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The Importance of Cybersecurity & AI in Africa’s Contact Center Industry

The Importance of Cybersecurity & AI in Africa's Contact Center Industry

The contact center industry in Africa has been serving the global industry with its customer care, support, and other services to retain clients. When an industry grows, the opportunities grow and so do the threats! This is necessary to be aware of major threats and take precautionary steps to safeguard the business. Likewise, businesses also experience advancements in technologies that can help businesses improve overall performance and returns. Moreover, the African contact center industry is one of the highly technology influenced industry verticals. 

There are different technologies and threats that are affecting how the African industry of call centers is evolving and growing. Two major technology advancements are becoming imperative for this industry, which are artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. The importance of cybersecurity and AI in Africa’s contact center industry is irreplaceable. Thus, it is necessary to understand their roles and how AI and Cybersecurity in the contact center industry of Africa can make a difference.

Importance of cybersecurity in Africa

The contact center industry in Africa or any country runs over technology solutions like a call center software solution. This solution supports omnichannel communication over VoIP/ SIP lines. Anything that transmits over internet lines has a threat of getting intercepted and voice, video, and other forms of data that are getting exchanged over internet lines are definitely not exceptions. All common threats related to the cybersecurity of any VoIP or internet based solutions are applicable to the contact center industry in Africa as well. 

Here is the stat result shared by Norton to prove the importance of cybersecurity in Africa, “3.86 million dollars is the global cost of recovering a typical data breach”. One more supported stat shared by Norton is, “A typical data breach takes 196 days on average to recover for an enterprise”. 

Consequences of a cybersecurity attack and data breaches in the call center industry

Data loss

If you do not understand the importance of cybersecurity in Africa in the contact center industry and do not take the precautionary steps, you are likely to lose a lot of things and one of them is data. Data is an asset for any business. In industries like the African contact center industry, data is not just an asset, but also a critical resource that cannot be shared or leaked. The cyber attackers steal your data and can use it for their malign intents such as running fraud calls, selling data to third parties, and more. Hackers can even temper data to affect your customer care services and integrity. 

Legal trouble

Preserving and protecting user data and sensitive information is a key responsibility of businesses. In many countries, it is abided by legislation and telecom regulations to keep customer data secure. In industries like contact centers, in which sensitive information such as customer bank or payment details are stored, it is even more crucial to keep this information protected. Thus, the law forbids businesses to protect customer interests by protecting their data. The African contact center industry needs to be cautious about legislation to ensure that clients receive the best services and their data is also protected if they want to do business in these countries.

Reputation damage 

It is extremely difficult to return to a positive brand reputation once you lose it. Businesses in the contact center industry in Africa have no way back to work on their brand reputation if they cannot survive cybersecurity attacks. For obvious reasons customers don’t trust brands like this and they are likely to move away from their competitors. This is not just a temporary effect. Even in the long run, call centers that faced reputation damage due to cyber attacks need to face consequences. 

Monetary loss

Recovering from cyber attacks for any business operating in the African contact center industry is a long, tedious, and expensive process. Businesses lose money in the process of recovering the system, data, infrastructure, etc. Businesses also need to face monetary loss by losing some data, business, and clients. If they get trapped in legal trouble, then there is a long process of getting into the judiciary and getting out with the penalty or other punishments. Thus, it is necessary to handle the monetary loss. 

All these major consequences caused by attackers make it quite obvious that the importance of cybersecurity in Africa is quite evident.

AI and Cybersecurity in the contact center industry of Africa

To prevent these types of attacks, it is necessary for businesses to take precautionary steps, which include using technology tools and advancements. This introduces one of the most vital technologies that is making its mark in all industries. Yes, we are talking about artificial intelligence (AI). The role of AI in the African contact center industry is huge. It can do wonders. From improving customer experience to agent performance, reducing expenses, and there is so much more artificial intelligence can do for improving returns and the reputation of the contact center industry in Africa.

Artificial intelligence can also work along with cybersecurity mechanisms to solidify the security offered by cybersecurity products to customers. 

Importance of cybersecurity and AI in Africa’s contact center industry

In multiple ways, cybersecurity software and tools can be enhanced to improve the security of the infrastructure of the African call center industry. This increases the importance of cybersecurity and AI in Africa’s contact center industry.

AI algorithms can be integrated into cybersecurity products. This automates various operations to solidify the security steps from cyber attacks and protect the contact center industry in Africa.

  • Monitoring:

    AI tools will automate the monitoring of cyber attacks and other threats 24×7. It will not need manual resources, which will save money and manual effort. It will also make the whole process more efficient.

  • Prevention:

    The importance of cybersecurity and AI is high because it not only monitors threats but also prevents them. It can immediately suspend suspicious users. 

  • Recovery:

    In case the attackers succeed in breaking security mechanisms for any reason, then also AI and cybersecurity tools will immediately start the recovery process. Usually, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity tools keep taking regular backups, which can be used for recovering from any attack within a minimum time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the role of AI and Cybersecurity in the contact center industry of Africa is quite essential and crucial. It can make a huge difference in protecting businesses from major cyber attacks. It can even help in taking immediate steps to prevent any risks to data, users, or customers of Africa’s call center industry. Moreover, it can take immediate steps to prevent attacks by suspending attackers. It can also recover the data if any sort of attack has already happened. All this helps in speeding up the process of prevention and recovery along with security. This makes it quite vital to accept the worth of AI and Cybersecurity in the contact center industry of Africa.

We provide a contact center solution for African countries and their contact center industry. We can implement the best practices of AI and Cybersecurity in the contact center industry of Africa. If you have already accepted the importance of cybersecurity and AI in Africa’s contact center industry, time for you to implement these technologies in favor of your business. To know more about our software and the implementation of AI and cybersecurity in it, Get In Touch With Us Now.

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5 Types of Customer Service [Highs and Lows]

5 Types of Customer Service

Client-centric businesses can increase sales and marketing opportunities. Businesses can even position their brand better with their customer centric approach by winning high customer loyalty. To win client loyalty, it is necessary to invest in a reliable and strategic customer service plan. You cannot make the right customer service strategy until you know the types of customers you have and the types of customer service you can offer them.

If you are unaware of the types of customers you have and don’t know how to classify clients into different categories, then read our latest article on major types of customers.

To help you define the right customer service types, we have penned down this article as the top unified customer care solution provider.

By knowing the possible types of customer services, you will be able to make the right strategy by getting the best tools and team onboard.

Major types of customer services

1. Phone customer service

This is the highly used and most popular type of customer service followed by the major business brands. For years, it has been used in businesses to provide pre-sales and post-sales support to clients. This form of customer service is always preferred by customers that don’t want to visit the store and are still looking for some answers. In the 21st century, this type of customer service is a must because many businesses operate virtually or serve international customers. In this case, it is impossible for a business to provide in-store support.

The phone based customer service is also recommended when the customer needs to explain the query to the support agent to get the resolution. It is a faster mode of communication and helps in resolving concerns within a few minutes in a majority of cases. According to Statista, more than 61% of consumers prefer to receive customer service over the phone.

Benefits of phone customer service

  • High FCR (First Call Resolution) rate
  • Increase customer engagement
  • Personalized customer experience

Drawbacks of phone customer service

  • Complicated process to connect with customer care executive
  • Efficiency is dependent on manpower and skill
  • May frustrate customers even more

2. Walk-in customer service

This is typical customer support, which is disappearing due to the busy schedule of clients. Still, this is one of the important types of customer service. As the name suggests, the customer walks into the physical store to receive support. In some sectors, it is necessary. For example, hardware related technical support. The customer has to visit a technical center to show the laptop or any other device to get it repaired.

Benefits of walk-in customer service

  • Physical interaction increases customer engagement rate
  • Increase opportunity of cross selling and upselling
  • Get the non-verbal clues to deliver even more personalized customer care

Drawback of walk-in customer service

  • Extra cost of having a physical support center
  • Cause inconvenience to customers visiting the store
  • Make you appear obsolete in the modern digitized era.

3. Email customer service

Since 1971 when the first email was sent, email has become one of the favorite modes of communication for many businesses and consumers. Still, many businesses love this mode of communication, which makes email customer service one of the major customer service types. It is one of the asynchronous types of customer service, which means customers don’t need to sit and wait for the agent to respond. Likewise, agents also have enough time to study the issue and respond. This can be a vital type of customer service in some cases such as technical or premium services, in which screenshots, receipts, invoices, etc. need to be exchanged.

Benefits of email customer service

  • It is cheap for both the customer and the company
  • Completely documented, logged, and digitized communication
  • Automate acknowledgment, send canned responses
  • Get enough time to study and respond
  • Reduce pressure on agents

Drawback of email customer service

  • Slow in process
  • Long email chains can make things complicated
  • Long email responses can be tedious and irritating
  • Lack of personalized responses

4. Chat customer service

Live chat is one of the top types of customer service offered by a majority of customer care centers. It can be simple live chat using a chat widget or it can be WhatsApp chat to give a digital touch to your customer care department. In fact, WhatsApp chat is more popular than live chat because consumers don’t need to go to your landing page or chat widget to initiate the conversation. It is one of the most effective customer service types because customers can chat about their issues on the go.

Benefits of chat customer service

  • Give real time customer services
  • Excellent for short conversations
  • Preferred types of customer service for introvert consumers
  • Improved agent productivity as agents can handle multiple chats in parallel

Drawback of chat customer service

  • Lacks human touch
  • Difficult and complicated when longer responses need to be given
  • Logging conversations is a tough task
  • No way to comprehend the mood of customers to give personalized responses

5. Social media customer service

As things are getting more and more digital, digital channels are taking over each department in the business. Then how can customer service be left behind? Major social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter are on the top list for the best types of customer service. Consumers have started posting their issues and concerns on social media without even checking if your brand includes social media in one of the customer service types. Moreover, they expect rapid responses over social media. According to a stat result shared by Statistia, more than 20% of consumers demand a response immediately after posting on social media. This shows how this platform is taken so seriously by the young generation. Of course, the old generation also uses it, but the young generation demands customer support over major social media platforms. Thus, it has to be one of the customer service types you are offering.

Benefits of social media customer service

  • Position your enterprise as a modern business brand
  • Satisfy demands of millennial and Gen Z audiences
  • Give convenience to your customers to reach via their preferred channel
  • Skyrocket your reputation management and digital marketing campaigns
  • Position your business as a customer centric brand
  • Enhance brand reputation by showing proactive customer care
  • Low cost and affordable

Drawback of social media customer service

  • Everything is online and transparent. It can work in your favor or against you.
  • For businesses with multiple concerns, it becomes tough to maintain a positive brand reputation
  • Makes it difficult to track all mentions along with the DMs
  • Possibility of skipping or missing out on a customer concern
Conclusion

Nowadays, customers need what they find appropriate to meet their demands and types of customer service are not at all an exception. Your customer care team has to incorporate major customer service types in the strategy to match the pace with the growing demands of customers and stay tuned with modern trends.

Your software such as contact center software must also implement all these communication channels into the software to help you provide all major types of customer services using a single platform. We can help you make this possible with our communication tools. Let’s connect to discuss more about these solutions and major customer service types that must be part of your business to level up your customer care game.

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Omnichannel Contact Center: A Champion’s Guide that You’ll Ever Need

Omnichannel-Contact-Center-A-Champions-Guide-that-Youll-Ever-Need.

Communication has been an imperative part of any business. Even if a business faces some ups and downs, the demand for reliable and steady communication remains constant. From internal teams to external customers, vendors, and other associates require a reliable means of communication. To meet different types of business communication needs, innovators invent different modes and channels of communication. Digitization and automation have further influenced the communication channels used in businesses.

Call centers being one of the businesses that rely heavily on communication and communication tools need to be updated with technology to keep serving clients with the right experience. An omnichannel contact center is the latest trend in this industry.

In this blog post, we have covered the following points:

  1.       Some important statistics that you must know if you are in this industry
  2.       What is an omnichannel contact center?
  3.       What is an omnichannel contact center solution?
  4.       What are the major benefits of omnichannel contact centers?
  5.       What are the best practices to run a successful omnichannel contact center?
  6.       Which are the top omnichannel call center providers?
  7.       Major FAQs related to omnichannel call centers
  8.       Conclusion

The omnichannel contact center has become a buzzword and it becomes necessary for all businesses associated with the communication industry or using call center software to have insightful knowledge about it. To give all the required insight on this subject matter, we have compiled all the details: from omnichannel contact center definition to FAQs. Let’s take an insider look at this captivating topic.

1. Some important statistics that you must know if you are in this industry

  • According to Google Research statistics, 98% of American users use multiple devices within a single day and one of the uses of these devices is to communicate with friends, brands, family, etc. 
  • According to Omnisend data, marketers registered a 287% high purchase rate by using more than three communication channels in
  • According to the statistical result shared by Omnisend, companies achieved up to 90% of customer retention rate by using omnichannel communication tools over a single channel.

There are so many statistics results available in the market, which define the benefits of omnichannel contact centers.

2. What is an omnichannel contact center?

When we talk about the omnichannel contact center definition, there are different versions available. Each version defines one common definition, which is as below:

When a contact center adopts the power of all popular communication channels and provides customer support or runs sales campaigns through all popular communication channels, it is called an omnichannel contact center. The omnichannel contact center definition also covers the top communication channels that have to be part of an omnichannel call center. These communication channels are listed below:

  • Voice calls
  • Video calls
  • SMS
  • Email
  • Chat
  • Facebook/  Twitter/ Other social media platforms
  • Instant messaging
  • WhatsApp

3. What is an omnichannel contact center solution?

A contact center solution, which can be either an on-premise or cloud call center software that provides all unified communication channels within a single platform is an omnichannel contact center solution. It eliminates the need of managing independent communication channels across multiple platforms. Instead of that, a single solution is used to manage communication across channels.

All conversations will be logged regardless of the communication channel used, which makes it the best tool for call centers and customer care centers. It will also make it easier to switch to another communication channel or use more than one communication channel in parallel. The omnichannel solution supports all communication channels that are preferred by your customers to keep them delighted in terms of the selection of the communication mode. As it contributes heavily to handling customer support, it is also referred to as an omnichannel customer support solution.

4. What are the major benefits of omnichannel contact centers?

There are several advantages of using an omnichannel customer support solution. Let’s explore the top three of them.

A) Improve customer experience

One of the major advantages covered even in the omnichannel contact center definition is improved customer experience by using this software. Everyone likes to make a choice instead of falling short of choices. The selection of a communication channel is often considered a small thing, but it can be comforting to your customers. Some customers willingly use Twitter for communication and some love having a telephone conversation. It is necessary to give this freedom to your clients to choose which mode of communication they are more comfortable using.

Even if you don’t accommodate all communication channels within your software, your customers are still likely to use these channels to reach out to your customer care team. No response and the delayed response would cause major concerns and brand damaging impact, which would get difficult to cover. By incorporating omnichannel communication into your strategy, you will be able to deliver an excellent customer experience. Your agents will get notified for all messages, not considering the use of communication channels, so they can respond quickly. They will also have context as all conversations across channels would be logged into the system. This helps them serve your clients better and improve customer service standards.

Prompt responses and personalized responses will keep your customers happy and excited about your customer service. This way you can improve customer experience with omnichannel call center adoption.

B) Improve agent productivity

The productivity of agents is as important as the happiness of customers. A productive agent can deliver better and faster services and help improve the values of many more KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to increase the ultimate goal conversation. As mentioned earlier, despite the fact that you use an omnichannel solution or not, your clients will use their favorite mode of communication to reach out to your support team. Thus, at a certain point, your agents or other team members will need to check individual platforms such as Facebook messenger or Facebook page wall and respond to these clients. This will be an exhaustive and error prone job. Likewise, there are so many communication channels to manage, and handling each of them independently can cause several challenges and affect the productivity of agents negatively.

Unlike that, using an omnichannel system will give a notification for each message. The software can also put clients into queues like chat queues, WhatsApp queues, etc. to make it easy to manage the process. When you avoid the need for switching across communication channels, your agents can save time and energy to synergize them on improving customer experience. Moreover, some communication channels let agents handle more than one customer at a time with templates and other features available in the software. This further contributes to boosted productivity. As we all know, improved productivity reflects improved performance because the same headcount can deliver much better output.

C) Improve ROI (Returns over Investment)

Managing different communication channels within a single platform is cheaper than handling different communication platforms. Saving time for agents also saves a lot of resources, including expenses. A majority of providers help in saving time by adding added features such as a message scheduler, message templates, auto replies, chatbots, and more. That means using an omnichannel system, a call center can reduce expenses and otherwise get invested in infrastructure, manpower, communication platforms, and more.

The high productivity of agents directly contributes to better performance of all campaigns and call centers. Call centers can elevate their revenue generation with the same manpower. Even if they hire more agents, they can then spike up revenue by taking more work and handling more campaigns. Customer retention, on the other hand, contributes to the stable stream of generating revenue. Reference business and referral leads are a few more contributors to increase revenue.

In a nutshell, the benefits of omnichannel contact centers include improving revenue and cutting costs, so call centers can enjoy a high ROI generation rate.

5. What are the best practices to run a successful omnichannel contact center?

When you decide to leverage the advantage of technology and trend, you need to have a proper strategy in place. You cannot just win the game by getting the best omnichannel customer support solution. You also need to have a strategy in place and you must follow the best practices. You can learn with experiments, but using an omnichannel customer support strategy is quite mature. You can learn from the experiences of others. To help you lead the game and maximize the benefits of omnichannel contact centers, we have shared the top best practices for you. You must rigorously follow these best practices to run your support center like a champion:

  • Don’t ignore self serving options

All communication solutions, including an omnichannel customer care system offer self serving options to call center users. It is necessary to use all communication channels and let your agents handle customer calls, messages, and other forms of interactions. However, it is equally important to invest in self serving options and encourage their use among customers. Using self serving options can help customers to get responses to their concerns on an immediate basis as they don’t need to wait for agents to join the conversation. On the other hand, it keeps your staff available to handle more complicated cases of customers to deliver excellent support.

Technology tools like chatbots, AI voice analysis, smart WhatsApp web tools, self serving IVR, voice broadcasting, SMS broadcasting, and more can be used to increase effective self serving options.

  • Live agent has to be available for customers

Even if you have plenty of self serving options, you need to be sure that you have enough live agents to handle clients and their concerns. You also need to give the option to connect with a live agent at any point. Some customers prefer to have a conversation or interaction with humans even if it is an easy task like retrieving the total due balance. This type of client also needs to get complete attention and respect from your customers to retain a good brand image.

  • Identify top performing and in-demand communication channels

Even if an omnichannel customer support solution is used to blend the power of all communication channels in serving your clients, it is worth investing resources to identify popular communication channels. Different customer bases may like different communication channels. In some countries, WhatsApp is the most preferred mode of communication. In some countries, SMS is still one of the top used communication channels. These facts also vary from industry to industry. Even in the same industry, two different customer care centers may have different charts of communication channel usage.

With careful analysis, you can identify the top performing communication channels for your business. Knowing this information can help you define further strategies to serve these clients. You can also put adequate resources based on the preferred modes of communication for your clients. You don’t need to put an equal number of agents for each communication channel. Rather optimize resource allocation based on the volume of queries received for that specific mode of communication.

  • Focus on unified customer experience across communication channels

One of the major advantages of using an omnichannel contact center is that it provides a holistic view of all customer interactions across channels. That means agents can view all conversations between a customer and an agent that could have taken place via one or more communication channels. Having this information is very useful as agents will be aware of ongoing updates, common issues faced by customers, preferred solutions or assistance by that particular client, and other aspects. All the information can be used to provide a universal experience to clients across all communication channels. The customers can be served with the same professionalism and experience through any mode of communication he or she chooses. This not only impresses your clients, but it also helps in building an unforgettable experience for clients as a brand.

  • Collect feedback and suggestions from customers and agents

Guessing games can be good, but only in gambling. In fact, even there, people use experience and logic. In businesses like customer care or contact center, using metrics, data, suggestions, recommendations, etc. can be really beneficial. One of the vital sources of data is humans correlated to the system. Your customers and agents use your services, software, etc. on a day to day basis. Therefore, there is nobody better than them to give feedback on how your omnichannel customer strategy is performing. Direct interaction can give direct answers.

You can ask your agents in weekly or monthly meetings or you can use a self serving IVR to collect their feedback. You can take their opinion to scrutinize your resource allocation, strategy, and more for improvement.

Your customers are receiving customer service from your team and they can give you brutally honest opinions. You can ask them how they feel about the service they received right after the call or any other form of interaction. This data can show you the mirror and give you much needed and reliable data.  

  • Empower your agents

The next important best practice is team empowerment. You need to empower your team of agents that interact with clients. You can give them the required training to be more professional and effective across multiple communication channels. Alternatively, you can hire experts for each communication channel. Depending on your strategy, you can define how you want to train and furnish your team with the right resources.

To empower your agents, along with training, you also need to give them adequate technical support. You must use the integration of third party tools like CRM, communication channels, AI voice analysis, chatbots, etc. All this helps them work more productively. They can also be encouraged to self learning by giving them access to some of the reports or their own call recording files.

Having a rich knowledge base is another important best practice to become a champion of customer care strategy that blends omnichannel communication in it. Agents can use this knowledge base to keep themselves updated with different best practices, procedures, tools, etc.

  • Invest time in report analysis and live monitoring

The call center solutions provide an extensive range of reports. You must review these reports on a regular basis. These reports will give more insight into the performance and effectiveness of different communication channels. It will also contribute to identifying strengths and weaknesses. You can also use live monitoring tools to take real time actions for improvement.

  • Keep improving

No strategy or trend is permanent. Thus, you must constantly evolve and improve. Keep fine tuning the best practices and omnichannel strategy to stay competitive and impressive for your clients.

6. Which are the top omnichannel call center providers?

There are multiple providers of this type of software. We have listed out the top 3 of them.

     1) Elision Technologies Pvt. Ltd

It is one of the most affordable providers that offer omnichannel communication and has more than 15 years of industry experience. It offers omnichannel communication, speech analytics, and multiple other features at very affordable rates. You can get a licensed solution or opt for the hosted model.

     2) Nice InContact

It quotes 100 USD/agent per month and has a hosted model to use its omnichannel solution. It supports omnichannel communication, but it does not have a video channel. You will need to integrate a third party video calling app and that integration would cost additional for customization.

     3) 8×8

It charges 115 to 175 USD/agent per month with unlimited call support in the USA and Canada. For other regions, you need to check for the cost of calls. It does not have a multilevel IVR as an inbuilt feature. You need to use it as an add-on. It supports omnichannel communication and a hosted model.

7. Major FAQs related to omnichannel call centers

Should I use an omnichannel call center?

It can be used by anyone that wants to implement an omnichannel customer strategy. Still, businesses with bigger clientele or diversified customer bases gain more advantages by using it compared to small scaled call centers.

Can I add omnichannel communication to my existing software?

That depends on the software. If you have access to the code and if the software is compatible with third party integration then you can add more communication channels to the software. However, compatibility still needs to be checked. It is better to get an omnichannel solution than add communication channels into it to avoid compatibility related issues or increasing cost of ownership.

How much does an omnichannel solution cost?

That depends on the provider. There is no standard cost for the software. Thus, you need to contact the provider and get a quotation for the software.

What will be the hardware requirement to use an omnichannel call center?

Usually, the software and hardware work in coordination with multiple other driving factors. You need to define what software you will use for omnichannel operations and based on that, you will learn about the required hardware. Usually, your software provider will guide you about the hardware that you will need to run your call center with an omnichannel communication mechanism.

8. Conclusion

Superior customer experience gives momentum to call centers to reach beyond the competition and stay ahead of them. An omnichannel contact center contributes to achieving exactly this. It lets customers choose their favorite communication channel to reach out to the customer care team and receive the required assistance, whether it is a self-serving option or any other mode of communication like voice, video, WhatsApp, social media, etc. Agents get empowered with a holistic view of all interactions between customers and call centers to deliver a more contextual and personalized customer experience.

The right tools, best practices, trained and skilled team, and strategic approach can help you take maximum advantage of this trend of using omni channel communication. We have been witnessing call centers growing in leaps and bounds with our DialShree: omnichannel contact center solution. This software helps them achieve a better balance between technology and human interaction and ace the game of customer care like a champion. Get in touch with us for a free demo.

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Top 7 Customer Service factors in Africa

Top 7 Customer Service factors in Africa

Today’s customers are active players in any business, unlike traditional times when clients used to play a passive role. Earlier customers were less demanding and not that educated about their options and rights. However, now the paradigm shift is witnessed in the customer service industry.

In countries like Africa, in which investors are investing to build new infrastructure, technologies, services, etc. customers have become more demanding. Demands and expectations of clients in African regions like Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, etc. have the highest number of consumers.

Thus, businesses based in Africa and other countries that are investing in African regions must invest in learning about major customer service factors. In different customers, the factors that affect customer service would be different. Therefore, to design a winning customer service strategy, it is a must to explore the top influencing factors for a specific country. 

What is customer service?

According to the report shared by Forbes, 96% of customers are likely to repeat purchases from the same brand if they receive a good customer experience. This shows the importance of customer service. 

In African countries where the market is growing, understanding the factors of customer service is very crucial. Even if many markets are unfolding, customers are very well aware of their rights to receive a positive customer experience. 

7 Major factors that influence customer service

1. Trust

One of the major factors of customer service that can help in retaining clients and their investment in your business is trust. In Africa, trust is still the number one factor to do business. If your customers trust your business and customer services, then they are likely to keep patience until your team resolves their concerns. Thus, it is necessary to build a trust relationship with your clients.

One of the ways to build and retain a trustworthy relationship with your clients is to maintain transparency in your business with your clients. This can give the required understanding of processes, the possible time it may take, and the expectations your customers can have from your business. This can keep their trust intact in your business and customer service and it can be one of the top customer service factors you must invest in.

2. Proactive services

Proactive nature is one of the factors that affect customer service and its effectiveness. A majority of customer service centers in Africa focus on first contact resolution and that is what your customers expect from you. Thus, it is worth investing in your software, team, etc. to make the whole process of delivering customer services proactive.

3. Empathy

When clients contact a customer service center, they are agitated or frustrated because something is not working as per their expectations. This makes it vital to be empathetic to them. Being empathetic to clients is one of the major customer service factors in Africa to cultivate.

A majority of agents focus on giving the solution to clients on an immediate basis. However, it is necessary to be an active listener and keep patience to show empathy to clients for their situation. The right training and experience can help you work on this one of the factors that influence customer service and delight your clients.

4. Consistency

Unified experience delivery is one of the major factors that affect customer service in a positive manner. Consistency in services, growth, customer experience delivery, etc. can impact your other customer service factors, too. Therefore, it is necessary to be consistent with your efforts of delivering excellent customer service to African customers. Defining clear processes, using the right tools and team, and giving ongoing training can help in adding consistency to your services. 

If you are using multiple communication channels to deliver customer services, you must use an omnichannel contact center solution to keep the whole process consistent across all touchpoints. This software gives integrated solutions to agents, so they can have a complete view of all customer interactions and deliver consistent services across all communication channels. 

5. Autonomy

It is also one of the important factors that influence customer service in Africa. African people are quite tech-savvy and they know how to use technology tools like an IVR to use self serving features. In Africa, businesses and end users often stay occupied with multiple personal and professional responsibilities, which makes it difficult for them to have too much time to wait for agents to respond.

Thus, if a customer service center can add the required autonomy, then it can meet customer expectations. Whether you add it or not, it is definitely one of the major factors that influence customer service and its effectiveness. Customers definitely love this option as they don’t need to stay on hold. Moreover, they also don’t need to interact with agents who might be quite formal in the whole process as per the standards to be followed.

In addition to delighting clients that prefer autonomy options, it can also help other factors of customer service that influence quality standards of services. For example, self serving options will reduce the workload on agents as they will have some customers removed from the call queues getting autonomy options. This will help agents cater to other clients quicker and with less pressure so it is a better factor. Thus, it is necessary to consider the list of top customer service factors.

6. Expertise

Nothing can be achieved in any country in terms of customer service if you don’t have expertise in what you are offering. No matter what product you offer or what service you have to cater to clients, you must know that inside out. Likewise, your agents also must have knowledge of what they are offering support for.

They must also know how to efficiently use the tools they are using to deliver customer services. Therefore, expertise is one of the factors that affect customer service negatively or positively. 

7. Timeliness

This is also on the list of major factors of customer service because your expertise, proactive and empathetic nature, consistency, and other factors that influence customer service will fail if you do not provide services and resolution on time to your customers in Africa.

This is necessary to have a timeline and even deadline to resolve any customer query to enhance customer experience and retain clients. Using the right software, alerts and notifications can also be sent to supervisors if agents fail to deliver resolutions as per the predefined timeline. This can really meet the expectations of your clients and clutch them with your business.

Conclusion

Customer service is an unavoidable part of any business because competition is way too high and fierce in the African market. The opportunities are increasing and so does competition. Defining the right customer care strategy to meet customer expectations and demands to survive and grow in African regions like Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, etc. is necessary. 

There are multiple customer service factors that improve customer satisfaction rates to bring in several benefits related to delighted clients. We have shared the top 7 factors that directly or indirectly affect and influence customer service results and standards and each of them must be involved. 

We offer a feature rich call center solution that can help in working on major factors to help you improve your customer service outcomes. For more details, get in touch with us NOW! 

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How Does Call Center Solution Reduce NPA for Collection Agencies?

How Does Call Center Solution Reduce NPA for Collection Agencies_

The easy availability of loans on different items has attracted more people to purchase more things based on the EMI structure. This indeed creates a win win situation for both debtor and lender because the debtor can avail anything and everything they want such as a car, electric appliances, luxury items, and even an abroad trip. On the other hand, lenders can use their money to contribute to the economy and also run the cycle of finance and supply chain.

Along with creating a healthy financial cycle for debtors and lenders, it also creates some challenges for both parties. The lenders, whether it is a bank or an NBFC (Non Banking Financial Company), need to work on the recovery part. That means they need to put a whole force of manpower to give reminders to pay EMIs, send collection agents to collect EMI money, and even predict defaulters to take the required actions. As this is a hectic job, banks and non banking financial companies often outsource this job to collection agencies.

The collection agencies usually have a skillful team that is trained for the job of EMI collection from debtors. They also have the required infrastructure such as call center software, NBFC software, CRM system, etc. to increase collection and help banks and NBFCs stay profitable. While running this business, it is often witnessed that along with people paying their EMIs on time, there are also people that do not pay EMIs. Moreover, there can be multiple assets and products on which banks and NBFCs give EMI based loans and lending facilities. Some of the products may work better and some don’t. Thus, collection agencies have the job of identifying and reducing these nonperforming assets (NPAs) along with the increasing collection.

The analytical skills along with financial forecasting adroitness definitely help businesses here to identify Non-performing assets. Moreover, collection agencies can also use a call center solution with a payment utility for collection or an NBFC software solution.

Before we dig deeper to learn how these solutions help in increasing collection and profit ratio by reducing NPAs, let’s first explore what this software does.

What is a call center solution for collection agencies?

You all must know about a standard call center software solution that is used by different industry verticals to run inbound, outbound, and/ or blended campaigns. The software for collection agencies would also have all the features of the standard system. In addition to that to run collection campaigns more effectively, it would also have additional features or modules specifically designed by the provider company. These modules and add-ons can be exclusively available only from that company and not elsewhere or they can work differently if provided by different companies. Some of the popular modules integrated specifically for collection agencies are IVR for collection, payment utility for collection, disposition bucket for collection, Soundboard Avatars for collection, and more. A provider may provide all these or some of these modules to help collection agencies increase collection and reduce NPA.

What is an NBFC software solution?

It is a complete and universal system that is designed not only to run collection campaigns but to manage each stage of the loan management cycle. It will have several intricate algorithm based features and modules that enable a collection agency to handle all aspects of managing loans and lending cycles. Usually, NBFC software is not used by collection agencies. It is used by banks and non banking financial companies. Only features of call center software with collection modules are used by collection agencies.

How does a call center solution for collection agencies reduce NPA?

Now that you understand the different types of software solutions used by collection agencies, let’s explore in detail how these solutions help collection agencies in reducing NPAs and increasing collection.

Efficient recovery

The first and foremost way to reduce NPA and increase collection is to focus on more efficient recovery. The exclusively designed call center solution for collection agencies is a great tool for supporting collection campaigns. It helps in automating several tasks, defining the complete collection cycle, bifurcating on-time payers and defaulters, classifying borrowers based on different groups in buckets, and more. All these features help in running collection campaigns more efficiently. Let’s understand how.

The IVR for collection can run a self serving campaign to give all the required details to the caller related to their next EMI, number of due EMIs, interest rate, notice period, and other details. The NBFC software can also integrate outbound IVR for collection, which will send an outbound voice message to the borrowers and play reminders multiple times. These IVR messages can be interactive and they can play multiple options as well to let customers give their comments on whether they will pay EMI on time or not. If yes, then on which date it will be paid? Whether the customer needs collection service at the doorstep or not and other details can be fetched by this feature. This helps to increase collection so the overall nonperforming assets can be controlled and reduced.

Along with an IVR for collection, this software will also have a payment utility for collection. This is an exclusive feature available to users of Elision’s call center software, DialShree. The first feature of this utility is filtering and removing the number of customers that have already paid EMIs from the calling list. This helps in saving time for agents so it can be used to focus on customers that have not yet paid for assets and can contribute to increasing NPAs. This feature can filter numbers based on different criteria to make collection campaigns more efficient. There are several other features that help in increasing collection and ultimately contribute to reducing NPAs.

This software can also be integrated with an NBFC software solution.

Show tangible data to classify NPAs

An exclusively designed call center solution for collection agencies further provides insightful data information for reports. These reports and data segmented under different criteria in all reports give insightful and actionable information to collection agencies to identify major nonperforming assets and assets that can soon fall under the category of NPAs. Along with this information, it also provides multiple other forms of data and values of KPIs, which collection agencies can use to classify assets, customers, borrowers, and more.

Using this tangible data, collection agencies can project their views and data to the banks and NBFCs for which they operate to let them take legal or other strategic steps to increase collection. Moreover, they can design more effective campaigns to reduce NPAs by increasing collection.

Concluding notes

In a nutshell, the NBFC software, or a system for collection agencies with payment utility for collection, directly and indirectly, contributes to the increasing collection and reduce nonperforming assets. There are several other advantages of these tools for any collection agencies, which is why they have become a must have for banks, NBFCs, and collection agencies.

We offer different solutions to benefit the diversified jobs and campaigns in this industry. We have exclusively developed an omnichannel contact center solution with different features mentioned in this article and more. This tool can help in boosting collection, simplify collection jobs, and reduce the total number of NPAs. If you are interested in knowing more about it, get in touch with us NOW!

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How To Start A Call Center in 2023 (Processes, Tips, Tools)

How To Start A Call Center in 2023

The call center industry is one of the most alluring industry verticals due to the growing trend of outsourcing customer support projects to call centers. The increasing need of retaining clients and delighting them with outstanding customer service has increased the market value of the best call centers that can manage each call center process. The emphasis on on-site call centers is reduced by the business owners because now businesses want to focus all their energy on expanding their own business wings. This gives an open playground to business owners that are interested to start a call center.

When you decide to invest your resources in call center setup, it is recommended to first understand the process, legislation, required tools, and best practices to succeed. Even if this industry is lucrative and there are a plethora of opportunities, the competition is vicious. Setting a call center is not enough, you need to know how to start a call center that can give you a great start and help you keep going on to achieve your business goals.

In this blog post, we will cover all the essential details that can answer all your questions related to how to start a call center and thrive successfully in this highly competitive industry. If you follow the right approach and best practices, you will be able to succeed for sure.

In this blog post, we have covered the following points:

  1. Getting started
    1.1 Define the budget and source of funds 
    1.2 Choose the service type
    1.3 Define call center setup requirements 
    1.4 Define the customer Avatar
    1.5 Understand legislation
    1.6 Complete the groundwork
  2. Build your team
    2.1 Define work model
    2.2 Define HR policies
    2.3 Define recruitment process
    2.4 Devise onboarding and training program 
  3. Acquire the call center infrastructure
    3.1 Internal communication tools
    3.2 Customer communication tools
    3.3 HR management tools
    3.4 Reporting and monitoring tools 
  4. Conclusion

Yes, there is so much to understand when you are looking for the right answer for how to start a call center. So without any further adieu, let’s begin this topic, which will help you start your own call center in 2023 and establish a victorious business.

1. Getting started (how to start a call center in 2023)

The thought of setting call center and getting started immediately might be really rousing and you must want to start now. However, you have to hold yourself, complete the groundwork, and then only go ahead with launching a call center. For this, it is worth knowing the requirements to start a call center. This section covers the major things that you need to discover if you don’t know already and prepare yourself for call center setup.  

1.1 Define the budget and source of funds

Setting a call center needs you to bear expenses related to legal costs, infrastructure, manpower, and more. To make sure you make a strategy to start a call center within your budget, you need to first define how much you have in hand to invest in setting up your call center in 2023. You must get the cost estimation for different aspects if you don’t have one already. one Remember, the cost of different software, human resources, etc. change annually and as we have already hit December, you must get an estimation for 2023 to avoid shocks later on.

If you don’t have enough funds, you may also need to look for and decide the source of funds, which can be angel investors, stockholders, investors, partners, etc. You must decide whom you would take on board to meet the needs of funds for setting up a call center.

1.2 Choose the service type

The call center is a basket term. There are multiple branches burgeoning in this industry. Thus, it is necessary to decide which areas you will cover with your call center services. Even if you have the urge to serve all service areas, remember, you have to start slow to keep investment and finances under control. Following are some areas to consider.

1.2.1. Inbound call center 

Some call center service areas need you to set up an inbound call center. For example, customer care and technical customer support. For this, agents usually handle incoming calls from customers related to their issues and concerns. The inbound call center handles these calls and aims to focus on delivering exceptional customer experience. To handle inbound leads as well an inbound call center needs to be set up.

1.2.2. Outbound call center 

If you are thinking about a service area that would make more outbound calls, then you need to start an outbound call center in 2023. The classic examples of this type of call center are centers that run telemarketing and tele sales campaigns. The outbound call center also focuses on generating leads, collecting feedback, and running similar campaigns. 

1.2.3. Blended call center

 If your call center is going to handle the full cycle of the customer journey by handling both inbound and outbound calls, then you will need to set up a blended call center. This will help you handle bidirectional calls/ 

1.2.4. Omnichannel/ Multichannel/ Single Channel call center 

 Along with blended, inbound, and outbound call center setup criteria, you also need to define through which communication channels you will cater to clients. A single channel will cover only voice calls. A multichannel will cover more than one communication channel. An omnichannel will serve clients through unified communication channels, including, voice, video, chat, SMS, email, social media, and WhatsApp. 

1.3 Define call center setup requirements

Once you are clear with the service area, the next aspect to consider is where you will perform call center setup. There are two popular options available.

1.3.1 On-site call centers

To set up an on-site call center, one needs dedicated servers set up and configured on their premises. This will need physical servers, plus, physical space to complete the whole call center setup. This setup is considered to be more secure, but expensive as well.

1.3.2 Virtual call centers

This is one of the trending setup types of call centers. There are plenty of articles that would recommend you set up a virtual call center. This call center setup type uses cloud space to host and set up the call center. Virtual call centers can be set up on either dedicated or shared servers depending on your own business needs. A virtual call center is cheap as it offers a pay as you go model. Moreover, it supports amazing flexibility and really impressive uptime SLA (Service Level Agreement). This is the reason virtual call centers are gaining a lot of popularity among new and existing call centers.

1.4 Define the customer Avatar

This is another important aspect to consider. The customer Avatar depicts your ideal customer. The type of business your customer will have, the type of service he would be offering, his demographics and geography, call handling requirements, industry verticals, and more. This will help you in your marketing campaigns once you complete setting a call center.

1.5 Understand legislation

This is another vital aspect to consider while setting up your call center along with managing other call center setup requirements while setting up the call center. This will also define how you will define each call center process for smooth operations of the business. In different countries, the legislation related to customer care centers, BPOs, call centers, etc. is different. Thus, it is worth hiring an experienced lawyer or professional that can guide you through the legal call center process to set up your business. The legislation may also differ based on the fact that whether you will have an on-site call center or a virtual call center. Thus, discuss all aspects with your lawyer or professional to comply with the compliances. 

1.6 Complete the groundwork

Once you define all the necessary information, you need to start getting your hands dirty by taking practical steps. You must have finished the documentation process to showcase all factors along with a business plan to set up a call center business. The earlier steps will help you make quick choices and go through different processes for setting up your call center. So let’s get started.

1.6.1. Get physical space

This is a must if you want to set up an on-site call center. In that case, the physical space needs to be big to accommodate servers, staff, etc. Even if you will have a virtual call center setup, you may want to have an office to operate from. In some countries, for registration, having a physical office address is necessary. There also you will need this space. So depending on your requirement, get a physical space for your call center.

1.6.2. Complete the paperwork

To register your business, take a legal license, and other aspects, you may need some documents. You can get those ready before you start the process. Take the help of your lawyer to know what documents will be needed to register your business and get the license. 

1.6.3. Register your business

This is the first real step towards call center setup. You will take legal action to register your business and get the license. Depending on various driving factors, this process may take little time or longer. Make sure your paperwork is crystal clear, so you don’t face any major hindrances in this process.

2. Build your team

The next step to start your own call center in 2023 is building the right team. To run your business and build your team, you will need to consider hiring the following resources:

  • HR manager
  • Accounting expert
  • Call center supervisor
  • Call center agents

These are the main resources that you will need to start your call center. Depending on the size of your call center and other driving factors, you may need more or fewer resources. Always remember, your team defines the success of your business. Thus, it is necessary to build the right team with the right, experienced, and skilled team members.

2.1 Define work model

The first thing you need to define is whether you want to set up one of the virtual or on-site call centers. This will help you define whether you want to hire a local team or an international team. For virtual call centers, the hiring options are wide open as the international pool of talent is available for hire. Moreover, agents work in any condition, which is why it is a preferred model by several call centers.

2.2 Define HR policies

Often, call centers don’t bother to define human resource management policies prior and this can cause disruption in business later on. It is necessary to define and document detailed human resource related policies.

2.3 Define recruitment process

Once you are ready with the HR policies and operational model, you need to start the recruitment process. The best option is to outsource the recruitment process as it will reduce the workload and manage stress. However, you can also keep this process in-house by hiring an in-house recruiter or HR specialist for recruitment and running this process.

2.4 Devise onboarding and training program

While your recruiter is looking for the best talent for your call center, you can have the required discussions and meetings with your HR head to define the onboarding process. The onboarding process is necessary to start a call center successfully because when your team joins the call center, they need guidance on how the call center process will take place. From the first day vision explanation to giving a welcome kit and all other processes need to be documented to make the onboarding process smooth and quick.

Your hired manpower may also need training programs. Even if agents are experienced and know how to use infrastructure, how to have conversations, etc., you need to give them the training to share about your targeted KPIs, vision, competitive advantage, etc. For defining training programs, you may need to take the help of supervisors or the managing head to define the training program. 

3. Acquire the call center infrastructure

While you are preparing for setting up your call center, on the other hand, you must acquire the required infrastructure. Whether you have a cloud or on-site call center, you will need to get the infrastructure to run your business.

3.1 Internal communication tools

When you are seeking answers for how to start a call center, you need to find the best internal communication tools. Usually, businesses focus on customer communication tools and give no emphasis on internal solutions. However, it is necessary to keep the internal communication system empowered so the team can answer customers better.

  •  IP PBX

It is one of the best business phone systems, which can be used for internal and external communication. Many call centers use it to strengthen collaboration with one to one or extension calling and other features it has to support ongoing internal communication.

  • IP Phones or SIP Softphones

To make and receive calls, call centers need a telephony solution even if they use a VoIP based communication system. The IP phone and SIP Softphone solutions are two options available to use. Usually, call centers use SIP Softphone to simplify infrastructure management and reduce maintenance expenses, but depending on your infrastructure setup plan, you can use both of these or any of these options to set up an internal communication system. These tools will also be used to communicate with clients.

3.2 Customer communication tools

To run different campaigns and cater to clients, a call center needs different communication tools. There are several options available, but we have listed the top and must have tools here.

  • CRM software

To manage the complete customer journey, it is necessary to have a CRM solution in place. It must have a complete array of features and modules that let you store all details about the clients from the very first interaction to till date. Moreover, this software must allow you to introduce automation to make some operations mechanized to save resources.

  • Call center solution

The most important tool for launching an running a call center business in 2023 is definitely this software. A software solution like a DialShree: omnichannel contact center solution is a must for your business. It will have different features and modules to automate several processes in a call center and run different campaigns seamlessly. Its omnichannel nature will let you use different communication channels to delight clients and increase the productivity of the team. Thus, for customer care and communication, it is a must have tool.

If you are interested in exploring more about DialShree, don’t wait any further. Book a demo now! 

3.3 HR management tools

To manage your team, you will need human resource management tools like a system to keep attendance, a system for payroll processing, and more. Some CRM solutions have these modules as internal features and in that case, you may not need to have these tools. However, if your CRM system doesn’t support an HR module, then you must get a reliable and feature rich HR management tool. The reason is call centers usually have multiple people on their team and they need to be managed with the right approach.

3.4 Reporting and monitoring tools

One more vital tool to keep call center operations smooth and productive to achieve the defined goal is a monitoring and reporting tool. Live call monitoring has become a trend in the call center industry. Thus, you will need this tool to keep your operations running. You will also need to generate reports to review the overall performance of different KPIs, agents, and more. You may find these features within the software for call centers. However, if it is not available in your software or if the software provides very basic features of reporting and monitoring, then you better choose the option of an external tool to keep reporting and monitoring more effective. 

4. Conclusion

Starting a call center needs a methodical call center setup with different aspects kept in place to ensure the base is clear. If your preparation is correct, then you will not need to worry much about the ongoing processes. Things will go smoothly and as per the plan. You may wonder that the tools might be needed once staff is available or you may think that once the staff is ready, they must have tools in their access to commence work immediately. But, all these go hand in hand. It means you need to keep things ready before you actually commence and launch your call center.

The first step is to complete the groundwork with the required research, key personnel selection, and completing legal aspects. The second step is to hire the right team. At least, team leaders, business managers, and heads need to be hired. In parallel, get the right infrastructure depending on the fact, whether you will have an on-site or virtual business. Setting up your call center and onboarding the team can be done in parallel to save time. When everything is ready, then only launch your call center.

Invest the required time to invest in making the required preparation as mentioned in this article. We have decades of industry experience in assisting call center owners to set up their own call centers. By taking advantage of our years of experience, we have tried to cover all the answers to the vital question of how to start a call center. You must keep in mind all the aspects explained in this blog post to start your call center successfully and thrive. 

You can also take help from one of the top technology experts for successful call center setup if you don’t want to manage everything on your own from preparation to set up. We have been helping businesses by offering the best technology solutions and infrastructure. Moreover, we help them by providing consultation services based on our more than 15 years of experience as technology experts and partners in several call centers. We can help you as well to set up your own call center. To know more and discuss your ideas or call center setup requirements, get in touch with us.

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Contact Center Trends in South Africa for 2023

Contact Center Trends in South Africa for 2023

African countries are growing rapidly in different segments. South Africa is one of the African regions that have shown exponential growth in industries like oil and gas, banking, agriculture, telecom, infrastructure, and more. Along with investment and operations, customer care is one of the aspects that South African businesses need to care about. Setting up the best contact center with the right tools, infrastructure, and team is the demand of the time. As the new year has started, knowing major contact center trends 2023 can help in making more returns from the contact centers in South Africa.

There are several influential factors that have impacted contact center trends. According to one of the reports shared by Harvard, COVID 19 has increased the number of call volumes by up to 50%, which shows the importance of defining the right strategy to handle this increased call volume.

There are multiple trends in this industry and we are sharing the major ones in South Africa that will dominate different industries in 2023.

  • AI technology

Artificial Intelligence has been one of the contact center technology trends for many years. During and after the pandemic, it has shown rapid growth in adoption in South Africa and several other countries. From voice analytics to chatbots, there are so many mature applications built by artificial intelligence innovators. One of the reasons AI based applications are gaining popularity is the speed and quality it achieves by adding automation in operations and management. Thus, when you look for contact center automation trends, artificial intelligence dominates the industry there, too. AI and its application will be one of the major contact center trends to look for in 2023. Businesses based in South Africa are more likely to focus on this trend and even likely to adopt the same.

  • Cloud technology

When we talk about customer care and support, we cannot ignore major contact center technology trends. Cloud is one of the major technologies in this industry that will take South Africa based businesses by storm. Cloud call center software, in fact, has already started making a huge impact in the market of South Africa with its scalability, flexibility, and similar characteristics.

  • Remote work support

Since the COVID 19 pandemic hit the world, businesses have been facing increasing demand for remote work models. In fact, the businesses that had started working from home are still working from home. Customer care businesses are one of those businesses that have adopted remote working models. Thus, it is one of the major contact center trends 2023.

In addition to that, in South Africa, there are several businesses based on investment and funding. Investors from the USA, the UK, and similar countries fund businesses here to run and grow. Investors often have their own teams that work in collaboration with businesses in South Africa. Moreover, there are companies that hire international agents to offer exceptional customer care services. Therefore, focusing on contact center technology trends that can help in enhancing customer care standards and agent satisfaction is necessary.

  • Automation

The contact center industry faces a huge workload in more than half of the cases in South Africa. Thus, it becomes necessary to add automation in customer care and other jobs to handle the increased workload more efficiently and swimmingly. In several cases, contact center automation trends define how one can improve customer satisfaction by adding automation features. These automation trends are not limited to customer self serving options or customer care jobs. One can also add automation in supervision, routine operations, etc. It helps in increasing overall performance along with the quality of service and quality of calls. This is going to be a huge market shift as there are already many businesses interested in this one of the major contact center trends in South Africa this year.

  • Personalization

As competition grows, businesses need to go above and beyond to meet customer expectations. Receiving special treatment, while giving business to any brand, is one of the fundamental needs of any customer, in any country. As the South African market is making rapid changes and growth in several industry verticals, opportunities are spiking up. This is also increasing competition among businesses, which has increased the demand for personalized customer service delivery by contact centers and customer care centers. This is the reason, it is necessary to invest in contact center technology trends that can improve personalization in customer care and other touch-points that customers go through.

  • Omnichannel communication

Similar to other countries, in South Africa as well, omnichannel communication has become a major trend. Customers and businesses use different modes of communication and this is going to be one of the major contact center trends 2023. Each customer might not use all communication channels, but they use multiple communication channels. This increases the demand for the top customer care channels to be integrated into a single communication tool so agents can use it with ease and improve customer satisfaction. Using this trend can also helps in increasing personalization and improving customer satisfaction. Thus, it is one of the top contact center trends in South Africa that will dominate the year 2023.

  • Data Analytics

Data is mine in all businesses. Investors love data and often make their bids and bets depending on the data and reliability of the data. Customer care, sales, collection, and similar business operations are handled via contact centers. Thus, contact centers often have data. If leveraged correctly, contact center automation trends can help in mining, managing, and organizing data in well formatted and graspable reports. Technology companies have been working in this industry for many years and have built amazing capabilities in this direction. Data analytics is one of the contact center trends in South Africa that contact centers are already willing to integrate and leverage. This trend is dominating because not only helps in impressing investors, but also aids in improving customer care strategies and other business operations by understanding historical data.

Conclusion

In recent history, South African businesses have seen various changes in different aspects. From the pandemic to increasing investment opportunities, there are so many driving factors that have been uplifting the economy of South Africa. Along with growth opportunities, businesses in South Africa also face various challenges and this makes it necessary to set up the best contact centers. The contact center trends can directly contribute to touch several business aspects and enhance the growth model of business in South Africa.

We have identified and presented the top 7 contact center trends 2023, which can help you leverage the market scenarios in South Africa. Whether you are an investor or a business in this country, knowing these trends can help you lead this year as per your business goals and vision.

We also offer technology tools such as the best omnichannel contact center solution, DialShree that can help you level up your contact center game. We have covered all major contact center automation trends and technology trends in this software to benefit businesses in South Africa and even other African countries.

You can connect with our team to learn about our contact center industry related offerings, including, but not limited to software, consultation, and more. You may get started with a discussion of our software for the contact center. Contact us to book a demo NOW!

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How To Empower Collection Agents in NBFC Contact Centers?

How To Empower Collection Agents in NBFC Contact Centers_

According to a statistical result released by TrustPilot, around 90% of American consumers put customer experience as a major driving factor to choose a company with which they want to do business. There are so many statistical results available that favor customer service as the deciding criteria for consumers. This is the reason businesses heavily dependent on customer service such as an NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) invest in the best technology and team. They invest heavily in setting up an NBFC contact center with the best call center software and highly experienced customer service agents and debt collectors.

But, the question arises here is that, is that it?

Does hiring experienced agents and getting the best tools for an NBFC call center meet the need of improving the standard of customer services?

Well, that may handle one part of this crucial job, but it does not handle everything it should to improve customer experience. The job of debt collectors is quite complicated and stressful. Thus, NBFCs have to work on possible aspects to empower customer service agents, so they can work more productively and increase the efficiency of different campaigns like collection, loan management, KYC verification, and more.

According to the statistical result shared by Psycnet, the empowered team can provide better performance, they will be more satisfied with their job to reduce attrition, and they will show a higher level of loyalty to the organization. To leverage all these and several other advantages, follow the below mentioned tips to empower your collection agents and customer service agents in NBFC.

1. Build the right team

Whether you want to improve customer service or you just want to run collection campaigns in your NBFC to increase the recovery of dues, it is necessary to have the right team. Without hiring the best and most skilled debt collectors or customer service agents for your NBFC contact center, you will not be able to yield anything even if you give them all the liberty or use the best call center solution.

Do not hire agents that have worked in different campaigns of customer services, but hire agents that have experience working in banking or non banking financial companies. They can do better justice to the job if the right work culture is provided to them.

2. Share best practices

You cannot expect the best performance from your agents until you have kept them in the loop of expectations. Share and implement the best practices from the upper level of the NBFC call center. Create an open environment in which agents can thrive. They must have the right to share their opinion or ask any confusing questions that can help them improve customer service standards or their own performance. You can also document the best practices, so your agents can refer to them as and when they need.

3. Training and mentoring must be an integral part

Even if you have hired skilled and experienced agents, training and mentoring might be needed to keep your agents upgraded with technology, new standards related to customer services, new regulatory changes imposed on the NBFC contact center, and other aspects. Thus, training and mentoring at regular intervals are necessary. Moreover, demand based training and mentoring can also empower your customer service agents. For example, if there is any new type of debt collection case that has come across one of the debt collectors, then the supervisor or concerned person must mentor the agents during a live call or after the call depending on the situation. This will not only empower agents but also improve the operational model of an NBFC call center.

4. Don’t micromanage the team

Giving training and mentoring to agents is good to empower them and improve customer service scale, but micromanaging them would not. For example, if you have got the best call center solution for your NBFC contact center, then you must give the required training to agents. Moreover, you need to keep the work culture open, so agents can come and ask their questions without any fear of getting judged or marked as underperformers. Along with giving them the required support, give them the liberty to make decisions. They should be allowed to make decisions at a certain level based on their experience. This is the reason you hired experienced agents, right? So use their experience instead of guiding them on everything.

5. Provide the right tools

Experience, empowerment, and liberty will fail without the right tools. Thus, whether you want to empower your agents or increase the performance of your NBFC call center, it is necessary to get the best tools such as an NBFC solution, payment utility, IVR for collection, call center solution, etc. All these tools have to be advanced with value added features and technologies. For example, unified communication channels are necessary for your call center solution for NBFC as customers need omnichannel support. You have to provide the best tools to empower your agents. This can help them meet client expectations and the quality of campaigns related to customer services.

6. Don’t penalize for genuine mistakes

Mistakes are common and agents may make some genuine mistakes. In that case, you may discuss not making such mistakes personally with that agent. However, do not humiliate your team in front of other team members. Also, don’t impose any sort of penalties on your agents to make mistakes. They may feel demoralized and disconnected due to that. 

7. Implement a reliable quality assurance policy

Another vital step an NBFC can take to empower customer service agents in the NBFC is to implement the right QA policies. You can also use technology tools like AI voice analysis, which automates quality assurance of calls and services. This will also give direct clues to your agents to improve subtle areas that they might not notice due to busy work schedules or habits. This tool can be integrated into your call center solution and make quality assurance an integral process. This will empower your agents and improve the performance of the NBFC contact center.

Concluding notes

Debt collection and customer service agents play a very crucial role in the NBFC contact center. Giving them the right work culture, the best tools, the right to act without waiting for permission, and following other tips mentioned in this blog post can empower them. Focus your resources on agent empowerment because they do the tough job of delighting customers and even handling their mood swings. An empowered team of agents will be able to enjoy high job satisfaction and work life balance, which will clearly reflect in their performance and productivity. Thus, putting efforts into improving NBFC agents will definitely yield the best results.  

If you are interested in the right tools that can help you improve the efficiency of collection, empower your agents, automate processes, and benefit in other ways, then we can help. Our team has built exclusive solutions and tools for non banking financial companies like a payment utility, collection module, NBFC software, AI voice analysis, omnichannel call center solution, and more. Our business development team will be happy to demonstrate how you can take advantage of these powerful tools in a personalized demo. To book a demo, contact us NOW! 

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What Is a Hosted Contact Center Solution & How It Works?

What Is a Hosted Contact Center Solution_ And How Does It Work_

Increasing competition in different industry horizons makes it difficult to keep up with the increased revenue margins. Thus, it becomes necessary to increase customer retention and new sales. This can be possible with the right strategy in place. Human-machine combination of skilled agents and the best contact center software can help in improving the customer retention model along with the revenue generation strategy. 

As the use of this software has been increasing in different industry verticals, more and more companies have started jumping into the development industry to provide customized and innovative contact center solutions. Different aspects related to this software are improved. The hosted contact center solution is one of the intriguing inventions. It is not something new, but it has started increasing the adoption rate in the past few years.

As more and more businesses prefer hosted solutions over on premises contact centers, it is a must to understand it in detail.

What is a hosted contact center solution?

A contact center software solution is a fully functional solution that supports different call center operations such as cold calling, customer care, lead generation, sales, and more. A complete customer journey can be partially automated and completely enhanced with the best software for call centers. 

The contact center solutions can be hosted on the cloud or on the on-premise servers or shared servers. The cloud based solution is referred to as a hosted contact center solution. In general, the hosted contact centers are set up on the cloud space and owned by the providers. The call center service providers offer the hosted services to customers. This is another definition of this solution which defines that the software to support call center operations would be hosted on the cloud and offered as a rental solution to the call centers. This means businesses do not invest in buying the software. They also don’t invest in hosting or any other cost. Rather they use the best hosted contact center and pay for the service they use. It is also referred to as a virtual contact center. [ Cloud Call Center Solution vs. On-premises Call Center Solution ]

How does a hosted contact center work?

A hosted contact center provider will have feature rich contact center software hosted on the best cloud hosting space. The tenant, which can be a business, subscribes for the call center services to the hosted provider depending on the features they need. There can be different packages and a business needs to choose one package.

Unlike on premises contact centers, hosted contact centers are hosted on the cloud space and therefore, it has no other restrictions related to an on premises contact center. In fact, there are many advantages of using a hosted contact center.

What are the major advantages of a hosted contact center?

Let’s explore the top benefits of using a hosted contact center solution compared to an on premises contact center.

1. Rapid deployment

If there is the fastest deployment of a contact center software solution, then it is of a hosted contact center. The system will already be hosted on the cloud and all a provider needs to do is to create an instance of the software, grant access, and let you use the software. Unlike other contact center solutions, which may take weeks for deployment as one needs to install and configure servers and then deploy the software.

2. Flexibility

Getting a hosted solution is quite flexible compared to using an on-premise system. The world of call center solutions is a bit confusing for people that are not part of this industry. This can leave businesses confused or even lead to making the wrong choices. On the other hand, providers of hosted contact centers will have clear comparison charts, feature list segmented as per the required features in specific business or industry, and free consultation. The service provider will help you choose the right package for your business. That means it is the most flexible option to get started or even blossom with the right hosted software to run seamless call center operations.

3. Low cost

The cloud contact center software can reduce expenses drastically. First of all, the business does not need to pay for any of the following:

  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Hosting space
  • Development
  • Expert technical staff

There is a straight saving on all these aspects and this would be a huge saving. Moreover, the license fee will not need to be paid for this software. This reduces the capital cost of the business on using this technology. 

On the other hand, unlike on premises contact centers with a virtual solution, the businesses will not need to invest in recurring costs associated with technical maintenance of the software, servers, etc. The business will also not need a technical person to handle the software and its maintenance.

4. Excellent scalability

Any cloud solution gives commendable scalability. Unlike an on premises contact center, businesses don’t need to wait to get the servers and configure them. Plenty of cloud space is available and the providers usually offer seat or system scalability on demand basis. It may take a few hours or days to scale up the capacity of the system.

5. No technical hassle

All technical aspects related to the contact center software will be handled by the service provider. From failover and recovery support to software upgrade, regular backup, and more. A business using a hosted contact center does not need to have any technical knowledge or expertise in his team. This is a great relief for a business as the technical aspects are handled completely by the provider.

6. No vendor dependencies

Even if a business uses a hosted contact center solution from one provider, if the business is not satisfied with software, service, or anything else, it can make a switch to another provider. If you are using one of the on-premise contact center solutions, once you buy the license, changing the software can be a great hassle and it would be very expensive. The whole process of finding the right software, installing it, using it, learning the usage, etc. should be done again. Unlike that, if you use a cloud solution, you can change the provider any time to meet your needs with lower economical risks.

7. Seamless call center operations

The cloud based hosted contact centers can be securely accessed from anywhere, at any time. Therefore, it will help in running the business in any situation. In fact, it also provides added advantages of using a cloud solution over an on premises contact center such as access to the global talent pool, remote working model, and more.

Conclusion

The hosted call center solutions are highly scalable, secure, and lean, the capital investment over this software is quite low compared to on premises contact centers. This can really help in getting started without having a huge budget to launch an owned contact center business. There are several advantages of a hosted solution over an on-premise system, which makes them perfect to grow and scale up business and revenue generation models. 

We have been offering the best hosted contact center solution to our customers for several years along with our other call center software related offerings. We have pay as you go models to give you the opportunities of increasing ROI up to 60%. Let our team explain more about our offerings and how we can help. Get In Touch With Us NOW!

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What is Salesforce CTI Integration? How to Set it up

What is Salesforce CTI Integration_ How to Set it up

In the past decade, businesses have shifted their focus from business centric processes to customer centric processes. The reason behind this shift is clear competition is getting way too fierce, profit margins are declining, and customers are more aware of their rights and options. Along with implementing the right processes, the companies also need to focus on adopting the right technology and tools to manage customer relationships and data.

The customer relationship management (CRM) solution is one of the most widely used tools to manage customer records in businesses. It is widely used because it lets businesses store extensive information about customers, including invoices, payroll, sales receipts, and other details. This software also helps in automating customer care, marketing, sales, and similar business operations.

There are multiple CRM systems available in the market. Salesforce is one of the top CRM systems available in the market. It is a cloud based solution, which adds flexibility and convenience of using the system remotely with exceptional functionalities and features.

Even if Salesforce is a powerful customer relationship management tool, it is not complete until it has CTI features in it.

What is CTI for Salesforce?

CTI is an acronym for Computer Telephony Integration. Technically, CTI is a phenomenon of integrating telephony features into the software. When we talk about CTI for Salesforce, it indicates the integration of telephony features into the Salesforce CRM system. Companies that have expertise in CTI Salesforce integration can integrate these features.

Once telephony integration with Salesforce is completed, it will give major telephony features access to the agents such as:

  • Call mute and un-mute
  • Call park and pickup
  • Call forwarding
  • Call transfer
  • And more

To let Salesforce users use the telephony mechanism within this CRM, it becomes vital to integrate a call center solution with it. VICIDial CTI integration with Salesforce is quite common and popular. This integration will provide the dialer of VICIDial to executives using the CRM system. It also provides added features such as click to call within Salesforce after VICIDial Salesforce integration. Thus, with a single click, the executive can make a call from Salesforce and the call controls aka telephony features are provided by VICIDial.

The whole process will be very subtle and the executives using the Salesforce telephone integration based system will never get to know this whole mechanism. In fact, they would not even realize that they are using a Salesforce CTI integration based solution if they are not told.

In a nutshell, CTI Salesforce integration will provide telephony features to the users of this CRM system to connect with clients.

What are the key features made available with Salesforce CTI integration?

  • Click to call to initiate the call and outbound calling features to let agents make calls to customers or prospects through the CRM system.
  • Embed a dialer widget to provide access to telephony features made available with CTI integration Salesforce.
  • Call recording feature to record all calls for quality and training purposes. These call recording files will be made available in the VICIDial solution or the predefined storage system.
  • Disposition details to provide call wrap up information to other agents who would handle the next call.
  • Reports to let supervisors explore the details of major key performance indicators.
  • Data push feature along with phone integration with Salesforce to let executives push imported data from Salesforce to VICIDial and vice versa.

VICIDial is just an example to give clarity on CTI integration Salesforce and its features. The best company offering Salesforce CTI integration can integrate CTI features with Salesforce with any other call center solution or telephony system.

How to set up CTI integration in Salesforce?

First of all, you need to understand that Salesforce telephone integration is a technical job. Thus, if you would take the help of an expert company offering premium CTI Salesforce integration services, then it would be a more trouble-free job. If you have technical expertise, then you can follow the below mentioned steps to set up CTI integration in Salesforce:

  • You need to have access to the code of your call center software for CTI integration Salesforce.
  • Use AppExchange of Salesforce, which lets you integrate third party API with Salesforce. You need to get the dialer API of your call center solution and integrate it with the Salesforce solution for effective phone integration with Salesforce.
  • Enable open computer telephony integration features for your Salesforce apps.
  • Give access to the Salesforce telephone integration based solution to all agents or executives that need to use telephony features during their day to day operations.

It may sound easy, but without technical expertise or knowledge, it is not possible to initiate and complete the process of Salesforce CTI integration. You must know how to use both call center and CRM systems; how to extract APIs and how to integrate them.

The best CTI integration Salesforce provider companies also design the GUI for click to call feature implementation, dialer popup, etc. You will need to make those designs or implementations as well for seamless use of the software made available with CTI integration in Salesforce.

Key benefits of Salesforce CTI integration:

There are multiple advantages of using telephony integration with Salesforce solution:

1. Make business operations seamless

Usually, CRM systems are used only to manage customer records. However, to make calls, agents need to use another system. CTI integration Salesforce provides features of both Salesforce and call center solutions within a single system and makes it easily accessible in a single window. This helps in reducing manual efforts and the hassle of managing and using two systems. This is indeed a great boon for businesses in which customer relationship management is the real focus.

2. Help in delivering personalized customer experience

To deliver satisfactory responses over a call, it is necessary to have the required details in front of the sight of an agent. With the CTI integration in Salesforce, the agents can review all customer information on their screen and also have the call center dialer features. This makes their lives easier and jobs more efficient. This is not possible without CTI integration in Salesforce.

3. Increase productivity

The integration of CTI features within the Salesforce CRM software makes sure that agents don’t need to switch between CRM and call center or telephony dialer. This reduces the time otherwise wasted in moving back and forth between two systems. Moreover, multiple jobs get automated with this integration. This helps in increasing the productivity of agents as now they concentrate only on efficient operations.

Wrap up

In a nutshell, CTI integration Salesforce is the most preferable technical bridge you must create between Salesforce and telephony solution to make your agents more productive and performance driven. It can save a lot of time and effort with automation. It can also boost their morale by providing the required features and information to agents, so they can have more context driven conversations.

Setting up this integrated solution needs technical expertise in telephony dial pad or platform along with the Salesforce CRM system. If you don’t have those technical skills, it is recommended to take the help of the company that offers CTI Salesforce integration services. We provide this integration. Contact us for more details and to book a demo Now!

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