Offshore, Onshore versus Nearshore Call Center Solutions

If you are considering outsourcing your business’ call center, you have numerous options.  In the process, you will want to evaluate such factors as how close the center needs to be to your business’ location, the cost of the center’s operation, and language and cultural requirements.

When considering the location of your call center services, you have three options: onshore, nearshore, and offshore.

Onshore call center outsourcing is a popular strategy that involves a business selecting a company located in its region or nation to provide its services. The benefit to the business is a reduction in labor costs and access to skilled labor with a very slight risk of language or cultural barriers.

Nearshore call center outsourcing is when a business selects a company in a country nearby the country where the business is located. Typically, businesses that choose this option experience slightly greater cost savings over the onshore option and have similar access to skilled labor with reduced risk of language and cultural barriers.

Offshore call center outsourcing involves a business selecting a company in a foreign country to provide services despite the strong possibility that agents will speak a different language than that of the business’ customers. While this strategy usually offers the highest cost savings and access to skilled labor, the risk of language and cultural barriers is higher.

However, this risk can be mitigated for US-based businesses depending on the country selected to provide outsourced call center services. Currently, more than 38.3 million people in the US speak Spanish in their homes – a figure that is more than twice that of 1990, according to the American Community Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau. Given this statistic, it’s easy to see why Nicaragua and Peru are becoming the countries of choice for businesses that outsource their call centers offshore.

With populations that include large numbers of English-speakers who are very familiar with US culture, these countries are fast becoming an alternative to Asian countries for quality call center services with as much as a 50% cost reduction over onshore options. Both Nicaragua and Peru are also the answer to providing bilingual services to customers as the countries and companies who do business there properly train a willing workforce that shows no signs of dissipating.

Wherever You Want to Be, Responsive Call Centers Can Help

Responsive Call Centers’ near and offshore call centers provide exceptional service thanks to our specially selected personnel. Our representatives in the US and Latin America are fluent English and Spanish speakers. Every offshore international call center representative is tested for proficiency in English and Spanish, including reading and writing skills, fluency and pronunciation. They’re tested after an intense three-week training program to ensure they can respond to US-based customers both in the English and Spanish language.

Considering nearshore or offshore call center solutions for your growing business? If so, contact the team at Responsive Call Center today to discuss the many options available to you.

It’s Time to Comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation

It's Time to Comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation

Even though all companies doing business with residents of the European Union (EU) will need to comply with its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by May 25, 2018, most will miss that deadline, according to a recent survey of corporate tech decision makers conducted by Crowd Research Partners.

The survey also found that only 7% of companies it surveyed report being in compliance with the regulation that requires substantial protection for the personal data of EU residents and thorough notification to them if that data is breached. And 28% have not even begun the work to be GDPR compliant by the deadline, the research found.

The high cost of GDPR compliance is likely one reason for corporate inaction. According to respondents to PwC’s survey of thousands of businesses that operate in the EU more than 77% of companies plan to allocate $1 million or more on GDPR compliance and compliance efforts – with 68% saying they will invest between $1 million and $10 million and 9% expecting, to spend over $10 million to address GDPR obligations.

However, ignoring GDPR compliance can bring stiff fines from EU officials: Penalties can run as high as 4% of an enterprise’s worldwide financial revenue. Those working to be compliant are investing resources in initiatives that include Privacy Shield and binding corporate rules, as well as model contracts for EU cross-border compliance. They are also centralizing data centers in Europe and de-identifying European data to reduce their GDPR risk exposure.

Businesses affected by the GDPR specifically include all companies that do business in the EU; companies that process the data of EU residents with more than 250 employees; and companies with less than 250 employees whose data processing rights impact the rights and freedoms of data subjects on a more than occasional basis and include certain types of sensitive personal data, in other words, any company that does business with an EU resident in any shape or form.

The type of identity information the GDPR requires businesses to protect includes name, address and ID numbers; web data such as location, IP address, cookie data and RFID tags; health and genetic data; biometric data; racial or ethnic data; political opinions; and sexual orientation.

GDPR compliance also specifies the roles that are responsible for ensuring compliance as the data controller, data processor, and the data protection officer. The data controller defines how personal data is processed and the purposes for which it is processed. The controller is also responsible for making sure that outside contractors comply.

In addition, companies need to make certain that their data management vendors are compliant. The EU considers vendors an extension of the companies they work with for the purpose of gathering, storing and protecting their data and managing data breaches. This means that all company contracts with vendors must be updated to reflect that systems and practices have been put in place to comply with the GDPR. As with individual businesses’ contracts, these vendor contracts need to define consistent processes for how data is managed and protected, and how breaches are reported.

“Organizations should not see [GDPR compliance] as just a regulatory compliance program,” said Peter Gooch, cyber risk services partner at Deloitte. “Having the right privacy requirements embedded into an overall customer engagement strategy can also be a competitive advantage. All businesses rely on consumer loyalty. A breach can put the company’s existence at risk.”

Why the Call Center is Still Relevant

Why the Call Center is Still Relevant

While it may seem logical that customers would prefer service delivery online or via phone without a human involved, that’s actually not the case at all. Today’s customers expect more from brands than ever before and these companies need to step it up if they are to be successful. How do call centers factor in?

Microsoft’s 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report found that 69% of US respondents to their survey said customer service is very important in their choice of or loyalty to a brand. The report also elaborates that knowing that customer experience is such an important factor, it is essential to “deliver personalized and contextual interactions throughout the customer journey.” Breaking this down further by age group around the world, the message is clear – customer service is very important in the choice of or loyalty to a brand.

  • • Ages 18-34 – 66% selected Very Important
  • • Ages 35-54 – 56% selected Very Important
  • • Ages 55+ – 55% selected Very Important

In the US, the phone is the customer service channel respondents use most – 74% of respondents have used the telephone as a customer service channel. In fact, the phone is more popular than email, in-person, live chat, mobile app, text message, self-service, chat bot, search engine, social media or online community in the US and in most areas of the world represented in the study.

Keep in mind, however, when asked about what the most frustrating aspect of a customer service experience is, 34% of US respondents selected “Automated Telephone System (IVR)/inability to reach a live person for customer support.” Microsoft’s study reports that 59% of US respondents say they have stopped doing business with a brand because of a poor customer service experience. Seeing as customers base their loyalty to a brand, in part, on their customer service experience, businesses looking to hit the mark with their customer base need to understand that people still prefer to speak with another person when it comes to receiving service from a company and furthermore, they will discontinue doing business with a brand when not pleased with a customer service experience.

In the 21st century, some may be shocked by these results but the results make it clear that businesses with the most responsive call centers will have a significant competitive edge. Many such businesses will choose to partner with a highly-skilled telephone call answering services provider due to the substantial infrastructure involved in delivering the best call center-based customer service. They also recognize that this partnership provides them with more time to focus on growing their business because experts are managing their customer service call center.

According to the US respondents, 33% to be exact, “a friendly & knowledgeable representative” is the most important aspect of a good customer service experience. The right call answering service will have live operators trained in the specifics of your business available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to speak with your customers and potential customers. This means that your business is open all day, every day with trained professionals always ready to represent your brand which should translate into brand loyalty from your customers.

At Responsive Call Center, we provide that and more. Our operators follow your predetermined protocol so that every caller receives the attention they need to solve their problems. They use state-of-the-art equipment to make certain that you never miss any of your customers’ calls. This combination delivers growth for your business and leads to happy customers who refer your business to others.

Responsive Call Center offers a complete menu of call answering services that includes bilingual answering capability, virtual receptionist services, call screening and forwarding, online faxing, and emergency dispatch.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business grow while improving customer loyalty and make sure that you receive all of your important calls.

Support Your Brand’s Social Efforts in 2018

Support Your Brand's Social Efforts in 2018

Handling customer satisfaction through social media platforms was an idea that many people could not comprehend less than 10 years ago. A few years ago, it may have been questionable whether social media could be a way to take care of customers or market products. Today, social media is used more and more to address consumers’ questions and concerns, therefore, it is advisable to review the various platforms and how they can benefit your business.

Social Customer Efforts are evolving

While some customers still prefer face-to-face or over the phone interaction, many consumers turn to social media as their first choice when contacting a company they do business with. Most people will expect a reply to their social media comment or question within a day or even hours. Managing customer satisfaction on a social media platform is difficult as it is there for everyone to see, at any time. Transparency and professionalism are the most important features when responding to customers.

Social media platforms allow consumers to speak and be heard by many. They can easily post on your social channel whenever they have a question or concern, and expect to be heard. It has been found that businesses who treat these interactions with their customers with respect and address their concerns promptly, benefit greatly.

Responsive Call Center is the Answer

As more businesses turn to technology to handle their social interactions, it is clear that robotic responses will not survive. The modern consumer prefers organic interactions. Scripts and robotic responses are not acceptable to today’s consumers; they prefer to interact with someone who is “listening” to them and is capable of offering a reasonable solution.

The representative needs to have an understanding of the brand and their goals in order to be effective. Here are some other skills an effective agent can demonstrate:

  • • The ability to make good decisions on the spot
  • • The ability to cope with tough interactions professionally
  • • Excellent writing skills
  • • Appropriate sense of humor
  • • The ability to handle technology and stay up to date with the latest features of the social platforms
  • • Show empathy when appropriate

Once the foundation has been laid, ongoing training should be required of all agents to make sure everyone is comfortable with the ever-evolving social platforms.

Companies are using various social platforms to interact with consumers, therefore, every business needs to keep up with social media strategies and train agents to quickly respond to the demands of customer social interactions.

If your business needs assistance maintaining your social media efforts, contact Responsive Call Center today – it’s all in our name. We are here to help!

The Quality Assurance Challenge: Meeting Your Quality Assurance Needs

The Quality Assurance Challenge: Meeting Your Quality Assurance Needs

Successful businesses are driven by great customer service. If a client is satisfied or has a positive customer experience, he will work with this business again in the future, and he will also inform his peers about it. One way to achieve quality customer service is the quality assurance challenge. With this approach you guarantee that your clients are receiving quality service.

There are a few important steps that you need to take in order to meet your quality assurance needs. In this blog, we provide you with important factors that will make you excel at the quality assurance challenge.

  • • Transparency

    Transparency is a key component in meeting your quality assurance needs. Each interaction with the customer needs to be as honest as possible. Doing so, you can avoid misunderstandings and your clients will be happy to recommend you to others. Keep expectations simple and clear, so that your clients will understand exactly what you are capable of delivering and that you are doing your best to fulfill your promises.

  • • Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

    Great customer satisfaction requires you to place yourself in your clients’ position. In order to meet your quality assurance needs, you need to master customer satisfaction. One way to test this is to call your company pretending to be a client or prospect.  Were you pleased with the way your employees answered the call? Were all of your questions answered? Did your employees treat you well? If your answer is yes to every question, your chances of succeeding at the quality assurance challenge improve.

  • • Responsiveness

    Responsiveness is one of the key factors that will guarantee a successful business. Your client’s issues and concerns must be addressed quickly and efficiently every time. Even if you are unable to offer a solution to a customer’s issue immediately, they will appreciate that their concerns are being heard.

  • • Consistency

    Being consistent is an important aspect of meeting your quality assurance needs. It involves respecting everything that was mentioned above and performing proficiently on each interaction with the customer. Many businesses lose clients because over time they fail at providing consistent quality service to their older clients and shift their focus on newer clients. Staying consistent and doing a good job will always lead to great customer experience and business growth.

Experimenting with different call handling flows and comparing the results can help you find the most successful strategy. Try using a different approach each day and compare the results. Once you identify what makes a satisfied client, be consistent and use it in everything that you do. When you identify something that does not work, make a note and eliminate this from your process moving forward.

There are many ways to improve your customer service experience, as long as you have a team of specialists working together. Since your quality assurance team are facing different challenges every day, they know what works best, and they are a key in succeeding in your quality assurance challenge.

Responsive Call Center can help meet your quality assurance needs, no matter the size or industry of your business. Call Responsive Call Center today to learn more about how we can assist you.