3 Ways To Strengthen The Call Centre Manager/Phone Agent Relationship

Call centre work can be gruelling. It isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned it and it certainly won’t be the last. At SIClytics, we have great respect for both phone agents and the managers who oversee their teams, knowing that they work within noise-filled, high-energy, often-hectic environments. Of course, the better that call centre managers are able to work with their phone agents, the more productive the business can be overall.

Are you a call centre manager looking to better your business? Here are three ways to strengthen the call centre manager/phone agent relationship:

1. Begin each day with a light-hearted morning meeting.

This is a simple, yet effective technique that will start each day off right. Naturally, it’s important to highlight the various priorities of your team each day. However, your morning meetings should be made up of as much friendly chatter as it is business-associated discussions. This will help to firstly, lighten the mood and boost the spirits of a potentially otherwise tuned-out audience.

But, secondly, it will encourage your team members to engage in conversations with you, making it easier to have open dialogue about various facets of the job. The more accessible you are to your staff members, the better the relationships will be. And strong relationships in the office enable you to offer feedback that will help to produce better results.

2. Schedule regular one-on-one feedback sessions.

Speaking of feedback, it’s absolutely mandatory within a call centre environment. A big part of a call centre manager’s job is to offer assistance that will help phone agents perform their jobs better. Some managers shy away from this, fearing that constructive criticism will dissuade their employees from trying harder. They fear that pointing out areas of concern will discourage their workers.

Not only is the opposite true (the vast majority of employees want to know how they’re doing), but the regular back and forth will help to grow senses of trust and respect within the call centre manager/phone agent relationship. Don’t forget that one-on-one feedback sessions are also excellent opportunities to get to know your employees better. They will help you to better understand how to communicate in ways that will serve to motivate them to perform at their best.

3. Equip your office with top-of-the-line equipment.

When your employees complain about their working conditions, it’s a reflection on you. To avoid this negative impression, be sure that your office is equipped with comfortable ergonomic chairs, well-functioning computers and cloud-hosted technology that make their jobs easier. We’re referring to such web-based telemarketing software as Lead DaFeeder which allows even the most inexperienced computer users to manage campaign dialing and dispositions.

We’re talking about a system that allows for one-touch dialing, doing away with the archaic practice of manually dialing phone numbers listed on pieces of paper. We’re speaking about an online filing system that enables your staff members to create and save valuable notes on each of their leads. We’re discussing a service that has been proven to enhance effectiveness, drive sales, improve customer satisfaction and provide insight into performance!

For more information about Lead DaFeeder, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com. Be sure to ask us about our Live Call Monitoring services too!

3 Tips For Training New Call Centre Employees

Manager explaining something to his employee in a call centre.
During the always-busy holiday season, customer service is more important than ever. Not only are most customers generally in a rush to get the information they need, there are generally a lot more of them calling your centre in order to get it. Your team needs to be regularly motivated in order to handle the influx of calls that they’re bound to get in the weeks to come. In last week’s blog, we listed a few key ways to keep your team of phone agents motivated.

In this week’s blog, we’d like to take a look at some ways you can train new hires to become part of your already-motivated team. It’s not uncommon for business owners to hire seasonal staff in order to help manage the higher call volumes that are in keeping with the holiday season. If you’re one of those business owners, you’ll need to step up both your hiring and training regimens this week.

Here are three tips for training new call centre employees:

1. Be clear about company goals and directives so as to empower decision making. The best call centre employees are the ones who are able to make sound decisions on behalf of the company. Of course, you’ll want those decisions to be based on what is best for your business. When you properly educate your new hires about your company goals and directives, they will be given the confidence to make decisions without asking for assistance.

“An agent that is provided with the appropriate tools to empower them to make decisions on behalf of the company is crucial,” says Miruna Mitranescu of Aircall, “A highly trained agent with the power of decision will not only ensure higher customer satisfaction, but will also enable single call resolution and thus result in a more positive customer experience. It’s all about encouraging agent buy-in, not only into the value-driven service their employer is providing, but also buy-in to the client brand that they are representing.”

2. Incorporate on-the-job experience. You can keep your new hires in a classroom for a week or two to provide them with as much information as they can handle. Or you can give them on-the-job training. Which of the two do you think will be more effective? There’s nothing like experience to give someone the confidence to do his/her job the right way. Sure, there may be some bumps in the road, but the actual performing of the job will help your new hires to be better equipped for their roles over the long haul.

“Handling calls during the initial training session is an activity that cannot be eliminated from the curriculum,” insists Mitranescu, “It is imperative that the new hires receive practice handling real-time calls. There is no substitute for this experience. Role-play is good, but real call handling is essential. Trainers should make sure that equipment works and is available for each ‘real-time’ call handling session. Operations should make this a priority.”

3. Listen to the calls being taken by your new hires. Once the official training sessions have been completed, be sure to not have your new hires feel like they are being thrown to the wolves. Monitor the calls of your rookie phone agents so that they can be given feedback about how they are handling questions and complaints. This will be an important step in making them comfortable with their abilities in their new positions.

Mitranescu recommends that you encourage upper management to listen to calls and praise your agents for their jobs well done. This will go a long way in boosting both employee morale and confidence. “It’s really important that he upper management team takes time each week to listen to calls and publicly praise the recognised agents with maybe a certificate or gift card for example,” she suggests, “The gents will feel incentivised to do their best.”

At SIClytics, we are big believers in the providing of regular feedback. Our Live Call Monitoring services allow call centre managers to listen to phone calls live and as they happen. In addition to monitoring, managers can whisper information to their agents to help them resolve potential issues on their calls. This helps to improve overall customer satisfaction and employee performance.

For more information about our Live Call Monitoring services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

How To Manage A Strong Group Of Telemarketers

Picture of female telemarketer with headset during work

No one ever said that telemarketing was an easy job. And if someone did, he/she would be lying – either that, or misinformed! You see, working on the phones requires a lot of patience and persistence. It also requires teamwork. Yes, a phone agent may be on the phone with a customer without assistance, but the training, feedback and words of wisdom imparted on that agent prior to the call make a lot of difference in his/her ability to achieve success.

What are some of the things you can do to ensure you’re managing the strongest group of telemarketers possible? Well, the first thing you can do is get on the phone yourself! There’s nothing quite like leading by example to set the tone in your office. Furthermore, being on the phone will give you the hands-on experience necessary to know exactly what you’re talking about when you provide feedback to the members of your staff.

Many telemarketers complain that their managers “don’t know what they’re talking about because they’ve never been on the phones”. It would be wise to disable your staff members from being able to make such a statement. If you don’t have a background in telemarketing already, take the opportunity to take some calls so that you can be better prepared with helpful hints when your phone agents require your help.

How important is it to understand your target market? Does that question even need to be asked? Clearly, it’s very important. In fact, it can be argued that it’s smarter to get a good handle on the type of customers you’ll encounter than it is to know your product. Of course, product knowledge is essential. But when you know how to deal with the members of your customer base, you’ll be in a better position to endear them to your company.

This involves answering questions adequately. But it also entails the ability to address customer needs. When you know exactly what the members of your customer base are interested in, you’ll be able to come up with effective scripts as well as great responses to objections. In fact, the successful overcoming of objections is one of the most important traits of a strong telemarketer. If you can pass along tips based on your own success, you’ll run a profitable call centre.

How important is it to provide feedback to your team? This is another obvious one. It’s essentially your most important role as a call centre manager. It’s important to always remember that there are different types of feedback. Both the positive and negative variety is necessary. Regularly informing your team members of the great jobs they are doing will go a long way in boosting employee morale.

A happy staff is a productive staff, so there should be no shortage of positive reinforcements. Of course, it will always be necessary to impart on to your team members advice that can help them to improve their performances. At SIClytics, we offer Live Call Monitoring services that allow you to instantly listen in to calls live and as they happen. If you wish, you may even whisper information to your phone agents to help them along in their calls.

You won’t be heard by the other parties. As well, you can barge into a live call as it’s happening, if it is absolutely necessary. We also proudly offer call centre managers fantastic Telemarketing Reporting services that give them the tools to observe and report on the progress of their team of telemarketers. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

The Importance Of Having A Strong Call Centre Manager

Positive customer support team working in call centre

All teams need leaders. Coaches, managers and captains are all called upon to rally their troops in order to provide the best results possible. Most often, you simply can’t rely on the skills and talents of the members of your team. You need a strong leader who is capable of motivating each of the team members in order to inspire their best performances. This is why your call centre needs a strong manager.

What characteristics make up a strong call centre manager? Well, why don’t we begin with the traits that strong call centre managers shouldn’t have? Those who see themselves as enforcers with rights to hand down hard disciplinary action aren’t going to do very well in any working environment. While it may not be important for a call centre manager to “make friends” it is his/her job to be well-liked by his/her team members.

This is strictly because it inspires strong performances. Call centre managers who are friendly and approachable inspire staff members to perform at their best. You want someone running your team who team members feel comfortable talking to. That way, they will be encouraged to ask questions when they need help, serving only to better both the customer service practices and sales numbers of your company.

How important are people management skills? It couldn’t be more important! After all, the job of a call centre manager is to be able to motivate the best efforts out of a large group of people. Without the ability to be a people person, this cannot be possible. Furthermore, strong call centre managers need to be able to prevent and resolve conflicts that may occur between members of the team.

Being a good problem-solver is a huge component of people management – a trait all call centre managers need to have. This is of vital importance considering that many call centres hire staff members whose jobs it is to resolve disputes with customers. If you can’t help to quell conflict in the office, how can you expect your staff members to resolve issues had by their leads, customers and clients?

How important is the ability to provide helpful feedback? This is arguably the most important job of a call centre manager. Part of eliciting excellent performances is the ability to provide constructive criticism without damaging the emotional health of employees. A call centre manager must also know how to adequately monitor calls, using the technology provided to him/her by his/her company.

At SIClytics, we’re happy to be able to offer call centre managers incredible cloud-based services that assist them with monitoring their employees. Our easy-to-use Monitor Whisper service provides managers and supervisors with the ability to monitor calls live and as they happen. As well, they may also whisper feedback to their reps during those calls to improve performance on the spot. And the parties on the other lines won’t hear a thing!

For more information about SIClytics’ Monitor Whisper service, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

5 Tips For Creating A Team Of Top-Notch Telemarketers

Multi-ethnic business people using headset in a call center

If you work in the world of telemarketing, you know exactly how hard a job it is to be on the phones. Especially for those who practice cold calling, going to work every day can be tough sell. The most experienced call centre managers know, however, that the telemarketing industry is thriving and has proven to be a very rewarding line of work. This is especially true for phone agents who have mastered how to build rapport with the prospects they call each day.

But how do you build a strong rapport? How do you even maintain a confident and friendly approach to each phone call when you are so often met with objections? Experience helps, of course. But it all comes down to implementing some specific rules when it comes to handling your day-to-day calling duties. If you’re looking to turn your team of phone agents into highly talented sales representatives, you may want to pass along the following suggestions.

Here are five tips for creating a team of top-notch telemarketers:

1. Allow your staff to implement their own personalities into your script. Many call centre managers have their phone agents read scripts to their prospects verbatim. And while it’s always important for your team to relay accurate information, you don’t want to create robot-sounding individuals who get lost in the monotony of their work shifts. Allow each member of your team to inject his/her own affable personality into the script so that it comes off as more genuine.

2. Get your team to focus on providing unique solutions. Most often, telemarketers attempt to highlight the benefits of the products and services they’re selling. But they don’t necessarily highlight how what is being offered will benefit the specific people they’re speaking to. Encourage your team to ask probing questions so that they can learn more about their prospects. This will allow them to curb their approaches to selling your product or service so that it aligns with the unique needs of each lead.

3. Offer ways to gain the trust of gatekeepers. Regularly, telemarketers are blocked by individuals whose job it is to protect his/her boss/decision-maker from taking unwanted calls. Getting passed the gatekeeper is one of the most important jobs of a telemarketer – and the most savvy of phone workers do it best. It’s important to sound authoritative while remaining friendly. Be in control of the conversation but don’t reveal too much information. Focus on building rapport until you’re granted access to the big cheese.

4. Place an emphasis on objection-handling skills. Telemarketers are likely to hear the words “not interested” more than any other two in the English language each day they go to work. Developing a positive mindset about how to overcome such an objection is the first step to dealing with rejection confidently. Try not to interrupt or jump into the conversation too quickly after an objection is made. Attempt some probing questions, express your understanding and work to keep the conversation going in a relaxed manner.

5. Monitor your team and offer regular feedback. It should go without saying that you need to monitor the calls that your team of sales representatives are making. Listening in to calls to ensure that they are implementing all of the techniques that you’ve taught them will help you to keep everyone on track. Offering feedback to both boost self-confidence and correct certain mistakes will also prove very valuable to your organization.

At SIClytics, we offer Telemarketing Reporting services that enable you to track the results of your telemarketing team’s efforts. As well, our Live Call Monitoring services allow you to listen in to calls and even whisper information to your phone reps while they are on their calls. This immediate form of feedback helps your team to better succeed in the early stages of the relationships they develop with your client base.

For more information about our services that can help you to create a team of top-notch telemarketers, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

How Can Call Tracking Help To Grow Your Business?

Smiling beautiful lady working at call center with colleagues in office

The telephone is still a very powerful way to generate leads. It doesn’t matter how far we’ve come in the world of technological advances, the good old telephone is still today’s chief means of communication. That’s why it only makes sense to include your business phone number on all of your advertising sources. Whether you choose to utilize print ads, radio spots or billboards – just to name a few marketing methods – including your business phone number is a must.

But how do you know which of the above mentioned advertising methods are generating the most calls? How do you know which advertising sources you should continue to invest money in and which ones may be draining your budget without providing a return? Call tracking is the answer! This incredible service offers business owners the ability to get clearer pictures of the power of their marketing efforts.

How does call tracking help your business to save money? As we’ve alluded to, it enables business owners to make smarter decisions about their advertising choices. For example, if your call tracking efforts indicate that you are receiving 70 percent of your calls from your billboards and only 10 percent from your radio ads, you’ll be compelled to spend a lot less money on creating on-air advertisements

Essentially, call tracking removes guesswork from your daily duties as a business owner. When you’re able to determine the exact impact of your marketing efforts, you’ll be able to spend your advertising dollars a lot more wisely. The information you get from call tracking can help you to make some of the wisest money-making and money-saving decisions you’ve ever made. With it, you’ll begin to notice your phone calls becoming much more lucrative.

How does call tracking work? At SIClytics, our service is designed to measure the incoming and outgoing calls that are made using your telecom account with approved SIP vendors. The amazing system that we’ve developed focuses on analyzing conversion, compliance and functionality. Our goal is to help our customers adequately measure their returns on investment through our unique call tracking system.

How important is it to have a strong return on investment? Let’s just say that it could make or break your business! Studies have shown that businesses have been able to triple their sales within a month of using call tracking technology. In some cases, they assign unique phone numbers to different advertising sources, making it clear exactly which ones were generating the most leads.

As a result, the companies obviously made more money by focusing on their interested leads. As well, they wasted less time trying to figure out how those leads discovered the businesses they called in the first place. Call tracking technology also enables business owners to record their calls so that they can better monitor interactions between their customers and phone agents. This also works to improve customer service.

At SIClytics, we’re aware that call tracking is likely a fairly new concept to you. After all, it’s a fairly new concept to everyone! We’d be happy to discuss it with you further and explain how our unique call tracking services can better your business. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-877-374-6003.

How Does Live Call Monitoring Improve Customer Service?

Smiling young African-American businessman in a call center

Being the manager of a call centre is hard work. You have a long list of employees to be responsible for and most often a very busy, noise-riddled working environment to conduct business in. Call centres can provide great results if the phone agents who are hired to work the lines are enthusiastic, motivated and well-trained about the products and services they’re offering. However, they always need your help.

No matter how talented your phone agents are, they will inevitably require a little assistance. As a call centre manager, it’s your job to ensure that your team members have received adequate training and get regular feedback. You’re no different than the coach of a team. As a leader, you need to provide motivation as well as tips and pieces of advice that speak to your expertise in your chosen industry.

This is what makes call monitoring so important. Listening in to the calls of your phone agents is definitely the best way to discover how to help them become better at their jobs. Being able to listen in and make notes of some of the missteps they may be taking will help you to guide them in new, more productive directions. Addressing such concerns as tone of voice, following the script and being able to answer questions effectively are all important.

At SIClytics, we offer a fantastic Live Call Monitoring service that allows you to monitor calls live and as they happen! As well, this great feature gives you the opportunity to jump in on the calls, if necessary. That way, you’ll be able to both train your phone agents by leading by example and avoid the potential loss of disgruntled clients all at the same time. Our Live Call Monitoring service also offers “whisper” capabilities that allow you to speak to your rep without having the customer hear you!

Let’s look at a few ways that monitoring improves customer service:

It allows you to resolve issues quicker. Think about those situations when calls need to be escalated to managers such as yourself. By listening in to the call before it get transferred to you, you’ll be able to already ascertain what the concern of the caller is. That way, you can more quickly address and resolve the issue before it gets any worse. Customers will appreciate your attention to detail and ability to provide expedient service.

It enables your staff to increase sales. When you’re able to whisper messages into the ears of your phone agents while they are on the calls with their clients, your team will be better equipped to highlight the benefits of the products and services you offer. The type of live feedback our Live Call Monitoring service allows for will help to minimize hang ups and reasons for your reps to have to call clients who wish to “think it over” back.

It helps your team members to build rapport with their clients. Being able to whisper helpful advice to your reps will simply make them better customer service representatives. In some cases, your help may mean the difference between securing a long-time customer and losing one forever. Whispering great tips will make your reps more adept at answering questions correctly. And this makes customers happy!

At SIClytics, we offer solutions that simply help to make businesses better. We know what it’s like in call centre environments. And generally speaking, call centre managers and their phone reps could use all the help they can get! Regular feedback fosters stronger phone agents and increased sales. It’s been proven. For more information about our Live Call Monitoring service, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-877-374-6003.