Tag

Support Services Archives - IdeasUnlimited

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

Partnerships That Build Value in Healthcare Transformation

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

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

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

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

Patient Experience

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

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

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

IU Healthcare Call Center Support - Important Stats

Many CAHPS studies have shown significant results that link

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

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

Employee Engagement and Quality of Patient Experience

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

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

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

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

Stress-Free Work Environment

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

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

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

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

Patients and families are not very satisfied or cooperative when:

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

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

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

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

The Benefits of a Call Center for Small Business

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

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

Time and Cost Savings

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

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

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

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

Excellent Customer Service

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

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

Hedging Your Bets

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

Lower Fixed Costs

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

Highly Skilled Resource Base

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

Conclusion

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

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!

Generation Z and Their Expectations from your Customer Service Agent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Offer immediate and perfect solutions

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

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

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

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

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

4. Bad experiences will last forever!

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

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

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

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

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.

Customer Service Call Center Helping You Capitalize on Online Retail's Growth

The Rise of Online Retail and How Managed Support Services Can Help You Get Ahead of the Curve

By | Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support Services

“Online retail is booming and is the next big thing!” Rest assured, this is not an overly-enthusiastic rhetorical claim by some zealous internet purist. Economists and retail analysts agree that online retail has shown steady progress over the last few years and is here to stay.

According to Business Insider, worldwide ecommerce sales increased by 15.5% this year from 2017. In stark contrast, traditional brick-and-mortar sales only increased by a paltry 3.1%. In the US alone, ecommerce sales accounted for 10% of all retail sales—up from 8.2% a year ago. Not only that, online shopping is estimated to be a $526 billion industry in the US, with more than 80% of internet users expected to make an online purchase in 2019.

Statistics for Growth of Ecommerce Sales

Why the Shift to Online Retail?

So why this aggressive shift towards online retail? The most obvious answer is the convenience it provides to its users. Online shopping is hassle-free, usually offers free delivery, and saves so much time! For retailers, it eliminates the pressure to continuously expand physically and open costly brick-and-mortar outlets; an online ecommerce portal ensures an additional revenue stream, not to mention the automatic promotion of the brand.

The Secret to Online Retail Success

Online retail, despite all its pros, is not for the complacent or lazy business owner/manager. It requires constant innovation, which includes providing impeccable and super-responsive human and technical support.

The human part of ensuring a seamless online retail experience includes offering attentive customer service call center support and omnichannel customer experience management. The biggest pitfall is not responding to customer queries and/or comments quickly and efficiently—rub a customer the wrong way and brace yourself for some irreparable (and fast-spiraling) brand bashing on Facebook or Twitter! On the other hand, handle a customer with the due care and diligence by using an experienced customer service call center, and bask in the generous lauding and viral exponential appraisals of your brand! The customer is truly the king (and queen) in the online retail world!

Now come to the second part of innovation—the technical aspect. Technology changes fast. For an online business to run smoothly, it needs to be supported by a solid and scalable online inventory management system and strong backend support that tolerates no downtime.

Nothing puts off an eager shopper who has liberally filled up his/her shopping cart and excitedly clicked check-out more than encountering an annoyingly slow response time, and worse, inefficient or insecure online payment services. According to Statista, 42% of online shoppers worldwide prefer to make their payments via credit cards, while 39% prefer Paypal; imagine the volume of business you would lose if an insecure payment system is in place! Your potential customer will be replaced by a sulky user ready to vent out their frustration on social media. Don’t wait for such a brand assassination and take a proactive approach towards your ecommerce website development. Your listing and inventory management must also be par excellence to ensure all the information is up-to-date and you have no surplus or shortages.

Importance of Secure Online Payment System

Another important aspect is the content on your website, whether it fully describes all aspects of your service or product and resolves all queries of the average customer. Poor quality content and brochure websites do not garner high conversion rates.

Did you know that you only have 0 to 8 seconds to get the visitor’s attention through the headline and the landing page, and even a one second delay can result in a 7% reduced conversion rate? Moreover, detailed product content is considered extremely important by 88% of online shoppers. Not only should the website be aesthetically pleasing and fast, it should be intuitive and interactive, with grammatically correct content that highlights your unique value proposition. Otherwise, you will lose the sale right away.

Important Figures for Online Retail

So how to juggle the tricky trinity of online retail, which is maintain the quality of your product/service, ensure a flawless customer service call center support, and provide solid operational support and backend support systems?

The solution is delegate! A prudent business always focuses on its core product and delegates the ancillary and supporting (but equally important) workflows and tasks to the experts! For online retail, the optimal approach is to get onboard a reputed and well-established support services provider that provides all these services, especially a customer service call center, at a lower cost than an in-house setup. Doing so ensures a unified and seamless customer experience, translating into higher brand loyalty and return on investment.

Checklist for Getting Ahead of the Curve

  • Get customer service call center support to
    • answer queries of potential customers,
    • resolve any issues that arise with current ones
    • provide omnichannel support: email, social media, text, phone, fax etc.
    • manage your customer database to keep track of purchasing history and loyal customers
    • manage your feedback and reviews to convey a positive brand image and transform disgruntled customers to satisfied repeat customers, and
    • give technical support in case glitches appear on the online platform.
  • Invest in backend support for your online retail platform to ensure
    • fast loading speeds, working links, pages, and graphics,
    • a responsive shopping cart, and
    • a secure online payment system.
  • Partner with an ecommerce support services provider to
    • manage your ecommerce brand,
    • ensure up-to-date listing and inventory management,
    • optimize product information through data entry, data cleansing, product catalog management, and indexing services and
    • provide order processing and tracking services.
  • Get an expert content writer to ensure your website’s content is
    • search engine optimized and
    • grammatically correct.

Case in Point

PatPat a 24 hour call center support client of IdeasUnlimited

PatPat, an online apparel company that aims to make affordable quality apparel for moms and kids, seems to have nailed the online shopping experience. They focus on providing reasonable, trendy, and quality wear. But what truly makes them stand out in the jungle of online apparel sites is their attentive customer care. Did they deviate from their core competency of providing apparel to focus on managing the omnichannel customer experience?

Of course not, they simply recruited a customer care center expert. Initially, they only needed two customer care agents but the number grew exponentially as their business flourished, and they now have 30-plus agents ensuring an empathetic customer service call center. The increase in this number shows how important a well-equipped customer care center is! Their 24 hour call center manages their brand image by providing customer service, omnichannel support, and ecommerce support services.

PatPat is flourishing because the work is done in unison—PatPat focuses on and provides the core product while IdeasUnlimited helps add value to PatPat’s value proposition through its customer service call center. Indeed, a win-win situation!

Conclusion

In a nutshell, retailers that have not figured out how to build a powerful presence online, have not invested in doing so, and are not planning to do so in the future will be left behind. Online retail is certainly not a fad—it is here to stay. The way to get ahead of the curve is to focus on your core competencies and partner with a specialist support services provider for support systems—let your product shine on a scalable and efficient ecommerce platform!

5 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Help You Make Sales

5 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Help You Make Sales

By | Business Improvement, Customer Service, Marketing Virtual Assistant, Multilingual Support, Social Media, Virtual Assistant Support | 2 Comments

If you want to make sales, then you need a sales virtual assistant to bring these five key factors to your business.

Managing a business may prove to be a daunting task. There are many tasks to handle and countless problems to solve at the same time. You, as a business owner, may initially have the time to handle those issues yourself. But you will eventually have to delegate and divide the work to achieve better results. For this purpose, it is always best to hire a sales virtual assistant.

1. Make Sales from Anywhere

A sales virtual assistant usually works from home. Therefore, you can hire one at a lower cost than that incurred when hiring a full-time office-based employee. You will not have to spend extra money on unnecessary office space either and can pay the virtual assistant at an hourly rate. It also reduces HR-related issues. Most sales virtual assistants who offer their services via platforms such as Upwork (previously oDesk) are quite experienced at their job. They are fast learners who are able to adapt to virtual work environments very quickly. Hence, you will not have to spend extensive amounts of time on expensive training sessions. Besides these obvious advantages, there are also several ways in which a sales virtual assistant can help boost your sales figures.

2. Make Sales with Good Customer Service

Firstly, they can assist you in customer and sales support. You can assign them the task of providing outbound call center services. This way, you will save a lot of time which you can choose to spend on other more important things. Similarly, they can also provide administrative and operational support. If you let a virtual assistant manage company emails, for example, they can highlight the more important leads for you to handle personally. Inbound call center support is also assigned to virtual assistants nowadays since it can easily be conducted remotely.

3. Make Sales in Your Market

Since calls, chats, and emails do not require physical presence, they can be easily conducted from whichever location your virtual assistant is based in. It is better to hire VAs from the region where your sales operations are based. This is because they can understand the local buyers better, such as their language or culture. If a customer feels more comfortable and welcome, they will be more likely to return. A multilingual virtual assistant can help you deal with clients in their own languages, creating brand loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value.

4. Make Sales with Good Research

A sales virtual assistant can also be incredibly helpful in conducting research. Research is a time-consuming process, and a great amount of time is usually spent in vain when digging through hordes of data. Virtual assistants can come in handy here if you are looking to save time. They can further assist you in the process of lead research and generation and data mining. These are an important part of a sales campaign. If the data becomes too extensive at any point, you can hire more than one temporary virtual assistant as well.

5. Make Sales with Social Media

Since virtual assistants are well-versed in all things internet, they can also help you build an impressive online presence for your business. Social media marketing campaigns, for example, would be easy to run with an internet-savvy sales virtual assistant onboard.

Hire competent, trained, and efficient virtual assistants through IdeasUnlimited, a company with over 8 years of experience of providing support services. As soon as you have hired your sales virtual assistant, you will be ready to launch a sales-boosting campaign for your business.

Technical Support Services at IdeasUnlimited

Technical Support: How It Can Improve Your Business

By | Backend Support Services, Remote Support Services, Technical Support | No Comments

Most IT companies heavily rely on the satisfaction of customers and ensuring this requires that the employees are properly trained from time to time. This can become a cumbersome process and if not done right, can not only become frustrating for the company but also for its clients. Those businesses that lack the budget, expertise, and staff to provide fast technical support to customers can work with a support services provider to deliver these services efficiently and effectively.

There are many benefits of having a strong technical support infrastructure, allowing businesses top focus on their core competencies instead of these backend and operational support issues.

1. Boosts Growth and Productivity

Without a technical support team, the other employees often have to multitask and handle their own responsibilities as well as talk to customers. This wastes a lot of time and reduces productivity. Having people dedicated to this task can let the employees run other aspects of the operations and this allows the business to grow.

2. Improves Customer Experiences

If customers feel like they can depend on the technical support service to help solve their problem, then the company is headed in the right direction. Even helping out clients with their trivial problems can form a positive image in their mind. This helps the business appear professional and dependable. A good impression in the customer’s mind will help retain them and recommend your products or services to others as well.

3. Reduces Chances of Refunds

Refunds greatly affect the profits of a company. Businesses in the IT sector often have customers who are not tech-savvy and need help using the product. With a proactive technical support team, such customers can be guided through the procedure, increasing the chances of them becoming regular users of the product or service. If the technical support is up to the mark, a frustrated customer can be turned into a satisfied one.

4. Builds the Company's Reputation

A satisfied customer is more likely to leave a positive review of your business. With the advent of social media, the reputation of a company has become more important. It is now easy to leave a review or rating for a certain product or service online. These comments are read by many people and that is why favorable reviews will help reel in more customers. The lack of technical support will only result in negative reviews and a bad reputation.

5. Solves Technical Issues Within the Company

Technical support also applies to issues faced within the business. A well-trained technical support staff can help run the company and prevent major hang-ups inside the office. The support team is always on call to help when glitches or errors appear. There is no longer a need to call outside the company for help.

Technical support plays an important role in all businesses but it requires a lot of personnel, software, and hardware resources. A much more budget-friendly option is to work with a company providing such support services like IdeasUnlimited. Our professional team can provide software, hardware, and server support through a multitude of platforms.