Idea Factor Blog

Work-at-Home Parenting in the New Reality

"Game Night" spelled out in wooden letter tiles. Surrounded by dice, cards, and other game pieces on a wooden background

 

 

 

 

 

 

With everything that is happening in the world, it is a challenge for working families to keep their kids busy and constructively alleviate their boredom during our changed reality.

With daycare centers, schools and camps closed for weeks to come or longer, I would like to humbly submit my thoughts in the hopes that it provides parents with young children some ideas to keep them occupied with simple household items you might have laying around. Read More

The Importance of Collaboration for Exceptional Results

Collaboration

 

 

 

 

 

Collaboration is essential to the success of any project, but even more so when there are multiple parties engaged in handling components of a project or delivery.  Here are a few guidelines to help navigate this type of collaboration. Read More

Business Etiquette Still Important in the Digital Age!

Good Manners

 

 

 

 

 

In the era of social and digital everything, the very basic tenants of manners and business etiquette in other everyday interactions are acknowledged and practiced less and less.  These are not old-fashioned principles, but simple guidelines to socially acceptable behaviors that still hold true today.

There has always been a code of conduct for social behavior in business when interacting with customers, a potential employer, work colleagues, vendors, suppliers, and people in general. Read More

Why EXCELLENCE in Customer Service Matters!

customer-service-thumbs-down

 

 

 

 

The other day I stopped at a well known North American Donuts Shop on the way in to work.
We were celebrating the soon-to-be birth of a new baby at our IF Family.

Every now and then, we get together as a Team to thank and honor a Team Member — babies, birthdays, service awards. A great way to chat, catch up with each other as people, discuss our business goals. A mini-State of The Union, if you will.

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Omni-Channel Customer Service for Your Contact Center

Omnichannel-customer-service-image

 

The way that companies handle customer service has changed dramatically in recent years. More than a decade ago, there were only two ways to contact a company – by phone or by fax (remember fax machines?). Today, you can take your pick; phone, email, live chat, snail mail and social media. The list appears endless. The challenge for many companies is not only to be accessible in these channels, which is important, but for those channels to deliver consistent and an integrated service quality. Companies that provide a consistent service quality across multiple channels retain 89% of their customers, whereas companies that do not provide a consistent quality are only able to retain 33%. A consistent service quality across multiple channels will significantly impact company revenue. And this is why more companies are investing in Omni-channel customer service.

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Cost Conscious Reasons for Global Companies to Work with Single or Small Groups of Vendors

IF-logo-fingers-heart

Typical multi-vendor pain points are the ability to service customers efficiently and effectively.

“The more vendors that are in the kitchen, the harder it is to cook a meal.”

 

The preference is to work with companies that have a consistent service delivery model and the same predictable quality of service.

 

While some may see multiple vendors as decreasing risk, it can actually increase risk and complicate the management of SLAs and responsibilities when an issue needs to be managed. Not to mention the complication of multiple vendor touching key components of Customer Service, particularly if there is possible risk of litigation involved.

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How to know that Your Strategic Vendor Partner is a KEEPER

vendor-partner-relationships

 

1. Go for quality, not quantity with your vendor
The old procurement-driven advice on managing vendors was to have a huge portfolio of potential vendors, and put every procurement out to competitive bid, playing vendors against each other and applying pressure until you got the absolute lowest cost. While this can be effective in the near term, there are two risks. The first is rather obvious: if you always seek the lowest cost, you’ll always get the minimum acceptable output. This may be fine for commodities like connectivity services, hardware, and some IT services, but puts more complex endeavors at risk.

For an analogy to our personal lives, finding the cheapest gasoline is fine (as long as you don’t spend an hour driving to save a few pennies), but you probably don’t want the cheapest brain surgeon poking around between your ears.

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The Power of a Thank you

gratefulI received the most wonderful gift. It was a card.

 

The front of the card had one word : GRATEFUL

 

And the inside of the card was thanking me for being a mentor and a person to look to for comfort and advice. It was from my friend’s 25 year old daughter who I adore but really don’t see all that often.

 

She has just begun her teaching career and spent some time travelling. Last summer I managed to snag her for a day and took her to some of my favorite shopping/eating places.

 

We shopped, laughed, cried and told each other some terrific stories. I watched her grow up and make s’mores in my backyard, and now I am watching her make a difference in the world by offering them the gift of ‘learning’.

 

I can’t begin to tell you the power of that small card with the words THANK YOU inside. It really meant the world to me.

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The Hang Up

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Are you still wondering if Your Customers would prefer to talk to a Human, or if you should move to an Auto Attendant?

 

It depends on your GOALS.

 

If you are trying to drive your Customer AWAY from your Brand, then I say: Go ahead.

 

We recently had to close our Customer Contact Centers due to a major snow storm. You know, the ones where they close all the schools the next day? Yep—one of those.

Anyway, when we returned to the office the next morning, there were only 5 messages from Customers requiring technical assistance or where to buy information.

Since our Customer Contact Centers receive more than 100 calls each hour, and we were closed for more than 5 daytime hours, wouldn’t you expect there to have been more?

I’ll let you do the math on how many people simply HUNG UP.

Fortunately, the majority of those hang-ups turned to email for quick resolution.

 

In today’s instant society, if you aren’t able to offer the information requested within 2 rings or less, you could be opening the door to the competition.

 

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com

 

Confessions of a Hoarder

hoarder-boxesAre you a Hoarder?

I just found out that I am!

We have lived in our house for 20 years and are about to re-finish our un-finished basement. That means there is a lot of STUFF that
has to go.

 

For years I complained that my husband is a pack-rat. But now that I have been looking in cupboards and on shelves, it is with great embarrassment that I admit … it’s ME! Read More