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To upgrade or not to upgrade your SAP Solution Manager 7.0?

Since December 2013, SAP Solution Manager 7.0 is out of maintenance. When you are currently using the 7.0 version, you should make some decisions to ensure the continuity of your business and operational support. You can choose to upgrade, but another option is to perform a fresh installation.

Your decision should depend on which functionalities you are actively using in your daily operation of ALM processes. If you, for example, are currently using Change Control Management or Technical Operations, such as End User Monitoring, it will be more effective to upgrade your SAP Solution Manager 7.0 to 7.1. In other scenarios, a new installation is more appropriate.

If you are questioning whether to upgrade or not, I can recommend you to read the article “Solution Manager 7.1 – Fresh installation or upgrade? – Some experiences from the field…” This article gives some real-life customers’ examples. These actual cases can guide you – as a customer in a similar situation – to  make a decision in this perspective.

The latest available Support Pack level of SAP Solution Manager 7.1 is SP11. SP12 is planned for mid-2014.

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Professional Inbound Call Center Services Are Important

When a business starts growing day by day, the key people in an organization get overburdened with loads of work. They find it difficult to invest the right amount of time and attention to each and every area of their operations. Most of the organizations feel the shortage of resources. Sometimes, the companies don’t have enough of time or simply do not have enough man power to meet the growing customer base. In this kind of situation, businesses look for cost effective solutions and search for prompt services to fix this issue.

Then the organizations require depending on the Business Process Outsourcing organizations which are also popularly known as BPO’s.

Organizations around the world are switching or hiring the services from a trusted inbound call center. Inbound call center service is one of the business processes which are normally operated by the call centers. Companies select trusted third party organizations and ask them to handle the customers for them. The customers are been handled by the professional agents.

There are basically three different Types of Inbound Call Centers:

Customer Service:

The basic inbound call center process is known as customer service. The professional agents make sure that customers are getting sufficient information on various issues regarding the products and the services. In today’s day and age it is important for all the organizations to offer the best customer services to their customers.

Help Desk Outsourcing:

Help desk outsourcing is one of the inbound call center services. It includes the perfect assistance and prompts troubleshooting services as well. The professionals aim to help the customers by providing information like hotel room bookings, ticket fares, service related queries and more over phone or by shooting an e-mail.

Inbound Sales:

Last but not the least is inbound sales. It is also one of the inbound call center services. There are several customers who prefer placing their orders on phone and professionals maintain the database and take the orders. A helpful representative is the right person to handle the orders and this process is considered as inbound sales.

Telemarketing for Digital Agencies – 5 Unique Challenges

The digital age has ushered in a whole new approach to B2B marketing. Digital agencies have a variety of tools and technological solutions available to them for marketing automation and for lead nurturing. However, this approach means that they often lack a personal touch. Instead of contact forms and chat widgets, customers often crave human interaction and an actual conversation to answer their questions about the variable services that digital agencies offer.

In fact, research has shown that many would much rather pick up the phone to discuss their business needs, so it seems baffling that some digital agencies these days don’t even have phone installations! Telemarketing campaigns can be a great solution to this problem and many agencies have enjoyed the benefits of outsourcing these campaigns to a dedicated team.

Whilst the direct approach of B2B teleting for digital agencies can prove extremely advantageous, there can be a few unique challenges that arise:

1. Not having the necessary infrastructure

 

Although a digital agency may see telemarketing as a great way of lead generation and acquiring new clients, the very nature of their business might make it difficult to get started. The beauty of working digitally is that it requires very little physical space and equipment to operate. However, when it comes to telemarketing, you need to have office space available and the correct equipment.

The agency will also need to hire or train staff and this can be time-consuming and costly. Some may have the notion to use existing staff for one-off campaigns but these staff, whilst possessing expertise in digital technology, may not have the required skillset to make the campaign a success.

2.Meeting unique requirements

Although most B2B selling can involve a degree of complexity, this can increase with digital agencies who offer a range of highly bespoke services. Every potential customer will have unique requirements, whether it’s regarding a new website build or design, marketing to their customers or niche keywords for PPC campaigns or SEO.

From a telemarketing perspective, callers must therefore be well-versed in the breadth and scope of these services to provide the relevant information. If those making calls only have a vague sense of what they are promoting, it can be difficult to show worth and can lead to miscommunication or false promises about the service. Which leads us on to the next challenge…

3.Trying not to sound robotic

 

B2B telemarketing is tricky at the best of times, but as discussed above, prospective clients of digital agencies each have unique needs and requirements and there is no catch-all service or solution.

Therefore, using a script when making calls can leave your services sounding generic. Businesses are inundated with emails from spambots telling them how they can improve their website or deliver winning SEO strategies.

As first impressions are therefore even more important than usual, a personal approach will stop your services from sounding generic and highlight how you can add value to their business. One possible solution is to use a hybrid approach, where callers can personalise and adapt each call and refer to a script only for set interactions.

4.Facing scepticism and showing worth

 

Businesses can be sceptical when receiving a call about digital services. For example, they may wonder why a digital marketing agency is using a telephone rather than marketing themselves online, especially if promoting inbound marketing solutions. This might give them the false impression that your services aren’t effective.

This is a challenge that can be best dealt with by using expert callers who are friendly and approachable and convey the feeling that they are calling because it is more personal and intimate. A great telemarketer can show a prospect that they care about them and that your company has proven expertise that achieves measurable results and can make their business more successful and this can dissuade any feelings of doubt.

5.Oversaturation of the market

 

Most industries are competitive, but with the explosion in popularity of digital services in recent years, your business could have hundreds of competitors. The businesses that you make calls to may have been contacted by several telemarketers already and the choice and variety of options can make it difficult to stand out or show your USP.

This is where a lead generation specialist can really make a difference and set you apart from the rest. They can use research and telemarketing to identify new prospects who may not have known they needed your services, warm them up, pre-sell and pre-qualify them so your sales team are left with promising leads who are interested and engaged already.

Conclusion

In the digital era we live in, telemarketing can often be dismissed as an outdated practice. However, recent research has shown that it is still as relevant as ever, and it has actually been revealed that it is the 2nd most effective channel for lead generation. Therefore, it would be foolish not to consider telemarketing for your digital agency.

Although telemarketing campaigns for digital agencies can reveal some unique challenges, these can be overcome with the right approach. Outsourcing your telemarketing campaign to a telemarketing partner with experience in your industry can be an effective way to tackle many of these challenges and can help you benefit from the rewards telemarketing can offer.

Seven Crucial KPIs Inbound Call Centers Need To Be Vigilant About

Indisputably, inbound call centers worldwide are offering a perfect blend of innovative and pragmatic solutions to businesses across all verticals. The solutions offered by competent inbound contact centers have helped endless number of businesses achieve what they aspire for, and therefore, inbound call center firms have now become inseparable part of the business world. However, for any solution provider to march consistently on the path of organizational success, it is fairly important to select a set of crucial KPIs. It is so unfortunate that most solution providers are not paying due attention to this crucial aspect, and needless to mention, a minor negligence in this regard can impede the growth rate of any business organization.

What is KPI?

Key performance indicator (KPI) can be defined as a quantifiable aspect related to any specific business process that can be used to evaluate the performance of any brand or enterprise. Not only do KPIs help you analyze the success rate of any business initiative, but it also gives you clear understanding of the business areas that need urgent attention. Therefore, it is always crucial to choose an appropriate set of KPIs. Once you are ready with a set of crucial KPIs, no power in this world can desist you from achieving organizational success.

By paying due attention to crucial KPIs and taking pragmatic actions timely, inbound call centers worldwide can competently enhance their overall performance. This blog sheds some light on seven crucial KPIs that inbound contact centers need to be vigilant about.

  • Call Abandonment Rate
    Once a call gets abandoned or disconnected before it is answered, it can have a drastic impact on the reputation of any business firm. Obviously customers get irritated when their calls are not answered, and this can even compel them to switch to a brand’s competitors. Therefore, inbound contact center solution providers need to track this KPI quite vigilantly.

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  • Service Level or Response Time
    It is defined as the percentage of calls answered or attended within a specified or stipulated number of seconds. In order to ensure smooth operation and deliver enthralling customer service experience, managers of expert international call center firms need to monitor this KPI immaculately. Importantly, it will help them maintain long-lasting and valuable relationships with customers.
  • Average Call Handling Time
    the average time spent by executives while answering or handling a call — from when a calls begins till it gets terminated. This metric is important to track as lesser average call handling time would lead to more satisfied, if not delighted, customers. Apart from this, by ensuring minimum average call handling time, call centers can easily augment their organizational efficiency.
  • First Call Resolution (FCR) Rate
    Studies conducted by leading research agencies have highlighted the fact that FCR is the most crucial metric for any of the forward-looking inbound call centers. It can have a direct influence on customer satisfaction and loyalty, and therefore, solution providers need to monitor this KPI quite regularly. Importantly, it leads to reduced operational cost and improved agent satisfaction as well.

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  • Agent Occupancy Rate
    it is defined as the amount of time spent on answering or handling calls and to perform various related activities, such as updating CRM, sending emails, and so on. All the international call center firms worldwide need to optimize this, but they should always set a manageable expectations from agents considering their stress level as well as workload.
  • Quality
    this performance metric is usually measured by monitoring the overall interactions between agents and customers. Herein, managers need to be watchful about:
    Whether the agent greeted the customer when the communication started.
    Whether the agent captured all the necessary details and data.
    Whether the agent delivered accurate and relevant information.
    How courteous/professional the agent was during the interaction.
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score
    Can anybody question the fact that enterprises approach expert inbound call centers with the sole intention of reinforcing their bonds with customers and prospects?  That’s why, it becomes crucial to gauge CSAT score and take success-driven actions quite regularly in this direction. Various call centers have therefore started conducting customer satisfaction surveys through toll-free text messages, online polls, IVR-based interactions, and so on.

INFERENCE:  Inbound contact centers should vigilantly monitor crucial KPIs in order to ensure comprehensive success in the stiffly-competitive outsourcing industry.