Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Best Open Source Application for Live Chat and Newsletter :- Developed By Comm100

Comm100 has some best features in it. It is an open source and is completely free. The best part is the support team. They revert back within 24 hours of any query. Comm100 is designed in such a way that is very easy to understand and use. Any common man can use Comm100 without any difficulty.

The Best part of Comm100 is its robust nature of the software included in it which need not be downloaded and it is completely free.

One of the best feature of Comm100 is the Live chat application. Using Comm100 live chat you can connect it to your website and use it efficiently by this it gives a very professional look to the website as well as good reach to the customers. The Live chat features are simply awesome as it has the complete features of a commercial chat software and it is free.

So, here is a good free alternative to Costly chat applications: Comm100 Live Chat. Comm100 Live Chat is absolutely free. You don’t have to pay anything to use this on your website. The best part is that it is completely hosted by Comm100, on their servers. So, you don’t have to pay anything for hosting too.

The Next best feature of Comm100 is the newsletter application. One of the best free application you can ever find in the market. In this most expensive world it is very difficult to find something really good and that to free it is near to impossible. But Comm100 made it possible by giving the best newsletter application free of cost with best customer support.

Comm100 Newsletter we all know how important it is for any business to market its products and service and one of the cheapest mode of marketing is the email marketing but with comm100 newsletter application they make it completely free of cost to use the service to send emails to the your business leads or clients. They have a very powerful spam filter according to my knowledge.

Initially they provide you with 2000 emails per month based on your spam rate they would increase the number of emails at no extra cost.

They have developed a very easy to understand and awesome reporting system with graphs and data for individual campaigns.

All in all comm100 has helped me to reduce the cost of purchasing and application and hosting charges for the applications which I use with the help of their servers.

Comm100 is an open source application service they do not provide the source code for any of the applications other than the forum application. Do not know the specific reason why but as long we can use the uninterrupted service of chat and email I don’t think anyone should have problem with that.

To use Comm100 Live Chat on your website, and get newsletter application ,you just need to create a free account with Comm100. Then, they will give you some code that you can add to your website. That’s it – you have your own chat network and newsletter application to support your customers!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Six Sigma Is Helping BPO's And Customer Contact Centers

Six Sigma has proved quite beneficial for the services sector because rather than making direct alterations in the product or service, it concentrates more on making improvements in existing business processes, which automatically improves the quality of final outcome, be it a product or service. This is like tackling the root cause that might be creating problems related to quality.

Determining Quality Levels In BPO’s And Customer Contact Centers

In BPO’s and customer contact centers, customer input and feedback is first quantified so as to develop a better understanding of their needs and expectations. Based on the quantification, Six Sigma professionals then chalk out various levels of quality to be achieved over the planned period of implementation, which usually ranges from three to six months, depending on the complexity of the implementation project. The basic aim is to make continuous improvements in business processes so as to achieve the highest possible quality levels.

Six Sigma Is Helping BPO's And Customer Contact Centers

Giving prominence to Voice of the Customer (VOC):
The ultimate aim of BPO’s and customer contact centers is to increase customer satisfaction, a task that can only be accomplished if customer needs and expectations are met. This is why in a Six Sigma organization, automated feedback systems are put in place, which continuously track changing customers’ needs and expectations. When existing business processes are tweaked based on VOC, it becomes easier for the organization to do justice to customer needs and expectations.

Assigning the right person for the right job: Six Sigma may be mainly associated with the improvement of business processes, but in BPO’s and customer contact centers, it goes a step further and takes on some of the responsibilities of the HR department. Six Sigma helps in classifying call center professionals based on their current skills and expertise, which in turn helps management in assigning the right person for the right job. The point to remember here is that such classification is not done in a way that undermines the abilities of call center professionals. It is done in such a way that professionals who are less skilled do not feel offended. Offering free training and making available other avenues of professional development to those who have been classified as less skilled, solves the problem of employee dissatisfaction, if any.

Apart from these, Six Sigma also helps in improving internal operations of BPO’s and customer contact centers, something that automatically leads to a reduction in the overall cost of operations. This may not affect customer satisfaction, but it does help BPO’s to maintain competencies, which has become quite essential considering the increasing competition in the BPO industry.

Importance of Quality in BPO

Outsourcing of business processes has been gaining popularity over the last few years driven to a large extent by the fact that US firms have been enjoying much success from adopting this business strategy. However, companies that are looking to outsource non-core processes to third party service providers are literally placing their fate in the hands of another company. A primary concern and challenge with the adoption of an outsourcing strategy lies in ensuring that the high level of quality that has been achieved in house, prior to outsourcing, is not diluted. In the absence of correct checks and balances, companies run the risk of jeopardizing their relationship with customers through the inability to provide continuously good service.

Introducing a quality assurance standard is a fundamental way of measuring the efficiency of business processes. A quantifiable benchmark enables problems to be pinpointed and can assist companies in identifying ways and means of improving their processes. It also encourages adoption of best practices in relationships with customers, suppliers and employees. A number of standards exist, which companies can work towards achieving. The most recognized and widely used include ISO 9000, Total Quality Management and Six Sigma, a data-driven methodology based on a measurement strategy focusing on systematic process improvement and variation reduction through the application of powerful statistical tools.

Each of these standards has been designed not only to eliminate defects but also the root causes of defects in business processes in order to work towards greater efficiency, productivity and accuracy. These quality systems follow different methodologies, each of which has its strengths and weaknesses. Any of these can be applied to improving quality and therefore it is important for an organization to understand these nuances when considering the introduction of a practice to benefit outsourced business processes.

The principal benefit of the ISO 9000 quality standard is that it is globally accepted its core requirements have the same meaning worldwide. It is an all-purpose model for quality management and more than 130,000 firms worldwide have been certified. The ISO 9000 standard looks at every area of a business where quality problems or defects can potentially occur, including order entry, procurement, training and document and process control. Because the rationale behind ISO 9000 involves the whole organization, the certification process and the speed of implementation tends to be fairly lengthy as employees across the board have to adjust to newly introduced changes in process the certification process itself can take anything from six months upwards. It is also difficult to track tangible results with the ISO 9000 standard because of its focus on the organization as a whole entity.

Unlike ISO 9000, which looks at all areas of a company, the primary focus of the Total Quality Management (TQM) standard is on process management. It aims to solve quality problems by involving everyone that is part of a particular process in the analysis and correction of any occurring defect. It is based on studying past data to help encourage continuous improvement. However, it still remains difficult to measure tangible results from the introduction of a TQM standard. This is because there are a number of TQM definitions and the onus for implementation falls on the internal personnel who are championing the initiative TQM requires no external audits, documentation or record-keeping like ISO 9000. It also takes a notoriously long time to implement because of the huge level of analysis, evaluation and confirmation of buy-in across departments for a successful implementation.

Six Sigma, however, tracks tangible results very effectively because it is based on a statistical process that guarantees a 99.99966 percent level of perfection as close to flaw free as possible. Specific processes are evaluated and no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities are allowed to occur. Six Sigma can be used to monitor a single process or a range of processes from anything as specific as a line of code or an administrative form to any aspect or transaction within the business.

This level of specification makes the Six Sigma standard a good methodology to use when checking the quality of outsourced business processes. The Six Sigma methodology is completely flexible each individual company can define what it considers a defect and then go about resolving the defect to ensure that the standard is achieved. If a third-party provider uses this methodology, an organization will be able to outline the defects it would like to track at the Service Level Agreement (SLA) stage, ensuring that they are monitored. The SLA will then include all critical issues that need to be addressed no matter how small the detail.

Six Sigma is self-policed but because of the detailed data-driven approach that it is based on. An organization can involve the most relevant people in its implementation so that those involved in the process are responsible for its success.

If a third party provider uses a recognized quality standard it is a reasonable expectation that outsourced business processes will be in safe hands. The accreditation to ISO 9000 and the practice of TQM standards reflect a dedication to high quality service. Six Sigma, being a process oriented methodology, is a disciplined approach that fits in well with the needs of both the client and the processor and complements internal quality assurances already in place

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BPO TRAINING Quality Matters the Most

The quality of service (QoS) depends on the type of training the employee receives and subsequently how he implements his knowledge while working. This becomes particularly important in the Indian context when there has been lot of criticism over the quality of service and training of the call center agents. In initial days call centers companies saw training as a burden on their revenue and preferred giving ‘some’ in-house training. However, slowly the need for specialist trainers was realized and training today, has been developed as an integral part of the whole process.

Training Modules: Every training course keeps in mind that degree of skill requirement varies according to calls being handled and situations being tackled. The task of the trainer is to provide those skills to the agents on a varying scale. This scale has to be adjusted not only as per the needs of the call centers, but also that of the individual.

The degree and type of training would vary for domestic or offshore call centers. The scales would tilt further according to the diverse cultural background of the country from where the call originates.
A training plan has its priorities set according to the requirements and ideally, would be categorized into ‘must know’ (vital information that the trainees need in order to do the job effectively) or ‘should know’ (the knowledge which is useful but not essential to the job) sections.

The ‘should know’ training of an agent is almost the same for all call centers. The first step for a call-center fresher would be the induction orientation. He will then graduate to culture-training module. Culture training depends on the clients that he would be dealing with and helps in acclimatizing and empathizing with the customer’s lifestyle.

Then comes the training in voice and accent. For Indian agents, learning an accent is not the first priority. Rather he needs more of accent neutralization. By the time a graduate joins the BPO industry, it is very difficult to teach him the grammar of foreign languages as well as train him in accent. At the most, he can be trained not to let his mother accent take over, while speaking to a customer. India has the first mover advantage of knowledge of other languages, but the accent still needs to be modified according to the client requirements.
The next module is the campaign training. This is a process that never ends and the agents are constantly updated on the current campaign. Campaign training is attached to the product being offered and is often conducted by the clients or the vendors themselves. Regular trainers are also used for this module but they have to be familiarized with the campaign first.

Quality and Standard of Course Material: Though the need to have the content certified has been felt across the industry, as of now, there is no government or private authority which monitors or regulates the course content. Creating such an authority will improve the quality of training, but there is no immediate plan or move to create such a body.

Initially, most of the course material was developed abroad, but now foreign course modules form the base on which India-specific courses have been developed. This has been done by the training institutes and each one claims that their course complies with the industry standards.

The basic training modules would not change, but there is always a scope to improve the training aids and methods. Some agencies have adopted the latest software, which scans the facial movements and suggests ways to improve the accent. Interactive and practical techniques have been introduced to give the agent a feel of things before he is put on the job. And as the market matures and demand for better training arises, the industry will adopt newer methods.

Training Never Stops: The traditional wisdom says training is an ongoing process and is never completed. The BPO companies have to find strategic alternatives to outsource training. Realizing that very qualified students will are not likely to make make this a career, companies are preferring people with low skill set and trying to train and retain them in the outsourcing business.

This poses another challenge as far as training goes. The intensity and the style of training have been changed accordingly. For this trainers have to be specialists with a high level of understanding of the job. As the market matures, an academy to train and certify trainers is also being recommended. A good call-center agent needs to have the 7 P’s of tele-services—being prompt, prepared, professional, polite, precise, practical, and positive.