Category Archives: Telemarketing

Customer Service

Empower Your Customer Service Team

When it comes to your customer service team, employee empowerment is defined as allowing phone agents to make fast decisions — on the spot — in favor of the customer.  Moreover, it is critically important for organizations to give support agents the power to make decisions without supervisor approval. Business and government agencies will never be leaders in customer support without the adoption of true empowerment strategies.

The good news is that most decisions will cost the company less than $50, which is a pittance when considering the lifetime value of the customer and the goodwill that empowered decisions can cultivate. Unfortunately, even employees of businesses that claim to “support empowerment” often fear making the needed decisions on their own.

Here are three key reasons support agents do not take the initiative to solve problems independently:

1. They are afraid of negative feedback.

There is often very little upside for an employee who makes empowered decisions. Awards and celebrations are rarely offered to employees simply because they made an independent decision to satisfy a customer.   However, ignoring policy or subjecting the business to undesired costs will almost certainly have a downside for the employee.

2. They think they will lose their jobs.

Many customer service agents believe that it is less risky to lose a customer than make a decision that appears to be detrimental to the company. After all, they think, “No one ever got fired for enforcing a policy, rule or procedure.”

3. They are afraid they will have to pay for a mistake.

For example, if they upgrade a person from a room to a suite, they will have to pay the difference.


In order to overcome this culture of fear, businesses need to implement three steps for boosting employee empowerment:

1. Reinforce and celebrate empowerment.

Most empowered decisions have no significant cost. For example, it might include waiving a late fee or bending the rules on a cutoff time. Empowered employees can modify policies and procedures to fit a situation…and keep customers happy.

2. Assure every department and manager is on board.

They must enforce a culture of empowerment within their teams, and they must stand by support agents when they do “color outside the lines”. It just takes one piece of negative management feedback for the employee grapevine to get the message that the policy is just lip service or the policy du jour.

3. Empowerment Training.

You have to teach them what is it, how to actualize it and how the organization celebrates it.


The irony is that companies spend massive amounts of money on marketing to attract customers, but skimp when it comes to keeping them. If budget were devoted to customer retention by training employees to make empowered decisions, they would see a far more immediate, measurable return on their investments. By empowering employees, you will have happier customers. You will increase market share. And you will make more money.

If you are ready to hire a customer service agency, contact Worldwide Call Centers today at 719.368.8393 to discuss your situation.  Our Consultants will explore the Contact Center Outsourcing Options available from the US and Canada to Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America.

Social Media

Improving Customer Support through Social Media

How does your contact center deliver exceptional customer support? Do you ensure that no customer waits on hold longer than three minutes?  Are you giving your support agents the freedom to improvise each call to meet customer needs?  Do you enforce a “customer first” policy?  For a number of contact center services, it’s these factors and more that lead to the optimal customer experience.

With the emergence of social media, however, the customer support game has changed…forever!  It’s no longer enough to provide your customers the opportunity to call a toll free number with a problem or concern. They must have access to multiple channels, including social media, and they often insist on receiving an immediate response.

Here are some tips to successfully integrate Social Media into your Customer Support Operations:

1.) Speed

It’s everything when it comes to social media. Who hasn’t seen a post on Twitter or Facebook when the hold time was too long in the call center? Your Customer Support Operations need to recognize these issues and response immediately.

2.) Care

Speed has the potential to lead to missed opportunity. Take care in the responses you provide on social media channels so that they support your brand in both character and personality.

3.) Listen

It’s easy to get caught up on the message you want to communicate to the audience instead of listening to the issue. There’s a reason they are reaching out to you – be sure to pay attention and address it.

4.) Direction

When an issue comes in via social media that can’t be addressed in just a few words, it’s important to send the customer to the right destination. Make sure they can get resolution at that location so they only have to click through one time.

5.) Success

When you have happy customers who share success on social media, shout it from the rooftops and share it as much as possible.

6.) Advocates

Happy customers are your best advertisers, so invite them to be advocates for your brand. One of the best ways to do so is to reach out when they have something great to say about you. People love this kind of acknowledgement and will seek it time and again.

7.) Accuracy

Social media posts are often quick, which means it’s easy to make a spelling or grammar error. Your brand and the competency of your staff will be judged by posts, so apply accordingly.

If you are ready to enhance your customer support with the use of social media, contact Worldwide Call Centers today at 719.368.8393 to discuss your situation and explore the Soclal Media Outsourcing Options available from the US and Canada to Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America.

Great Customer Experience

Great Culture = Great Customer Experience

 

Corporate culture is often difficult to understand and even harder to control. A dysfunctional culture in your call center almost ensures that your employees will be looking for the door with your customer experience suffering in the process. Your newest employees often have the best perspective and can give you some honest insight on the positives and/or negatives of your culture. Now ask your customers and they might tell you a lot about the culture based on their interactions with customer support.

Luckily, there is always hope—and many times the call center is the best place to start improving your company culture. What’s the trick? We all know those excellent customer service skills that help you make new sales and save customers. Point a few of those inward toward your colleagues and watch your company culture shift. Here are some quick tips to turn around your culture and your customer experience:

1. Lead with empathy – We love the word empathy and for good reason. It’s all about truly caring about the feelings of another person. This is a key to sales and to good relationships with your friends and family. But are you empathizing with your employees and colleagues? This is the first step to changing your culture and building a team that can translate this to your customers.

2. Watch your mouth – Gossip is a fantastic culture killer. It’s so easy in customer service to get in this mode of customer bashing. Talking poorly about customers affects your attitude toward those customers. In the same way, talking poorly about other employees has that same effect.

3. Can do spirit – Nothing is more deflating to a customer than when they call customer service for help only to hear a “No. Sorry, I can’t help you.” In the exact same way, employees hate hearing this same line internally. When an employee comes to you with a problem, adopt a buck stops here mentality and take responsibility for the solution. Then, they get to go back to the customer with a solution rather than a sad face.

4. Lighten up – I love nothing more than a customer service professional that is personable and friendly. It’s like talking to a person instead of a robot. In the same way, it’s ok to have a little fun with your colleagues. It’s ok not to be all business all the time. Teams that laugh together stay together!

5. Seek to understand – Those difficult customers are really the true test. By seeking to understand where the customer is coming from, we set ourselves in the best possible place to work with them. The same goes for employees. Those difficult relationships are going to require extra effort and understanding. Tools that help understand the unique strengths and ability of your team are invaluable.

Great company culture doesn’t just happen and it’s not as simple as a trip to play lasertag or buying drinks after work —although those can’t hurt. To build a fantastic contact center culture, practice the customer service skills that you preach in your sales or support meetings on your most important “customers”—your employees.

If you are ready to enhance your customer experience, contact Worldwide Call Centers today at 719.368.8393 for Free Call Center Consulting Services.  We will discuss your situation and explore the Contact Center Outsourcing Options available from the US and Canada to Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America.

Improving Customer Experience

Four Keys To Improve Customer Experience

Clients are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of quality and speed of customer support. Time is limited and they can often take their business elsewhere in a heartbeat. The stakes are high for winning new customers, retaining them, and ensuring that they are happy and willing to spread the word about your services.

Succeeding in the marketplace requires listening to the voice of your customers throughout their entire journey with your business. Following are four keys that can provide the building blocks for improving your customer experience:

1)  Customer Contact Monitoring:There are a variety of channels through which a customer can contact an organization. Some customers call into a contact center while others prefer self-service through a Web site or mobile app, which then might lead to an online chat, an email request, or a call for support. It is common for a customer to use multiple channels to solve a particular need. Best practices require channels to provide consistent information regardless of what they are. For instance, in the sales process, a customer might start on the Web to do some research before making a decision to purchase via a different channel. Across all these contact points, a firm must listen to the voice of the customer to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the interaction and determine the customer’s emotional reaction to that contact. The business insights from these omnichannel contacts can provide specific, actionable ideas not only for enhancements to contact handling, but also for business process improvements and product modifications.

2) Social Media Monitoring: Organizations can’t ignore Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or other social networks. Listening to and responding on social media is an opportunity to understand the customer voice on a different level. The content shared on social media is less predictable and certainly less controllable than other customer feedback mechanisms, as it can go viral quickly. Social media is an increasingly important “voice” of customers, and requires a plan for both monitoring and responding.

3) Customer Feedback: For consumers, it is routine to receive a request for feedback subsequent to a transaction, whether it’s an airline flight, an online purchase, a call for support, or even just a Web site visit. Those detailed surveys, or more targeted satisfaction scores, provide a snapshot of customer satisfaction and/or willingness to promote you to others at that given point in time.

4) Market Research: There is unlimited news and independent third-party perspectives regarding the customer experience for any given industry, and often specific businesses within an industry. Every organization needs to monitor its brand reputation to understand how consumers perceive their business. Companies can examine their own brand perception as well as that of their competitors to update their customer service model and reflect what’s working best within a particular industry.

If you are ready to enhance your customer experience, contact Worldwide Call Centers today at 719.368.8393 to discuss your situation and explore the Contact Center Outsourcing options available from the US and Canada to Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America.