Posts Tagged ‘customer experience’

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! 

Here’s How You Can Build Customer Rapport in the Contact Center

Posted on: November 27th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

More often than not sales calls sound way too scripted and lack credibility. The result is that companies end up failing to make the most of their sales activities. That’s why you should focus on building customer rapport from the very first contact you make with customers.

Building rapport with customers means making sincere connections, and, mainly through phone conversations, creating a common ground of trust. Showing genuine interest, building trust and creating an atmosphere of empathy with your customers is vital if you want to please them and increase your sales.

So, below are some tips on how to build customer rapport in the contact center. Make sure to read on! 

1.    Create a personal interaction

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of personalized customer experience. Adding personal touches to your customer interactions will help you stand out from the crowd. And in such a saturated business environment, you need all the help you can get.

The first thing to do to personalize your customer interactions is to address customers by their name. This is an easy thing to do if your CRM system is integrated with your contact center software, and it’s a small step that can make a really big difference.

When talking to a prospect, you have on average 7 seconds to make a good first impression. Using their name is a simple and effective way of doing so. So give it a try!

2.    Show genuine interest

During sales calls, customers want to feel they have the opportunity to share their thoughts about your product or services. More importantly, they want to feel that their needs and concerns are being addressed properly.

As you’ll need to learn about the real needs of your prospect before making an offer, showing genuine interest towards them is an absolute necessity. So, when you’re talking to a prospect on the phone, instead of engaging in meaningless small talk, try and make sure you show interest from the very beginning.

The more you can make customers feel they are being listened to, the easier it will be to build rapport with them.

3.    Use positive scripting

While many people are against the use of scripts, using a call center script can have a powerful effect on your business – but only if the script you use is powerful itself.

In particular, using scripts which focus on positive messages and positivity, rather than negative messages and negativity, will greatly help build customer support.

To give you a simple example, encourage your agents to say “let me ask a colleague” instead of saying “I don’t know”. By doing this, your agent will be generating reassuring, positive emotions during the conversation, whilst also conveying a friendly customer service attitude.

4.    Listen carefully and recap what you’ve heard

Active listening, in other words showing your customers that you are paying attention to what they are saying during a phone interaction, is a great way to build customer rapport.

For example, when talking to a prospect, after you have got an overall picture of their needs, make sure to repeat and summarize what you’ve heard before you make an offer.

Also, recapping what’s been said will not only reassure your customers that you understand their needs but will also help you avoid any communication misunderstandings.

Building customer rapport is a prerequisite if you want to gain customers for good. Make sure you follow our tips and start creating meaningful customer interactions! 

Essential Steps to a Smooth and Effective Customer Onboarding

Posted on: November 8th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Most companies think they’ve won a customer when they sign the contract with them. But the truth is that when your customer chooses your solution that doesn’t mean that your work is done. In fact, it has only begun…

Customer onboarding is an essential part of the customer life cycle: a positive onboarding experience will reassure your customers that they’ve made the right decision in choosing your solution.  

Check out our five important steps to effective customer onboarding below and make sure your customers stay with your company for good!

Assess Your Client’s Assets and Set Goals

The first and most critical part of any successful customer onboarding process is to thoroughly study your client and assess their assets. As every client is different, it is of utmost importance to know their processes, their results so far and also their expectations after choosing your solution.

In our ever-competitive business environment, providing a software solution will not be enough to ensure your client’s success. As a reliable solution provider, to win over your clients you’ll also need to offer proactive consulting services.

As such, start the onboarding process by making a list of your positive and negative findings. Also, remember to come up with improvement solutions for the negative findings in order to position your company as an expert in the field.

Set Your Goals Together

A successful onboarding process starts with setting goals. During the assessment period, your task is to identify what the client is hoping to achieve by using your solution. The next step is to turn your assessment into clear goals.

Once you have an overall picture of your client’s results, daily operations and expectations for the future, it’s time to set your goals together with an action plan to move things forward.

Again, use your years of experience in the industry and try to provide your client with useful consultancy services. After all, their success is your success.

Effective Communication is Key

Reliable and consistent communication is what many companies fail to provide when onboarding their customers. In such cases, clients often feel abandoned and for good reason.

Start by sending out a welcome email, thank them for choosing your solution and let them know how excited you are to be working with them.

The next inevitable step in your customer onboarding process is to teach your customers how to use your solution. While many companies just simply create a tutorial, make sure you provide them with a guided walk through during an interactive onsite or online training session.

Last but not least, don’t forget to check on your customers every now and then. By doing this you can show your clients that you care about their progress, as well as also help them get the maximum out of your solution.

Customer onboarding can help you retain your customers in the long run by creating a seamless experience between every touchpoint. So don’t miss out on this great opportunity to grow your business! 

Strategies to Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates

Posted on: September 5th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Acquiring customers is important but retaining them is what makes a business grow in the long term. Still, 44% of companies rather focus on customer acquisition than customer retention.

But did you know that it costs five times as much to acquire a customer than to keep an existing one? So, instead of focusing only on customer acquisition, make sure you put just as much energy into retaining your customers, and even turning them into brand advocates. Here’s how!

Offer next-level customer service

This might be obvious but, if you thrive to turn your customers into brand advocates, start by providing each of them with exceptional customer service because you never know who may later turn into your most loyal brand advocates.

Providing an overall good customer experience is a good first step, but chances are it won’t be enough for turning customers into advocates. Instead, you’ll need to take things further and know what your customers want, before they even know it, for example, by exceeding their expectations with proactive customer service.

Seeing your company is willing to go the extra mile to solve problems before they even occur will definitely make your customers feel that they are valued and respected, encouraging them to turn into loyal brand advocates.

Know your customers

What better way to show customers you value them than remembering their name? It makes customers feel like an individual and it also demonstrates that you actually care about them as a person.

In fact, thanks to today’s advanced technology, you can do a lot more than just greeting customers by their names. It’s no secret that customer service departments store a huge amount of customer data. And by leveraging data analytics instead of only storing your data, you can actually make good use of it. Proper analysis of customer data is the first step in understanding your customers. In fact, data analytics will allow you to better understand your customers’ behaviors and needs, and thus add personalization to your customer service.

By showing your customers that you know them, you’ll be able to make them feel treated as special customers and thus encourage them to commit to your business.

Ask for Feedback

Customer feedback is one of, if not the most valuable resource for your business. It is also an excellent way to gain insights into your company’s processes. After all, it is customers who use your products or services, so you better take their opinion seriously.

Customer feedback is giving you the opportunity to realize what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve your services. This allows you to better serve your customers by taking their feedback on board.

Furthermore, by asking for feedback, you can show your customers that you care about what they think and consider changing your product or services based on their thoughts. As a result, chances are better they will stick to your business and become brand advocates.

Create a community

Another great strategy to turn customers into brand advocates is by providing them with a platform (such as a forum) where they can interact with each other. As already mentioned in a previous article, one major benefit of creating a community around your brand is that it can significantly increase customer retention and engagement.

In order to create an online community, consider building as many social media platforms as you can manage, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora to serve as communication hubs where your customers can interact. You might want to consider creating a forum, as well, which is typically an ideal platform to create a community.

Giving your customers platforms where they can talk about your product will give you the opportunity not only to join the conversation and create a relationship with them but also listen to their feedback and deal with their complaints. 

City Connect Chose VCC Live to Power Their Customer Experience Services

Posted on: August 26th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

We are more than delighted to announce that City Connect decided to leverage VCC Live’s solution to power their customer experience services in Croatia to start with.

City Connect is an established business process and technology outsourcing (BPTO) provider with several offices in Europe (www.citycc.eu), specialized in omnichannel customer experience, sales and marketing services. Their mission is to deliver next-generation customer experiences and help companies connect with their customers and partners every day, around the world.

As a company aiming to deliver exceptional customer experience, City Connect needed a technology solution that allowed them to live up to its customers’ increasing expectations. As such, City Connect decided to leverage VCC Live’s professional package including advanced features, such as an intelligent predictive dialer, dashboard and real-time analytics.

As providing sales and marketing services amongst others, City Connect’s success greatly depends on the efficiency of services through outbound channels. With VCC Live’s intelligent predictive dialer, the company can now fine-tune their outbound campaigns by setting unique parameters.

Furthermore, in order to be able to reach excellence in their operations, VCC Live provided City Connect with customizable analytics. Among other things, with our export editor, the company is able to determine and customize what data to export from their databases. 

Last but not least, City Connect needed a solution that allowed them to monitor their performance in real-time. With our powerful dashboard, City Connect is able to see and monitor the most essential KPIs in real-time, including historical call data.

We are looking forward to a fruitful partnership with City Connect, and are ready to help them deliver the best possible results to their customers across the world.” – Norbert Simán, Customer Success Manager at VCC Live

Our company recognizes ever-increasing necessity to provide state of the art efficient and versatile software solution to connect with our clients and their customers. VCC Live meets our high expectations and offers an additional value to our proposal.” – Ivica Mađura, Director at City Connect

Remote Agents in the Call Center: a Trend You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

The call center industry is undergoing significant changes at the moment, with the general trend seeing a significant increase in hiring remote agents.

Remote work is gaining popularity in the call center, and for good reason. But is it really worth relying call center activities on remote workforce?

Besides a number of benefits we already talked about in a previous article, recent studies have shown that remote agents are more productive. Also, it seems they enjoy working from home and wouldn’t want to give up on it.

The shift from on-premise to virtual

As these days most customer service departments operate internationally, call center activities often require flexible and multilingual workforce, which is, of course, challenging to hire.

At the same time, the rise of cloud contact center technology enabled for call centers to provide their agents with an easy-to-use solution that requires no IT maintenance and can be accessed anytime from anywhere.

As a result, call centers have slowly started to shift from bricks-and-mortar to virtual premises, leveraging home-based workforce.

Amongst other things, remote agents are cost-effective, as call centers can significantly save on office expenses. Also, employees these days increasingly prefer flexibility at work, and the idea of working remotely from home is very appealing to most of them, helping you reduce burnout in your agent team. And last but definitely not least, as already mentioned, recent studies have shown a significant increase in remote workers’ productivity.

If you’re still not convinced about the benefits of remote agents, then let the numbers speak for themselves!  

Employees prefer remote working

As of 2019, remote workforce is getting more and more popular, with 66% of companies allowing remote work and 16% being fully remote.

According to a recent survey carried out by Talentlms, employees increasingly prefer remote work opportunities. As such, 85% of remote workers say that remote work was their decision because they wanted more flexibility, to make their own hours, and to live a carefree lifestyle.”

These results are not surprising at all, considering that these days flexibility is high on the list of employees’ priorities. Today’s workers increasingly reject traditional working hierarchies, so chances are they will expect to be offered flexible working options once or twice a week, as well as a possibility of remote work.

Furthermore, according to the survey, “60% of respondents have to follow a 9-5, 5-days-a-week work schedule”. So why is it more flexible than an on-site job?

Well, home office creates a more relaxing workplace than ever-more popular open plan offices, allowing your agents to set up their ideal work environment.

And it is not only more flexible but also more cost-effective as employees don’t need to pay for commuting. Speaking of commuting, the majority of workers spend 30 minutes on average commuting. As such, remote work also allows agents to save some time.  

It’s no surprise then that only “20% of those who work from the comfort of their own home would rather go back to working in a company office.”

Productivity is the engine that keeps the call center running. And while working from home might feel lonely, almost no one feels unproductive. In fact, 90% feel they get more work done when working remotely. Quite impressive, isn’t it?

And what will the future bring to the home-based workforce model? The numbers suggest it will gain even more popularity.  

Indeed, “35% of remote workers want to work more days remotely while 6 out of 10 would like their job less if they had to say goodbye to their home office and visit their company every day to do the exact same job.”

Take away

Workplace trends are rapidly changing and it really does seem that both agents and companies can greatly benefit from adopting the home-based business model. By relying on remote agents, you can cut costs, increase productivity and keep your agents satisfied in the long run. So maybe it’s time for your call center to give it a try?  

Why Your Call Center Needs to Leverage Customer Segmentation

Posted on: June 28th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

These days customers are one of a business’ most valuable assets. And as we all know, in our ever-competitive world, it’s easier to retain customers than get new ones.

As such, it’s no wonder there’s fierce competition among companies to provide customers with an as-convenient-as-possible customer experience. As we already talked about in a previous article, one particularly popular method you can use to provide customers with a superior experience is by offering personalized customer service. Another less-known but equally important way is by leveraging customer segmentation, a method that allows companies to take personalized customer service to a whole new level.

So, let’s take a quick look at what customer segmentation is, and why your call center needs to be leveraging it!  

What is customer segmentation?

In short, customer segmentation is the method of treating customers in different ways based on predefined segments. For example, if a customer has recently experienced a number of issues with a business, then chances are that the company will place them in a segment for special treatment, in order to keep them as their customer.

Customer segmentation, however, is more than just offering special treatment to certain customers. It can be based on a number of factors, including demographics, customer loyalty and satisfaction, behaviors, needs and so on. Customer segmentation can also help companies decide which channel they should use to reach out to customers, in order to increase both customer satisfaction and the company’s benefit from the interaction.  

So what are the most important benefits of customer segmentation? Let’s dive in!

Meeting customer expectations and needs

One thing every business strives to achieve is to meet their customers’ expectations. And customer segmentation is a great method to help you do that.

Customer segments allow businesses to divide customers into segments based on their needs and interests, and reach out to them with personalized offers. You can also create segments based on new customers and old customers, or, using purchasing history data, satisfied customers and not-so-satisfied customers.

Analyzing customer data and purchasing history is vital when creating customer segments. In fact, if you can understand your customers’ expectations and needs by analyzing their data, then you can offer personalized offers that are a better fit than what your competitors offer.

Increased profits

With customer segmentation, you can also create segments based on value, so that you can work out who your high-value customers are. Value-based segments will allow you to evaluate your customers in terms of the revenue they generate and the costs of retaining them.

Let’s say, for example, that your call center is focusing on collecting debts. We all know these days that debt collectors utilize a number of channels to reach out to debtors. So how can you decide which channel to use with certain customers? With customer segmentation, of course.

By basing your customer segmentation on the value of their debts, you can utilize low-cost channels such as SMS reminders for customers who only owe your company a comparatively low amount of money, thus allowing your agents to focus on higher-value customers.  

Efficient customer retention

Perhaps the most important benefit of customer segmentation is that it helps companies create an efficient customer retention strategy.

Customers don’t like to repeat themselves when talking to a company, especially if they have been the company’s customer for a long time. As such, interacting with long-term customers on a more personal level is key when trying to provide a better quality of customer service.

Additionally, customers don’t tend to forget how you handled their past issues, so showing them you know their history by leveraging customer segments will definitely help you gain their loyalty for life.

You could, for example, create a segment for long-time customers who experienced issues with your services recently and offer them some kind of compensation. You can be sure that actions like this will increase their loyalty to your brand.

With customers’ ever-increasing expectations, it’s vital to leverage customer segmentation in the call center to meet those expectations, increase the call center’s profit and most importantly retain established customers.  

Ways to Reduce Agent Idle Time in a Call Center

Posted on: June 25th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Optimizing workforce management to get the most out of your processes is a key factor in any call center. So, throwing money out of the window by having high levels of agent idle time, in an environment where everyone is so keen on enhancing productivity, is clearly a mistake.

Causes of agent idle time can include ineffective staff planning and frequent peak times. Some idle time, of course, is necessary, if you don’t want your agents to quickly burn out. However, unacceptably high levels of agent idle times will definitely harm your business in terms of profits and efficiency.

So how can you effectively reduce agent idle time in your call center? Check out our article and make sure your agents are spending more time helping customers and less time sitting around doing nothing.

Leverage call blending

Call centers that focus on telemarketing activities normally need to handle an increased number of calls during and after their TV spots. However, outside of these times, they can often experience high levels of agent idle time.

So why not utilize call blending to keep your agents busy? By leveraging call blending when your phone lines are comparatively quiet, your agents can use this idle time to initiate follow-ups to abandoned calls or reach out to dissatisfied customers.

Of course, for a call center to successfully take advantage of call blending, it is crucial that agents are equipped to handle both customer-based inbound and sales-based outbound calls within the same project. So, make sure you allocate time to properly training your team to deal with blended calls. If you do so, the chances are high that not only will your agent idle time reduce significantly but your productivity will also increase.

In blended call centers, agents can work simultaneously on a number of projects, and thus eliminate idle time by carrying out and switch between different activities.

Know the strength of your agents

In order to keep your processes running smooth and help your agents get the most out of their job, it is vital that you know your agents’ strengths and weaknesses.

As not every agent is capable of handling both incoming and outgoing calls, make sure you allocate enough time to identifying agents who can successfully contribute to your blended campaigns.

It is clear that reducing agent idle time is an important KPI for any call center manager. However, even if you manage to reduce idle times through blended calls, if your agents are not able to perform well while carrying out their activities your call center’s productivity will be negatively affected.

Offer a systematic training system

Even if you hire more agents than you need, it’s no guarantee that they will be able to successfully handle your incoming and outgoing calls, especially if they are not trained properly. Therefore, once you identified agents who are capable of handling both incoming and outgoing calls, it’s time to offer them systematic training sessions.

Systematic training is the core of efficient customer service. A well-trained agent can not only speed up your processes but also significantly raise your first call resolution rate.

Furthermore, a well thought-out training system can help you substantially reduce agent idle time. You could do this, for example, by creating a knowledge base and letting your agents have access to it. You could also try adding a bit of call center gamification to the process and offer them small rewards for training themselves during their idle times.  

Agent idle time can never be eliminated, but with the right strategies, they can be reduced to a minimum. Follow our tips and make sure your agents can maximize their contribution to your call center’s success.