Seventhman Blog

  1. Top 3 Qualities of a Great Customer Service Team Revealed

    "winning customer service team"Trust is the keystone where everything else comes into place when it comes to business.  You hired your team because you trust them to do their job.  But with trust, comes expectations that need to be met and most often, risks were overlooked.  The truth is that trust alone can’t guarantee your safety from cyber liability – from social media blunders, password mismanagement and data loss on unsecured mobile networks.  But the greatest burden of them all is how you can trust your employees to solve your customers’ problems.  Do you even measure what really matters most to your customers?

    Balancing Quality and Quantity

    In my participation on this #custserv weekly chat, most often, the brand name Zappos is mentioned, all in the name of customer service.  My curiosity got the best of me so I took on my sleuthing hat to examine further.  I have discovered that unlike your regular contact centers, Zappos don’t focus much on cost, but the opportunity to market.  This is why they don’t follow the usual call metrics where time per call is measured.  Instead of getting customers off the phone quickly, they take the customer experience to the next level by creating that ‘intimate’ level in building a relationship that speaks loyalty.  Isn’t that how business should be done?  Now, I understand why folks hoist their glasses in salutation.

    What Should You Expect from Your Customer Service Department?

    Whether you have an in-house team or an outsourced contact center handling customer service queries, you have to make sure that:

    1. They Have Total Commitment to Quality

    Because no two customers are alike, your customer service team should be able to assist in the best way they can and exceed customers’ needs, even after sales.  This can be achieved through proactive listening and taking responsibility in assuring the customers of finding a solution to their problems.

    2.  They are NOT afraid to talk to Unhappy Customers

    It’s every contact center representative’s nightmare to attend to an irate caller.  Take note that your most important source of improvement comes from those who are not satisfied with your product or service – their feedback can be an invaluable tool for business growth.  Your team shouldn’t just listen, but seek for a permanent fix.  It doesn’t have to mean giving away freebies all the time just to appease frustrated customers.

    3.  They are Passionate in Bringing Customers In

    It’s tough to get a hundred or thousands to be motivated about what they do.  Great customer service goes beyond training and call scripts.  While having a standard response may save on time, it does hurt employee morale in the long term.  Trust your agents to come up with small ways of bringing that ‘wow’ factor that goes a long way.  And when they do bring in more sales and retain subscribers from closing their accounts, it’s high time that you reward your people for these wow moments.

    Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to step in your customers’ shoes to get a clear picture of the service they’re getting.  The next time you plan a revamp of how your customer service team works, just stick to one goal in mind:  Solve problems, for real.

    It doesn’t have to be complicated…

  2. Bridging Outsourcing and Innovation in the 21st Century

    "outsourcing_and_innovation"Innovation is like a nebula for many businesses and yet, everyone is hungry to have a bite of this fuzzy word to become globally competitive these days.  We all know that cost savings is the top driver of an outsourced project and next to it is direct access to quality expertise.  Then, we have strategic benefit that one can get when outsourcing a project – from freeing up one’s resources, flexibility to changing the rules of the competitive market.  Seldom do we hear innovation as the major reason for outsourcing and yet, it has become one of the biggest disappointments executives have today.  It’s not a surprising news, really.

    The Ugly Truth:  There’s No Reward for Innovation

    Outsourced providers are given a set of standards for operating within the cost and there’s just no reward for bold moves in these deals. That’s the reality.  Innovation in outsourcing involves change and the need to do things differently, which can disrupt the work flow.  So, how can businesses succeed in innovation at outsourcing?  Or, is it even possible?

    Making Room for Open Innovation

    If you want to get more than just the regular supply of goods or services from your outsourced provider, you can open up the communication channels to welcome new ideas that can help solve problems, or create new opportunities for the business.  The key here is involving everyone, giving them a voice that will make them feel part of the project.  This feeling can be powerful enough to make them more productive at work because there’s a sense of ownership that’s non-existent before.  Innovation must start from within..

    Change Management with a Vengeance

    It’s human nature to resist change and yet, innovation can only happen when people are willing to accept a change.  This is where multi-tiered governance comes in to help manage communication and operations between the business and vendor’s executives.  Good governance matters a lot here and it’s like conducting a philharmonic orchestra; you’ve got to make sure the rhythm’s right.  How do you get key stakeholders play along with everyone else?

    Fixing the Innovation Cycle

    A report from Gartner shows that innovation is lacking in outsourcing deals in 2010, where focus is centered on cost instead.  This year, more businesses are allocating funds for innovation and they are aware of the risk of failure.  If innovation is hard to come by in certain departments, getting an external consultant may be the answer – to bring down costs.  The only question is:  Will people within the organization build resistance to the outsider, keeping him/her from adding innovative value?

    Innovation, like outsourcing, is a strategy.  Can the two work seamlessly together?  Many are trying to bridge this gap, especially in new territories that run with cultural and geographical barriers.  In a good business sense, the right outsourcing vendor have a big room for innovation – where people are equipped with the expertise to develop innovative applications to whatever niche it is required for.  Sometimes, all it takes to innovate is taking… baby steps.