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Global eConnect

You cannot do it all. In almost every client presentation we are asked to provide a service that is NOT our core competency. GCS provides outsourced teleservices for customer sales, service and support (CSSS). Oftentimes there are fringe services that bolt on to CSSS and it makes sense to subcontract those activities through us. In these cases, we take on the role of Trusted Advisor.

When GCS started in 2001, it got a kick start from Global eConnect (GeC). GeC is an international brokering and consulting company for outsourced teleservices and BPO. Since 1998, GeC has helped clients select and manage outsourcing relationships worldwide. In 2001, GeC convinced several clients to outsource programs to GCS, a then tiny start up operated by seasoned veterans and lots of insurance agents.

Over the years we’ve had clients with various degrees of management latitude. On one end, we have clients who only allow us to access their database by a private network, enter data and then close the network. We have no other responsibilities. That’s fine with us.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have clients who ask us to do everything. Obtain the database, cleanse the data, begin the marketing, handle multiple channels (chat, inbound sales, e-mail, text, postal), analyze results and report. In these cases, GCS may use other partners for functions we can’t or don’t want to do. In this case, our clients trust us to manage the extended services for compliance and performance.

We don’t want to be all things to all people. Clients and prospects of GCS know we specialize in CSSS. That comes in the form of voice and non-voice activities done at a workstation. That’s our core business, what we do better than anyone else and what we want to do a lot. You can’t do it all.

Tips for Collaborating in the Workplace

In his famous one-hit-wonder “Ice, Ice, Baby,” Vanilla Ice tells us to “Stop, collaborate and listen.” It’s catchy and there’s also some truth to what he’s saying.

Collaboration is an important workplace practice. Whether you’re giving a supervisor your input on a new program or you’re building out a proposal for a potential new client, collaboration is key.

Why?

When you collaborate you go from working with just one set of talents and capabilities to gaining access to many, and you can turn good effort into great effort.

According to Gwyn Teatro, author of the blog “You’re Not the Boss of Me” those who collaborate, and do it well, usually:

  • Engage and enjoy conversation
  • Find ways to draw out creativity in themselves and others
  • Seek to learn
  • Invite others to contribute and don’t judge what is offered
  • Focus on others’ recognition before their own
  • Can handle disagreement with professionalism

Collaboration is not easy. The main goal of any collaborative effort is to understand how the success of the project goes beyond the success of ourselves. Instead of finding satisfaction in the individual work, it means we have to find success in the overall effort of the group or team.

This might be easier for extroverts who tend to be more outgoing and forward with their ideas. Those individuals who tend to be shy are more likely to have trouble adjusting to group collaboration. But like public speaking, the more you do it the easier it becomes.

Here are some ways to insure collaboration can be successful on anything you do at GCS:

  • Be sure to have both open and private space available to discuss projects. If a project is being performed by a large group, then an open space is more suitable for discussion and idea-generation. If it’s a smaller project where contributors must voice their opinions, a more private area might be appropriate and more comfortable for team members.
  • Let collaboration develop naturally. It doesn’t always have to be in a formal meeting. It can be through an email chain, on a lunch break or general conversation.
  • Be sure those involved have time to develop ideas. Individuals need time to develop their work. Ideas need time to grow.
  • Don’t underestimate the quiet members of the group. Just because they might not speak up a lot doesn’t mean they don’t have valuable ideas. After all, the work starts with the individual.

The next time you’re faced with a project at work, school, church or for some other venture, say “Yo! I’ll solve it” and try collaborating with others to get it off the ground. The generating of ideas and creative approach to the problem-solving process will be mutually beneficial and the outcome will be a win for all.

Tips from Genevieve DeGuzman

Credit Card Growth Case Study

Building a Relationship to Spur Long-Term Success in Credit Card Sales

Download the Full Study!

Over the years, we have had the opportunity to service our clients and exceed their expectations, even beyond what they originally anticipated.

One example comes from a large US bank, seeking assistance with credit card acquisition and fulfillment. Several years ago the client sought an outsource provider to help fulfill credit card acquisitions in a way both cost-effective and revenue-generating. The organization’s goal was to develop a substantial number of new client relationships using both inbound and outbound voice services.

Read the full Case Study…

Download the Full Study!

 

How to Decide What to Outsource. If anything.

Are you having trouble deciding what your company should outsource?  Here’s one really quick way to decide.

Decide What Functions Your Company Should Outsource

10 minutes will help you decide what business functions to outsource.

  1.  Make a list of your business functions.
  2. Reorder your list of business functions in order of “Most Critical“.  (i.e. Item number 1 is most critical to your company’s success, item number 10 or 20 is least critical to your success).
  3. Now make a second list, again reordering your business functions, but order them from Most Complex to Least Complex.  (How complex is it to complete this business function? More complex functions might not be suitable for outsourcing.)
  4. Now you can, theoretically, draw a line through your lists where the most Critical and most Complex items end.  Any business functions below those lines are good candidates for outsourcing.
Here’s a VERY simple example.
My business’s most critical core functions

  1. Client Account Management
  2. Customer Service
  3. Accounting
  4. Payroll
  5. Business Development
  6. Human Resources
  7. Staffing
My business’s most complex core functions

  1. Client Account Management
  2. Business Development
  3. Accounting
  4. Customer Service
  5. Payroll
  6. Human Resource
  7. Staffing

 Now I’ll draw line between the third and fourth items on each list.  Anything above that line is something I want to keep in house, while the items below that line (especially if they are below the line on both lists) may be functions more suited to outsourcing.
My business’s most critical core functions

  1. Client Account Management
  2. Customer Service
  3. Accounting
  4. Payroll
  5. Business Development
  6. Human Resources
  7. Staffing
My business’s most complex core functions

  1. Client Account Management
  2. Business Development
  3. Accounting
  4. Customer Service
  5. Payroll
  6. Human Resource
  7. Staffing

From these lists I might decide Payroll, HR and Staffing are business functions my company should try outsourcing.

If you’re still hazy on which core business functions to outsource, give GCS a call and we can help you figure out what function(s) might improve your bottom line.

Ge a Courtesy Consultation

 

 

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9 Tips to Get Better at Selling Anything

 Information from Openforum.com, originally posted on June 13, 2012

According to American Express’ own blog, Open Forum, here are 9 tips on how you can get better at selling to the customer:

  1. Treat every call like an experiment. Doing this can help you visualize the results and execute the call more successfully. Disregard the skills that don’t work and utilize the ones that do.
  2. Increase self-awareness. Know how your personality influences others. Remember: This person has never met you. Adapt your style any way you need in order to make a positive connection with the customer.
  3. Introduce “change ups.” You don’t want your customers to tune you out. Always keep it interesting and mix it up by asking a question, changing your inflection, etc.
  4. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If the call guide allows, repeat the important components of the offer. The customers won’t remember everything you said.
  5. Update your sales approach. What worked ten years ago might not work today. Make sure you heed the advice of trainers and supervisors when they give you sales tips to use.
  6. Go beyond expectation. If you do this, you will leave the customer with an unbelievable impression. “It’s never too crowded on the extra mile.”
  7. Know how to be persuasive. You can know everything about your product but if you can’t persuade the customer to purchase then it does you no good.
  8. Understand people’s fears. In training, you learn a lot about developing empathy. You need to be empathetic towards customers’ concerns. If they ask you a question, make sure you are capable of providing the correct answer.
  9. Don’t be needy. Sure, you’d love to make a sale but don’t come across as desperate to the customer. This is something they will be able to sense immediately. If they say “yes” to your offer, that’s wonderful and you know you did a great job. If they say “no” after everything you presented, then end the call pleasantly and move on. Then treat the next call as if it were your first.

Read GCS’ 9 Tips for Selling Anything

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For or Against “Obamacare”, We Can Help You Motivate Your Base Constituents

The tension and excitement in the air are palpable this morning after the supreme court’s decision to uphold what many call “Obamacare”.  President Obama’s landmark health care reform bill has a number of stipulations.

Among the most discussed:

  • Everyone must buy health insurance
  • Insurance companies may not deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions
  • Children up to age 26 may stay on their parent’s health care plan
  • Companies with more than 50 employees must offer health coverage

Whether or not you agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law, Healthcare is bound to be an important issue in the November presidential election.

 

Michael Bitzer

Catawba College professor and  Party Line columnist, Michael Bitzer notes that in most elections, independents and moderates hold the key votes.  This may not be the case this time around. ” It’s going to be a battle between two bases,” Bitzer says. Candidates will need to energize their base supporters and keep momentum going into November.

If you are responsible for motivating a base or supports for a  candidate or cause, here are a few ideas for to try with your constituents:

  • Utilize a full service Contact Center so that you can reach constituents in the channel of their choice.
  • Be Social.  You can’t ignore social media! Make sure you have at least one person dedicated to managing your ‘online persona’.
  • You’ve got mail.   Send emails and direct mail pieces.
GCS has some other great ideas on how you can reach out to your constituents.  Download our tip sheet!
GCS has years of experience assisting campaigns and causes with outreach support and fulfillment. Ron Rowan has worked closely with campaign managers and consultants to guide their programs for success. With both IVR and live agent resources, we can help you motivate, survey and finance your campaign. Consult with Ron on your next campaign move.

 

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Changing Language in Your Contact Center Can Make You More Professional and Accurate

Say This, Not That

Changing Language in Your Contact Center Can Make You More Professional and Accurate

How do you feel when someone says the phrase “telemarketing?” Personally, myself and many of my co-workers cringe a little inside. Why? Because it sounds negative.

In fact, the word “telemarketing” gives little insight into what it is we actually do at GCS. Our scope of work is much broader than that.

We perform customer interactions for several industries, manage business process outsourcing solutions for our clients and receive inbound customer service calls, just to name a few.

The “tele-m” word is just one of many we are enthusiastically phasing out of our vocabulary. At GCS, we want our clients and anyone who hears about us to understand we are a professional company that takes its work and the interactions with our clients’ customers seriously.

By eliminating those dated, negative words and phrases, we are replacing them with more professional-sounding, upbeat terms that more accurately describe what is that we do.

Here is our list of words and phrases to knock out and rejuvenate:

Use Contact Center instead of Call Center:

Because we do so much more than just make phone calls, this term is irrelevant; therefore, we use the term “contact center” to describe where our associates at GCS perform their work.

Use Service Center instead of Call Floor:

This term is much like the one above. We use the phrase “service center” to describe the central point of our locations.

Use Call Guide instead of Script:

Not everything our associates say to customers is written verbatim for them to read. We like to promote positive customer interactions that allow our associates the opportunity to connect to their customers. The term “script” sounds as if our associates have little to no freedom to make those interactions their own; therefore, we use the term “call guide.” For some clients, the call guides are verbatim but for others, they simply imply ways to make the presentation more effective to the customer.

Use Response instead of Rebuttal:

You rebut someone in a debate by essentially offering an argument. We don’t do that at GCS. Instead, we respond to our customers when they have questions or concerns by what it is we are offering for them. This is why we say “response” instead of rebuttal.

Use Associate instead of Rep:

Our employees mean a lot to us. Referring to them as “reps” gives very little value to their importance at GCS; therefore, we refer to our employees in the contact center as “associates.”

What other words and phrases do you like to change or omit to give some lift to your organizational language?

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Intersecting Sports and the Contact Center World

One might think that the world of sports has little to nothing in common with the contact center industry but that is not true.

First foremost like coaches, managers have an active role in the success of their team. By using language that promotes learning, issue management and success, managers help boost morale and encourage team building.

Although sometimes we get wrapped up in the bottom line or the “final score” of the game, we should remember that how we get there is more important.

There are other traits that can be borrowed from athletics to apply to our contact center industry:

  • Coaches have a playbook- so should managers. Managers know the strengths of weaknesses of their team. If they hire and train people to best suit the needs of their contact center, they will have the right strategy in place to make a winning team.

  • Coaches set goals. Every coach sets a goal with their team – whether it’s to win one game or the Super Bowl. In the contact center, goals are vitally important to measure success. Not only should the manager know which goals must be met but the associates should be fully aware of what they’re trying to accomplish, as well.
  • Coaches cross-train their athletes. Managers should be cross-trained in different areas of the contact center in case something goes wrong.  A manager should never ask someone to do something they are not willing to do themselves.
  • Coaches expect great performance. Performance is the name of the game in our industry and managers should make performance their top priority. A manager should implement training and tips to make sure performance is also top notch.

 

Managers, like coaches, support their teams but they also realize when improvements need to be made. Taking the time to manage your team in a way that not only helps poise them for success but help them learn how they became successful is just as important as winning the game.

WII-FM…What’s In It For Me?

If you break it down, every decision you make every day is guided by the question “What’s in it for me?”

The answer is not always about what you will get, but about how you will feel.

This is one reason sales people talk about selling benefits and advantages as opposed to features.  Benefits and advantages get closer to answering the question, What’s in it for me?  Often by appealing directly to an emotion.

Benefits and Advantages speak to emotional responses by avoiding or promoting the existence of one of the four core emotions:

Glad

Mad

Sad

Scared

 So when selling a product or service, make sure you are answering the question What’s In It For Me?  And consider the emotional connection you are trying to make.

4 Traits of World Class Listening (Being an Active Listener)

We all know that listening is a important skill.  Both personally and professionally, being a good listener can make or break your success. Here are 4 tips, originally described by Dr. Jerry Bell (http://www.bellleadership.com/) to amp up your listening skills and become an active listener.

  1. Commit! It’s a Lifestyle
  2. To Listen or Not to Listen
  3. Take Notes
  4. Ask 5 Questions

Commit. Listening is a Lifestyle

This first tip is simple.  Realize that being a listener is a lifestyle.  I’ll give an example.  I was talking to a friend the other day, one who is trying to go to the gym more often.  I explained my gym routine in terms it’s not if, it’s when.  As in, when I wake up in the morning I don’t ask my self IF I’m going to the gym today.  I ask myself, WHEN am I going to the gym today?  It’s already programmed into my lifestyle/routine.  Committing to being an active listener is a similar commitment.

With most lifestyle changes (if you aren’t already a world class listener), you’ll need to practice.  Fortunately, in this instance, practicing doesn’t include sweating.

To Listen or Not to Listen

The second tip extends the first tip and applies it on a per conversation basis.  TO LISTEN to someone, show them with your body language and eye contact that you are listening.  You should reflect their thoughts and ideas back to them in your responses.   And if you are not able to give someone your full attention at any moment, tell them!  Apologize and ask them if there is another time you can set aside to speak to each other, when you are able to give your full attention.

Take Notes

Let’s go back to grade school!  Taking notes helps you remember what was discussed in any given conversation, plain and simple.  Your notes will also help you prepare for the next tip….

Ask 5 Questions

This is my favorite tip.  Why?  This tip really engages you in the conversation.  It takes listening to a whole new level.  At this point you will achieve full ‘active listener‘ status.  Ask questions that you may have thought about while taking notes.  Ask who, what, where, when, why and how if you don’t know the answers already.  If anyone has any doubt that you were paying attention to them, asking questions will seal the deal.