Best Call Center Software
In a world where everything has gone digital, phone support still plays a vital role in providing excellent customer service. According to a recent study, 48% of consumers say they prefer to communicate with companies on the phone.
Furthermore, 75% of people say they want human interaction for customer support.
Historically, call centers were typically associated with larger enterprise-level organizations. But modern technology and software has made it possible for any business to set up a call center.
Since call centers today are driven by software, you won’t have to worry about expensive hardware or anything like that. In most cases, you’ll be able to continue using your existing phones and devices to manage your call center.
The 7 Best Call Center Software of 2020
After extensive research, I’ve narrowed down the seven best call center software solutions on the market today.
As we continue you through this guide, I’ll give you an in-depth review of each provider on this list. We’ll discuss the features, benefits, pricing, and other considerations so you can make an informed decision for your business.
Best Call Center Software Reviews
RingCentral Contact Center
• Great for sales & service teams
Most of you will probably be familiar with RingCentral. This company ranked first on our list of the best video conferencing services, and they also ranked high on our guide of the best VoIP phone systems. These are two of RingCentral’s best-known products.
But the RingCentral Contact Center is also a top option for any business seeking call center software.
It’s an ideal solution for both sales and customer service teams.
RingCentral Contact Center has more than 40 robust features like intelligence routing, CRM integrations, and workforce management tools. You’ll also benefit from administrative and management features like surveys, call recording, and analytics.
RingCentral is safe, secure, and reliable. They have a guaranteed uptime of 99.99%, and the software gives your agents the ability to work from anywhere.
Here’s an overview of the RingCentral Contact Center plans:
You’ll need to contact the RingCentral sales team to get a quote for your business.
But as you can see, they have options for everyone. Smaller teams that only need solutions for inbound calls can use the Basic plan. If you want omnichannel inbound call center support, the Advanced option will be best for you. For both inbound and outbound calling, you’ll need the Ultimate plan.
RingCentral is a trusted name in the VoIP phone and video industry. Their call center software is consistent with the high-level quality you’d expect from this provider.
• Free 14-day trial
Freshcaller is call center software provided by Freshworks, which is another well-known, trusted, and established name in the world of business solutions.
Like other Freshworks products, Freshcaller is a cloud-based solution that’s both simple and modern. It’s easy for any business to use, regardless of its size and technical expertise.
More than 6,000 businesses use Freshcaller’s software for a call center. It’s used by inbound sales agents as well as customer support teams.
Pricing for Freshcaller is a bit unique. You’ll pay a monthly rate for the plan you select based on the features offered. But you’ll also pay per minute based on usage.
Let’s take a look at those plans first before we dive into the usage rates.
Sprout — $0
Blossom — $19 per agent per month
Garden — $40 per agent per month
Estate — $59 per agent per month
From startups to growing teams and global companies, Freshcaller has an option for everyone.
Call rates are based on factors like device (browser vs. phone), country, and whether or not the call is incoming or outgoing. Incoming rates start as low as $0.016 per minute, and outgoing rates start at $0.022 per minute.
You can try Freshcaller for free with a 14-day trial.
8×8 Contact Center
• Customized solutions
The 8×8 Contact Center is an ideal solution for omnichannel routing. It’s a way for your company to enhance the customer experience from a single touch point.
Top features include skills-based call routing, queued callback, web callback and IVR (interactive voice response). 8×8 also has inbound chat, email, and social channel contact solutions for your call center software.
You’ll also benefit from real-time analytics and reports. This information is available from any device. It details customer journeys and wait times for every customer across all channels.
8×8 has tools to help you improve agency productivity. A private knowledge base, expert connect, simple interface, and comprehensive communication hub ensures that all customer communication is handled quickly and efficiently.
Your 8×8 Contact Center integrates with CRMs like Zendesk, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and more.
8×8 is a top solution for large businesses and enterprises. It has advanced features with a global reach.
The 8×8 Contact Center has exceptional security. It’s compliant with HIPAA, FISMA, and more. 8×8 has tools to ensure privacy for sensitive data entry fields as well.
You’ll need to contact the 8×8 sales team for a custom quote on your solution.
• All-in-one contact center solution
Five9 is an all-in-one contact center solution. It’s used by big brands like Lululemon, Expedia, Carfax, Omaha Steaks, and DHL. This company has been providing cloud-based solutions to businesses for roughly 20 years. Its 2,000+ business customers worldwide manage 5+ billion calls each year.
The Five9 Intelligence Cloud Contact Center gives your customer service agents the power and flexibility to work from anywhere.
Five9 is completely customizable. It’s built to meet the needs of your business, regardless of your size or industry. The software delivers crystal clear voice, strong security, and a 99.99% uptime rate.
The top features and benefits of an all-in-one contact center software include:
Five9 has a wide range of solutions based on the type of business you have. They provide call center software for sales, telemarketing, customer service, collections, outsourcers, small business, medium-sized businesses, and enterprises.
The Five9 contact center is fast, reliable, affordable, and easy to use. Contact their sales team to request a demo and get a custom quote.
• 14-day free trial
CrazyCall is a top call center solution for sales teams. It offers features like auto dialing, call monitoring, call script, call transfers, click to call, and a callback widget.
All of the CrazyCall features and benefits are designed to make sales calls more efficient.
CrazyCall has other solutions for ecommerce shops, small businesses, and support teams, but the sales features are still the highlight of this software. It even has tools for lead generation on your website.
Here’s an overview of the CrazyCall plans and prices:
Starter — $11 per month per user
Team — $22 per month per user
Professional — $45 per month per user
All plans come with a free phone number, API and integrations, and 24/7 customer support. The free minutes each month apply to 122 countries. Beyond that, calls to US landlines start at just $0.01 per minute.
You can try CrazyCall for free with a 14-day trial.
• Free lite plan
Zendesk is best known for its customer service CRM. But it has a separate solution, called Zendesk Talk, for call center software.
This cloud-based call center solution is built directly into the ticketing system for Zendesk Support. Your agents will have access to the full customer history and additional features like call recording and automatic ticket creation.
The software is designed to improve your support process, while eliminating unproductive tasks. Your agents can focus on solutions, conversions, and customers, as opposed to workflow bottlenecks.
Top features of Zendesk Talk include:
Similar to other call center software on our list, Zendesk Talk is based on a combination of your plan and usage.
Zendesk Talk has a wide range of plans for you to choose from. The list and features for each one are quite extensive. So rather than giving you a complete overview of those, I’ll just quickly cover the starting prices to give you an idea of the cost.
Zendesk offers a paid partner edition starting at $9 per agent per month. This is for every agent taking calls with Zendesk Support. To estimate your usage rates, Zendesk Talk has a calculator tool that you can play around with.
• End-to-end customer experience
Talkdesk has a wide range of products and solutions for businesses. The company offers tools and software for things like customer engagement, workforce engagement, and reporting.
The contact center software from Talkdesk is one of its best and most popular offerings. It’s marketed as an end-to-end customer experience solution.
It’s designed the meet the needs and expectations of the modern customer. These people have a certain expectation when they call your company. Talkdesk will help you improve productivity while reducing costs and increasing the customer experience.
Top features of Talkdesk include:
For the most part, Talkdesk is used by businesses across a handful of major industries. This includes retail, ecommerce, financial services, healthcare, travel, and hospitality.
Talkdesk has solutions based on call center type (sales, support, BPO) and business size (small, mid, enterprise).
Contact the Talkdesk sales team today for a quote. Join the 1,800+ businesses like Peleton, IBM, and Dropbox using this call center software.
How to Choose the Best Call Center Software For Your Business
As you can see from this list, call center software is extremely versatile. There are so many different features and benefits at your disposal. But with all of these options, how can you possibly know which one is best for your company?
There are certain factors that you should be evaluating when making your decision. This is the methodology that we use and recommend here at Quick Sprout.
Any business in the market for call center software is likely communicating with customers across other channels as well.
Consider if you want to integrate those communication tools like email, live chat, and social media into your call center software. This will allow your agents to better serve the needs of your customers throughout each stage of the support process.
Call Center Type
What type of call center do you have?
Do you need software to support inbound calls only? Or do your agents need outbound dialing capabilities? Not every solution offers both.
The purpose of these calls will also have an impact on the software you choose. There are certain options that are better for sales, while others are better for customer support, troubleshooting, and ticketing.
The best call center software will integrate with your CRM solution.
Some of the options on our list have their own full-service CRM systems as well. So you could potentially get an all-in-one solution from the same provider.
It’s important that you have a clear understanding of how you’ll be billed for customer call center software. Not every company lists their prices online.
In most cases, you’ll pay based on a combination of usage and support agents. The majority of call center solutions have different plans for different the features you need. Make sure to find one that best fits your needs and budget.
Every business providing phone support for customers can benefit from call center software. From startups to enterprises and everything in between, these are the top seven call center software solutions on the market today:
Whether you need assistance with sales, customer support, or both, there’s an option for your business on this list.
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March 31, 2020 at 03:12PM
Best Customer Service Software
Your customers will make or break the success of your business. Happy customers keep coming back and spending more money, while unsatisfied customers will cause significant damage to your reputation.
In fact, an unhappy customer will tell up to 15 people about their poor experience. Negative interactions spread twice as fast as positive ones.
91% of customers who experienced poor service will never do business with you again.
On the flip side, eight out of ten consumers are more likely to buy from businesses again after a positive customer service experience. A 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by up to 125%.
The numbers speak for themselves. Customer service must be a priority for every business.
Fortunately, the right customer service software can make this possible. Customer service solutions help ensure fast response times, positive interactions, and happy customers.
The 8 Best Customer Service Software of 2020
Customer service software is a saturated industry. There are so many options available on the market. But some of these tools are significantly better than others.
After researching and testing dozens of customer service solutions, I’ve narrowed down the top eight for you to consider.
As we continue you through this guide, I’ll give you an in-depth review of each one below. You’ll learn about the top features, benefits, use cases, pricing, and more.
Best Customer Service Software Reviews
• Free trial available
Zendesk is one of the best overall customer service software solutions on the market today. It’s used by 150,000+ businesses, including big brands like Uber, Venmo, Shopify, and Slack.
The Zendesk support suite has everything you need to manage customer service communication across multiple channels. You can provide customer support via email, live chat, voice, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, WhatsApp, and more.
The software makes it possible to connect all of your data sources to a single location. So when a customer contacts you for support, the right information will automatically be on display.
Zendesk is flexible, so it can support the needs of any business. You can get a customized solution that fits with your existing support environment.
Here’s a quick overview of the plans, features, and pricing for the Zendesk support suite:
Professional Support Suite — $89 per agent per month
Enterprise Support Suite — $149 per agent per month
The full-service support suite from Zendesk has it all. But not every business needs something this comprehensive. If you’re looking for something a little bit more basic, Zendesk offers more affordable options for smaller businesses.
You can try any Zendesk software or support suite with a free trial. If you’re looking for a customized solution, contact the Zendesk sales team.
Salesforce Service Cloud
• Starts at $25/month
Salesforce is an industry leader in sales CRM software. But they also offer tools and solutions for customer service. It’s trusted by 150,000+ companies across the world.
The Salesforce Service Cloud makes it easy for any business to build customer relationships while saving time and improving customer satisfaction. Brands like Yeti and Adidas are just a couple of well-known names that use this software.
Your customer service representatives will be able to resolve cases quicker with the insights and tools offered by Salesforce. The platform has a shared view of every customer interaction.
Set up self-service portals so your customers can access account information, view tutorials, and view knowledge base articles.
The Salesforce Service Cloud has capabilities to streamline your on-site support. Field service works, dispatchers, and on-site technicians can use these tools to resolve problems during the first visit.
Salesforce uses AI to predict recommendations and provide support with an intuitive chatbot service.
Let’s take a look at the plans and pricing for Salesforce Service Cloud:
Essentials — $25 per user per month
Professional — $75 per user per month
Enterprise — $150 per user per month
Unlimited — $300 per user per month
All plans come with tools for collaboration, productivity, personalization, real-time insights, cross-sell and upsell tools, app integration, and solutions to automate processes.
Salesforce offers add-ons for things like field service workers, digital engagement, and location-based intelligence.
• 100% free forever plan
LiveAgent is a customer service solution that helps you manage all customer requests from multiple channels in a single platform.
No matter where your customers are, you can merge all communication and support to one place. LiveAgent saves you time, simplifies the process, and allows you to increase the profitability of your support team.
LiveAgent has tools for:
Here’s a closer look at the plans and prices for customer service software form LiveAgent:
Free — $0 forever
Ticket — $15 per month per agent
Ticket + Chat — $29 per month per agent
All-inclusive — $39 per month per agent
For all of the paid plans, LiveAgent has add-on pricing for features like social media integration, time tracking, audit logs, and more.
Overall, it’s a simple and flexible tool for managing live customers with ticketing and live chat.
• Free 21-day trial
Freshdesk is another one of the most popular help desk solutions on the market today. Above all, it’s simple. That’s why it’s trusted by 150,000+ businesses, including American Express, HP, and Panasonic.
With Freshdesk, you’ll have access to an extensive list of features across a wide range of customer support categories:
It’s an excellent solution to streamline all of your customer connections in a single location. Freshdesk makes team collaboration and automation a breeze.
If you’re currently using another help desk solution and you’re unhappy with it, Freshdesk makes it easy for you to switch to its software.
Here’s an overview of the plans and pricing. All rates are based on an annual plan. The prices are a bit higher if you go month-to-month.
Sprout — Free
Blossom — $15 per month per agent
Garden — $29 per month per agent
Estate — $49 per month per agent
Forest — $109 per month per agent
Freshdesk has omnichannel add-ons and features for field service management for an additional fee. Try it free with a 21-day trial.
• 100% free forever plan
HubSpot is one of the most well-recognized CRMs in the industry. They have a wide range of software and solution suites for managing relationships with customers.
These offerings are segmented into three main categories—sales, marketing, and service.
The HubSpot Service Hub is what we’ll be focusing on here today. It’s an exceptional solution for managing customer issues through service tickets.
I like HubSpot because they offer free CRM solutions, including free software for customer service. Free features include ticketing, live chat, chatbots, team email, and a conversations inbox. You’ll also benefit from free email templates, closed ticket reports, and time-to-close reports.
HubSpot is proof that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on improving your customer service with software. This won’t cost you a thing.
For those of you who want access to advanced features and benefits, here’s an overview o the paid plans:
Starter — $40 per month
Professional — $320 per month
Enterprise — $1,200 per month
All rates are based on an annual contract. You can get the HubSpot Service Hub month-to-month for 20% more.
HubSpot also offers exceptional product bundles for all CRM categories in a single solution. So if you want to get software for service, sales, and marketing from a single provider, HubSpot is the best option for you. Bundles start at $112.50 per month.
• Plans start at $9/month
Groove isn’t as popular and well-known as some of the other options on our list. But it’s still used by more than 10,000 businesses across 140+ countries.
If your company has outgrown email for customer support and you’re getting inquiries on multiple channels, Groove will be a top choice for you to consider.
This solution stands out from the crowd with its team collaboration tools. You can add internal private notes to discussions, quickly mention teammates to bring them in the loop, and assign specific tasks to members of the team.
Groove has exceptional automations to streamline your customer support. Set rules, tagging, canned replies, and custom folders with your preferences to eliminate busywork.
Another standout feature from Groove is the ability to customize your knowledge base. This is crucial for businesses that want to offer customer self-service tools.
The knowledge base themes are fully customizable, beautifully designed, and mobile responsive. Plans and pricing for Groove customer support software are as follows:
Starter — $9 per month per user
Plus — $19 per month per user
Pro — $29 per month per user
Company — Custom pricing
I’d recommend Groove for small teams and startups. In fact, they have a special startup rate for businesses with less than ten employees. Eligible businesses can get a 93% discount off of the Pro plan.
• Free forever plan
Zoho is one of the most popular names in the world of business software and CRM. The company has tools for sales, marketing, email, collaboration, finance, accounting, human resources, and business intelligence.
But one of the best solutions that they offer is Zoho Desk—IT and help desk software.
Zoho Desk has solutions for customer service agents, managers, and customers. But above all, it’s arguably the best customer service software for managing and closing tickets.
Let’s take a closer look at the plans and price points for Zoho Desk:
Free — $0
Standard — $12 per month per agent
Professional — $20 per month per agent
Enterprise — $35 per month per agent
No matter how big, small, or complex your business is, Zoho Desk has a plan for you.
• Plans start at $20/month
Help Scout is another lesser-known solution on our list. But with that said, it’s still a high-quality software for customer service. It’s used by 10,000+ businesses worldwide.
Help Scout is unique because it’s a Certified B corporation. They strive to make a positive impact on the environment and communities. So they go the extra mile to support organizations that share the same values.
If you have a nonprofit that supports human rights, environmental sustainability, or underrepresentation in tech, Help Scout will provide a significant discount on your customer service software.
Some of you might even be eligible for discounts of up to 100%. That’s right—free.
Even if you don’t fall into one of those categories, Help Scout is still a top solution for customer service. Here’s a closer look at the plans and prices:
Standard — $20 per month per user
Plus — $35 per month per user
Company — Custom pricing
The rates above are based on an annual contract. Month-to-month plans are available for an additional fee. You can try Help Scout for free with a 15-day trial.
How to Choose the Best Customer Service Software For Your Business
What’s the best customer service software for your business? There are certain features and considerations to keep in mind as you’re evaluating different options.
This is the methodology that we use and recommend here at Quick Sprout.
Number of Agents
How big is your customer service team? Companies with five service reps won’t need the same software as a business with 50 agents.
Larger teams need features for things like collaboration and role-based ticketing, but that won’t be necessary for a smaller business.
Customer Communication Method
How are customers currently reaching out to your service team? How do you want them to do so moving forward?
There’s a software for everything. Whether it’s email, live chat, chatbots, or support tickets, you can find a solution to meet your needs. There are even tools for social media integration so all of your messages, including DMs and comments, can be managed from a single dashboard.
Every customer service software on our list does an exceptional job of marketing its top features. But with that said, you should only focus on the features you need the most.
For example, are you looking for customer service software specifically for live chat? LiveAgent will be a top choice for you. If you want a solution for your field service agents, use Salesforce Service Cloud. There are even tools for customer service, sales, and marketing CRM built into single product bundles.
My suggestion is this. Identify the features you definitely need. Then look for the right plan that has all of those features.
The price for customer service software varies on a wide range of factors. Lots of solutions charge you based on the number of customer service agents on your team.
Available features in your package will also have a significant impact on what you pay.
Customer service is definitely not something you should skimp on. It’s ok to spend money. But with that said, not all of you need to go overboard. Small businesses, startups, and nonprofits with smaller teams can use free customer service software without compromising quality.
Every business must prioritize customer service. These are the top eight customer service software solutions on the market today:
Use this guide to help you find the best solution for your business. I made sure to include something for everyone on my list.
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March 31, 2020 at 02:51PM
Best Call Center Services
No matter what type of business you run, you need to prioritize customer support. That means giving customers the option to contact you through multiple methods—including the phone.
But managing a call center on your own can be a challenge. Running an in-house call center is usually costly and labor-intensive. This is especially true for smaller businesses and startups with fewer resources.
Fortunately, call center services allow you to outsource your customer service phone support in a simple and cost-effective way.
Call center services typically record information from incoming calls, respond to FAQs based on your company script, and take messages for specific people within your organization.
Advanced call centers can offer assistance for marketing campaigns and lead generation. Some services handle other communication methods as well, like email, live chat, and social media outreach.
If you’re in the market for a call center service, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll show you the top options for you to consider and give you more information about choosing the best one for your business.
The 5 Best Call Center Services of 2020
What’s the best call center service on the market today? It depends on what you’re looking for. After extensive research, I’ve identified the five best customer call center services for you to consider.
This guide contains an in-depth review, including the top features, benefits, and other information about these companies below.
Best Call Center Services Reviews
• Inbound & outbound services
TeleDirect works with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and everything in between.
They offer both inbound and outbound call center services for businesses. Teledirect also has specific solutions for reservations and managing leads.
Businesses can use TeleDirect’s inbound call services for things like processing orders, qualifying leads, tech support, and help desk services. Since Teledirect has agents available 24/7/365, it’s a top solution for after-hours support and call overflows.
TeleDirect has experience handling calls from a wide range of businesses. Common industries that trust this call center service include retail, financial services, healthcare, insurance, and tech.
The outbound calling services from Teledirect are exceptional as well.
Your business can use this call center service for things like appointment setting, market research, lead generation, customer retention, event registration, surveys, and callbacks.
Teledirect specializes in registration services. They’ve handled over 1.6 million customer reservations across multiple industries. It’s a fast and efficient way to get people to RSVP. This service is perfect for seminars, events, workshops, and open enrollments.
The call center reps at Teledirect are friendly and professional. They know how to make an excellent first impression for both inbound and outbound calls, regardless of the call reason.
I’d recommend Teledirect for businesses of all sizes. It’s even a top solution smaller businesses that just need assistance with after-hours calls and overflow.
Five Star Call Center
• Based in the United States
Five Star Call Center has everything your business needs to manage customer service calls. They provide call center outsourcing, inbound voice, outbound voice, contact center software, and call center consulting.
This company has 35+ years in the call center outsourcing industry.
Common inbound call center outsourcing services from Five Star Call Center include:
Five Star Call Center also provides outbound calling for both B2C and B2B companies. Here are some of the popular outbound calling services:
As you can see from both of these lists, the services offered by the outsourced professionals at Five Star Call Center are extensive. All of the call center hubs are based in the US. There are five call centers in the midwest located in South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
With over three decades in the call center service industry, Five Star Call Center knows it all. They’ve helped businesses across every industry you can imagine.
However, there are certain industries that Five Star Call Center specializes in. That includes retail, hospitality, product support, finance, healthcare, and professional services.
Many call center services on the market today offer inbound and outbound calling. But sometimes, these providers have an edge in one category over another.
Five Star Call Center definitely qualifies as a top outbound call center service.
The outbound services are extensive and results-driven. These agents go above and beyond just reading from a script. They know how to connect with the caller on the other end of the line to accomplish whatever goal you’re trying to achieve.
• Specializes in inbound services
Go Answer specializes in inbound call services for small businesses. They also provide answering services and legal intake services. More than 5,000 businesses throughout North America trust Go Answer for their outsourced contact enter needs.
Go Answer goes beyond using the phone to communicate with your customers. They also handle communication via email, web chat, and SMS.
These are some of the top features and benefits of using Go Answer as your call center service provider:
All of your messages and voicemails are available from the mobile app. You’ll get real-time updates and notifications delivered via push notification, text, or email.
The contact center services from Go Answer are designed for medium to large businesses with a high call volume. They provide customized solutions for a wide range of industries. Thee agents essentially become an extension of your team.
Go Answer supports multi-channel communication and ticketing for customer support inquiries as well.
The answering service is geared toward smaller organizations. It’s a reliable way to make a professional impression on your customers.
Go Answer boasts some of the fastest pickup times in the industry. You’ll also have free access to their mobile app, AlwaysOn. You can try the answering service risk-free for 30 days with a trial.
Some of the most common industries using Go Answer include legal, real estate, publishing, finance, and ecommerce.
Like most call center services, the rates for Go Answer are unavailable online. You’ll need to contact their sales team for a custom quote based on the specific needs of your organization.
• Specialty Answering Service
SAS stands for Specialty Answering Service. As the name clearly implies, the SAS call center’s primary focuses is an answering service.
In addition to the answering services, SAS provides call center outsourcing, dedicated call centers, lead generation services, and virtual receptionists.
SAS has bilingual receptionists and virtual office capabilities for their live operators.
The answering service is very diverse. While it’s obviously geared toward businesses, many people use SAS for personal use. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and busy professionals rely on SAS as a personal receptionist.
SAS has dispatching services with operators that answer calls in three rings or less. They have toll-free numbers, emergency answering services, and support international calls.
Unlike most call center services, SAS has simple and straightforward pricing listed on their website. Here’s a quick overview of those plans and prices:
SAS has a plan for everyone. Whether you need 10 minutes per month or 10,000+ minutes per month, this answering service is perfect for you. As you can see, higher volume businesses get a better discount per minute. But even the low-volume plans are affordable.
While SAS specializes in answering services, they also provide outsourced calling for lead generation, dedicated customer service reps, and other popular call center services.
• 100% US-based
Signius is a call center service that is 100% US-based. They work with small businesses to Fortune 500s and everyone in between.
Your business can benefit from a custom live call center that matches your brand image and fits within your budget. Signius offers call center services as well as answering services.
Some of their popular call center services fall into the following categories:
Signius takes the time to understand your business. They go through this process to become an extension of your existing team. You have the ability to outsource all or just a portion of your call center functions.
Signius is known for its quick pickup times and modern technology. You’ll also have access to online reporting 24/7.
Your client portal gives you the ability to measure the effectiveness of your call center strategy. The platform gives you information related to single calls as well as your historical data at scale.
Common industries that take advantage of the call center services provided by Signius include:
For me, the small business call center and answering services from Signius stand out the most.
As a small business owner, you likely won’t need a full call center of agents on-site handling phone calls 24/7. That’s obviously not an effective use of your resources. But Signius is available 24/7 and can answer calls even when your store is closed.
Signius has call transfer services, customized scripts, and bi-lingual solutions. Even if you don’t get a high volume of calls, this will be an excellent option for you to choose.
How to Choose the Best Call Center Service For Your Business
Now that you’ve had a chance to review the top call center services on the market today, it’s time to choose one for your business. But how do you know which one is the best?
There are certain factors that must be taken into consideration when you’re evaluating a prospective service. This is the methodology that we recommend here at Quick Sprout. Use this process to narrow down your options.
Most call center services do much more than just answer phone calls. They usually offer a wide range of other services for things like market research, lead generation, event registration, and call forwarding.
What does your company need assistance with?
If you’re a small business owner that wants your customers to speak to a live agent instead of an answering machine when they call after hours, you just need an answering service.
But if you’re a larger organization that needs outbound calls for things like lead qualification, sales, payment reminders, or membership renewals, you’ll need a company that offers these extra services.
Availability and Call Center Locations
The best call center services have live agents available 24/7/365. I wouldn’t consider a call center service that doesn’t offer this.
In addition to their availability, you want to make sure that they have enough agents to quickly answer inbound phone calls. So it’s in your best interest to work with larger services with multiple locations and plenty of staff on hand.
If working with a call center that’s based in the US is important to you, there are plenty of great choices for you to consider. You don’t have to outsource your call center overseas if you don’t want to.
Your call center is an extension of your business. While the live agents making and receiving calls don’t work directly for your company, they become the primary point of contact for your customers.
It’s important to find a call center service that has experience working in your industry.
For example, a B2B company that is using an outbound call center service for event registrations and a doctor’s office using an answering service for post-discharge patients will have very different needs.
As consumers, we’ve all experienced phone support where the agent is clearly using a generic script. Those canned responses are applied to every business, regardless of industry or customer need.
It’s frustrating when this happens. You don’t want your customers to have this same experience.
That’s why you need to find a call center service that will take the time to understand your business and its needs. They’ll help you come up with a custom solution to improve the customer experience via phone support.
The pricing structure for most answering services will be completely customized as well. Make sure you understand how you’re being charged before you commit to a contract. In many cases, it’s the most cost-effective to be billed based on usage.
If your business needs an outsourced call center service, these are the top five options for you to consider:
From low-volume answering services to high-volume sales calls and tech support, there’s an option for everyone on this list. No matter what industry you’re in or what type of needs your business has, I’m confident that you can use this guide to find the best call center solution.
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March 31, 2020 at 02:22PM
Hugely popular influencer marketing platform Heartbeat expands to TikTok
Heartbeat, an influencer marketing platform, just announced they're expanding to TikTok.
In addition to Instagram, Heartbeat's brand partners can now choose TikTok in upcoming social media marketing campaigns. "After four years in business, we’ve been one of the most adaptable and scalable products for authentic content creation on Instagram," said Brian Freeman, CEO of Heartbeat, "but today we’re adding TikTok to that powerful mode."
With this expansion, brand partners will be able to work with influencers with varying levels of following — macro, micro, and nano. The press release detailed what these campaigns could entail:
It is undeniable, however, that this expansion comes amid the coronavirus pandemic. Freeman, who believes TikTok to be the next breakout platform for influencer marketing, said that he and his team has been asking what can be most helpful for their brands, ambassadors, and creators at this time.
"We see our duty to our ambassador and creator community to get them as many brand opportunities as possible to earn extra cash when we know now the purse strings have to be so tight," Freeman told Mashable. "This means we hopefully can help someone who is unemployed for the first time in their career make up some of those lost wages by having fun on TikTok. We can maybe even assist a parent who is sheltering-in-place with their kids and needs a little extra grocery money."
If a creator gets a sponsored post on TikTok's For You page, a brand sees immense value in it, according to Freeman. That value can translate into dollars.
Freeman sees this as an opportunity to help brands, too, with quick turnaround campaigns. "We’re working overtime to help our clients think creatively about how to use the platform and develop strategies that drive the results they need," he said. "Whether that’s boosting sales, or making the right audience aware of their brand story."
Ultimately, Freeman said, he wants Heartbeat to be part of a solution that gives brands, ambassadors, and creators hope. In the time of the coronavirus, that's something we all can get behind.
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March 31, 2020 at 09:56AM
Facebook is working on a coronavirus... reaction button?
When Facebook introduced reaction buttons in 2015 that let you respond to a post with a heart or a sad face instead of just a "like," it was a huge improvement.
Now, Facebook is working on a puzzling reaction button for the coronavirus era: a Covid-19 themed button.
Researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who frequently uncovers social media features in development, first spotted the new feature. Facebook has confirmed to Mashable that it is indeed working on the button, but declined to provide further details about its purpose or timing.
The button at this point carries a similar logo to the Facebook/Instagram "Stay Home" sticker, which Facebook rolled out as a way to encourage people to practice social distancing. It also has the same branding as the button in the Facebook "Explore" sidebar that leads users to Facebook's coronavirus information portal. That portal, too, has the heart branding, but is in blue rather than purple.
The main question is: Why on earth would anyone want a coronavirus reaction button? Maybe it will take on a meaning as people use it, like a way to express coronavirus-specific solidarity and sympathy. Or, maybe it will become an easy way to express disbelief at the extraordinary events we're living through. Who knows?! Either way, there's a button for that.
via Mashable https://ift.tt/2DCFv97
March 31, 2020 at 09:56AM
Twitter removes Giuliani tweet pushing misinformation about coronavirus
Twitter removed a tweet from Rudy Giuliani on Friday that contained several pieces of misinformation related to coronavirus.
The tweet, which quoted another tweet from right-wing personality Charlie Kirk, falsely claimed that the drug hydroxychloroquine, which is used to treat lupus, arthritis, and malaria, has "a 100% effective rate treating COVID-19." This is not true: Despite Donald Trump's enthusiasm for the drug, there is still only anecdotal evidence that it can effectively treat coronavirus.
The tweet also alleged that Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer is "the latest Democrat to ban doctors from prescribing the lifesaving drugs hydroxychloroquine and Z-Paks to save senior citizens in the state." (Trump has specifically touted the combination of hydroxychloroquine and axythromycin — which is sold as Zithromax, or a Z-Pak — as a treatment; again, there is not clinical evidence to support his excitement.)
This is also misleading. Rather, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is warning doctors not to hoard or prescribe hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine inappropriately, which could cause a shortage for people who need them for other conditions.
Many lupus patients, for instance, have no other options for medication, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.
Twitter confirmed via email that Giuliani's account was temporarily locked for violating the platform's rules regarding Covid-19 misinformation. Those rules specifically prohibit "content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information," including "description of treatments or protective measures which ... are being shared with the intent to mislead others."
You can see screenshots of the removed tweets on Mediaite, which first reported the incident.
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March 31, 2020 at 09:56AM
How to Guide Your Employees to Post More on Social Media
Want your employees to share more about your business on social media? Wondering how best to guide their social media posts?
In this article, you’ll discover how to develop guidelines to help employees post more on social media and find examples of types of posts employees can model.
#1: Create Clear Social Media Guidelines for Employees to Follow
While marketers might consider social media a second home, the same may not be true for all of your employees and co-workers. Research has shown that a significant number of employees feel their companies haven’t given them explicit guidelines for approaching social media. That’s one of many reasons why it’s a good idea to create a social media guide that will introduce your employees to social media from a professional point of view.
In fact, this was one of the first items my company tackled. We wanted to build our brand on the values of making business personal and human so our social media presence needed to reflect that. We also knew employees needed guidance. As a result, our employees became an important part of our social media strategy.
Employees send the marketing team conference snapshots while on business trips, share personal content from around the office on their own social accounts, and provide commentary on a variety of topics on Twitter. The image in the Instagram post below, for instance, was taken by an employee behind the scenes of an employee photoshoot.
With an increasing number of stories about people being fired for something they’ve posted online, some employees are reluctant to talk about their work publicly. To ease their concerns and reduce the chances of confidential information leaking out, directly communicate what type of content is never appropriate for employees to post about.
For example, make sure all external communication about new clients is kept under wraps until the contract is officially signed and ensure that communicating financial data is off-limits.
Knowing how nervous employees might be about making a mistake online, MasterCard made their employees an integral part of this process. They held a company-wide meeting and gave employees the opportunity to ask questions about what is and isn’t appropriate when taking on the role of a company advocate. The video of this open conversation was later shared among employees globally.
To gather input from your staff, start with a focus group of employees who are already comfortable with social media and discuss how they would approach social media advocacy. Ask for their ideas and concerns. Brainstorm possible topics employees could post about and how they would interact with followers. This candid conversation will be invaluable in shaping company guidelines.
In your guide, make sure to address the following areas.
Once you get your program rolling, you’ll be encouraging employees to jump into conversations about your brand online so one part of your social media guidelines should be devoted to rules your employees should adhere to. Here are some key points to address when engaging with customers on social media:
When it comes to the responses themselves, employees might struggle with striking the right tone between professional and personal. When in doubt, their responses should be factually accurate, respectful, and kind. And of course, correct spelling and grammar are a must.
Also identify key brand elements that employees should pay attention to when communicating with customers on social media. While each employee should make those interactions their own, they should also be mindful of your brand persona and voice, and the feel of your messages and responses online.
If your brand persona involves using business lingo, you might not want employees taking on an irreverent tone. On the flipside, a hip, cheeky brand might not want their employees to use a stiff, professional voice while communicating with customers on social media.
Platform Behavior Guidance
If you want your staff to feel confident enough to share content or engage in conversation with customers online, you have to teach them about the rules of communication on different social media platforms. How often have you seen people sharing content on LinkedIn that’s more appropriate for Instagram? To avoid confusion, give platform-specific guidelines to your employees.
#2: Create a Unique, Branded Hashtag to Easily Curate Employee Posts
Creating a unique branded hashtag is a clever way to use hashtags to your advantage. A dedicated hashtag will make it easy to round up the posts your employees have published and reshare them on the company’s official account. When someone clicks on your branded hashtag, they’ll see a combination of posts that show the other more personal aspect of your brand.
A company that uses this tactic perfectly is Adobe with #AdobeLife. Adobe was one of the first digital companies to actively train employees in brand advocacy on social media. Today, they have close to 900 brand ambassadors in many communities across the world. Adobe briefs brand ambassadors on upcoming products and services, giving them the first opportunity to weigh in online.
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However, perhaps the most far-reaching effort so far has been encouraging employees to write for the Adobe Life Blog. They share actionable advice on growing your career in the tech industry and behind-the-scenes glimpses of what it’s like to work at Adobe.
Encouraging your employees to use the company hashtag will also make it easier for you to monitor what they’re sharing. Despite having the best intentions, sometimes they may not always represent your company appropriately. Regularly reviewing their posts will help you quickly spot content that may be perceived as negative.
You’ll also be able to identify employees who have the potential to do more in their role as brand advocates, opening the door for you to provide the appropriate tools and mentoring.
Pro Tip: To ensure employees use your branded hashtag in their company-related posts, consider gamifying or incentivizing their contributions. To illustrate, feature the employee and/or their post in the company magazine or blog, or share their photo on your social accounts.
#3: Encourage Your Employees to Share Day-to-Day Moments From Work
People are much more inclined to engage with social media posts from friends or acquaintances than from brands. Content that isn’t heavily branded—not just an advertisement—and that displays the human side of your business is more likely to resonate with consumers.
So how do you achieve this? Encourage your employees to share moments from the office that made them smile or brightened their day. Prompt them to post photos from events like office birthday celebrations or fun observances such as National Cookie Day. If you’re a pet-friendly company, post funny or cute pet moments. Also make sure to capture all socially or environmentally responsible events that present a positive brand image overall.
Having your employees actively participate in building your company culture and sharing snippets of it on social media platforms will improve brand awareness and boost your company’s image among like-minded consumers.
You can also use your employees to crowdsource your social media content. Create an inbox for interesting photos or designate one team member to be responsible for collecting them. This will allow you to create a feed filled with candid photographs, capturing all of those small moments and interactions in the office or in your place of business that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Share Employee Posts on Your Company Social Media Channels
The best way to signal to your employees that they’re a welcome part of your social media presence is by taking that first step and including them and their content in your daily posts.
Don’t make a big production out of it. It can be a simple photo of your teammates engaged in some friendly brainstorming with a “taking Monday head-on” caption. Or reshare a homemade video an employee made of your last team-building trip.
UNIQA Insurance Group recently shared a video commemorating International Mother Language Day that was a compilation of clips of employees relaying well wishes in their native languages.
Posts that like this, which are a little imperfect from a technical standpoint but quite heartwarming from the human standpoint, are bound to win the hearts of both your audience and employees.
To better connect with their customers, more than 90% of all brands consider social media a trusted tool. And while an official profile of your brand on a social media platform is a great place to start, you can get better outreach and increased brand awareness by tapping into an asset your company already has—your employees.
Employee advocates on social media can give your business a much-wanted boost but you must communicate what’s in it for them throughout this process. Many will appreciate the opportunity to build thought leadership and position their brand alongside the company’s. But for those who aren’t comfortable sharing work-related posts on their personal profiles, don’t pressure them to do so.
To get better results from this initiative, it’s important to craft a guide that addresses engagement, branding, and platform-specific interactions and make it available to all employees.
What do you think? Will you encourage your employees to share more about your business on social media? Do you have a guide for them to follow? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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March 31, 2020 at 05:05AM
Facebook deletes Brazil President’s coronavirus misinfo post
Facebook has diverted from its policy of not fact-checking politicians in order to prevent the spread of potentially harmful coronavirus misinformation from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Facebook made the decisive choice to remove a video shared by Bolsonaro on Sunday where he claimed that “hydroxychloroquine is working in all places.” That’s despite the drug still undergoing testing to determine its effectiveness for treating COVID-19, which researchers and health authorities have not confirmed.
“We remove content on Facebook and Instagram that violates our Community Standards, which do not allow misinformation that could lead to physical harm” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. Facebook specifically prohibits false claims regarding cure, treatments, the availability of essential services, and the location or intensity of contagion outbreaks.
BBC News Brazil first reported the takedown today in Portuguese. In the removed video, Bolsonaro had been speaking to a street vendor, and the President claimed “They want to work”, in contrast to the World Health Organization’s recommendation that people practice social distancing. He followed up that “That medicine there, hydroxychloroquine, is working in all places.”
If people wrongly believe there’s an widely-effective treatment for COVID-19, they may be more reckless about going out in public, attending work, or refusing to stay in isolation. That could cause the virus to spread more quickly, defeat efforts to flatten the curve, and overrun health care systems.
This why Twitter removed two of Bolsonaro’s tweets on Sunday, as well as one from Rudy Giuliani, in order to stop the distribution of misinformation. But to date, Facebook has generally avoided acting as an arbiter of truth regarding the veracity of claims by politicians. It notoriously refuses to send blatant misinformation in political ads, including those from Donald Trump, to fact-checkers.
Last week, though, Facebook laid out that COVID-19 misinformation “that could contribute to imminent physical harm” would be directly and immediately removed as it’s done about other outbreaks since 2018, while less urgent conspiracy theories that don’t lead straight to physical harm are sent to fact-checkers that can then have the Facebook reach of those posts demoted.
Now the question is whether Facebook would be willing to apply this enforcement to Trump, who’s been criticized for spreading misinformation about the severity of the outbreak, potential treatments, and the risk of sending people back to work. Facebook is known to fear backlash from conservative politicians and citizens who’ve developed a false narrative that it discriminates against or censors their posts.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
March 30, 2020 at 08:19PM