Customer Support Software for Your Call Center

Having the correct software simplifies work in multiple ways, especially, when it comes to complex functions such as sales and support. These functions require management of large volume of data, simultaneously. It is for this reason that a call center too can benefit hugely from customer service and support software.Extending quality customer service and support is vital to a business’ growth and expansion. A good service function can ensure a loyal and satisfied customer following and good brand recall. Customer service and support is often regarded as a sales function, but if gauged well, it can branch out to do miracles for the marketing function as well.There are essentially four types of customer care software that you can use in your call center. Each comes with its own set of advantages. It is purely up to you and your business’ needs as to which one you want to adopt into your business.Here are the Four Kinds of Commonly Used Customer Support Software:Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)This is one of the most basic kinds software that a call center could not do without. It serves the main purpose of calling, handling, and receiving calls. The software uses the internet to make phone calls cheaper, reliable and more effective. It works with compatible soft phones and hard phones and uses a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to conduct the same. It has now become the platform of choice for most call centers, as against the traditional phone system.Here are some of the common features of VoIP software:PBX
Mobile access
Automatic call distribution
Conference and video calling
Auto dialer
Call management
Call metric trackingCustomer Relationship Management (CRM)The CRM is the database companies and call centers cannot do without. This database contains all the client information which helps companies to provide directed and personalized marketing and sales efforts to their customers. It also helps companies ensure a steady and long term relationship with their customers. CRM when integrated with the right solutions can open to you a world of information and analytics. The software essentially can track and record data about customer activities, their web behavior and service requests among other functions. Following are the features that CRM software is designed to provide:Contact/customer management
Sales forecasting
Task management
Performance management
Workflow automation
Lead management
Partner management
Collaboration tools
Reporting and other analytics
GamificationGamification is introducing game concepts of reward points, level progressions and badges, which make normal routine work seem more motivating. Call center employees have to deal with many different types of customers on an everyday basis. Most of the customers are often disgruntled who want quick fixes for their issues. Handling such irate clients over phone calls is not an easy task and thus leads to high rates of employee disengagement. Good gamification platforms provide for easy integration with your CRM processes thus letting you build games with your existing workflow items and KPIs.HelpdeskHelpdesk software helps in automation of service management. It helps record and process large volumes of requests without letting quality issues creep in. The integrated helpdesk software lets managers and administrators track and measures important KPIs. There are a variety of helpdesk solutions to choose from in the market starting from basic product troubleshooting, to HR helpdesk, and IT support. Here are some of the features you can expect in helpdesk software:CRM integration
Telephony integration
Knowledge base
Ticket management
IM support
Community forumsNow that we have an idea of the various types of software available in the market to boost the efficiency levels of your call center, let us quickly take a look at the basic benefits you can expect from them.Ease of reportingCustomer service software helps makes reporting and flow of information easier in call centers. The automation of the reporting process helps cut down time on taking important decisions and handling other supervisory needs. With good software, management will always have information on their fingertips to make quick and informed decisions.Evaluation of employeesIn large call centers where there are a multitude of employees working, it might become difficult to manage and monitor the achievements of each and every employee. Therefore, it becomes difficult to reward and recognize the efforts of high-performing employees. With the proper customer support software, with gamification features, management can easily use metrics to find their star performers and reward them.Identifying opportunities and challengesWith the proper software in place, management can identify the volume of calls and the topics they are dedicated to. This can help them find out about topics that are currently of interest to the customers and can be used to generate fresh leads and also for customer engagement. It also helps them find areas of improvement without doing much research. They can also use the software metrics to see high-cost areas are call-points that are lagging to fix such issues and increase call turnarounds.With the right customer service and support software, you can do more than just run a successful call center. The right software is your key to successful business.

Planes, Cruises And Hotels: Busting The Biggest Travel Myths

We’ve all heard myths and urban legends about Big Foot, tested illogical home remedies like using hot water to make ice cubes faster and have made conservative choices on Friday the 13th, but how many of us have missed out on a travel adventure due to the fear caused by a few travel rumors? Here are some of the biggest urban legends in travel and the facts that debunk them.Myth 1: Americans Are The Worst TouristsAre Americans really the world’s worst tourists?American’s rank 9th best out of 27 nationalities, according to an annual survey of hotel managers. The truth is Americans were ranked the loudest but also the biggest tippers.Myth 2: Once You Step Onboard Your Money Is No GoodThe truth is that your soda, meals, waters in the dining hall and buffets are paid for, everything else costs including alcohol, alternative dining, internet access and more. The fact is an average cruise traveler spend 50% more than the base fare on additional amenities.Myth 3: Rule 240 = Money BackIf your flight is delayed, the urban legend states that Rule 240 requires the airline to compensate you. This is not exactly true, the rule 240 did at one time exist. It was created by the Civil Aeronautics Board. With deregulation though, Rule 240 has been expunged.Myth 4: Bottled Water Is Your New BFFAt least 25% of bottles water is simply tap water. So if you are weary of Montezuma’s Revenge while abroad, know that there’s a 25% chance the brand you buy will simply be local tap water anyway.Myth 5: Your Hotel Key Card Knows More About You Than You!This again is also not true, your hotel key card doesn’t know everything about you. This rumor was started by Detective Sergeant Kathryn Jorge of the Pasadena Police. She saw a presentation about fraud techniques indicating this as a possibility, and sent an alarming email in response. The police department had to retract the statements of DS Jorge to quell fears.Myth 6: There’s Money In That BibleThis is another myth which people want to be true, the myth is that people believe that there is a crisp $100 tucked into their hotel Bible. But till date there are no reports of such generosity.Possibly, all of these myths depends on the mode of your travel, like many cruise lines don’t include soda in their inclusive meal price so you need to pay for your soda every time you buy it or you might want to go for a soda card plan. Other than that I wish I found that money in the Bible or anywhere in my hotel room, but my bad luck.

Payday Loans, A Viable Option?

What are payday loans?Payday loans are short-term loans that are extended between two pay days. A payday loan is normally provided for 14 days. The borrower, on acceptance of the loan conditions, provides a check favoring the lender as security against the loan. On the due date, the lender deposits this check to recover the loan dues. The due date is generally the next pay day of the borrower. No credit checks are conducted for granting payday loans. Therefore, the FICO score of the borrower is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter whether the borrower has a bad credit history, or has no credit history, or has declared bankruptcy.Qualifications for payday loansTo qualify for a payday loan, the borrower needs to fulfill all of the following conditions. There are no exceptions.o You must be a US citizen.o You must at least 18 years of age.o You must be at a full time job currently and must be at this job for at least three months.o You must either have an active checking account or a savings account.o Your after tax salary should be at least $ 1,000 or you must have a fixed income of $800.Cost of payday loansPayday loans carry a very high cost. Generally the lender fees for a $ 100 payday loan is anywhere between $15 and $25. It should be remembered that this fee is for 14 days as the loan itself is extended for these many days only. If one considers the cost on an annual percentage rate (APR) basis, the average is 391%, which by any standard is exorbitant. By law, it is mandatory for the lender to specify the APR to the borrower. Many lenders do compare the cost of payday loan against other forms of financing; but the common denominator of such a comparison is that all of them are very expensive.When to avail of payday loans?Payday loans should be availed only during emergencies. Considering the fact that the cost of carrying a payday loan is very high, it should be a resource of last resort. If one implements good budgeting techniques and has a good financial plan, the need for borrowing by way of payday loans can be minimized. Moreover, one must ensure that a payday loan is paid on time. Payday loans should not be rolled over or extended as within no time the borrower will find himself or herself in a debt trap where money may have to be borrowed just to repay the interest.Profile of a payday loan borrowero A typical payday loan customer is between 25 and 40 years of age with an annual income anywhere between $ 25,000 and $ 50,000.o According to the US Census report of Year 2000, the results of the payday loan borrowers survey are:22% of those surveyed hold a bachelor’s degree.51% of those surveyed have a retirement savings plan.In excess of two-thirds of those surveyed have a savings account.More than two-thirds of those surveyed have an annual income of at least $ 25,555.Why are Payday loans popular?They are popular for a number of reasons such as:o Credit checks are not required. The personal check that you make payable to the lender acts as security.o Approval is quick. If all the necessary documents are submitted, your loan application maybe approved in minutes.o The paperwork involved is simple. Generally one or two documents would suffice which explains the loan process and your obligations.o The repayment process is without hassles. The check submitted as security is encashed on the next payday by the lender. You could extend the loan to subsequent paydays for a fee. However this is very expensive.o Easy availability. Payday loans are particularly appropriate for emergency situations provided the amount required is small and one is willing to bear the high cost of the loan.In summary, payday loans might be a viable option if you need cash and need it fast. You still should be careful who you are working with to obtain your loan. If you don’t need money right away, there is probably a better solution for you.