4 Reasons Why Your Call Center Drives Away Customers

Posted on

June 28th, 2022


Outsource FNOLCompanies want to deliver a memorable experience anytime their customers engage with them. However, call center errors can create a lasting negative impression instead of engendering loyalty. The customer experience is a significant differentiator, and businesses can’t afford to lose clients due to an unsatisfactory call center interaction. Among Gen Z clients, research indicates that 54% stop doing business with a company after a bad experience.

The following are several reasons a call center may leave customers unsatisfied:

  1. Long holds. When a call center agent asks a customer if they can place them on hold, the customer’s expectations immediately decline. The request means the call will likely last longer than the customer anticipated. Consider keeping the customer on the line while resolving their issue for simple requests and concerns.
  2. Longer wait queues. Customers also hate waiting to wait. Hearing their spot in line repeat at various intervals can be infuriating, and they’ll already be on edge by the time an agent connects to their call. An additional request to put them on hold can permanently damage their loyalty, no matter how knowledgeable the agent is. Providing a call-back service that holds their place in line can ease the irritation, as the customer isn’t tethered to their phone. If long queues and wait times are frequent issues, it may be time to hire more call center employees.
  3. Directing the customer to the company website while on hold. Today’s customers are more empowered than ever. Most research the problem before contacting customer service. Prerecorded wait messages directing the customer to the company website for faster service rarely produce a positive customer response. They’ve likely already tried the website, or they may have a unique issue not covered in the help documentation. The directive comes across as pushy and increases the customer’s frustration the more often they hear while waiting on hold.
  4. Wasted time on redundant questions. The last thing a customer wants to do after waiting on hold is to repeat the information they already provided. If they had to enter their customer ID, birthdate, or account number before connecting with an agent, don’t make them provide that information again. It exposes inefficiencies, and customers perceive it as the agent wasting their time. Consider upgrading call center software so customer data moves with them if the agent needs to transfer the call.

Actec understands that businesses need call centers that drive customer loyalty. Having a competent call center is even more important during the claims cycle. Customers have little patience, and their stress is at an all-time high when reporting a loss or filing a claim. Our nearshore contact center teams handle claim intake efficiently and deliver a superior customer experience. Contact us to learn how a nearshore contact center can transform the customer experience.

What Qualities do Customers Prioritize in a Call Center?

Posted on

May 3rd, 2022


Outsource FNOLTechnology, innovation, and convenience are constantly increasing customer expectations. Customers often leave a call center interaction dissatisfied, even if they received an answer to their question. Customers want more than a solution for their problems. Achieving customer satisfaction is a nuanced skill call centers can’t afford to mismanage.

Detailed Breakdown of Customer Expectations

Insurance providers have a significant opportunity to improve customer satisfaction by ensuring their call center meets their customers’ needs and expectations. Customers consistently list speedy problem solving as their top priority when engaging with a call center. Their next main concern focuses on their personal interactions with call center agents. Similarly, their third priority is to speak with a knowledgeable agent.

Rapid Problem Solving:

  • 42% of customers want their problem resolved quickly
  • 40% expect rapid answers to their questions
  • 40% want personal interaction with agents
  • 39% want easy access to information
  • 37% want to speak with call center agents located in their country

Personal Interactions with a Knowledgeable Agent:

  • 40% of customers expect respectful treatment
  • 39% expect call center employees to have good communication skills
  • 38% want multiple communication channels
  • 36% expect easy and painless customer service interactions
  • 36% expect agents to know their details and information upfront
  • 35% expect call center agents to have access to all their information

Successful call centers understand customer priorities and train to meet their expectations. Failing to do so results in an unsatisfactory experience and degrades customer loyalty. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how a nearshore call center can improve customer service and exceed customers’ expectations.

How to Transition Your Insurance Company to a Call Center

Posted on

March 22nd, 2022


Customer service is the backbone of any successful insurance provider. Customers expect a knowledgeable representative to provide rapid resolutions to their questions and problems. However, it’s not always cost-effective to staff a customer service department in-house. As a result, some insurance companies spread their limited customer service agents too thin. When this happens, long wait times, over-worked employees, and dissatisfied customers accumulate.

Insurance providers need to make themselves available whenever and wherever the customer needs them. Investing in a nearshore call center can address this need without breaking the budget. However, transitioning to a call center requires thoughtful planning and transparent communication with employees. Here are a few methods to help insurance providers implement a call center with minimal interruptions:

Train Employees on How to Use the Call Center

Employees won’t inherently know how to interact with a new call center. Training employees on how the call center functions limits chaos and confusion. Some areas to cover include:

  • Know who to call. Employees may need to get in touch with the call center support department on occasion. The employee in charge of call center communications needs to know the contact number and email for initial communications, who is next up in the chain of command, and the typical response time. It’s a good idea to train the rest of the team on this information if the team lead is out for the day.
  • What to do when communication lines go down. Employees need to know the business’ forwarding number if the line of communication to the call center disconnects. How calls forward from a business to its call center varies. Some companies engage it manually at the close of business, while others use an automatic system. Insurance providers that use manual forwarding should train all relevant employees on this process.

Outsource the Easiest Tasks First

Companies can outsource almost any business function. However, it’s best practice to train call center employees on the simplest tasks first. Companies can increase the call center’s responsibilities once they establish a baseline for how the call center functions.

Call centers can improve customer service and the customer experience. Insurers can engage with their customers in a timely manner, provide rapid answers about policies or claims, and more. Contact Actec to learn more about the benefits of implementing a nearshore call center.

5 Pandemic-Driven Call Center Trends to Expect in 2022

Posted on

March 1st, 2022


The pandemic radically altered typical business operations. While many industries struggled to maintain customer engagement, the insurance industry experienced a meteoric rise in customer service calls. Customer needs shifted with dizzying speed, and insureds expected their providers to keep pace. For example, people drove less following the pandemic onset, and individuals with leased vehicles noted a preference for usage-based coverage. Liabilities also changed when individuals began working from home.

Many insurance companies rely on a call center to field their customer service calls. The sudden influx of pandemic-driven inquiries highlighted the bottlenecks and pain points of pre-pandemic call centers. The following are several call center trends insurance companies need to know for the coming year:

  1. The geographic distribution of call centers is changing. Offshore call centers come with several hurdles, most notably language barriers and cultural differences impeding service quality. Two-thirds of call centers around the world are in the Americas, which underscores the importance of nearshore call centers.
  2. Difficult calls and escalations are on the rise. Customer needs changed too fast for most insurance companies to update policies on how to handle the sudden increase in customer calls. Escalations increased by 68%, and difficult calls rose by 50%. The information bottleneck tanked the customer experience, and many insurers responded by revamping their call center to meet customers’ changing needs.
  3. Customer expectations continue to rise. Customers’ increasing expectations from their insurance provider isn’t a new trend. Technology revolutionized customer service and changed what customers require from their insurers. However, achieving a satisfying experience means meeting key benchmarks for customer inquiries. For instance, high-performing call centers answer calls within 20 seconds and resolve the customer’s problem within four minutes.
  4. The customer’s first call has significant ramifications on their loyalty. Customers have lower thresholds than ever for frustration. They are likely under stress when they reach out to their insurance provider, and an unsatisfying outcome degrades their loyalty. Fifteen percent of customers consider switching to a competitor if they don’t receive a satisfactory answer to their problem, whereas only one percent make this consideration when the customer service representative resolves their issue on the first call.
  5. Customers will seek out competitors after a single negative experience. One bad interaction is all it takes to risk losing customers. For example, one-third of Americans consider switching companies if they receive poor customer service.

Insurance providers need a call center that provides consistent and superior service. The customer experience is a key factor for their ongoing loyalty. Contact Actec to learn how a nearshore call center can benefit your company.

4 Blunders Companies Make When Communicating With Customers

Posted on

January 25th, 2022


Exceptional customer service is essential for an insurance company to succeed. Customers want to feel like a valued client rather than a file number, and they want rapid answers to their questions. They also place a premium on hassle-free claims. However, many insurance companies make several missteps when communicating with their customers. Miscommunications lead to frustration and a poor customer experience.

The following are some of the typical blunders insurance companies make when communicating with insureds:

  1. Chronic understaffing. Customers hate waiting on hold. They hate it even more when they have an urgent problem, such as a car accident or loss. It degrades customer loyalty to have consistently long wait times, as they feel undervalued. Call logs can provide actionable insight for staffing needs by determining when call volumes are highest.
  2. Limited communication options. It’s not always possible for an insured to call in a claim, and many prefer other communication channels altogether. For simple policy questions, some insureds would rather contact chat support. Others prefer email to maintain a record of communication. Customers expect to have several communication channels available to them, including phone, email, a mobile app, text, and chat support.
  3. Lack of adequate training. Customer service representatives need to be experts when it comes to the insurance products the company carries, how to answer questions about various policies, and how to navigate the claims process from FNOL to resolution. In addition to being knowledgeable, service representatives need soft skills, such as empathy and problem-solving.
  4. Not providing support 24/7. Accidents and losses don’t contain themselves to typical working hours. Insured need a way to establish first notice of loss (FNOL) wherever and whenever the incident occurs. If an insured can’t receive the help they need during a crisis, they’re likely to look for a new insurance provider. Insurance providers can meet this customer need by investing in a nearshore call center.

Nearshore call centers provide the benefits of an offshore service without the headaches. Nearshore service representatives are familiar with the customer’s culture and can respond with the appropriate empathy for the situation. Contact Actec to learn more about the benefits of a nearshore call center.

4 Ways Nearshore Call Centers Avoid Cross-Cultural Miscommunication

Posted on

December 7th, 2021


Call centers are a boon to growing businesses. A dedicated call center can handle all incoming calls, answer common customer questions, and allow employees to focus on their primary tasks instead of working the phones. However, many offshore call centers struggle to bridge cultural divides, which makes it difficult to provide high-quality customer service.

Nearshore call center agents have enough geographic proximity to understand the customer’s needs, frustrations, and expectations. The following are several ways nearshore call centers improve communication and the customer experience:

  1. Language. Customers expect agents to speak their language fluently. However, call center agents need a nuanced understanding of the language as well. Agents that don’t comprehend common idioms or struggle to understand local accents will run into repeated frustrations.
  2. Culture. Greetings vary between cultures. Some cultures prefer friendly exchanges, while others expect direct and professional communication. Nearshore call center agents understand the customer’s culture, which facilitates better communication.
  3. Time zones. Many companies turn to offshore call centers because they can provide coverage outside of regular business hours. Nearshore call centers can provide extended coverage too, and their closer proximity makes it much easier to communicate business concerns. If a company wants to discuss changes to the call center or review KPIs, nearshore call centers are better equipped to meet during regular business hours.
  4. Communication channel. Customers have several options for communicating with a business. Some prefer to speak to a live person, while others may prefer to send a text or a message. Cultural divides can make it difficult for offshore call center agents to pivot from the phone to a chatbox. What sounds friendly with verbal inflection can seem cold over text.

Customer loyalty is hard-won and easily lost. One poor support experience is enough to make a customer consider finding a new service provider. Customers are also much more likely to leave reviews after a negative experience, which can harm the company’s reputation. Companies need call centers that can resolve their customers’ needs and exceed their expectations without stumbling over cultural miscommunications. Contact Actec to learn more about the benefits of nearshore call centers.

4 Benefits of Allowing Call Center Employees to Socialize

Posted on

December 28th, 2020


Considering that call center employees spend their working hours on the phones with customers, opportunities for socializing may seem scant. However, agents aren’t tethered to their seats from the moment they arrive to the instant they clock out of work for the day. Employees visit the breakroom for coffee, take breaks for lunch, or pass each other in the halls.

While productivity-driven employers may frown upon idle chatter, socializing amongst agents can reap several benefits:

  1. Happier employees. Call center agents spend a significant portion of their day at work. If employees don’t engage with each other, the office can quickly become a dreary place. Call center employees who don’t enjoy their work environment are less likely to grow their skills or deliver superior service to customers.
  2. Faster onboarding. The first few days on the job are often daunting for new employees. Even if their employer provides extensive training and guidelines, employees often learn better from their peers. They can discover helpful tips that help them perform better at their job and find their fit within the company’s culture.
  3. Less employee turnover. Call centers often struggle to retain employees for several reasons, some of which are outside of their control. However, allowing employees to socialize is an effective means to reduce the turnover rate. The environment is friendlier, which helps employees perform better. These successes often lead to praise and recognition, which fuels future efforts in the workplace. When employees thrive in the workplace, they’re more likely to stay.
  4. Better collaboration and coaching. All teams are stronger when they work together. Call center employees that socialize are more likely to help each other out or offer advice. Without this camaraderie, employees are less likely to improve, engage, or enjoy their work.

Managing a call center is a challenging task but well worth the effort. If your company is considering investing in a call center, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about our nearshore contact center solutions.

4 Things You Need to Know About Call Center Customer Service

Posted on

October 12th, 2020


Call centers are a prominent feature in the business world, particularly for large or growing companies. Providing superior customer service is vital for a business to thrive; it’s also a significant means for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition. Coupled with the fact that most customers will find a new vendor if they receive poor service, customer satisfaction is a critical metric for long-term success. The following are some of the biggest ways call centers affect customer service:

  1. First point of contact. Company leadership doesn’t often get a chance for direct interaction with their customers. They rely on call center employees to serve as the face and voice of the business. Call centers aren’t just the initial point of contact, they’re often the only point of contact. If call center employees don’t deliver quality customer service, the business isn’t likely to have another chance at winning over the customer’s loyalty.
  2. Differentiation opportunity. Businesses need to make sure their call centers provide a smooth and easy experience for their customers, but they can also use these interactions to secure their customers’ commitment. Delivering superior service such as recommending a product better suited to the customer’s needs or addressing common questions that relate to their initial inquiry can make the difference between so-so service and standout support.
  3. Providing service at all hours. One of the biggest benefits of many call centers is that they allow a company to provide around the clock service. When a business’ office hours are the same as their customers’ working hours, it can sew frustration and discontent. When customers call with vital questions or concerns only to be met with an automated recording about business hours, it sours their relationship with the business. It also means they’re more likely to go looking for a new service provider that can offer expedient and timely solutions.
  4. Greater flexibility. Waiting on hold is often an annoying and inconvenient experience for customers. Modern call centers offer multiple channels to reach customer support including by phone, email, chat, text, and even social media. Providing customers with their preferred communication method reduces friction points that can derail a conversation before it even begins.

Actec understands that providing superior customer service is a dynamic element to make your business stand out from the rest. Contact us to learn more about how our nearshore call center services and flexible text and chat support can help your company achieve that goal.

FNOL Reporting After-Hours

Posted on

January 27th, 2015


You hope you never have to be involved in filing a claim, but the reality of the situation is that a loss/claim can happen at any given time. It is something we have no control over, however, there is something that we do have control over. Most often rather than not, when a customer makes a call to file a claim, they have to wait some period of time to speak to a claims representative. This delay can sometimes result in legal ramifications.

It is for this reason that a lot of businesses today are outsourcing FNOL for the sole reason being, to enhance and improve the customer experience.

We realize that claims do not traditionally take place between the hours of 9-5. However, with our 24/7 after-hours reporting system, we provide the following:

  1. A well informed claims representative, always ready to talk to you.
  2. Instantaneous care for crucial cases.

The advantage of outsourcing FNOL is that it creates the opportunity for providing quality customer service and at an extremely reduced cost. Here at Actec, we have years of experience in the same with a dedicated and phenomenally skilled personnel to assist your business.

To learn and understand more about Actec and how we can provide you with our services contact us.

First Notice of Loss Video Tutorial

Posted on

November 26th, 2014


Watch this cool new 3 minute whiteboard video on first notice of loss.