Five years ago, it was proclaimed that customers would no longer call into businesses; that they would prefer to find support via email, social and Chat channels, and organizations scrambled to train and ramp up those areas in their call centers (updating the terminology to "contact centers").
Yet, here it is, almost 2020, and it turns out, customers are still calling businesses when they need help. Research has shown that customers start with online assistance for simple questions; however, as matters become more complicated, phone calls remain the preferred way to contact companies. This means that customer service agents are expected to know more detailed information and handle longer, complex calls. The pressure to produce results in a cost-efficient manner means that data analytics are crucial.
With this in mind, Jabra engineered a headset that meets these needs by offering digital sound, data analytics, Busylights on the ear speakers, and is comfortable to wear through long, demanding calls. The Engage 50 corded headset is available in both Mono and Duo versions and ends in USB-C. The generous-sized leatherette ear cushions have a conical design, so that the cushions rest securely on the ear.
How is the Engage 50 a Digital Headset?
A processing chip in the headset — rather than in a control unit or cord — makes the Engage 50 a digital headset. While most wireless headsets are already digital headsets, the Engage 50 is the first Jabra corded headset to have the chip in the headset itself. The Engage 50 uses the very latest chipset, and this, along with the positioning of the chip, delivers enhanced functionality and user experience. Along with Jabra Direct and Jabra Xpress, call analytics for the business, and on-screen microphone positioning guidance for the agents, are provided. A great headset, along with Jabra software, improves customer satisfaction.
Jabra Xpress 2.0 is designed for IT professionals to 100 percent remotely manage Jabra USB headsets and speakerphones with a set of smart tools. Xpress keeps different devices, across multiple locations and with numerous users, always updated with the latest firmware. Xpress offers easy mass deployment and agile maintenance. It works no matter the platform you work with, or whether you’re working from your own premises, your own cloud-based service, or the Jabra cloud. And, call analytics received from individual headset users help your management team make data-based decisions to improve agent productivity and the customer call experience. These comprehensive insights include background noise, speech analytics, headset usage analytics and audio exposure.
Jabra Direct is a user-friendly desktop interface offering complete integration of your softphone and headset. The Jabra Direct dashboard is a user friendly status menu available from the desktop notification area, typically accessed via the lower right corner of the desktop.The dashboard shows the status of your headset, if any updates are available, and if your softphone(s) are ready for use. By clicking your Jabra device in the dashboard, you will be linked into the Jabra Direct main application for managing setting preferences, start firmware updates or access applications that are available for your headsets.
And did we mention, these software programs are available at no cost, for both Mac and Windows platforms?
To learn more about Jabra Engage 50 headsets, call our Headset Experts at 1-866-998-9991.
Six years ago, our woman-owned small business invested in a new form of marketing: a Social Media Specialist was hired to the Avcomm team. Carey McCoy was brought onboard and tasked with these missions:
2. Create a blog full of updated, original, and user-friendly content that will provide value.
3. Increase the number of visitors to the Avcomm Solutions web site and boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
4. Be seen as a leading reseller in the headset market.
Ultimately, these tasks together have built the Avcomm Solutions brand, increased customer base, and provided valuable knowledge of our products, solutions to common workplace issues, and more. For these reasons, we recommend that all small businesses dive into social media immediately!
If you don't know where to start (or, are afraid to begin), keep reading! The worst thing you can do is wait. Social media is here to stay, and most people today have social media accounts. Research confirms that Google is the #1 way consumers resolve issues, answer questions, and research products before purchase. This has been true for Avcomm Solutions, as visitors to our web site are searching for answers to questions that only we (as experts in our devices) can answer.
Some Advice as You Build Out Your Company's Social Media Presence:
1. Don't expect immediate results. Building a brand and gaining followers takes time. Give yourself permission to build a solid foundation of content and relationships.
2. Try new things. Maybe the social media sites that we've listed above aren't quite right for your business. Try Instagram; TikTok; Pinterest; or other platforms that will reach your specific customer set. Think about where and who you turn to, when you have questions about your products and services. Do your research, and also check out your competitors: what makes their accounts interesting? appealing? successful? Then get your accounts set up.
3. Keep the content coming. The very worst thing you can do is to start social media accounts (or a blog), post a couple of times, and then either sporadically post content, or abandon the accounts altogether. Think of social media as building a relationship; it's hard to count on someone when they are not frequent contributors to the conversation. We’d recommend using a social media management platform that allows you to manage content and schedule posts ahead of time and gives you one dashboard view into all of your company’s social media activities. Even if we're out of the office for a day (or a week!), scheduling posts ahead of time is a snap, and keeps the conversation going with our followers.
4. Hire experts. Take a look at our YouTube channel, and you will see the evolution of our videos. The first videos were self-filmed; most recent videos have been filmed by professional videographers. When we made the decision this year to focus on creating more content for our YouTube channel, we really wanted to find a company within close proximity to our office, who would also provide value beyond just the video quality. After exploring options, we decided to go with a local, up-and-coming small business who could bring our vision, words and products to life, in a professional way. We encourage you to seek out local companies in your area for the filming and editing of your videos. By letting the professionals handle the videography, it allows our staff to focus on content creation and messaging.
While this is most definitely not a comprehensive list, it does provide a quick overview of what we believe are the most important takeaways in six years of social media marketing at a small business. Our advice: Start now. Don't wait. Everyone else is doing it and reaping the rewards.
Workplaces and work styles are continually evolving: it's estimated that 36% of workers rely on their mobile devices for day-to-day communication. The convenience of working anywhere is a key benefit of mobile phones; yet, when you're in the office, a single place to charge the phone, charge and store a headset, or even use a speakerphone, can be a real productivity boost.
For the mobile professional, Poly (Plantronics + Polycom together) has designed the Elara 60 mobile phone station.
The Elara 60 series will offer a variety of configurations. The first two are the Elara 60 WS for Voyager Focus headsets. Available both with the Focus, and without the Focus (if you already own the headset), the dedicated headset hook provides a place to store and charge the headset. The Elara 60 WS offers wireless charging and a speakerphone. Other Elara 60 variants will even have a traditional phone handset.
Experience the convenience of a desk phone, along with some extra features of a headset charger, mobile phone charger, and a speakerphone.
It's easy to set-up: Plug in the included power supply, and pair your mobile phone. If you have your own headset, you will need to pair it with the Elara 60, following the easy directions on the Elara screen. It is not a touch screen, so the buttons directly below the screen will help you to navigate through the menu.
It's easy to use: Seamlessly transition between mobile and desk phone setups to ensure important conversations are never disrupted. There are large buttons on the dial pad and a nice-sized screen that's easy to read.
It's built for Microsoft Teams: Press the Teams button to launch Teams on mobile, and manage video, chat, and audio conferences. The button flashes if you’ve missed a call or have a voicemail. For video calls, the adjustable platform lets you change your camera angle, for the best possible angle in your video meetings.
It has its own app: With the Poly Elara app, it's possible to customize settings, update Elara 60 firmware, and a handy User Guide for reference.
Watch our overview of the Poly Elara 60 WS below, and learn how its desktop-like convenience make it the ideal collaboration tool for your mobile workers.
Our team delights in finding the best communication tools for your unique environment and needs. Contact them today at 1-866-998-9991, on Chat, or email.
A guest post by Mike Dershowitz, the CEO of Fair Trade Outsourcing, a people-first BPO company that has service delivery centers in the United States, the Philippines, and Ghana. He believes that when companies focus on their employees’ social and economic progress, it motivates them to perform better at work and produce outperforming results. Contact him at +1 215 330 2895 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial consultation. Read more from Mike on his Medium site.
Original publish date: July 9, 2019
Your business needs people. But people are more than cogs in a machine. Like it or not, a person’s history and current situation drives behavior more than you realize. Do you understand why?
Let me tell you about one of my US employees, a customer service representative for one of our e-commerce clients. He is a returning citizen who re-entered the workforce after 14 years of incarceration. As long as I’ve known him, he’s proclaimed his innocence. I tried not get involved, instead focusing on the fact that I was giving him an opportunity. Hiring him is important to our mission and vision as a company. We employ a person whom most employers shun because he has to “check the box.”
Over time, I’ve gotten to know him, and I see how well he performs, despite where he’s come from. As we’ve grown to trust each other, he has shared his full story.
At the time of his trial, he was too poor to afford an attorney, and was represented by a public defender.
You know what happens next. Convicted and sentenced. And then, just one year before his release, he learned that corroborating eye-witness testimony may have been coerced by the prosecuting attorney.
Prior to learning about this testimony, he simply thought he was a victim of the system. But now, one year after being released and two years after learning about this testimony, he believes that he may have been framed, simply to increase the District Attorney’s conviction statistics.
Can you imagine the rage you’d feel upon learning that almost 15 years of your life had been wasted, simply to advance a DA’s career with higher conviction stats?
How can I expect him to come to work and not be affected by what happened to him? The simple fact that he shows up to work every day and is able to perform and not scream at the customers on the other end of the line is amazing, and a testament to his strength.
Are you missing the point?
Even if it’s just you and your laptop with an online store, or a few select graphic design clients, there are always people in your business, in one form or another.
At scale, every business, no matter how automated, needs people. Think about this for a second. If you’re in your office right now, look left and right. If both those people were no longer there, what wouldn’t get done? Which customers would be angry, what projects would be left half finished, and what opportunities would be missed?
Nearly 80% of U.S. private-sector gross domestic product (GDP) and more than 40% of the global trade are from the service sector. What the sector produces is not a physical product, or a raw material. You might think that your company’s product is financial services, healthcare, or customer service, but you are missing the point. In reality, the item of value you produce is a workforce, and the behavior your employees exhibit to customers.
What people do, how they interact with coworkers, customers and vendors, and the work they accomplish is all behavior. Whatever you’re paying them to do, you’re really paying them to behave in a certain way. There’s a lot that goes into that ability to behave the way you want.
Meet basic needs first for employees who last.
Basic human needs come first, according to Abraham Maslow. Only then can Homo sapiens consider other things, like morality and self-actualization.
There’s a sad story about Former US President Bill Clinton and a member of the armed services. On a rope-line one day, Mr. Clinton was handed a letter by a woman who was an enlisted sergeant. She had two kids. Because of her low income level in the Air Force, she qualified for and used food stamps. Think about the cruel economic fact that the richest and most powerful nation on earth does not pay its service members enough to the point that they needed basic food assistance.
Most of you are meeting the basic needs of your employees (but not all of you — see here). If you’re not meeting those basic needs with the pay you’re offering, you may be sowing discontent without knowing it, for very basic, and understandable (from the employee’s perspective) reasons.
Before you can consider if you’re getting the behavior you want out of your agents, look first at your compensation policies and make sure that employees’ basic needs can be met on what you’re paying them. Only then can your employees, and you, focus on how to drive and produce the right behaviors.
Think about physical and mental health.
Employees won’t behave the way you want if they’re always worried about themselves. Once you know that what you pay meets the basic needs of your employees, the next step is to think about their mental and physical health.
I’m living in Berlin, Germany for the summer. Healthcare here is free for all citizens, and some non-citizens. As a business owner with employees in both the US and Asia, I’m familiar with a society that doesn’t provide healthcare to its citizens (the US) and a society where free health care is so bad that we must provide private care or take a risk that when employees get sick, they may not survive the care provided by their country’s system (Philippines).
In most of Europe, employers don’t have to worry about health care costs, and of course taxes are higher to pay for it. Despite its flaws, this system may be preferable. As an employer, you know that the issue of healthcare is not associated with your place of business.
While you’re thinking about health care, also consider mental health. Many people imagine that there’s a personal and professional divide. Come to work, do your job, and go home. But this mentality is short-sighted when you’re trying to get work done through people.
Certainly, most savvy managers and bosses know this. Many companies offer free counseling services at work. This is good, especially for companies who employ people earning above the middle class. But for those like me, where we strive to get our employees into the middle class, the instance of trauma and destabilizing family situations is much higher than in lower-income populations, regardless of geography. As good managers (and good humans), we must think about mental health.
When employees behave against the desired outcome for your business, what is really going on in their lives? For example, in the call center business, when an agent should do “A” in reaction to a caller, but does “B” instead, is the agent doing something amoral, or simply not following their training?
The optimist in all of us wants to believe that all people are good. When you look hard enough, there’s a reason why that employee either forgot their training or made the wrong decision. You will likely find a personal reason that drove the behavior. The mental health of your employees may not be optimal, even if it doesn’t warrant counseling.
Be sensitive to that. Lend a kind ear. Simply ask, “Can I help?” I always say my job as a manager is to put people in a situation where they can perform at their peak. Are you thinking about what gets in the way for your employees?
Conclusion: Repeated behavior from your employees is your product.
As managers and business owners, your job is to elicit the “right” behavior at scale, repeatedly. Not an easy task, as evidenced by the many times you’ve had to coach or discipline an employee. You pay your employees to behave the way you want them to behave. In fact, producing the right behaviors in employees is your chosen profession.
Are your employees satisfied financially? How are they feeling physically and mentally? What happened in their past, like my returning citizen employee, that prevents them from operating at peak?
Try to see the why behind their actions. It will lessen your frustration, temper your reaction, and make you a better manager. It promotes a sense of fairness in your workplace. Your employees know that the boss cares, so they endeavor to react accordingly for your business.
When you take a step back and consider why they’re behaving as they do, it can make all the difference, as long as you also ask yourself if you’re doing all you can to make your employees successful.
Our passion for customer care is evident at Avcomm Solutions. As longtime members of the premier organization for customer care, SOCAP International, we've rubbed shoulders with some of the top names in customer care, and have learned from the collective wisdom of the group. Building upon this, our philosophy of relationship building is evident in all of our interactions, and a desire to serve is our #1 goal.
We understand the importance of getting the right device into our customers' hands from the start. We know that time is money; we ship all in-stock orders received before 3 p.m. CT out the very same day, and we offer a 30-day money back policy for complete satisfaction.
Of course, it makes a difference that we offer only high quality products, which makes us confident in their performance in the "real world." This pays off in the long run: less down-time for agents who rely on their headset to work; less money spent overall on headsets; less time spent fixing or troubleshooting headset problems.
Before purchase, our team provides plenty of pre-sale support, which includes a needs assessment, product recommendations, connection to manufacturer promotions, samples if warranted; post-sale support includes product set-up, tech support, and warranty assistance.
We maintain close partnerships with our brands, so that are able to offer volume purchase discounts and specialized promotions.
SOCAP International is an organization unlike any other in the world of customer care. Two national events each year provide guidance, numerous opportunities to network and collaborate, outstanding and relevant content, and an overall experience to the world of customer care that is truly unique. Local SOCAP chapters host meetings and networking opportunities throughout the year for continued connection and learning. SOCAP's core values of Caring, Community, Innovation, Leadership and Professional Development drive all of the SOCAP initiatives.
We are sponsors and exhibitors at the upcoming SOCAP Annual Conference: Reimagine Customer Care in Tucson, Arizona. If you stop by our booth in
The Exchange between 1-2 pm on Monday, Oct. 21, we are sponsoring a Relaxation Break, along with our friends from Stafford Communications. We will also have our products on hand and ready to test!
If you'd like to learn more about Avcomm's customer care philosophy, membership in SOCAP International, or the Reimagine Customer Care conference, please reach out to us at 1-866-998-9991, or send us an email. We encourage businesses of any size, and in any industry, to take a closer look at SOCAP and what it can do for your customer care team.