My Transcom Experience

Posts published March

Customer service – a strong growth driver in e-commerce

In recent years e-commerce has reported staggering growth worldwide. In June 2014, Ecommerce Europe published its 2014 report on European e-commerce in the Business to Consumer (B2C) market for goods and services, offering an updated picture of the market size in Europe and the rest of the world.

According to the report, total turnover for e-commerce in the European market in 2013 was EUR 363 bn (+16% on 2012), a figure which is expected to grow to EUR 425 bn in 2014. The Asia-Pacific region is the global leader, with EUR 406 bn, while North America ranks third after Europe with EUR 334 bn.

Global 2013 b2c e-commerce data

Source: Ecommerce Europe Association

The biggest e-commerce markets in Europe are the UKGermany and France. Together these three countries make up more than 60 percent of the entire European market.

The fastest acceleration in recent years has been in Eastern Europe, with Russia rising by nearly 50 percent compared to last year.

In 2013, Italy reported sales of EUR 11 bn (+20% on 2012). Although, this figure is lower than in other European countries, the Italian market is regarded as one of the most promising, as demonstrated by the steep rise in the number of online buyers, which over the last three years has grown from 9 to 16 million.

Europe 2013 b2c e-commerce data

Source: Ecommerce Europe Association

In such a dynamic global context, competition is based on the ability to offer a simple and consistent buying experience across all touch points. Accessibility and continuity are the keywords for the modern consumer: the web, product comparisons and careful consideration of reviews are the starting point for all purchases. Nonetheless, many ‘e-shoppers’ want the option of human contact and demand quality, competence and availability.

This is where Customer Service plays a key role. By providing quick and consistent answers (by phone, chat services, social media and email) to questions about products, payments, delivery times and return procedures, Customer Service is transformed from a cost center into a profit driver by exploiting the true value of e-commerce: establishing a relationship with the buyer. But the solidity of relationships is put to the test when problems arise (delays, undelivered products or other unexpected events). And this is where Customer Service can show its mettle by restoring customers’ trust (and loyalty) through service that is consistently first class and integrated across multiple channels.

Transcom has long experience of working with leading brands that offer various goods and services online. For example, clothing, fashion accessories, consumer electronics, travel, financial services and online payments. During the years, we have used our expertise to become a global outsourcer specialized in the ‘e-customer experience’:

  • Innovation: We develop personalized customer care apps and automated self-care, automatic call-back solutions for our clients to improve the customer experience.
  • Multilingualism: By offering services in many different languages, Transcom has helped many of our clients to expand into new markets.
  • multichannel approach and social customer care: We have agents who are specialized in the delicate process of managing online customer service conversations (Facebook, Twitter, chat etc).
  • Flexibility: we can cater for seasonal peaks without compromising service quality, which is guaranteed by strict control procedures and ongoing training.
  • Sales orientation: by using  specialized teams and best practices tested worldwide, we know how to encourage retention and reacquisition, which translates into growth and value for the client.
  • This value is also generated by cost reductions resulting from the mix of onshoring, nearshoring and offshoring services offered by Transcom.

Our clients confirm that they have achieved results which are both important and measurable. As the experts’ estimates demonstrate, e-commerce has huge potential. In this increasingly global, mobile and connected world, Transcom serves digital companies in all sectors with one goal in common: to become a market leader within their industry.

Author: Manuel Alcaide

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Building leadership in Transcom Atica

In the contact center industry, middle managers’ leadership can make the difference between success and failure of services and projects. In Transcom we deliver services that engage large teams, sometime about 300-400 people.

In each case, in front of these large teams we count on a few brave men and women leading the services. At some point in their careers they decided to step forward. They chose not to remain in the background and found the motivation to help a group of people to achieve a set of objectives and results that would ensure the whole projects continuity.

During the latest months, we at Transcom Atica have tried a new set-up of leadership training. By using group dynamics and role-plays activities, we try to reinforce the leadership of the managers with one superior aim: we want our leaders to transmit credibility, respect and good management to their teams.

 

Leadership Training session

How to display this leadership? I always picture a scene from the film Gladiator (2000), a movie where you find a good overview of the qualities a good leader should have. In the scene of the first battle that occurs at the Colosseum in Rome, a group of men are thrown out into the arena. They know what they face, but they do not know each other. At that time, one of them takes a step forward, raises the situation realistically and proposes to fight together in order to survive. He manages to organize the team, set the goals, and encourages his teammates. Finally, at a critical moment, he takes over to solve the situation. This scene is quite similar in being a leader in our sector: without the help of your team, is impossible to reach the expected results.

Teamwork is the only option to ensure the real and ultimate success in a professional project. The talent of the leader will be determinant to solve a delicate meeting, he or she will notice the “moments of truth” and will take difficult decisions, but to achieve any sustainable success in time, the work done by “your” team will be critical to ensure your success as a leader.

If you lead a team and at some point has doubts if it’s worth all the effort… let me solve the mystery for you: yes, it is!  Try to remember the day you accepted that responsibility and were promoted, the thrill when you shared the news with your friends and family, your eagerness to face the challenge… and how you found in that experience the energy to take that step forward that makes the difference in being a leader.

Over time, you will be able to look back and tell yourself, “I stepped forward, I did not stay in the background and I dared to lead a group of people” It is one of the best professional experiences you will have throughout your career.

 “Talent wins games, teamwork wins championships”

Author: Linda Jansson

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An innovative trainer that thinks outside the box

My name is Linda and I’m the value ambassador in Sweden for Transcom’s core value Innovation. I’ve worked at Transcom Karlskoga for about two and a half years. I started, as many others, as an agent for one of our client’s retail support. Shortly thereafter I become head of quality assurance for the sound files recorded by our client’s telemarketing retailer. Since one year back I’m also a trainer for our business area.

Both the telecom and the communication business are fields that change very fast, sometimes overnight. For example; a few weeks ago one of Transcom’s clients in the telecom area launched something that literary changed the business and therefore also our way of working. All to provide outstanding custumer experience.

In connection to this big launch our client  conducted several events and training sessions together with us to prepare everyone in the best possible way – a way that made everyone feel involved and able to embrace all the new changes with openness and enthusiasm.

As a trainer and value ambassador for Innovation, it’s my goal to get the agents to be all set and manage changes like this with an open mind and not least joyfulness.

I always invite the agents to think outside the box, to trust themselves to make their own decisions and come up with new proposals to develop and improve for our clients and custumers – to be innovative!

 

Removing the fear of closing a sale

The moment of truth of any sales services is when the agent has to make the final question and ask for confirmation to close the deal. But it is also a loaded moment for most of the agents that may experience what we call: fear of closing.

Experience tells us that we can only influence around a 50 to 55% of the persons we contact during our workday. Although we would like that all these individuals accepted our offer or product, we know that this is not at realistic target. Furthermore, we have to be aware that our customer’s refusal in most cases is due to a set of variables as the price, their economic situation, bad previous experience etc. All these factors have nothing to do with our agents’ performance.

When facing a challenging customer, the agent tends to conclude that person is not interested. This negative mindset generates itself a negative response. Therefore, to minimize the risk of a negative answer we must be mentally positive and not let our attitude impact the outcome of the call.

At Transcom, we continuously invest  in our agents’ training and spend many hours on product training, telemarketing techniques, techniques for dealing with conflict situations, teaching agents how to handle objections, etc…But do we invest enough time to teach agents how to introduce the “closing question”, are we investing enough effort to prepare them for a refusal, and eliminating their psychological barrier to the customer’s negative answer?

In order to prepare our agents to overcome the apprehension they may have to face in a call we must work through training and role play, practicing different situations that we will find in our daily work life.

We are convinced that the success of a good education and training depends on several factors:

  • Adequate knowledge of our products so that every agent properly can explain the benefits in case the person decides to close the deal during the call.
  • Empathize with our customers to create a trusting environment that results in an acceptance of the call as a valid sales channel.
  • Eliminate fears to solve any query or objection posted by our customers, learning to turn those weaknesses into strengths that customers can appreciate.
  • Overcoming fear of rejection, which causes insecurity, and therefore a call lengthening when making the final closing question.

By training our agents in all the mentioned points above we will be able to perform a graceful closing call and to achieve a positive resolution in a higher success rate for our clients.

If we want to improve our customer experience, we must be able to empathize with customers and make them feel comfortable during the call. In each interaction we must ensure that our customer feels that the decision is theirs.  Only working with these principles we will be able to consolidate new customers, improve our customer’s satisfaction index and, possibly, increase the rate of persistence by achieving a greater sense of affiliation between the customer and our partner.