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Outsourcing Contact Center Operations Grow in Popularity

Outsourcing contact center agents.

Outsourcing your contact center operations can provide you with many options and benefits.

Contact Center as Strategic Asset

If you have ever thought about creating or expanding an internal contact center to improve your business, or simply outsourcing the tasks, you are in good company. In a previous post we wrote about the importance of delivering outstanding customer service. One of the main enterprise teams that makes this happen is the contact center, or front office organization. Not only do they field all types of business calls, they immediately convey either a negative or positive image of your corporate brand and style of client care. No longer considered an expensive overhead for companies, the contact center has matured into a strategic entity that can help maintain customer loyalty and contribute to brand excellence and overall growth.

Reasons for Outsourcing Contact Center Operations

There are many great reasons for outsourcing your contact center. Contact center activities are often not within a company’s realm of expertise. An outsourcing company can provide full service contact center functionality. They also offer all-inclusive performance-based outsourcing services with expertise in telecommunications and customer support, and can provide full or partial services dependent upon your objectives and budgetary requirements.

The ability to always appear “open for business” is a priority for many companies, including those that deliver critical products and services. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core competencies while implementing short or long-term campaigns. With outsourcing, you reap the benefits of a professional contact center without incurring the cost of purchasing and maintaining expensive equipment.

Outsourcing a call center has many benefits.

Outsourcing delivers a diverse array of services and offers valuable solutions for any organization.

Expenses associated with housing and maintaining additional workforce can be cost prohibitive to many companies as well. Companies who choose outsourcing reserve capital and resources otherwise needed to fund technology, quality monitoring, recruiting, training, incentive programs and more. Also, there are many payment plans available on the outsourcing market including a performance-based payment model where you will only pay for calls that deliver a quantifiable outcome.

Other industry payment options include:

  • Per transaction payment – developing campaigns based on a flat fee per transaction for predictable budget management.
  • Per call minute – customers who choose this payment option for inbound traffic are billed a flat rate per minute so they only pay for the exact time agents spend on the phone.
  • Monthly Retainer – used for programs reliant on availability and expertise rather than quantifiable results, a monthly retainer option ensures that expert agents are always available to service customers.
  • Per agent-per month or monthly flat fees – this is a cost-effective per-agent-per-month for ASP, or flat fees for hosted applications.

Creating New and Unexpected Opportunities

Outsourcing your contact center needs can have some unexpected and positive outcomes. Due to their expertise and technological resources, outsourcing services often identify and recommend solutions to maximize untapped revenue streams for customers. Mining and the analysis of performance reports, made possible through using an outsourcers software technologies, can help to recognize trends and discover new opportunities. Outsourcing can work with customers to create programs and expand services that capitalize on these additional opportunities.

Outsourcing services can complement your business for short term projects such as new product releases or marketing campaigns, and to achieve the goal of retaining customers and reducing the rate of customer turnover with:

  • Retention Programs
  • Churn Management Programs
  • Customer Contact and Loyalty Programs

Outsourcing delivers a diverse array of services and offers valuable solutions for any organization. Multiple programs can be implemented simultaneously for maximum benefit.

Customer Transaction Outsourcing ServicesTelemarketing and Campaign Outsourcing Services
Billing and Billing ResolutionsAcquisition
CollectionsWin-Back
Customer Plan Changes-MigrationsUp Sales and Cross Sales
Customer SurveysSales & Marketing Campaigns
Data CollectionsLead Generation-Qualification
Customer Support Services and One-Call-Solution-CenterInbound-Outbound Sales
Order Processing-ProvisioningDirect Mail Campaign
Revenue Tracking, Reconciliation & ReportsMarket Trials
Product Launches
Target List and Data Mining-Analysis

Outsourcing Does Not Have to be “Overseas”

About this time you might be thinking, “Yes, but I don’t like talking to overseas companies myself, so why would I put my customers through that negative experience?” There can be language and accent barriers, and overly scripted and restrictive processes that are a challenge for calling customers when using overseas companies. As many large U.S. financial and technical organizations have discovered, most of their customers have a negative opinion and do not like dealing with an overseas outsourcer. U.S. agents have a much better command of the English language and are embedded in American culture. This translates into improved customer satisfaction with fewer complaints than with foreign contact center agents. To maintain customer service and loyalty, they have brought their call center operations back to the U.S.

Outsourcing your contact center operations can provide you with many options and benefits. Once you have decided on the right outsourcing company that can grow with your business, check into their flexible billing arrangements and setup the transaction processing or campaign services that best fit your needs.

Agents can be dedicated or shared, dependent upon the level of skill required and the volume of calls generated through your campaign. Many outsourcing companies have the ability to manage shifting call volume with automated call blending across inbound and outbound groups. This ensures that your contacts are never kept waiting during peak call periods.

The top-tier companies will be able to provide guidance and understand your needs and other factors to get you started. Once setup, they will furnish the information pertaining to your campaigns made available through reports that you can access via email, fax or online. Overall, outsourcing just might be the right choice for your company, ensuring that your objectives will be satisfied as efficiently and timely as possible.

“Top 10 Reasons to Outsource Your Call Center” – Infographic

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Customer Care the New Differentiator

Customer care is the new differentiator.

Without a customer care strategy, companies can lose customers hurting their brand and growth.

Customer Care Strategy

Delivering exceptional customer care, support and service should no longer be considered as a corporate obligation, but as a strategic marketing and enterprise wide initiative. As technology improves, many business software and applications have become commodities. Case in point, contact center call recording. It has been around for over 20 years and was a huge benefit to financial enterprises and retail companies. Many businesses were founded providing this front office application. Fast forward to 2016, and call recording has evolved into sophisticated workforce optimization (WFO) solutions that include call recording, quality assurance/monitoring software and even automated speech analytics.

The point here is that if you are trying to stand out in a crowded arena you must offer something that differentiates you from the noise. One thing that has become very clear to many companies is the need to deliver immediate, and great customer care. Social media, and other multi-channel customer touch points, have elevated the customer’s reach beyond a telephone call. Companies must be prepared to handle inquires quickly and efficiently with a consistent message and process.

Companies that develop a cohesive customer support strategy will be able to differentiate themselves in many ways. Not only by delivering great customer care to existing customers, but also leveraging their customers to attract new prospects. It promotes credibility and enables the marketing of their customer care successes with customer case studies and testimonials. Happy customers remain loyal customers, and it is well worth the investment to keep customer care and service a high corporate priority.

As enterprise software products have become commodities, new advanced solutions can often be complex business applications to solve today’s needs. Therefore, customer care takes on a different strategy that begins even before a purchase is made. Vendors must do a good job of understanding a clients problems, root causes and other issues. What exactly are they trying to solve and with what result? A tailored solution often works best, and in order to purchase a new solution, different procurement options must be available that match both their business and financial requirements. Delivering a complex solution requires the vendor to assist new clients every step of the sales process – from analysis of their needs to recognition of their return on investment (ROI).

A few steps that need to be considered for a successful customer care launch include a CRM package to monitor all customer issues. Tracking software can be setup with alerts for time sensitive matters, and pre- and post-sales information. This includes sales and implementation data, technical support, and other customer service data such as technical advisors, software updates, and even system audits.

Customer Care

Exceptional customer care gives companies room to grow and keeps clients happy.

Voice of the Customer

Truly managing to successful customer care also involves utilizing customer service tools, multi-channel analytics and customer surveys to capture, analyze and take actions in order to respond to customer needs. This is key to improving customer sentiment and customer satisfaction. Establishing excellence in providing customer communication and service programs that drive to quick resolution and closure creates customer loyalty not just customer satisfaction. Customer care is not an option it is an expectation.

Remember, every employee, from the front office (contact center) to the back office (fulfillment), both share in the responsibility of providing great customer service. A well thought out strategy will enable repeat business through up-sales of products and services benefiting the enterprise with revenue growth and sustainability.

“Four reasons to invest in B2B customer service tech”

http://bit.ly/1PhP7ju

 

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The Workforce Optimization Evolution

Using WFO, CEM and Big Data Management to create unified, cohesive actionable knowledge.

Using Workforce Optimization, Customer Engagement Management and Big Data Management to create unified, cohesive actionable knowledge.

Why We Need the Unification of Workforce Optimization and Big Data Management

Workforce Optimization (WFO) has experienced rapid evolution in both the market demands and the solutions that responded to those demands. The evolution started with enterprises recording telephone calls with their customers for the purpose of record keeping. Then enterprises decided to gain some additional benefits from the recorded calls by sampling some of them and conducting manual QA in order to discover and improve their agent performance and/or better manage their liabilities.

Soon it became obvious that sampling is inadequate in discovering valuable information needed to effectively optimize the customer interactions, and 100% of calls needed to be monitored and scored. This however, required a large number of quality assurance (QA) personnel in order to conduct QA for all recorded calls, leading to a financially impractical proposition. This is when speech analytics solutions came to the rescue by automating the QA process for all recorded calls.

While the industry resolved one major problem, the next challenge was created when customers, in addition to interacting with enterprises through calls, started using other channels and touch points such as desktop transactions, emails, chat, and later social media. This necessitated the enterprises to capture all interactions from all channels, resulting in massive amounts of data being captured on a daily basis. This created yet another colossal challenge, namely, Big Data Management. This phenomenal growth also made enterprises realize that they needed to transform their definition of workforce optimization from agent transaction optimization, to a holistic and multi-channel Customer Experience Management (CEM).

The big data management challenge was partially mitigated by the creation of additional analytics solutions. These solutions addressed desktop screens and a variety of text resulting from emails, chat, social media contents, customer surveys, and structured or non-structured customer documents. Therefore, the market promoted omni-channel analytics as a pioneering solution to capture massive amounts of data from multiple customer touch points, analyze and transform the big data into actionable knowledge for each of the customer touch points.

Though this was great progress in converting enormous amounts of data to actionable knowledge. The omni-channel analytics solution offered actionable knowledge for each individual channel deposited in their own data bases.  However, another solution was still required to create a single and holistic view of the actionable knowledge for specific subject(s) across all channels, and across all customer touch points, by automatically analyzing the results of all omni-channel analytics and discover, aggregate, unify and present a universal actionable knowledge. The combination resulted in a solution in which the workforce optimization and omni-channel analytics were unified with big data management techniques, providing a true Customer Experience Management, or the next generation workforce optimization.

WFO_BDM_2

 

“81% of Enterprises Are Relying On Analytics To Gain Greater Customer Insights” – Forbes/Tech
http://onforb.es/1LMyfog

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