Published on 21 March 2017
Last Thursday, Gary Vaynerchuk posted an article titled, “The Ultimate Advice for Every 20 Year Old.” If you missed it, you should check it out here because not only is it relevant for every 20 year old but it’s relevant for any person who is looking to be successful.
If you don’t have time to read the entire post, a 22-year-old woman, Taylor thinks she’s putting in a lot more work into her future than she actually is. Taylor wants to be successful and she believes she is doing everything in order to be but she’s in a rut. In a sense, Gary tells her that everything isn’t just going to fall into her lap and that she has to put in the work to get to where she wants to be.
How do you get over the stump of you’re graduating, and you feel all this pressure ’cause you’re trying to build something but you’re still so young. But you wanna do the stuff and grow it big. I’m just in a rut and I can’t get out of it. But I have a hustle and a drive that I know I’ll be able to build something. But I’m just in this space that’s not allowing me to.
If you do end up having the time to read the article, you should because it’s extremely enlightening the simple conversation tells people exactly what they are too scared to hear.
It’s the cost of doing nothing.
Later in the day, after reading the article our Executive Vice President, Christina Karabetsos, was heard in the office saying, “It’s the cost of doing nothing.” Although she may not have read the article, the comment fit into the equation perfectly.
A lot of people are sitting in the office thinking that they are doing absolutely everything in their power to succeed. They’re wrong and as Seth Godin puts it,
“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.”
It’s time for people to get off their high horses and admit that they aren’t doing everything in their power to make their company, business, or even themselves to be the most successful that they could possibly be.
Taylor was convinced that she was in a rut. She imagines herself being extremely successful but it just hasn’t come to her yet. She’s paying attention to these other people like Kylie Jenner and wondering why she isn’t as successful as others show they are on Instagram.
Gary goes on to say:
“Don’t think you’re a digital expert just because you’re 22 and you have an Instagram account. Show me how much fuckin’ shit you’ve sold with your digital social media skills.”
It’s probably safe to assume that Taylor hung up the phone thinking that she was so far from being right about her situation. Taylor probably realized that she could be educating herself and asking questions (sometimes to herself) about how she can improve her situation.
It’s never too late to make a change, just like you’re never too smart to stop learning.
Some questions to think about:
Are you doing everything you can in your power to become better?
Are you putting everything that you have into your company in order for it to succeed?
Are you working around the clock to keep your customers happy and your business open?
If you aren’t answering yes to any of those questions, it may be time for a change. Gary said in the conversation,
“You’ve gotta deploy patience and you gotta love the process. I’m addicted to the process of the battle scars, the setbacks, the lack of, you know.”
You must be willing to take the risk. You must be willing to admit to failures and mistakes in order to move forward. You must be ready to acceptwhat customers or clients are saying about your companyor business in order to keep them coming back.
Many of us must be willing to accept that maybe we aren’t doing our best to make ourselves or our companies successful. Many of us must be willing to accept that if we aren’t willing to learn, we will never succeed.
Taylor was paying the cost of doing nothing, even though she thought she was doing everything she could to succeed. There’s always going to be someone out there who is putting in more effort, and most likely it is your biggest competitor.
And here is part of the conversation that will hopefully resonate with you:
Gary: How much time did you have for yourself on Saturday and Sunday that was not working every minute? Tell me the truth.
Taylor: A lot, a lot.
Gary: I know. So that’s the punchline, right? Now imagine this.
Gary: When I tell you this. You spent more downtime on not your career this weekend than I did in my entire 20s combined.
A lot of the time we look at people like Gary Vaynerchuk and assume opportunity just landed in his lap. We idolize people who are successful but forget that we weren’t there when they failed. We see a lot of success but it’s not very often that we see failure.
Gary says, “Every second you spend thinking about what somebody else has is taking away from time that you could create something for yourself.”
Just like Gary challenged Taylor to get it together and start focusing on her career instead of everybody else’s, we challenge you to do the same.
It’s not just about recent college graduates putting in the work in order to succeed. It’s about you concentrating on how you can better your business and become more successful. It’s about putting aside distractions while you’re at work. It’s about answering the call when the phone rings. It’s about providing outstanding customer service to turn your customer into raving fans.
This is about stepping back and evaluating your life and your business. Are you generating leads every single day? Does it take you days to respond to emails? Are your customers actually satisfied with the service you’re providing?
When was the last time you delayed a business decision? Maybe you’re delaying a business decision now because you aren’t sure if you want to spend the extra money to make improvements. Maybe you’ve been sitting on a business decision for months but you aren’t sure if you want to move forward.
What you need to do at this exact moment is the same thing that Gary challenged Taylor to do. Get it together and start focusing on what is actually going to help your business. Right now, you could be paying the cost of doing nothing without realizing it.
Have you been considering giving someone a promotion but don’t know if you’re ready to spend the money just yet. Think about what would happen if that person left your company at the end of the day today. Now, you have nobody to give the promotion to and you have a new position to fill.
It’s the cost of doing nothing.
If you are tired of paying the cost of doing nothing, give us a call at 888.229.7046 or visit our website to see what services we can offer you to help you succeed. We can almost guarantee what we have to offer you can kick start your career or drag you out of your rut.
Published on 16 March 2017
“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”
– Jim Rohn
The following situations all have one thing in common. Put your customer service skills to the test and try to see if you know what it is.
Susie ordered a new cell phone case off a website that she has always trusted. Her previous phone case was from the same company and she even paid the extra money to get her phone case shipped to her in two days. Her phone case arrived on time but when she opened the package the top right corner of it was cracked.
Peter downloaded a program onto his computer five days ago that he thought would work well for his startup company. He works another job along with trying to launch his new company. With this being the situation that he’s in, he usually stays up until three in the morning working on new projects. Last night, the program crashed and he hasn’t been able to get it back up since. A majority of his work was on the program.
Torie goes back to college in about a month. She started packing her things and realized she doesn’t have a vacuum for her new apartment. She went out to the store and bought a new one. When she got to school and used it for the first time, she noticed that whenever she uses the vacuum it barely picks anything up. Torie spent a lot of money on the vacuum because she thought that it would last her a while.
Jeff was on a mission to find a new phone company. He walked into a prospective company and the service was outstanding. They opened the door for him, he was in and out very quickly and they informed him of all the deals they were offering new customers. He later called the phone company to ask a couple more questions he had. Jeff was put on hold for at least an hour and he never even got through to somebody at the company. The call disconnected after an hour and ten minutes.
It’s easy to see that every single person had an issue with their product or service.
The point being, customer service shouldn’t start with a problem, it should start before or when the customer joins the company.
If you’re sitting there in your chair wondering why your customers aren’t happy, this may be the answer. It’s important that you don’t think of customer service as a department but that you think of customer service as a company.
The goal should always be to help the customer before the problem arises. When and if a problem arises (which it will) it should be solved promptly and in a fantastic manner. This is how your customers are going to turn into raving fans.
Now, you may be wondering, how could this have been handled differently? Let’s take a look.
Show You Care
Susie’s phone case is cracked. When she calls or emails the company, she’s going to be upset especially since she paid to get it shipped to her quickly. The good news is, she likes the company already and her package arrived when expected.
So, how do you keep her as a customer instead of her running away and giving you a bad review? Show her you care because that’s how she wants to feel. Make sure that her email or call is answered immediately.
Act upon fixing the problem quickly instead of trying to calm her down or letting her know you care. SHOW her you care. Do something that you know is going to make her happy. Give her a coupon for her next purchase and pay for her to send you back the phone case in exchange for a new one.
Apologize for what has happened and promise to fix the issue.
Make a note of what has happened. Be sure that when Susie calls back again, the person working for you knows the exact issue and how it was fixed. Don’t let anything go unnoticed.
Bonus: If you keep track of everything that happened with Susie, the next time she calls she will feel like her call mattered earlier and like her call matters now. She will feel important which is exactly how your customers should feel.
Answer the Phone
Answering the phone and responding to emails, it’s something you’re always doing. So maybe you’re just reading right past this point but you shouldn’t. When Peter had issues with the system he was working with, it was three o’clock in the morning. Most of his work was on this program and what’s even worse is that he was working on one of his most important products in order to launch his company.
At three o’clock in the morning, he needed someone to answer the phone and help him get the software back up and running. Turns out, the company he bought the software from closed at 7 PM.
Moral of the story is that some customers are using your product or service around the clock. Sometimes they need the product or service to continue to work in order to go on in their daily lives. This is why your company should have 24-hour customer support.
If somebody was there to answer the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning, Peter would’ve turned into a raving fan. It is easy for there to have been an error on Peter’s part. This could’ve been fixed within five to ten minutes if there were someone there to tell him what he did wrong.
Giving this kind of service to customers will have them coming back for more and telling friends and family about the amazing service your company provides. This is exactly what you need to keep your customers happy and to gain more customers.
Having customer support 24/7 doesn’t matter if the support isn’t there. What matters is that they are getting the help that they need in a timely fashion. A lot of people want to use the product or service they paid for right after they paid for it.
If Torie’s vacuum isn’t working the way she had hoped that it would, she’s going to be frustrated especially since she spent a lot of money on the product.
Let’s say that Torie calls the customer support and they put her on hold for forty-five minutes. By the time somebody offers support to her, she’s going to be aggravated. She wanted and needed the support forty-five minutes ago but instead, she was stuck waiting on the phone until somebody could actually help her.
Sometimes a product isn’t going to turn out the way that it’s supposed to. Sometimes a service isn’t going to live up to its expectations. It’s just something that happens and usually, this is easy for people to understand.
After sitting on the phone for hours trying to figure out why a product or service isn’t meeting expectations, people are going to get angry. So, don’t be shocked when customers respond to you in a rude way or they yell at you for something that was completely out of their control.
Having a support desk is going to be extremely helpful in many situations. When the help desk isn’t actually helping, that’s when things get complicated. Make sure that you have customer service support that is trying their best to help the company. Also, be sure that the customer service representatives that you’ve hired know what they’re doing and have thorough training.
If hiring a call center, they should offer training to their employees and somebody from your company should be there helping.
Don’t Lack Attention
Jeff had a great experience when he walked into the phone company. When he followed up with some questions, the phone company didn’t even answer the phone call. This is from lack of immediate attention. Jeff wanted his questions answered right then, just like a lot of people who are looking for more information about a company.
If you were to call a company and they didn’t answer their phone, how would you feel about the company? Most likely, you would get aggravated and either choose a different company or leave the company if you were already working with them.
Everybody knows how aggravating it can get when questions go unanswered. What kind of service should Jeff expect if he does end choosing that company? What kind of service would you expect from a company who never answers a phone call?
Customers are looking for attention so having a lack of is going to drive them in the opposite direction. Think about how easily a customer can pick up the phone to call another company. Customers have access to competitors’ phone numbers just as easily as they have access to yours.
Now, take a second to think about how many calls come into your office for businesses that are not tracked for inquiries, leads, and conversion into sales.
How many customers are you leaving waiting, having to leave a message and not answering your calls consistently and professionally?
The number one reason a new potential buyer of your product or service will find another provider is due to lack of immediate attention, making them feel as if their call and ultimately their business doesn't matter to you.
At QCSS, "Where the only call that matters is yours" every time the phone rings, we answer seamlessly as your company promptly to give the customer the attention they demand and deserve.
For more information, visit http://www.qcssinc.com/or call (888) 229-7046.
Published on 14 March 2017
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” –Bill Gates
Merriam-Webster defines a leader as a person who leads. This is a vague definition which can lead many to believe that they are a leader.
One can lead by example and another can lead by sitting in a chair and telling others what to do. We can throw around the definition of leader around like a quarterback throws around a football, practically anywhere and fast.
Being a leader means you have to be willing to accept criticism and it also means that you have to make decisions that others don’t agree with. Being a leader means that you have to look out for the best interest in others and yourself, just like a quarterback.
Being considered a leader is a huge compliment but being considered a leader also means that sometimes you have to take a step back. Leaders give the opportunity for others to succeed while preparing themselves to take the blame when they don’t.
You’re probably wondering what taking a step back has to do with being a leader? A lot actually, if you’re considering taking a step back, you’re probably considered a leader to other people who work for you.
To Receive Appreciation
Taking a step back in the company may be a great opportunity to receive some appreciation. Sometimes, things in the office get rough. Everywhere you turn, there are people asking you to produce more work than you’re capable of handling.
Papers are flying out of your hands and emails are flying into your mailbox. It’s easy to go under appreciated. Some people don’t understand half of what you’re doing to keep the company running smoothly. Taking a step back can allow others to accomplish tasks on their own that they usually ask you to help with. Co-workers and fellow employees will begin to appreciate all you have done to keep things together.
So You Can Learn to Appreciate
Just as others have forgotten to appreciate you, taking a step back will give you an opportunity to appreciate yourself and others around you. Take this time to thank people around you for everything they do.
Did somebody save you from sending out an email with an awful spelling error? Thank them because your job was almost on the line. Did somebody take on your work while you were away on vacation? Thank them because without them you wouldn’t have been able to spend time with your family. Never forget to appreciate the people who surround you especially because it is such an easy trap to fall into.
To Create Opportunity
Taking a step back in the company can create opportunities for other people to stand out. It’s a chance for you to put things in the hands of other people and to relax a little.
At first, this will not be easy. You’re probably a perfectionist and that’s why you have experienced so much success in the company. It’s hard to resist yourself from being a company control freak. Taking a step back allows a chance for others to prove to you that they are capable of doing a great job too.
To Confirm Trust in Others
As mentioned, it’s extremely difficult to let go of something you’re used to having complete control over. It’s hard to say goodbye to the daily tweets you’re so accustomed to sending out on your own.
Giving another person the ability to take over an important job confirms that you trust them to succeed. It allows others to believe that you think they can do just as great of a job. Taking a step back gives other people in the company the ability to live up to your expectations.
Leaders always look for ways to help others grow.
To Learn How to Trust
Not only does taking a step back confirm trust, but it can teach you how to trust also. If you are higher up in a company, you must trust others in order for your business to be successful.
Think about it like a restaurant. The owner or the manager must trust their servers to tend to customers to the best of their ability. The same thing works in a corporation. Managers and owners must be able to trust others in the company to produce their best work. Taking a step back allows you to learn how to trust others with work.
Because You Aren’t the Only One
You are not the only person who can do your job. Other people are capable of running accounts the same way that you are. Teach others and show them how you are so good at what you do.
Your position can be filled and although you probably love what you do, somebody else probably loves it just as much as you. So keep your job, but allow others to learn from you. Some day you aren’t going to be able to run the company anymore and you need somebody to be able to step into your shoes and produce amazing work.
To Gain New Insight
Taking a step back in the company can bring new insights. Somebody who is working for you may see something that you look past every single day. This is why it’s a great idea to step back for a little bit.
It’s easy to overlook the one thing your company needs to succeed. It could’ve been sitting in front of you for months but you didn’t have time to realize how great of a tool it was because you were so caught up in everything else. When you allow others to do what you do, they can bring new insights to the table.
So You Can Learn to Love Again
Taking a step back does not mean that you can never take on more tasks again. Maybe you will enjoy not having as much control or maybe you’ll fall in love with your career again. There are many benefits to taking a step back and letting other people become leaders. This is how your company is going to grow so learn to trust your co-workers and the people working under you.
Published on 09 March 2017
Call center. Telemarketing. Agents. Telesales.
Four words that tend to scare people. What’s the advice we have for you?
Don’t let them.
Forget the negative feelings that you have attached to those words. Put them behind you, even if it is just for the few moments that you read this post.
Call centers are some amazing places. Actually, call centers do some amazing things for other companies and for the economy. Call centers care more about your progress and growth than almost any other person does.
Did you just ask why?
Well, because their jobs depend on it but don’t worry that’s not the only reason.
If you hire a call center, there’s a lot of things you can expect and we’re going to narrow everything down into five simple points.
If you are considering hiring a call center, these are five things you should definitely expect.
1. Expect Knowledge
Knowledge is power.
It’s not only a call center it’s a smart center too. Agents are extremely smart. They know how to solve problems when they arise and they can prevent future problems from happening.
At a call center, agents have to deal with different systems and programs, a handful of clients, and they must learn how to solve problems with the clients or customers. Most importantly, they are the first people to deal with customers or clients. This is what makes call center agents so brilliant.
When agents at call centers run into problems, they quickly find ways to resolve them. If something happens on one campaign, others will be promptly informed about the situation so that the same issue won’t occur again.
Potential problems are spotted before they actually take place because nobody knows the business like the people behind the phones. Most agents have been in the industry for years. Some agents may have just joined the team but quickly will learn the little secrets of the industry from the veterans.
There’s strategy to what these people are doing and you have to have a certain persona to succeed (Here are the 9 awesome qualities that we look for in our agents). Agents acknowledge the issues that are taking place and quickly act on them. They are problem solvers and they know how to use their resources in order to complete tasks and turn customers into raving fans.
The goal should be to always solve the problem that the person on the other end of the phone is having. When they hang up the phone, a call center should want that customer to have had an amazing experience and they should have.
2. Expect Consistency
Consistency is key.
Check to see if the call center you’re looking into hiring continues to train their employees. As mentioned earlier, there are going to be new agents at the call center who just started in the profession and then there are going to be veteran agents. Everybody started from somewhere but it’s important that they continue to be trained in programs.
Strong agents should always be willing to learn more about clients and about the program that is being used at the call center. No information is ever too much and this is how a call center will remain consistent.
No agent at the call center should be better than the other because they should all be the best.
Another thing that keeps most call centers consistent is scripts. Veterans get so used to scripts that they can probably recite a lot of information without them. This is o.k. because they are well trained and sometimes adding personality to a call is will help land the sale or calm a customer down.
How fast is the call center picking up your companies calls?
This has a lot of do with consistency. The last thing to mention is that many call centers are going to track calls. The systems that they are working with should say when a call was taken, if a call was dropped, if a problem was solved, how fast they picked up the call, and there are many other ways these programs measure consistency.
Ask about the program or the system that the call center is using and make sure that they are somehow measuring progress.
3. Expect Accuracy
As Merriam-Webster defines it, accuracy is the freedom from mistake or error. Although we are sure that no call center is going to be completely free from error or mistake, we know that they definitely should be aiming for that.
So, when considering hiring a call center be sure to ask the company how they go above and beyond to provide accuracy.
One way they should do this is through a system or program that they have all of their agents on. It goes along the lines of consistency. The call center should have a known way to track progress of phone calls just like they should be able to track consistency.
With accuracy also comes knowledge, which is the first point that we talked about. Employees and agents should be encouraged to learn the most about a client that they are beginning to work with.
Accuracy and knowledge require training. The company should allow you to come in and train the employees how to handle phone calls with your specific company. Most likely, this call center is working with other companies besides yours which means agents are learning a lot of different programs throughout their time at the call center.
Make sure that your company takes time to explain to the employees how to handle different situations that they may run into. It’s possible that they already know a lot from working on other campaigns.
Look at this as a good thing. Employees are going to be more accurate with the amount of experience that they have. They are going to be more accurate if they are provided the proper training to handle calls for your company.
4. Expect Solutions
While on the topic of accuracy, call centers should be prepared to handle almost any type of call. These agents and employees are able to go out of their way to find answers to questions that sometimes people working at your company can’t answer.
The call center you are looking into should be prepared to handle any type of situation.
Whether the customer wants a refund or isn’t happy with their product or service the call center agents and employees should be able to handle it with a calm and collected attitude.
Many times, somebody at the call center is going to know how to fix an issue when an agent runs into one. There should be people designated to helping solve the problems. There should be teams in the call center ready to help the agents and overlooking the system that they are working on.
Another big point to mention is that sometimes there are technical issues that arise. Make sure that the call center you are looking into has an IT department on site. This is mandatory considering we can’t predict technology and not every person knows’ how to fix technical issues.
Ask the company that you’re looking into how they go about fixing the internet service when it goes down. Ask them how they go about fixing the system when it has a glitch. Think about issues that happen at your work place that only IT people can fix. Then, ask them how they solve the problem.
The call center should have experience in what they are doing. They have probably been around the block and couple of times and ran into problems that wouldn’t have been resolved unless it was for experience.
Ask the company how long they have been in the industry for because that’s important.
5. Expect Measurement
As mentioned in almost every single point, expect measurement. All call centers should be measuring the work that they are doing. This is not only for your company but for their company also.
Don’t be afraid to ask a call center how they measure growth or pick-up times. They should almost be willing to tell you. This should be information that they are proud of and if the call center that you’re interested in doesn’t want to tell you, there’s a reason and it’s a great enough reason to walk away.
Measurement is extremely important, especially in marketing. Telemarketing is not dead and many people don’t realize this. If you aren’t using a call center to provide any services to your company, you should really consider it.
At QCSS, we handle measurement by providing a wide variety of standard reports. This allows us to see our production and efficiencies. We also offer custom reports and all reports detail the campaign, query or agent activity for user configurable time periods and enable accurate up to the minute ROI tracking.
When looking for a call center to hire, see if their reporting, tracking or measurement is similar to this process. It’s an important part of the deal that you’re making with the call center. Don’t look at the call center as a company that you are hiring, rather look at them as if they are a partner you are investing in.
This advice should help you make your decision. We are sure that a call center is the right choice for you, but be sure that you know this too. They offer a lot of benefits but shop around. It’s an investment that you don’t want to throw your money into without being sure you found the right fit.
Published on 08 March 2017
If the CEO of the company or your boss walks into the room, what is every person doing? The answer is most likely working because that one person has all the power. They can make or break your career. A lot of your life depends on that person so everybody is on their best behavior.
When you’re trying to close a sale, how do you present your service to the person who’s making their way through the sales funnel? You are presenting your service like it is something that the client can’t live without. This is a make or break situation, especially in the B2B world.
Selling a service is like fluffing a pillow. Initially, when you lay your head on the recently fluffed pillow, it feels like a whole new pillow. Then, after a couple minutes, it goes back to the same old pillow that it was.
When people are trying to sell a service to you, they fluff themselves up to make them look a lot better than they are when you aren’t around. Then after you hang up the phone or leave the office, it goes back to the same old office that it was.
Then there’s the memory foam pillow. This pillow never needs fluffing because it always reforms back to the original shape. There are some businesses that are run like this. They are the same people on the phone or in the office when you’re visiting as they are when you leave. These companies are one in a million but these are the companies that you should be looking for when you’re looking to outsource your help desk at a call center.
The tricky part is how you find these companies. It’s not easy but it’s possible and you need to know that there are B2B companies who are looking out for the best interest of your company along with theirs. Just remember that not all pillows remain fluffed, but some pillows don’t even need fluffing.
We’re going to guide you on your journey to finding a help desk that is actually looking to help your business succeed.
Define Your Company
There is a reason that you decided you needed to outsource a help desk. Chances are, the help desk you have right now isn’t working, you need additional help along with the help you already have, or your company doesn’t have a help desk at the moment.
This is the time where you need to sit down and define your company.
Who is your company right now? Do you need major help in the customer service department and outsourcing is the only option right now? Do you want to improve the customer service of your company?
Answer these questions and really try to narrow down why your business is looking for help. It could be a simple answer or it could be complicated. Regardless you need to get to the bottom of it. Feel free to ask for feedback from employees and even customers if necessary.
Before taking the necessary steps and finding a great company to work with, you must know what the issues are inside of your company first. Don’t run away from the issues either. Be ready to confront them head on!
Do Your Research
Do not just pick a random call center to hire and call it a day. Not every call center is going to provide what you are looking for or meet your expectations.
Pick up the phone and call the companies. Go onto their websites and read testimonials. Go onto their websites and just explore. Make sure that they are offering what you are looking for.
If you’re feeling brave, you should even visit the call centers you are considering. This is going to show you the culture of the company along with visually provide you with an idea of how the company is.
This is a great time to remember the pillow fluffing analogy.
Some businesses are going to try to make themselves out to be way too perfect. Other businesses are going to show you who they actually are and they will give you an opportunity to experience the culture of the company.
Think of these companies you are exploring as potential partners to your business. You are going to have to maintain a relationship with these people until you decide their business isn’t necessary anymore.
The time period can be months or even years so don’t just dip your feet in, really get to know them.
Evaluate Customer Service
Do these people go out of their way to accommodate you? When you call do they answer the phone?
This is important to take note of because if you’ve been playing phone tag with a company for weeks, they probably aren’t a good match.
When outsourcing a help desk, you should hope that these people are going to answer the phones when customers are calling. If they aren’t answering the phone to you in a timely manner, then they probably won’t be answering the phone to your customers.
It’s also important to note who you are talking to every time someone does answer the phone. Is it the same person who you’ve been talking to since working with the business or has it been a different person every time?
Are the people who are answering the phone greeting you by name and do they know what company you work for? If they understand why you’re contacting them and if they made notes of why you’re contacting them then this is a good sign. It means that they listen to you and that they are attempting to meet your needs.
Testimonials are Important
As mentioned, you should definitely check the website for testimonials. If you can’t seem to find testimonials on the website be sure to ask about them on the phone or when visiting the office if they have any they would like to share with you.
The company that you are looking into should have some sort of testimonials. If they don’t, then they should be able to give you references so that you can contact other companies to ask about the experience that they had with the call center and with the help desk specifically.
If you are looking to outsource a help desk, be sure they have some kind of references or testimonials. If the company doesn’t have either of these, then this company is probably not a great fit for you.
The red flag is up.
Do not continue to move forward with this company. There is a reason they don’t have testimonials or references. Experience is a wonderful thing. Experience is definitely a quality you should be looking for in the company you are considering hiring.
Before seriously considering outsourcing a help desk ask: What kind of reputation does this help center have?
I know, you’re probably thinking “Company culture is important we know.”
But it’s true, company culture is extremely important and paying attention to it is necessary.
If the help desk is rude to your customers because the culture is not great at their place of employment, chances are your customers are going to get even more upset.
You’re probably thinking, “But what about the fluff? Don’t all companies fluff themselves?” The answer is no, they don’t. Not every company needs to do that because their employees are already happy.
Look around the office space at the help desk call center to see if they give their employees any incentives. Ask questions about the culture like how they monitor phone calls and how they hold their employees accountable.
Sales people LOVE to talk about their services and they also love to talk about the company that they work for. Chances are, you’re getting a tour of the office or talking on the phone to somebody who is higher up in the help desk call center.
Trust me when I say that they want to tell you about incentives and how they keep their employees motivated.
It’s very easy to get mixed up with the wrong company but if you follow these few rules and we are sure you will find a help desk that actually wants to help you.
Trust is going to be the foundation of this new relationship so make sure that you trust the company who is going to be the voice behind your help center.
Published on 28 February 2017
Can you name a nine letter word that is absolutely necessary to succeed in any business?
If you can’t, we can. That word you’re looking for is referrals.
We know that getting referrals is easier said than done. Which brings us to the next question: How does a company or business receive a referral?
Well, that’s easy. A company or business will receive referrals from customers or clients that love them.
Yes, the four letter word that some of us love to hate.
Outstanding customer service can bring a customer or client from liking you, to loving you.
Need proof? Look at how American Airlines deals with customer service through Twitter. Sometimes it can be a difficult task getting customers or clients from liking you, to loving you. Receiving those referrals is not easy but creating buzz around your company or business can boost sales tremendously. Take a look at these testimonials that QCSS received from clients.
We’d love to share with you how we bring our clients from the like stage to the love stage.
Maintain a relationship
The most important part of a relationship is maintaining it.
If you want customers to come back for more, you better be staying in contact with them. Relationships can’t maintain themselves and it’s always going to be a two-way street.
It’s necessary to maintain a relationship with customers while doing business with them. Check in with clients and customers. Make sure that they are receiving the results that they were expecting from your product or service.
This will show customers and clients that you don’t just care about your own goals but you care about their goals, also.
Of course, it’s hard not to pick favorites. It’s possible that you have clients and customers who have been with you from the very beginning. These relationships are most likely extremely important to you. It’s probably difficult for you to direct your attention to new clients when you are so worried about maintaining relationships with old clients.
Consistency is what got you these lifelong customers so it’s important to remember to remain consistent.
Show your love to your VIP consumers but show love to new consumers too. Let them know how much you appreciate their business. Focus on new customers and maintain relationships with old ones by staying consistent.
Be consistent with your business and you will find that most new consumers will turn into lifelong ones. Give consumers a reason to fall in love with you.
Every single client or customer matters, not just one.
Follow-through in what you do.
Don’t tell clients or customers that you are going to do something and never end up doing it. This will frustrate consumers and when was the last time you fell in love with someone that frustrates you?
It’s easy to get sidetracked and to continue to put things off until the next day.
With customer service, we obviously do not recommend this.
Stick to your word. If a customer calls asking you to send over a quote that you promised, send the quote right after you get off the phone. Hold yourself accountable so that your consumers can count on you.
Trust is a crucial part of a relationship, especially one that involves love and referrals.
Follow-through AND follow-up! Stick to your word and make sure your consumer was happy with the results.
Did you send over the quote? Call the customer later in the week and make sure they got the quote you sent over. Ask them if they looked over it and if this is something they would be interested in but don’t force it!
If the consumer says they haven’t had a chance to look over something, mention that you will give them some more time and call back in a week or two (this is where you must follow-through). Then in a week or two, actually make sure that you pick up the phone and call them (this is your follow-up).
Notice how we’ve been mentioning that you must pick up the phone? Yes, this is a necessary step in the customer service department! Emails are easy to send and not as time-consuming but guess what? Calling someone is a lot more personable.
Give a voice to your company or business.
What your consumers are saying matters. Listen to what they have to say so that you can improve business and get even more people to fall in love with what you do. Listen to what people are saying through social media, testimonials and by simply asking them.
Ask them what you can do to improve service and genuinely listen to the answer.
It’s easy to go into denial after listening to what consumers have to say. Avoid doing this and use the positive and negative feedback as a stepping stone to improve business.
Does the truth scare you? Don’t let it. Surveying is a great way to ask for honest feedback from clients and customers!
The foundation of any relationship: Trust.
A characteristic that is hard to come by these days but the business industry is built on it. If you want a client or customer to love you, they must trust you first. How do you get them to trust you, you may ask?
Well, maintaining the relationship, consistency, follow-through, follow-up and listening are just a couple of ways to do this. It’s important to show consumers why they should trust you instead of trying to just tell them why they should trust you.
Also, it’s important to note that trust takes time. It won’t happen overnight but it can be broken that quickly.
Similar to following through, it’s important to always deliver.
Deliver your best effort so that results can be seen. Live up to the expectations you have held for yourself and your business or company. Others are expecting you to do the same.
If your website or your sales people make a promise to a customer or client, live up to that promise. If you sell quality clothing and the clothing isn’t quality then consumers are going to be upset, as expected.
Prove to your clients that you have what it takes to be the best in the industry.
Say “Thank You.”
This is very important.
As human beings, we like to be appreciated. Thank your customers and clients as often as possible. When hanging up the phone, say thank you. When sending an email, say thank you. Most importantly when in face-to-face interaction, say thank you.
There are many ways to remind consumers that they matter to you. A simple postcard or a thank you card can make another persons’ day. Make it personal. Let them know that their business matters to you and that they are appreciated.
Customers and clients want to know that they matter and that you are grateful for them. Thank them for their time because if you don’t they might just move on to the next company.
QCSS stands for Quality Customer Service & Sales. The team at QCSS embraces communication and innovation to transform human interactions into powerful and passionate customer experiences. QCSS currently provides outbound and inbound telesales, appointment setting and lead generation solutions. For more information, visit http://www.qcssinc.com/or call (888) 229-7046.
Published on 21 February 2017
Walk into a call center and there’s a lady sitting at the front desk with one headphone in her ear and a microphone by her mouth. You’re greeted with a smile and a soft voice says, “Hello! How can I help you today?”
You’re directed further into the office and you see cubicles being used by employees trying to meet goals. You see hard work and dedication. You take a moment to yourself and you ask, “Do they ever stop smiling?”
Our answer is no.
A smile is the key to success in this industry. A call won’t make it far without one.
You think to yourself again, “How did they find so many friendly people to hire?” Well, for the most part they found us. It took a lot of interviews to find these special employees but we’re going to let you in on our secret. Look for these nine qualities in the people you are hiring and you might just get as lucky as we did!
1. Active Listening
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” –Bryant H. McGill
All successful telemarketers must be able to ask good questions while also answering questions, which involves active listening. They must know when to stop talking and how to react when they are interrupted.
Along those lines, successful telemarketers must have active listening skills so that they aren’t the ones interrupting the person on the other end of the phone. Customers and clients are looking for customer service representatives who care about what they are saying.
Next time you’re interviewing a potential employee, ask them if they have any questions or comments regarding anything previously said in the interview. If they have questions or comments, they most likely have active listening skills.
2. Asking Questions
“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.” – Robert Half
A successful person in telemarketing must know when and how to ask the right questions. It’s important to listen to what the person on the other end is saying so that they can successfully develop strong questions and answers that will keep the client or customer engaged.
These can range from questions about the client or customer to questions about an issue that is being dealt with.
Asking questions is a great sign of intelligence. People who ask questions are eager to learn more and don’t think that they already know everything.
“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” – Jerry West
Working in a call center can be very intimidating. People hang-up, people yell or even call the boss and complain. It’s easy to get unmotivated when this happens. As imagined, somebody that works in telemarketing has to be prepared for these issues.
It’s also important that they keep motivation high even when these situations do happen. Telemarketers do an amazing job at picking up the phone and making another call, even when the person who just hung up on them gave them every reason not to.
When dealing with a call center, make sure that you are looking at the culture of the company also. These centers should be aiming to keep the motivation and spirits high around the office. Ask these companies how they keep their employees motivated.
Tip: When looking for a company that is in telemarketing, on your visit, pay very close attention to how employees are reacting to customers and clients on the phone.
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”- Steve Jobs
When working with phones on a day to day basis, confidence plays a huge role. A tone of voice is always going to be heard through the phone. One thing that is great to hear when talking to somebody through the phone is confidence.
A person working in telemarketing can’t be scared to answer the phone or to call somebody else on the phone, granted this is in the job description. A person working in telemarketing must know what they are talking about and feel comfortable talking about it.
Hint: Encourage employees to smile when talking into the phone. Sure, it’s going to look and feel silly at first but along with a smile comes confidence.
“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” – Brian Tracy
A script is a common prop for telemarketers to be using. Communication skills are important in telemarketing so that employees aren’t always directly reading off the script.
It is also important to have communication skills because sometimes the script doesn’t have the answers. When somebody in the industry isn’t familiar with how to handle a certain situation, they need to be able to handle it with the best of their ability and communication skills are important for that.
This happens a lot in a call center which is why you should pay attention to how agents are communicating with people on the phone when considering hiring a call center.
Friendly voices are extremely important also!
Quick tip: Encourage employees to speak clearly on the phone! This way they won’t always have to repeat themselves and the customer or client will be happy!
6. Quick thinker
“The only way to win is to learn faster than everyone else.” – Eric Ries
Reaction is important when talking on the phone because a lot of customers and clients don’t have time. That’s why they’re calling instead of emailing. These consumers are looking for a quick fix which means agents must be able to think on their toes.
Unexpected questions are going to play a huge role in the telemarketing industry. Agents learn a lot about the companies and what they do but the answer is not always going to be in the script. Thinking quick is going to be a must when hiring somebody to talk on the phone.
When looking at qualities of a telemarketer, most can think very quickly and react well to almost any situation. They know how to handle themselves and how to present the company in a well-mannered fashion.
7. Problem Solver
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
As mentioned, it’s pretty common to run into problems as a telemarketer. Maybe the system being used isn’t working the way expected but a customer is on the phone. What do they do? Who did they look to?
Sometimes the only person they can rely on is themselves. If this happens to someone who isn’t used to working in the industry then they may not know what to do. Many telemarketers are able to solve issues that are happening on the phone or get around issues that are happening in the system.
Many telemarketers are trained to be professional and this is something that the agents at QCSS always practice. They remain clam in almost every situation and keep the customer happy.
Part of our mission is to go the extra mile to turn our clients into raving fans. A lot of this is done through problem solving.
“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” – Jake Welch
This can very well fall along the same lines of motivation. The only difference here is that we’re talking about competiveness in the office. Most call centers have goals that they need or want to meet.
Looking for competitiveness in a person who works in telemarketing means that they should have a competitive side and the drive to be better. They want to hit their goals AND MORE.
Competition is in the blood of telemarketers.
We know this because this is how our agents are. We go above and beyond in order to hit our sales goals. The only difference is that we do it as a team. We encourage one another to do the best that they can do every single day.
“Friendly makes sales – and friendly generates repeat business.” – Jeffrey Gitomer
Walk into a call center and all you will see is friendly faces. That is because this is extremely necessary when working in the industry. Friendliness is a quality all telemarketers need to have because positive relationships must be developed with customers and clients.
Friendliness can’t be forced or negative because then it’s obvious the sale is the only thing on the top of the mind.
Telemarketers are the front of the company and the first people that potential clients and consumers hear from which means that friendliness is necessary for success.
Do you want customers to rave about the customer service of your company? Look for these qualities in the employees you are hiring and we are sure you will get just that.
How do we know?We know because this is what we look for in our agents and they continue to impress us every day.
Here at QCSS, we are positive that our employees give our clients and customers this amazing service. The moment people walk into the doors of the office, smiles are delivered.
Our core values match those of our employees and we couldn’t be more proud!
Published on 14 February 2017
“Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss.”
– Lee Iacocca –
A happy workplace most likely will lead to more productivity.
The burning question: How do you get to the place where almost all employees are happy enough to be as productive as possible?
Employee productivity is important to business success. There must be a way to keep employees motivated while continuing to accomplish tasks and projects on time. Here are some simple steps you can take in order to keep up employee motivation which will lead to more productivity.
1. Encourage Social Interaction
Social interaction can be extremely important when it comes to productivity. Holding events outside of the workplace can be very effective. Events outside of work encourage social interaction and it gives employees a reason to walk into work with a smile on their face. This will also promote teamwork in the workplace. Employees will be more comfortable when having to ask questions to a coworker.
At QCSS, we hold a monthly Potluck. It brings up the spirits around the office and it’s something our employees can look forward to when they lose motivation.
2. Urge Employees to Ask Questions
Employees may not feel comfortable asking questions regarding work, so always remind them that this is normal. Some employees may not be as productive as they could be because they are stuck on a certain task and they aren’t sure how to get past it. It’s important that employees know asking questions are a good thing.
3. Provide Feedback
Providing, positive or negative, feedback to employees can definitely make the office more productive. Ask to see projects that employees are working on and be prepared to give feedback to them. Providing feedback may encourage employees to continue on the right path or to work harder. This way, when a task is finished, you know what to expect and they know what is expected.
4. Ask For Feedback
Listen to what employees are saying because they may notice something that you don’t. If employees feel that they aren’t being treated fairly, they may be less inclined to do busy work. Also, you may receive feedback that can change the way you’re doing things around the office or the feedback may encourage you to continue down a positive path. Even though the final decision will be your say, knowing that an opinion or suggestion is valued can go a long way.
5. Supply Refreshments
Providing coffee or having a bowl of chocolates are two great examples of how drinks or snacks can promote productivity. Caffeine is something many employees depend on in order to be productive and having a bowl of chocolates can give employees a reason to stand up and walk away from a work space. It’s easy to find very inexpensive treats that employees can enjoy while working and it will also encourage them to do more quality work.
6. Encourage Breaks
Encourage breaks among employees. Although this may seem like it’ll be the opposite of productive, in the long run, it’ll be more helpful. Allow employees to get up from their workspace and walk around or allow them to stand when the opportunity is presented. This will give employees the chance to reset their brains and start fresh when they sit down.
7. Weed Out Distractions
Sometimes, it may be more useful to allow employees to listen to music or podcasts when they are working. Some people work better this way. Also, be sure to allow employees to have moments to step away and distract themselves for a little bit. The important part to remember here is not to allow employees to have too much distraction. If you see somebody is on their phone or irrelevant sites more often than they are working, say something. Distractions can be good for productivity but too many distractions can hurt the business.
8. Set Goals
Set goals for employees and hold them accountable if they don’t accomplish them. When setting goals, it’s critical to communicate with employees. Allow employees to set their own daily, weekly or monthly goals. Be sure that these goals challenge the employees while also being sure that the goals aren’t too far out of reach.
9. Offer Rewards
A major factor in setting goals may be providing incentives. Even small incentives or rewards are better than none. A $10 gift card may not seem like a lot but it’s the goal to win it that keeps the employees motivated and productive in the office. This gives you the opportunity to set goals for the workplace.
10. Hold Employees Accountable
Holding employees accountable is crucial to productivity in the workplace. Set performance standards and be prepared to hold employees accountable if they don’t’ live up to them. If employees aren’t being held accountable, they aren’t going to give their absolute best. Let employees know that there are consequences for people who don’t meet standards or monthly personal goals. Don’t forget to let employees know how these standards or goals are being measured!
11. Acknowledge a Job Well Done
Celebrate or acknowledge when something positive happens in the workplace. This will show employees that you do pay attention to what is happening. Acknowledging a job well done will let employees know that what they are doing is really making a positive impact on the company. Productivity will go up because others in the workplace will be motivated to work harder in order to get acknowledged also.
Are you looking for more ways to produce office productivity, but not sure where to begin?
Over here at QCSS, we believe that our employees are our most valuable resources! Check out our simple Q-philosophy, it might just spark some ideas!
Published on 07 February 2017
One of the best feelings in the world is walking out of the airport doors and feeling warm heat hit our faces. It’s the feeling of knowing that over the next week, nothing else matters except where dinner reservations are at.
At this time of the year, if you’re from up north, you’re probably trying to escape the winter cold. Even if you’re not from the north, everybody can always use a vacation. Let’s make this clear though, we would all kill for your forty degree weather. It’s cold to you but forty degree weather is mostly a dream to us right now.
Warmer weather is always going to be a dream because it usually means a vacation. A time to forget about hitting sales goals, generating leads and customer satisfaction. When on vacation, tables turn and you are the person getting outstanding customer service which is the exact reason you went. You wanted to be pampered and you wanted to treat yourself the way you treat clients and customers.
If this is the case, then why are you constantly looking at your phone and answering emails? A vacation is supposed to be time to yourself so put that phone down! We’ve heard every excuse in the book but being understaffed isn’t an excuse anymore.
“My clients’ need me,” isn’t an excuse anymore. It’s time for some R&R.
R&R can mean two things: Rest and relaxation or Rapid Response. At QCSS, R&R means both. We understand that sometimes it’s hard to escape. We also understand that you may not want to.
That email you got while on vacation could’ve been one of the most important of your career. Maybe you don’t want to step away from your phone because you love what you do and you can’t imagine not doing it. We get it, which is why we believe that R&R stands for rapid response also.
It’s possible to get both. Rest and relaxation can also involve rapid responses.
Maybe it’s time you get some R&R.
“One-week vacations are too short to prevent burnout; by the time you relax enough not to think about the office the week is almost up.”
Published on 31 January 2017
Let’s Talk Business… and the Super Bowl
It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and even though your favorite city didn’t make it to the big game this year, you’re still watching.
It’s a great excuse to get together with friends and eat the same food you still probably would’ve been eating even if it wasn’t Super Bowl Sunday.
Have you ever stopped for a second to think about how relevant NFL football was to your business life?
Probably not, but don’t worry we did!
Every NFL football team goes into the season with goals in mind just like every business goes into a new year with goals.
It’s assumed that NFL teams have one main goal in the beginning of the season:
The Super Bowl
Businesses can have one main goal also, but usually, the main goal is accompanied by many other achievable goals. These achievable goals come from other departments and from individual employees.
Most likely, the NFL works the same way. The coach can have specific achievable goals for his own team. The front office staff can have goals set for the coach. Then the front office staff can have goals set for themselves and other relevant departments.
Goals are being set all over the place, even in the NFL!
The season opener is here before we know it. Summer is ending and fall is anticipated. Players run onto the field and begin warming up. Fans fill the stands with hope in their eyes. Football is back and Thursday’s won’t be the same until February.
The beginning of the season goes a bit differently at the office.
For most, it’s January and it’s cold. Many dread leaving the warm blankets in the morning, but know there are bills to pay and goals to accomplish. There’s not an entire stadium of fans cheering you on or an amazing song blasting as you walk into the office.
In the end, it’s all the same, though. Without those things, you still get up and go to work. You start the season as much as you might not want to. You get things going and start working towards those goals you have dangling in front of you.
Dedication is something that NFL employees and office employees share. We’re all dedicated to attaining goals and becoming better at what we do.
Well, most of us anyway.
NFL players show dedication by showing up on practice fields and to locker rooms. There is a lot more to the game than Thursday night, Monday night and Sunday football. There are times spent at the athletic trainer so that a torn meniscus can be healed by next season. There’s also showing up to review tapes and finding areas for improvement.
There must attend media events, even if they are just there so that they don’t get fined.
Working for a business takes just as much dedication. You work hard so that the business can succeed.
You stay until 10 PM so that you can close that big account you’ve been working with for the past week. You come into the office at 7 AM so that you can join in on the conference call on the East Coast.
Dedication is one thing that an NFL team must have to make it into the Super Bowl. It’s also a quality business men and women must have to be successful and meet goals.
No business or NFL team will make it through an entire season (or year) without teamwork.
A quarterback in the NFL isn’t getting anywhere fast without a running back or a receiver. Just like a coach isn’t going to win a Super Bowl (or any game for that matter) without a quarterback. Without one person on the field or in the front office, the team will fall apart.
Just like in the NFL teamwork is an absolute necessity in the workplace. You work together with your team and talk things out with coworkers every day. Somebody in the marketing department may have an answer for somebody in the purchasing department and vice-versa. Without one person on the team, you’ll be doing a lot more work than imagined.
Playoffs: The time when you’re supposed to give almost everything you have in order to make it to where you’re trying to go.
In the NFL, the players are supposed to be giving everything they have every time they step onto that field. When it comes to playoffs, that’s expected and so much more. The main goal is in sight and they can’t bare themselves to watch it slip away.
It’s almost time to shine but first, they must prove they deserve it.
Similarly, many companies keep their eyes on the goals throughout the year. When the end of the year is approaching, you should know those goals should almost be met.
This is the time that you really start grinding out everything you have by working the hardest you have all year.
So you made it past the playoffs and you’re headed to the big game.
In the NFL this is a HUGE deal. This is what every single game came down to. This was possible from all the work in the offseason. There is no doubt that the media is watching you and expecting a lot.
Similar to the NFL, this is the goal you have been working to accomplish all year. It’s the last couple weeks of the year. The entire team is waiting to hear the results. You want to know if you hit the goals and so does the team but you can’t know until the year is over.
This is the moment for players to show fans, family, friends and the entire country everything they’ve got and have been working towards.
This is when these teams are going to leave everything on the field.
Same goes for you and your team. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for all year. This is what all the late nights in the office and early mornings have done.
You find out the results and in that moment you will know if you won or lost, just like the NFL football teams.
These are the people you do it all for. These are the people who will stand behind you when you win or when you lose.
In the NFL some fans will pick apart certain plays or get angry with the coach for calling the wrong play. Two fans will come out, the ones who say, “They didn’t give it everything that had” or the ones who will say “they truly left it all on the field but it wasn’t enough.”
In a workplace things are a little bit different. Your fans are your family, your friends and your coworkers. It’s your boss saying, “We didn’t hit the goal but this is what we have to do differently.” Or, it’s your boss saying, “You hit your goal and I couldn’t be happier.”
At the end of the day, we’re all the same.We all work hard to reach our goals.
We help accomplish each other’s goals. We have the freedom to create and innovate as part of this special family. Like puzzle pieces, we know the sum is greater than the parts; that by working together, we will create the greatest outcome for everyone.
- QCSS -