Improve The Efficiency Of Your Customer Service Department

It does not really matter how great your product or service is, customers tend to remember their interaction with your company more. It is for this reason that a good customer service team and fast responses can improve the overall image of your company.

If your customers are experiencing long hold times, they will hang up, and every lost call is a potential customer lost. However, there are ways to improve the efficiency of your customer service department and ensure that your customers have a good experience with your company with every contact.

 

Service Level and Occupancy Rate

 

There are two important measurements used in call centers to determine their efficiency: Service Level and Occupancy Rate.

There are two different parameters of measurement to determine what the “Service Level” is:

 

  1. Whether the agents at the call center are able to answer the calls
  2. The quickness of the agent’s ability is to help customers and resolve queries or concerns

 

Occupancy Rate refers to the total call handling time and total after call work time and subtracts agents’ idle time. High occupancy rates indicate low agent availability and long hold times, which can lead to call drops and low service levels.

 

If your call volume exceeds the number of customer service agents you have, you are going to have a high occupancy rate. This is very stressful for customer service agents, because they are over-worked. This causes them to be stressed out and can lead to high turnover rates. You may have customer service agents who are well-trained and possess all of the skills and qualities needed to provide good customer service, but if they are over-worked and feeling stressed, they will not be able to empathize as efficiently with customers in order to provide good customer service.

 

One of the best solutions to this problem is to outsource your customer service calls to a call center. This eases the workload of your employees, so they will be better able to do their jobs.

Contrary to popular belief, it does not take jobs away from your employees, but rather makes their jobs easier and leaves them happier. There are also many other benefits to outsourcing, as well.

 

Benefits Of Outsourcing Your Customer Service Department

 

Answer more calls

During peak call times, it can be very difficult for a handful of in-house employees to answer all of the calls. They may not have the experience needed to get through the calls quickly enough and then answer the next call before the customer hangs up. Also, whenever your office closes, there is no one there to answer calls after-hours.

A call center solves all of these problems. Their customer service agents are trained to handle calls quickly and efficiently. Fewer calls will be dropped due to long hold times because they hire ample agents that are very well trained. Some call centers, like KPI Connect, even offer after-hours operations, answering calls after you have gone home.

 

Customer Satisfaction

It does not matter why your customers call, they expect someone to answer when they call. If their calls are not answered, or if the hold times are too long, it leads to low customer satisfaction levels. However, with outsourcing, none of these problems are present. Not only are the agents trained to portray your company’s image and make your customers happy, they are trained to do it quickly, as well.

 

Increased Sales and Profits

You might be thinking that outsourcing is going to cost more money than it is worth. However, it can actually increase your profits. Simply by answering all of the calls, your profits will grow. Happy customers are likely to buy more, meaning there is potential for even more growth.

 

Outsourcing is not a decision you should make without some consideration. Lots of people have reservations about it but, consider the amount of benefits that outweigh the drawbacks and the potential to make your employees and customers happier. It is a great idea to at least consider outsourcing your customer service calls. It would most likely increase the efficiency of your customer service department and increase your profits, which is a good enough perk that most businesses would not pass up on.

The Drawbacks of an In-House Call Center

Regardless of what kind of business you are running, having a prompt and efficient customer service department is imperative. There is no better way to foster strong customer relations, boost your retention rates, and increase loyalty to your brand than through solid customer service. However, as your business expands you will likely come across the expected growing pains, such as more questions and feedback from your consumer base. If your customer service department is not fully prepared to deal with these demands, it can seriously damage your company’s image and reputation.

 

An in-house call center can work in certain situations, but when a business experiences growth, the shortcomings of keeping it in-house quickly become apparent. Before getting to that point, it is a better idea to examine all the potential drawbacks of maintaining a call center in-house.

 

Time Requirements

 

Time is a resource that is crucial in all aspects of business, and doubly so when it comes to customer service. Running a call center in-house will require considerable amounts of time from your employees. Every call from a customer must be received, every question answered, and all feedback heard. With an in-house call center, this means that you employees are tied to the phones, which doesn’t leave them with much time to attend to any other important or day-to-day duties that they may have.

 

A simple solution to this problem is outsourcing the call center duties. Once you do so, your in-house staff can return their attention to the tasks that are vital to keeping your company running in top form. What is more, when you outsource, all your call center duties will be handled by trained professionals whose primary focus is dealing with everything that customer service entails.

 

Hiring Call Center Exclusive Staff

 

Some businesses can’t afford to assign their existing employees to call center duties. If that is the case, the next step is to hire and train staff exclusive to the call center. You will also require IT experts and HR agents in order to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, the choice to hire staff to handle all aspects of the in-house call center is something that comes with a hefty price tag attached, particularly if extensive training is needed.

 

Rather than going through the entire recruitment, hiring, and training process, outsourcing your call center can actually cost you less in the long run. You will get access to agents that are already trained in customer service and call center technology, saving you the cost of training and IT and HR requirements.

 

The Cost of Call-Center Infrastructure

 

Incorporating call center infrastructure into your existing business is going to be a large expense, and not one that should be taken lightly. Consider everything that is required for essential call center operations: adequate office space, agent workstations, and all relevant technology and hardware. These costs can be an incredible drain on your resources and what is more, those costs will likely increase over the years due to upgrade necessity and maintenance requirements.

 

Outsourcing your call center needs can spare you these costs and in addition, be a far more affordable solution in the years to come. All maintenance and upgrades will be dealt with by the outsourcing company, removing that particular problem from your yearly to-do list.

 

Outsourcing is the Solution

 

Dealing with customer service in-house is no small task and will require serious commitment, funding, and time that you, your employees, and your business may not be able to spare. An argument in favor of in-house call centers is the aspect of control, but if you choose to partner with a reliable, trusted outsourcing company, like KPI Connect, that will not be an issue. Instead, the company will work together with you in order to ensure that all call center operations are handled exactly the way you want. Call KPI Connect to find out how we can help you.

Professional Call Center Etiquette

So much of modern communication takes place on a screen – text messages, email correspondence, online chat, social media – that proper telephone etiquette often falls by the wayside. Since voice contact still accounts for a large daily part of a business, professional call centers value a respectful and responsible approach when dealing with customers over the phone. Successful call centers are built from the way they conduct themselves on the phone, which requires a unique set of skills and adherence to guidelines that are to be followed.

 

First Impressions Count

 

With every call taken, call center agents are not only ensuring that all calls are answered promptly, but also serving as first contact between the brand they represent and the customer. As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so it is vital to put your best foot forward as soon as the phone rings. Since a majority of people hang up if their call is not answered within five or six rings, always answer the phone as quickly as possible to avoid losing potential customers and giving the indication that the company is slow or indifferent.

 

Polite and Friendly

 

Throughout the call, keep in mind that the customer’s experience with you will help to form their initial opinion of the company you are representing. Adopt a polite and informative disposition and pair it with a personable, helpful, and confident tone. Conversing on the phone is much different than communicating online or talking face-to-face because there is no visible body language or facial expressions that one can use to help decipher meaning, and minimal time to formulate a response. Professional phone conversations hinge on the manner in which you conduct yourself and your tone of voice – remember, what you say is as important as how you say it.

 

Know Your Stuff

 

Before and during each call, make sure you know what you are going to say before you say it. You may find it useful to take the guesswork out of the equation by answering the phone each time with a standardized greeting that makes the customer feel welcomed, appreciated, and reassured. From there, pay close attention to the customer’s words and provide assistance where you can. If they need to be transferred to another department, be certain that you make the right connection and introduce the customer by explaining their concerns so that they do not have to repeat their story to the next person.

 

Permission to Hold

 

We have all been there – your call finally gets picked up, only to immediately be banished to “hold purgatory” with nary a word. It is disappointing, confusing, and aggravating. If you answer the phone under less-than-ideal circumstances and absolutely need to put the caller on hold right away, always ask first. As long as you answer politely, thank them for calling, and ask respectfully if they would not mind holding, most people are willing to wait a few extra moments to receive your undivided attention. They will not wait forever though, so try not to leave them on hold for longer than 45 seconds.

 

The Right Ending

 

When the call is coming to an end, remain warm and patient and refrain from rushing the customer off the line. Once you have asked if you can provide any further assistance, thank the customer for their call and use their name to firmly establish a personal connection as you wish them all the best for the rest of their day. Finally, do not terminate the call until the customer hangs up. By practicing proper phone etiquette, you can help to create a long-lasting relationship between company and customer.

 

At KPI Connect we have trained all our staff in proper phone etiquette to be sure that they are representing your brand with the out-most respect to your customers.

 

 

How Outsourcing Customer Service Calls Can Increase Efficiency Company-Wide

How your company’s customer service calls are handled can either make or break your business. A lot of companies simply do not have the equipment, resources, training or manpower to handle high call volume. You may need to carefully consider how to best handle this crucial issue. One of the best options is outsourcing the customer service calls to a call center.

 

Here are some ways outsourcing customer service calls can increase efficiency:

 

Efficiently answer more calls

 

During peak call times, when the call volume is the highest, it can be hard for the handful of in-house employees to answer every call. They also may not have the training and experience to get through a call quickly enough to answer the next one before the customer hangs up due to long wait times. Another thing to consider is that when your office closes, there is no one present to answer calls.

 

Outsourcing solves all of these problems because call centers have numerous employees to field calls, making sure that none of them are missed.  Even after-hours calls can be answered due to the extended hours availability of the call center.

 

 

Increased customer satisfaction

 

If your employees are missing calls, or taking too long on calls, this has a negative effect on your customers’ satisfaction levels. Understandably, your customers will be less likely to call if no one answers the phone, or if they are put on hold for a long period of time.

 

By outsourcing to a call center, you ensure that the calls will be answered and completed in a timely manner. What is more, call center employees are trained to handle customer service calls courteously and uphold the integrity of your brand. This means that customers will be more likely to have a better customer service experience, and they will be more likely to give you repeat business.

 

 

Save money in operating costs

 

There are lots of expenses to take into account when setting up a customer service line. For instance, you may need a space that is separate from the rest of your business to ensure that there is not extra noise in the background. This could result in the need of renting or buying a larger office space. Equipment such as computers, headsets, handsets, dialers, boxes, etc. will need to be purchased and set up. Extra employees will need to be hired and trained to man the phones, as well. Call centers already have established buildings, equipment, supplies and employees that are well trained and experienced professionals, saving you time, money, and stress.

 

 

Increased productivity in your employees

 

If your employees are answering phones along with performing their other essential job duties, it is quite probable that they will become overworked and stressed out. Not only that, when employees are stretched too thin, their job performance suffers. By juggling too many duties at once, they are sure to miss something or produce lower quality work than usual.

 

Delegation is an extremely useful skill that all managers and business owners learn to utilize at some point. By outsourcing your customer service calls to a call center, you free your employees up to do their jobs. They will be happier and produce better work for you, which is not only good for your company, but for your customers, as well.

 

So, for all these reasons and more, outsourcing your calls will actually make your company more efficient, save you both time and money, and increase your customers’ satisfaction levels. You can rest assured that your employees’ jobs are easier, and your customers will be happier, which is every business’s goal.

 

Call KPI Connect to help increase your business’ productivity today!

Why You Should Outsource Your Overflow

Call volume for any business fluctuates from day to day. Some days you may have little to no calls, however, other days you may have very high call volume. If you are not prepared to deal with the number of calls you are receiving, you may end up missing calls, which is bad for business. Every missed call is potentially money lost, whether they are customer service calls or sales calls. So, it is extremely important to take call volume into account for your business.

 

Here are some of the benefits when you outsource your overflow to a call center like KPI Connect.

 

Customer Satisfaction

 

When a customer calls to make a complaint, ask a question or to make a purchase, they expect someone to answer that call. If your in-house staff gets swamped and does not get to the phone in time to answer, it understandably leads to unhappy customers. Satisfied customers and good customer service lead to returning customers and can even generate new customers due to customers recommending your company to other people.

 

Peak Hours and Extended Hour/After Hours Operation

 

Sometimes peak hours are affected by things like seasonal sales, customers having questions or problems with new products, or your business hours. During peak call hours, it can be extremely hard to answer every call. A call center is better adapted to handle them such times as these. They can also handle your calls after your business is closed for the day because they can have extended hours. This means that even more of your calls will be answered.

 

Lower Training and Equipment Costs for Your Company

 

Training your employees to handle customers’ calls in a polite, professional manner while also solving customers’ problems and complaints can become a large business expense. The equipment and supplies add up, as well. This is entirely avoided by outsourcing your overflow to a call center. They are already established, meaning their staff is already trained and they already have the facility, complete with the necessary equipment.

 

Call Center Employees will be Trained on Your Brand

 

Your company’s values and brand do not have to be compromised if you make the decision to outsource. By telling the outsourcing company what your values are and what you do and do not want, they will have the ability to represent your company fully. Together you can write a script for your company that the representatives will stick to while on the phone with your customers, which also gives them the opportunity to advertise more of your services and products while ensuring no call goes unanswered.

 

Sales and Profits

 

You may assume that outsourcing will cost more money than it will make for your company. On the contrary, it can actually make you more in profits. By simply answering the calls during peak hours and after hours, there is understandably more money to be made on sales because more customers are attended to and fewer calls are missed. The less calls that are missed, the more money there is to be made.

 

Employee Happiness

 

An over-worked employee is often not a productive employee. Managing phone calls can be time consuming and can be hard to manage along with all of the other business operations on a day to day basis, leaving your employees stressed out. You do not have to let the quality of your customer service slide, or other business operations become less effective. Outsourcing your overflow calls will free up workload and cause your in-house staff to be happier and more productive.

 

Making the decision to outsource your overflow calls is nothing to take lightly. Lots of people have reservations about outsourcing, but it can be a very agreeable arrangement for both you and the company you outsource to. By expressing your values and concerns to the company you are considering outsourcing to, you can rest assured that they will be heard and adhered to.

 

Outsourcing can maximize your profits, create a happier and more productive workplace for your employees, and save you money. When you outsource to KPI Connect, you will also be provided with the results of the calls that can tell you what is working and what is not. So, for all these reasons and more, you should consider outsourcing if you are concerned about your call volume, overflow, and your customers.

 

Why You Should Outsource Online Chat Support

We all know how competitive the modern world can be. The majority of companies in North America are always offering more and more benefits to attract the highest possible number of customers. In order to keep ahead of the competition, it is important to provide outstanding support to your clientele. For this reason, sometimes the best option for any business is to outsource parts of their customer service.

 

Today, the quickest way for customers to get in touch with your business and for you to be able to respond to your customers almost instantly, is by offering them the opportunity to connect with a multi-channel support system. If your business’s current support system is not providing such services yet, it is time to rethink the way you handle your customer support.

 

Here is why you should consider outsourcing the services of online chat support.

 

Personalized customer support

 

Professionals who work with online chat support are highly qualified to offer the best experience when it comes to your customers. The live agents are well trained to guarantee the customer’s satisfaction by offering a personalized service to every client. This way, through optimized online conversations aimed at satisfying the clientele, the service not only speeds up the process of handling customer inquiries, but it also contributes to a continuous improvement in customer satisfaction. The public is demanding faster and faster responses from businesses, and online chat is one of the fastest ways to inquire and receive and answer. Online chat support systems then allow you to channel them to other branches of the company if necessary, creating support tickets, or connecting them with your sales department.

 

A boost in online sales

 

The majority of customers consider safety as a concern when purchasing online. For this reason, the presence of an online chat support in your website will certainly provide a considerable boost in your sales by adding a “person” into the process. Qualified personnel will ensure that any prospective clients feel confident enough to place their trust in your organization. The agent will not only handle the consumer’s demands in a professional way, but they will also deal with any technical issues. This in turn will lead to ongoing purchases and an increase in the number of transactions.

 

It measures customer satisfaction

 

One of the most important things to consider in any type of business is the level of satisfaction of the customer. Consequently, receiving regular feedback is absolutely indispensable. However, in order to be able to understand your client’s needs and supply them with a better service if necessary, it is important to count on a platform that can manage the service without being invasive. Automatic feedback prompts at the conclusion of the chat can provide invaluable information about the quality of service of the agent, and other customizable data.

 

For this reason, online chat support is a fantastic way to collect information regarding the satisfaction of your customers. A trained web chat support agent can turn an unpleasant experience into a great one, simply by communicating quickly and increasing the troubleshooting efficiency.

 

It is cost-effective

 

Despite the advantage of connecting to the client in a non-invasive and dynamic way while offering a remarkable personalized service, an outsourced online chat support can be an extremely affordable alternative. This type of service enables one single live agent to communicate with multiple clients at once, providing all the support necessary for a trustworthy interaction.

 

An outsourced online chat support is an excellent method of quickly satisfying customer inquiries, with the added benefits of reducing costs and resources. At KPI Connect we will ensure that your customers will always have the ability to connect with a live professional to handle any situation that arises.