Archive for May, 2011

Maintain Highest Standards of Customer Satisfaction with Effective Listening

Verbal communication is the common style of interaction that finds importance in the call center industry. Listening is an important skill that determines the success level of customer loyalty and customer retention simultaneously. Therefore, to maintain the highest standards of customer satisfaction in an inbound call centers, it is essential to cultivate an ear that supports well listening skills. Here are some of the suggestions how a call center agent can build effective listening skills:

Focus Well – It is always advisable to the customer care executives (CCE) to concentrate on the call. Make sure that you are not distracted or disturbed by unnecessary elements surrounding your workstation. Focus on the conversation and try to have a talk that is not interrupted from your colleagues or other physical elements.

Discover Emotions – Always try to sort out the emotion behind the real motive of a call. Make out whether the discussion over the phone is appropriately matching or not.

Put Questions – Asking questions is a reliable manner to understand the requirements of the customer. Sometimes, the caller may hesitate or find to ask about a new service. In this aspect, the best way to assist your potential customer is to ask questions that will clarify the needs of both CCE and the caller.

Avoid Interruption – Customer’s train of thought should not be interrupted in the middle of any discussion. This will make your caller navigate away from the actual meaning and finish the call by describing something that is irrelevant. Let the customers finish their talk and then you merge in the discussion.

Keep Pen and Paper ready – The CCE are recommended to make a habit of keeping any writing material in order to make short quick references to any questions from the customer. The customer may also raise an issue where notification becomes mandatory. Once the call gets over, switch to the referred notes and start solving them soon.

Highlight Key Facts – Summarization of the call gives a sense of feeling to the caller that his queries have been wisely monitored and given importance. Cross-check the matter and establish that the call made a sense to both the sides.

Repeat Again & Again — Sometimes a CCE might find a difficulty in listening to the callers. Request the customers to make the necessary adjustments and ask them to spell the matter again. The request should be always made in a humble manner so that the caller should feel like repeating it for the CCE. Also make sure that your telecommunication equipment is under fine working condition.

A well-developed listening skill supports to establish an excellent relationship with potential customers which in turn benefits every person involved with the organization.


Inbound Call Centre Enhances Business Through Resolving Customer Queries

The progress of a business organization completely depends upon the consumers. Therefore, it is very important for the organizations to understand the consumer response approach and their reaction to improve their marketing strategies. Customer response happens to start when a firm starts selling their product and services and people call back to know any internal issues.

The response process can be related to multiple segments. It can be carried out in the following approaches:

* Order Fulfillment
* Query Resolution
* Product Inquiries
* Order Taking
* Response to Inquiry or Feedback
* Subscription Services
* Pre-Sales Post-Sales & Order Fulfillment
* Documentation & Payment Queries
* Post-Sales Product Support

The inbound call centers across the globe are carrying out diverse methods to cut down on the discrepancies that are associated with inbound calling services. Call center outsourcing can actually provide with a better approach to the Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The customer response therefore needs a close importance that allows to have a better relationship with the existing clients but also to set a clear road for the future. Customer response through inbound call centers has a lot of advantages and acts as a pillar for building a competition with the business competitors and provides them with regular updates about a product or service.

The main advantages of Customer response through inbound call center:

1. There is a better satisfaction, customer retention and loyalty by responding to all customers’ queries promptly and effectively. The scope to communicate positive messages become easy and allows them to resolve any matter with the help of delivering scripted messages to satisfy them.

2. It is convenient for understanding consumers and their intentions which in turn can transform the basic consumer response into important matters for product development or research methodologies. In addition, it is also useful to compile customer information to point main issues that ensures business success.

3. The support to a promotional strategy is a key advantage of customer response. As the communication is directly approached, it helps in the better understanding of the marketing messages and encourages extraordinary result for the promotional activity.

Offshore call center services that help to build a position that not only make you stand away from your competitors but also to have a deep knowledge about the present consumer trend. A better relation with consumer can be really helpful to develop your marketing goals and reach the target community effectively.

Causes of Stress and How you Can Handle a Team suffering which Stress?

Call centres are known to be high-pressure environments and stress is a common problem. However, this doesn’t mean you can turn a blind eye. Stress costs businesses millions every year. It has been identified as the most common cause of workplace absence and is therefore one of the biggest threats to productivity and profit.

As a manager you need to be aware of stress from several perspectives. These include:

1. The common causes
2. The signs and symptoms to look out for
3. What to do if you suspect a team member is stressed
4. Solutions

::::: Causes of stress :::::
There are many causes of work-based stress. In call centres the most common cause is the fact that agents are generally working in react mode – reacting to customers, targets and deadlines.

“People who are stressed at home are usually stressed at work as well.”

::::: Typical stressors are :::::
* Pressure to meet targets on call pick-up and call times
* Dealing with difficult or angry customers
* Lack of time away from the phone
* Having to keep on top of administration
* Poor team work or lack of support from colleagues
* Feeling undervalued

“We also have to remember that people bring stress into the job. People who are stressed at home are usually stressed at work as well.”

::::: Signs and symptoms to look out for :::::
Signs and symptoms fall into three main categories. Look out for behavioral signs first as these will be the most obvious to a manager.

Behaviors: Mood changes, crying, arguing, getting into a panic, working more slowly than usual, clumsiness, taking long breaks and not wanting to get back on the phone, not eating or overeating, making mistakes, forgetting facts and agreements, inability to make decisions.
Physical: Headaches, muscle tension, stomach-aches and pains, sweating, shaking, feeling sick, losing weight, appearing very tense and unable to relax shoulders, paleness, skin problems.
Cognitive: Depression, anxiety, anger, becoming obsessive about little things, worrying about everything, never seeing the positive.

::::: What to do if you suspect a team member is stressed :::::
Dealing with a stressed person must be handled sensitively and calmly. Many people are embarrassed about being stressed and may have hidden it for some time before the symptoms came to the surface.

As a manager you have to balance empathy with management. This means you have to address the stress as a business problem without the person thinking that they are the problem. This is a tough call, but don’t let the difficulty of the situation lead you into ignoring it. The only certainty then will be that the problem will get worse.

The following stress management process will help you balance sympathy and management:-

* Set up a meeting with the person in a private room
* Avoid formality. Sit next to the person and ensure there’s tea and coffee on tap
* Keep your body language open and relaxed. If the person senses tension in you, they’ll get stressed themselves
* Get straight to the point – tell the person you have noticed changes in their behaviour, which is making you think they are feeling stressed. List the behaviours
* Tell the person that you’re concerned about them and want to help
* Ask the person if they want to talk it through with you
* If they refuse – and this is rare – point out that their behaviour has changed and this is affecting others. Tell them that you’re there to help and not to judge

If the agent decides to tell you what’s wrong, then you’ll need to move into problem-solving mode, and this means using techniques to ensure you’re problem-solving while being sympathetic.

Use the following methods to get to the bottom of the problem and then solve it:-

* Use active listening – let the person talk and don’t interrupt. Show you’re listening. You’ll be surprised how people will pour out their issues
* Use open questions – how, why, when, what – as this will enable you to probe into the issue
* If the stressed person blames others, make no comment about them. This will ensure you stay objective and fair
* Ask the person to suggest solutions before you give ideas. They’re more likely to buy into their own ideas
* If the person says there is nothing they can do, challenge gently and then firmly
* If the stress is based outside the workplace, assure the person that the conversation is confidential
* If there are changes you can make to help the person then agree to these. However, don’t agree to anything that will put more stress on the rest of the team
* Agree actions at the end of the meeting and set up a follow-up meeting. This will ensure the person understands that you’re committed to helping them

On rare occasions you may be told something which really concerns you. One manager I worked with was faced with a stressed team member who confessed that she was abusing alcohol and was being bullied by another manager.

In such situations the person invariably says that they don’t want you to tell anybody and begs you to keep their confidence for fear of things getting worse. However, you must act. You have a duty of care towards the person and the business. Such behaviours are potentially harmful both to the person and the business, after all.

Tell the person firmly that, as a manager, you have to inform the business through HR and that you will do everything to ensure they’re protected as the situation is addressed.

::::: Creating solutions :::::
Having addressed the stress, you have to ensure that solutions are put in place. There is no magic formula for this, unfortunately, but the following principles should be maintained:

* Make solutions pragmatic and lasting. Short-term solutions do not work
* Create solutions that give the person a sense of control
* Follow through and ensure the person lives the solution. The best way out of stress is action
* If the issue is affecting a team, go to management with a business project to address the issue
* Ensure that your solutions don’t mean that you take on the stress

One word for the cynics out there. As managers we cannot get away from the fact that ‘stress’ has become the hot topic. All too often ‘stress’ is used as an excuse for avoiding work or avoiding feedback.

If your stress cases mysteriously increase around appraisal time, you just might be facing a clever strategy rather than stress. In such cases, address the issue as though it were real stress. However, keep HR informed of progress. In other words, grit you teeth and play professional.

Generally stress is real and it is painful. It damages the individual, the team and the business. If you watch out for it, address it quickly and deliver solutions, you can do something about it.

Author: Gwenllian Williams,

LPO and KPO in India: India Tops the KPO and LPO Outsourcing Chart

The capability of a workforce determines the future of any business establishment. Therefore, to retain that the level of workforce level, a good investment is considerably required to enhance the business operations. If the requirement is specific and organizations uses miscellaneous cost management and cost reduction techniques, it is evident that these firms are making a better investment for future. Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO in India) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO Services in India) are the two recent trends that are gaining well appreciation in diverse industrial verticals.

The concept of both these terms are little ahead than BPO Services. KPO focuses on knowledge expertise and LPO focuses on legal expertise. Primarily KPO is fully concerned to services like legal and insurance, claim processing valuation, patent filing, simple legal filings, legal publications, litigation support, legal research, investment research and more. In present generation, a great number of multinational companies across the globe are outsourcing the Indian KPOs to streamline their business requirements. The offshoring for knowledge based activities are getting in demand and have extended their reach in Education, Market Analysis, Engineering, Equity & Investment, Business Analysis, Pharmaceuticals, Multimedia, Clinical Research, Content Development, etc.

Therefore, many Indian BPOs are heading one step ahead in converting their business outsourcing needs to a slightly higher level. One of the primary reason behind this is the availability of rich expertise in domain specialization, computer skills and English proficiency. As Indian education emphasizes a lot on higher education & specialization, readymade talents are flocked in this nation. The growth of KPO in India is fueled with a great number of graduates and masters in mathematics and science.

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is the field of operation where in-house legal departments or organizations offshore their legal work from areas where the operational cost is cheap. Foreign countries are hiring professionals from India especially because India talents are always considered to be productive. The other factors why outsourcing is preferred in India:

·         Cost

·         Government Polices

·         Cutting-edge Infrastructure

·         Knowledge Expertise

The future of KPO in India has a great potential to prove its importance in the Information Technology or Information Technology Enabled Services sectors. The BPO industry is experiencing significant growth as compared to KPO or LPO. But in reality the capability of Indian market is impressive in the later two cases. The rich talent and technical expertise in various domains has forced many BPOs to convert their business process activities into legal and knowledge processes.

Author – Nick Heifield

Call Centers India (CCI) Provides Cisco Based Technology Call Center Operations

Cisco based call centerThe call center industry experiences diverse call volumes 24/7/365.

Therefore, it is essential to have an infrastructure set-up that conveys a level of communication without showing any interruption during the lively activities.

Like any other BPOs, Call Centers India (CCI) has been performing their customer support duties with the help of Cisco Systems.

Cisco is one of the recent technology that has been developed to help the organizations, giving technical support in call center industry. This technology has proved to be a great tool in minimizing the technical errors and allowing the call centers to perform the processes of technical communication with ease. There are many supporting technologies and applications that are included in the recent call centers. Some of them include Quality Monitoring, ACD, IVR, Call Routing, Web-Chat, Predictive Dialer, Work Force Management, CRM and Training and Email Management.

Call centers India(CCI) executes their array of customer support services with the help of Cisco Intelligent Contact Management (ICM) software. This software has the ability to transform a conventional call center enterprise into a multimedia contact center. The introduction of these technologies has been pro-actively managing CRM tactics for productive results. In addition, it is also a great support for the call centers to automate processes across their disparate systems and thus reducing the need for manual decision making.

The latest in CCI is the Cisco IPCC which is an automatic call distributor (ACD) alternative that is based on Cisco Architecture for Voice, Video, and Integrated Data (AVVID). This technology provides intellectual call routing, interactive voice response (IVR) integration, network-to-desktop computer telephony integration (CTI), real-time and historical reporting, and multimedia contact management to call center executives over an IP network. In addition, it also enables a faster development of customer care centers into multimedia centers with diverse database for future.

The Cisco IPCC merges well with legacy call center platforms and networks. It enables a call center to precede with the investment systems that allow a better level of migration to an IP infrastructure. This technology is purely developed for accomplishing in mono-site and multi-site call centers. PRISM is one of the Application Integration and Development Suite that is specifically designed for the non-technical business user. This technology enables to shape the interfaces of a common contact center and assists to build dashboards, reports or applications that are commonly operated in the systems.

PRISM allows creating a completely customized view of IPCC and related application data without writing a single line of code. Moreover, the user can replaces diverse data view from multiple applications with one consolidated view. The software has also the potential to display real-time schedule adherence and real-time floor-plan animation by coupling workforce management and IPCC real-time CTI data. Last but not the least, this Cisco blessing also enhance Integration Architecture and effectively publish the reports to the web.

In a nutshell, we can conclude by saying that this technology has been acting as an extensive support for CCI in rendering their call center activities with full efficacy and quality. Cisco has been continually upgrading their technology to minimize the drawbacks and using the time in the ethical call center services.

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May 2011
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