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Improve Your Call Center Productivity With Call Recording

Improving call center productivity will require knowing your employees and customers on a deeper level. You may have customer service employees on payroll, but are they well-trained? Maybe they are, but their experience may be in a field completely unrelated to your business. At the same time, some team members might want additional training and input, but may be afraid to ask directly.

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Whatever the case may be, business owners can use call recording to break the ice with employees while helping them to better assist customers. Caller behavior can also be complex, but it’s equally important to understand caller preferences.

Consider these four additional benefits as you focus on maximizing your productivity and achieving set goals at your call center.

Motivate Employees

Make call recording part of the training process and review calls with employees on an individual basis. As you discuss methods of improvement, acknowledge their strengths and contributions. This will inspire confidence and paint a clearer picture of how to communicate with customers.

There’s another benefit that’s often forgotten when you improve your call center productivity with call recording. As employees strive to be better, knowing that their calls are being recorded encourages staff to give it their all and do a commendable job.

Micromanagement tends to have a negative impact on employees, but when call recording is part of the supervisory process, it eliminates the tension that can build when managers are directly questioning and overseeing employees.

Learn More About Your Callers

How do customers respond when asked specific questions? What is their reason for choosing specific products more frequently than others? These are the types of questions to consider as you perfect your business strategy because you’ll want to ensure that you’re attracting your target callers and properly connecting with them over the phone.

If you want to improve call center productivity with call recording, use the recordings to compile data that will answer a lot of the questions that will help you to set future sales goals and craft more efficient approaches when speaking on the phone.

Answer Frequently Asked Questions

You can improve your call center productivity with call recording because the recordings can be used to create customized greetings and voice menus that give callers the answers they need.
There are frequently asked questions at every call center. Knowing what those questions are in advance will increase productivity by saving time. Use the playback from recorded calls to find the most frequently asked questions. Then, find the best way to answer those questions automatically.

Responses to frequently asked questions can be posted as information on your website and answered in customized messages that customers will hear while on hold. However, these aren’t the only options. Another approach would be to have an interactive voice menu that allows callers to select a number to hear the answers to frequently asked question such as operating hours and extension information to reach specific departments.

Know that as you work to improve your call center productivity with call recording, setting up an automated system isn’t complicated when using virtual phone numbers. Much of the process can be self-guided. Your virtual phone number provider can also walk you through the setup process from start to finish if you need assistance, or the process can be completed for you upon request.

While some business owners believe that pre-recorded menus are too impersonal, the contrary is often true. Automated options and responses are valued by customers because many callers don’t want to wait to connect with someone just to ask a basic question.

Note The Length of Calls

One of the biggest things call center supervisors must recognize when analyzing call center productivity is how long it takes before the call ends favorably. This information is critical because it will help employees who may be struggling to build relationships with callers. When you improve your call center productivity with call recording, it removes much of the guesswork involved with selling techniques and interacting with customers.

As most call center professionals know, working at a call center does not mean simply taking phone calls. There are other strategies that employees should be implementing to ensure that their time is utilized wisely during their shift. Decreasing the amount of time it takes to end a phone call with positive results gives employees the time they need to handle other tasks.

In Conclusion

Using virtual phone numbers to operate and grow your business will provide numerous advantages for internal business operations and callers. Furthermore, you can vastly improve your call center productivity with call recording.

Managing or working at a call center isn’t an easy task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult if you use the right tools. Knowing the right ways to improve call center productivity while having a well-organized business structure can make the job easier for managers and employees.

Call centers operate for a variety of reasons, but their common focus is attracting new callers and maintaining customer loyalty. By increasing productivity, callers will have a more favorable experience when dialing into your caller center without a long wait or confusing process.

How Call Forwarding Is Great For Businesses

Every entrepreneur has their own motivations for using call forwarding. Whatever the reason may be, understanding the long-term benefits of call forwarding can help you grow your business. Call forwarding is also easy to implement and the process can begin instantly.

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Source: O#23559 – ID#100117667998

Call forwarding has helped many business owners working with recent technology to ensure that their companies are staying current and able to help customers when outside of the office.
If you’re interested in learning about how call forwarding is great for businesses, we’ve compiled several of the main benefits to consider.

Here are 4 advantages to keep in mind when deciding if call forwarding is right for your company.

How Call Forwarding Is Great For Businesses: Increase in Productivity

Being productive is necessary for business owners and employees, and call forwarding helps maximize it. If you want your team to ramp up their productivity levels, multitasking could be the solution. Effective multitasking allows everyone to complete tasks without falling short on business responsibilities.

In the past, working company owners and employees could only communicate via phone while in the office. The only way to speak with customers outside of the office was by sharing your personal cell phone or home number, if you didn’t have a dedicated business cell line. Call forwarding further increases productivity by allowing the business owner (or team members) to stay mobile while catering to customers and checking in with employees and partners at their absolute convenience.

How Call Forwarding Is Great For Businesses: Professionalism is Maintained

The second thing to keep in mind when analyzing the benefits of call forwarding for business is your brand’s professional appearance. Sharing your personal number with contacts you have built a rapport with is acceptable, but for new callers and business associates, this could be a red flag. The lack of professional contact information indicates that your business still needs time to grow and brings your professionalism into question.

A business seeking sponsors or planning a fundraiser would gain more support with a business line using call forwarding because their business appears more trustworthy. If the public questions a company’s professionalism, this can lead to less profit and sales because people will be reluctant to buy from the brand, and other businesses may be less willing to partner.

Stay productive and professional with call forwarding by forwarding calls at your business number to your cell or home phone.

How Call Forwarding Is Great For Businesses: It’s Affordable

We can’t discuss how call forwarding is great for businesses without mentioning the financial benefits. Small and large businesses must acknowledge the importance of saving money and making wise investments. The end result should always be that a business is making more money than what is being spent.

Call forwarding is an effective strategy for businesses aiming to reduce overhead costs and to stay within the company budget because forwarding doesn’t require additional equipment. Forwarding a call is done virtually, meaning there’s no need for external hardware.

A quality call forwarding service will allow you to direct incoming calls to the destination of your choice without additional costs. Furthermore, there is no limit to the amount of times you can forward calls.

How Call Forwarding Is Great For Businesses: It Aids Travelers

Some companies may do best to travel within their own state or country. For companies seeking to operate on a global scale, travel is one of the key ways to build an international presence.
Knowing how call forwarding is great for businesses is helpful for traveling professionals, and traveling is important for many businesses to grow and build solid relationships.

No matter where you are traveling, it is likely that you will receive phone calls and messages at your place of business, and missed calls can be costly. Call forwarding is especially important for solopreneurs because if one person is manning a business alone, being easily accessible is crucial to maintaining business operations.

How Call Forwarding Is Great For Businesses: It Assists With Customer Service

You’ll want to avoid delays when running a profitable business, and call forwarding can help. Let’s assume that you decide not to use call forwarding and choose voice messaging as the key feature of your virtual phone number. This would allow you to return calls at a later time and date, but there will be a waiting period for callers. During this time, potential customers might do business with a competitor or change their mind about the product and service altogether.

When callers have an urgent question, they expect to speak with someone immediately.

Callers may be upset if no one is available, which could negatively impact your professional relationship. A timely response limits the likelihood of bad reviews and shows customers that you are caring and grateful for their business.

Another reason call forwarding is great for businesses is that it adds an additional level of convenience for entrepreneurs, especially when time off is needed. Every business owner needs a break at times, and call forwarding allows managers to take some time off without losing customers. With call forwarding, a business can continue running at full capacity while management is on vacation or attending to personal matters because work-related phone calls can be redirected to other team members or assistants.

In Conclusion

Knowing how call forwarding is great for businesses can save money and time. Forwarding calls allows you to receive important updates and helps you improve your customer service without expensive equipment. When you use call forwarding through a trusted provider, you’ll have access to the service at affordable rates with no contract that will lock you into an unnecessary long-term agreement.

How to Tweet-up Your Business

What do you mean you don’t have time to Tweet? If you are a savvy business owner, you should already have a Twitter account and know how to use it for marketing and networking your company. Here are just a few reasons why you need to Tweet-up your business:

  • Connect with your customers: Sending a potential customer a tweet after they have begun to follow your business is a very good way to increase customer appreciation and trust. You will also benefit from the fact that you can keep an eye on what your customers are tweeting about your business. This feedback is invaluable.
  • Access to free marketing: It takes but a few minutes for you to create a 140-character pitch for your company. At the click of a button, your message can instantly reach every single one of your followers who is online. And best of all, it’s basically free.
  • Keep customers updated: Of course, you know how important it is to keep your customers updated. Twitter is one of the best platforms to use for this because its messages are short and clear. So, it’s easy to use to keep your customers posted about your latest promotions, sales, and special offers your business is having.
  • Market your heart out: If you don’t think that Twitter is a great marketing tool you are very mistaken. In case you didn’t know, all tweets are indexed by Google, this means that they are a useful means of search engine optimization.
  • Build a community: Twitter is not only good for marketing and customer retention, but you can also use it to build a strong community. Use Twitter chats to connect with customers while also increasing your chances of getting favorites and retweets. These will boost your company’s visibility and give you the opportunity to get more customers.
  • Tweet-up your sales: Marketing surveys show that up to 60 percent of a brand’s followers are more likely to recommend products or make purchases after following a brand on Twitter. Twitter followers are also more likely to sign up for services or buy from the brands they are following.

If you haven’t started tweeting about your business yet, or you want to make sure you’re getting the most from Twitter, here are some tips to help you out.

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Source: O#23559 – ID#100009306753

Check Out the Competition

Search Twitter for companies similar to yours and start to follow them. Check out how often they tweet, what they tweet about, and what other content they post links to. This will give you a reference frame from which to choose how to manage your own account, and it will also help you get an edge on your competitors by staying one step ahead of their game.

Setting up your account

Make sure you use a good profile picture of yourself or your company logo. Many people will not follow users without one. Fill in your biography details as most new followers check out bios. If you don’t take the time to make it interesting, why should anyone follow you?

Use Twitter Lists

Twitter Lists are a neat built-in tool that enables you to organize your followers and their tweets into specific groups. You can also sort your lists into public or private groups that only you can view. Lists allow you to use Twitter to deliver information globally to everyone and locally to your target groups. You can also automate tweets to match specific time zones.

What to Tweet About

Post crisp and concise sound bites that are 100 words or less, so that followers can read them quickly and remember them. Use hashtags (#). A hashtag which directly precedes a word or phrase has a number of beneficial uses. Place one before the name of your company or brand (#mybusiness) to improve the chances of other tweeters finding it via a targeted search. You can also ask users to include them in their tweets as part of a marketing campaign.

Monitoring Your Competitors

You can use Twitter search to check up on your competitors and see what people are saying about them. But bear in mind, if you’re on Twitter, your competitors are probably keeping an eye on you and your followers too.

Making the Most of Marketing

Twitter is also a great way to get feedback about your business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and always answer promptly when you are asked for information. As well as talking about your products and services, promote those of others, as this can help get retweets from other people to expand your network. Post links to interesting information and news relating to your business. Don’t forget, Twitter helps you maintain a global human connection; share some information about yourself to develop strong connections.

Don’t sweat too much about your number of followers. If you keep your posts regular, informative and honest, you should soon develop a steady following that benefits your business and marketing efforts all around.

Understanding a Bionic Business

At the end of the 19th century, during the onset of the Industrial Revolution, people were just beginning to understand the complexity of financial capital and how it grows. Business leaders gradually began to realize that when managed properly, capital can accelerate a company’s growth and give them a competitive edge.

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Source: O#23559 – ID#100095045118

As the 20th-century dawns, two further forms of capital became important; human capital (the equity garnered from the employment of workers) and natural capital (water, land, and other environmental resources). Fast-forward to the 21st century, where the rapid development of technology has caused three additional forms of capital to become essential for increasing business value. These are:

  • Behavior capital: This involves the collection, collation, and analysis of information to yield valuable insights about a business and its systems. Sources of data are wide ranging. For example, customer surveys, The Internet of Things, and customers’ real-time behavior. This information can be used to generate digital models of activity to show how business systems, people, and machines have behaved in the past and to predict how they will behave in the future. This data can then be used to influence that behavior. It can also be used to reduce risk and errors.
  • Cognitive capital: This involves the automation of cognitive processes. Over time, most businesses establish a great deal of practical knowledge and information. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, that knowledge can be transferred to software or AI systems which can use it on a vast scale. It allows the business to expand its services and responsibilities and it adds great value to the company.
  • Computer simulation: This is a perfect example. This allows a business owner to set up a digital simulation of his or her company and use it to make predictions or see the effects
    of decisions. For example, the owner of a plant nursery could use the simulation to test
    the effects of using a soaker system during dry season. The simulation can be tweaked
    to see how a company can best make it through challenging situations. This information
    can then be applied to the real-world company.
  • Network capital: A company is a central hub which connects to customers, workers, advertisers, and media. With the emergence of the Internet, the value of network capital increased significantly. The main reason for this is the fact that networking via the Internet takes different forms of communication and has a much greater reach than ordinary broadcast networks. Internet networking is also a much more interconnected process.

How To Give Your Company a Bionic Breakthrough

Here are some ways in which you can transform your company into a bionic business.

  • Shift your business model: Replace your supply chain business strategy with one which is based on providing your customers with products and services they demand as efficiently as possible. A customer-driven business is one which focuses mainly on the customers. For it to work, you have to gather as much information as you can on your customers and develop products and services based on that data. For example, how can you address your customers’ needs, how can you make them happy, how can you exceed their expectations? The mantra of this type of business is that it can only thrive if the customers are happy. Therefore, you have to be committed to combining high-quality goods with excellent customer service.
  • Shift your approach: Replace your operational approach to information with a fluid system in which knowledge and data can be shared and collaborated on. Many businesses are far too rigid. This means that they are not agile or adaptive enough to make the most of current innovations. On the other hand, businesses which are more fluid can share knowledge within the business system and use innovations to bring positive changes to the company.
  • Shift your position: Replace your competitive position based on a level environment of competitors to a tiered system in which you can dominate the field. Making your company a winner-takes-all business means that you become a top player and take the majority of the share or rewards in your area of business relative to your competitors.

Once you understand the basics of a bionic of business, you can begin to implement them into your company, giving you a significant edge over your competitors. Becoming bionic includes adopting new processes, making technological changes, and it creates great new opportunities. Your business will develop better strategies, model customer individual behavior, change your innovation cycle, improve your decision-making processes, and attract more customers.

As a bionic company, you will know your individual customers so well that you will be able to tailor your products and services to each one using the latest software and AI. This will encourage your customers to keep returning to you and swiftly pass by your competitors.

How To Keep Your Customers Close

In these days of rapidly changing, competitive business markets, customer retention is crucial to business success. The way you treat your customers, could, in fact, be one the of the key factors which differentiate you from your competitors. Here is a rundown on some of the best strategies for keeping your customers close no matter what type of business you run.

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Source: O#23559 – ID#100213196672

Reward your customers: Loyal customers deserve something in return. Send them a gift, offer them a discount, make purchasing with your company a continuously pleasurable experience. If they are business owners, give them a lead.

Use their services: If your customers are business owners too, use their services or buy their products. This is a great way to build loyalty.

Show your thanks: Make sure you show your appreciation to loyal customers by sending them a thank you note on a regular basis.

  • Be prompt: Don’t beat around the bush when it comes to returning calls. Call your customers back as soon as you can.
  • Be true to your word: Don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you state you’re going to do something, do everything possible to follow through.
  • Don’t be tardy: Always do something when you said you were going to do it. If, for some reason, you can’t stick to the arranged schedule, let your customer know as soon as possible.
  • Be accessible: Show your customers that you are always available if they need to communicate with you. You should always be open to meeting with your customers if they wish to see you.
  • Be trustworthy: It’s important that you establish your credibility straight away. Otherwise, potential customers will drift over to your competitors.
  • Stay in touch: Bear in mind that your best customers are the ones you have now. Don’t take them for granted. Stay abreast of their wants and needs.
  • Be able to apologize: Sometimes things unavoidably go wrong. Always be ready to apologize but saying sorry isn’t enough. Have a gift you can send to customers when you make a mistake.
  • Make business a pleasure: Make it easy and pleasurable for your customers to do business with you. Make sure your business practices are for the convenience of the customer, not just your own. The more enjoyable it is for customers to do business with you, the more business you will have.
  • Get to know your customers: A great way to do this is to set up a customer advisory team. The team can collect and collate information about your customers’ needs and wants so that you can develop a more customer-oriented business.
  • Be a solid resource: Whatever your customer needs, make sure you can get it. This applies even if it is something unconnected to your business.
  • Speak your customers’ language: Don’t fall into the trap of using jargon or terms that your customers will not understand. Keep things simple without talking down to them.
  • Maintain a good attitude: Always be kind and patient with your customers, this will increase customer loyalty. Never be indifferent towards them.
  • Maintain a mobile state of mind: Remember, these days, customers interact with businesses on mobile devices more frequently than ever. Make sure that you provide your customers with a positive mobile experience.
  • Offer limited time promotions: This is a good way to keep customers coming back, especially if you’re discounting products that they buy frequently. You can highlight promotions at the checkout stage.
  • Stay social: Social media offers unique platforms for staying in touch with your customers. You can keep them posted about sales and special offers, as well as new products and services. You can also get feedback from them.
  • Engage relevantly: Your company must be able to engage relevantly with your customers. Otherwise, your brand will be letting you down. For example, in the case of cart abandonment, you can send a follow-up email to encourage the customer to complete the purchase and also set up recommendations for future purchases.
  • Celebrate occasions: Don’t just celebrate holidays with your customers, try to find out when their birthdays are, even if you are in different parts of the world. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are also good times of the year to send a personal note if your customers are parents. As well as a note, a gift card is a nice sign of appreciation.
  • Create a VIP program: Achieving status can be a big motivator for customers. A VIP program enables customers to collect loyalty points and use them to get special offers. Because buying products increases customer rewards, your customers will do business with you more often; they are more likely to shop.

Developing close relationships with your customers is something you should be thinking about 24/7. There are many opportunities for you to strengthen the bonds between new and existing customers. It’s good for business, and it’s good for morale. Try these tips, and you can’t go wrong when building a strategy that keeps your customers as the top priority.

This is How Customer Service is Done Best

What can you do to gain loyal customers, expand your business, and increase your earning potential? Upgrade your customer service. A skilled customer service team knows how to engage with their customers, problem-solve, and is empathetic to others’ queries.

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Source: O#23559 – ID#100177914106

Customer service is one of the most critical pieces of your business as a whole because your customer service team makes up the face of your company. They are the ones that you are trusting to interact with your customers face-to-face, over the phone, and online. Many loyal customers are created through positive customer service interaction. Therefore, your agents need to be trained in the best ways to serve your clients.

Top businesses know this to be true, and your business can compete with others by following these tips.

1. Humanizing Traits

Your customers want to speak to another human that can listen and answer their questions, but the humans that you hire as your representatives need to embody many skills. Empathy and patience are necessary skills to have when a customer is angry. Your agents must also be able to adapt to every customer, and they should be able to handle your clients’ varying moods, questions, compliments, and complaints.

2. Good Communication

The overarching skill that representatives need is communication skills. This means that your agents can express clearly and intelligently what they want to say. They should stay positive, but not overly so. All customer service agents need to understand what they are selling. If your agents do not understand the product on day one, there should not be a day 2 in their future without further training.

3. Strong Work Ethic

Your agents should be confident in their abilities, embody time management skills, and be able to focus on multiple things at once. A strong customer service agent is also aware of how long they have been on the phone with one customer when they have others waiting. Prioritizing is a top skill you need to look for in your representatives.

4. Handling Criticism

Unfortunately, a big part of the job is dealing with negative customers. Many times, a customer is so frustrated with a product or wait time, that by the time they get to speak to an agent they are fired up and ready to attack. Your agents should have thick skin and be aware that the customer’s anger has nothing to do with them.

5. Record Calls

The best way to train your team is to show them exactly how a call should go, and should not go. Call recording is a useful feature that Global Call Forwarding offers and it can help your business to ensure that the right skills are exhibited on every phone call.

6. Relate to Customers

Your representatives should be able to find common ground with every customer that they come into contact with. A great way to do this is for your agents to engage in active listening, that way they can truly understand where a customer is coming from and sympathize with their situation.

7. Follow-Up

A useful trick in customer service is to follow up after a query has been resolved. It ensures that your customer was indeed helped, and if they weren’t, they can now get the help that they need. Additionally, this can be done to let your customer know that their issue was important to your company and you are happy to see that they are happy and things are resolved. You can do this through a quick email or by reaching out with a feedback survey.

8. Personalize the Experience

If your company deals with several of the same clients, be sure to assign a customer service agent to each one so that they can get used to each other and form a bond. Treat your top customers and clients like they are important to you by sending them gifts or personalized emails. Also, invite your customers to trade shows, host webinars, and always interact with them on social media. Opening up this dialogue is also a way to learn what your customers would like to see from your business.

More than Just a Number: Why Your Toll Free Number is Essential to Your Business

Toll free numbers began gaining popularity in the 80s and 90s with almost every business because it was the simplest way to communicate with customers all over the country. Now, in the age of information and the internet, toll free numbers are still essential to have for your business and they remain popular with major companies all over the nation.

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1-800 numbers were created in the 1960s as a way for businesses to connect to people all over the country without those people having to pay for making the call. Businesses began to realize the convenience of this service and started using toll free numbers to give their companies a convenient and free way to communicate with them. Eventually, toll free numbers became so popular that an additional six three-digit codes were added.

Customers Expect a Toll Free Number

Because of how popular toll free numbers have become, customers now expect that all businesses, even smaller ones, will have a toll free phone number that they can connect to, with zero cost to them. Toll free numbers aren’t just convenient for your customers. They are also essential to your business. When your company uses a toll free number, it increases your business’s credibility as well as heightening the possibility for customer loyalty. Having a dedicated toll free number for your company also allows you the ability to set business hours.

Your business could be losing customers not local to your area if you do not offer a toll free phone number. Toll free phone numbers allow customers from outside of your local area to reach your company, and if you don’t provide a toll free phone number, a customer outside of your neighborhood may decide not to use your company because they don’t believe that you will be able to deliver what they need.

For example, if you run a cake shop and are able to make deliveries all over the country but you only offer a local phone number, somebody looking to buy your cake in the next state over may bypass your company because they fear that your company would not be able to deliver to them. With all of the refrigeration delivery tools available, your business can most certainly deliver to them, but it is likely that these potential customers will not take the time to find out. You are potentially missing out on a lot of income when you only offer a way for certain people to get in contact with your business. It is essential for a growing business to increase their reach if the company is to be successful.

Virtual Calling Made Simple

Another benefit to using toll free phone numbers for your company is that you can set up a line that is entirely virtual. This means that you don’t have to set up a new phone line, you can just use the business phone you already have or even a home line or cell phone. Virtual toll free numbers from Global Call Forwarding allow you to connect to several different lines so that you can work from anywhere. You can also set your hours, which means you won’t get calls forwarded to your personal line when you are off the clock. Instead, they can be sent to a customized voicemail, your email, or a fax machine so you can get back to your customers at a later time. The lines are also set up so you know whether you are getting a call from your personal or business line, that way you can guarantee you properly answer your phone. It is also completely secure. Your customers will have access to you, but they won’t know your personal phone line.

A Necessity for Advertising

Toll free numbers are also a great advertising tool, especially if you decide to purchase a vanity number. People find these vanity numbers like 1-800-FLOWERS to be much easier to remember than non-vanity numbers, and they can be placed on billboards, flyers, or your website as an easy way to market your business. These vanity numbers are great tools for lawyers and real estate agents, as well.

The bottom line is that having a toll free number proves to your customers that your business is worthy of their trust because you can provide them with a number that allows them to contact your company with no cost to them.

Streamlining the Vendor Selection Process

If you are looking to streamline the process in which you select your vendors, consider a Request for Proposal or RFP. An RFP is precisely what it sounds like, and it is a proposal that you can use to compare and contrast offers from a variety of different vendors. Once you are able to analyze your options, you can create a better picture of what is best for your business and for your customers.

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Source: O#23559 – ID#100133329530

Building Relationships with Vendors

Outside of RFPs, you can also have a more direct dialect with one or several vendors, whether that is in person or by reaching out through email or phone. When you build a relationship with a vendor, trust begins to burgeon, and you will start to feel more comfortable with the people who you are buying from and vice versa. These relationships help vendors to understand what their buyers want and need and therefore won’t need to offer a service that the buyers don’t need. This also allows buyers to narrow down their selections because they have already seen demonstrations. They can then move on towards comparing prices and quality.

Request for Information and Request for Quote

When you are interacting with your vendors, another way to approach the buying process is with a Request for Information and a Quote. These are less detailed reports of information that answer some frequently asked questions. This concise and to the point report is used to give enough information up front to where the buyer will then be able to ask informed questions and in return, get an informed response. These vendors target the specific needs of the buyer in question and then focus their energy on what the buyer has decided is important.

An even more concise report will come in the process called Request for Quote. RFQ is highly detailed and broken down by a list of the pricing of the object which includes things such as the number of licenses you will need and their prices. The RFQ works similarly to the Request for Information and a Quote because it’s the main focus to create communication between the buyer and the seller by allowing the buyer to ask questions and then receive a detailed response in return.

Keep Your Options Open

Don’t forget that you can also “shop around.” The internet offers a large number of cloud solutions for your company, and the sites typically advertise everything that is provided and what the prices usually come out to be. Websites often have a chat option, or at least an email and phone number which you can use to get into contact with these vendors. Once in touch, you can then ask more questions and get an even better idea of the exact pricing. Usually, on websites, they are true to what they are selling and if a vendor does not seem to meet your needs, making a phone call is typically a waste of time. If they had the feature that you need, it would be advertised on the site. There is a blind trust in using the internet to select your vendors because it is likely you will never meet the seller in person, which is preferable for some and a turn-off for others.

So which one of these options should you choose for your business? Well, that depends on some different factors of your business. Is your company large in scale? That could mean you would need an RFP or sometimes you can get away with an RFI/Q. You must also weigh the risks and complexities of your business as well. Can you trust a source that you have never met or are you concerned about security and fraud?

However, if you have a smaller business or a more straightforward business plan, then you can easily find a cloud-based solution online. You can choose on your own time when you will carry out your internet research where you can compare and bid on different vendors. This flexibility is great for smaller businesses and offers simplicity for your process. Plus, because the website often advertises its standard offerings and pricing, you don’t have to guess which one might be better for your business.

No matter your business, take your time to consider the best vendor for it. It could take weeks to months of research, but it will be worth it to know that you’ve chosen the best vendor for your company.

Things Customer Service Representatives Should Do On Every Call

The customer service representative is one of the most critical pieces of your business. They are the face of your company and the people who you trust to speak one-on-one with your customers.

call center employees
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We may sometimes forget how important a customer service representative’s role truly is. They are given the duty to treat customers with respect and find solutions for a myriad of issues that can arise. An angry customer is not an easy challenge to overcome, and your staff needs to be adequately trained in customer service skills and must be talented enough to know how to handle various situations. Read on to learn how each customer service representative should handle every single call.

1. Swift Responses

Timing is a very crucial part of customer service. The response time to every inquiry should be dealt with quickly and accurately. Customers do not want to wait on the phone all day to ask an agent a question. They also do not want to wait for extremely long periods for a delivery or an email response. Your staff must be trained properly and realize the importance of timeliness in business.

2. Patience Is A Virtue

Many customers make calls to customer service lines because there is some issue with the product, whether it be damaged, missing pieces, or something else. This can undoubtedly frustrate some people, and therefore some people may come off as combative at first. A customer service representative that is patient, however, can easily diffuse situations with a negative customer.

3. Positivity

Agents who can maintain a positive attitude despite dealing with a negative customer will be the most successful. Those with a positive attitude are aware that they do not need to bring their jobs home with them and become more successful overall. While positivity may be a mindset, there is training that you can cover. For example, you can train your agents on positive language to use over the phone and in person, such as “I can see how that would upset you, let’s try to find the solution.”

4. Communicative

Customer service representatives spend their time interacting with customers. Therefore they need to excel in communication skills. If they are not professional and conversational, perhaps they’re not right for this particular job. Agents need to be concise, but they also know when to make a little small talk. This adds a human touch, but your agents should not be overly conversational, merely adding a personal comment to the situation your customer is describing is enough. Do not interrupt people and resolve their issue as fast as possible without being robotic.

5. Empathetic

Empathy is an essential trait in any customer service agent. The ability to understand a customer’s feelings and being able to relate yourself to their situation can turn a bad situation around. When customers call customer service, they’re usually unhappy with something, and it is important that your customer service representatives apply empathy to every story they hear.

6. Knowledgeable

Being knowledgeable about the business whom these agents are representing is key in delivering excellent service. Be sure that all of your agents undergo a proper amount of training so that they are equipped with all the tools they need to be successful in this position. Training should happen regularly, not just at the time of hire. Agents should always be knowledgeable about current promotions, new products or services, and on technology updates to the systems they regularly use.

7. Attentive

All agents should possess excellent listening skills. Sometimes customers need to explain their issues in greater detail, and an agent needs to listen during the entire explanation actively. Also, when an agent offers solutions frequently, the customer is not interested in all of them, and an agent must be able to understand their customers’ opinions and come up with more flexible solutions to suit the person.

Along with all of these skills, customer service representatives should always try to go above and beyond for their customers when possible. The best customer service representatives display all of these skills in each and every phone call. But that is not all, they also should be undergoing training, and it is important that your customer service agents stay motivated so that they can excel for your company and turn your customers into loyal brand followers.

Call Center Trends to Look Out For In 2019

2019 has arrived and with each new year comes new upgrades and technological advances. Call center trends are changing, and managers and agents should be aware of the upcoming shifts that will be taking place.

call center
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Improvements In The Workplace

You are probably aware by now that customer satisfaction is one of the top priorities of any business, but what about the satisfaction of those employees who directly deal with those customers? Many companies often neglect and forget their call center agents. It is important to realize that customer service agents are the backbone of any company because they are the face of your company. If your agents are unhappy, then your customers will certainly not be happy to deal with them. You can improve their overall performance by offering moral and psychological support for your agents. After all, dealing with angry customers all day does take a great deal out of a customer service agent. Upgrades in workplace culture will be trending in 2019. This year, call center employees won’t be treated like second-tier employees, they will now be allocated more funds from businesses to be sure that agents enjoy coming to work.

Reward Your Agents

There are times when a call center must keep up with large surges in call volume. During these times, agents can become overworked. Call centers have some of the highest turnover rates in any job; in fact, turnover even reached as high as 33% in 2016. To combat these statistics, call centers can look to ideas from management on how to keep employees motivated during these highly stressful and taxing times. Some ways that you can keep your call center employees excited to come into work today is to create office-wide competitions, offer rewards or incentives, and remember to recognize your employees for their hard work. If you have noticed a lack of motivation in your contact center, try some of these motivating ideas to wake your crew back up and get them back in action. Taking a bit more time to reward these employees will result in happier agents, increased productivity, highly trained and seasoned agents who are loyal to your company, and better overall customer service.

Artificial Intelligence

While Artificial Intelligence has yet to become as capable as human agents, AI is improving every year. This year, in 2019 we will continue to see strides in Artificial Intelligence software. Whether AI will overtake human customer service representatives or not is still in question, but for now, AI and human agents can work in tandem. Artificial Intelligence allows agents some wiggle room to answer the phone when hold times become too long. Speaking of which…

Shorter Hold Times

Most people can understand what it is like to have suffered through minutes and minutes of hold music that felt like an eternity just to ask a question about their cable or make a return on an unsatisfactory item. A business should continuously strive for shorter wait times for their companies. A very simple trend happening in 2019 is promising to call customers back, and then following up on that promise. Give your customers the option to choose to be called again or to wait. This will lessen the influx of phone calls and allow for more steady work for the agents. You are less likely to miss a call from a customer this way as well. Instead of abandoning their phone call after too long of a wait, they can simply opt-in to the callback.

Voice-Powered Technology

VPT has been growing in popularity and convenience for the past several years and will continue to be a trend in 2019. VPT is becoming more humanistic, and its listening technology has become incredibly sophisticated which makes it more accurate in directing calls. It has also improved on its data compilation abilities. VPT has also become a very reliable way to take some responsibility off of customer service agents by being able to help some consumers with basic questions.