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

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

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

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

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

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

Why You Should Have a Medical Call Center

Give Your Patients COVID-19 Information

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

Improve Customer Satisfaction and Keep Revenue Streams Ongoing

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

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

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

Healthcare Call Centers Can Save Money for Physician Groups

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

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

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

Lower Risk and Better Compliance

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

Identifying Where You Are Losing Money

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

Access to Service Data and Quality Control

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

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

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

Why IdeasUnlimited is Your Best Choice for A Healthcare Call Center

Why IdeasUnlimited is Your Best Choice for A Healthcare Call Center

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

Best Project Management Software and Tools for a Remote Team in 2020

By | Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Customer Service, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant Support | One Comment

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Project Management Software and Tools for a Remote Workforce

Are project management tools effective for virtual teams?

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

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

 Better planning, execution, and monitoring

 Maintaining work schedules

 Better and clearer delegation of tasks

 Better collaboration

 Efficient problem solving

 Meeting deadlines

 Faster delivery of projects

 Better evaluation of performance

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

Proofhub allows you to easily plan, collaborate, organize, and deliver projects—big or small—on time. This project planning software is based on Kanban boards where you can create custom workflows using tasks, assign user roles, choose a project manager, use Gantt charts, and do much more.

Create unlimited projects and add unlimited users, by paying a simple flat fee. Their free trial allows you to try it with your team and since there is a negligible learning curve, you can start using it for your business right away.

Proofhub - Project Planning Tool

Loved by over 85,000 teams and businesses around the world, including Google, Netflix, and NASA, this work management system ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. You can even bring on your clients, show them the progress made, and get real-time feedback and approvals from them. There is no need for lengthy email exchanges any longer. All you need to do is set up your client on Proofhub, give them the access they need, and make your life easy.

They promise to make work a “rewarding experience”, so go ahead and give it a try today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

shared as a template for all similar future tasks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trello- Project Management Tool

You will love Trello whether you have just switched over to remote work or have had a remote global team for a while. All the features you need are completely free.

It is a Kanban-style project management app that helps you visually organize tasks, deadlines, and files. You can collaborate with and give updates to a team as well. Organized by cards, boards, and lists, it is a perfect tool for brainstorming a new idea or managing an ongoing project.

Best of all, use their amazing Power-Ups to sync your Google Calendar with the Trello boards, introduce agile elements to your workflow, connect to Dropbox, and do much more. You get one Power-Up free with each free account or you can upgrade to use unlimited Power-Ups. Trello even offers you the possibility of creating one for your own team, with custom functionality.

Conclusion

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

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

 

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.

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Social Anxiety and Remote Work

Nick's Story of How Remote Work Saved Him

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IdeasUnlimited Making Lives Better

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IdeasUnlimited in the Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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About IdeasUnlimited

The Future of Omnichannel Customer Support is NOW!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Personalized Omnichannel Support

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

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

  1. Voiceprint Identification

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

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

  1. Shopping the Customer Experience

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

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

  1. Video Sessions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Proactive Sales and Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

Partnerships That Build Value in Healthcare Transformation

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

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

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

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

Patient Experience

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

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

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

IU Healthcare Call Center Support - Important Stats

Many CAHPS studies have shown significant results that link

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

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

Employee Engagement and Quality of Patient Experience

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

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

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

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

Stress-Free Work Environment

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

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

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

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

Patients and families are not very satisfied or cooperative when:

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

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

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

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

Improve your customer service center for customer retention

What Are Customer Retention Strategies?

By | Backend Support Services, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Multilingual Customer Service | 2 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep Existing Customers Close to You:

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

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

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

Selling More and Often:

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

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

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

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

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

Where Is Customer Churn Taking Place and Why?

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

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

Revamping the Customer Care Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

Answer by Saira Zafar, Content Contributor, IdeasUnlimited

Disruption and Reinvention in the Telecommunications Industry

By | Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Technical Support, Uncategorized | No Comments

Here is an important question for you: Why do firms run businesses?
The most common answer is: To generate profits and achieve a sustainable position in the market.

The telecommunication industry has been trying to replicate this capital-intensive industry synergy, but without moving beyond the orthodox consumer models. Therefore, with partial redundancy of voice and texting plans, telecom companies have been trying hard to balance their ROI and declining cashflows. Currently, Western European and North American Telecom is also selling broadband, TV, media services, and data services to manage profitability and capital returns. It is, however, more important to note that the landscape has been greatly transformed because Facebook, Google, Netflix, and other data-driven companies have taken it very far from the typical telecom market by creating new forms of communication, technical support, and viewer choices.

Now let me ask you my question again: Why do firms run businesses?

               This time a Million Dollar Answer should be: To maintain their competitive edge, evolve with time, and create positive customer experiences for profitability and sustainability.

Digital innovation can help telecommunication companies streamline operational processes, satisfy customers, reduce costs, and increase sales.

As the telecommunication companies have waited too long to understand and respond to this digital disruption, digital companies like Facebook and Netflix have jumped in and established themselves as the fiercest competitors to the telecommunication industry. These data-driven giants have grabbed a major share of the customer satisfaction pie—the main ingredient of success in today’s world. And to catch up, the telecommunication industry has to free up resources and employ trained, tech-savvy teams to support their customer care center and technical customer support units.

Customer focus is the main target. Telecommunications companies differentiate themselves and achieve success through customer-centric models. This requires drastic changes in operational, technological, and organizational processes.

E-Care

It is time for the telecommunication industry to step up their technical customer support to win big on customer experience and satisfaction. Providing technical customer support through digital channels is reported to increase customer satisfaction significantly.

Deloitte reviews how technical customer support teams can create differentiation and give businesses a competitive edge to retain and acquire customers. Giffgaff, a UK virtual network operator, has set a precedent in E-care or digital technical customer support. With just 33 employees, Giffgaff has a record of clearing customer queries/issues within three minutes. It has succeeded in building a community of users who help each other digitally and even developed Nokia and iOS applications through discussions and mutual help.

This demonstrates an excellent example of E-care, which also results in high levels of customer engagement and satisfaction. Digitization makes support services leaner, quicker, and effective. This reduces costs and capital commitment for the company.

The telecommunication industry hardly fares well when customer service metrics are compared. It has failed to fully appreciate the potential of developing digital technical customer support for tier one and two. As the market moves faster towards more sophisticated technologies and cloud-based systems and products and services, it is necessary to avoid communication delays and ineffective solutions.

Generation Y and Generation Z are tech savvy, have lesser time, and prefer online communication. Therefore, systems like E-care can accommodate and elevate their overall customer experience with a telecom operator.

Reports by McKinsey have shown that E-care also reduces customer care center costs by 25-30% while online technical customer support improves customer experience by 76%.  Another mobile operator reduced the number of support service calls by 90% by introducing sophisticated systems for E-care. This shows the significance of building and facilitating digital-only journeys for modern telecom users. A three-tiered system of technical support with advanced systems can easily navigate and anticipate problems and issue resources to the customers as required.

Omnichannel Experience

When digital services become extensive, they necessitate the introduction of a cohesive online/offline operations model for your business to deliver a consistent experience across all channels of communication and customer contact points. Your customer care center should be able to keep up with the evolving demands and preferences of your customers. Each touchpoint, whether operated digitally or through a customer representative, needs to deliver an expected level of service.

More than 60% of customers digitally interact with brands and request their services  through different mediums. They expect consistent and quality customer service across all time zones, mediums, and devices. Unified cross-channel services will bring loyalty and repeated sales for the company.

A well-managed omnichannel customer experience means a well-integrated and seamless experience for the consumers through which they can resolve service issues and communicate with the company. Different customers can have different communication preferences and the omnichannel support model enables them to choose different channels alternatively, simultaneously, and in combination, to build their own digital journeys.

Developing the omnichannel experience for your customers will also result in a wealth of customer data, which can further help to elevate customer service at multiple touch points by better personalization and service access. Big data and predictive analyses give a unified view of customers that is required for the omnichannel experience.

IdeasUnlimited has been assisting a number of companies in the telecommunication industry meet these contemporary challenges. If you are interested in knowing more about our services for telephone companies, internet service providers, wireless telecommunication carriers, network service providers, and media service providers, click here -> Read More

Charity as Investment Image

Charity as an Investment in Humanity

By | Food for thought | No Comments

We are all taught and conditioned by society that helping those in need is kind and kindness is rewarded. So, when we want to help the poor, we appease our consciences by giving them charity, shrugging off our responsibility. We never address the root cause of the problem, rather perpetuate the vicious cycle of poverty by robbing the unfortunate of the initiative to better their circumstances. How can a person accustomed to receiving monetary help ever find the drive or the means to drag themselves out of this situation?

The Shift from Donations to Investment

To radically shift the paradigm of charity, it is crucial to move away from short-term monetary donations to long-term investment in the futures of those who need assistance. I strongly believe that the only way to uplift this stratum of underprivileged people and help them escape the morass of poverty is educating them and broadening their world view, so they can get better jobs, start off businesses, and improve the economic conditions of their families. Your charity is better re-purposed as an investment in their future—an investment in humanity, for a future where every member of society is accomplished enough to contribute. A receiving hand will then not be a perpetually outstretched hand but become a productive, contributing member of society.

Charity as an investment in humanity-quote

Lack of access to a decent education is a problem that plagues not only underdeveloped nations but many states in developed nations, with overflowing classrooms, poorly and underpaid equipped staff, and lack of resources. This creates an insurmountable handicap that afflicts the underprivileged all their lives.

Giving them means to educate themselves paves the path towards socioeconomic independence and self-sustainability of their families, transforming them from belonging to a beneficiary segment of society to empowered individuals with the opportunity to participate in the greater world. Not only this but education creates an awareness about rights and duties, good and evil, nourishing more socially conscious citizens who are less likely to fall into a life of crime and abuse. This investment in humanity will yield better human beings with a more positive outlook, who believe in assisting each other and giving back to society. It will also generate a more positive outlook, with every underprivileged individual motivated to at least strive for bettering the circumstances of his/her birth.

How Can Your Charity Become an Investment in Humanity?

Your charity will serve as a sponsorship fund to educate an underprivileged child unable to get a decent education and/or learn vocational skills due to lack of financial means. It will cover tuition fees, books, uniforms, supplies, and all the other necessary accompaniments of a good education. So, you will invest in a child’s future—radically changing it for the better. Your investment in humanity today will reap compound returns in the future—returns for you personally and for the society in the form of a greater percentage of productive individuals.

Become an Angel Investor

We’re thus restructuring charity as an angel investment for the underprivileged. In such scenario, you will have a vested interest in the success of the investee. You can structure the terms of the investment in two different ways. First, you can bear the expenses of educating the child with the understanding that once the child has completed the education, they will work at a place of your choosing for a predefined period. This will ensure that the education is put to good use in a position that benefits you as well. The child will also have an assured position and hence a secure future, provided he/she completes the education with decent grades. This benefit of guaranteed employment will act as another inducement for those families considering this option for educating their children.

Second, the invested amount can be a loan to the investee who will be obliged to return the principal amount with a small markup for the deferred payment terms. This markup can also be tied to the earning potential of the sponsored child, having accounted for fulfilling necessary expenditures first. The merits of this approach are that the sponsored child can apply for employment anywhere and you will get back your investment in a shorter period of time.

You can also go for a combination of both, with both parties agreeing on fair and equitable terms.

These terms ensure that the charity investment is exactly that and not a free payout. The money will then be utilized in the manner intended, and this will provide the additional impetus to guarantee better academic performance and brighter work prospects.

It will be a long-term investment and will have as much to do with the child as his/her parents or legal guardians since the child will be a minor. Therefore, you will choose the family and the child and mutually agree on the terms of the partnership.

Risks and Returns

As with any investment, there are risks attached to this one too, such as the child not being able to complete his/her education due to extenuating circumstances such as incarceration or death. Since you will have invested in families vetted for suitability, the chances of such a situation are relatively remote. A more valid concern may be that the investee is unable to get employment, or the wages or salary are barely enough to cover basic needs, leaving nothing over to return the investment. While not desirable, this is still immeasurably preferable to giving charity to the poor with no investment in the betterment of their future. At least this way, the investee child will have grown to be a responsible member of society, capable of contributing positively to the betterment of humanity.

Using charity as an investment in the future of humanity will have a spiraling effect, with each well-educated—previously underprivileged—child improving the circumstances of his/her family, helping other family members find better prospects, consequently freeing their future generations from the shackles of poverty. The child and his/her family will also contribute to the economy, directly or indirectly creating more opportunities and job prospects for others, compounding the benefits of your investment today.

Isn’t this a much more satisfying way of utilizing your charity—investing in the future of humanity?

Written by Shahzad Yaqoob,

27th September, 2018