Archive for the ‘Customer Service Articles’ Category

First Call Resolutions, or FCR, is the backbone of proper and professional customer service. Agents and employees working at the inbound call center desk have to be careful about the issues that they are handling. The drive should be to solve the problems that crop up. And the call center agent must not stop at that. The agent has to probe deeper into the problem and check if the related issues are working well. BPO companies providing troubleshooting services are striving hard to meet this standard when they can clear out associated issues as well. That way, the distressed caller will not contact you again in the next 48 hours. When a call doesn’t come from the concerned caller with a related issue, the call is marked as FCR. The higher the FCR percentage, the better your call center services are working.

 

Let me demonstrate the above point with an example. It may be that you are facing some problems with your mobile phone. You call up the customer service number. At the end of the call center, that starts off the cycle. If you have made a call in the previous 48 hours or follow up with a call in the next 48 hours, the BPO company checks up the reason. If the reason is a related issue, it means that your call is not applicable as FCR. You may have called for a volume-related problem. The call center Answering Service agent answer your call asks you to check up your settings. You check if things are okay and hang up. However, it is the work of the call center agent to check for other issues that may have caused the volume problem. There are high chances that you may call up again complaining that your issue was not resolved. That is what call centers are trying to avoid.

 

First Call Resolutions are a benchmark for call centers. When you have a higher FCR, it means that you have trained your BPO agents well. It means they have access to knowledge banks that allow for accurate information dissemination. When you are not going for a high FCR, you have issues to take care of. It may be that you have not equipped your inbound call center agents with enough authority to resolve issues. Sometimes the micromanagement of the managers and team leaders lead to the agents being crippled in decision-making. When providing call center services on the trot, you cannot wait for someone higher up to tell you what to do. That is one area that call center units need to work on.

 

FCR ratios are a favorite with clients. Call center units achieving a high FCR would mean greater faith from the clients. You can bag better telemarketing projects when you have a high FCR. FCR is also important to maintain healthy relationships with your customers. Customers will bend towards brand loyalty and stick to your company when you resolve their issues on the very first instance. FCR builds up brand reputation and that is something that all modern business firms need.

We have a high FCR count in our customer service department. Because we deal with a global clientele and a high call volume, our inbound call center desk is particular about FCR.

Customer Service - Dealing with the Foreign Accent

http://www.telephonedoctor.com
Free Customer Service Articles, eBook & White Paper

AMERICA’S FAVORITE CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING | ONLINE | DVDs | ON-SITE WORKSHOPS

Empower your team with skills to improve customer service, build client loyalty,enhance customer satisfaction, increase teamwork & manage more effectively.

The Telephone Doctor® Complete 18 Module DVD Video Library is our flagship customer service training solution. The techniques in this iconic customer service training series have been validated by tens of thousands of organizations & call centers worldwide. Regularly refreshed and updated, this best-selling series is hosted by Customer Service Expert Nancy Friedman. Trusted by over 30,000 HR leaders & trainers, these skill-driven DVD-based courses will add instant credibility and proven content to your next customer service workshop, staff meeting or training class.

Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Series
Your staff will learn from vignettes showing the wrong way and modeling the right way to handle delicate situations. Behavior change is immediate. Unlike “awareness” training programs on the market, these courses empower your team with exact verbiage and behavior. Topics in these video training courses include defusing irate customers, empathy, attitude, internal service, avoiding killer words, listening skills, being business friendly, questioning techniques, using positive phrases, cardinal rules, proactive customer service, basic phone skills, up selling/cross selling, follow up, rudeness and hundreds more skills & techniques designed to improve Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT).

Perfect for call centers, help desks, support staff, technical support staff and any team member who interacts with customers.

http://www.telephonedoctor.com
Free Customer Service Articles, eBook & White Paper

AMERICA’S FAVORITE CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING | ONLINE | DVDs | ON-SITE WORKSHOPS

Empower your team with skills to improve customer service, build client loyalty,enhance customer satisfaction, increase teamwork & manage more effectively.

The Telephone Doctor® Complete 18 Module DVD Video Library is our flagship customer service training solution. The techniques in this iconic customer service training series have been validated by tens of thousands of organizations & call centers worldwide. Regularly refreshed and updated, this best-selling series is hosted by Customer Service Expert Nancy Friedman. Trusted by over 30,000 HR leaders & trainers, these skill-driven DVD-based courses will add instant credibility and proven content to your next customer service workshop, staff meeting or training class.

Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Series
Your staff will learn from vignettes showing the wrong way and modeling the right way to handle delicate situations. Behavior change is immediate. Unlike “awareness” training programs on the market, these courses empower your team with exact verbiage and behavior. Topics in these video training courses include defusing irate customers, empathy, attitude, internal service, avoiding killer words, listening skills, being business friendly, questioning techniques, using positive phrases, cardinal rules, proactive customer service, basic phone skills, up selling/cross selling, follow up, rudeness and hundreds more skills & techniques designed to improve Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT).

Perfect for call centers, help desks, support staff, technical support staff and any team member who interacts with customers.
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The script used by the customer service agents during their calls is often the primary reason why they cannot bring their work up to a certain quality. Customers are changing their tastes and preferences on a daily basis. There is little room for formal frigidity anymore in answering service. The BPO agents have to dynamic and charming, to say the least. When the callers choose to speak to a live agent, they want the person to be interactive and friendly. They like telemarketing agents who go out of their way to solve their problem. That makes them feel special and privileged. Customers are often tempted to stay on with a particular brand when they feel that the telephone answering agents are amicable with them. However, problems arise when the supervisors at call centers prune down this freedom of the agents.

The BPO workforce has always been a dynamic unit. Changes have come into it from external and internal sources. By external sources I mean the attrition that has happened because of better opportunities and the lure of better money by rival call centers. By internal means, I’m talking about the pressures of telemarketing services that has prompted many to quit the business process outsourcing sector once and for all. If we examine the causes of the workforce trends changing over time, you will have to look at several aspects. For example, women constitute about 30% of the employees in call centers and yet there are only about 4% of them in the upper levels of the organization. Why is it so? Let’s find out!

Women, especially in the developing countries like India, where there is a social pressure to raise a family have to rethink their career when they reach a certain age. Then they have to think about shifting gears on their career paths and work out time to start a family. This demands that they either quit their crazy job hours at call centers or take a sabbatical. In other words, they have to put a speed breaker on their way. This sets them back badly. The management of BPO companies is not sure anymore as to how many days she will keep working. They are hesitant about entrusting them with the job that requires time, effort and lots of commitment. It becomes a difficult choice for the woman to continue working when they are saddled with additional responsibilities. Soon they find themselves handing in their papers.

Experienced transcription service agents know that flattery can go a long way in ensuring a sale. It’s a trade secret that few want to talk about but many would like to use. Customers often want to feel special about being associated with your brand. Your call center agents must make them realize that. You can speak to them about their problems and issues with the products/services that they have brought from you. When you talk of matters that are slightly different from hardcore business, you create opportunities to cross sell and up sell. Moreover, the customers realize that you are genuinely interested in their lives and problems. The human connection is necessary for telemarketing services, and a bound script cannot provide that.

We have a dynamic customer service team that takes good care of our clients and customers. Our inbound call center department often receives lavish praises for quality order taking services.

With the economy and business environment as it is, news of employee layoffs and cost cutting measures abound. While this is expected behavior during a recession, the danger of cutting too deep in areas that affect customer satisfaction is very real. Such actions would drive away customers and thus further reduce sales in the medium term.

It is important to remember that while sales and employee morale are at all time lows, customer demands for quality, service and value, keep increasing or at minimum remain the same. While actions taken show well on an excel worksheet on how costs structures are being improved, the damage they are doing for the business and its ability to sustain growth when good times return are not equally well represented.

Efforts to reduce costs and stretch budgets should not be done with the end result of making life difficult for the customer. Good performing companies are known to take better care of their customers during difficult times because they recognize the value of loyal customers. Where a choice is to be made, between keeping a good customer versus trying to wow a new customer, the former should be the priority. Customer loyalty should not be put at risk at the expense of short term gain proposals dished out by finance people that simply look at the numbers without understanding the business processes and activities behind them.

Where cutting costs in customer service areas is justified, the organization needs to take time to thoroughly evaluate and plan actions that will be taken to keep the customer from noticing the difference or change. Examples of actions that may be taken include, providing cross training for those expected to cover expanded duties, providing increased empowerment to customer service staff for improved decision making and customer problem solving speed, identifying your strategic customers and ensuring that they are well taken care and seeking out opportunities to incorporate additional services that cost little but provide the customer improved satisfaction.

The customer is arguably the most valuable asset of the organization. Whatever the business situation, changes to operations need to be done keeping the customer and their satisfaction in mind. The costs of not doing this, is to court eventual business failure.

Dr Fernando Kevin Vince is currently the Vice President of Strategy & Human Resources with a global multinational. He is the author of 5 books, regular speaker at regional conferences and a certified trainer with American Management Association. He is the founder of The Association for Strategy & Leadership Professionals. Details can be found on http://www.strategy-OE.com