, resolve queries and handle complaints. This is a tough ask for smaller companies who are already preoccupied with the rest of their daily operations.

For most call centers, 24/7 service has become an industry staple. However, many of these call centers will only work on large-scale projects in order to provide round-the-clock service. But there are call centers that offer always-on customer support for even small scale businesses thanks to customizable packages that can be scaled down. If a small business can find a cost-effective option, then a call center to represent their business 24/7 is definitely something that can help improve customer retention. IdeasUnlimited has spent over 10 years building and bolstering its call center infrastructure in order to have zero downtime so it can truly serve 24/7.

Brand Building

Regardless of size, customers always expect companies to have professional customer service. In order to build a strong brand, smaller companies need to have the same capabilities as large enterprises when it comes to dealing with customers. Not just in call volume, but in quality as well. 

Call center agents are essentially the front line of your business. By being the first point of contact for your customers, they can present a professional company persona thanks to their training, coaching and pre-planned scripts. This is exactly what can help small businesses compete with bigger brands that dominate their market.

Coaching a staff in-house for smaller businesses is usually not feasible. In call centers, a carefully crafted hierarchy of managers ensures that even newly inducted agents can communicate professionally and effectively. Smaller businesses that hope to elevate their brand should definitely consider partnering with such call centers. IdeasUnlimited has had a number of successful projects during which we enhanced the brand image of numerous clients including their app rating, online recognition, customer score and much more.

Focusing on your Niche

Most small companies need to be purely focused on delivering great products and services. Anything other than their core business is considered secondary, including customer service.

At IdeasUnlimited, we always encourage newer and smaller businesses to stick to their strengths while outsourcing everything else. A great benefit of hiring a call center is that it allows you to do just that.

One can think of working with a call center as an effort to streamline your business. By offloading customer service duties, it allows more time, money and effort to instead be invested in building better products and services. Plus, many call centers provide regular feedback and reports which can help you further improve your business strategies.

CONCLUSION

IdeasUnlimited specializes in supporting small businesses. We’ve had great success in turning companies into global powerhouses. We’re always looking for the business to guide towards success. If you’re looking to work with a call center, we’re always willing to help. Be sure to contact our team or leave us a comment below.