All posts by Stephanie Jones

This Is Why Successful Real Estate Investors Use Live Receptionists

Oct 21, 2015 by

Business Man in Suit on phone using computer real estate investor customer service
To say real estate investors are busy is a gross understatement. Agents are constantly rushing to appointments with partners or to show one of their available properties or putting out any number of property management fires; it is not a career choice for the timid.

The very nature of the job has the investor on the phone or connected to email the majority of the day. And if they are one of the best in their market, their phone is ringing off the hook and it can be hard to track who is calling or how they were found.

So, how do successful investors keep up with the flood of phone calls they receive on a daily basis? They hire a live answer service to manage their phones and keep them connected.

If you want to be a top real estate investor in your market, you have to give yourself an edge. One of the best ways to put yourself ahead of the pack is to return calls in a timely manner, but that isn’t always possible. Having your phone calls managed is one way to provide service that impresses.

Investors can use all the help they can get to deliver exceptional service. Here’s why successful realtors use live receptionists to manage their calls.

Read More

Customer Retention: Are Candy Freebies A Good Idea For Your Business?

Oct 19, 2015 by

junk food sweets cupcake suckers cookies candy customer service freebies

It’s October and Halloween is just around the corner. And we all know Halloween means piles and piles of free candy. Free candy is usually a good thing. When I was growing up, my grandpa Tommy had a whole bread box brimming with full-sized candy bars. My sister and I put away at least 3 bars a piece before he would get wise to us.

As much as I adored that free candy, I’m not so quick to grab a sucker when I’m at the bank or a butterscotch disc when I visit the insurance office. I know there are people who enjoy a nice Dum Dum, but does free candy really do anything for customer retention? How is it possible that one cinnamon disc is going to sell me on a lawn mower?

I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. The point is whether it’s candy or a free or discounted product or service, you’ll want to be careful what type of customers you’re attracting. It’s true that nothing grabs eyeballs quicker than a big “FREE” sign, but thinking long-term, what is the lifetime value of customers like that? There are a few things to consider prior to offering freebies to unleash the masses to come banging down your door.

Read More

Customer Service Insight: How We Combat Call Center Burnout

Oct 16, 2015 by

Bright Explosion Stress Customer Service
Call center agents have one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. Sure, they aren’t the President of the United States or a general in the army, yet handling customer issues can really take its toll on a person physically and psychologically.

Why is the job so stressful? If you boil it down to its essence, an agent’s job is to listen as customers complain and then use their problem solving skills to figure out how to best help those customers. And it’s not just one problem, but rather many problems back-to-back for an agent’s entire shift. Didn’t you get exhausted just reading that paragraph?

Call centers have a high agent turnover rate because the position, under certain circumstances, sets the stage for burnout. The greatest contributors to service agent burnout include:

  • Bad Management
  • Little or No Proper Training
  • Lack of Tools and Resources
  • Not Enough Recognition
  • Tedious Work

Even the best, most employee friendly call centers are going to have higher turnover rates than other businesses. Yet, there are ways you can help your service agents put a damper on their stress levels. Here’s how we combat some of the biggest stressors of our call center agents.

Read More

Customer Service Week: How We Celebrated Our Best and Brightest

Oct 14, 2015 by

Customer Service Week 2015 Activity Ideas Superhero Derby Camping People Celebrating
Our customers aren’t the most important thing to us.

Well, that’s not true. In fact, they are so important to us that we place a high value on the staff who take care of them: our customer service representatives.

In order to have the customers we do, we put a lot of energy into creating representatives who are not only highly trained, but who adore their jobs and feel like valuable members of a customer-centric community. As we’ve mentioned before, there is proof that happy employees make for happier customers, and Customer Service Week is all about celebrating the people who ensure your customers stick around.

We’ve had a week loaded with games, prizes, and tons of treats along with a healthy dose of gratitude and fun. Thinking about celebrating your staff? Here’s how we took Customer Service Week by storm.

Read More

How Upselling Can Make You Look Like a Greedy Vampire

Oct 12, 2015 by

Customer Care Upselling Vampire Teeth Dripping Blood
I vahnt to suck your blood! Or at least get you to pay for a large sized order of fries for 50 cents more.

The tempting beast that is upselling – a sales technique used to lure customers into purchasing a more expensive item or an upgrade – has been around for eons. In fact, there are whole businesses created around the concept.

Fast food restaurants are notorious for offering a larger sized item for a nominal fee. A national shoe store chain offers buy-one-get-one deals frequently in hopes its shoppers will purchase more shoes. Cable companies are well known for offering their customers amazing deals on premium movie network or sports packages; the idea is the customer will get hooked to the new channels and continue to pay for them when the offer is over.

Obviously, the upsell technique can be remarkably effective; it can be a value add for your customers when used correctly. The quandary is that many companies abuse upselling by using it too frequently or being overly aggressive.

If you want to incorporate upselling into your business model, it would do you some good to learn what could possibly make you or your sales team come across as a greedy vampires out for blood. Here are some things to avoid when offering an upsell.

Read More

10 Unique Ways to Celebrate Customer Service Week

Oct 7, 2015 by

Illustration of people celebrating with text that says 'Celebrate! It's Customer Service Week!'

Take a look around your business. See those folks answering your customers’ calls and solving their problems? Those people are the heroes of your business – the ones who keep your customers happy and help them when issues arise. We have to ask: What have you done for your customer service representatives lately? If your answer was, “nothing,” then it’s time to shine a spotlight on them and show your appreciation.

It’s Customer Service Week! Any good business celebrates its customers every day, but this week is all about those hard working, patient, extremely helpful and kind representatives taking care of your greatest asset. Celebrating your staff is an easy way to build morale, strengthen their connection with your business and reduce turnover. It also creates happier customers.

According to a survey conducted by Aon Hewitt, customer service teams deemed as “high performance zone for engagement” had a 37 percent net promoter score (NPS) compared to 10 percent NPS for teams “outside of high performance zone for engagement.”

So, what can you do this week to celebrate those awesome customer service reps? Here’s a list of 10 unique ways to celebrate customer service week, show your appreciation and keep them engaged.

Read More

5 Customer Service Tools You Should Be Using

Oct 4, 2015 by

Illustration of a computer with tools on the screen

We love customer service tools and softwares at PATLive. They make our jobs easier and help our customers get the best possible service we can provide.

You can only get so far with your customers with nothing but a telephone and your sparkling personality at your disposal. As our world becomes more mobile, it’s imperative to be where your customers are and make it easy for them to reach you.

Here are 5 of the greatest customer service tools you should be using.

Read More

Business How-To: Customer Service Phone Etiquette

Sep 30, 2015 by

Two victorian people drinking tea and answering phones

I am an avid watcher of Real Housewives of New York. My favorite person of the show: The Countess LuAnn de Lesseps. She’s snooty, always dressed impeccably and has the most enviable collection of giant statement necklaces ever.

She’s also an authority on etiquette; de Lesseps even has a song about etiquette that is awash with vocoder to disguise the fact that she’s clearly not a singer. Minus the heavy vocoder, the chorus is no less true: “Money can’t buy you class, etiquette is learned, my friend.”

It’s important for businesses to make a good impression on the phone. You don’t need to have a ton of wealth and a Countess title to make it happen either. You just have to be willing to treat others exceptionally well.
Here are some basic phone etiquette skills anyone should have. The Countess would approve.

Read More

Winter Is Coming: Keeping Your Customer Service Toasty Warm

Sep 28, 2015 by

Illustration with phone and text 'winter is Coming

 

Ed Stark Winter is ComingThat’s right, Ned. Winter is coming, but your customer service doesn’t have to suffer.

You probably already know this, but it’s pretty important to be warm when you’re speaking with customers. If you’re as icy as a White Walker, those customers will run in the opposite direction.

Want to feel the chill to your bones? Check out these customer service statistics:

Read More

Internet Trolls in Customer Service

Sep 25, 2015 by

illustration of a troll on a computer

The dreaded internet troll is the bane of the social media marketing and customer service world.

What is an internet troll, you ask? Trolls are people who take pleasure in causing trouble and commotion within online communities, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit or any other online forum. They are typically negative and destructive. They also cause the community to go absolutely bonkers. It is especially tricky to deal with these trolls in customer service.

They can also be detrimental to social customer service efforts. If your business is on social media or other online forums, you need to arm yourself with a troll antidote. Here are some tips for dealing with those trolls once and for all.

Read More