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9 Top Ireland SIP Trunk Providers

Top 9 Ireland SIP trunk providers in 2022.

SIP trunking delivers cloud communication capabilities and improved functionality to your existing phone system in an affordable and easy-to-use way. And with the right provider, you can even boost the …Read More »

How to Create an After-hours Phone Service

How to create an after-hours phone service.

With the growing demand for follow-the-sun service, more and more businesses are looking for a way to boost their accessibility. Establishing an after-hours phone service is a great way for …Read More »

20 Best Auto-Attendant Scripts for Your Business

20 of the best auto-attendant scripts for your business in 2022.

An auto-attendant streamlines your inbound call management by automatically answering calls, greeting callers, and routing them to the appropriate destination. This feature is also known as a cloud attendant, digital …Read More »

How to Prevent Phone Numbers from Being Marked as Spam?

How to prevent phone numbers from being blocked or marked as spam, scam likely, etc.

Are your teams placing a high volume of calls to customers and prospects? Have your response rates dropped? There’s a chance that your business phone number has been flagged. If …Read More »

How to Set Up an Auto-Attendant?

How to set up an auto-attendant

Need a cost-effective way to manage your inbound call flow and fluctuating call volumes? Simply, set up an auto-attendant to effectively manage incoming calls. In this article, we’ll walk you …Read More »

What’s the Difference Between Cold vs Warm Transfer?

Warm (attended) versus cold (blind) call transfers.

Call transfer is a cloud telephony feature that lets you place a call on hold and immediately transfer it to another department, agent, or call center. In other words, you …Read More »

6 Ways to Automate Customer Service in 2023

Automating business processing is the best thing that has happened to companies struggling with completing projects and conducting professional customer service. Use virtual communication tools to automate customer service in 2023 and create a stronger, more reliable business communication system.

What is Customer Service Automation?

Customer service automation or automated customer support is the process of automating your customer service efforts with the use of technology and software. It means using automation to reduce the need for employee or agent involvement to complete simple, mundane tasks when offering assistance and support to customers.

Now, this does not mean that you won’t need any employees at all. Customer service automation isn’t necessarily a robots-taking-our-jobs situation. The only aspects of customer service to automate are the simple, repetitive tasks that take up agent time. Time which can be spent better helping a customer.

Why You Should Automate Customer Service in 2023

But how can your business benefit from customer service automation? The goal is to streamline processes and improve the quality of support your business offers. The reason to automate customer service in 2023 is to ensure that:

  • Customers reach the right department or employee
  • Calls are routed effectively so no calls are missed
  • Customers have multiple ways of connecting with your business (email, live chat, chatbots, trouble tickets, voicemail, etc.)
  • And that customers receive assistance and responses even when employees are busy

How to Implement Customer Service Automation?

By automating your support channels, agents and employees are better prepared and freed to assist callers. Let’s look at the best customer service tips for using automation to boost the way your business interacts with its customers:

1. Call Forwarding & Routing Strategies

For businesses with multiple departments and offices spread geographically, it can be hard to ensure callers reach the right department or employee immediately. And the last thing you want is for a customer to be bounced from one user to the next. With call forwarding, you can automate calls to route directly to the right department based on a variety of rules you set. So, how can you use call forwarding for phone system automation?

Time-based routing routes calls based on the time of the call. This ensures that when one of your offices closes for the day, calls are routed to another satellite office or your outsourcing company to maintain continuity.

Location-based routing forwards calls based on the location of the caller. Multinational and international companies find this feature most useful. They call route calls from their main location to offices in various locations or remote agents based on where the caller is situated. This ensures the caller receives assistance in their language and time zone.

Skill-based routing forwards calls based on the skill needed by the caller. By utilizing an interactive voice response (IVR), the caller can specify their preference such as a specific language or department required. The call then automatically routes to the agent with the aforementioned skill.

Call forwarding enables better call management ensuring that callers reach the right destination and get assistance efficiently. Good call management results in good first call resolution rates.

2. Simultaneous Ringing

Another form of call forwarding is Simultaneous Ringing which enables incoming calls to ring multiple phones with one number. This means that an incoming call is forwarded to every sales or customer service member in your entire office (satellite offices and remote agents included). This ensures that during a period of high call traffic, whichever employee is next available can answer the call quickly.

You can create a ring group to include different departments such as your main office’s customer support team, remote workers, and your BPO. You can adjust this ring group from time to time to add or remove users as needed. When you automate customer service this way, you ensure that there is always someone to answer the phone and assist a customer.

3. Automated Communications

Next, you may consider using other automated communication tools such as cloud IVR and chatbots. These automation tools can provide customer support and assistance even when employees are not on duty (i.e., off-hours or the weekend).

Cloud IVR provides a caller with menu options such as “Press 1 for ___, Press 2 for ___.” Then, depending on the caller’s requirement, the IVR offers more options or assistance. Most cloud IVR systems are able to help with simple tasks that don’t require the help of an agent. The same goes for chatbots available on your website’s ‘Chat with Us’ option. Chatbots also provide customer support by assisting web visitors in basic tasks. These tasks include:

  • Identifying or verifying the user or the account
  • Activating an account
  • Providing balance information (remaining balance and when it is due)
  • Processing payments
  • Renewing subscriptions
  • Sending the call to voicemail
  • Creating an issue or case ID and registering it within the system for the next available agent to view
  • Offering company information or product/service description

As such, you can use IVR and chatbot automation to offer customer support when agents are busy or off-duty. This way, users and interested customers continue to receive help during the times most convenient for them.

4. Voicemail and Fax to Email

Additional aspects of customer service are voicemail and faxing. Virtual phone service providers, like Global Call Forwarding, offer the ability to forward incoming voicemails and faxed documents to registered email addresses. For voicemail, this is called Voicemail to Email or Virtual Voicemail. For fax, this is called Fax to Email, eFax, or Fax over IP.

By receiving voicemails and fax documents in your inbox, users can remain in the know even when they are not in the office. They can hear the voicemail in the email attachment and determine the urgency of the call. Store these voicemails in the cloud for future reference. Additionally, store important fax documents forwarded to one’s email in a secure platform in the cloud. By doing so, users have better access to important business documents and can respond effectively.

5. Automated Email & SMS Responses

Another way to automate customer service is through automated responses. Using advanced email and SMS features, you can set up auto-replies or autoresponders when users sign up via your website or submit a query via email or SMS. These auto-replies can simply state that they received the customer’s email or provide them with a case ID for their issue or concern as well as a timeline for when to expect a response. This helps customers know that their query and email have been registered and they can expect a response soon.

6. Self-Service Portals and Knowledge Bases

Finally, help your customers help themselves by offering self-service portals and support knowledge bases. Your self-service portal can help them submit queries, request renewals or refills, make payments, and so on. This way, they do not need to call or email your business and wait in line. A knowledge base, on the other hand, provides informative content and guides relating to the products and services your business offers.

You can provide product descriptions, define the purpose of the products, or offer step-by-step guides on how to use the product or use your service, and so on. This reduces the number of calls received by customer service regarding product usage.

Take Steps to Automate Customer Service Now

More and more businesses are choosing customer service automation tools and services to improve the level and quality of support they provide. If you think your business can benefit from automating your customer service, then now is the time to start. Many businesses are facing a high volume of customer calls and emails regarding their products since the pandemic. This is due to shoppers moving online for their purchases. And so, your business must prepare to handle incoming calls effectively to offer excellent customer service. Try implementing the above automation services and tools and get ahead of the game as we move into 2023.

6 Ways Customer Service Expectations Have Changed for 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way companies conduct business as well as the way customers interact and purchase from these companies. As such, customer service expectations have changed for 2023 with more customers expecting high-quality support, personalized care, multiple communication channels, and more.

Customer Service Expectations in 2023

Customers switched to online shopping in 2020. However, this is not limited to just purchasing but also in terms of having conversations with businesses through video conferencing and emails. Many businesses had to transform their sales pitches and customer support to fit video screens, social media posts, and email marketing. And these businesses had to try harder to improve overall customer experience: from finding the business website online to offering easy customer support options.

So, how have customer service expectations changed since 2020, and what are the most common customer service expectations in 2023? Let’s have a look.

1. Offer Higher-Quality Support

The pandemic led to businesses and their customer support teams finding new ways to connect with customers. However, customer service expectations rose to new heights. According to a 2020 Hiver survey focused on customer support expectations in 2020, 80% of consumers expect better and more empathetic support.

More and more customers are shopping online and expect to continue to do so. This means businesses need to develop their websites and e-commerce platforms to prepare for higher volumes of online traffic and movement. Customers will expect quick responses, easy navigation, and high-quality products. Some ways to improve your customer service include:

  • Updating website content to be more relevant and informative.
  • Create mobile-friendly webpages that load quickly.
  • Convenient online purchasing and order-placing abilities.
  • Better business phone system with advanced features such as call forwarding, routing, cloud IVR systems, call recording, and so on. These features can help with better call management and improve quality assurance.
  • Offering multiple channels of communication such as live chat, email, video conferencing, etc. You may even consider a chatbot for common FAQs and troubleshooting where customers don’t need to get in touch with a rep.

2. More Personalized Care

Customers are also looking for personalized care. Here is where a customer-centric strategy comes into place. Customer experience (CX) is highly significant with respect to business growth. If your customers are unhappy and don’t feel valued, they won’t hesitate to leave.

Personalization or customization means tailoring customer experiences to make them more relevant and useful to their particular situations. This means:

  • Paying attention to their profile and their past purchases and interactions
  • Offering recommendations based on past purchases
  • Understanding their needs and goals
  • Visualizing their goals through customer journey mapping
  • Offering customized solutions

Improving customer service and providing personalized care is as simple as knowing your customer and understanding what they need. Then, making your products and their interaction with it more relevant and personal.

3. More Modes of Contact

Since in-person contact was reduced during the pandemic, businesses had to get creative and find new ways to stay connected with their customers. For many businesses, this meant:

  • Updating website content
  • Creating support and knowledge bases for self-support
  • Staying active on email, chat, and social media channels
  • Considering automation tools such as chatbots and automated IVR phone systems

And so, customers expect to contact a business through the channel they prefer. The Hiver survey suggests that:
Gen Z customers and millennials prefer email and chat options more than phone conversations.
Baby boomer customers prefer phone conversations over others.

If your business supports all generations of customers, then you need to cater to their preferences and behaviors.

customer service

4. Focus on Empathy

According to a survey conducted by Hiver, 34% of customers state that customer support needs to be more responsive and empathetic. And this does not mean during the pandemic exclusively. Customers expect more empathetic and quick responses as everyone is dealing with a global issue. In fact, research has found that millennials and Gen Z customers are more likely to connect with businesses that offer empathic support.

So what does a more empathetic customer service approach look like? Here are a few examples:

  • Try to see the problem from their perspective.
  • Allow them to express themselves and their concerns and frustrations without interrupting.
  • Pay attention to your own biases and actively work on them.
  • Maintain positivity.
  • Respect your customer and don’t treat them like another number.
  • Gather and learn from feedback (peers, customers, mentors).

Striving to be more empathetic in your customer interactions can help you develop strong relationships and find better ways to help them. This, in turn, leads to greater customer satisfaction.

5. Pay Attention and Understand Them Better

Similar to the need for empathy, customers expect to be paid attention to, listened to, and cared for. Customers know what all businesses do to track their preferences and capitalize on them — such as targeted ads, personal recommendations, and so on. As such, they expect that businesses have the information to know what they like, prefer, and need. And so, when businesses don’t, customers are typically left disappointed and frustrated.

So, what can you do to work better with your customer? Listen to them carefully and do not make their issue seem small or irrelevant. The Hiver survey found out that 23% of customers will claim good customer support if they don’t have to explain their issue over and over again. Don’t make them repeat their concerns and issues or transfer them to multiple reps and employees.

Paying attention to them and repeating their concerns to confirm them can go a long way in reducing customers’ frustrations and increasing appreciation.

6. Be Clear and Follow-Up

Lastly, be clear in your communication and avoid vague and confusing phrases. Customers appreciate clear communication without any hidden agendas. This is one of the top customer service expectations. They expect honesty and clarity. If, as a customer service rep, you do not know the answer to a query, tell them that you will follow-up. And make sure you follow-up soon.

Meet Customer Service Expectations with Virtual Communication

We, at Global Call Forwarding, can get you set up with a robust virtual phone system that can help you become more accessible to customers, no matter the location. Call us today at 1 (888) 908 6171 to find out more about international call forwarding and other communication tools.

Top UK Virtual Number Providers in 2023

Need UK virtual numbers to support your business plans to expand to the UK? We’ve got you covered. Here are the top providers for UK virtual numbers along with information about the types of numbers, their costs, and included features.

Types of UK Virtual Numbers

Before we discuss different UK virtual number providers, we first need to look at the different types of UK virtual numbers that exist.

Toll free numbers (0800 and 0808):
UK 0800 and 0808 numbers are business phone numbers that are free for customers to call. Instead of the caller, the receiver is charged for calls made to these numbers. Individuals and businesses located anywhere within the UK can reach these numbers and call them for free.

National numbers:
UK national numbers are not geographically spread across the UK. They are national phone numbers that are charged normal local calling rates.

Geographic numbers:
Local UK numbers, on the other hand, are business numbers with specific area codes for UK cities — such as Cambridge, Glasgow, London, etc. Calls made to these numbers incur local calling rates.

Mobile numbers:
UK mobile numbers are telephone numbers that are capable of receiving instant text messages (SMS)

Now that we have listed the different types of UK virtual numbers available, let’s look at the top providers and what they offer.

1. Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding was launched in 2007 and since then it has become the world’s leading outlet for business toll free and local numbers. Currently, it supplies businesses spread across the globe with virtual phone numbers (from more than 160 countries), VoIP and SIP technology, as well as diverse communication features.

Types of virtual numbers offered: Global Call Forwarding offers:

  • UK toll free numbers as well as mobile-accessible and SMS optional numbers
  • UK geographic numbers (SMS optional)
  • UK national numbers
  • UK mobile numbers
  • Universal toll free numbers (UIFN)

Virtual number plans: Global Call Forwarding’s UK virtual business number plans start at $12.95/month (£9.90) and go up to $628.95/month (£480.62).

Features included:

  • Hosted call recording software
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Advanced cloud IVR
  • Call forwarding options:
  • Voicemail to email
  • SMS to email
  • Outbound calling (dynamic caller ID)
  • Call transfer

2. United World Telecom

United World Telecom has been in the telecommunications industry since 1996. The company offers virtual business numbers and international call forwarding for more than 160 countries across the world.

Types of virtual numbers offered: United World Telecom provides:

  • UK toll free numbers as well as mobile-accessible and SMS optional numbers
  • UK local numbers (SMS optional)
  • UK national numbers (330, 345, 843, 845, 860)
  • UK mobile numbers
  • Universal toll free numbers (UIFN)

Virtual number plans: United World Telecom’s UK virtual number plans range from $12.95/month (£9.90) to $628.95/month (£480.62).

Features included:

  • Hosted call recording software
  • Outbound calling (dynamic caller ID)
  • Extensions for different departments
  • DID numbers for individuals and teams
  • Cloud IVR
  • Call forwarding options
  • Call transfer
  • Voicemail and SMS to email

3. Vodafone UK

Founded in 1980, Vodafone UK has been serving the UK with telephone (landline and mobile) solutions for personal and business use.

Types of virtual numbers offered:

Virtual number plans: Vodafone UK offers two phone number plans: £14/month and £17.99/month.

Features included:

  • SIP trunking
  • PBX for business
  • IVR system
  • Call queueing
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail
  • Regular call rates

4. VirtualPhone.com

VirtualPhone.com helps businesses develop better communications through their virtual phone systems. They offer comprehensive features, monthly calling minutes, and more, for businesses to operate with ease from any location.

Types of virtual numbers offered: VirtualPhone.com offers:

  • UK toll free numbers (0800 and 0808)
  • UK national numbers
  • UK mobile numbers
  • UK geographic numbers

Virtual number plans: VirtualPhone.com’s UK virtual phone number plans start at $9/month (£6.88) and go up to $399/month (£304.90).

Features included:

  • Softphone
  • Call forwarding
  • IVR
  • SMS
  • Live chat
  • Call recording
  • Call scheduling
  • Voicemail & fax

5. Telecoms World

Telecoms World is a provider specifically for the UK. They offer local UK numbers for over 520 areas within the UK.

Types of virtual numbers offered: Telecoms World provides

  • UK freephone numbers
  • UK national numbers
  • Charity numbers
  • Rebate numbers

Virtual number plans: Telecoms World’s virtual phone numbers plans begin at $6.53/month (£4.99) and go up to $26.16/month (£19.99).

Features included:

  • Working from home solutions
  • Call routing
  • Call queuing
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Call analytics
  • Call recording
  • Callback service
  • Conference calls

Get UK Virtual Numbers Today

Here at Global Call Forwarding, we can help you get UK virtual numbers for business with quick installation and fast activation. Sign up on our website today or call us to get started!

NANP: The North American Numbering Plan Explained

Need to get a phone number within the NANP plan but don’t know anything about the plan? Here is everything you need to know about the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), dialing codes, phone number formats, and more.

What is the North American Numbering Plan (NANP)?

The North American Numbering Plan — also known as the NANP — is a telephone numbering plan that serves 20 North American countries (listed below). The NANP region mainly covers the US and its territories, Canada, and some Caribbean countries.

The participating countries share numbering resources among themselves. The NANP was developed in 1947 by AT&T and implemented in 1951. The purpose was to simplify and facilitate easy direct international calling.

Format of NANP Phone Numbers

NANP phone numbers are assigned the country code (1) by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). NANP numbers are ten-digits long. This includes a three-digit Numbering Plan Area (NPA) code — an area code followed by a seven-digit local number or subscriber number. The format is usually represented as: +1 NXX-NXX-XXXX.

Which Countries are Included in the NANP?

  • Anguilla: 264
  • Antigua & Barbuda: 268
  • Bahamas (the): 242
  • Barbados: 246
  • Bermuda: 441
  • British Virgin Islands (the): 284
  • Canada: multiple local area codes
  • Cayman Islands (the): 345
  • Dominica: 767
  • Dominican Republic (the): 809/829/849
  • Grenada: 473
  • Jamaica: 876/658
  • Montserrat: 664
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis: 869
  • Saint Lucia: 758
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: 784
  • Sint Maarten: 721
  • Trinidad and Tobago: 868
  • Turks & Caicos: 649
  • United States of America: multiple local area codes
  • US Territories:
  • American Samoa: 684
  • Guam: 671
  • Northern Mariana Islands: 670
  • Puerto Rico: 787/939
  • US Virgin Islands: 340

Additional Facts about the North American Numbering Plan

Dialing between two NANP countries is quick and easy. Users simply dial the country dialing code, followed by the NPA area code, and a 7-digit local number. For example, when calling from the US to Barbados, users will dial +1 (246) xxx-xxxx.

Even though all numbers within the NANP share the same numbering plan and resources, calls made between NANP countries are not considered domestic calls. They are considered international calls and are charged international or long-distance calling rates. Fortunately, these rates are not much higher than domestic rates.

To call a NANP country from outside the NAN plan, users need to dial their exit codes, trunk prefix (1), and the national subscriber number (NSN). The format is:
(exit code) 1 (area code) xxx-xxxx.

For example, someone calling a Canada number from France would dial the exit code (00), trunk prefix (1), Jamaica’s area code (876), and the subscriber number (xxx-xxxx):
00 1 876 xxx-xxxx.

Learn More About NANP

You can learn more about the North American Numbering Plans by visiting our homepage. We provide international phone numbers from countries participating within the North American Numbering Plan. Find your new NANP phone number or buy a USA phone number by browsing through our website or receive assistance by contacting our sales team.

Your Complete Guide to Call Center Offshoring & BPO

What are the advantages of outsourcing your communication needs? Do the advantages outweigh the cons? Learn everything you need to know about call center offshoring & BPO services.

Call Center Offshoring & BPO Explained

Businesses can save money by outsourcing their business processes to an offshore call center. Call center offshoring — also known as call center outsourcing and business process outsourcing (BPO) — can help you delegate certain sales and customer service duties.

Why Do Businesses Outsource Processes?

From large enterprises to small businesses, companies across the board have outsourced (some, if not all) of their services to BPOs. And the main reason for this is to reduce costs. With call center outsourcing, you send out customer service and sales processes, which gives your business more time to focus on developing customer-focused products and services. So, not only do you save on the cost of running a sales and customer service department, you make more space for business development.

How Does an Offshore Call Center Work?

An offshore call center takes on some business processes such as customer service, lead generation, technical support, and human resource management. As such, they work to bring on new clients and retain existing ones.

These call centers are well-equipped to handle customer inquiries and concerns. And they have the most advanced software and tools that support call management, performance monitoring, data security, and more.

What Services Does a Call Center BPO Offer?

Businesses in almost every industry are outsourcing various processes to offshore call centers. These industries include business services, healthcare, retail, e-commerce, telecom, banking, and more. The plethora of services covered by offshore call centers has, in fact, led to subspecialties such as:

  • Customer service & lead generation — Which focuses primarily on generating sales for a business and offering customer support services. As part of the lead generation process, agents contact prospects and leads on a predetermined list provided by the business. Some call center outsourcing services may even help with the creation of lead lists through market research. As part of the customer support service, agents answer calls made to business clients and offer troubleshooting help, resolutions, and more.
  • Customer interaction — Oversees a company’s communication channels such as email, phone conversations, voicemail, and social media; appointment-setting and scheduling services; marketing and telemarketing services; order and payment processing; customer support and customer success; customer feedback, and more.
  • Travel & tourism — Focuses on offering support and itinerary-planning services to travelers. Works with local and international tourism companies for deals and promotions.
  • Financial services — Focuses on finance and banking-related services such as payment processing; activation of services; collection; billing and counting services; general accounting, auditing, and more.
  • IT and software-focused — Offers technical support; technology-related troubleshooting; offshore software product development; implementation services; IT helpdesk, and more.
  • Virtual assistants — Acts as a cost-effective resource to help you grow your business, by managing incoming calls and providing customer support.

Pros & Cons of Call Center Offshoring

So, should your business take advantage of call center offshoring & BPO services? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of using an outsourcing service.

Pros of Using a Call Center BPO

1. Lower communication-related costs

Sending your business processes offshore can help reduce or eliminate costs related to business communication or running a call center. Since you do not need a comprehensive team of sales agents and customer service reps and managers, you can save on hiring costs as well.

2. Lower staffing issues

Your BPO will be responsible for hiring, training, and managing agents and reps. You won’t have to worry about conducting performance analysis or scheduling agents, or managing call center agents. This can save you time and money.

3. Better call management

Offshore call centers come equipped with advanced call center software and tools. This ranges from call management features to call recording and analytics. With these services, you can often get better customer support and learn how to appease customers better. Additionally, you can handle high call volumes or high periods of call traffic by outsourcing to your call center BPO from time to time.

4. Better business continuity

Virtual call centers can have multiple geographic locations spread across the globe. This can help your business offer 24/7 customer support in regional languages and time zones.

Cons of Call Center Offshoring & BPO

1. Lack of company knowledge

When you outsource business needs, not every agent may be thoroughly schooled in your company’s mission, values, and product education. As such, they may not be able to provide the level or standard of service your business promises.

2. Less control over business functions

When outsourcing, you give control of basic and core services to agents and employees you have not worked with. Additionally, it may be hard to track and monitor each agent representing your business for quality assurance.

3. Decreased customer satisfaction

Usually, agents and reps from a call center BPO don’t offer the same personalized service as your business would. Customers realizing this may be less satisfied with the service they have received and may seek better service elsewhere.

Choosing Between BPO and KPO

The terms BPO and KPOs are often used interchangeably. However, these two types of outsourcing services differ in a variety of ways. In this section, we will discuss Knowledge Process Outsourcing services (KPOs) and the differences between KPOs and BPOs.

KPO: Definition and Types

What is a KPO? Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) is the outsourcing of information-related processes. KPOs are considered an extension of BPOs and require more complex skills outsourcing business processes. Knowledge process outsourcing services include specialized expertise and advanced technical skills. Common types of KPOs include:

  • Market Research
  • Business Research
  • Legal Services
  • Medical Services
  • Accounting & Financial Consulting
  • R&D
  • Content Development & Design
  • Data Analysis
  • Corporate Training
  • Education and Learning Solutions

Benefits of KPOs

A company may choose to use a KPO to handle high-level, complex tasks instead of hiring in-house employees to handle those tasks. KPOs are built to handle such tasks and provide expertise, making them a reliable source. Here are the benefits of using knowledge process outsourcing services:

1. Cost-effective & scalable

KPOs can help your business reduce costs in a number of ways. Get access to expert services at reasonable rates while increasing profits. Cut down on infrastructure and operating costs, and increase or reduce staff as needed. Overall, using KPOs make for a cost-effective solution.

2. Access to experienced professionals

Your business does not have to take on hiring and training experts for different internal functions. Instead, you can spend time focusing on core services like product development and sales while outsourcing other services to a KPO. This also helps reduce the cost of recruiting and training new employees.

3. Low asset & equipment investment

When outsourcing services to a KPO, you can save on office space and equipment costs. No need for extra hardware or high investment in real estate and tech equipment.

4. Better use of resources

Additionally, you can utilize your own resources in other activities or processes when you outsource certain services. For instance, you may invest in workflow automation to support your employees’ productivity and efficiency, or chatbot services to boost your customer service efforts.

BPO vs. KPO

So, what is the difference between BPO and KPO? Here are some key differences:

Skills needed: BPOs are less complex and require low-level skills, while KPOs are more complex and need analytic and technical skills.

Level of expertise needed: Employees working at a business process outsourcing service need basic professional expertise, while those at a knowledge process outsourcing service need advanced and specialized expertise.

Types of tasks: BPOs focus on administrative tasks while KPOs focus on analytic and more complex tasks.

Offerings: BPOs are all about efficiency and streamlining processes; based on a set process and rules. KPOs provide professional expertise and knowledge.

Day-to-day: Call center BPO employees may have a standard, monotonous routine designed to reach targets. KPO employees, on the other hand, offer specialized insights (such as forecasts) and may work directly with the client.

Related: Call Center Trends [2021]

Is Call Center Offshoring Right for You?

Depending on the size and needs of your business, a combination of onshore call center and offshore call center services may be a better choice. This way, you still have control over your own call center. Additionally, you can take advantage of virtual call center software to utilize the same tools and features that call centers use. And you will have the backup support of offshore centers as well. To learn more, speak with our experts at 1 (888) 908 6171.

What Is a Chief Customer Officer and What Do They Do?

Looking for your next job in customer service management? A Chief Customer Officer (CCO) might be your calling. In this post, we look at what a CCO does and how to become one successfully.

Chief Customer Officer (CCO): Job Description

A Chief Customer Officer, also known as a Chief Client Officer, is the executive responsible for an organization’s relationships with their customers. The CCO is responsible mainly for developing and implementing a customer-first strategy for the business they work for.

This means that CCOs influence various departments within the business such as:

  • Customer Success
  • Customer Service
  • Technical Support
  • Customer Marketing

The main goal of a Chief Customer Officer is to increase customer satisfaction and lifetime value. To do so, a CCO should have on-field experience as well as practical and technical knowledge of how things work in their industry. A CCO is usually responsible for five key metrics:

  1. Revenue Retention — calculated by subtracting lost revenue, known as revenue churn, from total revenue in a certain time period.
  2. Customer Lifetime Value – the revenue that a business can expect from a single customer account.
  3. Customer Health Score – a high score indicates that a positive outcome is likely.
  4. Net Promoter Score – the percentage of customers that are likely to recommend your company.
  5. Renewal Rate – the percentage of revenue that was renewed in a certain time period.

What do CCOs Do?

Since the end goal is to improve customer success, a Chief Customer Officer might dabble in many aspects of a business’s functions. These may include:

  • Working with developers to create new products
  • Managing customer-facing employees
  • Overseeing customer marketing efforts
  • Encouraging customer service and customer success managers
  • Working closely with customer service reps

Chief customer officer organizational structure

Chief Customer Officer vs Chief Commercial Officer

There are differences between Chief Client Officers and Chief Commercial Officers. The first major difference is that Chief Commercial Officers are in charge of the entire customer-facing operation. This includes marketing, sales, customer success, and technical support. Chief Customer Officers, on the other hand, deal solely with existing customers. This includes customer success and support.

Another major difference between Customer Officers and Commercial Officers is related to the size of an organization. Chief Commercial Officers exist primarily in larger B2B organizations. On the contrary, organizations of all sizes and types are likely to have Customer Officers. So, the two roles are quite different.

Organizational Structure

In most organizations, Chief Client Officers are part of the c-suite. This means that they report directly to the CEO. In other organizations, the Chief Client Officer reports to the Chief Customer Officer, who reports to the CEO. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to customer management.

Objectives of a Chief Customer Officer

Since Chief Customer Officers work closely with all departments of a business, they need to establish clear targets and standards to achieve their goals. Some targets a CCO should aspire to include:

1. Setting Clear and Practical Goals
Unclear or unrealistic goals will lead to high expectations and low results. It is therefore important to set practical goals and ensure your teams understand what these goals are and how to achieve them. You may even choose to work with them closely and outline successful strategies they can adopt to reach their goals.

2. Encourage and Motivate Teams
Instead of ruling with fear, it is advisable to use positive reinforcement and incentives to encourage and motivate your teams. A team fearful of failing and struggling to approach its superiors for help will not lead to good results. Provide training, educational materials, workshops, and make yourself reachable and approachable.

3. Be Aware and Present
Show up. If you are not present and there for your employees, you will not be aware of their challenges, what they are struggling with, or what is happening in your company. And without this information, you won’t be able to create a healthy and supportive working atmosphere. A healthy and supportive workforce leads to happier customers.

4. Focus on Financial Targets
Lastly, focus on achieving financial targets such as the Gross Retention Number, Net Retention Number, and Services Gross Margin.

How to Become a Chief Customer Officer

As with every job, becoming a CCO means getting your priorities right and fitting the bill. Here are some things to keep in mind when developing your profile:

  1. Be customer-centric and customer-focused
  2. Position yourself to work with front-line teams
  3. Collaborate with teams as often as possible
  4. Place importance on customer feedback
  5. Demonstrate effective conflict resolution skills

There are many job boards where you can apply to become a Chief Customer Officer: Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor are among the most popular.

The Career Path of a Chief Customer Officer

The career progression of a chief customer officer involves a number of customer-facing roles. These roles can include being a customer support representative, a customer success manager, VP of support, and much more. However, some CCOs will assume the role without prior customer-facing experience, but with extensive business experience.

What is the Salary of a Chief Client Officer?

According to Salary.com, the average salary of a chief client officer or chief customer officer in 2021 ranges from $193,000 to $275,000. The job is well paid due to its importance.

CCOs Lead to Good Customer Management

The main goal of a Chief Customer Officer is to improve the way a business interacts with its customers. This ranges from product development to marketing to customer success strategies. If being a CCO is your calling, then it may be time to get the wheels moving in that direction and develop a strong foundation. Good luck!

14 Reasons to Choose Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding is a leading provider of telecommunications solutions for global businesses of all sizes.

Why should you choose us for your communication needs? Read on to learn more.

14 Reasons Global Call Forwarding is Right for Your Business

There are a number of factors that you need to consider when evaluating a business phone service. Here are 14 reasons why Global Call Forwarding is the best provider:

1. Proven Telecom Experience

United World Telecom (UWT) was founded in 1996. Global Call Forwarding was launched as a UWT brand in 2007.

We have more than 20 years of proven telecom experience and some of the most knowledgeable experts in this industry.

Our experience helps us provide solutions to companies’ biggest telecom challenges. More than 2,000 multinational organizations depend on our high-availability telecom network that has multiple layers of redundancy.

Related: Global Call Forwarding Crunchbase

2. Competitive Pricing

Our pricing is straightforward without any hidden fees. We strive to bring you best-in-class solutions and service at competitive rates. Our numbers come loaded with advanced features that are included with the service.

We have 5 virtual number plans with included minutes and an additional per-minute rate. All taxes and other fees are included in the monthly rates that you see.

We also provide itemized invoices and full call detail records. Everything on your invoice will be clearly detailed. We’re really easy to get in touch with if you have questions.

3. Crystal-Clear Call Quality

Crystal-clear voice is crucial for customer satisfaction.

We never compromise on call quality. Instead, our partnerships with local and regional telecom operators enable us to deliver enterprise-grade voice at competitive rates.

Global Call Forwarding will help you ensure that your business phone calls sound perfect.

4. 24/7 Support & Dedicated Account Management

Real people. Real service.

We’re a US-based company with a regional office in APAC.

You can call us any time you need help. The direct phone number of your account manager is provided to you upon account activation.

24-hour customer support is available through our trouble ticketing system. We also have a live chat on our website and a Knowledge Base for self-service.

5. Huge Inventory of Local & Toll-Free Numbers Worldwide

Global Call Forwarding has the world’s largest coverage of international toll-free and local phone numbers available from many of the 195 countries worldwide.

No matter where you need a phone number, we’ve got you covered.

6. Advanced Service Features

Close relationships with our customers over the years have helped us create solutions to some of the most common problems facing businesses today.

Our most popular call forwarding features include time-based routing, simultaneous ring, IVR (i.e. “press 1 for sales, press 2 for support”), virtual voicemail. We also offer premium services such as hosted call recording and outbound calling.

All virtual phone number features can be managed in real-time through an online portal.

7. Easy-to-Use

We provide an easy-to-use virtual phone solution that can help you enhance business communications. There’s no programming required to use our service, but an API is available if you want to integrate with your other business tools.

Manage all number settings easily online or by contacting your account manager.

8. Outstanding Customer Reviews

We put our customers first. Go read our Google reviews or Global Call Forwarding reviews on G2 and you’ll see that our customers love doing business with us.

We work hard every day to add value to our customers and provide an outstanding experience.

9. Cost-Effective Alternative to Legacy Telecom Carriers

Legacy telecom companies tend to have higher rates and lower response times. This is because they work with thousands of employees across various locations and departments, which leads to higher overhead and operational expenses. Unfortunately, customers bear the brunt of these expenses. Global Call Forwarding, on the other hand, provides high-quality service for lower, competitive rates. Our customers only pay for the service they need and nothing else. Our customers have saved on business communication costs by switching from a legacy carrier to our service.

10. Dependable & Diverse Team

Over the years, people from more than 20 different countries have worked here. This is especially important because we operate on a global scale. Everyone brings a unique skillset and personality to the team. A lot of the Global Call Forwarding team is also active on LinkedIn!

We have fluent English, Spanish, and French speakers and natives.

11. International Footprint

We have a strong international footprint with global infrastructure and points of presence worldwide. We’re running 24/7.

12. There’s No Commitment

New business customers can get a 15-day free trial to test the quality of our service.

After the free trial, your service is month-to-month.

13. Easy Scaling

It’s extremely easy to add and remove phone numbers from your account.

We aim to provide fast phone number provisioning, which is very important in today’s remote work environment.

14. Stay Connected from Anywhere

Our service makes it possible for anyone to make and receive phone calls anywhere in the world. This can help you capitalize on outsourcing and global expansion opportunities for your business.

Try Global Call Forwarding Today!

If all the above reasons sound good to you, why not give us a try? You can start with a free trial to see how our service fits your needs. If you want to learn more, call us and talk to one of our experts. We look forward to hearing from you!

Softphone vs. Desk Phone: 6 Reasons to Use a Softphone

A softphone has all the functions and features of a desk phone, except it works on any device of your choice and in any location. Softphones provide flexibility and mobility without increasing your business expenses. So, why are softphones superior? Read on to learn more.

Why Use a Softphone Instead of a Desk Phone

A softphone is a software-based communication application used to make telephone calls over the internet. You can download it on any device (computer, tablet, smartphone). Some softphones are desktop applications that run on Mac and Windows devices. Other softphones are web-based and accessible through web browsers or smartphone apps for iOS and Android devices.

You can get a softphone through a business phone service provider or through third-party softphone apps. It is recommended, however, to get the one your provider offers as that would typically work best with your phone service.

Let’s look at how a softphone works better than a desk phone:

1. Quick and Easy Set-up

Softphones are easy to set-up and use. To set up your softphone, you will need a link or mobile app and login credentials given by your provider. You can then use this link on compatible browsers or download the app. Then, you type in your login credentials and you now have access to your softphone on any device.

You do not need any extra equipment — such as a specific type of desk phone — or additional configuration needs to make your softphone work. You can use softphones on existing devices and, therefore, there is no need to purchase a new phone.

2. Take Your Business With You

The best part about using softphones is that they work in the cloud. This means that you do not need to carry your office desk phone with you when you travel for business. You can simply access your phone service account via your softphone on any device and in any location. All that is required is a stable internet or WiFi connection.

Softphones help remote team management. Whether your employees travel for work or your teams work remotely, they can stay connected and reachable on their business line through their laptops or smartphones.

3. Answer Calls from Any Device and Keep Personal Numbers Private

When you use a softphone from your personal device, the thought usually is that your personal cell number or home number will be displayed on outgoing calls. However, that is not the case. The point of a softphone is to let you use your business phone line from any location or device.

As such, you can mask your personal number and instead display your business number when making a call. Furthermore, incoming calls made to your business number will forward to your softphone on your personal device without your number being made public.

4. Check Business Voicemail and Update Contacts On-The-Go

With the growth of softphones as a common business communication tool, providers have worked on making these software-based tools more efficient and useful. This has led to softphones having numerous features besides just a dialpad. These include:

  • Adding and updating contact information
  • Updating call notes
  • Having access to contact history and interactions
  • Easy call transfers with access to the office directory
  • Virtual voicemail forwarding
  • Customizable caller ID that lets you choose which business number to display
  • Making outbound calls to any location in the world with international business numbers
  • Having access to call reports and activity logs
  • Viewing other active users
  • In-network calls

With these features, users are working in sync with other employees to maintain continuity and productivity.

5. Less Equipment Needed in the Office

Since a softphone can be used on any device, your office doesn’t need to invest in top-quality desk phones. In fact, if your business has a BYOD policy, employees can simply use their own devices to make and receive calls, even within the office. This saves your business considerable communication-related costs as you do not need to purchase new equipment.\

Related: How Much Does a Softphone Cost?

6. Host Voice and Video Conference Calls

Some softphones also offer voice and video conference calling capabilities. This further encourages collaboration and helps with business meetings, sales pitches, and more.

Time to Get Your Business a Softphone?

A softphone simplifies the process of making and receiving business calls by enabling employees to stay connected no matter where they are or what devices they are using. Get a softphone today to streamline your calling process and improve office efficiency. To learn more, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.

What is Virtual Voicemail & How Does It Work?

When looking for a convenient way to manage your phone calls, you may have come across the term “virtual voicemail” or “cloud voicemail.” But how does it work and what are the benefits of using an online voicemail service? Read on to learn more.

Virtual Voicemail: Definition & Benefits

Voicemail is a virtual number feature that enables users to receive voicemails online in the form of an email address. Virtual voicemails — also known as cloud voicemail or hosted voicemail — are stored in the cloud. By doing so, you and your teams can access voicemails from your phone, work computer, or laptop and store them for future use.

1. Get Voicemails the Way You Want it

So, how does virtual voicemail work? There are a few different ways hosted voicemail functions. However the most common is the email forwarding feature. This feature forwards voicemails directly to your email or even two email addresses listed on your account.

Users that have access to these emails can access the voicemail through their email inbox on their phone, office computer, home laptop, etc. Some providers not only forward the voicemail to the inbox but also provide a transcript or voicemail preview. This is also known as transcription.

Visual voicemail lets you “see” voicemail messages so that you can identify and focus on messages with the highest priority. Not all voicemails may be important. Scanning them can help you prioritize your actions.

virtual voicemail

2. Access Voicemails Anywhere

Most businesses struggle with voicemails as they receive hundreds of messages per day along with the regular call traffic. However, customers who leave voicemails usually have a sole purpose. Most likely, it is because they have an important issue or inquiry. Losing these messages or not paying equal attention to them may cost you valuable customers.

By using a virtual voicemail feature, ensure that your team can access important and urgent voicemails from anywhere. Cloud voicemails come with an audio attachment and transcript or preview. This lets your team know what the message is about and determine how quickly they need to respond.

3. Utilize Cloud Storage

A voicemail inbox can only store so many messages at a time. However, if your business has been operating for years and has long-term customers, then you will want to save any and all documentation of customer interaction.

Here is where cloud storage proves useful. Save your virtual voicemail messages online and store them for longer periods of time. Additionally, since they are stored in the cloud, if your device or equipment changes, you will still have access to these messages.

Get Voicemail to Email with Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding’s Voicemail to Email feature lets you access and manage voicemail messages when it is most convenient for you. Additionally, by going virtual, you can enable customers to interact with your business 24/7. This is because their voicemail gets forwarded to your email where there is no limit. Get voicemail to email with any of our virtual phone number plans and adjust settings through your control panel to suit your individual needs. Sign up today on our homepage or call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to learn more!