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Monday, August 4, 2008

Best Practices of the Used-To-Be BPO Yuppie

Posted by iAMjett™ 4:24 AM, under , | No comments

(The following are but some of my contributed written best practices for a module compiled and made for by my former Cebu starting BPO employer).


August 2008: 


By job definition, a call center agent is the person who takes and does incoming or outgoing customer calls for a business. A call center agent might handle account inquiries, support issues or customer complaints.


Gone are the good old days of my usual slumber at night; now has embraced the nocturnal life of being a full-fledged call center associate. Though, for almost a year now of heartily building a career different from what I imagined to take, it somehow remains my dilemma on how to be a lot affective in this new field of endeavor, thus making a key factor to eventually step up to the top. Taking from almost a year of experience and some generous research, I'd like to share a few written thoughts of how to effectively function on this job. These are just a few of the so-called best practices I have been following and I gather too, an agent should perhaps consider in order to deliver world class customer service over the phone:

1. Identify Yourself And The Company You Represent.
--Saying something like "Hi, welcome to *your account/company*. My name is *your name*, how may I be of help?" sends a positive first impression from you and the kind of company you are with which is friendly and professional. Incorporating this with a lively and accommodating tone of voice is a big plus factor.

2. Express Willingness Of Help.
--Start the call in a positive note. Using words of assurance like "I'd be glad to assist you" or "Sure, not a problem. I'm here to help you" can give a customer a level of confidence on you and would also help the customer feel at eased. This can either way help eliminate future tensions as you may not really know what call is all about not until you progress with it.

3. Ask For Pertinent Basic Information From The Caller Like Their Complete Name and Issue.
-As obviously this will help you address customers appropriately as you go on with the call and the conversation. And since it will somehow make the call a bit relaxed, placing not too much tension at the course of it eventually helps you let take control of the call but not pushing the caller out the scene, Saying something like, "Before we proceed, may I please have your full name so I can address you appropriately?" is good enough to say.

4. Record, Confirm and Repeat Question As Necessary.--At all times an agent needs to accurately get what the caller really wants simply by repeating or confirming to him/her the reasons of the calling in. It is sometimes important to restate the question being raised in order to let the caller know you correctly grasp all the concerns, because the only worse thing than silence and assumption is answering a question that is not asked in the first place. Saying something like "I believe you are calling in because you want to know about the services we cater to, is that correct?'' is more than good enough to start with.

5. Answer Every Questions or Inquiries The Best Possible Way You Can.
--Give your best possible respond to every questions raised by a caller. This time you need to know exactly what you're saying and where you're coming from as this stage is critical to some vital information needed to be understood by a customer. Never attempt to use "I think" or "maybe" as an answer when you are at wit's end because it can definitely push you to the ledge, much more the company you work for. If you are having a terrible time of answering the question or if you are completely clueless of the matter being raised, it's okay to ask permission and place the customer on hold so you can double check on it. Saying something like "To best provide you with the answer, I need to look in to my resources and confirm everything. Will it be okay for you to stay on hold for a minute or two?" will be a wise segway on this regard. For all you'll know, your customer will be much better served and will appreciate your help more if you allow such polite and reasonable act to happen, worse comes to worst. If it would really require you to clear up a question in 60 seconds or so, it is acceptable to place the customer on hold provided your request is granted beforehand. Remember to do everything of this procedure is an efficient, friendly and prompt manner.

6. Conclude The Call.
--As you end the call conversation, ask the customer if you have provided all the necessary information he/she needed. Don't forget to leave a customer with a warm and friendly closing statement. Reiterate your availability to help should he/she needs to call you back. An "If there's nothing else I can assist you, thank you for calling *your account/company*. Have a good day." will more than suffice as your complementary closing spiel.

Photo Credits: Bing™

Friday, June 27, 2008

Break Even in Doing Home-based Business

Posted by iAMjett™ 3:44 AM, under , | 2 comments

Torn between the idea of letting go of a regular job in the office and running a home-based business instead? Find out how and why it shouldn't be a dilemma.

A fast-rising niche to date, home-based business has become the word of mouth of those people who want to end their dreadful days in the corporate rat race world, in the hope of freeing themselves from the rush of always catching up with office work loads, waking up every day without worrying about getting ready for work, commuting to a dead end job and answering to a boss who needs anger management 101. Apart from ll these, to consider the corporate layoffs happening, lack of job opportunities to some, high commodity prices; it is just necessary for most people to make good money and generate additional income. Thus, a better way to earn these extra bucks while spending quality time with our family is by venturing in to a home-based business.

Gain full control of your time, your money and your life are among the benefits you get in doing home-based business. That is why it's not at all that surprising to know that everyday, all sorts of people from allover the world, are opting to quit their jobs to do their very own home-based business. Some would even say that if you do it right, it could become your full time job. So, how about you?

But in as much as you want to, most of you cannot afford to just stop working and face the risks of putting up a home-based business. With the thoughts of uncertainties creeping in, many are quite afraid to lose their regular salaries for a number of reasons – the bills to be paid up before due, the family that needs to feed and clothe, among others. Having said that, most of you, if not all, will just decide to stay in the safer route and accept the security and stability bu unsatisfying and routinely salaried job.

But seeing things on a much broader perspective, to have the home-based business up and running doesn't necessarily have to make you resort to quitting your job. While the regular job takes care of the basic necessities of the home, you can make your home-based business take care of the extra amenities you need. Though this may sound exhausting but this path is the safest way to take for someone planning to do the niche. It is always wise to have a "fall back" just in case the business does not turn out as good as you thought of it, right? And the good thing here too is you get to experience becoming your own boss doing the things you love or do best! All it take is lots of handwork,creativity, patience and perseverance.

While a number of available options can be overwhelming if you are really planning to start your own home-based business on the side, there are many tried and true home-based businesses that may be just what you are looking for. The catch here is to firstly examine your skills and assess your talents, enable to know which home-based business suits you best. It is also recommended to weigh if you have the extra time and energy to undertake additional work loads associated with the home-based business. Having said that, you need to learn to manage well your time and juggle your responsibilities the right way.

Running a home-based business while doing your regular job in an office may appear before you as a tough thing to do but it will only feel like it in the onset. Eventually you'll get the hang of it and enjoy the smooth transition of having the best of both earning worlds. Setting a clear boundary and carving out time for your goals in life is the key to having a well-balanced home-based business while not losing the regular job you've been having.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

For The Time Being: From CDO to Ubec with Love

Posted by iAMjett™ 7:35 PM, under | No comments

Time really fleets so fast that I could even barely believe that it has been over a year and so now that I have become a foster resident of this uber-cool place I call my second home. The oldest city of the country as recorded, the queen city of the south as it is more popularly known, and one of the adventure capitals of the south as tagged by many, Cebu is the name.

 For over a year and so of staying here, Cebu has been so warm and welcoming to me, the same way as I am so grateful to her. I haven't even thought of staying this extended here because in the first place, I have never yet gone out that long from my hometown that which just even in mere thoughts of it, I always hesitantly opted not to because I have the tendency to get so nostalgic and all, aside from the fear of perplexity and uncertainty on things that might happen to me when I’m totally out from my very own abode, and much more out from the city where I am born and raised with.

Giving credit to my hometown, CdO of course is seemingly as welcoming and guiding to me too. It is there where I became what I am at the very moment; I mean I’ve had a wonderful education there, nurtured my beliefs, gone working from one company to another, had my share of and somehow enjoyed the hustling and bustling twist and turns of everything life has to offer, have met and built my foundation of a lasting relationship with an other-half, and somehow gained a few set of good friends worth keeping for. Not to mention a loving family you go home to every after the end of day. Yup, nothing really beats that assuring feeling within the place you call your very own.

But for some inexplicable reasons, no matter how propitiously you try to not let the unpalatable things happen, a time could always come forth prompting you to get away from all the things you have gotten used to and grown up with though not forever but just for a time being.

Moving forward and starting a life some place else is proven uneasy for a neophyte like me especially considering the first few months where I had to bear and deal with some crucial adjustments; sleeping not in the very own comfort of my bed, gasping in order to get hold to a different kind of smell airing around an unfamiliar place, the struggle of longing to see the usual faces and places you are used to see, and so on. But thank heavens, eventually I got the hang of this quite obnoxious or unhealthy feeling because I know for myself the reason why I finally decided to temporarily depart from where my heart is. And that’s what keeping me heads up and somehow on track up to this time.

Cebu is not actually a complete strange place to me. When we used to go on vacation in San Carlos, Negros Occidental where my mum’s lineage is, Cebu is basically our drop-off point, particularly Toledo City, Cebu. But despite some relatives living within Cebu city itself, we haven’t actually gotten that much time and chance to goof around the city other than making it as a connecting point going to Negros. Even though we haven’t had the chance of knowing Cebu more, it somehow made me to get familiar with some well-known spots every time we passed by the city itself. Well, for one, I had no other clever way of enjoying these every little chances but by just merely making some nice views etched to tangible memory by the use of a cheap disposable camera. But then as time passed by and due to some inevitable circumstances, going on vacation has become less and less observed in the family. So with the lesser chances of seeing the unparalleled beauty Cebu has as it transitionally goes along with time and modern age.

That was why when I remember stepping my foot in after such a long time of not being back in Cebu, to not just simply make it as a drop-off point but to finally live in and become a part of the place, I was quite amazed by how it has already become now. From the port where the passenger vessel I was with was about to dock, seeing alone some towering buildings like that in highly industrialized cities, already spoke off the magnanimous changes it has made along the years. From the place how I used to see it, by far it has gone a long long way already. Now, that alone too made the uncertainties to agitate and crumble again at the back of my head. I even said to my self, "now if this is going to be like Manila, how will I go over the fast-paced like environment in which I am completely not used to, worst of all, not even ready ton engaged with. Darn! Here goes nothing. Bring it on!" Well, hey! I had to give it it try though. Things might work out really well here than
to where I originally came from, and I was not mistaken at all.

With so much inhibitions at hand plus the thought of having so many things to cope with but too little time to do so in a speedy adaptive manner, I say I was able to endure and somehow surmount life’s pressure under a new place in which I confidently call now my second home of refuge. Though I was undermined by many instances already along side the innumerable boom and bust I struggled within a year and so of being here in Cebu, I couldn’t care less of them at all because I know they just resonated so well to my sincere intention of being here. Little did I know then that everything was starting to get paid off and made me to say they are but worth having after all. Apart from that, I couldn’t have endured much of them too without the presence and support of my significant someone who’s also come to decide to live and start anew with me in this new-found sojourn. Thus I wouldn’t care much if we will be spending another 5 years here in Cebu, it’s for sure a
thing to optimistically look forward too.

Truly Cebu has offered me a lot of viable opportunities in which I couldn’t imagine to have much in my hometown. And that’s why I’m very grateful for. I owe Cebu big time. Paving my way to life’s ever-changing possibilities, I would not have come closer this much to Cebu seeing how wonderful and welcoming this City is not only to her locales but even more to her visitors. Thanks Cebu. I say, Pit Senyor!!

Photo Credits: Kim Yanez (www.facebook.com/sebastianrain)

My Predictability : Talk of the Heart

Posted by iAMjett™ 5:09 AM, under | No comments

Though I, for one, am not an overtly outgoing person who frequent
places so often, I have this slight gawky tendency where if I find a
place or a getaway, big or small, popular or not, I prefer to return
with my partner again and again.

I’d rather do that than risk trying someplace new, even though someplace
new could turn out to be wonderful. I like to stick with the wonderful
place I know. I have a small number of friends that I treasure and take
care of. I don’t time for a lot of new friends in my life. I’m a person
who attaches emotionally to one person at a time. If I’m content in my
relationship, I couldn’t be drawn out of it, or into a new relationship
or into an intimate adventure, even if the person was extremely
attractive.

I would love to have a place to go to as much as possible on every
weekends and/or most vacations. I like my partner to dress and look a
certain way. I don’t like them to change simply according to fad or
fashion, neither just to be gaudy, nor for my own gratification’s sake.

I have certain ways that I enjoy being intimate. Once my partner and I
learn how to please each other, I’m content not to experiment further.
When I am committed to someone, I am rock solid. I never wonder about
what I am missing or whether or not I should be with someone else in a
different kind of life.

I am simply boozed in content for all I know I have made a blissful
choice. I believe this is one of the great things you get out of
heeding a lifelong choice. And with this, content comes so freely
within the myriad choices of life.

All you just need to do is pick the one you think is right for you. It also
helps to see and interpret your perspectives the way you think it
should be.

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About iAMjett™

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From The Land Down South, Philippines
A homegrown Cagaya-anon at his best; a Cebu BPO yuppie for 4 years and is bound to explore all other possibilities. Jetro Augustus Cortez Ramao, better shortly known as Jett, is an enthusiast of many sorts. iAMjett.blogspot.com serves as his avenue to influence and be influenced; to inform and get informed. Hop in and take more notice of iAMjett's being a ..:: good hearted guy + sneakerologist + movie-philliac + has a thing for airports, runways and jet planes + loves to sleep + complicated + non conformist + misjudged and misunderstood at times + doesn't talk much, listens more + caring + sentimental + OC + independent + did i mention OC? + strong willed and persistent + irrational and disobedient at times + used to hate places that require one to dance + maybe i like smiling now...loves cheese but is anything but cheesy + goes for almost anything spicy + has a fluctuating body clock + fickle minded + sensitive + grumpy at times + considerate + practices "delaying gratification" : ::..

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