One of the most exciting parts of going to college (besides leaving high school) is finally taking the courses you have been dreaming of for years. No longer do you need to write your millionth essay on books you could barely get through or do rough extracurricular activities just to impress your entry board at your future college prospects. In other words, freedom.
But, freedom comes at a price. Luckily there are also some great options you can take advantage of to make your higher education goals come true. In this article, I have put together some easy and accessible financing options for everyone.
Let’s dive in!
#1: Best Student Loan Refinance
Almost all students end up taking some form of loans before or during their college career. While loans can be lifesaving the interest or payment due dates can be really challenging especially if you are juggling work and school. The best student loan refinance programs can help.
To choose the right option for you take advantage of the tools and calculators available so you can pick an option with the best terms. Here are some general loan refinancing programs available:
- Federal loans with up to twenty-five-year repayment options
- Bank loans – with and without fees
- Reward options
- Best borrowers without a cosigner
- Best Cosigner Release Options
These are some of the many refinancing options you can look into. Remember to keep in mind that any private loans will not have the same benefits you can expect from federal loans.
#2: Winning Scholarships
Similar to taking a student loan, earning scholarships will help you to offset your principle, and paired with refinancing will be a great option. You will be amazed when you see how many grants and scholarships are available to you, from scholarships for vegetarians to Asian American scholarships.
There are literally thousands of options totaling over a billion dollars. The key is to read each scholarship, grant, or contest directions very carefully. This is, of course, more time-consuming than simply getting a loan refinanced but even a couple of scholarships can make a huge impact on your debt repayment.
Keep in mind that scholarships will affect your financial aid and you are required to notify your school if and when you receive the scholarship. Scholarships are merit-based and grants are need-based so if your financial aid doesn’t cover all of your tuition considering a grant to subsidize the rest is a great option.
#3: Financial Aid
You may have already received financial aid or perhaps you didn’t yet and so you now want to know if you can take advantage. The short answer is yes – if you are interested in financial aid which is a non-repayment grant issued to all students regardless of income, speak to your school financial aid department.
If you need more information, contact the expert on all of the great refinancing, loans, and other financial support you can receive. They will help you use tools and comparison charts to pick the loan with the best terms, interest rates, repayment, and flexibility options you need to make your college experience a great one!
Written by Ester K. She is writing content about SEO for SERPWizz. You’ll find me playing with my dog Gizmo in between copious cups of coffee and even the odd donut or three :).
Outsourced customer service team from A to Z
An outsourced customer service team is responsible for processing customers’ requests. We have described almost everything you should know about outsourced customer service and how it works in our alphabetical list.
A customer support agent is a critical person that provides communication between the customer and the company. Outsourced customer support agents should have enough information to handle all requests, transfer them to responsible team members when needed, etc. Also, customer support agents should be polite and calm even if the customer behaves differently.
The Brand is one of the main and most important things customer support works with. The way how customers treat the brand depends on the way customer support agents work.
Building strong communications is an essential skill of each customer support team. According to research, 90% of users highly appreciate a good customer service level and consider the provider of goods and services.
Sometimes call centers may experience so-called downtimes. It means that customers can’t reach the call center due to some technical or other problems. In this case, outsourced customer service should inform the company about occurred issues ASAP and solve them. When the connection works again, customer service agents have to call all the customers who tried to reach them during the downtime back.
An outsourced customer service team contacts different people every day. And without empathy, it would just not be possible. Search for customer agents ready to hear people who reach them, understand their problems, and try to solve them. Companies with engaged customer support teams may expect up to 140% better results than the competitors.
Frequently asked questions or FAQs are helpful not only for customers but for an outsourced customer support team. Good knowledge of crucial answers may increase a vital FCRR (First Contact Resolution Rate) index . It shows how many requests a customer support team resolves during a single conversation.
In companies that practice a creative approach, customer support is even more interesting. To motivate customer support agents to perform better, they offer different bonuses and marks. For example, a medal for the happiest customer or certificate to the most productive agent. When you choose an outsourced customer service team, ask whether they use gamification in their processes. If yes, this is a good sign.
The main advantage of collaboration with an outsourced customer support team is an opportunity to save money. You may be charged according to different systems and schedules. But it will be, with high possibility, a “pay for hours” approach.
A customer support team may work in-house or inside a particular company as a separate department. The company has to organize all processes, pay compensation, and check the results. An outsourced customer service team takes over these tasks and involves the company only when it comes to reports, issues, or exchanging information.
Sometimes customer support agents, as other technical specialists, use professional jargon in their conversations. But for customers such words are unacceptable. All information a customer support agent shares with a customer has to be clear and understandable.
A knowledge base is information that customer support agents should use in their work. It’s useful when a customer needs some specific or step-by-step guidance. If you collaborate with an outsourced customer support team, you should provide it with a detailed knowledge base regarding your product or service.
The company and supplier should discuss legal aspects of collaboration beforehand. Study the contract carefully and don’t hesitate to ask any questions. Clarify the possibility of the trial period, NDA (Non-disclosure agreement).
Outsourced customer support means receiving calls and responding to emails, messages, chats, etc. It’s called multi-channel support.
The effectiveness of customer support should be measured and estimated. That helps avoid severe mistakes and identify whether customers are satisfied with the service or not. It is essential in outsourced customer support when the client company can not influence all the processes. Check your Net Promoter Score (NPS) constantly. This index shows a general level of customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.
An outsourced customer support team gets a lot of calls and messages every day. It’s easy to get lost in the data. Not to lose anything crucial, customer support agents add all info in CRM and tickets. Open tickets mean that the customer’s problem is not yet solved and needs attention.
The main task of customer support is to respond to customers’ requests. So just wait until customers contact the agents. But during the last few years, it has become popular to use proactive customer support. That means that call center agents reach customers themselves and help them deal with problems even before they occur. It will surprise the customers but provide them with the feeling that the company cares about them.
Outsourced customer support needs quality assurance (QA). This process should be fulfilled by the provider of the customer support services. It includes checking the quality of work, responding speed, and other parameters.
One of the main reasons why companies outsource customer support is increasing revenue. And it works. Companies that actively implement customer support in their processes have 4-8% higher income than other businesses on the market.
Quality support is another reason why companies prefer to outsource these functionalities. A customer support department inside the company may be expensive and unproductive. A professional outsourced customer support team will, with high possibility, provide better results.
Telemarketing is one of the services offered by an outsourced customer support team. Customer support agents call potential customers and attract their attention to the products or services of the particular company.
User error is one of the top requests an outsourced customer service team has to deal with. The majority of these errors may be fixed easily with a couple of steps, and others need special attention.
A customer service team is the voice of the brand. It has to be friendly and polite. Customer support agents should communicate with customers in a business manner but use particular positive words that may help slow down the conversation when needed or avoid customers’ aggressive reactions.
A company website should include complete customer support contact information. It should be reachable and understandable. If you have multiple channels of support (calls, emails, chats, etc.), mention them on the website.
Customer support agents sometimes have to work in total stress due to a high amount of calls or other reasons. That’s why it’s necessary to rest after work, recharge the batteries and avoid burnout. Customer agents need a kind of zen for being positive and effective. That’s why their work is so important.
Kydrid Industries Changes Its Name To Avenue BPM
This statement is to address all of our clients, contractors and fellow Calgarians.
Ever since we originally started our garage door repair and overhead door tech company, our team has been proud to provide exceptional service to Calgary and its surrounding areas. In 2014, we started with a handful of staff who offered a few select services. After years of hard work and consistency we have since been able to grow our company to offer a full suite of services tailored towards the commercial property management industry.
As of March 2021, we have changed our name from Kydrid Industries to Avenue BPM. We feel this name embodies our company better. Our name change did not come easy but is a more accurate representation of the direction we are headed towards.
Our clients can rest assured knowing that the quality of our services will maintain its level of excellence. This change is only a name change and is a step forward into the future.
A Few Of The Key Services That We Offer
Avenue BPM provides a total of 9 services in Calgary. However we felt that it would be important to highlight three of our key services: overhead door maintenance, entry door maintenance and fences.
Over Head Door Maintenance
As one of our original services, we can guarantee that you will be taken care of and provided the highest level of service when you choose us for your overhead door maintenance. We have been providing outstanding service in this area for 7 years. Whether you need an installation, door replacement or door opener repair, our team has seen it all and is ready to help you.
Entry Door Maintenance
Entrance doors are areas of commercial buildings that generally take the most abuse. They are some of the most commonly used parts of a building so it will come as no surprise that without regular inspection they are subject to breaking. You can prevent an expensive replacement by ensuring you get regular inspections from our team at Avenue BPM.
Fences and Security Gates
Whether you need a fence for security or just as a border for your business or commercial area, we have you covered. Our team provides a wide array of chain link fences, fences with privacy gates and slats, powder coated fences and fences with additional security features as required.
Five Hedge Fund Industry Trends in 2021
We are off to an interesting year which will hopefully be much better and more stable for everyone than the last one. As we aim to rebuild what was lost and move forward in the year 2021, the important question is where the necessary funds will go to. Investment decisions will be as crucial for the markets as ever. Thus the key hedge fund industry trends will be closely watched by everyone in business and finance. Below is the forecast of which trends are going to continue strong in 2021 and shape the hedge fund industry for years to come.
Hedging the risks
The initial idea behind hedge funds is to design an investment strategy that would be virtually immune to losing money. This is done by combining long-term strategies with short selling ones, hedging the risks in a way that investors are supposed to come out on top regardless of the changes in market conditions.
However, unfortunately, it is not that simple. Hedge funds can still fail due to unforeseen circumstances and sometimes such failures are of staggering magnitude. And as the industries grow and global markets open up, there is an increasing variety of different events that might cause unforeseen fluctuations in the market.
Therefore, the forecasting abilities of investment analysts also need to be strengthened to catch up with the markets and reduce risks. This necessity is a strong driving force behind the trends in the hedge fund industry that currently dominate and will continue to rise.
Additionally, investment funds are generally always interested in technological innovation as this has been proven throughout the years to be one of the main forces generating advantages over the competition. Thus, hedge funds and financial firms will be looking into emerging possibilities to adapt and adopt new technologies for increased efficiency and better results.
Five trends to look out for in 2021
The year is now well on its way so we can identify the tendencies in the hedge fund industry that stand out. Most of the actions of investment firms come as no surprise as they go in the same direction where the industry has been moving for the better part of 21st century thus far.
Here are the five clear trends that will define 2021 for hedge funds and are likely to continue strong throughout the decade.
1) Alternative data. This is the trend that has pretty much defined this century and especially the last decade. There was a time when hedge funds have been using a rather limited amount and types of data that mostly came directly from industry sources. That time is gone and unlikely to ever return. Now financial firms utilize all kinds of data from alternative sources to enhance decision making. And as data-producing technology will rise with more and more sensors created every year, alternative data will remain a key trend in the industry.
2) Data-driven recruitment. Financial firms have been utilizing data-driven hiring strategies to increase hiring efficiency and quality of hires. Data-driven recruitment is set to rise in usage in hedge funds as it has shown favorable results thus far, proving to improve the hiring experience both for HR and the candidates.
3) Machine learning. Related to the above, machine learning is the key feature of artificial intelligence that hedge funds have been very interested in. And as the last year has shown significant improvements in the technology even to the point where black swan events are not as huge a problem as it used to be for AI, the ability of algorithms to learn on their will certainly be continuously utilized to build investment models and make predictions. Of course, this will reinforce the necessity of alternative data as algorithms are being trained through constant data analysis.
4) Environmental, social, and governance investing. Socially responsible investing is gaining momentum as it is clearer than ever that every investment choice also matters on a bigger level. Thus, hedge funds will continue to evaluate their investment strategies not only by direct returns but also by the long-term effects they have on the environment and society.
5) Automation of procedures. The drive towards automation is a general trend not only of this century but of the last one as well. However, now as AI is capable of doing more than before, it has become possible to automate a lot of daily procedures in the hedge fund, including some managerial tasks, directing how employees engage with the clients.
Summing up: investing and AI
As we can see, all the foreseeable trends point to the fact that AI and data analysis will, for a large part, define the investment industry in the future. This does not mean that there will be no place left for humans in hedge funds. Rather it means that their task s will be different and more connected to handling data and using AI. Therefore, cooperation between people and technology is something hedge fund managers will work on for years to come.
7 Critical Business Applications
After a ten-year period, studies have shown that 70% of businesses will fail.
If you want to ensure that your business stays alive, you should invest in business applications that will help your business run smoothly and efficiently.
But what are some of the best business apps? Keep reading to find out how to achieve business success!
1. Inventory Control
Inventory management is a great system that will help you monitor the levels of your business’s:
- Stock levels
- Turnover rates
- Cycle counts
When you have inventory systems, you’ll help automate a lot of the processes to free up your employees to work on other parts of your business. They won’t have to record, manually count, or examine stock from across all kinds of different locations.
It’s also a great way to incorporate your Point-of-Sale system to let you know what your quantities are in real-time. This can also be helpful information to load onto your website to let your customers know how much you have in stock.
If there is an error in one of the stock counts, the system will alert you and let you know so that you can immediately fix it before it snowballs into a bigger problem.
2. Financial Systems
A financial system is important because it’s one way to monetize transactions and your financial information. You’ll likely be able to find all kinds of these applications through banks.
There are plenty of them that can fit your specific needs. However, while most businesses have a stream of revenue, you may also want to consider finding a system that has a payment model as well.
You should also make sure that the application you choose can handle a lot of traffic. If you don’t have an influx of payments all the time, you may not have to worry about that.
But if you’re going to have a really good deal on your website, you should make sure that you have a system that can handle all kinds of extra traffic. This is one of the best tips for business because if your site crashes during that sale, you’ll turn a lot of customers away from your business.
3. Communication and Messaging
If your employees are working remotely, you’ll need to have some business apps that will let them communicate with each other. This can also be helpful if you have an international business or different offices in different states.
You can use these systems to communicate with other employees, but you may also want to use them to communicate with your customers or business partners as well.
There are all kinds of different applications, like:
- Video calls
- Conference calls
- Cross-functional communication
If you are in an industry where you need to protect the data that you’re sending on the communication, you should choose a platform that is known to beef up its security. If you don’t, you could be exposing your business to potential hacks and risks.
If someone could gain access to those accounts, they could easily scam other people or steal their information, putting your company at risk.
If you want to know more about what applications to use to help your employees work remotely, click here to learn more.
Some people also call refer to this as concept mapping because it will brainstorm and map out all of your concepts and new ideas.
It will group them together so that you can easily and efficiently come up with new ideas and implement the good ones! They are also great for boosting productivity and helping you get out of that creative drought.
Whether you’re a manager, CEO, or an intern, scheduling applications can really improve your business strategy and make any changes to schedules.
Some business apps will give you a web-based interface or even a mobile app so that you can access the schedule anywhere. You can even create your own schedule, make one for your employees, or even make one for the entire company!
You can also use this to help employees know when their shifts are and let them manage trades if they need to find someone else to cover their shift for them. You can also use this app to keep track of how many hours everyone worked and also use it to pay every employee!
If you’re going to be sending your employees on business trips, you’ll have to find an application that can:
- Book tickets
- Find hotels
- Rent transportation
- Schedule the trip
There are many applications out there that are based on location. They’ll also have all of the travel information that you need inside to ensure that you don’t forget a thing while you’re on your trip.
After you’ve put your inventory system and point-of-sale applications in, you should also have forecasting software.
This will automatically read all the data from your other systems and put it together so that you can plan for the future. It will consolidate the data into a report that you can use to run your business.
With these reports, you’ll be able to prepare for any spikes in your sales, and you’ll know when the dips are coming so you can save on labor costs and stock.
Discover More Business Applications
These are only a few of the best business applications for business owners, but there are many more out there!
We know that running a business can be stressful and overwhelming, but we’re here to help you out.
If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more articles just like this one.
4 Tips For Better Customer Management Processes
Customer management is the process of catering an excellent experience to your customers, either in the form of a product or service. The more satisfied your customers are, the higher rate of loyal customers your company will have. It’s normal for companies to lose a client every once in a while. However, most of the time, you’re not sure how it happened and what went wrong.
Despite interacting with lots of customers, you’ll still find them unpredictable, although they can be reasonable too. If you recently noticed that you’re starting to lose some of your clients, it may because you’ve done something wrong, yet you haven’t identified it yet. Every business owner understands how crucial it is to build strong and lasting relationships with customers because they’re the ones who keep your business running in the first place. Without them, your business won’t take off, and you won’t gain any profit at all.
Therefore, once you’ve seen signs of decline in your sales, you need to think of ways to eliminate the mistakes affecting your customers and ensure your clients are satisfied with you. Here are four tips to help improve your customer management processes and increase your company’s customer satisfaction.
- Hire The Right Employees
You may think about how your employees have to do with improving your customer management processes. But the thing is the growth of your company relies on people. There are two types of people your company needs to grow and excel in your industry. The first one is your employees. Your employees keep the operation moving and are the ones working on providing excellent services for your clients. The second type of people you need is your clients. They’re the ones that keep your business alive.
That’s why, when it comes to optimizing your customer management, you need to involve your employees as they’re the ones who process your services and provide satisfaction to your customers. For this reason, you need to hire the right employees who can actually help your company grow instead of costing you more liability. You can use software tools that’ll help your company work with these people, such as the ATS (Application Tracking System) and CRM (Customer Relationship Manager).
If you’re wondering between ATS vs CRM and see which software you need the most, the answer is both. While the ATS tool will help you hire the right candidate to execute the job properly, the CRM will nurture your relationship with your clients and keep track of all their details. In return, these efficient candidates hired onboard will do the work for you, and they’ll execute all your plans for customer satisfaction.
- Enhance Your Technical Skills
Customer management processes are often expected to be fast, dynamic, and almost unstoppable. Some days are unpredictable, wherein plenty of customers will come to your office or call in your company numbers and lay all their questions and problems to you. Understandably, customers would prefer it if their concerns are addressed quickly and efficiently. If your employees aren’t skilled in multi-tasking or handling technical matters, it’ll create a bad impression on your customers and waste their valuable time.
For this reason, it’s essential that your company’s staff have enhanced technical skills and can handle multiple tasks at once. It’s one of the skills you should consider and include in your ATS platform when hiring employees for your company. Additionally, to ensure that your employees are on top of their game when processing customer management, you can keep track of their progress through Human Resource Information System (HRIS) for performance measuring. Both ATS vs HRIS are two diverse systems used for your employees for the same solution, which is to streamline your employee’s performance and technical skills.
- Customers Are People, Not Numbers
It’s common for businesses to treat their customers as numbers, and so they end up lumping up their clients together. Unfortunately, this method will only drive your prospective clients away. No one wants to be treated with that kind of attitude. In improving your customer management processes, you need every staff in your employee to know that customers aren’t just numbers who’ll increase your sales; they’re people who have concerns, questions, and needs. You shouldn’t just call them generally with Miss or Mister. Make your customer service more personalized. Call them with their names and remember a few facts about them. Even these little details will give your customers an impression that your business genuinely cares.
- Communicate Clearly
When it comes to customer service, clear communication, either through writing or verbally, is essential. When processing your customer’s needs or services, you need to answer their questions clearly and honestly, in a natural or friendly tone of voice. Most often, clients want a clear explanation, but not necessarily all the details. Thus, make sure you fill them with the essential information without having to roam around the bush before you get to the point. Remember that customers would appreciate it more if your services are fast yet concise.
Remember, there’s always room for improvement for your customer management processes. Take note of these tips above and assess your management regularly. Additionally, check your customer statistics and listen to your customers’ reviews or feedback, as these can help you figure out which area in your processes you should work on more.
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