The Benefits Of Monitoring, Whispering And Barging In

At SIClytics, we proudly offer call centre business owners and managers an innovative Live Call Monitoring service that serves many functions. It displays the names of the callers and callees as well as the call durations and directions. As well, the revolutionary service allows managers and trainers to monitor calls live, whisper information to their phone agents and even barge in to the calls if absolutely necessary. The benefits of such a form of call monitoring are many.

What is the benefit of monitoring the calls of your phone agents live?

It’s important to know how well your phone agents are performing. But, as they say, time is money. In the past, call recordings gave call centre managers the ability to monitor the calls of their staff members after the calls were completed. That means that potential mistakes made during those calls could not be corrected at the times they were being made.

This only served to have employees continue to make those same mistakes on subsequent calls until proper feedback was given in order to remedy those errors. On Chron.com, Chris Miksen highlights the importance of being able to offer immediate feedback. “Monitoring employees gives you the opportunity to watch for mistakes and errors throughout the workday,” he writes, “When you see an employee make an error, you may immediately confront the employee about it or bring it up during the employee’s performance review.”

What is the benefit of being able to whisper information to your phone agents during their calls?

Speaking of the importance of immediacy, the “whisper” portion of our Live Call Monitoring services enables call centre managers to help their phone agents nip problems in the bud. By whispering information during the live call, a phone agent can correct his or her path by properly answering questions or adequately addressing concerns.

The “whisper” feature eliminates both the need to put a customer on hold and the need to call a customer back in order to have time to locate accurate information. By providing on-the-spot feedback, you give your employees better opportunities to close sales and improve overall customer satisfaction. It’s important to note that whatever you whisper to your phone agent will not be detected by the party on the other line – a highlight of the Live Call Monitoring service.

What is the benefit of being able to barge in to phone calls?

Previously, an escalated call required a phone agent to put a customer on hold in order to contact a manager or supervisor in order to take over the call. This hold time was sometimes enough to irritate a customer even more. The “barge in” portion of our Live Call Monitoring service speaks to the importance of immediacy once again.

By being able to take over a call right away, you allow for your expertise to do the talking. Your experience will help for the customer to de-escalate his or her concerns instead of having your phone agent potentially worsen the situation. This is especially true if you find that your phone agent is intentionally misleading a customer. Monitoring your employees is an important way to weed out dishonest employees, says Miksen.

“Dishonest employees, as well as employees who believe the rules don’t apply to them, may break company rules when management isn’t around,” he points out , “By constantly monitoring employees, you might catch those who willingly violate company policy and immediately employ disciplinary action.”

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

3 New Year’s Resolutions To Make For Your Call Centre

Business people with headsets using computers in office
With a new year almost here, most business owners are considering ways in which they can improve their companies. Yes, it’s New Year’s Resolutions time! No matter the industry you’re in, you’re bound to want to increase profits and drive up customer satisfaction. Of course, that includes call centre businesses who know – arguably more than anyone else – what it means to focus on driving both sales and customer satisfaction.

Here are three New Year’s Resolutions to make for your call centre:

1. I’m going to publicly acknowledge my staff members more often. Please, don’t ever underestimate the power of employee morale. Injecting energy and enthusiasm into your phone agents should be something you do on a daily basis. Perhaps, you missed out on doing that in 2016. When the calendar flips over, it will be time to – likewise – turn over a new leaf.

Acknowledge the great work done by your staff at your meetings and reward those who perform at high levels. This will encourage other members of your staff to follow suit and work harder in order to achieve the same accolades. In many cases, it will be wise to offer bonuses and incentives to your top performers. But, most often, a pat on the back and a genuine show of appreciation will go a long way in keeping your phone agents motivated to perform at their best.

2. I will offer feedback more regularly to my phone agents. The SIClytics Blog has very often championed the need for call centre managers to provide helpful feedback to their staff members. Remember that “helpful” feedback can be either positive or negative. Constructive criticism, advice and helpful tips will always be necessary in the call centre environment. Phone agents often need assistance in order to continually get better at their jobs.

What call centre managers know better than most team leaders in other business types is that monotony can really wear on people. Sales agents who constantly hear objections need reminders that things will eventually pan out. By learning new ways to overcome objections more effectively, answer questions more concisely and handle customer complaints more calmly, your team members will be become more confident and therefore more productive.

3. I will supply my team with the best tools to do their jobs effectively. In many cases, a phone agent can only perform as well as the technology that he/she uses allows him/her. Are you still using age old telephone equipment and having your staff members manually dial their leads? Are you still recording your calls and listening to them after your phone agents have ended them? Perhaps, it’s time to invest in new phone equipment and phone services.

“The customer service agent is the essential starting point of a chain reaction that will determine how effectively the company will compete, grow or retain revenues, build customer loyalty, and keep existing customers in order to survive,” says Guy Tweedale on CallCentreHelper.com, “It is important that these agents are given the tools necessary to enable them to deal with your customers.”

At SIClytics, we’re happy to help you realize each of these New Year’s Resolutions. We offer a fantastic Live Call Monitoring service that allows you to listen in to live calls and whisper feedback to your phone agents while they are on them. As well, we offer Lead DaFeeder which enables you to create, assign and distribute lead campaigns to your team using a web-based system that also allows for one-click dialing.

For more information about these and any other service that we offer, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com. Happy holidays!

How Can You Make Life Easier At Your Call Centre?

Attractive young woman in suit sitting at call center office and working.
There’s no question that this is the busiest time of year for most businesses across Canada. As a result, it’s quite likely that the call volumes at your call centre have picked up. Needless to say, this can be stressful for your phone agents. Whether they are performing outbound calls or receiving inbound calls, it’s quite likely they are busier than ever. As a call centre manager, it’s your job to help your team to not lose its energy or slack on its dedication to excellent customer service.

What can you do to make life at your call centre easier? Start off with stepping up your feedback sessions. Always keep in mind that feedback is necessary for call centre agents. And we definitely mean both the good and bad kind. There really is no bad kind of feedback though. Constructive criticism and words of advice are important so that your agents can learn from their mistakes to become stronger at their jobs. However, you always want to offer words of appreciation for jobs well done.

Both types of feedback are needed to keep confidence levels high and performances at their best. The holidays are exciting times, but they can be stressful as well. With high call volumes, members of your staff can feel overwhelmed. When they get inundated with what feels like too many calls, it can impact their days in negative ways. People need breaks. Take your team members off of the phones for just a few minutes each day to provide them with some extra motivation.

How important are team meetings in the morning? During this time of year, those morning meetings are more important than ever. It’s wise to keep the moods of your staff members as positive as possible. The holiday spirit is something you need to inject in each member so that they are encouraged to do the same when they’re on the phone. The key to securing customer satisfaction is having the same type of high quality customer service every time your customers call.

It shouldn’t matter who your customers speak to, the type of customer service being received should be at the same high level. Morning meetings help to get everyone on the same page. Encourage your agents to share their concerns, ask questions and even offer up their own tips and advice. The more you encourage teamwork and team building in the morning, the easier everyone’s days should be.

How important is it to utilize modern calling technology? It should come as no surprise to you that, at SIClytics, we believe that the software you use to make your phone calls is of paramount importance to the success of your call centre. We offer a fantastic service known as Lead DaFeeder. It’s an easy-to-use web-based telemarketing software that allows even the most inexperienced computer users to manage campaign dialing and dispositions.

Lead DaFeeder rethinks how web-based technology can help small and medium-sized businesses manage their telemarketing, customer acquisition and political survey strategies. It delivers a feature-rich set of processes that enhances effectiveness, drives sales, improves customer satisfaction and provides insight into performance.

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

Proper On-Hold Procedures Spare Customers From Wasted Time

Smiling businessman put on hold in his office

People hate waiting. It’s just one of those facts of life. With the holiday shopping season now upon us, you’ll begin to notice this a lot more. Frustration will build as shoppers look for unavailable parking spots. Agitation will climb as those same shoppers wait in line to pay for their purchases after finally making their way to the items they were looking for. And let’s not forget the massive increase in customer service requirements that will come with the upcoming holiday shopping rush.

As an owner or manager of a business that employs customer service representatives, it’s pretty important to impart on your team of phone agents that people hate waiting. As a result, your employees should endeavour to service their callers as expeditiously as possible. Now, by no means does this mean that calls should be rushed. It means that as little of your callers’ time should be wasted as possible.

How can you ensure that your callers don’t feel that their time is being wasted? A huge part of that will involve your on-hold methods. There’s bound to be numerous occasions when your phone agents will have to place their callers on hold while they complete important tasks. And, for many people, being put on hold is a waste of time. Making callers feel as if their time is not being wasted will have a lot to do with how they’re placed on hold.

What is the proper way to place someone on hold? Firstly, it’s all about asking. Instead of informing a caller that a hold is necessary, be sure to ask if it’s okay. “May I place you on hold for a minute or two while I locate that information for you?” is an ideal approach. You’ll notice that this approach also includes a time frame. This is of vital importance. Letting your caller know how long he/she will be on hold will help to stave off impatience.

If your time frame is being approached and you’ve not yet completed your task, it’s best to go back on the line to ensure that the caller is aware that you’re still working on his/her request. Offer a new time frame – keeping it short – to put the caller’s mind at ease about how long of a wait will have to be endured. It’s also a good idea to provide a quick explanation of why more time is needed.

When returning from the hold, it’s also important to thank the caller for his/her patience. An apology can also go a long way. “Thank you so much for holding for me, I’m sorry to have kept you waiting” is an excellent approach to re-starting your conversation. A key to not letting a person think that his/her time was wasted is to declare how valuable the time spent on hold was. But it’s also wise to acknowledge that it may have been an inconvenience.

What are some on-hold no-no’s? Beware of interrupting. No matter how pressing an issue is, you don’t want to annoy or anger your caller. Be sure to wait for a break in the conversation before you initiate the on-hold process. As well, there may be instances when placing a customer on hold won’t allow you the time necessary to complete a task. Instead, a call back may be necessary. Be sure to call your customer back as soon as possible. Don’t expect him/her to call you back.

At SIClytics, we offer Live Call Monitoring services so that you can hear for yourself just how well your phone agents are doing at putting their customers on hold. The service enables you to both listen to calls live and jump in on the calls, if necessary. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

5 Ways To Boost Sales In Your Call Centre

Smiling Customer service representative with headset on in a call center

Telemarketing is a tough job. It’s not the first time we’ve stated it and it certainly won’t be the last. There’s a lot to be said about Canadians who make their livings on the phone. They’re required to have a lot of patience, a lot of confidence and lot of tenacity. It’s important for them to be as knowledgeable about the products and services they offer as it is to be friendly and polite. Gaining favour with complete strangers, after all, is no easy feat!

This is why call centre managers have such important jobs. It’s up to them to properly train their phone agents to not only become experts in world of what they’re selling, but to have sharp over-the-phone skills. It is the combination of salesmanship and being a good people person that is the mark of a successful telemarketer. And boosting sales in your call centre will be the mark of your ability to foster that combination.

Here are five ways to boost sales in your call centre:

1. Ensure that your phone agents become products and services experts. If it’s one thing that would-be customers hate, it is company representatives who sound like they don’t know what they’re talking about. Your team members need to attain specific product knowledge that will give them the confidence to answer any questions that come their way. They should be well equipped with information that will help them to impress the leads they speak to.

2. Ensure that your phone agents have strong knowledge about your customer base. Even when your callers know all about the products and services you offer, it’s not enough if they don’t know a lot about who they’re trying to sell to. It’s important to be able to personalize your interactions so that the people being called feel as if their specific needs are being addressed. Having a good understanding of the target audience will go a long way in being able to make them part of your customer base.

3. Put your customers into calling categories. It’s wise to strategically group your customers into categories so that they can be called for the right campaigns. For example, having restaurant owners placed into one group is a great idea so that when you have a specific campaign that caters to their needs, your phone agents can hone in on particular ways to speak to them. Adapting sales approaches based on the customers is necessary to maximize sales.

4. Learn how to speak to humans. In other words, it’s not enough to simply follow a script. Everyone is different and therefore, not everyone is going to respond to the script in the same way. It’s important to be able to touch upon people’s emotional needs. Your team of callers needs to be equipped with members who are adept at empathizing and communicating in ways that let your leads know they are valued and respected as people.

5. Make your interactions personal. Use the customers’ names throughout the calls. Ask questions to learn more about their businesses, interests, likes and dislikes. Find ways to communicate the benefits of your product or service to meet the specific needs of each of your callers. Remember, that each call is about the customer, not your company. Finding a way to help the life of your lead is the best way to secure a sale.

At SIClytics, we offer Lead DaFeeder which has been called a “call centre manager’s dream”. It is an easy-to-use web-based telemarketing software that allows even the most inexperienced computer users to manage campaign dialing and dispositions. It delivers a feature-rich set of processes that enhances effectiveness, improves customer satisfaction and provides insight into performance. Not to mention, it’s a fantastic way to help boost sales in your call centre!

For more information, 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.

5 Techniques To Offering Helpful Feedback To Your Employees

Close-up portrait of two handsome businessmen in suits having a coffee-break in office sitting at the table, with selective focus on one smiling businessman and another sitting back to the camera

Call centre managers, trainers and employers alike all have very important tasks on their hands each and every work day. They are tasks, however, that many business leaders don’t like all that much. Giving feedback can be hard to do. Some don’t like to provide it for fear of hurting feelings. Some simply hate the idea of wasting their time on employees who don’t seem to be able to perform their duties.

Neither should be a reason to avoid giving feedback. There are some techniques to offering it to your employees the right way. Here are five:

1. Strike while the iron’s hot. In other words, the second you see an opportunity to provide feedback, go ahead and do it. Arguably, there’s no better time to offer help than when a situation has occurred that requires assistance. When you let too much time pass – even a day – your memory will fade and the impact of your advice won’t be as strong. Providing feedback during critical moments is a great way to improve performance immediately.

2. Use the sandwich approach. If you’re afraid of bringing down employee morale, be sure to sandwich your negative feedback between two pieces of positive feedback. Here’s an example: “I really like the tone of voice you use on your calls. You make clear that you’re very friendly. However, I’d like you to try slowing down the pace of your speech so that you can be heard better. You’re putting in a great effort, keep it up!”

3. Encourage questions. One of the best ways for your employees to get the most out of the feedback you give them is for them to request it. Encourage your team members to ask questions about their own performances so that they can keep themselves on their proverbial toes. The more inquisitive they are about their job performances, the more likely they will be to improve upon them. Be sure to present yourself as open and approachable to foster such comfort.

4. Be crystal clear with expectations. To get the best performances from your staff members, they’ll need to know exactly what you’re looking for. In many cases, you’ll have to do more than simply say “you need to get your sales numbers up”. Instead, the communication of more specific expectations such as “I’m looking for you to increase your sales numbers by 15% this month” is necessary.

5. Remember that feedback is positive too! Don’t confuse the word “feedback” with “criticism”. Your employees need to know how well they’re doing even more than they need to know about what they could be doing better. Never hesitate to offer words of praise to employees who are performing exceptionally well. It can be argued that the more positive feedback you give, the more successful your team of workers will be. Happy staffs are productive staffs!

At SIClytics, we can help you to provide feedback to your team in ways that were once unheard of. We offer Live Call Monitoring services that allow you to instantly listen in and whisper feedback to your phone agents when they are on the phone with their customers. You can even “barge” into live calls as they’re happening. As well, our Live Call Feeds service allows you to visually monitor call activity as calls are happening!

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