Why You Should Trust Outsourcing For Your Customer Service Needs

With the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry flourishing, the possibilities are endless. The kinds of services they can provide businesses with grow in number. Digital marketing, search engine optimization, virtual assistance – almost any need that small to medium enterprises may be having trouble with or need help with, they can attend to for manageable rates.

Outsourcing is definitely a blessing for these smaller companies. A particular favorite among companies when it comes to outsourcing is customer service.

Customer service is a vital aspect in keeping customers happy and, more importantly, making sure they come back. With such an important role, business owners may be worried about leaving this area to an outsourcing company.

Will it affect quality? How will I keep watch over these employees? It’s only understandable for you to be concerned and to want to make sure that you’re handing this crucial business aspect in good hands.

To help you calm your fears, here are some reasons that you shouldn’t be afraid of outsourcing your customer service needs.

Quality Isn’t Sacrificed Despite the Lower Rates

In fact, it’s more likely to be improved. Trained agents are specially assigned to handle queries and comments. You can be sure that customers are answered efficiently. not to mention in a “customer-friendly” way that’s warm and inviting. This makes your customers feel valued, a must if you want them to keep coming back.

Is that still not enough to mitigate your fear of quality getting sacrificed? Know that a study by consulting agency KPMG actually found that among 490 contracts (notably worth £10 billion), the main reason for the outsourcing was that they were after the quality of the work done, not because of the lower cost.

Proper Monitoring Remains

Most companies prefer in-house staff primarily because they want to be able to keep an eye on things at all times. This is also the reason that companies are wary of leaving customer service to outsourcing. This is despite it being the better choice cost-wise. They feel that they’ll lose control of things.

It is true that compared to physical staff, these outsourced agents leave you with less control. Keep in mind, however, that there are technological advances available to us today. We are able to keep up with your customer service agents as easily as with an in-house team. There are a lot of chat and project management tools available online to help business owners/managers watch over progress real time.

Language Isn’t Really an Issue

There is another thing that holds companies back from going with outsourcing for their customer service needs. They are concerned with the agents’ accents and overall grasp of the English language. This might make it difficult for the agent and customer to communicate.

To avert this, most go-to outsourcing hotspots like the Philippines are full of agents that can speak English with moderate accents at the least and can understand US English as well as any native.

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By leaving your customer service needs to an outsourcing company, you not only give yourself more time to focus on other business matters or cut cost. You also improve your company’s relationship with customers. And this, we all know, is a great way to gain their loyalty.

Companies shouldn’t shy away from customer service outsourcing. As long as you get a reliable company to provide you with these services, then you can be assured that your company and its relationship with customers are in safe hands.

What Does Web Writing Have to Do With SEO?

web-writingSuccessful search engine optimization relies heavily on content. Aside from dictating the quality of your site as a whole, good website writing, as Search Engine Land puts it, is a solid foundation for all other optimization efforts.

Why Exactly does Content Matter in SEO?

It Sets you Apart

We live in a time where almost nothing can be considered original anymore, especially when it comes to trade.

For most businesses, whatever one is selling or may offer services in, chances are, there are at least three other companies within a mile’s radius offering the same. This is where the importance of how you sell something that’s already out there comes in.

You can’t deny the existence of these other options, so the best step is to make sure your offer stands out. You have to get customers to choose your ad from the others. What better way to do this than through words?

With creativity and wit, the most common items are possible success mines. All it takes is for you to keep your customer on your page for that few extra seconds, which is very much possible with a little humor or excitement.

Keywords are Everything

On a more technical note, keywords ultimately dictate whether your page shows up on results.

You have to know what a typical customer might type into that search box, and adjust your keywords accordingly.

It’s also important to note that you can’t just splash keywords all over the paragraph, that’d make you sound spammy and plain suspicious. You have to be able to incorporate those words into your copy and make it sound as natural as possible.

Keeps Things Fresh

Search engines, Google in particular, has this Query Deserved Freshness feature that updates results whenever there’s a big event or big news on the subject of the search.

If you Google ‘tank’ for example, on a regular day, you’ll be greeted by several results on what tanks are or by sites selling tanks. If you search that on, say, a day when a war is launched, you’ll probably get greeted by news on tanks attacking this and that area for the next few days or weeks.

With this, it’s important that copy creators ride on this feature to make sure that the keywords they include go with whatever big event or news is going on so that they’ll be included in the “fresher” results (given that your company’s relevant to that event or news, of course).

Vertical Search Results

Search results don’t just display sites, they also display news, images, videos, and even maps related to your search. These vertical search results allow for content that might have not made it as sites to still make it to search results.

Companies can take advantage of this “second chance” by producing content in these areas as well. A good video or infographic, maybe, could mean a world of difference for your visibility.

online-marketingDirect Answers

By providing your site with interesting, and more importantly, reliable content, you effectively build trust with your site.

When this happens, your content will become a direct answer, or will pop out under the search bar when someone searches for something that your content may be answering.
While this may seem like Google is stealing your traffic from you, research shows that it actually drives in traffic.

Aside from traffic, the fact that Google lists your content as a direct answer will make your page appear more reliable, making people more likely to click on your ad.

Content clearly has a crucial role to play in the success of a site, which is why before engaging in other SEO efforts, your search engine optimization service provider should also make sure that the content, aka the foundation, is well made and well laid out.

How to Build Your Own Web Development Company

Starting a web development company is a daunting task. Challenges and obstacles will accompany you along the way. Ambition alone won’t get you through your journey, you will also need lots of diligence and determination.

To help you get started, we’ve prepared a basic guide on how to start your web development company.

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Develop your Brand

Create a compelling identity and find a unique approach to the market. What sets you apart from other web development companies? Is it the distinct type of service you offer? Since you are getting into a businesses forget, you must know the importance of marketing .

Organize a Financial Plan

Money is usually the issue most new businesses encounter. Professional web development companies are no exception. Do you have enough capital start up your own business?

Create a model where you can map out your financial plan. This will include how income from clients, startup and ongoing business expenses.

Start your Business

Do not dive in without conducting research so you will have an idea how business work and how you will approach it. If you are already confident enough with your knowledge and experience, then you can start your web development company. But if you’re not, you can continue saving money by doing freelance work or optimizing your website. You can also acquire more marketing skills in the meantime and broaden your network of clients.

Gradually building up your business is completely fine (and safer). Go at your own pace. If you feel that it is still too risky, do not jump into it yet. Consider situation, responsibilities, and resources to determine if it is already the appropriate time.

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Your Company’s Beginnings

It always starts humbly, you probably won’t have enough money to hire employees right away and you will be doing everything by yourself. This is fine as well. You may outsource work, and establish partnerships until you’re capable of hiring employees to expand your web development company.

It is also important to change your mindset. At this point you are not only a web developer, but also the boss of your company. Most of your day will be spent doing this type of work , and you will have more responsibilities.

The point is that you will no longer be doing tasks you have been previously doing as a web developer. As a web developer, you never had to worry about managing your company because you were only an employee or a freelance worker so there were lesser things at stake. Now that you are a company owner, your job is to attract new clients and make sure they stay. You need to learn how to communicate and accommodate the different personalities of your employees and customers.

The success of your company now lies in your hands, so you have to strategize more wisely and carefully. Just remember the points we mentioned in this article and the ambition that made you start your web development company and you will be a success!

In A World Ruled By Social Media, Email is still King

When we think about promoting our brand and services on the Internet, what comes to mind first?

“Let’s start making ourselves known on Facebook! Or Twitter! Or other websites with a lot of people in it!”

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That’s great! A social media campaign is one of the best ways of reaching out to people–granted that you do know what you’re doing. It is the go-to marketing method if your aim is to make an impression, a persona for your brand. What makes this highly effective especially in more modern times is that it lets you to build relationships with your customers better. And today’s society, people value authenticity when it comes to engaging with businesses.

That, and the sheer size of the population of users is nothing to laugh at.

Reaching your Customers Through Social Media

But there’s a little problem going on with social media right now. It’s getting harder to reach out to its users through natural, “organic” ways. Facebook, for instance, has been making a few updates on what appears on people’s newsfeeds. Entrepreneurs will have a harder time getting their names more visibility without resorting to paid advertising. Bit of a cunning move on Facebook’s end, if you ask me. Kudos to them.

But if you’re a smart businessman/woman, you know that there are other kinds of digital marketing out there. You don’t have to rely on social media alone. There’s SEO, affiliate marketing, pay-per-clicks…

…and then there are emails.

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“But email is so outdated! Everyone and their mothers use Facebook for everything these days.”

Using Emails for Marketing

Now hold on. An email marketing campaign still holds a lot of merit–more than you might expect. There is still a large number of people in the world who don’t have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or other similar sites. That’s a demographic that you should tap into.

According to CustomerThink, an email is six times more likely to have a higher click-through rate than a tweet or FB post. More people also prefer to receive content through this manner too.

It was also stated that it’s 40 times (FORTY!) more effective at gaining new customers. Truly a master at lead generation.

Another plus point of email marketing is that it allows you to send more personalized messages to your customers. It’s more likely to be read than something you see while scrolling down your newsfeed.

So don’t underestimate the power of emails! Instead of using only social media, why not implement both methods into your digital marketing plan? Attract people into signing up for your newsletter mailing lists. A good marketer will always make the most of the Internet’s potential, after all.

Why PPC Advertising is Practical For Your Business

Search rankings are a battlefield. Many businesses compete for visibility, and this can be brutal especially for new ones who haven’t ranked up the search results. This is why it’s great to have Google adwords for business and pay per click (PPC) advertising—you can compete with established brands. It’s an equalizer of the playing field. But what is PPC exactly?

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Those are the links you see on the top of the search results labeled “Ad”. Those webpages didn’t rank up organically but were paid so they would appear in search queries or keywords related to their business.

But don’t get intimidated by the word “paid”. I know as an entrepreneur you are trying to maximize your resources. That’s why PPC is the best tool for you. Here’s why PPC is practical:

You Literally Only Pay Per Click

You’re only charged for the qualified leads that click your webpage. It’s an automatic filter. You won’t have to spend money for advertising to people who just see your ad but aren’t interested to know more–unlike most ads, like in print and TV (which are so damn expensive).

You Are in Control of Your Budget

In business development, budget is everything. Every cent counts. As much as possible, you want to maximize your resources. PPC allows you to do that. You can set a limit to the amount of money you spend for a campaign, such that if you reach the target number of clicks you want for your website, you can stop spending for it.

You Are in Control of Your Campaign

Unlike most ads, PPC can be specified according to your preference. You have the choice to only advertise on a specific location, time, and even language. That makes it way more likely for your webpage to be seen by potential customers. It’s very helpful if you’re a small business in a local area.

You don’t have to spend a lot just to reach your target audience just because you’re new or small in the playing field.

But you do need the right PPC management agency to help you create the right strategy. Their expertise on Google adwords combined with your expertise on your business will work wonders for your business.

The Fundamentals of SEO

Want to start working in the world of search engine optimization? Did you outsource some work to an SEO provider and would like to familiarize yourself with what exactly they’re working on? Want to start working in the world of search engine optimization? Did you outsource some work to an SEO provider and would like to familiarize yourself with what exactly they’re working on?

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Learning SEO seems overwhelming at first, so let’s start with the basics, shall we?

In layman’s terms, search engine optimization–or SEO for short–is pretty much the process of adapting strategies to suit a search engine’s algorithms so that webpages can rank high.

The tricky part with this is that these search engine algorithms evolve along with the Internet through the course of time. This means that those who provide search engine optimization services need to constantly change the way they play the game.

But what are the fundamentals of SEO?

What should we know first before thinking of a strategy?

We can divide the basics into three parts: Keywords, On Page, and Off Page.

Keywords are what people type into the search bar when they, well, search for something in Google or other search engines. They’re the first thing that comes to mind for many of us when we hear the word SEO. We can’t help it—a large part of SEO does revolve around keywords.

We know the main goal of SEO is to make a webpage appear as close to the first page of the search results as possible when their keywords are typed in. Researching these keywords is one of the tough parts. Too broad of a keyword and you’ll have too much competition. Many SEO experts search for and use “long-tail” keywords (aka short phrases) instead, as they will have less pages to compete with. But how are keywords used?

On-Page SEO is where the keywords go. The basics of the basics, it consists of the following:

• Web ContentThis means all the things we have on our websites–blog posts, articles, images (their image names matter as well!), videos and descriptions, among others.

• URLs The structure of your URL affects how SEO-friendly it is. URLs that are short, contain a keyword, and also describes the content that the page has do not only tend to rank higher, but are also human-friendly as well.

• Metadata This is what you call the bits of text that appear when webpages appear on the results pages. They are the title of your page and its description. Optimizing your metas are very important–the title tag alone can catapult you to the first page.

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Now, if On Page SEO focuses on your own website, Off Page SEO is more concerned with other sites. We’re talking about links. When search engines see that websites link back to your own site, it has a positive effect on your site’s ranking.

Remember, however, that it’s not about the number of links to your site. It’s about the quality and content of the sites that link back to you. The better the quality of these sites, the more relevant you become in the figurative eyes of the search engine.

There are many study materials and tutorials out there that provide a more in-depth look into SEO. Unfortunately for many of us, we just don’t have the time to learn how to optimize our websites. But while we hand all the work to people who offer SEO company services, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two about what they do.

But if you want to delve deeper into the world of SEO, then study away!

The Problem with BPO Pirating

Pirates have always been a part of human history, from the Phoenicians, Vikings, Carribean buccaneers, to Somali pirates. As long as maritime commerce existed, there have always been those who stole from the sidelines.

In modern times, piracy has also taken different meanings—such as when you make illegal copies of someone else’s work.

(Like it or not, torrenting is unfortunately still a crime in many countries.)

For businesses, it can mean robbing a company of its employees.

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Staff piracy or poaching has always been an issue in the world of employment, especially in the outsourcing industry. But early in February this year, ICT Davao and other heads of big BPO companies in Davao City called out the actions of employee pirates or

These pirates reel in employees by enticing them with higher pay, better benefits, and immediate hiring. The problem with this is that sometimes the worker suddenly disappears into thin air. No calls, no resignation letters–nothing at all.

A lot of these staff pirates aren’t even from Davao. Many of them come from cities like Cebu and Manila, sometimes giving even housing benefits for any employees that take them up on their offer.

This can put a small Davao outsourcing company in peril, because it hampers its capability to make deadlines meet . Finding a replacement worker will also take precious time.
What are some of the causes of staff piracy in the local BPO industry?

Competitive Salary and Benefits

Let’s be real—salaries in the Philippines are generally low compared to other countries. It’s how we can afford to offer affordable rates to clients. BPOs may be known for having relative high starting pays, but there’s always that one company that seems to offer more.

No Work-Life Balance

BPOs–especially call centers–are notorious for their shifting schedules. It messes up a person’s sleep cycle and can affect their overall health. Shifting schedules can also affect their relationship with family and friends, preventing them from joining in occasions like Christmas or birthdays.

It’s why some BPOs offer fixed schedules and weekends off (some don’t even have work on holidays), attracting others to their office.

Lack of Training

Most companies want their applicants to already have experience in their field of work. But even new workers with a seasoned resume need on-the-job training on the firm’s S.O.P. too. You don’t feed someone to the lions and expect them to make it out alive, do you?

Management

Office management that doesn’t make an employee feel like they have a care about their career and welfare can turn them off immediately. Management that monitors their workers and watches out for their progress can help them in the long run.

The Job Description Was A Lie

Ever applied for a position for, say, a photo editing job, but all you’ve been doing is making videos even though the job ad said otherwise? Feels bad, doesn’t it? But you’ve got nowhere else to go , so you’re stuck in a job that isn’t what you signed up for. You’re now just waiting for the right moment to quit your job.

How can our BPOs–not just in Davao but in the Philippines as a whole–avoid this staff poaching epidemic?

We make life better for our employees. We can make them feel like they matter to us. Give them the mentoring they need when they start working. Workers with many skills can be assigned to another position that suits them. We can support their careers and their decisions for their future.

Jobs aren’t always fun and games, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy life in the office.
Quitting a job isn’t bad in itself. Sometimes when our career is going nowhere and we’re not learning anything new, it’s time that we move on. There’s nothing wrong with resigning as long as we do it through the proper channels.

Quitting too many times in too short a time, however, looks bad on your resume and your long term career.

Imagine applying for a job at the best outsourcing company in Davao. They take a look at your job experience and find that you only last months in every job you’ve been in.
When they ask you, “Why did you quit your job so soon?” and you answer, “I got pirated”, do you think they’ll consider hiring you?