Monday, 30 April 2012

Swinton increase Recruitment in Face of Credit Crunch

Swinton are one of the UK’s most recognisable insurance firms and they have decided to step up their recruitment drive despite the current economic slump. Swinton recently expanded their recruitment opportunities in the town of Halifax.
The credit crunch has had a destabilising effect in almost every conceivable sector but many contact centres within the insurance industry continue to thrive due to the fact that it is commodity that people continue to need regardless of the current state of the economy. One insurance company who realise this fact is Swinton, who have ramped up their recruitment drive and have taken the decision to expand their business operations in the town of Halifax and considerably increase the number of telesales staff that currently operate out of the Northern England town. The driving force of the telecommunications industry is the technologies that are continually being introduced to help streamline the performance of contact centres and improve the overall levels of customer satisfaction which is, of course, the principle aim of the majority of call centres across the United Kingdom. Swinton are unlikely to be the only insurance firm that focuses on their recruitment endeavours in 2009.
Recruitment – Swinton Focus on Growth
Swinton are determined to press ahead with their recruitment drive despite already boasting a 125 strong call centre in Halifax. The insurance giants have decided to focus their recruitment endeavours on increasing their Halifax call centre employees by some 25%. This is obviously a bold move in light of the credit crunch circumstances that are prominent in the UK at present by call centres, and the insurance industry in particular, seem to be well positioned to ahead with recruitment drives despite the apparent uncertainty that is extremely noticeable in the current UK job market. By the end of their recruitment drive, Swinton hope to have secured 30 more telesales staff to work out of their Halifax base.
Recruitment – Call Centres Stay Strong
Whilst most businesses are making cutbacks in terms of recruitment, many call centres are aiming to buck this trend and continue with recruitment drives in 2009 and beyond because the core of the telecommunications industry remains strong and can facilitate an increased emphasis on recruitment which may not be the case with various other industries in the current economic conditions.

Virtual Call Centres & Home Working – Helping those in Redundancy

It is clear that the credit crunch has had many wide reaching implications on employment but virtual call centres and home working practices may come to the rescue of many workers in the UK who face or have experienced redundancy.

It is unfortunately the case that redundancies are set to increase significantly in the UK in 2009 and this has created many worried workers. The fallout from the recent collapse of the Shop Direct site in Crosby was softened by the fact that many of the workers which were made redundant found alternative employment through a virtual call centres and home working scheme originating from America. Home working is likely to become increasingly commonplace in the current economic conditions and many corporations intend to take advantage of this pool of skilled workers by setting up various virtual call centres which can be used to help deal with customer inquiries. The current conditions that permeate the employment market are having the effect of creating a vast resource of workers who are highly capable but unable to find employment due to the state of the economy and, as such, virtual call centres and home working may well be the ideal solution. Lead generation companies also offer opportunities for businesses and employees.
Virtual Call Centres & Home Working – Opportunity Knocks
As many as 1000 workers were set to be affected by the closure of the Shop Direct premises in Crosby but these workers have been handed an employment lifeline by the virtual call centres and home working opportunities that have been created by the American firm, Arise Virtual Solutions. It is clear that job opportunities are likely to be thin on the ground in 2009 and beyond and the virtual call centres & home working schemes that are likely to become increasingly commonplace will help people who have been made redundant get back on their feet and continue to draw a wage in times of economic uncertainty.

Voice Self Service Technology Leads the way in Call Centres

Of all the technologies that have emerged within the call centre industry over the last few years, one of the most universally accepted by consumers is that of voice self service technology. There are a number of benefits stemming from self service apparatus.
It is important for contact centres to embrace technology that helps improve their interactions with their customers because satisfaction is invariably the key to customer loyalty. One piece of telecommunications technology that is being viewed favourably by consumers is that of voice self service equipment which can help improve a callers overall satisfaction when it comes to contacting a call centre. Generally speaking, it is outbound calls that make use of self service technology that customers are most comfortable with and it is likely that this form of call centre interaction will increase in 2009 and beyond due to its apparent tolerance of it amongst consumers. Telecommunications companies are constantly being revolutionised by new forms of technology but some are certainly better received than others and it is apparent that voice self service technology is one form of contact centre apparatus that has found favour with consumers across the UK.
Self Service Technology – Providing a Useful Service
According to research compiled by BT and Nortel, some 71% of those that they surveyed revealed that they would be happy to receive a call from a call centre using self service voice recognition technology if it was to provide them with a useful, pertinent piece of information such as a delay to a flight or a product being out of stock. Another way in which consumers would be happy for this self service technology to be deployed is by receiving a phone call when goods that you’ve ordered are set to be delivered. Some 80% of those surveyed by the BT and Nortel research said they believed this would be a useful way in which to utilise self service telecommunication technology.
Consumers Begin to Embrace Self Service Technology
In the past, it may be fair to say that new forms of technology within the call centre industry were treated with scepticism by consumers but improvements in how call centre technologies are implemented are beginning to alleviate these fears. Speaking on this issue, Andrew Small of BT, states “It is a misconception that people are afraid of machines and always prefer human interaction”, and Chris Wade of Nortel, adds, “With consumers demanding lower prices and better service, companies need to assess the best possible strategy for managing their communications with customers.”

UK Consumers Warming to Automation Technology in Call Centres

Often people are not open to change but when change brings about improvement it is much more welcome. Automation technology in call centres is beginning to win over UK consumers as they realise the benefits offered by automation.
It goes without saying that customer interactions with call centres are still far from perfect but technologies are helping to bring about changes that have the overall aim of improving levels of customer satisfaction. For example, according to research from Harris Interactive, as many as 6 in 10 consumers are not satisfied with their contact centre interactions with one of the chief gripes being that they cannot understand the call centre employee. With this in mind, it becomes clear why UK consumers are increasingly warming to automation technology because it often provides a more satisfactory response for the consumer. According to the same Harris Interactive report, almost half of those they surveyed revealed that they would prefer to use automation technology when contacting a call centre than struggling to understand human agents who may not speak English as clearly or fluently as they would like.
Automation Technology Favoured over Touchtone Technology
It has emerged that consumers have a preference for speech automation technology over touchtone technology when it comes to call centre interactions. It is perhaps telling that as many as 84% of those surveyed would be prepared to try speech automation technology if they were informed of its availability by contact centres. There are obviously many common complaints when it comes to call centre interactions but it is hoped that automation technology will help to address some of these. According to the research from Harris Interactive, some of the most frequent contact centre complaints include:
·         Agents – Far and away the biggest complaint pertaining to call centres is concerning the agents and the fact they are often difficult to understand. It is thought that automation software, in its various forms, can help to alleviate this problem.
  • Speed – Many consumers are also disenchanted with how long it takes to reach a resolution when calling contact centres. With automation software becoming increasingly commonplace, it is hoped that the waiting times will be reduced and customers will experience a more stress free and satisfying call.
  • Office space for rent London
It is clearly important to make sure that consumers are satisfied with their contact centre interactions because the research from Harris Interactive reveals that around two-thirds of consumers who have a negative call centre experience will stop doing business with the company. With this in mind, many call centres will endeavour to incorporate automation technology which can help to increase customer satisfaction levels.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Promotional Pens – The Key Marketing Strategy

There is a lot of competition in the business world, so staying ahead of the game is crucial. That’s why you should take a look at promotional pens; the simple, effective marketing tool.

Such a simple item is often the most effective, and when it comes to promotional pens, you can advertise your company or brand without spending over the odds.
With promotional pens, or printed pens, you are guaranteed maximum exposure due to the humble pen being something that is constantly in the line of vision when at work. Distribute your promotional pens to workplaces and you will see the impact they have when you get calls from people interested in your services.

Promotional Pens – The Use of the Pen

Pens are, quite simply, the essential office tool. Even companies that do most of their work on the computer will still need pens to jot down notes in meetings and suchlike. The pen might seem like it has taken second place in the office world due to the computer, but you would be surprised just how much you use a pen without even realizing it.

Printed Pens – No-One Throws a Pen Away

So, why are promotional pens the key marketing strategy? In short, they are possibly the most cost effective way of getting your message out to a large audience in a short space of time. Promotional, printed pens say it with ease; a tangible item that people can pick up and take notice of. Compare this to an e-shot that some companies send out via email; once it has been read then it often gets deleted and the product often gets forgotten about. Distribute promotional or printed pens and you will see just how useful it is to your marketing strategy. No-one throws a pen away! In fact, it is not uncommon for some people to keep pens that don’t even work anymore on their desk for a longer period of time, so you can increase the visibility of your brand long after distribution.

Promotional Pens – The Cost Effective Solution

In the world of marketing, getting your brand noticed can be difficult when you’re up against large competitors. However, with this simple and effective form of marketing, you can distribute promotional pens and see for yourself just how easy it can be to get your message across in a cost effective way. With so many companies vying for attention and spending “big bucks” to ensure their marketing strategy is foolproof, many are missing the simplest forms of marketing, like promotional pens. Now is the time to get ahead of the rest.

Using promotional umbrellas to market your brand

Promotional umbrellas are one of the most effective ways to market your brand.

Promotional umbrellas and your brand

Whether you are a small family business or a multinational company, your reputation is important to you. Whilst large companies can afford to have equally large marketing and advertising budgets, the majority of businesses need to rely on the clever use of marketing to promote themselves, their brand and their values. Promotional umbrellas have been used by companies of all sizes to raise their profile. The colour and printing options, together with the way promotional umbrellas are used make them an excellent choice for businesses in all sectors.

How to use promotional umbrellas

Even top quality promotional umbrellas may not be as expensive as you think, and can be ordered in small quantities as well as large. This means that you can tailor the message on your umbrella to a particular event, anniversary or product. In addition, you can choose handles, umbrella ties and covers that tie in with your brand colours, helping to identify your company with the umbrella. There are several ways you can use promotional umbrellas to raise brand awareness:

  • Distribute to staff & directors
  • Sell for charity fundraising
  • Give as corporate gifts to clients
  • Give as corporate gifts to suppliers
  • In reception, for visitors and guests to use
  • Gifts for advisers – accountants, solicitors etc.
  • Gifts at exhibitions, conferences and corporate events

One of the very real brand benefits of promotional umbrellas is that they are widely used. Once people have a quality umbrella, it is used for both business and leisure, meaning that your brand message reaches a far wider audience than you may think. If you plan carefully and use unusual, witty or very creative images and text, promotional umbrellas will generate interest wherever they are seen.

Personalised lanyards – the power of advertising

Personalised lanyards can be used for advertising. But just how much of an impact does advertising have?

Advertising is a part of everyday life, and we are used to seeing television commercials, flyers and wheel covers to name but a few forms of the medium. Have we become immune to advertising, or does it still have the power to influence us?

In 1985, the makers of Coca-Cola announced that, since Americans seemed to prefer the sweeter taste of Pepsi, Coca-Cola would be discontinued in favour of a sweeter drink, New Coke. The uproar that followed was unbelievable. All three major television networks had extensive coverage on prime-time news. It made the front page of newspapers across the country. People rushed out to buy up the remaining Coca-Cola, often at inflated prices. It became a collector’s item.

Coca-Cola picked up an additional three percentage points of the soft drink market, which translated into $3-billion dollars in additional sales. Whether the coke people were being naïve or clever, the publicity they received without having to pay for newspaper ads, wheel covers or any other form of advertising was priceless.

We know that a great deal of advertising is used to launch a new product, but advertising is just as important to an established business. When Philip K. Wrigley, heir to the largest chewing gum company in the world, was asked during a flight why he still spent so much on advertising, he replied, "For the same reason the pilot of this airplane keeps the engines running when we're already 29,000 feet up." Keeping the product in the public eye using hoardings, lanyards or radio ads, means that the public keeps buying it.

Outdoor advertising is a massive field of opportunity. Much of it works on a subliminal level – we walk past sandwich boards, posters or people wearing personalised lanyards on a daily basis and claim that we don’t even see them, but you can bet that we will recall the message the next time we walk into a shop or place an order online.

Specialty advertising is even more diverse, including matchbooks, key chains, paper weights, coasters, wheel covers, book marks, tie tacks, pins, lighters, cigars, point-of-sale displays, anything you can put a logo or message on, including clothing. The chances are that right now we’re wearing somebody's advertising, and if others like the look of those trousers, that shirt or those shoes, they're one step closer to buying one for themselves.

Nowadays product placement and television sponsorship is the big thing in advertising. It doesn’t seem particularly odd to us that the number one soap opera is sponsored by the number one chocolate-seller in the UK. We are used to the electronic signage flashing around the edges of our football matches.

The answer is that however immune we may think we are, the need and desire to buy and sell are integral parts of human life and advertising is the most effective way of doing this.