How to build a connect with customer over phone call

Building a connect with customer over phone call is very necessary in providing a good customer service. It becomes even more significant in call centre where you are tested for it every minute. To build a good connect with the customer following things must be looked into:
1. Listen: Listen to your customer carefully and try to understand their problem that what exactly do they want. Be a good listener. Avoid assuming things.
2. Voice modulation: Customer should not feel that he/she is being ignored. For this you have to modulate your voice to show the concern that you are listening to him/her. You shouldn’t be too loud or too slow.
3. Repeat important details: Repeat the important details that customers give you about them. This will show that you are listening to them carefully.
4. Apology: When customer expresses some problem, be prepared to apologize. This is very necessary when you listening to customer grievances.
5. Be calm: Never rush out for things and listen to your customers very calmly. This calmness creates a big impact on building a good customer rapport.
6. Respectful: Show respect towards the customers even if they are irritating you. Every customers wants and deserves respect. This is by far the most important aspect of customer dealing.
7. Empathize: Empathize with your customers. Let them feel that you are with them regarding their problem.
8. Never make them wait for long: Never hold your customer for too long. This irritates them the most. Act swiftly.
9. Focus: Never divert the attention of the customers. Be focused on the issue in hand while solving it.
10. Positive: Always be positive towards the issue. This will help in easing the trouble of your customers who call you.

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Pros and Cons of outsourcing customer service/BPO

Before we come to Pros and Cons of outsourcing let’s first try to understand what actually is outsourcing? Outsourcing means sharing some of your work with the outside parties. It is mainly through separating a particular unit of the organization or hiring third party organization for that job. Now let’s look at its advantages or disadvantages.

Pros

:
1. Risk reduction: Outsourcing helps the organization in shifting responsibility towards the third party. In a customer service risk of data loss is very high which when shared with the third party is reduced to a significant extent.
2. Cost Control: The operational and recruitment costs are reduced to a large extent.
3. Focus on other issues: When customer service is outsourced the management can focus more on other major issues in hand.
4. Swiftness: The work can be carried on more swiftly when it is outsourced as expertise is present in that particular organization regarding that work.

Cons

:
1. Choice of right party: If the work is outsourced to a party which is not an expert in that particular field then it can affect the image of the organization in a big way. So the outsourcing partner should be chosen with care.
2. Sharing of confidential data: When the work is outsourced, some of the confidential data of the organization is also shared with the third party which may prove to be risky for the organization.
3. Customer focus: The customer focus of the outsourcing partner may not be that high if that particular work is carried on by the organization it-self.
4. Other issues: There are other problems concerned with outsourcing which include the lack of securing levels in the outsourcing level or untrained staff or legal costs in an agreement.

But all these cons can become pros if outsourcing partner is selected with utmost care.

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Tips to handle difficult bosses: Easy, practical & fun

“Boss is always right”
Some bosses take this phrase too seriously. Many of you would have handled or must be handling such difficult bosses at our workplace. How many of you actually thought of quitting that job? Quitting a job is not always the solution. Things may go worse at other job you take.
Let’s find out some of the tips to handle such difficult bosses:
1. Keep quiet and listen: Difficult bosses often like Yes MAN. So in front of them only this you should do is to keep quiet. Let them speak what they want to and always reply in affirmative. Let them speak as much as they want to. Be a good listener.
2. Patience: This is the most important tool to handle the difficult bosses. You have to be patient all the time. They may use harsh words, unnecessarily taunt you but then take a deep breath and calm down.
3. Crack a joke: You won’t believe it but this makes a huge difference. You can bank on my experience for this. To keep an office atmosphere healthy you need to be jolly. But take care if threes any serious issue in hand. I mean you can’t joke when your boss is making a serious presentation.
4. Talk at his back: Yes it works and works big time. Take everything out of your heart. Talk to your close friends about him at his back. This will take out your stress. You will certainly feel better. Although talking at back is not considered ethical but every one of us does this. Don’t we?
5. Quit: I am sorry if the above tips can’t help you then quit the job. You are surely at a bad place then.
Better luck next time!!!

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Top 8 Customer Service Mistakes that impact your business

It is a well known fact that customer service is of great importance and benefit for any business, company or corporate office. But sometimes the same important department becomes a source of loss for the company due to common customer service mistakes committed by it. There are some common and most important mistakes which are made by customer service relevant to any field. Have a look:

  1. Inaccessibility of the customer service in times of urgency at the customer’s end is one of the most important customer service mistakes made by a company. Even delay in responding to the queries of the customers also leads to loss of customer base.
  2. Unavailability of information required by the customer or not connecting the customers to the concerned staff in the company or organization is another common mistake.
  3. Broken or impossible promises made by the customer service leads to loss of interest and faith of the client base in the company.
  4. Not listening to the queries of the customers carefully and connecting them with inappropriate staff or such guidelines which are of no sue to the customers.
  5. Responding in a negative language or not responding to the query of the customers completely is another important mistake. It makes a negative impression on the client base.
  6. Expression of inability of the customer staff to help the concerned clients is also a mistake which may reduce customer base of the company. It also diminishes the reputation of the company in the relevant field.
  7. Poor record keeping is also one of the major mistakes of the customer service as it leads to loss of time, money and energy on the part of the customer service as well as the client.
  8. Keeping the clients waiting for a long time due to any reasons is also one of the top mistakes made by customer service. It makes customers irritated and leaves a negative impression about the company.

To ensure proper working of customer service in your organization, apt measures should be taken to avoid these mistakes.

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8 Tips for Call Center Interview

Let’s say you are looking for a job. You’ve been thinking of applying for a Call Center job. You understand the basic requirements of the job and are confident that you fit the bill. You have already sent a mail to the HR department of the company along with your resume and are expecting a call for interview. But, are you prepared for that Interview? If the answer is Yes, then congrats and best of luck. But if the answer is a No then, well… just keep reading for the call center interview tips.

Here, we have come up with 8 Tips for Call Center Interview that would come in handy.

  1. Research the Company: It would be good if you’re able to go through the company website or their brochures to know it better. It would give you an idea of company values. Know the company keywords and use them during the interview.
  2. Formal Wear: Wear something that is formal or semi-formal. It would give you a better outlook.
  3. Punctuality Counts: Reaching the venue before time is always a plus point. You would be more relaxed during the interview than when you have barely made it there drenched in sweat and odour.
  4. Patience is Virtue: The interview process may take sometime before your turn comes up. Some organizations deliberately call all candidates at the same time which results in considerable waiting period. Be calm and patient. You are expected to be fresh and active when you meet the interviewer.
  5. Watch that body language: Smile. Sit straight. Be enthusiastic. When handshaking, apply equal pressure. Keep a good eye contact. These are little things that would go a long way in making a positive impact.
  6. Be Confident: It is good to be self-assured but make sure it should not turn into over confidence. People can get easily put off by over confidence. It’s not welcomed anywhere.
  7. Never badmouth your former/present employer: You may think of your ex-employer as a devil incarnate but an interview is not the place to take out your frustrations. Even if an interviewer knows about your company through grapevine and prods you to reveal some details, politely decline.
  8. Be Honest: Never try to hide anything from the interviewer because sooner or later it would be found out. Besides, what’s the point of putting pressure on your conscience (Philosophical! I know). In the end, everyone appreciates honesty as one of the golden virtues.

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Mentor-Buddy System

What is it?

Often, we hear about the terms Buddy System or Mentor-Buddy System or simply Buddy-up. But, what do those terms mean?

As per Wikipedia, a buddy system is a procedure in which two people, called buddies, operate together as a single unit so that they are able to monitor and help each other. Within the call center industry, this system is better known as the Mentor-Buddy System.

A Mentor-Buddy system is usually the last part of process training wherein a new employee is placed as a buddy next to an experienced colleague (i.e. Mentor). The mentor guides and helps the new employee understand the dynamics of the job in an actual scenario. A Buddy would be a silent listener to the calls taken by a Mentor and would either discuss the call afterwards with him or the process trainer to understand the scenario better.

Benefits of Mentor-Buddy System

  • The new employee would get acclimatized to their new working environment faster.
  • The new employee would learn quicker, becoming more efficient on the job.
  • The initial confusion and uncertainty faced by new employees is greatly reduced.
  • Helps with bonding between co-workers.
  • It’s also a Trust building exercise.
  • Team members would take ownership of mentoring their peers, thereby, contributing towards the company/organization.

Depending upon whether you are a new employee or an experienced one, you may want to follow some norms while Mentor-Buddy system is in place.

If you are a Buddy (i.e. new employee)

  • Ask questions: There’s just one way to understand a process more effectively. Ask without fear what you don’t understand.
  • Don’t interfere too much while the Mentor is on call. That might distract them from performing properly on call. Patiently wait for the call to end to ask your questions.
  • Be friendly: More the rapport, more easily you might learn.

If you are a Mentor

  • Don’t be anxious. You need to understand that your buddy is there to learn from you, not judge you.
  • A buddy is not a burden.
  • Be accommodating. Honestly and patiently answer all the queries.
  • Ask them if they understand a procedure that you perceive difficult.

 

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Call Forecast in call center

Call forecast in a call center is simply an estimated call volume you expect to land in your call center in the future. A timely and accurate call forecast will help you hire and train correct count of manpower well in time. Generally, companies tend to forecast call volumes 3-6 months in advance. It depends upon hiring and induction time for the process.

Factors used to determine call forecast are as follows

  • Calls per subscriber trends: This is the trend of count of calls you receive in your call center over a month divided by the total subscriber base. For example, if you have 100 subscribers and you get 50 calls in a month then your Calls per Subscriber(CPS) will be 50/100= 0.5
  • Historical call arrival trends: This is the trend of calls you received in previous months or the same month the previous year. This trend depends on multiple factors like holidays, major events, extreme weather conditions etc.
  • Planned product launches: Any new product launch might lead to an increased call volume which should be forecasted.
  • Major change in product or services: A new servicing, marketing strategy might lead to an increase or decrease of call volumes. This should be factored at the time of call forecast activity.

Get your free excel template of daily performance report pre-loaded with Service level, AHT and other formulae in your mail by registering here

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Work Force Management Part 2: Calculate required manpower in a month

In this post, we will learn how to calculate required manpower you would need to hire in a given month. Accurate required manpower projection form a crucial part of Work Force Management. So, let’s get going.

Calculate required manpower in a specific month:

The parameters you will require in order to calculate this value are as follows:

  1. Forecasted Calls (FC)
  2. Average Call Handling Time (ACHT)
  3. Average Staffing Time for each executive
  4. Required Occupancy Levels
  5. Planned Shrinkage
  6. Unplanned Shrinkage

Now go through the following steps to calculate required manpower.

Step 1:
Based on your average daily call forecast, calculate required present manpower for a particular day.

Step 2:
Calculate required manpower count you require to cater to the planned and unplanned shrinkage. For example, if your daily planned shrinkage is 15% and daily unplanned shrinkage is 10% then you need to roster approximately 33% more manpower.
Why 33% and not 25%?.
We will understand this with an example
Let us suppose that my average daily required present manpower is 100 executives
With a shrinkage of 25 executives the present headcount will be 100-25= 75
To make up for this shortfall we need to roster 25 extra executives i.e. 25/75 *100= 33%

 

Keep in mind

  1. Planned Shrinkage includes weekly off and any planned leaves/attrition.
  2. Unplanned Shrinkage includes absenteeism and unplanned attrition

 

In case you want to calculate required present manpower, you may check out another one of our articles about Work Force Management.

Also, you may check the extensive definition about WorkForce Management on Wikipedia.

Get your free excel template of daily performance report pre-loaded with Service level, AHT and other formulae in your mail by registering here

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Work Force Management Part 1: Calculate required present manpower in two easy steps

Have you always thought Work Force Management (WFM) to be a complicated task? I will try and break this myth in this and subsequent posts.

Calculate required present headcount on a specific day

First thing in Work Force Management is knowing the count of executives which you need on floor on any given day. The input parameters you will require for this calculation are as follows:

Now go through the following steps to calculate the manpower:

Step1:
Calculate the call handling capacity of an executive (CHC)
CHC= (Staffing time * Occupancy%) / ACHT
For example if you have to calculate CHC of an executive with staffing time of 400 minutes/day and ACHT of 10 minutes, working at an occupancy of 80% then
CHC = (400 * 80%) / 10 = 32

So, an executive will be able to handle 32 calls in a day. Keep in mind, both Staffing Time and ACHT have to be in same time unit i.e. minutes or seconds.

Step 2:
Calculate required manpower in a day(RMP)
RMP= FC / CHC
For example if the daily forecast is 3200 calls and CHC is 32 calls then
RMP= 3200 / 32 = 100
So you will need 100 executives present to take calls to cater to this call volume.

This is a linear calculation which can be used for both inbound and outbound call centers.

 

If you are looking for way to calculate the required manpower in a month, check it up in another work force management article here.

Get your free excel template of daily performance report pre-loaded with Service level, AHT and other formulae in your mail by registering here

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Basic requirements for call center job

So you have been pondering over for some time now to go for that call center job but are not aware of the basic requirements for call center job. We have come up with a list of basic skillset that you may find handy to decide if you’re cut for the job.

Following are the 7 basic requirements for call center job that are expected of a candidate:

  1. Communication Skills: This is the first and the most important skill you will require to work and grow in a call center. Clear verbal communication skill is a must for telecalling profile. You can choose between domestic and international processes based on the languages you know. Gift of gab will go a long way in this profile.
  2. Listening skills: Another key skill required in this profile is the skill of listening. One needs to hear what a customer is saying without interrupting him/her. Understanding what is being said forms a key requirement of this job.
  3. Computer Skills: Almost all call centers use computers for Customer Relation Management applications. An executive is expected to use a computer to fetch and input relevant information using the recommended software. Although companies will train you on their customized software but one is expected to have a basic set of computer skills.
  4. Patience: This is the mantra to make a career in call center industry. You will need to interact with all kind of customers day on day. They might be polite and respectful or rude and abusive. One needs to keep his/her calm while interacting with any such customers.
  5. Multitasking: You become a master juggler once you start working in a call center. If you can manage multiple tasks at the same time then you will feel right at home in this profile. You will need to check customer details, punch in information and do a bunch of other stuff while talking to the customer, all at the same time.
  6. Flexibility of Time: Most call centers operate 24×7. As a result, the employees are expected to work in shifts. You might get a fixed or rotational shift. Even the weekly off or holiday might keep shifting.
  7. Interpersonal skills: Call center job is all about interacting with people. Not only customers but also peers, supervisors, trainers and others. Good interpersonal skills will be the key to grow in this industry.

 

You might also like

8 Tips for Call Center Interview

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