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Hold Time

Definition

What is Hold Time?

Hold time is the average amount of time a caller spends on an agent-initiated hold status. This is when the caller connects with the agent, having a normal conversation, and then the agent holds the call. It indicates that the call is not disconnected. Agents may hold callers on for several reasons. This includes the need to persuade their boss to help fix the caller’s dilemma.

Hold time is a measure that should be handled by contact centers and held to a minimum. Higher hold times are an indication that something is wrong and the team should examine and fix the issue. Since average hold times can be drilled down to the agent stage, this is a good place to start. The management must track the hold time all the time and action when it is out of balance. Excessive hold times will spoil the customer’s experience. Effectively controlling wait time is one more contact center mechanism that can be used in their effort to offer reliably high-quality service.

What is Hold Time
What is Hold Time?

Calculation of hold time in a call center

The average hold time is the time that the customer spends in the line until the agent responds to the query. Here’s how to measure the total wait time at the call center:

  • Under a given timeline, sum up the hours all callers have been waited on hold and split by the number of callers.

Example:

There are 100 calls out of 2000 minutes, with a total hold time of 600 minutes, and 500 minutes of follow-up time, divided by the number of callers. The average hold time will be 31 minutes.

Outsourcing FAQ

What is Fully Managed Outsourcing?

What is fully managed outsourcing?

Fully Managed Outsourcing is one of the many services offered online by various outsourcing companies. It is a kind of laser-focused management that takes over the business process and tracking of the organization’s KPI metrics, training and development of employees, and quality assurance for the client. When routine tasks and jobs are outsourced, the company will have more time to focus on the more essential aspects of the business.

Fully managed service

Working with a fully managed outsourcing can be beneficial to any specific organization. Despite working offshore, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies can still provide a fully managed service to their clients. They ensure the best operational structure, competitive pricing structure, proven processes, and guaranteed results with their operational overseers. They can build a team and hierarchy; they do well-prepared implementation and alignment; and are also aligned to their high-quality mission, objectives, and culture. This kind of partnership promises a deliverable-based solution that can hit KPIs, targets, and metrics. Lastly, they can ensure continuous improvement as you go along with your business.

Outsource Accelerator provides you access to the best outsourcing companies in the Philippines, where you can save up to 70% on staffing cost. We have over 3,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with fully managed outsourcing.

What is Customer Satisfaction Rating (CSAT)?

What is customer satisfaction (CSAT)?

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a popular key performance indicator that tracks customer satisfaction. The process involves a survey question or a set of questions. 

The customers answer by indicating their level of satisfaction. The most popular scale is 1 to 10, with 1 being the least satisfied and 10 as the most satisfying level.

The result gives a business the necessary output whether or not to improve customer service right there and then. However, the possible ambiguity might be a disadvantage, especially if a customer is dissatisfied with the service.

Why is CSAT important?

CSAT scores allow companies to look into how their customer feels in each interaction with sales agents. CSAT provides business leaders with two important pieces of information — a detailed insight into every touchpoint of the customer journey and the overall customer experience.

Customer satisfaction scores enable businesses to determine the pain points in their service that impacts the customer journey. Addressing all these pain points and correcting them helps identify unhappy customers and turn them into happy customers, which in turn, increases the customer lifetime value over time.

Buyers are also more likely to become repeat customers — and eventually, become loyal clients — if they have experienced an excellent customer experience in a particular business.

Moreover, because CSAT is measured through doing a customer satisfaction survey, as well as gathering feedback and online reviews, sales agents can do a deep dive into their customer base. This means that they now have access and the capacity to understand what their clients need and want from any business.

How to calculate CSAT?

Measuring CSAT is pretty straightforward.

All you have to do is add the positive responses together, divide them by the total number of responses collected,  then multiply by 100. The outcome leaves you with the overall percentage of customer satisfaction in your business.

For example, if 50 people took part in your customer survey and 30 of them gave positive feedback — your CSAT score would then be 60%.

See here:

(30 positive responses / 50 total responses = .60 x 100 = 60%)

This indicates that while the majority of your clients are satisfied with your service, you can still improve it to better serve your customers.

The best time for measuring customer satisfaction is post-sales. These times are especially crucial for repeat and new customers as the experience is still fresh in their minds.

What is a good CSAT score?

Now that your customer satisfaction score, the next thing to do is determine if it is good enough to guarantee excellent customer service. Is your numerical score enough to gain new customers and improve the overall customer lifecycle?

While every industry has different standards for CSAT scores, an excellent rate usually falls between 75% to 80%. Reaching this customer satisfaction rate means that three out of every four buyers had a positive experience with your brand.

While most companies would love to see 100% satisfaction in their services, that is rarely the case. Additionally, the pandemic has certainly affected customer happiness when purchasing a product or service.

Each buyer has their own opinions and standards. Having customer conversations, hearing their responses, and gauging customer happiness ton a product or service can help companies create new strategies that could improve customer satisfaction.

CSAT in outsourcing

Customer satisfaction score might be the simplest metric but it’s a powerful tool for all businesses. It encompasses the whole customer journey and helps businesses determine the things that they should improve on to gain customer loyalty.

Measuring customer satisfaction is quick and easy. You add up all the ratings and divide the total score by the number of respondents. Most likely, you’ll get a percentage.

Get your customer satisfaction score a notch higher by outsourcing your customer service team. Check out Outsource Accelerator’s extensive list of outsourcing companies in the Philippines.

Strengthening customer loyalty with CSAT

Customer loyalty refers to buyers who always go back to your brand to do repeat business. It is usually brought on by customer satisfaction, positive customer experiences, and the overall value of the goods or services a customer receives from a business.

A company's CSAT score evaluates the services of different brands and determines if your company is able to retain customers instead of losing them to competitors. It also brings customer feedback so that businesses can strengthen their services.

It could be hard for business owners or sales representatives to identify unhappy customers from satisfied customers. CSAT surveys assist in detecting customer satisfaction at the earliest stage of the customer lifecycle.

They allow companies to amend poor customer service and improve it before experiencing the worst-case scenario — customer churn.

Remember, customer expectations for a possible repeat business rather than lose them to competing brands. Trust is a critical part of any business relationship, but finding the right strategies to improve it — along with your customer satisfaction — can be challenging.

There is more than one side to the customer satisfaction equation. The key to improving customer satisfaction is a healthy balance between understanding and improving performance internally while doing the same with customers externally.

Tips to improve your CSAT scores

There are a couple of tricks that you can use to improve your CSAT score and ensure excellent customer interaction all the time. Here are some of them:

Request customer feedback

The easiest way to gauge your market's reaction to your products or services is to ask them to rate their customer experience. This can be done by handing out customer satisfaction surveys to post-calls or asking them for an online review.

Gathering customer feedback will help you determine the issues in your service and address it quickly so that you wouldn't lose the trust of your clients.

Meet customer expectations

Customers usually expect to gain whatever good things you have said about your business. So, to keep them satisfied, it is important for your whole team to work hard in meeting those expectations.

For example, if you say that your customer support call center is open 24 hours, then you have to put some of your staff on standby at all times for any inbound calls. If you advertise that there is a promo for a specific product, then you have to uphold for every buyer.

Additionally, it is important to remain transparent with your consumers. From the time that they are still prospective buyers, you have to make sure that they already know what to expect from your brand and the policies that they will be agreeing with as paying customers.

Provide proactive customer service

If you want to boost customer satisfaction, you have to make sure first that you have a dedicated contact center for your clients. This contact must be personal, timely, and always pertinent to the user.

Reduce inbound calls in call centers as they increase agent effectiveness. By offering customer service proactively you can show the customer that good support does not only benefit the business.

CSAT vs NPS vs CES

CSAT is not the only key performance indicator that measures customer satisfaction. Businesses also look into their net promoter score (NPS) and customer effort score (CES) to capture customer feedback and measure customer loyalty.

The net promoter score determines the likelihood of customers recommending your business to other consumers. The higher your NPS score is, the bigger chance there is for brand recognition. NPS scores are usually measured using a 1-10 rating system.

CES, meanwhile, measures customer sentiment on how well they have used your products or services. The CES surveys aim to determine the ease or difficulty of customers deciding on purchasing your products.

What is What is business process outsourcing?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.

Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following.

Payroll Accounting Human resources Customer service Sales Marketing

In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.

With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.

Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.

It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India.

Global market

Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries.

Global presence

At the same time, business process outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area.

Flexible workforce

BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm.

Leverage skill

Companies cannot always do everything on their own. BPO enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT.

Focus

Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider.

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.

BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team. Some examples of BPO include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.

Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following.

Legal process outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.

Knowledge process outsourcing

Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives.

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting

Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss.

Healthcare

Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries.

Creative and content

Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content.

Tech, IT and development

IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries.

Sales & customer support

Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase.

Marketing

BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way.

Talent and HR

Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management.

Administration

Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions.

Supply chain management

Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes.

Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below.

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.

Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ BPOs from different locations.

Outsource Accelerator's offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

What is a Support Ticket?

What is a support ticket?

A support ticket is a conversation between a customer service agent and a customer. A support ticket is a system that allows customer support teams to manage, categorize, and prioritize customer concerns. A support ticket allows your teams to identify:

What channel the customer used to send in their concern, To whom the ticket is assigned to, Whether the concern is a general concern or a more technical question, How long the ticket has been open, and Whether the concern is frequently asked.

As such, the information provided by a support ticket allows the team to track trends in concerns, to prioritize high-value customers, and funnel questions to qualified customer service agents.

Outsourcing support ticket

Outsource Accelerator has over 3,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn more about managing an outsourcing team and ensuring that support ticket resolutions are kept high.

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.