Customer Advocacy: Is This Thing Even Real?

Customer Advocacy

Do you have a sales team that is tasked with creating leads and closing contracts? If this is so, then what are your current strategies? Do you have one for increasing your web presence to help boost sales through your website? Or one to re-engage leads by sending out email drip campaigns?

No wonder these are some of the most amazing techniques that can help generate new business for you. But, if such is the case, then you wouldn’t be reading this article right now. Isn’t it so? The real problem is these amazing strategies require the active involvement of an equally amazing team to make it work. More so true for startups who do not have the time or even the resources to invest in their business.

Won’t it be a relief if instead of burdening your team members with all the responsibility of your new business, you could share some of the hard work with your customers? Wait… what? Is this even real?

Yes, it is. And it’s got a name as well; Customer Advocacy. Wikipedia defines it as “a specialized form of customer service where the companies focus mainly on what’s best for their customers. It is a change in the company’s culture supported by customer focussed service and marketing techniques.”

In other words, it is everything that you do to put customers needs above yours. It includes never to pull a quick one over your customers to make a quick buck or to lie to them in order to land a sale. How else do you expect to turn your customers into the advocates of your brand? But before the how comes the why.

Why do you need to turn customers into advocates?

Because nobody will trust a new company in the market if they proclaim just how great they are. But wait they hear it from their friends about the exceptional customer service they received and see if they don’t believe this time.

Also, the loyalty of every brand advocate you make will always be with you i.e. he/she will continue to spend with your company only, add their lifetime value to your business and see if it doesn’t go through the roof.

You need to turn your customers into advocates because they lend a certain credibility to your brand by being a low-cost way to spread your message through word of mouth publicity which the majority of your marketing strategies fail to do.

How to create your own Customer Advocacy Program?

I have mentioned the following points keeping in mind that you are new to this whole customer advocacy thing, but even if you are an already established business, still there are a number of ways you can update and modify your customer advocacy strategy.

a) Before jumping headfirst into this program, take some time for preparation. First of all, develop your own working strategy (that too a solid one) that perfectly sums up your customer advocacy program. While doing so, carefully analyze how you will communicate the news regarding your customer advocacy program to those who are interested. For better results, pick your team that comprises of both marketing professionals and customer service agents.

b) After the team selection its time to select the right people among your customers to be your brand advocates. How? By reaching out to them at the right time in the right place with the right message. Usually, the best bet is the people who are already successful bloggers or the ones with a huge fan following. The idea here is to choose the customers with a reputation within the community and turn them into your best brand advocates.

c) Now you have both the right advocacy program and the right advocates to reach out to, all that’s left is get in touch with them and develop a relationship. How? Based on trust and mutual understanding. Think of your customers as friends, listen to them, invest your time, and show support to them. Invite them to test out your products before buying and ask for their feedback in return. Turning your customers into your brand advocates requires a continuous, ongoing effort.

d) Lastly, the feedback that you received previously can be passed down to your research and development team to be acted upon. Also, you need to make sure to provide your brand advocates with a proper platform that allows their voice to be heard. As a final step, its time to fully integrate your customer advocacy program into your current working schedule. The best part is, it will all happen naturally though it might require you to make efforts to keep the momentum going.

A strong customer advocacy program can help your business by converting customers into your brand advocates thus driving in new leads, increased ROI and an improved brand reputation.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/customer-advocacy-is-this-thing-even-real/

8 Simple Strategies to Warm Up Your Cold Calling Services

cold-calling

Before plunging headlong into ways for warming up your cold calling services, let’s spend a moment to understand what cold calling or warm calling actually is. Though two sides of the same coin, they are as much different as they can get. In simple words, a warm call refers to calling a prospect from sales point of view with whom you already have had some kind of contact in the past whereas cold calling is contacting individuals or businesses to make a purchase who have never shown any interest in your products or services.

Warm calling may seem like an easy deal (and maybe it is, in many cases) but cold calling potential prospects is an entirely different issue, just the mere thought of it can be hard and frustrating (and probably it is, in most cases). To cope up with the issue, you have two options available, either drop this idea altogether or work around some way to warm up your cold calls, and since abandoning it doesn’t seem like a viable option due to its proven age-old effectiveness, you will have to settle for option 2.

But don’t worry you are not alone in this. I for one, understand this pain well enough due to my years of experience working in this field. And during that period, I have compiled a list of 8 strategies which I believe will greatly help you with the conversion process. Let’s dive in.

1. Preparation is the Key to Success

Preparation is basically getting yourself ready for the day by planning about doing the work in advance. How to prepare? Simple, follow these 3 steps-

a) Always ensure about the good quality of the product or service you are representing.

b) Visualize cold calling as strategic and empowering rather than treating it as indiscriminate or a numbers game.

c) Before calling, work well on your understanding and the wordings of your proposition.

  2. First Impression is the Best Impression

After introduction, be very clear and specific about the purpose of your call as you only have 10 seconds to prove your worth as a telecaller. During this time, keep your opening proposition about the product/service being offered concise and strategic, not detailed and robotic.

  3. Asking Questions is a Sign of Intelligence

Preparing some good facilitative questions beforehand to be asked after the introduction and brief product description is highly recommended as it will not only allow you to understand how your prospects consider and decide on such issues but also help them understand the situation more clearly.

  4. Objectivity is the Mark of an Advisor

When you work in the sales line, or more accurately, for some crappy unethical supplier, it gets much harder to achieve objectivity in your work. But you can include it in your work ethics by practicing the art of being fair and neutral in guiding your prospects towards making an informed decision. If nothing else, it will make you feel good at the end of the day.

A Tip: Never denigrate or criticize your opponents as it will only weaken your case.

  5. Understanding Your Customers’ Point of View

Acting as a biased and self-interested salesperson is the age-old pushy sales approach which is immediately seen for what it is and is never going to work in your favour whereas seeing things from customers’ point of view will not give you vital insights to improve your communication skills but also help build healthy relationships with them. The choice is yours.

  6. Knowledge is Power, Information is Liberating

Educate your prospects by providing useful information and fair feedbacks in response to their queries to help build trust, but if you feel like you don’t possess enough knowledge about the overall product/service or proposition, then it’s better to stay away from it rather than wasting anyone’s time, including your own.

  7. Involving Customers in Decision Making

Start involving the prospects into the discussion and decision-making process if you haven’t already done so, asking their opinions on how they would like to make progress. It’s a great way of securing the lead, along with helping you acquire a great reputation among your clients.

  8. Stay in Touch with Your Clients

Now, we all fully realize the various benefits of staying in touch with customers but the problem arises when you try to put it into practice esp. in sales organizations which are famous for marginalizing cold calling or canvassing teams. One way of doing it is taking clear notes and keeping full records of all the cold calls made by you to keep a watchful eye on situations and act accordingly.

Winding Up:

Warming up your cold calls is a skill that you develop over time. and believe me, “it’s an easy task” said no one ever. But in order to succeed in this field, this is something you must learn to master in order to make that sale. I will not claim that applying these above-mentioned strategies will make you an overnight expert in telecalling but yes, it will definitely improve your communication skills over time.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/8-simple-strategies-to-warm-up-your-cold-calling-services/

Why Customer Relationship Management Matters to Your Business

customer-relationship-management

Throughout the history of the business world, customer relationship has played a crucial part in creating a strong personal bond with people. Regardless of what industry you belong to or what kind of products or services you deal with, relationship with customers is the single most defining factor that will ensure the success of your business. As customer relationship holds such high regards for any business, people long since have been looking for ways to excel at it. And this is where CRM comes in.

What is CRM?

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is the overall process of maintaining healthy and productive business relationships with existing customers along with winning back former customers and turning future prospects into customers by tracking and analyzing all the interactions with them. It not only helps you focus on your company’s relationships individually with customers, suppliers, colleagues, service users etc. but also provide support and add-on services throughout the relationship. It is basically of 3 types –

1)Operational CRM that involves direct interaction with customers.

2)Analytical CRM that helps in analyzing customer data.

3)Collaborative CRM that allows easier collaboration with customers.

Why CRM matters to your Business?

CRM strategy can work wonders for both a small scale and large-scale business if implemented in a rightful way. Below I have mentioned some such points as to why CMS matters to your business. Read on –

Better Time Management

With CRM, you don’t have to waste your valuable time or even a great opportunity waiting for the system to be uploaded as it offers a centralized system for the data to be integrated that can be accessed at any time and on any device.

Upsell and Cross-Sell

CRM maximizes the chances of cross-selling and up-selling of products or services by interacting with the customers on a regular basis in order to understand their wants, needs and the patterns of purchase so that offers can be made to them accordingly.

Enhanced Communication

CRM makes it possible for employees to continue offering high-quality service even when the customer’s main point of contact is unavailable for any reason by providing customer related information to whoever needs it.

Cost-Effective

Since the deployment of CRM system apart from being cheap requires a very little amount of paper and manual work which in turn requires lesser staff to manage and even lesser resources to deal with, it’s no wonder it is highly cost-effective in nature.

Training In-House Employees

Apart from its numerous other benefits, a CRM system can even help train your in-house employees on how to analyze important data and which data to focus on along with gaining experience on maintaining healthy relationships with customers.

Better Risk Management

CRM helps you provide a seamless transfer of responsibilities to different sales or support reps in a matter of minutes by using global edit reassignment task and territory management functions in order to shift accounts and responsibilities.

Acquiring New Customers

CRM uses ‘Opportunity of Business’ to identify targets as well as store important data into its system for future use, thus helping you not only to track the history of these targets or newly acquired prospects but turning them into customers as well.

Work from Anywhere

Installing a cloud-based CRM software means you can access the system from literally anywhere be it in the office, on a train, at home and on any device (a laptop, smartphone, tablet etc.) which can be accessed by anyone who needs it from the sales team to the customer representatives.

Automation of Day to Day Tasks

Apart from the managing the surface details of a sale, CRM also relieves you of hundreds of tasks such as form filling, report sending, addressing legal issues that must be completed alongside everything else in order to acquire smooth results.

Increase Business Revenue

Applying a CRM strategy will ensure that the product promotions, with the help of data collected, always reach a brand-new set of people every time which will further aid in popularizing marketing campaigns in a more effective way thus increasing your company’s overall revenue.

Wrapping Up:

Customer Relationship Management isn’t just your average data storage device. If applied correctly, this strategy will not only help you accomplish all the above-mentioned features but also enable you to respond and close service cases much quicker, send customized emails, nurture leads more efficiently, speculate web traffic, improve conversions and much more. CMS isn’t about working harder but rather smarter in order to achieve what you want and provide what your customers want.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/why-customer-relationship-management-matters-to-your-business/

A Beginner’s Guide to Implement Social Media Customer Support

Gone are the days when the consumers expect support after they had purchased the product. Today, in the age of social networking, customers expect companies to offer their support long before they have made their mind to purchase and way after they have made that purchase.

Nowadays, customer service is not just a stand-alone process but an essential part of the entire buying cycle. And that’s why it’s no longer considered only as a support service but an inseparable part of marketing and sales.

The corporate giants are well aware of this fact and that is the reason they leave no stone unturned when it comes to utilizing every medium available to interact with the customers and take advantage of every such interaction to impress, offer value and make the sale.

One such medium which carries a vast potential within but is often ignored is Social Media (no, it’s not just used for liking and sharing posts or tweeting). Gartner also supports this fact, claiming that by 2020, 90% of the companies will be using social media for customer support.

Are you still planning to ignore social media for offering customer support? Probably not, but where to start, what guidelines to follow? Luckily for you, I have compiled a list of beginner’s steps to follow in order to effectively implement social media strategy into your support service.

Hire the Social Media Friendly Staff

Everything is public and viewable by customers as well as prospects when it comes to using social media platforms, so it’s highly recommended to prefer individuals who have experience in business processes and communication rather than going after interns or candidates with flawlessly written communication skills but are clueless about how social networking works.

Plan Well your Social Media Strategy

By planning well, I mean engaging your customers in meaningful conversations and valuing their time on social media. Your strategy should also include syncing in with other popular channels that your customers might be using to communicate about your brand and using it effectively to solve customer inquiries in such a way that they feel compelled to recommend your brand with their friends and colleagues.

Listen Closely to Social Conversations

Listening to your customers’ talk on social media will help you identify the areas that need improvement along with whether your social strategy is lacking in marketing or service. Here’s what you can do,

a)Learn what is being said about your brand.

b)Try to read in between lines i.e. understand their sentiments.

c)Figure out the objectives and expectations behind those comments.

Prepare a Project Plan

After having a general idea about the social conversations, define your objectives (such as what resources are needed, the processes that need to follow and how to measure performance) as to what you expect from the implementation of social media into your customer service. Also try to include features that aim to improve the resolution time, reduce the cost of service, and enhance user experience.

Install a System to Respond Quickly

After getting acquainted with the queries, comments, and complaints that are mentioned often by your customers, try to find what are the best ways to respond to them as quickly as possible. Mostly there are two options available, either you can hire a team member solely dedicated to replying to social messages or can segment responsibilities between staff members according to different social platforms available.

Use the Element of Surprise to your Advantage

Though many times, customers use social media to inquire or complain but you cannot deny that often times they drag you into debates just to troll your company (one reason being they don’t expect you to respond). But you can turn this to your benefit by reaching out in a friendly way to help them solve the issue. Receiving a warm response from your end will serve as a nice surprise to them when they aren’t expecting any.

A Tip: when you realize the trolls getting out of hand, steer clear of the conversation but do not under any circumstance feed this troll by sinking to their level.

Switch Modes of Communication whenever Necessary

Now I understand when the customer reaches out to you on social media, you should also respond therein, transparency is essential when it comes to providing quality customer service but sometimes, switching the conversation to private seems a more viable option, the key here is to understand when to make the move.

For e.g. too much tweeting and retweeting on both ends will not only sabotage the image you are trying to build for your company but can also be equally frustrating to your Twitter followers.

Conclusion:

Once you have learned how to use social media effectively for solving customer queries keeping in mind all the above-mentioned points, you can gladly encourage them to share their positive experience on the very same platforms. Who knows, you might be able to convince them not only to delete the original (negative) messages but also to replace them with the positive reviews after receiving a satisfactory response.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/a-beginners-guide-to-implement-social-media-customer-support/

Number of Ways Telemarketing can help Grow Your Business

Telemarketing

A telemarketing service is a quick and affordable method that uses the telephone to contact prospective customers in order to help generate leads, make sales along with gathering marketing information. Besides agents calling directly, pre-recorded sales talk is also used to be played over the phone upon automated dialing. It is a highly interactive tool that is used by various companies to make sales by contacting customers.

Telemarketing is also considered as an effective marketing technique that comes action-packed with tons of advantages irrespective of whether you run a small business or is the head of a multinational corporation. It’s main advantage, as we all know, is gauging the interest of your customers immediately in your company’s product or service. Its other benefits include-

a) Generating leads and appointments.

b) Help create rapport with your customers.

c) Promotions go non-stop 24 hours a day.

d) Provide direct feedback from the customers.

e) Efficient with cross-selling and up-selling.

f) Helps expand your sales territory.

And a plenty more. However, the common misconception that most people hold in their mind is that telemarketing is only limited to cold calling sales activities and nothing else. But trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s much more than what meets the eye. There are a number of ways you can use telemarketing to turn various opportunities into business. Let’s learn about a few,

  1. Customer Support

Telemarketers can be effectively used to offer customer support service to your clients in order to sort out their complaints and queries. Just make sure your agents know how to address the issue properly as bad reputation often has a way of traveling faster than its good counterpart.

  1. Debt Collection

We all know how overdue payments and outstanding invoices has a way of crippling a business and hindering its progress. But a team of telemarketers can go through your debtors’ list to identify defaulters who owe money to your organization also ensuring that you have the current contact details for them. After that, your telemarketing team can send reminders and start the recovery process.

  1. Launching Products

While planning to launch a new product or service into the market, it always comes in handy to do a survey by phone of potential customers beforehand in order to learn their opinions and understand their demands before you go into production. Not only that, you can even call your existing customers to know their thoughts on this matter as well.

  1. Market Research

Market Research is another one of telemarketing’s time-tested features. Apart from using it for customer feedback and product review (as we have learned above), telemarketing, with the help of latest integrated technology, can also be used for collecting a full range of qualitative and quantitative data that includes everything from small executive level surveying to gathering customer feedback on a national scale.

  1. Soft Lead Generation

Soft lead generation is basically the way of determining if the prospect shows any future promises of doing business with your company or not. This is done with the help of an approach that is tightly scripted along with preparing a list of relevant profiling questions to be asked before finalizing leads. This soft-sell approach is turning out to be more successful than an overt sales approach.

  1. Seminar Reminder

In case you are holding a seminar, having a telemarketing team at your side will greatly assist you by calling the attendees the day before in order to reconfirm the starting time and the venue. Once the agents start calling, you will be surprised to know how many of them have already forgotten about the seminar and the related details.

  1. Data Cleaning

In today’s fast-paced world, we know how quickly the information in our database goes out of date. However, an expert telemarketing team can easily go through your data, allowing you to edit, delete or amend the details of your existing customers as per the requirements. And since it is also a legal requirement in many sectors, so you can easily keep your nose clean with industry regulations.

  1. Assisting Retailers

If you happen to be in retail business, you can always put your telecallers with the task of checking up on store managers to know about how your goods are selling in the market and depending on their answers, you can offer them a demo or some advertising materials to display in order to help them increase sales. This act on your behalf will go a long way into strengthening relationships.

Conclusion:

This is just a small list that I presented above, but you can also use telemarketing to promote events, trade shows, winning back your non-active customers, selling advertisement space by designing a campaign, informing your customers of new developments and much, much more. Telemarketing isn’t what it used to be in the past, use it wisely and it can permanently change your entire business for the better.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/number-of-ways-telemarketing-can-help-grow-your-business/

Building a Workforce in Alignment with a Customer-Driven Approach

Today’s fast-changing world along with its disruptive technology and digitization of almost everything known to mankind has irrevocably altered our business world and ushered us into a new era of consumerism. An era where a certain group of companies that focus more on capturing the rational needs of customers (through products and service offerings) rather than focusing more on an emotional angle, are at an all-time high risk.

No wonder company owners nowadays are embarking on customer-driven strategies (i.e. making the customer the undisputed king) to gain a competitive edge over the market. but this gives rise to a new question then, at what cost are these strategies being applied?

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this as very few companies truly understand the changes they must embrace in order to make this approach a success. And not only this, assimilating a customer’s perspective into every department (such as lack of leadership or inadequate infrastructure) of the organization is another issue that has to be resolved.

Ideally, a customer-driven workforce should be something that truly understands the value of a brand, what this brand means to the customers and what ways to incorporate in order to deliver the same brand value to customers on a regular basis. And luckily for you, I have assembled five such mutually supporting principles that will guide you towards designing, promoting and leading a successful customer-driven strategy into your workforce.

1) Authorising Staff Members to Deliver Services Effectively

Most people think that improving the standards of customer service will help create a customer-driven environment in the company. Though effective it may seem, it’s simply not enough. What needs to be done is empowering staff members to develop ways to deliver service values that matter most to their customers. Not only this, this empowering of employees must be in alliance with the company’s policy in order to be effective.

One way of doing it is for company owners to have complete access to information regarding the market, current trends and pursue opportunities to understand their customers better. Another way is keeping the customers in mind in whatever they do i.e. combining the agility with the autonomy (to make informed decisions) to respond better to customer needs.

2) Flexibility in Terms of Performance Management

Delivering an excellent customer experience relies mostly on how good you are at motivating your team members to do so. Also, promoting customer service values sends a strong signal throughout the organization about the essentiality of customer service as central to your company’s existence. You can help achieve these by,

a)Portraying the desired behavior through professional development, conversation and action as an example of how you want your employees to behave.

b)Make it a regular habit to reward the best-in-class performers and celebrate their success stories on both behavioral and outcome dimensions.

3) Focussing more on Customer-Centric Approach

You know what defines the identity of your organization esp. when it comes to creating a culture that’s entirely customer-focused? That’s right, your employees in general. That’s why it primarily falls on your shoulders to build and sustain your company’s capacity in order to deliver customer service that aligns perfectly with the company’s purpose. Also, it’s your responsibility to attract and retain the eligible talents by keeping in mind what qualities and attributes each post requires.

4) Understanding Responsibility as well as Answerability

If you truly want to shift your company’s culture towards a more customer-driven one, you must set certain standards to gauge performance and track progress for both outcomes and behaviors. Though capturing outcomes is easy, promoting behavior is something you should strive forward to.

An easy way of doing it is aligning your company’s customer service values with that of talent agenda. This method is also successful because it uses robust and timely customer-driven metrics that help gain visibility into customer satisfaction on almost all levels from employees to employers. Outcomes and behaviors, if treated carefully, has the potential to increase innovation, revenue growth, profit, and market share.

5)Significance of a Meaningful Customer Service

One thing that you will find common in almost every boardroom or corporate reception area is the inspiring articulations of vision, purpose, and mission. Ever wondered why? Because these are powerful statements that offer clear insights into an organization’s aspirations.

Operationalizing the value of these statements helps owners to frame their company’s customer service values along with helping employees articulate and understand how their actions contribute to the company’s success. Moreover, fostering an environment of honesty and a genuine desire to meet employees needs also put you high as a preferred employer.

Conclusion:

Cultures that embody customer-driven workforce matter a lot in today’s times simply because they not only enable companies to deliver great customer experiences by default but also helps in resisting forces that try to degrade that experience. As a result, those organizations that succeed in transforming themselves into a customer-centric one enjoys a competitive advantage for years to come.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/building-a-workforce-in-alignment-with-a-customer-driven-approach/

Why is it Imperative for Businesses to Incorporate Multi-channel Call Centers?

multi-channel

While looking back at the evolution of communication technology in modern times, who could have thought we would come so far from sending smoke signals and carrier pigeons to sending and receiving calls, texts, emails etc. in the blink of an eye over long distances. But here we are, taking pride in what we have achieved and what is yet to be.

Almost all the sectors around the globe have benefited from the advancements in modern communication technology, one such sector is the call center industry which, I believe, has gained the most be it hands-free phones or cloud-based call centers or business intelligence analytics and seeing its current progress one thing is certain, it isn’t going to slow down.

Though the evolution of this industry hasn’t been a smooth one. Not that long ago, the primary task of call center agents was receiving calls and handling only the basic issues while the complex ones were transferred to the manager. But that was then, the call centers of today use multiple channels to handle more complex issues than ever before.

And the result? More and more businesses nowadays are leveraging multi-channel call centers to offer various support services to its clients in order to meet the ever-growing expectations of customers from the same organization.

What is a Multi-Channel Call Center?

A multi-channel call or contact center is basically the merging of multiple communication channels into a single, centrally managed platform. These multi-channel services include,

a) Call center services

b) Email support services

c) Video chat support services

d) Social media customer support services

e) Chat support services

These services also serve the need of the hour because today customer dependent businesses working with any one customer service channel will miserably fail to ensure customer satisfaction, hence a multi-channel contact center.

Benefits of Incorporating Multi-Channel Call Centers:

Over the recent years, we have seen more and more businesses incorporating multi-channel contact centers in order to provide better support services to their customers. But what are these key benefits these businesses are getting, let’s have a look.

Instant Support

The current technologies of today have made our customers impatient and in need of instant gratification. Offering instant support through live chat, providing answers on social media, faster replies to emails etc. is the only way businesses can curb these gratifications before arising or, in other words, nipping the issues in the bud.

Deep Customer Analytics

Multi-channel call centers help in better customer analytics by offering a single point access to all the customer-related information which also includes a knowledge repository of past behaviors and the deep analysis of how these questions were answered. These analytics help businesses tweak their sales tactics based on customer demands.

Multi-Tasking Operations

Multi-channel call centers make it much easier for individual agents to multi-task and move swiftly across different channels because of the presence of a single version of customer data located in a single application. As a result, a single agent can easily navigate through any channel to resolve customer queries and helps reduce the burden on voice agents.

Omnipresence

Another great way a multi-channel call center can help you is by being present across all the available channels to offer support to the customers and collecting all the information stored at one location. So, if your customer switches in live chat and moves on to FAQ, to social media sites and at last to a voice call, your agent will still have a single record of that customer with all the necessary data required for any future reference.

Upsell and Cross-Sell

With the availability of all the customer related information at agent’s fingertips, he will be better able to understand their sentiments and suggest associated products and services that might interest the customers. These suggestions are different as they are based on facts contrary to the ones made by traditional call center agents based entirely on hunches.

Improving Corporate Image

Multi-channel call centers that are available on all the channels frequented by the customers contribute greatly in establishing the brand image for the organization by showing genuine interest in what the customers have to say along with proactively answering customers comments and being aware of any change in customer sentiments.

End Thoughts:

Day by day the competition is getting tougher. Apart from promoting their interests in mass media, companies must work hard on their customer relationship too. And for this to happen, the companies must allow their buyers, the freedom to choose their mode of communication, be it social networks, fax, email, SMS or anything else they deem fit. This is the only way the customers can enjoy their experience with the company.

5 Tangible Benefits only a Call Center can offer the ISP Industry

The history of ISP or internet service providers might not be that old (a couple of decades actually) but its ever-growing demand is simply outstanding. Though ISP industry bears some close resemblance to the telecommunication sector, it still has got its own set of rules to follow and learn from customer expectations all while working in close proximity with ever-changing government regulations.

In the beginning, internet service was being provided through telephone lines which was later transformed to wireless options using wi-fi networks. If one looks on a global scale, today, ISP is considered one of the most unpopular industries among consumers, the primary reason being some recent issues between government agencies and telecommunication industry regarding the maintenance of an open internet a.k.a. net neutrality.

However, this lead to an increase in the competition as even the established brands now had to struggle to find new customer service solutions in order to stay successful. On the other hand, as the government regulations prevented monopolies back in 2015 and wi-fi became a constant presence in our lives, this further lead the consumers to switch over to the companies offering exceptional services not only with solving queries about popular platforms but also assisting audiences with the information they need to make smart consumer choices.

Any internet service provider who is committed enough to satisfy the needs of its consumers should demonstrate its brand value to every customer service communication. But what if a company doesn’t have the required technology or experience to meet the growing demand of modern consumers and innovative channels? Well, in that case, the perfect solution would be to hire the services of a third-party customer care services provider to help beat the competition and increase your bottom line. Let’s see what else you can get by hiring a call center.

1. Billing Service

A professional call center understands invoicing, is already familiar with the ISP industry along with answering service usage stats and its modern software which collectively can handle your entire billing process along with its retention and collection. It offers-

a) Timely billing to help you collect the bills on time.
b) Accurate invoices to enable the hassle-free transaction.
c) Effective collections to ensure all bills are collected as soon as it becomes delinquent and not later.

2. Technical Support

Call centers also offer technical support which enables the internet service providers to differentiate itself from their competitors with a high level of service quality, problem resolution and quicker responses to help bring a big smile on the customers’ faces which ultimately leads to healthier bottom lines.

3. Customer Care

The delivery of an excellent customer care service plays a critical role in determining the success of any organisation. ISP sector is no different, in order for its client base to be happy, satisfied and loyal, it must ensure prompt, efficient and ‘going beyond expectations’ customer service tailored to its customers’ needs.

4. Sales and Customer Acquisition

Call centers also play a vital role when it comes to processing an effective sales and customer acquisition strategy. We all know how today’s competitive work environment requires organisations associated with ISP to engage with all potential clients across multiple channels using both inbound and outbound communication services.

Well, a call center not only provides all this but, in addition, nurture and strengthen customer relationships as well to help promote revenue generation.

5. Customer Loyalty

Remember one thing, customer feedback, whether positive or negative, travels fast, and only a superb customer support can guarantee a positive word of mouth. With a reputed call center working by your side, your company’s reputation will build up in no time once your customers start sharing on social media the best user experience they had with your company.

Conclusion:

In the end, it all falls back on the start-up companies to make the ISP industry more competitive in the coming years but in order to do that it’s very important for it to communicate value through call centers apart from recognising consumer demand. Here, a customer service provider can easily analyse the survey result of customer satisfaction to determine which service channels need help and which consumer data will be useful to design future payment options and service agreements.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/5-tangible-benefits-only-a-call-center-can-offer-the-isp-industry/

4 Must-Have Customer Support Channels Your Company Needs

In the last couple of years, there has been a real revolution in the way consumers react with brands. Ever since the customers can reach the company via phone, there has been a tremendous decrease in the amount of letters sent to these companies. Another major impact came with the arrival of emails and web forms that have not only made our interactions with the companies that much easier but also given us the required time to organize our thoughts and prepare all details in advance.

Another revolution came with the launch of Facebook back in 2007 when companies started realising that its possibilities go far beyond than being just a P2P platform. What followed was a sudden and uncontrollable explosion of love and hatred coming directly from the consumers which ultimately led Facebook to upgrade its policies and provide tools for proper company/customer communication. Twitter and other social media channels were quick to follow.

Now, companies also understand this fact well enough, that’s why they try to deliver excellent customer support in the channels where their customers exist. For example, if your customers are more active on Twitter, then you will need to be accessible to them there and if they are avid email users, then they will expect you to provide great email support to them. I mean, you get the idea. The same thing happens for every channel.

But deciding on what channels to choose for customer support shouldn’t be left on guesswork, that’s why I have shared below four of the must-have customer support channels you should consider exploring and figuring out for yourself if these works best for your company and your customers or not.

Social Media

Social media also has its own distinctive way of running things where

a) Twitter works best for short question answers (recently increased from 140 to 280 characters).

b) Facebook excels in customer-2-business interactions due to its being more of a personal platform.

c) Instagram is unparalleled when it comes to food, fashion, lifestyle, tourism etc.

And the list goes on. All in all, social media provides an excellent way to speak directly to the world on their own terms though you must select the channels where you expect most of your clients to be.

Live Chat

Live chat work as an excellent customer support channel simply because

a) It gives you the ability to solve your visitors’ problems in real time.

b) It is an information-rich channel where clients can easily access information.

c) It works great for sales and upselling just like an actual salesperson.

Live chat, in the near future, is expected to replace the traditional shop sales and help you with the conversion process which you might have lost otherwise. But if you are not directly involved in online selling, then it might not be a good option.

Text Messages

Messaging channels or in-app messaging are the new trend. Some of the most common messaging channels are FB messenger, WeChat, Viber, WhatsApp etc. Its major features are

a) It a fantastic way to make yourself available when clients need you the most.

b) It offers convenience and flexibility to be contacted even during off hours.

c) Instead of forcing them to adopt new channels, messaging works well with the ones they are familiar with.

Like live chat, text messages also have a bright future ahead, the only difficulty seems to be selecting the ones your customers appreciate the most as there are many options available.

Email

Integrating email into your customer support strategy will be one of the best decisions of your life. There’s a reason why email is still considered as a mother of all digital interactions.

a) Email gives you ample amount of time to review your answer and reply at your own convenience.

b) Provides you with a good opportunity to reply faster to your clients.

c) Emails can be partially automated to cover most of the standard situations.

Just having a website makes it compulsory to have an email because sooner or later people will try to contact you via this channel. You can too, on your end, encourage people to use emails as they work wonders with complicated issues that require lengthy answers.

Conclusion:

Nowadays, customers want service that is both fast and human. Although both these ideas might seem odd at first sight, achieving them with the help of a multi-channel customer support strategy is pretty easy. This strategy works not only with the alignment of both the strength and weakness of each channel but also how the customers prefer using them.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/4-must-have-customer-support-channels-your-company-needs/

How to Handle Customer Service during Holiday Season Like a Pro

Call centers generally experience a much higher than normal call volumes during the holiday seasons. So, if you too belong to the customer service industry then I believe its not at all difficult to imagine the environment inside a typical call center on such busy days, phones ringing off their hooks, ticket volumes at an all-time high, email inbox nearly full, frantic callers with last minute requests. Sounds familiar, right?

Although customers too realize that the festive seasons are the most pivotal periods for all online retailers, still not a single one will ever compromise over the support service. And they shouldn’t either. As a customer service executive or the manager or even the owner himself, this is your responsibility to provide the best call center support to your customers irrespective of the demand.

Fortunately, we believe that the holiday spirit is something should not be dampened in any way. That’s why we have come forward with a few tips on how to efficiently and effectively handle the customer support structure during the festive seasons. Let’s dive in.

Learn from past mistakes

Begin your preparation by analyzing the customers’ data from past years’ experiences. Call centers generally have access to a lot of information related to customers. Use this historical data effectively to gather info on call resolutions, hold times, peak call times and much more. It will greatly help you in predicting the things that could possibly go wrong and give you ample amount of time to make the necessary changes.

Upgrade your tools

What’s the point of having a good and competent support team if you treat them with outdated technology and machine. Upgrading your current tools to the latest ones is an investment which will bring in tenfold results. And your team, in turn, will provide better assistance to pacify all the needs of your customers in a timely and professional manner.

Offer multichannel support

Though the phone is still the preferred way to communicate with the customer service, you simply cannot abide all your customers to use this preferred channel, especially the millennials who just love texting. That’s why it’s highly recommended to offer your customers a multichannel support. Currently, the popular ones are the live chat, email support, and social customer care. Add these and you won’t just help increase customer satisfaction but also lighten up a considerable load off your call center team.

Train your staff

Nobody likes to be kept on hold or being transferred too many times while talking to a customer care representative. So, please ensure that your call center agents are well trained with the right vision and philosophy for the incoming holiday rush. Empower them, provide them the authority to handle issues on their own rather than referring the calls to the superiors everytime something goes awry. Just remember, time is of the essence during holidays, so use it wisely.

Get into the holiday spirit

The key here is to keep your present staff happy and motivated as they, in turn, will keep your customers feel warm and fuzzy. Use this year’s holiday season as an opportunity to engage with your team. A few ways to bring joy to your workplace include decorating your office walls, hallways and maybe desks and cubicles in the holiday theme, arranging fun activities, offering your agents a holiday buffet depending on your budget and other such things.

Hire extra staff

Whether or not you will need extra staff, you can decide by looking at previous years data. But to be on the safer side, it’s better if you do hire a few extra. We all know how busy holiday seasons can get and your present staff team might not handle the spike in call volume the way it should. It’s far better to prepare yourself in advance than resent later on. Offer the newbies simple tasks and let your experienced staff handle the more complicated ones.

Consider outsourcing as well

I have mentioned in the earlier point to hire extra staff just for the holiday season. But the fact is, though it might work for some, for majority others, it will be nothing short of a burden. So, if you are among those majority ones, outsourcing your customer support to a third-party contractor can be your next best option. By doing so, you will be relieved of time, effort, and stress of hiring and training besides having ample time to focus on other core activities.

So, what do think? Are you or are you not ready for the holiday rush? I know that requires a lot of think process but if you have followed our list closely, you, my friend, are more than ready for this holiday season.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/how-to-handle-customer-service-during-holiday-season-like-a-pro/