Contact Center Strategy Covation

Strategic planning for contact centers has become increasingly important in today’s complex environment. End-user customers are expecting faster, friendlier service from knowledgeable service representatives that efficiently resolve the customer’s needs. In contrast, pressure to reduce costs has created a vacuous exodus from the domestic U.S. footprint and attempts to repatriate those lost jobs are confronted with arduous challenge of budget restrictions associated with cost savings generated through offshore labor arbitrage. Couple this dynamic with an extremely fluid technology environment wherein it is capital intensive to maintain or achieve a competitive position. Throw in the reality that today’s labor market is uniquely comprised of five generations and you have the making for a “perfect storm” scenario.

Covation is inimitably positioned to address these complex matters. If you are looking to launch a new call center or reengineering your current operating environment, a sound blueprint augmented with a clear and concise forward-looking vision are critical components inherent to your ultimate success. As such, strategic planning for new/expanding call centers and/or center consolidations are now of paramount importance in crafting a construct that drives cost effective, high quality service.

Mergers & Acquisitions – We have expertise in both the buy side and sell side, with a particular concentration in both the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) space and Financial Services. Collectively, we have represented companies as large as $20 billion global media conglomerates down to the $10 million team looking to structure a management buyout. Our primary value add, after selling dozens of companies as founders/executives/principals, is the real world know how gained only through starting, growing, and ultimately selling a business combined with the years of transaction experience in the advisory role.

Business Process Optimization:

Our Business Process Optimization Practice delivers thought leadership through our proprietary evaluation methodology and in-depth analytics that will ensure your operations achieve measurable and sustainable improvement. This global performance solutions practice is committed to enhancing the end-to-end service delivery model to drive efficiency, reduce costs, and increase revenue for clients. We enjoy a breadth of experience in business process mapping/management, process improvement/control, and enterprise transformation, which collectively yield an optimized performance management ecosystem.

Our experience in business process optimization will result in shorter process cycle times, embedded quality improvement, efficient document/information/work/call flow, reduced labor costs, enhanced revenue generation, verification/validation of cycle and work task completion, improved customer service, and expanded capacity/utilization all derived from a set of various proven Kaizen-oriented methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecards, and TQM.

Corporate Finance & Advisory – Simply put, we help companies strategize and fund the growth of their business. Collectively, our partners have raised over $500 million privately in equity, mezzanine, and senior securities in industries as diverse as enterprise software, healthcare, commercial banking, manufacturing, real estate, and just about anywhere in between. We focus on companies that are generally “under the radar” for big Wall Street firms. Our niche is in funding strong management teams that are generally looking to inject between $5 million to $50 million in financing. We have access to both the individual and the institutional investor, which makes our ability to match the proper funding solution for our clients a key differentiator.

Cross-Channel Analytics & Collaboration:

Over the past few years, our clients have necessarily established new channels to communicate with their customers. Cross-channel analytics and collaboration is truly a differentiating element of our global consulting practice. Our cross-channel analytics and collaboration practice incorporates the latest in reporting and collaboration methodologies across related or disparate data points to identify otherwise indiscernible trends and issues that are impacting positively and/or negatively the end-user customer experience. Moreover, we incorporate both content and contextual correlation analyses.

Our cross-channel analytics and collaborative capability creates a holistic view of the customer experience across multiple customer touch points. Covation utilizes the latest in technology for retail or web interaction analytics in addition to speech analytics, text mining/text response, call flow analytics, and desktop/agent analytics. Our agent-level processes further incorporate detailed phone interactions, email messages and online chat sessions to accurate, logical, and actionable workflow or knowledgebase adjustments – the resultant outcome of which is to improve customer satisfaction, increase operational efficiency, and optimize marketing and sales effectiveness.

Leveraging insight from all customer interactions gathered across all touch points, our analytics will drive workflow improvements that impact website optimization (including but not limited to social media customer care), customer segmentation, and customer experience feedback/realization, which will often lead to modified KPI relevance and strategy and the creation of value-added predictive analytics across key reporting metrics.

End-User Customer Experience Enhancement:

It has been our observation that your customers are increasingly becoming more demanding with regards to how they are treated regardless of the type of touch point – phone, in person / in store, e-mail, or on the web via self-service or chat. Supporting a multi-channel environment has become table stakes for the modern-day call center service delivery model. Notwithstanding, it adds significant complexity to an already bewildering labyrinth of ongoing, multifaceted customer transactions and interactions already taking place and at an accelerated pace never seen heretofore in our economy – the result of which is a serious challenge to drive a consistent and compelling end-user customer experience across multiple touch points and communication channels.

Covation has the requisite knowledge and skillsets to evaluate and develop enhanced customer experience strategies for our clientele. We work closely with our client to optimize the end-user experience and to ensure that it becomes routinely executed across the service delivery lifecycle – consistently. We participate in the development of gap/needs analyses, use cases, and product/service requirements to determine the optimal design methodology and approach.

How To Attract Clients

Ah, those magic words ? ?Attract Clients?. Virtually every professional I know loves the idea of attracting clients, and would be even happier if there was a ?magic formula? for accomplishing it. Well, actually there is a formula that works like magic for attracting clients to you. And I?m going to reveal it ? right here, right now. (OK, to be more specific, it?ll be at the end of the article. But no cheating! You need to read through the article for the formula to make sense.)

First of all, this isn?t about simply ?getting? clients. It?s about attracting them to you. It is the concept of building a business without chasing prospects, dogging down purchased leads, or operating a ?quote mill? ? turning out quote after quote hoping to have the lowest price. Unfortunately, many professionals are either trained or take it upon themselves to uncover prospects ?at arm?s length?. It seems that either intentionally or inadvertently, companies often train their team to build their business by pursuing prospects. Although many companies and managers praise the benefits of ?attracting? clients, when it comes time to meet production quotas, all the methods which ?pursue? clients are the ones encouraged. By the time ?meeting production quotas? become an issue, drastic measures are called for.

The solution, of course, is to avoid being in that place of ?catch-up? to begin with. By learning how to attract clients and by applying those methods consistently, you side-step the need to pursue clients altogether. Virtually every professional who has a sizable, growing business ? characterized by high retention and a steady flow of client referrals ? does it by attracting clients rather than pursuing them.

There are two key components to successfully attracting clients. The first key is to understand that people will be attracted to you by WHO YOU ARE, rather than by WHAT YOU DO. While there will be a small group of people who will do business with you strictly based on your depth of knowledge, most people ? in fact, the majority of people ? will do business with you because of who you are. Having good knowledge of your products, services, and industry is important. And having strong technical skills is useful and important as well. It?s just that being knowledgeable and skillful isn?t sufficient.
Let me offer some proof. I?m willing to bet that we?ve all known one or more professionals who were an absolute fountain of knowledge regarding product and service info. And yet, they went out of business due to lack of clients. In contrast, I?m also willing to bet that we?ve also known professionals who really weren?t all that sharp when it came to understanding the details. And yet, these professionals built and sustained large businesses. The reason, of course, is that clients were attracted to them for who they were, more so than what they knew.

So, how do we maximize ?Who We Are?? We maximize and amplify who we are by continually improving our communication skills, our social skills, and our integrity. In short, ?who we are? is defined by our people skills. When we have good people skills, we:
? Communicate clearly and cleanly
? Are relatable
? Do what we say we?re going to do
? Are professional in attitude and manner
? Have a positive attitude
? Take an interest in others
? Treat people with respect

How do we improve in these areas? The easiest way to start is by simply being more mindful of each of those people skills. Just by drawing our attention to each aspect of good people skills, we can begin to improve. However, one of the challenges most of us have in improving ourselves, is that often we?re blind to what we do and say. We operate on ?auto-pilot?, and as such, aren?t even aware of how we come across to others. Additionally, how we think we come across to others doesn?t really matter. What matters is how others feel about us. Therefore, an excellent way of improving our people skills is to enlist the help of others. Ask people around you to help. Ask a spouse or significant other. (Hey! They?re always hoping to improve us anyway, right?) Ask a fellow professional. Ask a manager. Tell them you?re working to improve your people skills, and 1) ask them which people skills they feel you?re really good at, and 2) ask them which ones they feel are candidates for improvement. Then, ask them to point out to you any words, actions and reactions which represent opportunities for improvement as they arise. Not only will people be happy to help, but they will respect you for your efforts.

The second key component in attracting clients is actually getting out, so that people get a chance to see you, know you, and be attracted to you! The reality is that when you are in your office behind your desk, prospects never get to experience you and those people skills you possess. The result? If you try to get clients from behind your desk, you end up having to pursue them. On the other hand, when you get out and allow people to interact with you, you end up attracting them.

OK, so here?s the ?magic formula? I promised. The way to successfully attract clients is to improve your people skills, and get out and meet people. I know it?s a pretty simple formula, but ? it works like magic.

How Can Outsourced IT Consulting Help Healthcare Professionals?

If there is one area that IT consulting services might want to sink their teeth into, then it has to be the healthcare sector. It is for the simple reason that the healthcare industry is in constant need to upgrade their technology network. Whether it is in patient file database, illness profiling, or a myriad of other tasks that need technology, IT consultancy experts will be needed. This provides a fertile ground for such firms in their IT lead generation campaigns. The only question here is how to get healthcare professionals and companies to work with an IT consulting firm.

In case this is the scenario for your business, you must first realize the various issues that healthcare institutions have to face. Among these is variability. There are a lot of technological advancements being done in patient care and administration, and not all healthcare providers have the technical know-how to use or maintain specialized devices. And given the volume of patients needing immediate care, it is somewhat impossible for, say, a doctor or a nurse to operate a computer while treating a patient at the same time. This makes outsourcing the work to an IT consulting services that specializes in healthcare even more attractive. It may look a bit unprofessional for some, but for the sake of actually producing results, this is a necessary investment.

There are also other areas where IT consultants are needed. Take, for example, in information management. When we talk about hospitals and treatment centers, we are not just talking about doctors and patients. We are also dealing with the massive amount of data and technological equipment that needs professional handling. And really, with the costs being incurred with in-house IT specialists, it does make sense to have the job outsourced to those who can competently handle the job. And this is where you, the IT consulting service provider, who can answer that need.

IT consulting firms will benefit from a good IT appointment setting campaign, provided that they choose the right medium to communicate. And there are plenty to choose from, like social media marketing or telemarketing. What is important here is that you select a lead generation provider that specializes in healthcare. You need people who know a lot about this particular industry, since there are terms and rules that you need to be aware of if you want to be effective in generating qualified IT consulting leadsout of the market.

You can promote your firm in terms of benefits. For example, you can start with your specialization in perfecting the IT infrastructure supporting a healthcare institution. Another benefit you can tout is in terms of cost reduction. Since a lot of IT consulting firms work for a reasonable consulting fee, the duration based on contracts, you can say that healthcare facilities can save more with you. If relayed by professional IT appointment setters, this can mean a great deal for you. You can get more IT leads that way.

Improve Your Selling By Thinking Ahead

For most salespeople, selling is all about getting customers to walk out with a product. If the customer buys one item, it is a successful sale. For advanced salespeople, just getting the customer to walk out with one item is not enough. Instead, a customer buying one item is only a sign that there is more than one sale to be made.

To make an additional sale, some forethought is required. You need to think about what your customer is buying and what they are going to use it for. For example, if a unshaven man comes in to buy a razor, you can assume that he is wanting to shave.

Making a second sale is easy once you have an idea of what the people is wanting to do. What could an unshaven man buying a razor also be sold? Think shaving cream. We know that the man will want to shave straight away, so checking that he has shaving cream might result in an additional sale.

A similar idea can be used to sell more of the same product. If you recognise that a regular customer is buying shaving cream for the 4th time we can assume that they are going to want more later. This action of thinking ahead means that we can now sell the customer a larger container of shaving cream. If there are no larger containers, we can always reduce the price for the customer if they by more.

Thinking ahead can also be used to compete with your competition. If you know that a customer is going to check the price of the competitors product, you can save them time and also make a sale. First you need to check out the prices of the competitors products in the morning. Later on when a customer is looking to buy one of your products, you can say what the competitors price is and then offer a price that is lower.