Published by admin on 18 Jul 2013

How To Choose a Call Center Blog Series

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2. From the beginning of the call can you FEEL their customer service?

One of our clients says that he can feel our staff smiling through the phone. 78% of customers have abandoned a transaction or not made a purchase because of poor customer service (American Express Survey, 2011). You cannot afford to compromise on excellence in customer care. For your customers to FEEL the customer service, those responding have to passionately care about your business and believe in what you do. When selecting a partner, look to see if you can see this organization caring for your customers the way that you would. 7 in 10 Americans say that they are willing to spend more money with companies who provide excellence in customer service” (American Express Survey, 2011).  Are you prepared to deliver?   Do the company’s/contact center’s representatives enjoy providing customer service, and are they equipped to actually provide resolutions rather than just gather information? We train our team to tell customers what they can do, not what they cannot do. The contact center of your choice should ensure that each communication improves your brand and keeps your customers coming back.

Published by admin on 11 Jul 2013

How To Choose a Call Center Blog Series

 

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1. Do they answer?

More than likely you are looking for a contact center because you are facing challenges with being able to answer or reach out to your customers and to do so quickly. Not all contact centers successfully respond to this simple need. The quicker your average time to answer your incoming contacts, the happier your customers are, and the less potential revenue and results you lose from abandoned calls. The industry ideal standard is to answer within 20 seconds although different standards may apply in specific cases. Our current average time to answer is below the industry standard. Your contact center partner should offer scalable support that can handle fluctuations in volume without compromising answer times and customer service.

Published by admin on 15 Aug 2011

Your Website + Live Chat = Improved Customer Support

Heather N. Quinlisk

This is the fifth and final post in a series about using Live Chat for customer support.

It is important to anticipate the success (or failure) of using any new type of customer support tool.  Is it going to help retain customers?  Will it improve your branding?  Is it really going to set me apart from competitors?  Here are three specific questions that can help you to determine whether or not Live Chat could benefit your business:

  1. Do you have the necessary means to run a Live Chat service 24/7?

The last thing you want to do is frustrate those who visit your website by displaying a Live Chat option that is closed.  The service is intended to provide all time-zones, work schedules, and emergency situations with immediate assistance at any time.  If you do not have the staff for Live Chat, it is easy and often better to outsource it as this route is frequently more cost-effective than doing it in-house.

  1. Does your product or service appeal to younger generations?

Generally speaking, older generations find that traditional customer service routes are sufficient for solving problems and answering questions.  This doesn’t go to say that the service won’t “WOW” older customers.  If you do serve younger generations, Live Chat is quickly becoming the first customer service tool of choice.  Not only that, the service is almost expected now.

  1. Lastly, what is the volume of communications you receive?

Live Chat can enhance your customer support efforts if it’s truly needed.  If the phone lines are dead and email is slow, it would not be wise to invest in Live Chat or any other additional forms of communication.  On the other hand, if the current volume of customers contacting your business by phone and email is more than you are prepared to handle, Live Chat could be a very effective tool for your company.

 

*We want to hear from you!  Post your comments or questions below!*

Published by admin on 11 Aug 2011

Your Website + Live Chat = Improved Customer Support

Heather N. Quinlisk

This is the fourth part of a series of blog posts discussing the benefits of making live chat services available to your customers.

            Here’s a quick summary of what’s been covered so far:

  1. Live chat is easy!
    1. It’s a simple customer service tool, even for customers who have never used Live Chat before.
  2. Live chat is convenient!
    1. From the customer to the agent to the business, Live Chat is an effective and efficient win-win customer support tool.
  3. Live chat is informative!
    1. Lastly, we reviewed how valuable Live Chat can be for the purpose of monitoring your website.

The importance of these points shows that everything comes down to one thing and that is your company’s reputation.  A company’s reputation is one of the most valuable assets or harmful disadvantages it has.  Customers talk about their customer support experiences regardless of if those experiences are positive or negative.  Word-of-mouth can be either a very powerful or very harmful tool.  Give your customers something to talk about by delighting them with your advanced, high quality Live Chat service.

            Next week we’ll share some guidelines to use as you consider whether or not Live Chat would be an effective customer service tool for your company.  Follow the blog by adding www.marketingsupportnetwork.com/blog to your favorites, liking us on facebook, and following us on twitter (@MarkSuppNet.)

*We want to hear from you!  Post comments or questions below*

Published by admin on 08 Aug 2011

Your Website + Live Chat = Improved Customer Support

Heather N. Quinlisk

This is part three in a series of blog posts discussing the benefits of making live chat services available to your customers.  Part 1 was an introduction on the topic and an example of how beneficial live chat can be to consumers.  Part 2 discussed the convenience that Live Chat provides for both you and your customers.

            Live Chat provides your business with unique information about the performance of your website.  Some Live Chat services (including Marketing Support Network’s Live Chat Service) have the capability to monitor customers in real time as they are on a website.  Agents can actually see what links the customer has clicked, how long they’ve been on each page, and what items are in their shopping cart.  This provides the agent with current, relevant information so they can be much more effective at their job.  For example, if a shopper has not clicked on his/ her cart in the recent past, this could mean that he/she is having trouble making a selection.  An agent can then initiate a conversation and try to assist the customer.  This is just another way Live Chat can blow your customers away.

Customer questions posed on Live Chat can also be used to evaluate the content of your website.  If several customers have the same question or have trouble finding what they need, it may be that your website needs to improve in certain areas of user-friendliness.  Knowing how customers react to your website is incredibly valuable information to have and just one more of the benefits of using Live Chat.

            Check back here soon for even more specific ways that adding Live Chat to your website improves your customer service and exceeds customer expectations.  Follow the blog by adding www.marketingsupportnetwork.com/blog to your favorites, liking us on facebook, and following us on twitter (@MarkSuppNet.)

*We want to hear from you!  Post comments or questions below*

Published by admin on 04 Aug 2011

Your Website + Live Chat = Improved Customer Support

Heather N. Quinlisk

This is part two in a series of blog posts discussing the benefits of making live chat services available to your customers.  Part 1 was an introduction on the topic and an example of how beneficial live chat can be to consumers, which in turn makes it beneficial for businesses.

            Live chat is convenient for everyone involved.  It’s more convenient than email because the conversation is in real time and communication is instant.  It’s better than simply posting Frequently Asked Questions because customers are able to get exact answers to specific questions.  And it’s certainly more convenient than using a phone service.  When customers call an 800 number, they are typically connected to an automated message with specific options.  Often, after selecting an option, customers are put through another message with more options that they are forced to hear.  This cycle might be repeated several times before being transferred to an operator or agent.  And then the customer waits.  While on hold, many phone services will play music- or worse, advertisements- to try to keep the customers mind off of the clock that’s steadily ticking away.  But that sorry attempt does nothing to prevent the sighing and frustration of the customer.

            Not so with Live Chat.  Live Chat is instant and the chance that someone would have to wait to be connected with an agent is slim to none.  One of the great capabilities of Live Chat is that an agent can be involved in several conversations at the same time.  While one customer is typing away, the agent can be answering the questions of another.  Likewise, if a customer is browsing through a link sent through Live Chat, the agent can be taking new chat requests.  Businesses that add a Live Chat service to their webpage find that they save money AND save face with customers who might otherwise become irate when going through traditional channels.

            Stay tuned for more specific ways that adding Live Chat to your website improves your customer service and wows your customers.  Follow the blog by adding www.marketingsupportnetwork.com/blog to your favorites, liking us on facebook, and following us on twitter (@MarkSuppNet.)

*We want to hear from you!  Post comments or questions below*

Published by admin on 01 Aug 2011

Your Website + Live Chat = Improved Customer Support

 Heather N. Quinlisk

Mrs. Jones is looking into purchasing a product online but she has questions.  Based on prior experience, she anticipates spending a significant amount of time clicking through pages of a website to find the answers she needs.  She figures she’ll start with the FAQ’s and if that doesn’t help, she’ll have to click through even more pages to find the number to call the company.  After that she will probably be assaulted by a wordy recording with multiple options, none of which seem to be what she needs.  “Is this company run by robots?” she’ll wonder.  She’ll press zero for the operator, switch her phone to speaker, and attempt to be productive despite the irritating tune droning on and on through the receiver.

      When Mrs. Jones loads the homepage, she notices the words “LIVE CHAT” front and center on the page.  Curious, she clicks on it and a dialogue box opens with text reading, “Good afternoon, my name is Michelle.  How can I help you?”  Interested and curious to know if Michelle is a human or a machine, she types a question about a specific product and sends it.  After a few seconds, Michelle posts a link in the conversation while simultaneously redirecting the home page Mrs. Jones was viewing to that site.  But Mrs. Jones refuses to be impressed so easily.  She begins firing off questions about the product, partially because she needs the answers and partially to see if Michelle would blow a fuse.  She didn’t.

After a few minutes on Live Chat, Mrs. Jones is informed, delighted, and ready to make her purchase.

In the following weeks, I will be sharing specific ways that adding Live Chat to your website improves your customer service and incites customers to sing your praises.  Follow this blog by adding www.marketingsupportnetwork.com/blog to your favorites, liking us on facebook, and following us on twitter (@MarkSuppNet.)

*We want to hear from you!  Post comments or questions below*

Published by admin on 03 Jun 2010

MSN To Exhibit at Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition

Marketing Support Network will be exhibiting at the 2010 IRCE in Chicago June 8-10.  We look forward to seeing both customers and future customers, and we will have a full compliment of professional staff to answer questions.  We will be setting up individual meetings for those internet retailers interested in customer support services, inbound call center, live chat, e-support, and internet marketing services.  Can’t wait to see you and to take the newbies to Portillo’s or Harry Carays!  Stop by to get the latest verbal case studies about our work with companies like Gaylord Hotels or BP, and get a chance to win an I-Pad.  Of course, none of that can compare to the chance to get business needs addressed!  See you at IRCE!.