There is good news if you are looking for a bit of extra help when it comes to running your business. You can’t be there all the time but there is a way to have someone to help you even when you are asleep. By having a virtual assistant there is someone to carry out part of your role when you are not able to.
A virtual assistant will free up your time to do the things that are important and they don’t even have to be based in your area. All the jobs that take up your time such as phone calls, e mails and the best part is that they will already be trained and just need to adapt that to your specific industry. No one will know that your assistant is based in a call centre and is not part of your onsite staff, just that you are able to provide an around the clock service.
Downtime & Opportunity Loss From Brownouts
Certain places are going to suffer when it comes to brownouts and a prime example of this is Manila. They are most likely going to suffer this throughout the summer when the weather is very hot. The only thing that can be said in the energy provider Meralco and their brownouts favour is the fact that they are planned so most of the time users will know it is about to happen. While it would be much better if the brownout did not happen the reality is that there is not enough energy produced and there has to be a 2 or 3 hour break. The idea of just affecting some agents is not practical as all would be affected. The good news for the top companies is that their backup is operating within minutes of a brownout so they are not too badly affected but unfortunately not all companies are that lucky and they do suffer a noticeable disruption.
Rewards From Interaction
Skype has brought about a great deal of benefits when a manager has to implement changes or just needs to pass on information, but there is nothing that can beat the ability to sit with people and get a feel of what their real view is. If you can see their reactions and note their body language then you will get a clearer of idea about whether or not what they are saying is what they really feel. Your money will be tied up in the people who work for you and knowing if they want what you want is always easier when you discuss things face to face. This is your business and your money so you want to know that you are doing the right thing and getting your message across clearly.
The Temptations with Working From Home
While it may seem to be the perfect way to work there are going to be a number of problems when it comes to working from home. Often it is the good points that are considered such as there being no need to get up as early and no long commute but the downside is often overlooked. It takes a lot of will power to get on with the job when there is no one watching and waiting. Depending on the job it can be even worse and Third world countries often find it a problem. Making phone calls day after day can be quite daunting and if it is just one of those days when you face rejection there is a lot to be said for having others around you to lift your spirits. A good team leader will be able to lift the team on bad days and having colleagues there to celebrate the successes will make such a difference. This company offers better working conditions than most as there is not a great emphasis on getting every seconds work out of employees. Toilet breaks can just be taken without permission and training will always be on going.
Unstable Internet Connection
Not having internet connection would be awful and in some countries there are fairly serious problems. Countries such as the Philippines have managed to set up a system where there will always be bandwidth directed to the areas where it is most needed. Home supply of the internet does not receive the same consideration as a business would as the connection is different and home owners will not benefit from a Service Level Agreement. As some people are rejected altogether the idea that you may have to wait for 2 months before being approved for an Internet Private Leased Circuit does not seem too bad.
Impact of Health Benefits
Having a job that offers health insurance can put your mind at rest and unfortunately there are companies – especially at-home model companies that do not offer a great policy. In the Philippines having a good health insurance package is one of the best benefits a company can offer. There is already a lesser standard of health care available for Filipinos than there is for Americans as the countries have different systems. Having experienced long waiting times and then a less then good experience when actually being treated it is easy to appreciate what there is back home. Companies who do not provide health care are seen as struggling to survive and looking for any way to cut costs. Working for a company such as AOL will mean you benefit from a health care plan as they believe that they should look after their employees as they are looking after their business. Our company believes the same and you will be offered Maxicare within two works of you starting work. This makes us unique in the Philippines.
Not the Ideal Kind of Noise
It is a cultural fact that in the Philippines the family unit stays together. As most call center workers are still living in the family home it is very likely that there will be background noise when calls are made. Family live goes on around the worker and often this can be heard as even the best noise cancelling headsets will not be able to eliminate every single sound. As many families live together it would be impossible for there to be no noise. The call centre agent will be a very important member of the family and will often be the main provider and take over the education costs of other members of the family. Although you will be speaking to a person with a good level of English it will often be the case that you will hear others speaking Tagalog and getting on with their lives.
What Are You Really Saving?
Some people have been under the impression that if they provide all their employees with the equipment to work from home it is going to be better. Many have found out that this is not the case and are regretting the decision they made to move away from a call center. The service is never considered to be as efficient and often there is no contact between team members so information cannot be shared. Although it may seem to make financial sense, it can actualy work out to cost more when you are providing all the equipment that is needed. This is before the complaints about poor provision starts. There is no point in cutting your costs if you are also cutting the service you provide and find out you are losing customers. All in all a call center is a going to provide the best and most cost effective way to interact with your customers.
Daven Michaels is an award-winning outsourcer and author of the book, ‘Outsource This!’ Daven has been honored more than any other individual or outsourcing organization. You can get more information on outsourcing by visiting www.123Employee.com