Archive for January, 2020

How to Provide Excellent Social Media Customer Service

Posted on: January 31st, 2020 by dorarapcsak 2 Comments

Providing social media customer service is not an option anymore. It’s an absolute must for any business that wants to survive the fierce competition.

Research from the Institute of Customer Service reveals 1 in every 3 customers turns to social media to seek advice or communicate with a business.

Building a better relationship with customers by supporting them on their most used channels is the opportunity you cannot miss out on. So how do you do it? Below are a few tips from us!

Sometimes less is more

These days most companies represent themselves on as many social media platforms as possible. However, having a social media profile will only do any good for your company if you have the resources to take care of them.  

Keeping several social media platforms up to date is particularly time-consuming. What is more, some of these platforms might be completely useless for your business. Therefore, I suggest that instead of being everywhere you rather focus on the platforms where your customers are.

Also, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the most popular channel is the best fit for your audience. If you don’t know where your customers are, just simply ask them. An online survey, for instance, will be a great idea to do that.

Listen to what they say

Rule number one: make sure to have a person or a team (depending on the size of your business) who is responsible for not only reading and answering but also listening to what your customers say.

Your social media sites are not simply platforms where your marketing team can share photos and interesting stories about your brand. These are channels your customers will most probably use for communicating with your businesses.

But replying won’t be enough, you’ll also need to listen to what they say. Listening to your customers’ opinions on social sites will provide you with some of the most important information, particularly in terms of product development. After all, it is customers who use your services. 

Track and monitor volume

I’m sure you’ve already noticed that every year more and more people start using social media platforms in order to reach out to a business. As a result, chances are that the volume of your customer inquiries via these channels is on the rise as well.

Another important rule of social media customer service is to track and monitor the volume of your incoming queries, which will not only allow you to manage them in a timely manner but also help you plan your staffing responsible for social media messages.

You can easily keep track of your social inquiries by relying on contact center software that can be integrated with your social media channels. Our system, VCC Live, can be integrated with Facebook Messenger, the world’s most used social network, with only one click. This way, your agents will be able to handle your customers’ Facebook messages directly in your customer service system. As simple as that!

Hopefully, this article showed you the importance of social media customer service, and you’ve managed to pick up some essential strategies for providing efficient support your channels! Good luck! 

Why You Need to Introduce Callback Technology in Your Contact Center

Posted on: January 30th, 2020 by Roland Háry No Comments

In our ever-competitive world, call centers that handle incoming calls cannot afford to lose a single call. It doesn’t matter what industry you operate in, you can be sure that the competition will never sleep, and will always be looking to win over customers from your business. Luckily, callback technology can help you prevent that!

Every company that wants to strive in the long run must be able to handle incoming calls at any time, whether customers are asking for information, requesting support or making a complaint.

There are two options for successfully handling your contact center’s incoming calls:

Your first option is to increase the number of agents in your team who are responsible for handling incoming calls. You’ll thus be able to ensure that every call is addressed by an agent within an acceptable period of time.

However, as we all know, agents’ salaries are the biggest expense for any contact center, so this is not the most cost-effective solution.

Your other (and better in my opinion) option is to benefit from contact center callback technology, meaning that you rely on a technology solution that efficiently offers callbacks to customers.

So, if it seems that your contact center has enough agents to comfortably handle incoming calls even during peak periods, maybe this means you are employing too many agents and could easily save money and operate more efficiently by introducing callback technology to your workplace.

Interested? Okay, let’s see what you need to know about callback technology and its possible benefits for your contact center!

Callback Technology in Contact Centers – the Benefits

One thing is for sure: customers don’t like to be left waiting on hold for too long. Callback technology is a great solution for handling this problem, as it can eliminate the need for your customers to wait at the other end of the phone line until one of your agents is ready.

It does this by allowing customers to choose to have an agent call them back if they feel they are waiting too long in a line. The result is reduced wait times, less lost calls and more satisfied customers.

Furthermore, it is a cost-effective solution that helps with handling peak periods, increasing agent productivity and boosting contact center efficiency.

VCC Live’s callback technology is particularly impressive, as with it you can offer two options to your customers when they request a callback:

Firstly, your customers can request a call back after a specified number of seconds, and wait for you to offer a callback during a less busy business period.

Secondly, thanks to our speech-to-text technology, customers can also choose an exact date on which they wish to be called back by simply saying it out loud into their phone handset.

Of course, customers can also decide to continue to wait in the line and, once they hang up the phone, our system can automatically assign a callback to the first free agent in the queue.

VCC Live’s two options work perfectly depending on your company’s field of operations and company culture. The first option is a great solution for contact centers that tend to receive urgent technical issues, while the second option is ideal for companies mainly receiving calls requesting general information.

What You Need to Know About Contact Center Compliance

Posted on: January 24th, 2020 by dorarapcsak 2 Comments

In our ever-connected world, data is everywhere. But having access to an ever-increasing amount of information has also led to a number of challenges. The possibility of data breaches, with their potentially disastrous consequences, is one increasingly important challenge that businesses need to face.

When you take into account the huge amount of customer data collected and stored on a daily basis in contact centers, it is not surprising to learn that data breaches are the single biggest risk factor in the contact center industry. And although there is no way to 100% guarantee you will avoid a data breach, with thorough preparation it is possible to mitigate the potential risks.

Below, we compiled details of the most important contact center compliance legislation related to data security you should be aware of.

Telephone bank card payments

These days most companies provide customers with the opportunity to make immediate online purchases. However, when it comes to paying online (especially in a post-GDPR world), data security is always a major concern – for both companies and customers.  

With that in mind, it’s vitally important for companies that provide real-time telephone-based payment solutions to ensure that the customer data they process while handling card and debit card transactions is completely safe and secure, and in particular is based on PCI DSS regulations.

The PCI DSS certificate, issued by the five largest credit and debit card issuers in the market (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB), is one of the strictest security standards in the world, and applies to any organization that accepts credit and debit card payments. To be able to begin initiating real-time payments during phone calls your company, or the outsourced call center you rely on, will need to be in possession of the PCI DSS certificate.

Having been the proud holders of the PCI DSS certificate for four consecutive years, we here at VCC Live can confirm that it is the ultimate proof of a solution’s success in keeping its business data safe and secure.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on 25 May 2018, is a regulation that contact centers have no choice but to comply with. Aiming to strengthen data protection across the EU, the regulation gives people more control over how organizations can use their personal data.

GDPR has brought major changes to the business world, and call centers, which usually deal with a huge volume of data, are no exception. It also introduced heavy penalties for organizations that fail to comply with the new legislation. 

This legislation requires contact centers to operate in accordance with strict rules, such as making sure customers can easily access their personal data and providing them with the right to be forgotten.

Even though GDPR is now in effect, many organizations are still trying to determine what their obligations are under the new rules (if you’re still unclear whether your call center is GDPR compliant or not, it’s time to check out our GDPR checklist).

Call recording

Call recording is a common call center practice, with most contact centers recording customer calls for security and training purposes. However, the correct handling and processing of recorded calls can cause (and indeed are causing) headaches for many businesses.

Voice files are considered personal data as they can include personal details, such as the caller’s name, address or financial information. As a result, call recording is classified as a form of ‘data processing’, and falls under the new rules covered by GDPR.

When it comes to call recording the golden rule is that agents will need to specifically request permission from their customers to be able to record calls. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your staff always pay special attention to obtaining consent from your customers.

In particular, contact centers should never assume that informing customers about call recording is enough to indicate consent. Instead, they need to directly ask customers for permission, while also telling them they can opt out of the call before the conversation continues.

Take away

As you can see there are several important rules and regulations contact centers must abide by. And as new rules continue to appear every year, it’s best you always stay prepared by making your organization fully aware of the importance of data security.

Don’t Let Bad Customer Service Affect Your Business! Here’s Why!

Posted on: January 17th, 2020 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Bad customer service will create a negative impact on your business no matter how great your products or services are. In the long run, poor service will result in losing your revenue, reputation, customers as well as employees.

In this article, we are showing you the dangerous side effects of bad customer service. Check it out and make sure you always keep your customer service standards high!

Revenue Loss   

Bad customer service creates a downward spiral for revenue. As a result of bad customer service, you can expect new customers to stay away and existing ones to leave. And of course, if your customer base decreases, you’ll have fewer sales, which will eventually lead to losing your revenue.

It’s definitely a vicious circle: your reputation gets damaged, you’ll start losing new sales, your existing customers will leave you and in the end you might even need to cut costs by downsizing your team.

And even if you decide to allocate more money for marketing purposes, if there is no effort made to improve your customer service, your newly acquired customers will soon leave you as well.  

Damaged Reputation

Without doubt, your reputation is one of the most valuable assets of your company. But in our ever-connected world, it takes only a few minutes to lose your reputation due to bad customer service.

Whether you like it or not, customers are your company’s most powerful marketing weapon. If they have a bad experience with your business, they will tell their friends, family and colleagues. In worst scenario, they will leave a negative online review about your company, which of course, will greatly damage your reputation.

Indeed, customers these days are quick to share their negative experiences online, leaving comments on review sites and social media channels. And for new customers it will take only a few minutes to check your company’s negative reviews, resulting in staying away from your business. 

Customers Leave  

With competition becoming fiercer than ever, customers these days can choose from many options when it comes to purchasing a product or service. And you can be sure that if they experience poor service, they will leave you for the competition in no time.

As acquiring new customers takes more effort than to retain the existing ones, losing customers due to bad customer service is something no business can afford.

Furthermore, when you lose a loyal customer, chances are they will share their bad experiences with their acquaintances, further damaging your reputation.

Employees Leave

Bad customer service will have a negative side effect on your team as well, resulting in not only losing your customers but your best employees as well.

When your company provides bad customer service, your employees will be the first ones to hear about it straight from your customers. And some of these upset customers will not be a pleasure to talk with.

As nobody likes to talk to angry customers, having to deal with constantly complaining customers will definitely take a toll on your employees as well. This will lead to burnout and eventually, your employees will desert the sinking ship.

Now that you really can see the dangerous consequences of bad customer service, will you go the extra mile to always provide exceptional service? We hope you will!

How to Improve Your Call Quality Monitoring in the Call Center

Posted on: January 16th, 2020 by Magdalena Horváth No Comments

Let’s admit, it might be difficult for both customers and agents to understand each other when it comes to solving an issue via customer service phone lines. In such stressful situations, having the right approach and handing the call with no interruptions is vital in order to keep customers calm and satisfied.

The same goes for outbound activities. Given the high volume of customer service interactions call centers have on a daily basis, monitoring your call quality is critical in order to make sure that your processes are going smoothly, and that your team is handling customer interactions professionally.

Below are my tips on how you can improve call quality monitoring in the call center.

Which elements contribute to the quality of your calls?

Having local hardware, accessories and internet services, together with an up-to-date contact center system, is essential for quality calls. VCC Live is definitely among the best solutions for stable operations: our primary features come with a 99,5% minimum availability guarantee, enabling smooth and continuous contact center operations.

Furthermore, in order to able to take and make quality calls, you’ll need to leverage good-quality telecommunications services that are able to smoothly operate within your software. At VCC Live, we make sure that the quality of our call connections remains at their highest by working together with more than 40 highly-reliable telecommunications providers around the world. We assure service continuity by providing you with multiple failover routings if you fall victim to service interruptions on the partner’s side.

Last but not least, your agents’ dedicated work and your contact center software’s technical solutions can also help you keep your quality management at the highest level. VCC Live comes with a sophisticated Quality Management module that lets you easily assess and provide feedback on your agents’ work. You can also listen in, whisper or join a call in conference mode. And with our latest feature, the monitoring Dashboard, you can see your Key Performance Indicators in real-time, no matter where you are!

The importance of monitoring call quality

The aim of quality monitoring is to identify calls that are failing to meet predefined standards and customer expectations, and then take action to make the process better.

Tracking customer calls is a common practice in call centers, and for good reason: call quality monitoring will allow you to observe your team’s performance, and as a result be able to adjust their activities for better results.

Furthermore, if you suspect any anomalies regarding your workflow or how your agents are handling certain situations, you’ll be able to easily intervene and react in time, again for better results.

Monitoring your calls systematically will also help you save the time and money you would normally spend on solving problems post-factum.

Call quality monitoring is essential for outbound calls too. By tracking your workload, average wait time and call abandonment rate, for instance, you can once again monitor your performance and overall customer satisfaction. And it is just one example of important KPIs that you can easily watch live in VCC software.

And last but definitely not least, we all know that one major mission of any customer service team is to make (and keep) customers happy. And what better way to keep them happy than by continuously monitoring your customer interactions and taking action to improve them.

How to improve your call quality monitoring

By implementing and applying call quality monitoring best practices, you’ll be able to detect areas that need work, and improve them in the long run.

First and foremost, create a list of the most important KPIs that you will frequently follow to ensure the smooth operation of your call center. There is no need to keep track of all data, just focus on what’s important for you and work on reaching your targets.

Then, make sure to choose a call center software that allows call recording and real-time call monitoring. With VCC Live’s software you can not only record your calls but also, with the help of features such as real-time monitoring, dashboards and wallboards, keep track of what’s happening in real time.

Furthermore, always take time to provide your agents with appropriate training sessions in order to enable them to excel at their jobs, while also frequently updating them about the system solutions that are available for them to use.

Providing feedback should be an important part of your monitoring processes. Make sure your supervisors are actively monitoring calls – for instance by listening into customer calls –and providing useful insights not only to their team but also to the higher managers and owners. It may be also a good idea to create real-time agent performance reports and display them on dashboards so that your agents can be made aware of their performance levels, and your managers can keep up-to-date with the results. Remember that there is no great monitoring solution that will do the job for you, so be active in verifying your results to make 100% use of it.

Another great call quality monitoring practice is to identify and save examples of your “best calls” and use them as training aids to help your agents acquire successful techniques to handle customer interactions.

And as we all know, practice makes perfect. Once you developed your call monitoring processes, it doesn’t mean your work is done. Testing your procedures and dynamically adjusting them to the changes that your company may be facing is equally important. Turning this into regular practice will make all the difference. 

3 Fun and Useful Customer Service Training Games

Posted on: January 7th, 2020 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Working in a call center is a pretty difficult job. In such a fast-paced environment, most agents will undoubtedly benefit from a well-thought training program in order to be able to excel at their job.

In other words, as it is your agents who can keep your customers happy in the long run, you’ll really need to invest in providing them with the possibly best training sessions.

We already collected some handy tips for training call center agents, which you can check here. But sometimes adding a little bit of fun to training sessions is the best way to keep your agents motivated. So, here are 3 useful and fun customer service training games to get the most of your agent team!

Customer Service Training Game Nr. 1: Never say never

Customers don’t like to hear that you cannot help them with their issues. Still, however well-trained your agents are, there will always be situations when they simply won’t be able to solve a problem. And in such cases, approaching the problem in a positive way is vital. This game will help your agents learn how to handle situations positively when they cannot solve a particular problem in the first place.

What’s the most important is that your agents should never say “I can’t do this” to customers. Therefore, this game will train them to say, “I can do Y” instead of just saying “I can’t do X”.

Let’s see how the game works:

Have your agents gather in a circle with clearly legible name tags. Give your agents a couple of minutes to come up with a few requests for their peers. Requests can be anything from realistic to imaginary such as, “I want you to do my tasks today” or simply “I want to ride a unicorn”.

Then, instruct your agents to call out a peer’s name and request one thing from their list. The named agent has to turn down the request without saying “No”. Once they managed to deny the request, it’s their turn to call out another employee, and so on. Make sure the rules are clear for your agents, and get the team started.

Customer Service Training Games Nr. 2: Over to You

Every customer service team deals with frequently asked questions and issues on a daily basis. For such cases, you have probably established solutions, but what if a little bit of brainstorming could help you to come up with something more efficient?

For this game, again, ask your agents to gather in a circle and think of an issue that is common amongst your customers. Then, discuss with your team how they would handle the situation.

Ask them the following questions:

1, If this was your business, what would you do?

2, If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

3, If you had an unlimited budget, what would you do?

4, If you had a magic wand, what would you do?

This game helps your agents come up with creative solutions while they can also learn from their peers’ answers. During this game, it’s important to move around the groups and listen to their ideas, while also sharing useful insights with your agents.

Source: Call Center Helper

Customer Service Training Games Nr. 3: Write Customer Letters

Working as a call center agent is not easy. Agents spend most of their time on the phone talking to customers, resolving issues. Considering the high levels of stress commonly experienced due to the great amount of unexpected situations, it’s not surprising that team morale is often extremely low in contact centers.

The following game will not only help you boost morale in your team but also enables agents to better understand what attitude customers are looking for when contacting them with their issues.

For this game, you’ll need to have a team of around 10 people sitting in a circle. Ask one agent from your team to tell one of their recent customer stories. Ask them to share the customer’s name, most recent purchase and what they needed assistance with.

Then, ask each members of your team to write a thank you letter to your company from the customer’s perspective sharing how this interaction helped them and praising the company’s professional handling of the case.

Ask some of the agents to read out their letters and discuss them with together with the team. Make sure to highlight what the customers appreciated the most regarding the interaction. You can also create a list of the praises and then send them to each agents so that they can look at them during difficult days.

Adding customer service training games to your training program is a great way to better engage your agents while also adding some fun to the learning process. Try these 3 games for better results!