Analytics – Real Time and Relevant

Our Business Analytics solutions have helped many organizations mine and analyze their existing data and turn it into interactive visualizations and easy-to-use analysis tools, focused on improving results and providing vital insight. Most importantly, we turn large amounts of data into something useful for our clients by doing things like determining pockets of your most callable records, figuring out the best times to call your campaigns, discovering who is most likely to buy your product or donate to your organization, proactively predicting the best Communicator to handle each phone call, or targeting businesses within a given area.

Most recently, we have been able to provide our call centers with the capability to see key KPIs that would help them manage their center more efficiently. These dashboards give them the ability to see a quick snapshot of such metrics as retention, hours tracking, management ratio, program results, and other important factors that are crucial in the day-to-day management of Communicators and programs.  They also have the ability to drill down into reporting connected to the dashboard to get a more detailed view and help pinpoint opportunities for improvement in a more timely fashion.

Tools like these are just an example of how we have been able to successfully build analytical solutions that are both real-time and usable, equating to smarter spending of your investment with us, achieving the best results possible and maximizing your ROI.

Work at Home – Flexibility in the Contact Center Space

Providing flexibility for a workforce is paramount to the long-term satisfaction of many employees in today’s job market. At InfoCision, we have an entire program that offers our contact center staff the option to work from the convenience of their home in a virtual call center environment.

Our staff involved in this unique program receive their initial training in a web-based environment and learn to make the same calls as our traditional agents, just from the comfort of their own homes. This provides an opportunity for people who may not be able to work outside the home otherwise. It also delivers other benefits, like not wasting time commuting back and forth to work, not having a dress code to follow, and saving money on gas and vehicle maintenance. 

Having a work at home program not only encourages employee satisfaction, but also ensures that we have the flexibility and capacity to meet staffing requirements, enabling us to provide excellent customer service and unparalleled ROI. 

 

Team Empowerment in the Contact Center

Everyone can agree that it’s important to empower your workforce but developing best practices to boost retention and morale in the contact center space is critical. At InfoCision, we have decades of experience, which equates to a plethora of time-tested, valuable ideas.

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s a time like no other to evaluate how your management team offers appreciation and encouragement to everyone on your workforce, especially including your team on the phone. From gamification and e-cards built-in our screens each day, to holiday-themed grand prize giveaways, we motivate our agents to provide excellent customer service in every call. However, empowerment is more than just the stuff money can buy. It’s:

    • Building an environment where people genuinely want to come to work – a place that fosters self-esteem, builds confidence, and feels like family
    • Believing in the values of the organizations and brands we’re asking others to support
    • Having supervisors and managers who practice empathy and active-listening, remembering birthdays and asking about sick grandkids
    • Visiting the call center floor regularly with senior management who are invested in acquiring feedback from agents, in person, themselves
    • Focusing on finding solutions within an atmosphere of remarkable teamwork, not just debriefings venting about common challenges
    • Ensuring your team has the tools they need to offer an unmatched customer experience

     

  • Genuine job satisfaction comes from more than appreciative Christmas cards, offering team lunches, and coordinating cheesy holiday festivities. True empowerment is generated through a culture of operational excellence, in a commitment to the continual and sincere encouragement and inspiration of your workforce – not just during the holidays, but throughout the entire year.

Keep The Creativity Coming!

In business, especially in the contact center space, it’s easy for teams to keep doing business as usual once they learn what works.  A good contact center knows their customers, all the ins and outs of their proprietary technology, and has developed an array of standardized strategies for handling challenges. However, when the ultimate desire is for a business to grow, the flow of creative ideas in every realm of the business must not only continue, but flourish.

At InfoCision, our team of marketers constantly tests new ideas, in a way that can be measured and replicated. This includes considering all aspects of the customer experience, examining and testing at all levels within the myriad of multi-channel solutions available: scripts, letter packages, call routing strategies, training materials, reporting techniques, hiring and retention, quality measurements, even ancillary services. Creativity involves utilizing our Business Analytics department to provide demographic and transactional data modeling or run a variety of scenarios to generate alternate probabilities and outcomes.  All our insights and findings are used to develop best practices, which are constantly examined for relevancy and adjusted with fine-tuning.

Having a culture of operational excellence, combined with the ingenuity and aptitude for continual testing across departments, enables us to provide excellent customer service and unmatched ROI.

 

 

A Valuable Customer Care Lesson Derived from Shark Tank

The founders of a small business called Power Practical have built a big customer base with very few resources, and a lot of strategic smarts. What is their secret ingredient? Customer engagement at the highest level.

Power Practical began with the help of more than 1,000 financial backers as a result of the company’s Kickstarter campaign. Then, when two of the company’s team members, David Toledo and Caleb Light, appeared on Shark Tank, the business took off after it received $250,000 in funding from Mark Cuban, along with valuable business guidance.

They then did something that is fairly unusual—they got customers involved in the development of the business. They sought input on products, asked for suggestions for improvement, and kept supporters informed about key dates related to product development and delivery. They now have 24,000 loyal customers who love what they do.

Companies that are obsessed with their customers—in a good way—use every ounce of feedback available to understand how people are responding to their products and their company. Customers who provide feedback are already interested in the company, and are therefore inclined to become repeat customers. Think of them as stakeholders—part of the process from beginning to end. Stakeholders are along for the ride, so continuing to make them feel valued makes them an important part of your success.

When customer service informs product development businesses also have a competitive edge in that the end product meets or exceeds customer expectations. A product designed with the consumer in mind very often reduces the need for customer care services to begin with, increasing the benefits even more.

So if your product development team doesn’t already have a relationship with your customer care team, it might be time to forge a partnership. Growth as the result of customer feedback is invaluable for future success.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

Focus on Customer Care to Skyrocket to Success

Good customer experiences are good for business. In the past, that meant having a smile at the ready and fielding a few phone calls, but we’ve come a long way since then. Today, the customer is in control. Companies are well aware that quality of service can significantly impact their bottom line; it also determines whether customers stay with a brand, and even advocate for it.

Yet, according to the latest 2015 Forrester Research survey, most companies are still delivering just an OK experience. In fact, several industries ranked lower in customer experience than they did just six months prior, with consumers saying that their experiences were poor or very poor.

What’s preventing businesses from delivering superior customer care experiences, particularly when we’re seeing so many companies reap the benefits of a well-oiled customer service strategy?

In some cases, it’s a lack of understanding as to what makes a good experience; in others, it’s a lack of planning and implementation. Business leaders must be not only dedicated to the cause but also determined to create a plan and see it through—no small feat in light of the technology tools and human resource training that it takes to do this successfully.

Many companies are finding that they can grow faster in this area by outsourcing. A Radiant Insights research report states that the global outsourced customer care services market is projected to reach $84.7 billion by 2020, propelled in part by an increasing need for interaction through non-voice channels.

Contact centers bring to the table a wealth of knowledge about the customer care industry, as well as a specialized expertise in the related technology tools that provide deep insights into customer attitudes and buying patterns. They also offer a sophisticated set of service options (including non-voice channels), and dedicated customer service staff. Businesses that choose to outsource benefit greatly from the assistance—and gain a partner in their quest to deliver superior service.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

What Will Your Contact Center Do This Summer?

Finally, summer is almost upon us. Most people feel more relaxed, move at a slower pace, and, typically, are focused on everything else besides work. These quiet days are a welcome change of pace for sure, but many managers see the distractions as obstacles to productivity.

Instead of battling against summer, why not embrace it as a chance to reflect on your business? It’s the perfect time to try out some new ideas for boosting engagement levels among your Communicators, and for enhancing business operations.

Some ideas to sample this summer might include:

  • Battle burnout among your Communicators. If your customer care agents are working to the best of their ability, it’s natural that they will occasionally feel the effects of burnout—particularly due to the stress inherent in their jobs. Attrition has been shown to be the top contact center challenge, so devote some attention this summer to reacquainting yourself with your Communicators. Customer care agents who find meaning in their work—solving problems and helping customers—are more likely to stay, so find ways to help them do this. Summer is a great time to conduct stay interviews, which can help you connect with your employees and how they’re feeling.
  • Offer professional development opportunities. All agents have had basic customer care training, but there are plenty of reasons to continue learning. Maybe your contact center has recently implemented new technology, or plans to in the near future, that Communicators would benefit from knowing more about. There are also agent development programs that not only educate but energize agents, teaching them how to deliver outstanding service and starting discussions about why it’s important. After training, work with your Communicators to set individual professional goals.
  • Try new technology. As you know, there’s no shortage of tools available to assist your agents in delivering superior care. It’s hard to commit to learning new technologies anytime, but summer might prove to be a wonderful opportunity to try something new. The change will help to engage employees and give them a chance to help and teach one another collaboratively. Whether it’s workforce management software, data analytics software, or any number of other tools, the business will benefit from technology updates.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

 

Here’s How You Can Really Calculate Customer Care ROI

As a customer care leader, you know how important it is to calculate ROI, as it proves that your department is contributing to the businesses’ bottom line. You also know, however, that calculating the value of contact center services ROI can be tricky.

Luckily, there are a few metrics that can help you get the best possible estimate of what your company’s customer care efforts are worth. In fact, a recent article from Customer Think lays it out quite simply by highlighting three areas: revenue, cost and marketing.

Below are some important metrics you should consider when calculating customer care ROI:

  • Repeat business: A great way to calculate revenue is taking a look at your repeat business. If the number of repeat customers is low it could signal that bad times are ahead. That’s because it’s more costly to gain a new customer than it is to keep an old one. What’s more, repeat customers are said to spend more with a company overtime.
  • Employee Attrition: Do you have a high employee turnover? Believe it or not, a revolving door of employees can get expensive. Between the onboarding process and unemployment, the costs can quickly add up. Measuring employee attrition is a great way to see whether or not you can reduce costs.
  • Net Promoter Score: Would your client recommend you to someone else? This is a major question that could give you insight into how your marketing and customer service efforts are faring. Essentially, your Net Promoter Score gives you a clear measure of your performance through your customers’ eyes.

Calculating customer care ROI can be difficult. Nonetheless, it’s an important responsibility that customer care departments must handle if they want to prove that their efforts are making a difference within the company.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

 

Top Holiday Customer Care Concerns to Keep in Mind

The holidays are without a doubt the most stressful time of year for customer care employees. Customers are making dozens of transactions online or via the telephone as well as contacting contact centers with questions. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned Communicator stressed.

To ensure that they are prepared, Communicators ought to keep customers’ top holiday complaints top of mind so that they can avoid making matters worse during this busy season. Below, we explore some of the most common holiday customer care concerns that Communicators are likely to face.

Service delivery: According to a survey from ASQ, which polled more than 400 quality and customer service experts worldwide, 55 percent of respondents say that timeliness in service delivery is the most common complaint. Brush up on your company’s service delivery policy to ensure that you’re prepared to correctly answer any questions regarding delivery.

Inaccuracies in billing: There’s nothing more frustrating for customers than when they come across an error in billing. According to the aforementioned survey, 26 percent say errors or inaccuracies in billing and payments are a major issue. Besides familiarizing yourself with your billing policies, make sure that you’re prepared to handle a disgruntled customer. Remember to remain calm and empathic to the customer.

Lack of clear communication: Lack of clear communication is another complaint that tops the list. When a customer contacts you, it’s important that you take the time to fully understand his or her problem and provide a clear solution. Oftentimes, it’s best to repeat the problem back to the customer to ensure that you understand it.What’s more, never make promises that you can’t keep.

The holidays are a wonderful, but hectic time for Communicators. Make sure that you’re prepared to handle everything that’s coming your way by reviewing your company’s policies and guidelines.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

This One Simple Tip Helps Keep Customers Coming Back For More

 

Customer retention is cited as a major pain point for many businesses. Nonetheless, it’s an important aspect to running a successful business and gaining optimal contact center services ROI. After all, numerous studies have shown that it’s more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to maintain an existing one. In addition, repeat customers often spend more over their lifetime.

In fact, the average repeat customer spent 67 percent more in months 31-36 of his or her shopping relationship than in months zero to-six, according to research from Bain and Co. What’s more, repeat customers spent 23 percent more in months 31-36 than in months zero-to-six.

If you’re struggling to improve your customer retention levels, there’s no need to fret because there’s one simple tip that you can implement to keep customers coming back for more. And that simple tip is to ensure that your Communicators end every conversation having gained a new friend.

That is, Communicators ought to perceive their customers as friends, in order to exude more empathy, authenticity and lightheartedness over the phone. In doing so, customers may soften their outlook toward customer care representatives and thereby enjoy a more personalized, friendlier experience.

So what are some things Communicators can do to make their interactions with customers friendlier? Below are some easy tips and tricks:

  • Make it personal: Customers don’t want to be treated like just another consumer; rather, they want a unique and personalized experience. Leverage the data you have about your customers to make every interaction more personal.
  • Listen intently: Part of being a good friend is really listening; the same goes with providing good customer care. Be sure that your Communicators are intently listening to customers’ questions.

While it’s true that Communicators must go through extensive training and continue to receive professional development throughout their careers, treating customers as they would a dear friend can help them improve their interactions with customers right away.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.