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.

3 Ways To Keep Your Phone Reps Motivated During The Holiday Season

Customer service operator on Christmas back with present
We only have a week left in November. Unbelievably, the holiday season is practically here! In the business world, the holiday season is already here, as stores all over Canada are welcoming larger numbers of customers every day. This will be especially true in a couple of days when Black Friday takes over the nation. The needs of shoppers to get their hands on highly-sought after items at significantly reduced prices are never greater than on this day.

Your customer service representatives will likely be experiencing an increase in call volume as well. Whether their job is to make outgoing calls or to take incoming calls, the next several weeks will be among their busiest of the year. Is there a reason to have them step up their customer service skills during the holiday season? You bet there is! Arguably, there’s no better time to keep your team of phone agents motivated than right now.

Here are three ways to keep your phone reps motivated during the holiday season:

1. Encourage teamwork. As a business owner and/or call centre manager, it is your job to lead. But you won’t always be available throughout the entire work day to provide leadership to your team. It’s important, therefore, to encourage the leaders on your staff to be there for its other members when help is needed. Developing and nurturing a team comprised of individuals who feel that they can depend on each other will help for their interactions with your customers to be a lot stronger.

According to Shauna Geraghty on TalkDesk.com, this is especially true during the holidays. “Sometimes, resolving customer support issues over the holidays requires a team approach,” she writes, “When agents need a little help from their colleagues, encourage them to use call conferencing and warm transfers. Doing so will ensure that holiday callers aren’t blindly transferred from agent to agent and will reduce call duration – both of which will increase customer satisfaction.”

2. Have team meetings in the morning. Beginning each work day with a team meeting should be commonplace in your call centre. But during the busy holiday season, it will be especially important to inject some holiday cheer into your phone agents each morning. Not only will they need the additional motivation to get through their busy days, but you’ll want them to pass along that cheer to your callers in order to secure customer satisfaction.

On his customer service blog, customer service expert, Shep Hyken champions the practice of morning meetings during the holiday season. “If ever there was a time for a team meeting before you opened every day, this is the time,” he insists, “Get employees excited about the prospect of breaking sales numbers, but delivering great service along the way. Talk about what happened the day before and plan to repeat the good and avoid the bad.”

3. Offer regular feedback. As mentioned earlier, your team needs you. When you offer encouraging words of support, it can go a long way in keeping your team motivated even throughout the busiest work days of the year. However, you’ll also need to provide constructive criticism when necessary to strengthen the team in areas where they need help. At SIClytics, we offer the perfect tools to help you to provide feedback!

Our Live Call Monitoring services allow you to instantly listen in to live calls, giving you the option to either whisper information to your phone agents without the other parties hearing or barge into the live calls to take them over when they need to be escalated. 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.

Why Is It So Important To Call Your Customers Back?

Poritrait of a beautiful woman showing sign to call me isolated on a white background

They say that communication is the most important element of any strong relationship. And who are we to argue with whoever “they” is? It’s true. Keeping the lines of communication open between any two parties helps for the relationship to grow, develop and strengthen. All business owners are very well aware of this. And this is why well-followed customer service regimens are integral to the success of any business.

Another thing that “they” often say is that the smallest things can make the biggest differences. And when it comes to returning phone calls, this adage couldn’t be more accurate. It may seem like a “small thing” to return a phone call, but you may be surprised to know how many business owners forget to do so. Making a customer feel neglected is a great way to lose his/her loyalty for good.

Why is it so important to return customers’ phone calls? Well, let’s remember that without your customers, you don’t have a business. Now yes, the internet allows for many other modes of communication. However, when a call is placed to your business and a message is left, you want to make sure that the message is returned using the same means that it was left for you. Customers appreciate this type of reciprocity.

However, when you neglect to return those calls, customers feel as if they are not being regarded as important. Knowing that there is competition out there, they will be very quick to dial other numbers to give someone else their business. Don’t think for a second that a missed call is one of those “small things”. Returning a call is big opportunity for you to secure the loyalty of a customer. Not returning a call can help you lose a customer for good.

Conversational.com reveals some statistics that prove this. “Caller satisfaction has been studied over the years to help business owners understand the needs of their customer base,” reads the site, “It turns out that around 78% of new customers that aren’t contacted after leaving a message will end up going with an alternative company…94% of new customers whose calls weren’t answered would simply go with another company.”

How can you retain customers whose calls don’t get answered? Well, most consumers understand that there will be times when messages need to be left. The key to keeping those customers is giving them assurances about when their calls will be returned. It’s important to have outgoing voice greetings that explain the reason behind your unavailability and the time frame that the call will be returned.

On CallCentreHelper.com, Richard Farrell explains that “if call-backs can’t be handled in an acceptable time, the call-back offer should be removed. Once a realistic estimated wait time is played to a customer and a call-back offered within an acceptable time scale, the call should be routed to an automated system to capture call-back details, thus leaving all agents to handle customer calls.”

At SIClytics, we offer a wide variety of services that help for your call centre business to function at high levels. Among them is our Missed Call Notifications service that helps you to never miss out on an opportunity to follow up on a missed call. For more information about this and any other of our services, 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.

The Importance Of Being Accessible To Your Customers

bright picture of friendly female helpline operator

Just how important is it to be accessible to your customers? Well, to answer that question, you may want to ask yourself how important it is to you to immediately get in touch with people you need to speak to. It’s a pretty big deal, isn’t it? Especially in today’s world where people are so used to getting what they want when they want it (see: Googling information over going to the library for a book), being accessible is a huge plus.

You see, your customers need to live with a confidence that you can be depended on. It’s important that they can have their questions answered quickly and their problems resolved without the need for added stress. And although there will likely always be a need for answering services that allow callers to leave voicemails, you’ll want to put in your best efforts to resolve customer queries at the first points of contact.

How can accessibility define the customer experience? “I never have to wait to speak to anyone when I call (your business name here)!” Exclamations like these are what you truly want for your business to inspire. Customers place a lot of value on being able to speak to live representatives every time they call companies they do business with. And many of them want to ensure that they speak to live representatives even when they don’t choose the telephone as their mode of communication.

We’re talking about “live chat” features which are becoming more and more prominent on various company websites. Naturally, SIClytics has a “live chat” feature of its own. To get in touch with one of our live representatives during business hours, simply click on the green icon in the lower right corner of our website. You’ll notice an indication that we are “online” when someone is available to speak with you.

After clicking on the icon, you will receive the following message: “We are live and ready to chat with you now. Say something to start a live chat.” Simply type in your message, press enter and you will immediately be on your way to receiving the customer service you request. Live chat features have revolutionized the way that people receive customer service. There once was a time when customers would only be able to get help face-to-face, over the phone and through the mail!

But what is the preferred method of receiving customer service today? Countless studies have shown that people prefer speaking with live human beings to get the customer service they covet. Whether it’s over the phone or through a live chat, immediate customer service is the most pleasing. However, research tends to find that getting a live human voice on the phone is most appreciated.

What happens when it is outside of business hours and no live representatives are available? It’s of extreme importance that you implement a sound phone call returning policy. At SIClytics, our services include Missed Call Notifications which help our customers to never miss out on opportunities to follow up on missed calls. That way, even when people have to leave messages for you, they are not made to feel that you aren’t easily accessible!

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 Promptly Returning All Of Your Phone Calls

Smiling businessman having a dialogue on the phone

Sometimes, the smallest little things can have the biggest impacts. For example, you may think that not returning a phone call promptly isn’t all that big a deal. “I’ll get to it eventually” is a thought that has likely run through many a mind of the young entrepreneur. However, placing little importance on the necessity to quickly return phone calls can have massive repercussions for your business.

Why is it so important to return phone calls promptly? Firstly, and most obviously, it gives a bad impression of your business. The impression is that it cannot be relied upon to provide expedient service. In today’s world, people expect things fast. Consider the fact that just about any individual with a smartphone can Google a question and have it answered within seconds. This is what you’re competing with.

When you neglect to return important messages shortly after receiving them, you give your clients and prospective customers reasons to seek assistance elsewhere. Chances are that they will receive speedy service from other businesses. Unfortunately, not everyone is adept at returning messages quickly. And this is why it’s important to understand just how imperative it is to your company’s bottom line.

How can taking too long to return messages cost your company money? As we alluded to before, customers have options. A simple Google search for businesses in your industry will often generate quite the list. It’s of vital importance that you’re able to make excellent impressions on first-time callers so they don’t choose your competition over you. Naturally, your busy schedule won’t always allow to answer all of your calls. But the quicker you get to responding to the messages left for you, the better impression you will give.

Returning calls quickly shows that you are dependable. It also shows that you are accountable for the promises you make. Consider the instances when you have already spoken to customers about particular requests and have agreed to call them back when those requests have been met. It should go without saying that people don’t like waiting. So remember that while you’re working, your customers are waiting.

For most consumers, the length of time you take to call them back after their last conversations with you can mean the difference between them working with you again or not. A reputation of being unreliable may be unfairly placed upon you. And it would all be because you took too long to call your customer back. But what constitutes “taking too long”? That’s up to you and your customers. Be sure to establish an expected time when you plan on returning their calls.

How can you ease the minds of customers who are waiting on returned calls? Be sure to leave detailed information in your outgoing phone greeting. For example, if you’re going to be out of the office for an entire day, be sure to inform your callers of that so they understand that you may not return their calls until the next day. If you are speaking to a customer live, be sure to provide them with a date and time when they will hear back from you. And be sure to stick to it!

At SIClytics, we’re very well aware of the importance of promptly returning phone calls for all business owners. For this reason, we have introduced our Missed Call Notifications services to help busy entrepreneurs never miss out on opportunities to follow up on their missed calls. After all, the first step to being able to return phone calls promptly is to know that they were missed in the first place!

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 Provide Excellent Customer Service Over The Phone

Depositphotos_10284014_m-2015Providing customer service in person isn’t quite the same thing as providing customer service over the phone. While there are obvious similarities, it’s important to note that facial expressions, body language and hand gestures go out the window during a phone conversation. As a result, it’s vitally important for customer service agents who work on the phone to be experts at inflection, tone and pacing.

That’s not all. Sounding nice and using pleasantries is only part of what makes for an excellent customer service experience over the phone. There are a number of specific techniques that should be used by all phone agents in order to provide the best customer service experiences possible. If you’re a call centre manager, it would certainly be advantageous to pass along the following suggestions.

Here are five ways to provide excellent customer service over the phone:

1. Acknowledge the customer throughout the call. By this, we don’t just mean that you should use the customer’s name – which you should definitely do. It’s also important to acknowledge the specific comments made by the customer. If he/she points out a problem with your product or service, you should respond by informing him/her that you’re empathetic towards the concern. If he/she reports satisfaction, be sure to offer your show of gratitude. It’s important to show all of your callers that they are valued.

2. Be an active listener. Many customer service agents become complacent in their roles because they get used to saying the same things over and over again. This can be dangerous. You never want to automatically assume you know how to resolve a caller’s issue. Be sure to listen so that you can make out the specific and unique concerns or requests of every customer. By actively listening, you’ll be able to better pinpoint solutions to problems the first time they are raised.

3. Don’t keep customers waiting. Does anyone like waiting? It doesn’t matter if you’re in a checkout line, at a red light or in a calling queue, waiting is never all that much fun. Do your best to answer calls quickly and minimize hold times. Of course, putting callers on hold will certainly be necessary from time to time. Just be sure to inform your caller of how long you expect the hold time to be and do your best not to keep him/her waiting any longer than the time given.

4. Be positive and upbeat. This may sound like a no-brainer tip. It’s pretty obvious that you should be friendly, right? But, keep in mind a point made earlier. Many phone reps get so used to the monotony of their jobs that they end up sounding like monotone robots – especially by the ends of their work shifts. Do your best to take small moments between calls to remind yourself to be energized during each call, treating them all like your first one of the day.

5. Don’t ever feel that you’re above an apology. In more cases than not, the problem had by your caller will not be one that is your fault. Nevertheless, apologizing on behalf of your company will generally be necessary. Sometimes, it’s important to apologize simply for the inconvenience that comes with having to make a call to correct a problem. Your empathy will go a long way in satisfying the customer, often retaining him/her after a dispute.

At SIClytics, we offer business owners a number of helpful services that enable them to better manage their call centre employees so that customer service over the phone can be vastly improved. They include Live Call Monitoring and Lead DaFeeder. For more information about these and other great services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

5 Ways To Improve Customer Service At Your Call Centre

Portrait of young casual call centre looking at the camera

Call centres are busy places. They often incorporate upwards of 20 or more employees in an environment that is noise-filled and full of energy. In many cases, this can be great for business. The more enthusiasm in the air, the more motivated phone agents will be to contact leads and make sales. Then again, the atmosphere of a busy call centre can provide many customer service representatives with overwhelming feelings of pressure.

No one said working on the phone was easy. At least, no one should. It’s a tough job to be a telemarketer. It requires a lot of patience and persistence. But, most of all, it requires a very pleasant and professional attitude. When a phone agent allows him/herself to get frustrated to that point that it can be heard during his/her calls, it will inevitably paint a poor picture of your business.

Providing reps with adequate tips and advice to improve their customer service, therefore, is a constant task of a call centre manager. Here are five ways to improve customer service at your call centre:

1. Hire intelligently. To be fair, running a call centre that is known for its excellent customer service really does begin with the hiring process. Just because you may need a lot of people to fill seats, it doesn’t mean you should be hiring just anyone off the streets. Call centre reps need to be people persons. Assess the personalities, not just the experience or skill sets, had by the candidates applying to work in your call centre.

2. Train appropriately. There’s no good reason to rush your new hires on the phones. Some call centres implement training programs that take upwards of a week or two before any actual calls are made. It’s smart to take the necessary time with your new hires to ensure that they are job-ready. That way, you’ll be able to minimize the giving out of incorrect information, the mishandling of customer complaints and other poor attempts at providing customer service.

3. Offer incentives for performance. The call centres that are known for being the most fun to work for are also generally the ones that are the most productive. A fun and productive place to work is usually one that offers incentives for performance. Create teams within your team and come up with weekly and monthly contests that reward them for hitting certain targets like providing the best examples of customer service and making the most sales.

4. Provide regular feedback. Keep in mind that feedback isn’t just telling your reps about all of the mistakes they’re making. It’s of vital importance that you acknowledge jobs well done. A big benefit of providing feedback is the confidence that you instil in your reps by reminding them of how much they’re helping your brand to earn its sterling reputation. Regular pats on the back can go a long way!

5. Give your reps opportunities to make decisions. Firstly, it’s very important to be crystal clear about your customer service polices. Be definitive about what is acceptable and what is not. Then give your team members the ability to make decisions based on the guidelines you’ve given them. If they are given the authority to make certain business choices, such as offering customers goodwill credits, they will feel more empowered, confident and secure in their jobs.

This only helps to improve customer service at your call centre! And, at SIClytics, we believe we have the perfect tools to help you to provide the best customer service possible. Contact us and ask us about our Telemarketing Reporting, Live Call Monitoring and Lead DaFeeder services. They’ve all been known to vastly improve call centre operations. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.