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Customer Support Metrics

Top Five Trackable Customer Support Metrics

Satisfied customers are the life blood of every business. They grow your revenues, bring repeat business and spread the good word about your brand. A great customer experience goes a long way in making customers happy. One of the best ways to track the performance of your support team and and provide a great customer experience is to know your “numbers” – like Call Volume, Response Time, Abandon Rates, Call Resolution, & First Contact Resolution. This gives you honest, trackable data and helps provide a clear understanding of the overall satisfaction of your customers. Here are Five Customer Support Metrics you must monitor regularly:

1. Call Volume

It’s important to monitor the daily volume of calls and inquiries into your support team. It helps you find out if there is any rush of support traffic at certain times of the day. This will tell you when you should allocate most employees & resources to customer service. Although your business has working hours, your customers may run on a different schedule. They’ll try to reach you as soon as they face an issue. You can note the most frequently called times and prepare for it, even if they’re outside your business hours.

It’s also necessary to monitor volume of support incidents by various channels such as emails, telephone & social media. Different channels require different types of support staff & resources. Breaking out support incidents by channels helps you identify which channel needs more attention, and adapt quickly.

2. Response Time

Do you like waiting for a response when you are facing an issue? Response Time is the amount of time taken for your business to respond to a customer issue. It is one of the most important metric that affects customer satisfaction. If you keep the customer waiting, you are likely to bring down customer satisfaction considerably. Studies show that 54% of customers feel 3 minutes to be a reasonable response time while waiting for a customer support agent over the phone. Customers also believe that 24 hours is reasonable to get response by email.

You can measure Response Times by various channels to identify which channel needs more attention. Even within a single channel such as email, you can group the number of responses based on the amount of time taken. How many responses were sent within 1 hour, 2-6 hours, 6-12 hours, etc.? This will show you the distribution of your responses over time. You can find out the most frequent support issues which increase response time, and assign more resources to them. You can also monitor first response times for each support agent. This will tell you which agents take time to respond, and could use more training and assistance.

3. Call Resolution Time

Call Resolution Time is the amount of time taken to resolve a customer issue. Average Call Resolution Time shows the overall effectiveness of your customer support. The shorter the resolution time..the better your customer support metrics. Many factors contribute to high resolution time. It can be due to the communication skills or technical expertise of the customer or your support agent. It can also be because the agent doesn’t have access to relevant resources. You can monitor resolution time for each type of customer issue to identify which ones take the longest to be resolved. You can also track it for each support agent. This will help you find out the root cause of delay and solve it immediately.

4. Abandon Rates

Abandon rate is one of the key customer support metrics. This number is the percent of customers who hang up the phone or leave the queue before they reach a customer support agent. Long hold times and a confusing support system are the most common reasons why customers drop off. You can track abandon rates over time to find out which days of the week it increases, or which time of the day you are flooded with support calls. This will help you increase your capacity accordingly. You can also look at the abandon rate at each step of your support such as the initial welcome message, IVR navigation or the automated wait message. Once you know which step has the highest abandon rate, you can identify the source and fix it as soon as possible.

5. First contact resolution

First contact resolution tells you how many issues were resolved during the initial engagement. Greater this number, the better it is. To maximize this metric, you have to find out which issues are escalated beyond the first contact, on which channels and why. So you need to break out this metric by various channels and type of customer issues. It helps you identify the reasons for escalation and resolve them quickly.

Measuring the performance of your customer service enables you to rapidly improve it. It allows you to easily identify the key pain points of your customers, areas which need additional resources and support agents that can benefit from additional training. You can even streamline support by automating frequent responses and creating Knowledge Base or FAQs. This helps you improve your product or service, boost customer experience and grow your business faster.

Worldwide Call Centers can help to address these metrics and outsource your operations to the BEST Agencies around the world! If you are ready to improve your customer support metrics & explore the power of outsourcing, please contact us here or call 719.368.8393.

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Contact Center

Five Contact Center Outsourcing Mistakes

The contact center is one of the most important departments in any organization. Contact center agents have the most direct connection with your customers, the people who ultimately determine whether your business succeeds or fails. Considering how important the contact center is to business success, plenty of mistakes are still being made on a daily basis in call centers around the world.  Here’s a list of the five contact center outsourcing mistakes that you should avoid:

1.) Improper agent training

Whether a contact center agent has prior experience or they are brand new to the field, they will need to be properly trained before they start interacting with customers. Many contact centers fail to adequately train agents because they don’t want to make the investment…given the high turnover rate in the industry. However, contact center training should be an ongoing process. A one week training session at the beginning of employment just isn’t enough to cut it. Your agents need to be continually trained on your systems and, most importantly, on sales and call handling techniques to produce more happy customers!

2.) Not properly analyzing data

Modern call center technology is great, but it’s useless if it’s not being used efficiently. Modern call centers have greater access to data…but what they do with the data is what really matters! Call centers must have a system in place to ensure that data is properly analyzed in order to incorporate insights into new business plans.

3.) Not focusing on the customer

Many contact center services have become obsessed with scripting, agent utilization, and call resolution time.  However, they often forget that the focus should on developing happy customers. It seems obvious, but the customer should always be made to feel like they are the top priority, and not just a figure on a stat sheet!

4.) Clinging to legacy contact center technology

Modern contact center technology including speech analytics, call mining, call recording, data mining, and real time reporting solutions have revolutionized customer support. Modern agents and managers now have access to immediate data.  This information can be used to make important business decisions in regards to agent training, marketing, sales development.  Clinging to technology of the past can be a serious mistake.  Outsourcing can be a great way to leapfrog your competition by employing the most advanced technology overnight.

5.) Outsourcing to the wrong call center partner

There is nothing wrong with contact center outsourcing.  In fact, outsourcing is often the most cost effective solution.  However, finding the right partner can be tricky.   Please research a variety of options and get proposals from several potential contact center partners.  Rarely will the cheapest or most convenient agency is the best option.  Today, many contact centers are industry specialists that develop agents with significant knowledge to share with customers in that niche. Take your time, do your research, test multiple agencies, and try to find the best outsourced call center possible.

If you are ready to enhance the performance of your business, contact Worldwide Call Centers today at 719.368.8393.  Our senior consultants are ready to discuss your situation in depth.  Then, we can explore the contact center outsourcing options available from the US and Canada to Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America.

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Scaling Your Customer Support

Four Ways to Effectively Scale Your Customer Support Call Centers


While many companies are already focused on customer support, they often struggle to balance productivity, scaling, and maintaining the human touch of personalized customer experiences. Here are a few practical tips to help your company stay productive and scale your customer support call centers, without making your customers feeling like they’re working with a robot:

1. Boost Productivity Through Collaboration

Small inefficiencies add up quickly and drain your resources. Saving agent time and improving collaboration boosts productivity without turning them into robots. For this reason, allowing employees to utilize cloud-based collaboration tools like Slack and Trello is a great idea!

2. Balance Live vs. Automated

Striking a balance between a personalized customer experience and responding to customer requests in a timely manner, can be difficult. So how do you ensure a good experience for your customer without taking too long to respond? Utilize features that maximize efficiency of your live operators to give your customer the best experience possible. Consider setting up time-based escalations or action-based alerts, and writing pre-configured templates for frequent responses. Little things like these allow agents to respond faster and be inserted at the most crucial times, so you can maintain a personal touch when it counts.

3. Help your customers help themselves

A well-designed Help Center – or an all in one knowledge base, community, and customer portal — deflects issues and appeals to the 67% of consumers that would prefer to use self-service rather than contact support. When your customers can find their own answers quickly and easily, everybody wins.

4. Leverage Multichannel Customer Support

The modern customer demands an effortless experience.  Which means they want to be able to connect with you when and where it’s convenient for them.  Accordingly, that might be via phone, via Twitter, over email, or even within your corporate application.  Innovative companies need to build a multi-channel support foundation that allows you to tie these contact points together.   Consequently, this will make it manageable for your team and allow for adding new methods, as necessary.  Consider solutions that can expand to include traditional phone, email or live chat support alongside social media, self-service and embedded mobile offerings.

If you are ready to scale or improve your Multichannel Customer Support, contact Worldwide Call Centers today at 719.368.8393 to discuss your situation.  Our consultants will discuss the Customer Support Call Centers available from the US and Canada to Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America.

 

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Email Support

Tips for Better Email Support

Think email is “Old School”? Think again.

Social, text, live chat and advanced self-service are creating a lot of buzz in contact centers these days, but now is not the time to forget email. It’s time to make it better.

Many customers still prefer to email customer support. Phone remains number one, but ignoring email as a customer support channel could be a major mistake. In fact, Forrester research indicates email is still the third most widely used form of communication among online adults.

Email can meet the new world of customer expectations as long as contact centers are willing to keep an open mind and take a can-do approach. Here are three tips to creating better email customer support:

Ramp Up The Speed

We live in an age of instant gratification. Customers want help and they want it now. So how can the contact center deliver? Following are some ways to improve your email response time:

  1. Hire more people
  2. Improve your email software
  3. Route emails
  4. Improve your template library
  5. Beef up your self-service or web content
  6. Train agents in critical reading
  7. Trust agents to free-text

Can’t implement all seven of these steps in your contact center? Try focusing on one or two of these and imagine the impact.

Have a Conversation

Think about how you communicate with a company via social media, and think about how you communicate with your friends during a face-to-face conversation. More than likely, the tone is friendly and conversational. Why should email be any different? If you wouldn’t say it in person…don’t say it in an email.

Keep it real, and show customers that there’s a human handling their issue…not a robot. Email isn’t the place for corporate jargon or insincere promises; it’s a place to build trust.

Promote Self-Service Options

Our call center clients often ask, “how do I encourage my customers to use self-service?” Email offers the perfect opportunity to do this without seeming to push your customer off to another channel. Gently point customers in the right direction by suggesting they visit abc.com to do a, b, & c. Or include links to your online knowledge base or self-service portal in the agent email signature.

And speaking of the email signature—make sure it includes the name and location of the agent. Again, customers want to know they’re speaking with a human who can effectively solve their problem.

If you are ready to improve your email customer support, contact Worldwide Call Centers today at 719.368.8393 to discuss your situation and explore the Email Support Outsourcing Options available from the US and Canada to Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America.