Is There Such A Thing As Providing Too Much Positive Feedback?

You’ll never hear us advise a call centre manager to refrain from providing positive feedback to his/her phone agents. At SIClytics, we’re strong believers in promoting energetic working environments where morale is kept high. As the vast majority of employers are well aware, a happy staff is a productive staff. So, you can never really do enough to keep the people who work for you in good moods. Or can you?

Is it possible to give too much positive feedback?

According to Charles Rogel on Decision-Wise.com, it’s important to mix it up. Positive feedback is necessary. An employee engagement survey conducted at Rogel’s business found that most managers are poor at providing recognition and this leads to employee disengagement. However, employees do need structure, assistance and forms of feedback that help them know how to improve upon their performances.

“Ideally, to optimize engagement and motivation, managers should provide five compliments for every criticism,” recommends Rogel, “Recognition fails if it is not sincere or relevant. Forcing a compliment for the sake of recognition is transparent and will cause more harm than good. On the other hand, by focusing on seeing the good people do and by providing sincere compliments (even for expected work), you will brighten days and reinforce positive behaviour.”

For feedback to be effective, it must be sincere.

Perhaps, the idea isn’t to limit the amount of positive feedback you give, but to ensure that it is provided only when appropriate. If a “good for you” or a “job well done” is handed out for every little thing your employees do, the recognition won’t mean as much. It trivializes the importance of their work. Furthermore, it gives your office that kindergarten appeal where everyone gets a “sticker” for participating in an activity – not exactly the makings of a successful workforce.

Randy Hain of The Huffington Post agrees that positive reinforcements are necessary, but not at the expense of constructive criticism that can help employees stay on their toes. “Encouragement itself is not a bad thing,” he writes, “But too much encouragement, plus the absence of candid advice, can potentially cripple the job search efforts of the friends we care about and ultimately delay them finding employment.”

Look at praise the way you would look at food or medication.

Sound like a strange request? Well, consider the fact that we all need to eat nutritious foods to live healthfully. And when absolutely necessary, we may require medicine to overcome ailments. Of course, in these cases, too much of anything is bad for you. We can only eat so much. And, of course, no one should take more meds than is prescribed. According Mark Tyrell, on Unk.com, it’s the same with giving praise.

“What strength of dose is required?” he asks, “How often should it be administered? Constantly praising someone to the skies can make them addicted to praise. Addiction to praise can be as destructive in its way as any other addiction. It can make you incapable of doing anything effectively without your ‘fix’.”

At SIClytics, we offer Live Call Monitoring services to help call centre managers learn exactly how much feedback is necessary to give their phone agents. Whether it’s positive reinforcements for strong performances or words of advice to help better their work, feedback is a necessary part of every employer’s job.

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.

The Importance Of Focusing On Customer Satisfaction

Confident smiling businessman having a phone call on his smart phone
It should sound like a “no brainer” to even suggest that focusing on customer satisfaction is the most important aspect of any business. But not all business owners think alike. There are those that believe that sales are king. As long as product is being shipped out the door, then all is well. However, great products alone don’t always necessarily lead to customer satisfaction. Consumers require an enjoyment of their interactions with the companies they support.

This is especially true during the busy holiday shopping season when customers are regularly making calls to businesses to inquire about the various products they wish to buy as holiday gifts. Questions about delivery dates, return policies and number of items in stock are abound. If you run a business where over-the-phone customer service is performed, it’s of vital importance that customer satisfaction be your focus.

How does a focus on customer satisfaction promote loyalty? Well, let’s consider the fact that the items you are offering the general public may be available from a number of other businesses. If that’s the case, what is separating you from your competition? Sure, you may offer a “higher quality” option. But if the interactions with your customers don’t outshine those made between your competitors and members of your target audience, you may stand to lose customers.

“Customer satisfaction is a gateway to earning loyalty,” says InfinitContact.com, “Measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty are like comparing apples to oranges because the former is a function of attitude while the latter goes much deeper. Loyalty is a belief that was formed from having a customer encounter good experiences from your brand. Ensuring that a client is satisfied with every point of interaction is a process that leads to loyalty down the road.”

How does a focus on customer satisfaction prevent customers from leaving you? As mentioned earlier, consumers cherish their experiences with the companies they do business with. It’s important for people to feel valued and appreciated when they spend their money. If you’re under the impression that good prices are the best ways to keep customers, you’re mistaken. Signs of respect and gratitude go a long way in holding on to your supporters.

“The main reason for attrition is not changes in your price points, but bad customer service experience,” InfinitContact.com informs us, “The good news here is that as long as you pay attention to your customer’s needs and continue to ‘wow’ them by exceeding their expectations, it’s easier to justify price increases when the time comes.”

How does a focus on customer satisfaction grow your company’s reputation? Never forget the power of word-of-mouth promotion. Disgruntled customers are quick to spread the word about how badly they’ve been treated. And with social media being such powerful forces these days, word can spread quicker than ever! As InfinitContact.com points out, “negative word of mouth can be a death knell to a company, especially in today’s wired and interconnected world. It’s so much easier to spread negative reviews on various platforms.”

At SIClytics, we offer business owners who run call centre environments a fascinating Live Call Monitoring service that allows them to keep on top of the performances of their phone agents. If you’re focused on customer satisfaction – as you should be – this service will greatly assist you in your ability to provide feedback to your phone agents so that they maintain the same focus.

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 Boosting Employee Morale

Image of business partners making pile of hands at meeting

It’s a very interesting time of year. Autumn is officially here and the fourth quarter begins in under a week. For most business owners across Canada, much is being done to entice customers to make purchases from them. Especially with the upcoming holiday season, there is an expectation that business is about to pick up. It’s important to note, however, that no business owner should simply assume that a sales boost is coming.

Efforts must be placed on making the public aware of the special deals, discounts and events taking place at any business. And while there is a wide variety of advertising avenues that entrepreneurs can take, there is a very important step that should never be overlooked when it comes to bettering a business. And that would be to ensure that your employees are happy. A happy staff, as is often said, is a productive staff!

“Your employees’ morale may need a boost,” states Marcus Erb on Entrepreneur.com, “After all, low morale can lead to poor cooperation, low productivity and increased turnover — and ultimately hinder a business from reaching its goals. Since employee morale can quickly build or break a company’s success, effective leaders often keep a close eye on it and enlist simple and creative approaches to strengthen it.”

Why is it so important to make your employees happy? Well, they are human, after all. And when people are in good moods, they simply perform their daily duties better. Most workers take great pride in the jobs they do. So, as a business owner or manager, when you acknowledge the jobs well done of your staff members, it can go a long way in securing their hard work and dedication for the long term.

What else can you do to ensure that your staff is kept happy? Take a genuine interest in their personal lives. No one is saying that you need to become best buds with everyone who works for you. In fact, it’s probably something we’d advise against. However, there is no harm in getting to know your team members so that you can acknowledge the things in their lives that are important to them.

This will mean a lot to them. Sometimes, it’s the little things that have the biggest impacts. On Forbes.com, Cheryl Conner provides some ideal examples. “Recognize every single employee’s birthday,” she advises, “Send gifts for new babies and weddings. Be involved in employees’ lives to let them feel loved and valued not only as employees, but also as family members and as human beings.”

How important is providing employee feedback? In case it isn’t obvious by now, it’s incredibly important to impart feedback on to your employees. Believe it or not, your negative feedback (read: constructive criticism) can have as much of a positive impact as your positive feedback. It all depends on how you provide it. If you let your team members know how much they mean to the team and that you wish only for them to succeed, you’ll be doing a lot to boost their moods.

Not to mention, you’ll be elevating their overall performances. At SIClytics, we offer Live Call Monitoring services that allow you to provide feedback in ways that were once unheard of. With them, you can instantly listen in to calls live and as they happen. As well, you may whisper information to your phone agents to help them along in their calls without being heard by the other parties. This helps to improve employee performance while boosting their confidence!

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.

The Importance Of Monitoring Employee Performance

Manager checking his colleagues works in office

Even though you may be the owner of your business, or even its office manager, the majority of the customers who interact with your business will not associate you with the brand. Instead, they view the phone representatives that they have direct contact with as the examples of what your business is all about. When you think about it, your phone reps are your business! They’re the ones communicating with your customers every day. Their roles couldn’t be more important.

Because of this, it’s imperative that you monitor their performance. Making sure that your customers are both being treated with respect and given accurate answers to questions is integral to your company’s overall success. As well, you need to monitor the sales skills of each of your phone reps to ensure that your targets are consistently being met. On Chron.com, Samuel Hamilton explains how monitoring can help to identify strengths and weaknesses on your team.

How can monitoring help you to identify strong and weak links on your team? “When you have the ability to properly gauge employee efficiency, identify the strong and weak employees, and compensate them appropriately, then your business will become more productive and therefore more successful,” he informs, “Employees become aware of their peers who consistently receive pay increases and promotions and they strive to follow in those peers’ footsteps.”

There are, of course, numerous ways to monitor your employees so that they are kept on their toes. Naturally, it’s wise to provide regular feedback by way of one-on-one meetings. Be sure to include both positive feedback and constructive criticism in your meetings. To keep employee morale high, it’s important to regularly acknowledge the jobs well done by your team members. There are many benefits to showing your staff that you value their efforts.

Of course, you’ll also want to point out any areas where there can be some improvement. This isn’t something that you should wait to do. The quicker you address particular performance issues, the quicker they will be improved. Obviously, this only helps your business to shine in the eyes of the customers who interact with it. Hamilton also points out that you should commit to quarterly and/or yearly reviews.

How can regularly-scheduled performance reviews benefit your company? “Performance measures ranging from annual reviews to quarterly quotas ensure that employees work hard and well or face a poor evaluation,” he believes, “Once evaluated, employees can be managed through encouragement to keep up the good work, or else they might be managed through further training and coaching.”

How can monitoring your employees save you money? It’s certainly not worth it to keep employees on your staff who are simply incapable of doing their jobs. In the hopefully-rare unfortunate cases when phone agents are consistently underperforming, the money you’re spending on their compensation would be better used elsewhere. Simply put, employee monitoring is necessary to ensure that all staff members are performing at their best.

At SIClytics, we’re proud to offer call centre business owners and office managers our innovative cloud-based services that assist them with monitoring their employees. Our Monitor Whisper service provides users with the ability to listen to calls live as they happen. With it, they may also whisper feedback to their reps during those calls to improve performance on the spot!

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.

6 Steps To Providing High-Level Customer Service

Business people with headsets using computers in office

Providing customer service over the phone is a lot different than providing customer service in person. A phone agent doesn’t have the benefit of using body language, facial expressions and hand gestures to communicate his/her message. Instead, he/she must place greater emphasis on tone, inflection and appropriate verbiage in order to have positive interactions with customers. Call centre employees, it’s fair to say, have many steps to take to ensure that they’re providing high-level customer service.

Here are six:

Step #1: Showing respect. Using your customer’s name will go a long way. It’s important to remember to treat customers like people – not sales numbers or dollar signs. In addition, actively listening to the concerns and questions had by your customers will ensure that they are addressed and answered appropriately at the first point of contact. When customers feel that they aren’t being properly listened to, they associate it with disrespect.

Step #2: Displaying professionalism. You’ll likely always be given advice that includes being friendly and polite. But it’s of vital importance that you never forget your role as a representative of your company. Avoid using slang terms or too much joking around. Remember that you have a job to do and satisfying your customers’ needs is a big part of it. Be sure to use appropriate language that is in keeping with your brand and focus on conducting business professionally.

Step #3: Being engaging. We’re not saying that you need to focus on being entertaining whenever you speak to one of your customers or leads – but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be interesting. Utilize your natural charm and wit and feel free to engage in conversations with your customers that will spark their interests. As per our last point, it’s important to stay focused on the task at hand. But customers appreciate it when customer service associates can show their human sides.

Step #4: Maintaining confidence. Customers like to feel that the people they do business with know what they’re talking about. It gives them confidence that they are working with the right company. Being confident doesn’t necessarily mean knowing everything. There may be times when you’ll need assistance with an issue or question. Simply letting your customer know that you’ll get to the bottom of things for him/her no matter what is a display of confidence – even if you admit to need help. Know that you can do your job excellently…and you will!

Step #5: Expressing empathy. This is a major part of providing excellent customer service. Not all of your calls are going to go perfectly. You’re bound to encounter an irate customer from time to time. The key is to not engage in a heated debate. Instead, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and express your understanding for his/her discontent. We’re all customers. When one is upset, it’s your job to be considerate of his/her feelings. Exclaiming your understanding for the frustration can go a long way.

Step #6: Staying honest. Most consumers are very savvy. They know the difference between a fair bargain and a scam. As well, customers are easily put off by putting their trust in someone who doesn’t come through for them. It’s important that you don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be sure to meet all deadlines and delivery dates. If there is an occurrence that will change what was originally promised, reach out to your customer to inform him/her. Your honesty will be appreciated.

At SIClytics, we offer innovative cloud-based services that assist call centre managers in helping their phone agents provide the best customer service possible. Our Monitor Whisper service lets supervisors and managers monitor calls live as they happen, as well as the ability to whisper feedback to their reps during those calls. 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.

How Can Our Monitor Whisper Service Improve Your Business?

picture of smiling female helpline operator with headphones

Throughout the history of the telemarketing industry, there has been a need to provide feedback to phone agents. Call centre managers have the tough daily jobs of making sure that each and every one of their phone representatives have the necessary tools to perform their jobs well. Giving feedback – both negative and positive – is needed to improve overall performance. But, in the past, this could only be done after listening to call recordings.

How has modern technology improved the way call centre managers provide feedback? SIClytics’ Monitor Whisper service provides call centre managers with the ability to listen to calls live and as they happen. That way, there’s no need to sit and wait for call recordings in order to monitor employee performance. This helps to provide opportunities to significantly improve customer satisfaction.

The “monitor” portion of this service refers to the fact that call centre managers may listen to both parties on the call without being detected. The “whisper” portion of this service refers to the fact that they also have the ability to drop in to the calls to coach their agents. They can whisper suggestions to their reps without the customers on the other lines hearing them. The service also allows managers to take over the calls, if necessary.

How does Monitor Whisper improve customer satisfaction? Well, let’s consider the fact that the service eliminates the need for call backs to be made in order to satisfy customer complaints. Instead of having a report made about the complaint during a call, the call can be taken over immediately to be handled by a supervisor. This prevents the potential for losing customers due to issues being mishandled.

In best case scenarios, however, escalation isn’t necessary. Instead, by having helpful advice whispered to the phone agent during the call, he/she will be better equipped to answer questions without even placing his caller on hold. It should probably go without saying that the less you make customers wait, the more satisfied with the customer service they will be. No one truly likes waiting. Avoiding unnecessary hold times will go a long way in making customers happy.

How does Monitor Whisper boost sales for your company? Well, they say that knowledge is power. And this is why it’s so important to implement strong training programs for your new hires. Naturally, the more information they have about the products and services you offer, the better equipped they will be to sell them to your leads. However, in the event that a phone agent gets stuck about the details of your offerings, it’s best that they get immediate assistance.

Monitor Whisper gives supervisors and managers the ability to provide answers to phone agents right away. It makes a big difference to a prospective client when he/she is speaking with a representative with ample product knowledge. Of course, with this awesome feature, a lead will never know that the agent speaking is being fed product information live while the call is taking place!

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. And remember that if you’re not completely satisfied with our services, you have the option of cancelling them within 30 days for a full refund thanks to our 30-day money back guarantee!

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.