What Qualities do Customers Prioritize in a Call Center?

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May 3rd, 2022

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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.

4 Ways to Personalize the Customer Journey and Maximize Loyalty

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April 26th, 2022

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Customers have an overwhelming number of options to choose from when considering insurance providers. Well-established organizations, innovative newcomers, and digital insurers round out an oversaturated market. Many of these insurance companies carry similar products, and insurers can no longer rely on their services as a differentiating factor. Instead, insurance companies need to provide a seamless customer journey to capitalize on the 73% of customers that favor businesses with personalized shopping experiences.

Here are four steps insurers can take to personalize the customer experience:

  1. Gather data through surveys. Customer surveys provide a comprehensive overview of customer preferences. Asking customers about their preferences can provide actionable insights to create an effortless experience without resorting to clunky trial and error.
  2. Identify customer segments. As the name suggests, personalization is not one-size-fits-all. Surveys can help insurers identify customer preference groups and adjust their experience accordingly. For example, customers purchasing homeowners’ insurance in flood-prone areas may not realize they also need flood insurance. Insurers can use this opportunity to make relevant and targeted product recommendations.
  3. Cross-train teams. Teams that operate within work bubbles miss critical personalization opportunities. For instance, a customer experience team has the knowledge and expertise to facilitate an effortless customer experience. However, while they can funnel customers to the right products, they may not understand why the customers abandon their carts. A customer service team can offer insight into customer hesitations. By working together, these teams can craft personalized communications that entice customers to return to their carts.
  4. Reach customers on their preferred platform. Part of personalization is knowing where customers prefer to engage. It’s useless to send a survey request by email to a customer that doesn’t often check their inbox. Offering omnichannel communication gives customers the option to communicate by phone, text, chat, email, social media, and more.

Insurers can’t afford to neglect the customer experience, as many customers consider leaving their insurance provider after a single negative interaction. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about improving the customer experience with text and chat services.

How to Transition Your Insurance Company to a Call Center

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March 22nd, 2022

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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 Methods to Improve the Quality of Your Call Center

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January 4th, 2022

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Businesses need a call center that answers customers’ questions quickly and satisfactorily while providing superior service. If customer satisfaction dips, companies can implement several strategies to enhance the quality of their customer service. These include:

  1. Ensure call center employees understand the standards. Poor quality of service reflects badly on a company. Without clear guidelines, call center employees will struggle to provide the level of service a company expects. For example, if a company’s culture prioritizes friendliness, call center employees should adopt a friendly tone rather than a strictly corporate one.
  2. Train new employees. Onboarding and training new employees are norms, but how thorough the training is affects the quality of service employees can provide. For example, allowing new employees to shadow veteran employees improves their understanding of service expectations.
  3. Coach employees often. Call centers often record customer calls, which companies can use to coach employees. Companies can recognize high performers to help new employees learn the desired quality of service. Managers can also coach employees that are struggling to meet KPIs.
  4. Ask customers for their input. Companies may believe their call center is performing well, but they can’t know for sure without feedback. Businesses can ask customers to fill out satisfaction surveys either via email, text, or on their website.
  5. Learn from negative feedback. Angry customers aren’t likely to take employees’ feelings into consideration when they leave feedback or reviews. However, it’s valuable insight into weak areas of the company’s customer service.

Providing clear standards, training employees well, mentoring them, and learning from customer feedback are critical to providing quality customer service. If your current call center isn’t performing to your standard or if you’re searching for a provider, contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our nearshore call center services.

4 Strategies to Improve the Digital Customer FNOL Experience

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December 14th, 2021

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Customers have high expectations of their insurance company. Providing a good customer experience hinges on how well providers understand these expectations. Quality service and competitive product prices are still important, but customers aren’t willing to tolerate friction to get them. Customers need to know they are more than a file to their insurer, and they expect frustration-free interactions. Half of the customers will seek a new insurance provider after a single negative interaction. That number skyrockets to 80% with repeat bad experiences.

Here are several strategies to improve the online customer experience:

  1. Find their pain points. Companies that identify bottlenecks or common frustration points for their customers can take steps to remove as much of this irritation as possible from digital customer service. Live chat is a great way to facilitate these conversations with insureds and allows agents to resolve customer problems in real-time.
  2. Optimize for mobile and accessibility. Customers need to have access to their provider on any browser or device. Having a responsive website for all devices is an established standard, but it’s useless if the webpage can’t function properly on certain browsers. Customers won’t bother to download or switch to another browser. With every abandoned interaction, insurance providers lose some of that customer’s loyalty.
  3. Let them help themselves. Customers are tech-savvy and often want to find solutions on their own time. Some popular self-service options include knowledge bases, frequently asked questions, and community forums.
  4. Offer omnichannel communication. Customers have diverse preferences for how they engage with their insurance provider. Some prefer traditional communication methods, such as the phone or submitting a ticket through their portal. However, others want to reach out over social media, text message, or chat. Many use a mix of different channels depending on the complexity of their problem.

Insurance companies need to provide high-quality service during every customer interaction. Engaging with customers when and how they prefer is a significant step to meeting their expectations. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing text and chat support.

4 Ways Nearshore Call Centers Avoid Cross-Cultural Miscommunication

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December 7th, 2021

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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.

How to Overcome Chat Customer Service Challenges

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October 26th, 2021

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Customers expect businesses to offer several channels of communication, including through social media, email, phone calls, and chat support. Chat support is particularly effective in securing customer satisfaction and loyalty when done well. However, chat customer service has unique communication challenges that can damage the customer’s experience and perception of the company.

The following are the most common challenges that can trip up customer service agents while chatting with a customer:

Misunderstandings

Whether the customer doesn’t understand the message or the service rep fails to grasp the problem, misunderstandings can occur on both sides of the conversation. Agents should always ask for clarification rather than making assumptions about the situation. Agents that ask specific questions and use active listening techniques can get the conversation back on track.

Impersonal Interactions

Personalization plays a critical role in customer satisfaction, but it’s easy to lose in chat communication. Compounding the problem, customers can tell when an agent gives them a scripted answer to their inquiry. Using friendly greetings, referring to the customer by name, and engaging in the conversation all show the customer they are more than a ticket number.

Tone Issues

People rely on inflection, gestures, and facial expressions to interpret the tone of a conversation. Without these social cues, chat communication can come across as blunt, cold, or outright hostile. Establishing a company-wide tone for customer communication can help alleviate the issue. For example, a company that brands itself as energetic and friendly can use language to reflect that while chatting with customers.

Empathy and efficiency are critical for successful chat communication. Customers expect agents to be knowledgeable, friendly, and fast problem solvers. Effective chat customer service can meet all these needs. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing chat services.

Quality Assurance Strategies for Better Call Centers

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January 11th, 2021

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Businesses rely on call centers to streamline calls to improve customer service, capture leads, and boost sales. If a call center’s performance quality is low, it can lower customer satisfaction and hurt profit margins. Businesses can use the following strategies to cultivate a top-notch call center:

  1. Track all forms of communication. Companies communicate with their customers through several channels. Customer support employees may field inquiries via telephone, email, text, or chat. Many call centers focus their attention on voice calls, but these other lines of communication are important for ensuring a quality experience for the customer.
  2. Incorporate coaching into the company culture. If call center employees only receive coaching following a poor performance, this can create tension and resistance to feedback. Implementing coachable moments or providing guidance on a routine basis can destigmatize feedback and improve customer service.
  3. Track and recognize improvements. Employees may feel pressured or lose motivation if they feel like big brother is always watching. If employees only receive critique, they will focus their efforts on staying off the radar rather than providing superior service. Critiques may help employees improve enough to receive acceptable scores, but recognition helps them reach their full potential.
  4. Use selective hiring practices. If a call center continually fails to meet KPIs despite extensive training and coaching, the company may not be selective enough during their hiring process. Identifying traits and characteristics of call center employees that deliver consistent high-quality services can help ensure a call center’s success.

Call centers that frustrate customers are disastrous for businesses. Nearshore call centers often outperform their offshore counterparts due to familiarity with the customer’s culture. This improves their ability to empathize with the customer and eliminates language barriers. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how our nearshore call center services can benefit your business.

4 Things You Need to Know About Call Center Customer Service

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October 12th, 2020

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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.

How to Leverage Data to Improve Claims Processing

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April 20th, 2020

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Insurance companies don’t often have frequent communication with their clients until a claim arises. While most insureds are fine with this limited interaction, how their insurance providers handle claims is the single most meaningful and telling interaction they have. If an insurance company mishandles the claim or fails to bring it to a satisfactory resolution quickly, they run the risk of losing a customer.

What Claimants Want

High-quality claims processes have three things in common: they’re fast, they’re efficient, and they’re transparent. Customers are no longer willing to accept vague or murky answers regarding where their claim is in the process. They also expect an error-free claim to receive their settlement quickly. Delays, mistakes, or confusion all cause insureds to reconsider their insurance provider.

Better data and automation can help insurance providers streamline their claims processes. The following are some of the ways insurance providers can utilize data:

  • Automatic first notice of loss (FNOL). First notice of loss occurs when the insured first reports the incident to their insurance provider. However, many vehicles come equipped with telematics that can detect accidents and injuries. While some vehicles will dial emergency services in the event of an accident, insurance providers can use this same technology to trigger a claim on the insured’s behalf. Vehicle sensors and video imagery can give insurance companies an idea of the extent of the damage to make sure the most relevant adjuster receives the claim.
  • Drones and satellite imagery. Similar to using vehicle telematics to initiate FNOL for car accidents, insurance companies can pull data from drones and satellites following major storms to identify damage to the insured person’s property. When the customer calls to report the loss, their provider can already be several steps into the claim to expedite the process and improve the insured’s experience during a stressful time.
  • Greater accuracy on repair timelines. When insureds file a claim for a vehicle loss or property damage, the first question on their minds is how long it will take to fix so they can resume their lives as usual. Insurers can pull from historical data to see how long certain repairs will take based on the type of damage or loss the insured reports.
  • Reduce fraud. Fraudulent claims increase costs, which increase premiums for all customers. By harnessing data from social media, insurers can identify fraudulent claims. Utilizing AI can also red flag cases that score high for fraudulent behavior.

Most insured don’t think about their insurance provider until they need to make a claim. How smoothly and quickly that claim processes play a significant role in customer satisfaction and retention. If your claims processes are frustrating customers or costing your insurance company business, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about improving claims management.