Would your outsourced call center get you convicted?

An outsourced call center should help keep you out of trouble.“Keep the customer satisfied.” It’s the mantra of every outsourced call center on the planet, or at least all the ones that truly care. We’re all out there trying to win your customer’s trust and loyalty, while also improving your company’s reputation and profitability. If we’re good — or even great — after awhile the level of service we provide will become part of your company’s image and reputation.

At that point, people would never need to ask if you had a great call center on your side; it would be immediately obvious. Our concern for your customers would be unmistakeable in every call we handled. Pride in being your voice to your customers would be visible in every report we provided you. Our commitment to quality would be undeniable. Those are the ways an outsourced call center should be.

So how amazing is your call center?

Take the test.

If poor customer service were suddenly made illegal…
would there be enough evidence to convict your company?

Imagine that.

[Read more...]

What’s the fastest way to find a great outsourced call center?

'Psychic' photo (c) 2008, Gary J. Wood - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Let’s face it. Turning over your customer service or technical support to an outside company can be scary. You really need to know that your new call center will not only treat your customers very, very well, but that they will do so in a style that reflects your own company’s way of doing things. Yes, the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the call monitoring will help ensure things proceed as they should. However, you ideally want to know that the new call center would truly care for you and your customers even if you never checked on them or followed up at all. Given how tight time and resources always are, even though finding the right call center is extremely important, sometimes you may just need to move quickly.

If that sounds like you, here are two ways to significantly increase your chances of finding a great call center, without expending any more resources than absolutely necessary: [Read more...]

3 customer service lessons to help you profit from Cyber Monday.

'Inverted keyboard' photo (c) 2009, Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Maybe you’re a big player in e-commerce and Cyber Monday in particular. You’ve put a lot of talent, strategy and money into getting in front of online shoppers, and making the most of every interaction. And maybe you’re really happy with how it’s all working for you.

Or maybe you’re not that happy. Maybe you haven’t actually put that much into it yet. And maybe you’re not even promoting Cyber Monday at all. Hey, maybe you’re still even not quite sure exactly what e-commerce means.

If you fit anywhere in that second group of maybes, Cyber Monday may not be making a lot of money for you this year, but it still presents great lessons on how to ramp up your company’s marketing successes. Here are three customer service lessons that can help you profit from Cyber Monday… and from other major promotions too: [Read more...]

Is your call center discouraging online customers from buying?

'Texting' photo (c) 2006, kamshots - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Whether it’s an outsourced call center or in-house, your customer service team is being given considerable money each month to make things happen. Among the most widely named objectives that companies name are:

  • Improve customer satisfaction.
  • Increase sales.
  • Retain customers you would otherwise lose.
  • Build a competitive advantage.
  • Improve your understanding of what your customers like and don’t like.

Those are all great objectives, and all attainable. However, as the growth in Cyber Monday shows us, more and more and more customers are shifting to online shopping, and more and more of them are moving to shopping from a mobile device. Now the entire customer service process becomes increasingly precise. [Read more...]

Thank you to our call center outsourcing clients!

'giving thanks' photo (c) 2006, Gisela Giardino - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/As an outsourced call center, we at Tacamor speak each day on behalf of our client companies. We help them care for their customers by resolving issues and correcting misunderstandings. We improve customers’ experiences, and in so doing we help companies strengthen relationships that may otherwise have been soured or lost altogether.  Our voices are our clients’s voices.

But not this time. This post is from all of us at Tacamor, to those client companies who trust us to serve on their behalf. Thank you. [Read more...]

Don’t be creative. Just say thanks!

'Thank You ' photo (c) 2009, vistamommy - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/It’s that time of the year when everyone in the United States is talking about being thankful. And sure enough, as long as you’re not a turkey, Thanksgiving is a pretty special time. Yep, there’s validity to the argument that we should be thankful every day, but still, there’s merit in making time to really think it through. So many of us do have so much for which we can be thankful.

So with that said… have you gone out of your way to really thank anyone lately? Say, in the past hour? Day? Week? Quite possibly not, if you’re like most of us. As much as we  all recognize the importance of it, we just don’t do it anywhere near often enough. Not that we don’t care. In fact, the opposite is often the problem. [Read more...]

Balancing Your Call Center KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Balance your call center KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). 'Weigh Scale' photo (c) 2009, haven't the slightest - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/Business. It’s all about managing trade-offs.  There is no single blueprint for building a successful company, and there is no such thing as a perfect way to always do anything. It’s all about recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of your company, and the opportunities and threats around it, and then making the best of all of them.

As a part of doing this, organizations use many different strategies in order to differentiate themselves from the competition:

  • Some companies focus entirely on quality, offering premium products and services at higher than normal prices.
  • Others take the opposite approach, appealing to the frugal consumer by offering very basic products or services at rock bottom prices.
  • Some companies focus on technological innovation, producing the most up-to-date, technically advanced products and services to help them stand out.
  • Others try to appeal exclusively to a very specific market segment, and offer niche products or services to generate sales.
  • Yet others attempt to do several of these things at once, and end up falling somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, either establishing a comfortable position or getting lost in the crowd.

No matter what strategy a company adopts to help them stand out, there will be unique balances that must be considered. Such trade-offs must also be taken into account when managing a call center. [Read more...]

Is your customer service team ready for Black Friday?

'Christmas shoppers in the Bullring' photo (c) 2009, Mark Hillary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Something profitable this way comes. In just a few more days, stores across the United States will officially kick off the Christmas shopping rush, as millions of people stream in through their doors looking for great deals. It will also be the start of the customer service rush, a less known but absolutely vital time for businesses as they strive to care for all those customers.

This isn’t just about being nice though or trying to appease customers when things don’t go as planned. There are some serious dollars at stake here. We’ve noted before that customer service may save $44 billion in lost sales for online retailers alone. Still, far too many companies see their customer service departments as necessary evils rather than ways to generate real profit. And an outsourced call center is still seen as a way to cut costs rather than a way to bring in skill sets that can help retain customers and take customer loyalty to a whole new level.

Is your customer service team ready for Black Friday, and the busy days to follow? [Read more...]

An outsourced call center won’t fix this!

An outsourced call center can solve many problems, but not these!Companies generally outsource their call center services in order to save money and at the same time hopefully improve the quality of their customer service or technical support. With an exceptional call center, everything should go according to plan.

However, sometimes things don’t go anywhere near the plan, even with the best call center on board. No one wins. The company feels let down. Customers don’t get the service they deserve. And the call center is unable to meet the service levels to help it build a solid reputation and bring in more clients.

Where did things fall apart? If we assume that a proper call center was indeed selected in the first place, the problem will often be rooted in either product quality, or the level of communication between the company and its call center. [Read more...]

Customer retention: the insurance industry’s great opportunity.

Customer retention is the insurance industry's great opportunity. 'Money Box on Grass' photo (c) 2011, Images Money - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Losing customers is bad. Very bad. No matter what your industry, whether B2B or B2C, local or international, work-at-home consultant or multinational conglomerate, insurance or outsurance, if you’re losing customers, you’re losing money.

The insurance industry though may have a particularly strong opportunity to retain more customers. Insurance has the most software customization of any industry (Industry Essential: the US Insurance Market, Forrester Research, 2007), and that often creates challenges that trickle back to customer service. All that customization can result in IT departments that are focused on handling coding issues rather than building better CRM capabilities that would be beneficial to customers. [Read more...]

7 reasons to outsource your call center.

'Relax' photo (c) 2010, Martha Soukup - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/An outsourced call center can bring significant savings over handling those duties in house. However, as a strategic outsourcing selection process will tell you, it is very important to know precisely what you want to accomplish by moving things outside the company.

If you’re still in the early stages of wondering whether or not you should outsource your call center, here are seven reasons outsourcing may be well worth considering: [Read more...]

Outsourced Call Center or Outsourced Contact Center?

'Coin tossing' photo (c) 2011, Gerwin Sturm - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/An outsourced call center may seem like an easy-to-understand operation — it’s a call center that gets hired to handle customer service or technical support calls in order to either reduce costs or improve the quality of service. In a few rare circumstances , it may even do both. Not exactly rocket science to figure out what a call center does.

However, as time and technology have zoomed forward, the possibilities and expectations have changed, and a number of years ago the term “contact center” started to become more popular, with good reason. Businesses were now wanting to outsource not only their calls, but their emails, Web chats, and increasingly their social media monitoring and interactions as well. Today the term “call center” no longer captures anywhere near the range of activity that an outsourcing provider can offer.

So which is the correct term? [Read more...]

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