All global economies have been impacted by a non-selective economic catalyst. COVID-19 has altered consumers' behaviors within global economies. And change has been inevitable, especially for customer service.
So, you’ve completed the process of determining you need a new contact center and have the buy-in from upper management to proceed with the project. Now it is time to select a vendor to help you get there, but selecting the right one is an important decision not to be taken lightly since they are an extension of your brand. How do you find a capable partner who will keep your long-term goals in mind? After you do your initial vendor research, one of the first steps in the selection process is typically to issue a request for proposal or Contact Center RFP.
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Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of American families impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma over the last several weeks. We know that this is just the beginning of the recovery and restoration effort.
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Managing a customer call or service center is a lot about managing the numbers. Both the macro ones – how many calls, how many agents. And the micro ones - how many calls can one agent take on, how many calls can one agent take on happily.
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“You will never reach your destination if you throw stones at every dog that barks.”
"A great outsourcer should deliver positive outcomes for your KPIs. But, our experience shows there’s much more to demonstrating proof of outcomes than simply meeting KPIs."
"We’ve picked 16 of the tougher questions and ROI-proven approaches that a worthy consultant should be able to tackle."
"When your vendor is interacting directly with your customers on behalf of your company, questions you ask before hiring them need to be deeper, more pointed and increasingly challenging."
This is the week when we honor the work of our favorite super heroes. We know them by many names: professional problem solvers; queens of the queue; princes of patience; masters of making things right; bearers of the brand; champions of connection. As they answer even the most roundabout, complicated questions (or the same simple question asked 35 times each day) their legends travel far and wide, blanketing every channel.
"A strong vendor management program can properly locate & manage the right vendor partner in a crowded and chaotic competitive field."
As call center professionals moving forward into the Digital Age, we are keenly aware of the impact of automation on our industry. One of the biggest concerns we’ve heard is the effect automation may have on the labor pool. With lightning fast development in robotics process automation and machine learning, will customer service reps (CSRs) eventually become obsolete?
"For good workers to be consistently productive, a sense of worth and organizational mobility is essential."
How GCS Turned an Ailing Paratransit Call Center into a Platform for P3 Best Practices
"The best workforce optimization goes beyond the numbers & cultivates an understanding about how the numbers impact workforce management."
"Measuring the Right KPIs can Get & Keep Your Call Center Operating at a High Efficiency"
"9 Ways To Fix Your Call Center"
Hiring for Effective Customer Service in the Contact Center Good customer service begins with the people providing it. For many businesses, this means the call center employees tasked with handling daily call volumes. But recruiting and retaining the best contact center professionals can be difficult, especially with so many businesses and government agencies competing for the best workers. There are several things hiring managers are doing today that can be put to use to improve service in your organization.
It’s no secret that starting with good people makes a huge difference. Finding the best contact center staff for the job can be a big challenge. Mistakes here can really set back an operation. Defining the right skill sets to recruit will vary based on the needs of a center.
…and so do adults. Back in the 1960’s, Art Linkletter had a variety show that included interviews with children. When a child said something unexpected, Linkletter would say his then famous line – Kids say the darndest things. We’re not sure if “darndest” was or is a word, but everybody understood.
The other day, I read an article that claimed “omni-channel” is just a buzzword word that means the same thing as “multi-channel.” I couldn’t disagree more. Omni-channel contact centers represent a major step in the evolution of customer service.
Because of our background in owning and managing centers, we often get a consulting contract to help a client improve or revamp their contact center process. We’ve engaged in consulting projects all over the world. Recently we submitted a proposal for a city college system in a major metro area to help them consolidate seven centers from multiple campuses into one center.
Our clients need a hug. That’s the feeling I got at the conference in Phoenix this week. The ABIA is the industry association for insurance carriers that market through banks. Over the last two years, marketing to bank customers has gone from sky high to ground zero with almost all marketing being suspended. So, with this suspension in marketing, the conference networking was around two main subjects: a disdain for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and where we go from here. A couple of weeks ago we wrote about the CFPB and their interest in reducing fraud and deceptive marketing to bank customers. We continue to get requests from our clients to verify sales and document our procedures. To date, we can celebrate our A+, top grade response from our clients and their clients.
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You cannot do it all. In almost every client presentation we are asked to provide a service that is NOT our core competency. GCS provides outsourced teleservices for customer sales, service and support (CSSS). Oftentimes there are fringe services that bolt on to CSSS and it makes sense to subcontract those activities through us. In these cases, we take on the role of Trusted Advisor.
Minimize damage to your call center operations in the face of disaster With Hurricane Sandy on everyone's mind we would like to take a moment to provide some helpful information on disaster preparation from a contact center standpoint. Safety is everyone's first concern, both for employees and customers, and an abundance of resources exist to reference in the face of a natural disaster. See the CDC's Hurricane Readiness Tips
In his famous one-hit-wonder “Ice, Ice, Baby,” Vanilla Ice tells us to “Stop, collaborate and listen.” It’s catchy and there’s also some truth to what he’s saying. Collaboration is an important workplace practice. Whether you’re giving a supervisor your input on a new program or you’re building out a proposal for a potential new client, collaboration is key.
Afro-american businesswoman using headset in the office
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Building a Relationship to Spur Long-Term Success in Credit Card Sales Over the years, we have had the opportunity to service our clients and exceed their expectations, even beyond what they originally anticipated. One example comes from a large US bank, seeking assistance with credit card acquisition and fulfillment. Several years ago the client sought an outsource provider to help fulfill credit card acquisitions in a way both cost-effective and revenue-generating. The organization’s goal was to develop a substantial number of new client relationships using both inbound and outbound voice services.
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In our last employee survey we asked for ideas from our employees about how they increase our level of business performance in their daily routines. We got some great tips! Here they are:
Is your business thinking about outsourcing your interaction center and BPO processes? If so, you’re facing a complex set of decisions that will affect customer care and communication.
Information from Openforum.com, originally posted on June 13, 2012
How do you feel when someone says the word “telemarketing?” Most people cringe a little inside. Why? Because it sounds negative.
One might think that the world of sports has little to nothing in common with the contact center industry but that is not true.
Here are some tips in effectively engaging with potential customers in today's marketing environment. Initial dialogue and delivery techniques are crucial when engaging with a potential customer for the first time.
When you see someone visiting your site, it is human nature to question their motive: are they a client or prospect? are they an auditor? is something important happening?
Got a problem? Give Pepa a call. :) Very handsome silver toy poodle wearing headset.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” -Henry Ford
via D'Arcy Norman on Flickr
In our industry, we’re taught you should do everything you can to make sure we do everything the client wishes to treat the customer well. The same can and should be said for the way you interact with your co-workers, too.
Smart companies looking to expand into foreign markets are now considering the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model. Companies often recognize the cost-savings opportunities and/or strategic advantages of establishing an off-shore presence. However, the task of establishing that off-shore presence may seem daunting due to the numerous risks, as well as the time and effort involved.
When it comes to customer outreach, compliance is a serious matter.
Self-awareness, self-discipline and empathy are core components of what used to be called "character" but is now understood as something more--much more.
Explain to the Customer about Exemptions to the DNC
I recently read an article about Google and their roll out of contact center support of their AdWords service. The article is a reminder of how important solid customer service is and how, when done right, the experience can transform a perceived cost center into a real revenue opportunity.
Micromanaging has a negative connotation associated with it. And rightly so. No one likes to have their boss breathing down their neck, making decisions for them. All employees appreciate a certain amount of autonomy in their work. It allows for ownership of their work. It allows for a more engaged employee. Don't agree? Check out the video in this post.
When I was a cheerleader in high school and college, my coaches would always say, without fail “You never know who's watching.” Well, you never know how true this is until someone surprises you.
As part of a project for my Masters course at Gonzaga University, I recently completed an audit on GCS’ current communication plan. This audit targeted several areas of communication at GCS including internal communication at our sites, a personal interview with a veteran manager and direct observation during meetings. Although I’d love to report that GCS is perfectly capable of delivering exceptional corporate communication across all levels, like most organizations, we do have strengths AND weaknesses.
We did a webinar with the ABIA yesterday. We covered some marketing and communication tips and best practices for your agency. Here are some of the tips that were covered.
Group Training can be marginally effective but may not keep trainees engaged!
If a genius and a moron had a conversation, which one would learn the most? There is an old proverb that starts by asking “if a genius and a moron had a conversation, which one would learn the most?” The answer - “the genius” because the genius is naturally and constantly curious, while the moron is passive toward learning.