All posts by Stephanie Jones

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Why Your Startup Should Have Dedicated Customer Service Reps

Sep 21, 2015 by

Two customer service reps with their computers plugged into a launching rocket

Startups are buzzing and busy. So much work is going into getting them off the ground, and sometimes customer service gets lost in the shuffle. Regardless of whether your startup is an app, software, or service, it’s imperative to have dedicated customer service staff in place.

Here are 3 ways a dedicated customer service staff can help your startup to achieve rapid growth:

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Customer Service is the New Wave of Marketing

Sep 18, 2015 by

Illustration of man scaling a wave with trend arrow overlaid

I am a marketer by trade. There. I said it.

I adore the marketing world and love living in the content and social media sector which I inhabit. SEO, analytics, impressions, reach, and click-through rates are not dirty words to me, but rather the empirical proof that your efforts are working (or not working). While it’s a little funny for me to call anything the ‘new’ marketing, I do get how customer service has become just as important as marketing when taking a look at revenue and goals.

The combination of social media and online peer reviews has put a lot of power back into the customers’ hands. They no longer have to sit and simply take in your chosen messages. These days consumers are doing thorough research to find out everything they can before they make a purchase. For example, 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media– because 90% trust peer recommendations. But only 14% trust advertisements (#Socialnomics 2014). This establishes customer service as the new marketing – or at least big player.

Word of mouth, social media and peer reviews are more popular than relying on the company’s word. Too many people have been burned by bad marketing – companies not living up to their word about their product or not providing adequate support.

Here are some ways to establish word of mouth for your company that are both genuine and positive:

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