Tag

Operational Support Archives - IdeasUnlimited

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 | One Comment

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.

How Remote Work Saved Me! Conquering All Odds

How Remote Work Saved Me! Conquering All Odds

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

                                                  LinkedIn: shahzadyaqoob/    Facebook: shahzad.yaqoob.39948
 Upwork: shahzadyaqoob
Email: shahzad@osbprovider.com

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

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

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

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

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

Download

Social Anxiety and Remote Work

Nick's Story of How Remote Work Saved Him

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IdeasUnlimited Making Lives Better

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IdeasUnlimited in the Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick's vision for IdeasUnlimited

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

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

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

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

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

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Download
About IdeasUnlimited

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

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Call Center Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Multilingual Support, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant Support | 2 Comments

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

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

With an overall 4.5/5 rating, Clutch has chosen IdeasUnlimited amongst more than 470  competitive IT and business services firms as a Business Leader in several categories:

Medical Billing

Customer Support

Inbound Appointment Setting

HR Recruiting

Benefits Consulting

HR Outsourcing

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

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

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

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

Preparing for Employees Going on Annual Leave

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

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

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

Figures for Holiday Season Retail Sales

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

  1. Use a Workforce Management Software

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

Deputy

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

When I Work

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

Quinyx

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

TrackSmart

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

  1. Be Transparent

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

  1.  Set a Deadline

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

  1. Get Pertinent Information

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

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

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

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

  1. Trade-off

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

  1. Offer Incentives for Working Employees

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

  1. Hire Temporary Support

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

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

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

  1. Prep for the Manager’s Leave

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

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

2018: A New Era of Customer Service – Are You Ready?

2019: A New Era of Customer Service – Are You Ready?

By | Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Your business relies on good customer service for its success – far more than it used to, in fact. According to IT research company Gartner, 89% of market leaders anticipate that the omnichannel customer experience will be their primary business concern, as opposed to four years ago, when only 36% did. This signals a fundamental change in the role and function of businesses.

While the products or services that the company offered used to be the main concern, now the excellence of your customer care center will be the thing that sets you apart from the competition. After all, there are very few businesses out there that can afford to alienate their clientele because their products or services are good enough to keep people coming back regardless of their experience.

With this rise in the importance of customer service, many companies are going to have to do a massive overhaul of their current methods. This is because the support systems that companies utilize are becoming increasingly reliant on social media compatibility, 24/7 service, and mobile-friendly options. If your company doesn’t keep up with the modern standards, you will likely face losing clients and thus revenue.

So what exactly should you be aiming for in terms of customer service?

Live Chat & 24/7 Call Center Support

If you haven’t already set these up for customers, you are already behind. Most medium to larger companies have already set up an inbound call center solution, ensuring that someone can always be reached in case customers have questions or concerns. Even smaller businesses are upgrading their systems, each setting up a call center for small business. Live chat is one of the newer options, to be sure, but it has quickly become ubiquitous.

Omnichannel Support

Many customers now prefer to contact companies through multiple channels, some of the most popular of which are their social media accounts. There should always be an easy way for customers to use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. to contact your company. These channels should also be easy to switch between in the event that the user wants to employ several at a time and there should be someone providing omnichannel support services so you are never out of touch with your customers.

Text-Based Help

Since so many people consider texting to be the preferred mode of communication, it makes sense that your company should have some form of it enabled on your site.

Remote Secondary Access for Technical Support

When your customer can’t figure out how to do something on your site, having an IT professional try to figure out what to do through verbal means is rather like flying a plane blind. Having an option for them to get remote access to the customer’s computer (with their permission, of course) is one of the best ways to sort out the problem quickly and effectively. You thus need someone qualified to provide such technical and backend support services.

No Automated Menu

People are sick and tired of automated menus and trying to interact with recordings. If you want to truly please your customers, offer them a real human being to talk to. It proves almost automatically that you care more about their concerns and are willing to pay someone to listen to them. Having a trained, empathetic, and skilled call center operator automatically enhances customer loyalty.

Virtual Assistant Support

Virtual assistant support services can help you delegate administrative support and operational support tasks. This is especially good for growing businesses that don’t generally need around the clock support in-house. You will never have to turn away customers and can even get extra help around the holiday season. These assistants can perform a wide variety of tasks, from answering phones and emails to scheduling and data entry, payroll processing, lead generation, and practically anything else you need.

These are just some of the customer support services that are becoming the norm for businesses. Implement these and you can practically ensure customer satisfaction – and keep them coming back!