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  • Overseas Call Centers. Do they cost more than you save?

    by Hot Calls Inc. | Aug 27, 2015

    We’ve all experienced it before. Your internet is out, your phone stopped working, or you want to follow up on a recent change to a plan you have with a company. So you call the customer service number and are connected to “Andrew”. “Andrew” with an accent so thick that you’re not even sure if  “Andrew” is speaking English.

    And what happens? Your frustration builds as spell out letter by letter your first name, last name, work (and home) address, email address, phone number and the best number to call you back should you get disconnected, because “Andrew” is in the Philippineans where you have better chance of getting disconnected than you do not having to repeat a sentence.

    Now think about how mad you are at not only the customer service rep, but also the company you are doing business with. Is that the kind of interaction you want your customers to have with your business?

    Sure, outsourcing can be great. You need some packaging printed for cheap, or plastic manufactured for a tenth of the cost than in the States going overseas can save you a lot of money. And it’s not like your customer will have to speak with your outsourced labor.

    But why on earth would you outsource communication duties to some one who can’t do the most important aspect of the job. Communicate!

    Customer complaints got so bad for computer giant, Dell, they had to move its call center operations from Bangalore, India back to the U.S or risk losing significant business—particularity from their corporate accounts.Ronald Kronk, a Presbyterian minister in Rochester, Pa describes his experience with Dell’s India call center: "They're extremely polite, but I call it sponge listening — they just soak it in and say 'I can understand why you're angry' but nothing happens,”. He adds Every time I see a Dell commercial on TV, I just cringe. They make it sound so easy and it's been a nightmare," Kronk said. "I even said to them once that I'd like to speak to someone in the U.S. They gave me a number but it's a recording and I can't speak to a human being."

    YOU’RE LOSING MONEY

    “If a customer is confused or dissatisfied, it could cost a company sales, and they don't want to miss out on opportunities, especially when it comes to big-ticket items.” Frank Witsil of Detroit Free Press says in his piece Call Centers Jobs Increase as More Return from Oversees”

    GM in the past five years has moved its call center duties from Buenos Aries, Argentina back to the States. Klaus-Peter Martin, a GM Spokesman said of the move: "We want to provide the best possible service," Martin said, pointing out that a bad experience on the phone with a GM representative could result in a lost sale for the company. "Every touch point is an opportunity."

    YOU, YOURSELF CAN’T EVEN COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR OUTSOURCED PARTNER.

    So you’re just fine with your customers calling your outsourced customer representative. But what happens when you have to speak with your outsourced call center?

    Many businesses are growing frustrated with the lack of collaboration between foreign operators and their American-based operations. For one, they’re in a different time zone. And sure, the phone reps are working during American business hours, but often times the owners, or head manager of the call center is not. Why would they, its 3:00 in the morning when you’re calling.

    And, often times they themselves do not speak the King’s English, making YOUR INTERACTION JUST AS DIFFICULT.

    HotCalls, only employs native English speakers giving your customers the over-phone clarity and satisfaction they demand.  Plus using American call center reps also helps us in becoming experts in our client’s business faster and with a better understanding than that overseas labor.

    HOTCALLS

    We are exclusively U.S.-based, and the Hot Calls staff represents your brand with a level of knowledge and enthusiasm that results in higher customer service scores every time.

    We invite you to call us anytime to discuss any aspect of our company. Better yet, we invite you to come visit us in person—at any stage in your selection process. You can meet our owners and call center staff. You’ll experience the enthusiasm, identification with our clients’ brands, and commitment to service that sets us apart from other outsourced contact centers.

  • Cellphone Data Usage Calculator

    by Hot Calls Inc. | Aug 26, 2015

    Ever wonder how much data you're streaming from YouTube, listening to Spotify, or browsing Facebook and Instagramming? With data plans slowly increasing and the amount we depend on our phones for both work and personal it’s important to be able to calculate how much data you or some one on your plan is using to avoid overage fees.

    This handy mobile calculator can help you find out what you can do with your data allowance. Stop how many emails can you send before your data allowance runs out? How many times can you watch that video of the surprised kitty before your internet screams "no more!"?


    Brought to you byConfused.com
  • Social Media: The New Customer Service Channel

    by Hot Calls Inc. | Aug 13, 2015
    More and more companies are seeing an increase in customers seeking out help via a company’s social property. So much so that Facebook is now one of big three customer service channels joining phone and email.

    Utilizing social media, especially for companies in the B2C space can be a great way to communicate with your customer, provide information and address customer inquiries.

    I myself have used social media to interact with a company.

    Not too long ago I was given the wrong sub from a Jimmy Johns. Frustrated with receiving the wrong order and too far to go to return the sub I took to Facebook to complain.

    To my amazement they responded, and quickly. Their social media personality, who goes by Jimmy, did not hesitate to ask if it would be all right to send me a private message. Please not:  “Jimmy’s” account is more than likely a team of 10 plus individuals responding to Facebook messages.

    In a private message they asked what I had ordered and from which store. I told them. After 5 minutes, probably verifying my claim, they responded by asking for my email address and that next I go to a Jimmy Johns give them a promo code and I would receive a free sub to make-up for it. WOW! I did not imagine my rant on their page to be met with a customer service rep rectifying the situation…and quickly.

    With more and more customers taking to social media channels what are the expectations? With phone you can expect to be on hold from anywhere from 5 minutes to (what can feel like) 5 hours. Email, most customers expect a response within 24 hours.

    The website Convince and Covert recently ran a poll to find out what customers expectations are when they interact with a companies social media property.

    They were shocked to discover that  among those respondents who have ever attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, 57% expect the same response time at night and on weekends as during normal business hours.”  Furthermore, of that number 24% expected response time within 30 minutes. 

    Head of Social Media for Cathay Pacific Airways, Dennis Owen says “The world of social media has dramatically changed over the past few years,”…“No longer is social media just about clever marketing campaigns or gathering as many fans as you can on Facebook.” Customers are using the media channel as a means to have their questions answered, concerns addressed and problems solved.

    “It pays to respond quickly,” says Alleli Aspili of Business 2 Community. “Just ask XBox, who’s (sic) said to be the most responsive brand on Twitter.  Their Elite Tweet Fleet operates between 6 AM – 12 AM PT Monday to Friday, and 9 AM – 6 PM on weekends. This might be hard to do if you don’t have the resources to operate in such long hours, but this is why outsourcing customer service is a smart move.

     
    At HotCalls we’ve see more than just the need in social media customer service representation—we also see the intrinsic value in using social media to interact with customers.

    In the next few months we’ll be rolling out a new social media comprised of expert users in Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc. Please keep posted for more information

     HOTCALLS

    We are exclusively U.S.-based, and the Hot Calls staff represents your brand with a level of knowledge and enthusiasm that results in higher customer service scores every time. 

    We invite you to call us anytime to discuss any aspect of our company. Better yet, we invite you to come visit us in person—at any stage in your selection process. You can meet our owners and call center staff. You’ll experience the enthusiasm, identification with our clients’ brands, and commitment to service that sets us apart from other outsourced contact centers.

  • Inside an Indian Call Center

    by Hot Calls Inc. | Aug 06, 2015

    Ever wonder what it takes for some one in India to become a call center representative, what their work environment is like or what life is like after making $2.00 a day

    Andrew Marantz of Mother Jones, who happens to be American-born spent time in an Indian call-center where he experienced first-hand what really happens and tells about it in his piece My Summer at an Indian Call Center

    In his piece Marantz describes extensive training in pronunciation, pop-quizzes in western pop culture and how to lose one’ s culture and attempt to adopt a new one.

     To read Marantz full piece please visits

  • You've Filled the Top of the Sales Funnel. Now What?

    by Hot Calls Inc. | Jan 28, 2014

    "You will not be successful unless you have prospectors prospecting, closers closing, and inbound lead qualifying done by people in a dedicated qualifying role. If you do that, usually companies triple how fast a qualified lead is generated."

    So says Aaron Ross, author of Predictable Revenue and former senior sales executive at Salesforce.com. Is your sales team focused for success? Are your account execs working primarily on closing deals? Are your account managers specializing in nurturing and growing revenues once the account exec has closed the deal?

    That would be optimal, but in many companies we see the account execs and managers working higher up in the pipeline to qualify leads from marketing programs. To be most effective you should have dedicated sales development people who specialize in qualifying leads and scheduling meetings to hand off to the closers.

    But that role of sales development is most certainly a combination of art and science that is difficult to staff. You need someone hungry enough to call a number 16 times before getting the person on the phone, plus a seasoned business professional who knows how to turn a "no" into a "yes." Finding that skill set in one person is the challenge.

    Qualify Leads Strategically

    By outsourcing the sales development to a company like Hot Calls, you can free up valuable capital resources to build your closing team. We use a combination of the latest CRM technology and people who are frankly excellent at getting prospects on the phone, discerning pain points, and scheduling a meeting. The rest is up to you!


  • Demand Generation: Are you Focusing on Quality or Quantity?

    by Hot Calls Inc. | Jan 15, 2014

    The debate about what's more important to achieve sales goals - lots of leads vs. fewer , but high quality leads, is just about as old as the one about which came first - the chicken or the egg, right?

    In sales, the term "quality" applies to how well a lead will aid sales effectiveness - a lead that is likely to covert to a sale. A quality lead is something to be coveted, but more often than not, sales teams tend to want quantity - lots of leads they can mine to find those gems that will lead to a sale.

    SiriusDecisions recently wrote a blog post about this entitled "Demand Generation: Quality Trumps Quality," in which they reach the conclusion that quality does indeed trump quantity. Here's an except:

    Our 2013 SiriusDecisions EMEA Demand Creation survey showed some alarming statistics on the quality of leads that respondents in marketing are sending to sales.  This is compounded by what seems to be a shortfall in putting in place processes such as telequalification, which could move a lead from a simple hand-raiser to a more information-rich understanding of the buyer’s current position before being passed to sales.
    Our survey found that among respondents representing more than 400 organizations, more than 27 percent reported that they pass a lead forward as soon as someone “demonstrates an interest in the product or service” (read: raises a hand).  In other words, nearly 30 percent of organizations conduct little, if any, further qualification.
    We also found that a mere 21.5 percent of organizations qualify a lead further than simply demonstrating that the potential buyer has a need for the product or service.  Thus, almost 80 percent of respondents do not determine if the potential buyer has defined a requirement or actually has a budget and timeframe in mind.

    SiriusDecisions concluded that there's a huge opportunity for companies to implement processes and programs that raise the quality of the leads they are passing on through an outbound telemarketing program. They also found that only 32 percent of its survey respondents are currently using a teleprospecting service.

    This is where Hot Calls, Inc. comes in. We specialize in filling the narrow part of the sales funnel with further qualified leads, by utilizing a highly trained staff who make a very compelling case to prospects on behalf of your company. The result is that your sales team can focus on closing the deal instead of sifting through the top of the funnel to find the gems.



  • A Customer in the Hand is Worth Two in the Pipeline

    by Hot Calls Inc. | Nov 01, 2013

    Actually, your customers are worth much more than that. Did you know that it costs you 6 to 7 times more to win a new customer than to retain an existing one? That’s right – the cost of customer acquisition versus customer retention can reach as high as 700%.

     According to a report by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company:

    • Acquiring a new customer can cost 6 to 7 times more than retaining an existing customer
    • Over a 5 year period customer attrition rates could reach as high as 50% if databases are left dormant
    • Businesses which boosted customer retention rates by as little as 5% saw increases in their profits ranging from 5% to a whopping 95%.

    And yet, we’ve found that many Fortune 1000 companies focus solely on the bottom line in staffing their customer support call center. The result is often mediocre service leading to disloyal customers – who in today’s digital world have no qualms about sharing their dissatisfaction on social media.

    The expense of finding new customers
    At the same time, these companies spend a huge chunk of their marketing budget on customer acquisition efforts. And for some reason they don’t connect the dots to see that by providing a positive customer service experience, they’d retain customers and reduce the need for customer acquisition spending.

    Keep them happy and they will stay
    Companies that focus on improving their customer service delivery experience see many quantitative benefits: reduced price sensitivity and fewer customer defections to competitors, as well as increased referrals and repeat purchases.

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