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Published On: Mon, Jul 24th, 2017

How To Improve Call Center Services For Global Customers

The Philippines is uniquely suited to helping American companies as digital service providers for four main reasons: one, the educated Filipino workforce speaks English closer to American English; two, workers have specialized technical skills; three, labor is cheap; and four, there is a high unemployment rate for young people just out of university.

photo/ screenshot YouTube

A Los Angeles article about the call center boom in the Philippines says, “Today, it’s the job of choice for many young people here. More than 1 million Filipinos now work at call centers and in related outsourcing businesses, mostly serving American companies.” The article describes how a rep can earn as much as $700 a month, which is more than a doctor makes and how the industry as a whole, generates $25 billion, which is 10% of the economy.

Here are 3 tips on how Asian call center owners can continue to improve customer service for their global customers:

  1. Equip Your Agents with the Best Tools

A good workman can do their best work if equipped with the right tools. In the call center business, these tools happen to be call center software that improves productivity by enhancing inbound and outbound call quality with features like CRM integration, quality monitoring, workforce management, recording, and historical reporting.

  1. Hire the Right People

Since your goal is to improve customer service, or make it excellent if it’s already great, the best place to start is by hiring the right people in the first place.

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

Don’t just focus on hard skills—technical knowledge—but also on soft skills. If there are any skill gaps in their technical ability to use technology, these can be addressed through in-house training. However, if there are gaps in soft skills, there is little you can do about it –because soft skills are related to personality and a person’s character. In other words, they are due to an individual’s cultural background and psychological tendencies.

How to Identify Soft Skills

Here are 5 questions that you should ask yourself when interviewing job candidates to determine if they have soft-skills like conscientiousness, ambition, dependability, discipline, and organization:

  • 1. Will the candidate do the right thing on their own initiative and work all the time they are working?
  • 2. Are they interested in developing a career?
  • 3. Will they show up on time for work and sticking to their designated break times?
  • 4. Are they capable of dealing with obnoxious callers with self-restraint?
  • 5.Will they be able to do the work the way that you’ll train them to do it?
  1. Develop a comprehensive training program

A weakness in many training programs is that they focus on how to use technology, organize workflow, and follow the rules. While it’s important to cover the various mechanistic and organizational aspects of working as an agent, some of the most important skillsets of the job are to build rapport, mitigate frustration, provide clear technical directions,  and satisfy customer’s needs. The ultimate purpose of a call is to delight the customer.

A comprehensive training program should cover the following main points:

  • 1. It should brief agents on company policy and procedures and orient them to the company culture.
  • 2. It should help agents become familiar with the hardware, software, and paperwork they need to use as part of their job.
  • 3. It should provide agents with a better understanding of their primary client base, which might include some familiarization with cultural differences.
  • 4. It should go beyond teaching agents on the best etiquette and teach them conversational skills, like how to phrase questions and provide answers. This is best done through modeling, by watching videos of people who demonstrate how to build rapport with callers and develop a friendly dialogue.  

A Perfect Time to Be A Business Process Outsourcer

Use these three guidelines to help improve the efficacy and profitability of your call center business. We are now living in a time when the telecommunication-based employment boom in Asia is transforming economies around the world. It is giving young people with good education but few job prospects, a chance to earn a good living, and it is giving Asian economies a chance to provide an important business service to technological Western countries.

Author: Jimmy Simond

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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