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Top 5 Recent Customer Service Fails

Top 5 Recent Customer Service Fails

With customers now able to share their complaints on social media, serious snafus often get picked up by the news. The one upside is, when businesses fumble, other companies can immediately learn from their mistakes. Use the lessons from these recent fails to improve your own customer service efforts. Comcast Calls Anger Customers Comcast’s call center has recently made the news numerous times, and not in a good way. Consider these examples: When a customer’s home was lost to a fire, Comcast refused to cancel his service because he didn’t have his account number. Several calls and news stories later, Comcast finally cancelled the subscription, but the damage was already done. Some customers have found that customer service reps that changed their online account names to include words like “dummy,” “jerk,” and even expletives. A customer trying to cancel his service endured an eight-minute phone call where he was harassed by a customer service rep for failing to provide a reason for cancellation. Employee training on tone, approach, and handling unique requests could have prevented most of these situations. In addition, Comcast should modify call screening and remove any representatives who display inappropriate behavior. Bank of America’s Tone-Deaf Tweets Bank of America failed big-time when addressed on social media. After being chased away by cops when writing anti-foreclosure messages in chalk outside a Bank of America branch, Mark Hamilton tweeted about it. Bank of America responded to several Twitter users involved in the conversation with generic responses, such as “We’d be happy to review your account with you to discuss any concerns.” It seemed apparent that the Twitter feed...
How Social Media is Changing the Call Center Concept

How Social Media is Changing the Call Center Concept

In today’s fast-paced world, a phone call can seem frustratingly slow. We’re texting, emailing, and connecting on social media more and more, making the traditional phone call feel outdated. Though it’s easy to see this play out in our personal and work experiences, it’s also become more common in the customer service industry. Social media has become a new go-to for customers who need support or wish to air their grievances. So how does this affect the long-standing call center concept? See how the customer service world is adapting to these technological changes. Multiple Contact Points Until fairly recently, customers had three options for getting in touch with a company: mail, phone calls, and email. When social media became more widely used, however, the industry exploded with potential contact points between customers and companies. While Twitter and Facebook continue to be two of the biggest online players, those sites are only the beginning when it comes to using these services for customer service purposes. Now, there’s also Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, and Pinterest, to name a few. The Good and The Bad For customer service companies, the high number of social media sites certainly presents a challenge. It takes a considerable amount of time to manage accounts on all these venues. In addition, there’s the issue of tone getting lost in the online environment, allowing both customers and companies to potentially come across as more aggressive than originally intended. However, social media customer service isn’t all bad. It can reduce the time required to deal with certain issues, especially quick questions that can be answered in just a...
Challenges Call Centers Will Face in the Future

Challenges Call Centers Will Face in the Future

Your call center is one of the most important points of contact with your customers. Customers can ask questions, learn about your new products, and gain more reasons for continuing their business with you. However, the customer service landscape has undergone drastic changes in recent years. What challenges does the future hold for call centers and how can companies meet those challenges successfully? Evolving Technology It seems like “the next big thing” is always on the horizon. For example, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology is becoming ever more reliable and feasible for call centers both large and small. VoIP can help companies save money, but depending on the type of VoIP service, the setup can be expensive. CRM (customer relationship management) systems may also pose a challenge to call centers. While many of the programs are intuitive and cloud-based, it still takes time for employees to learn about new features and make the most out of the program. Call center managers should always look for new opportunities in technology and research the pros and cons of each. Any shift to new gadgets should come with well-organized employee training and specific productivity goals. People Don’t Want to Talk While voice calls are common, some people do not want to talk to another human being. A Pew Internet study found that 31 percent of cell phone users prefer communication via text rather than a voice call. The study also found that more than half of people who send 50 or more text messages per day chose texting as their favored mode of contact. Companies can still keep in touch with...
5 Questions to Ask When Outsourcing Your Call Center

5 Questions to Ask When Outsourcing Your Call Center

These five questions to ask when outsourcing your call center give you the basis for an informative conversation with any prospective agency. If you don’t like the answers they give you, it’s time to seek another company to help your business succeed in customer service. How Do You Measure Performance? Measuring success through clear metrics that transparently show wins and areas for improvement is crucial for a successful relationship with your company’s call center. Can you track data in real-time? Does the call center assign a point person to help you understand the data? A company that isn’t willing to invest the time in guiding you through their point-by-point plan to drive engagement and complete more calls with satisfied customers isn’t worth the dollar investment. Get a Personal Dashboard: A log-in area where you can view the unvarnished performance metrics is mandatory. Going with an outsourced call center like Novasors gives you access to monthly reporting and deep analysis of how the company is actually serving your customers. Can You Tell Us About Your Technology? Outdated call center tech causes more headaches on the customer side than it saves you in cost. Ask the call center to describe their platforms, including the last time they updated software, the strength of their communication lines, and how quiet the offices are during work hours. Dropped calls lead to angry tweets that can easily amplify across other social networks, dragging your company’s good name down in the process. How Secure Is Your Data? Data breaches lead to front-page headlines on major news outlets and no shortage of lawsuits from affected customers. Just...
How to Combat Call Center Faux Pas

How to Combat Call Center Faux Pas

Bad call center experiences are like death and taxes—it seems everyone experiences them at some point. Perhaps you’ve languished on hold listening to elevator music that grows more aggravating by the minute. Maybe you’ve called with a question only to be shuffled between departments to no avail. Whatever your experience, you probably know how frustrating call center faux pas can be. The question is how do you keep these irritations from befalling your own customers? Read on to learn four of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them. Excessive Wait Times According to the American Express 2012 Global Customer Service report, customers despise these two phrases the most from call centers: “We’re sorry, but we’re experiencing unusually heavy call volumes. You can hold or try back at another time.” “Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.” In fact, a Google consumer survey found that 32 percent of customers believe that they should never be put on hold. About another 30 percent won’t wait longer than a minute. Clearly, putting customers on hold is a risky proposition. But what else can you do with high call volume? One alternative is the call-back; instead of playing a recording with the phrases above, ask customers to leave their contact information so a rep can get back to them. Another option is to outsource your call center needs to a company like Novasors, which has the capacity requisite to avoid long queues. A third-party source can handle much higher volumes than an in-house operation, which means faster service. Passing the Buck Customers don’t like to hear that you...
How an After-Hours Call Center Can Save You Money and Win Customers

How an After-Hours Call Center Can Save You Money and Win Customers

The Internet changed everything for today’s businesses. As recently as 25 years ago, consumers bought from local vendors, over the phone, or through the mail, and for most businesses, a nine-to-five customer service department was more than enough to keep customers satisfied. Today, however, in an era of WiFi, mobile devices, and constant connectivity, customers expect instant satisfaction when they have a question or problem. And with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, consumers have plenty of ways to broadcast their displeasure if they feel your business let them down. If you’ve ever been the subject of a negative hashtag campaign on social media, you know how detrimental that can be to your business. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of damage control. Are you on the fence about whether it’s time to add an after-hours call center? Here are some things to consider in making your decision. How Long Is Too Long Before You Lose Customers? Although response rates vary by business, industry, and channel, most customers expect to be able to speak to a live representative by phone 24/7. If they reach out by SMS text, a one-hour response time is the benchmark to strive for. On social media, customers expect a response in four hours or less, and with emails, they want a response the same business day. If you aren’t meeting the response times your customers expect, you risk losing them to a business that will. Are You Resolving Your Customers’ Issues on the First Call? Research shows that first call resolution (FCR) rates are the single most important performance metric for...

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We offer call center and contact center solutions to companies all over the globe. Based in Lenexa, Kansas, we provide superior yet affordable service you won't get from an overseas company.

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