FGC+ Work Redefined. Business Unusual. https://www.fgcplus.com Work Redefined. Business Unusual Tue, 30 Jun 2020 20:06:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://www.fgcplus.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/cropped-fgcicon-2-32x32.png FGC+ Work Redefined. Business Unusual. https://www.fgcplus.com 32 32 Building Work Culture (Even While Working Remotely) https://www.fgcplus.com/building-work-culture-even-while-working-remotely/ https://www.fgcplus.com/building-work-culture-even-while-working-remotely/#respond Thu, 04 Jun 2020 21:04:47 +0000

Today’s work landscape shows that, more than ever, a strong company culture is essential. Businesses with strong cultures enjoy a 4x increase in revenue growth and many jobseekers consider “the right culture” a top priority when looking for a company to work for.

Company culture is often thought to be fostered by employees coming together in team-building activities or company-wide assemblies. When colleagues spend time together and share experiences in one physical space, it’s easier to develop a sense of belonging, which is one of the major foundations of a great work culture. But with the current shift towards remote work arrangements where many teams are spread apart, building a winning culture is definitely a bigger challenge.

Here are some of the things distributed teams can do to improve company culture, even while working remotely:

  1. Show them the BIG picture.

Inculcating your company goals and values should start from day one. This is why it’s important, first and foremost, to have a solid vetting and onboarding process for all new hires. Streamline your hiring process to ensure that all team members are the “right fit” and actively communicate your vision to everyone every step of the way. Also, it’s important that everyone, not just the upper management, feels a sense of shared leadership – this doesn’t only promote responsibility, but it also gives everyone a chance to rise to the occasion and affirm their skills and value. Giving each one a role in a collective goal keeps everyone aligned and fosters stronger teamwork.

  1. Improve communication.

Communication is different in a remote work environment – mainly because it requires one to be more deliberate; it requires a bit more effort. Non-verbal cues (such as body language, eye contact, etc.) and casual encounters (like inside jokes or water-cooler talk) are almost non-existent when you’re communicating through a computer.

To combat this, remote teams need to have the right tools (find a communication channel that is intuitive and makes collaboration easier), clearly set communication expectations (have a feedback mechanism in place with timely check-ins and consistent turn-around times for responses), meet regularly (cameras on, as much as possible), and encourage an environment of sharing (leaders have to actively set an example of being open and transparent). 

  1. Initiate company-wide “creative” fun.

Just because you’re no longer co-located doesn’t mean that team-building activities can no longer take place. You just have to be more creative in finding ways to allow everyone to participate and have fun. Some companies hold virtual happy hour, some have themed virtual meetings (costume day on Zoom is actually quite hilarious). It can also be as simple as scheduling a short time for non-work talk – ask them how their weekend went, share photos, etc. – or having virtual lunch together. Recreating the “office social life” leads to building camaraderie and stronger connections between team members.

  1. Prioritize health and well-being.

Isolation and loneliness are major concerns for remote teams, especially if your staff is going through an abrupt transition to the work-from-home life. From the comfort zone of being in office-based operations and the fact that humans are generally innately social, the sudden change to working alone can cause some anxiety. Another concern is the negative habits that may form – being more sedentary, adapting bad eating choices, being unable to fully unplug, among many others. Over time, these become a more serious problem because if employers want the best possible output, their employees should be in a highly functional space – mentally, physically, and emotionally.  

Particularly in a remote setup where you’re not able to physically see everyone, companies should invest the team’s overall wellness. Encourage your team to take leaves – some of them might feel awkward about taking a day off, since they’re already at home most of the time. Send out anonymous surveys to “temp check” how your team is feeling and what support they need more of. Provide comprehensive health packages that include regular assessments and reimbursements to health promotions (like memberships to a gym or subscriptions for low-calorie meals). Take the time to discuss and understand your people’s challenges and work towards solutions that help them achieve more balance.  

  1. Recognize and acknowledge.

For in-office teams, giving rewards and showing recognition is seen to boost performance and improve morale. This is equally important, if not more so, in remote teams. Just as it is valuable to inspire a shared purpose, it’s also vital to recognize and acknowledge.

One way to do this is by offering incentives – you should consider rewards that give employees a way to improve their wellbeing or develop themselves further, like spa coupons or paid learning opportunities. Another way is by sending out a “congratulations” email blast or putting up a virtual “bulletin board” to celebrate accomplishments. Positive reinforcement should be given regularly, in real-time. The ways can vary greatly among different companies, so make sure that you spend time in discovering what your team would be excited to aspire to.

At FGC+, our focus is not only on our clients but our staff as well. Our winning culture helps us attract and retain top talent and the fun work environment allows them to be the best they can be. We take pride in our culture of making “Work Redefined” and “Business Unusual.” Speak to us about setting up your own remote team!

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Overcoming Remote Work Challenges https://www.fgcplus.com/overcoming-remote-work-challenges/ https://www.fgcplus.com/overcoming-remote-work-challenges/#respond Wed, 13 May 2020 13:46:02 +0000

COVID-19 is changing our offices and the way we work. Now, more than ever, companies are seeing the value of setting up remote teams and allowing remote work arrangements.

Remote work, even before “the times of corona,” was already on the rise. The number of employees who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010. 83% of global workers also say that remote work opportunities make them feel happier about their jobs. Despite the popularity and the many benefits, remote working is not without its challenges.

Here are some of the common challenges posed by remote working and some ways to combat them:

  1. Distractions at home

We’ve all seen that famous video of a BBC reporter being interrupted by his kid while on-air and his wife coming in to snatch the kid away as quickly as possible – and it’s such a real, relatable moment for many remote workers. When working from home, some might also see tasks that aren’t necessarily urgent – from cleaning the apartment to feeding the pets, washing the dishes, or answering the occasional doorbell. Distractions at home are everywhere.

The solution:

The first thing to take care of when switching to a WFH arrangement is to set-up a home office. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it does have to be deliberate. It’s important that there’s a designated area for work – tidy, practical, and, ideally, in a separate space – and that the people you live with at home understand and respect your working hours. Taking short, timed, proactively planned breaks can also help increase productivity.

  1. Fragmented collaboration

When team members are in the same office, they can easily work together, side-by-side, on a specific document or project, without a lot of limitations. When global teams work in different places and different time zones, however, there can be some delays in input and feedback. Also, communication through chat or e-mail, without the usual show of nonverbal cues and other supplementary information accomplished through face-to-face interaction, can feel distant and impersonal.

The solution:

There are now many online tools and programs specially created for remote teams –

a. Trello, Asana, Freedcamp, and other project management tools can help members take ownership of small tasks within projects. The progress visibility also allows teams to see which parts need more work and also reminds each of specific due dates.

b. Apps like Skype, GoToMeeting, Slack, or Zoom allows better collaboration by improving virtual communication. These programs help make correspondence among teams more seamless with their respective features such as notifications, file sharing, group chats, instant messaging, etc.

Many proponents of remote work also encourage teams to turn their cameras on during virtual meetings, as this promotes an enhanced digital experience and incites heightened focus, resulting in more dynamic meetings.   

  1. Lack of management oversight

One of the most significant differences between working in the office and working from home is the lack of real-time, face-to-face supervision. New business owners, who are only beginning to scale, might lack the experience in managing employees and may encounter difficulties (especially due to the complication of not being in the same physical space). On the other hand, managers who have been used to the traditional set-up may find it tough to fully trust the team when they are unable to physically see them working.


For those who are just beginning to venture into hiring remote staff, finding a reliable partner can help augment the initial challenges in managing remote teams. Some business owners don’t realize the actual amount of work this entails – hiring the right employees, setting their metrics, monitoring their productivity, and even taking care of their pay and benefits. It is helpful to remember that there are companies dedicated to offering these end-to-end services and providing full management oversight for remote teams.

Furthermore, while there are programs that can track progress and there are even some apps that can monitor exactly what an employee is doing, nothing beats building a culture of trust within the team. Compared with industry competitors, companies with high-trust cultures experience 50% lower employee turnover and 50% higher productivity.

Many experts believe that the coronavirus outbreak just accelerated and fast-tracked the inevitable shift towards what is dubbed “the future of work.” Companies who, at first, felt forced to adapt these arrangements are now changing their minds about remote work. As long as organizations take the time to tackle the challenges and find ways to overcome them, building remote teams just might be the move that can catapult a business to the next level.  

Since 2011, FGC+ has been instrumental in setting up successful remote teams. We know how to overcome these challenges; we know how to make remote teams the best they can be. Let us help you build yours today!

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5+ Interesting Healthcare Outsourcing Statistics https://www.fgcplus.com/5-interesting-healthcare-outsourcing-statistics/ https://www.fgcplus.com/5-interesting-healthcare-outsourcing-statistics/#respond Tue, 05 May 2020 19:42:21 +0000

While many businesses have suffered declines in revenue because of the ongoing pandemic, one industry that is actually seen to have increased interest is the healthcare industry. All over the world, as hospitals try to keep up with the influx of coronavirus-positive patients, long-overdue appreciation is given to healthcare workers and many flawed medical systems are brought to light.

In the outsourcing world, the same attention and renewed perspective is also in order. Many outsourcing providers catering to the medical sector have had to make adjustments to ensure that the companies they serve remain fully operational, despite the disruptions. Here are some healthcare outsourcing statistics to consider:

  1. The healthcare BPO market is estimated to reach 312 billion (USD) by 2025.

Just as outsourcing, as a whole, has proven to be a lucrative industry – one of its largest segments, the medical-related sector, is showing to be highly profitable, as well. Even with the current disruptions, it still shows no signs of slowing down; trends predict a steady +10% in CAGR until 2025.

  1. Healthcare outsourcing services help companies save 30-60% on costs.

The main driver for the booming healthcare outsourcing industry is cost efficiency. Access to low-cost workforce and infrastructure helps institutions significantly increase their profit margin. 98% of C-Level executives surveyed said they were actively considering adopting such services or had already done so as a response to financial pressure and to allow them to focus on value-based programming.

  1. The most common outsourced healthcare functions are: medical coding/billing, medical transcription,
  2. insurance/claims processing, virtual assistants/physician liaisons, healthcare customer support.

Healthcare outsourcing started with roles in the lower-end spectrum of healthcare information management – such as data entry, transcription, and the like. In the past five years, many key functions are starting to be added to the roster: from healthcare VAs doing live-charting to developers creating medical software.

  1. Around 80% of medical bills contains errors.

One of the primary reasons causing revenue erosion in many healthcare institutions in the US is billing inefficiencies. This doesn’t just impact hospitals, but the entire ecosystem, as well: from physicians losing out on underpayments, to insurers having to reject an aggregate of 200 million claims a day, to the 79 million Americans who have problems with medical bills or debts. There’s definitely a snowball effect from an issue that can be mitigated by partnering with reputable and experienced medical billing services providers.

  1. The Philippines is one of the best destinations for healthcare outsourcing the world.

The vast talent pool of nursing graduates (and graduates of other allied medical courses), combined with a high literacy rate (top 20 ranking in the English Proficiency Index with little to no accent) and alignment to the Western culture makes the Philippines a go-to for outsourcing healthcare functions. Filipinos, in general, also have commendable work ethic: they are resourceful, hard-working, patient, and good-natured.

At FGC+, we have a vast pool of healthcare professionals ready to work with you. Our delivery centers in Davao and Bacolod are strategically located to ensure we can build your team with top talent. Call us today.

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An SME’s Guide to Surviving COVID-19 https://www.fgcplus.com/an-smes-guide-to-surviving-covid-19/ https://www.fgcplus.com/an-smes-guide-to-surviving-covid-19/#respond Mon, 13 Apr 2020 20:06:10 +0000

As the world tries to grapple with COVID-19, many different changes across the globe are taking place. Government leaders are setting up various security and precautionary measures for their communities as they deem fit. Travel restricted; quarantines imposed. Social gatherings discouraged; physical distancing emphasized. The world as we know it is being turned upside down. These disruptions will undoubtedly be hard on many businesses – catastrophic even, for small to medium enterprises that usually operate on tight margins and do not have much leeway when it comes to staffing. About 77% of small business owners admit to feeling “very worried” and are bracing themselves for the worst.

Here are five points that can help SMEs weather this global pandemic:

  1. Coordinate and communicate.

These ambivalent times make everyone – employees and customers alike – anxious and scared. More than anything else, people just want to feel safe and be reassured. Therefore, the most important response companies can make is to prioritize health and well-being. Businesses should be able to communicate and coordinate consistently, promptly, and in a supportive way.

Create a solid communication plan inclusive of:

  • a summary of relevant company policies (healthcare coverage, what to do when feeling unwell, employee assistance programs, etc.)
  • verified, up-to-date public health recommendations from reliable authorities
  • possible implementation of continuity plans such as work-from-home strategies
  • and other pertinent information

Without proper guidance and transparency, an organization can be susceptible to hysteria and panic. Communicating externally (with clients or customers) should also be done with care – because the tactics utilized and the voice used by the company will be a defining factor on their identity, even after the pandemic has been resolved.

  1. Triage financial obligations.

The next big concern business owners have is the uncertainty of being able to keep up with expenses. To address this, they should monitor cash flow more closely and create a list of priorities about which costs must be paid and which ones can be reduced. Consider deferring large investments and temporarily halting expenses that are non-essential or not directly impacting revenue. Similarly, if some clients are having difficulties fulfilling payments, consider negotiating better terms or providing less expensive services for the time-being – even if it hurts profitability in the short term, clients will always remember who helped them ride out the storm.

  1. Leverage remote work.

In a situation where remote work is no longer merely a matter of convenience, but may actually be instrumental in keeping people safe – many companies have been forced to adapt alternative ways just to keep the business operational. Businesses that are affected by local restrictions (that may hinder staff from coming to work) can turn to a global workforce and may also consider incorporating this into their long-term business continuity plan. If there is a sudden surge in work volume, outsourcing can be a quick and effective way to augment some functions or assist overworked in-house staff. This is the time when organizations should be nimble and creative in making adjustments to fit the current climate.  

  1. Strengthen digital marketing.

People all over the world are being encouraged to avoid crowds and, as much as possible, stay home. Many big events have been postponed and places where people usually spend their money (restaurants, malls, theaters, etc.) are closed. Because of the behavioral shift this entails and the fact that more people are spending more time online, building a stronger digital presence can be a brand’s biggest defense against the virus. Reinforce social media presence by being a trusted source of thoughtful, sensitive content and useful, updated information. Also, be innovative in thinking of new ways to deliver your message and how to reach the target audience better.

  1. Reflect and recover.

Many companies make the mistake of dwelling too much on readiness and responding to crises that they often forget about the recovery stage. In its simplest form, recovery is the transition of being back to “normal” or business as usual when the emergency starts to slow down or cease to exist. The best practice is for companies to be aware of and record points of friction, confusion, or failure, so that when they look back, they can accurately assess how well they performed (response evaluation) and if they were ever adequately prepared (readiness evaluation) in the first place. The insight gained in these times is invaluable for ensuring organizations don’t make the same mistakes again and for them to make improved contingency plans.

It’s no question that this isn’t just a public health emergency, but an economic crisis as well. Many hard decisions will have to be made. It’s uncharted territory for many – but one thing SMEs can hold on to as an advantage is the ability to be more agile. In being small, they can adapt and diversify more quickly than larger companies. Preparedness, flexibility, and innovation are essential in wading through these unprecedented times.

Let FGC+ be your partner in getting through the worst of this pandemic. Talk to us about our flexible solutions that can help you maintain continued operations.

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Outsourcing Fails: Common Mistakes to AVOID https://www.fgcplus.com/outsourcing-fails-common-mistakes-to-avoid/ https://www.fgcplus.com/outsourcing-fails-common-mistakes-to-avoid/#respond Wed, 11 Mar 2020 20:14:09 +0000

Even if numerous companies are already reaping the benefits of outsourcing, there are still many who aren’t convinced. No one can blame them. There’s a long list of discouraging myths and misconceptions – and then, there are also several, very real outsourcing fails.

Case in point: 2010’s IBM vs the State of Indiana debacle. Both parties went to court over a ten-year outsourcing contract valued at 1.4 billion USD. Two years into the partnership, Indiana decides to pull out, citing that systems IBM implemented were problematic. It was a costly misunderstanding – a $78 million-dollar one, to be exact. Big, public disasters like these are more than enough to scare off the average entrepreneur. The silver lining is, though, that these widely known blow-ups also leave behind lessons that can help new business owners re-think their outsourcing apprehensions.

Here are some of the most common mistakes to A.V.O.I.D.:

A – Abruptly choosing just any service provider

One of the first decisions companies face after deciding to outsource is choosing their outsourcing partner. There many things that should be considered – from cultural fit, to expertise, to specific need – and it can be a long, time-consuming deliberation. Some companies make the mistake of jumping in too fast and not studying all the essentials. The right vendor can make or break an outsourcing strategy, which is why it’s important to take the time to find the right one.

V – Vague expectations

Statistics show that 50% of outsourced projects flop outright or don’t quite reach expectations. One of the main factors contributing to this is the fact that many companies don’t really know what they want in the first place. When expectations are unclear, the whole process doesn’t come together – hires aren’t the right fit, metrics aren’t correctly measured, goals aren’t met – and it inevitably ends in conflict and breakdown.

O – Overlooking security risks

With today’s rampant breaches and data leaks, security should be a top priority. Many outsourcing fails involve some form of security issue, especially when these matters were not explicitly discussed in the beginning. It is important for outsourcing partnerships to agree on how information is shared and stored; as well as to have systems in place to fight off security risks. 

I – Inconsistent and irregular communication

Some companies fail to realize that outsourcing is a progression. They think that when they find a vendor, express what they need, and start paying for the team, they can already wean off involvement immediately. The truth is that there are going to be hiccups along the way, no collaboration is perfect – so it’s important that there is regular communication for check and balance, improvement, and alignment.

D – Deciding based solely on price

For 82% of US companies, the primary reason for outsourcing is to save on costs. It’s normal to go for the option that gives the most bang for the buck. The danger is in thinking about pricing too much that everything else is sacrificed. Most often, the lowest rate possible, unfortunately, also comes with lower expertise and lower quality of work.

Like every other business decision, outsourcing has its pros and cons. In the case previously mentioned, many of the challenges were avoidable and could have been handled differently. For many successful companies, the benefits far outweigh the costs. A company’s outsourcing journey can be another cautionary tale or a success story – depending on business owners doing their due diligence, learning from the experiences of others, having safeguards to mitigate risks, and remembering what to avoid. Done correctly, outsourcing is a great, profitable strategy for any organization.

Considering outsourcing? FGC+ has helped many clients who are new to outsourcing by being the ideal partner, guiding them every step of the way. Let us help you get your outsourcing journey started.

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The 5 Common Types of Virtual Assistants https://www.fgcplus.com/the-5-common-types-of-virtual-assistants/ https://www.fgcplus.com/the-5-common-types-of-virtual-assistants/#respond Thu, 27 Feb 2020 17:41:51 +0000

Delegation is key in being able to create and sustain a successful business model. If you’re one of those business owners who think they can be a one-man show all throughout – you’ll end up being stretched too thin, overwhelmed, and, eventually, burnt out. One way to effectively delegate is by hiring virtual assistants that you can trust to take some work off your plate and to handle some aspects of your business for you.

First off, what is a Virtual Assistant? A virtual assistant or VA is essentially a person who provides various services to entrepreneurs or businesses from a remote location. In the past five years, along with the rise of the nomad lifestyle and remote working, the VA industry has also experienced a significant upsurge. A VA can handle a broad scope of tasks, depending on your requirements or the industry you’re in – so, it’s also important to note that there are different categories of VAs that might help you assess which kind you need.

(The list below isn’t all-inclusive of types and tasks. It’s a general overview of the five most common types of VAs and their specific functions, but there’s definitely a longer list, as you delve further into more particular niches and responsibilities.)

5 different types of virtual assistants
  1. Technical/Customer Support

Especially in the e-commerce industry where great customer service is crucial, customer support virtual assistants can help you in handling your overall consumer base. Technical support VAs can save you from the hassle of having to learn and set-up different digital applications.

Some of the things they do are:

  • Responding to client inquiries and complaints
  • Managing inventory and CRM daily
  • Doing website maintenance, audits, and back-ups
  • Acting as helpdesk and fixing technical errors
  1. Social Media

No matter what your business is, building a robust online presence is vital in this digital age. Under this bucket are several more specific roles like: copywriters, graphic designers, campaign specialists – but, these VAs are generally in charge of your online brand.

Their tasks include:

  • Setting up and updating social networking profiles
  • Creating, curating, and repurposing content
  • Growing your database by building awareness and strengthening engagement
  • Analyzing reports from campaign results
  1. Administrative/Executive

Think of Jarvis to Ironman or Alfred to Batman – these VAs are the generalists who cover a wide range of responsibilities, from clerical work to personal tasks.

Examples of which are:

  • Making travel itineraries and booking reservations
  • Acting as gatekeepers and filtering through mail
  • Creating reports and presentations
  • Organizing your files and to-dos
  1. Real Estate

The property industry is one of the first industries to realize the benefits that hiring virtual assistants bring. By relying on a VA to handle the back-office work, brokers and property managers have more time to focus on actually closing deals.

Some of the work assigned to them are:

  • Building lists and generating leads
  • Setting appointments and posting ads
  • Preparing and filing paperwork
  • Updating property listings and following up on clients
  1. Accounting/Bookkeeping

Keeping track of financial information is vital to any company. Needless to say, it’s also tedious and time-consuming. Delegating these tasks to skilled and experienced VAs is a surefire way to ensure accuracy.

Some of the specific tasks you can delegate include:

  • Processing payroll
  • Projecting cash flow and account reconciliation
  • Budgeting and managing expenditure
  • Preparing reports for filing of tax and other purposes

Again, these are just some of the more common types of VAs in the current market. Some businesses may need virtual staff with an even more specialized set of skills. In 2016, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 3.9 million administrative assistants – and the demand will only continue to increase, especially since hiring a VA can give a company cost savings of up to 78%. While many VAs are capable of doing work across different categories, hiring a specialist for a certain job (especially those that you’re not very familiar with) and giving them a definite scope of work can help them be more focused and more efficient in their tasks. Proper designation and management is needed for your VA-partnership success.

FGC+ has been a provider of highly-skilled virtual assistants for small-to-medium businesses since 2011. Still not sure which one is right for you? Get on a discovery call with our client success team to know if this is the right step for you.

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Setting Your E-Commerce Brand Apart https://www.fgcplus.com/setting-your-e-commerce-brand-apart/ https://www.fgcplus.com/setting-your-e-commerce-brand-apart/#respond Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:08:51 +0000
amazing things happen when you listen to the consumer

One of the biggest challenges that e-commerce companies face is intense competition. There are about 24 million e-commerce sites globally according to one 2019 report – but this massive number may already be significantly off by now, because of the new shops added daily and other micro-platform retailers that may be unaccounted for. With the market being so saturated, it has become increasingly difficult to stand out.

Everyone wants a piece of the e-commerce pie, but it’s only cut for a select few.

Now, the question stands: if you’re a budding online entrepreneur, ardent passion for the business and smart product development aside, what are the ways you can stand out in your respective niche? What factors can you work on to set your brand apart?

  1. In-depth understanding of buyer

Beyond just identifying the basic profile of your prospective customers, it is important to have a detailed and comprehensive buyer persona. A buyer persona is a research-backed description of who your ideal customer is, basing on more in-depth parameters including demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information. Unlike the traditional norm of identifying one’s ‘target market’, a buyer persona is more exhaustive and specific – answering questions like: What publications do you read? Do you prefer to shop online or in person? What associations are you affiliated with? It’s not just who the customer is or what he wants, it’s knowing how he thinks.

The goal of this is to craft a more tailored approach in terms of building brand awareness, connecting with customers, and, eventually, driving more sales. The more thorough the profile is, the more strategic and unique the approach will be making a business truly stand out.

  1. Clear and consistent branding

Gone are the days when branding was just about having a logo, slogan, and consistent colors. Because of the digital age, where just about anyone can set up their own shops with the help of website builders like Wix or Shopify, branding is now more complex and should be more encompassing of all aspects of the business.

The most successful brands have a well-defined and clearly-developed voice that reflects the company’s goals, processes, and promise – generally, what the company is all about. This ‘voice’ is the brand’s overall personality that should be evident from communicating to customers to marketing products or services. This is especially vital in wanting to stand out from the crowd, because strong branding means that you are recognizable, dependable, and trustworthy.

  1. Stellar customer experience

86% of buyers are willing to pay significantly more for better customer experience. That alone should say a lot about how important total customer experience is. But more than just increased revenue, the greater value of having stellar CX is the loyal consumers that come with it. In the highly competitive e-commerce landscape, the most valuable asset you can have are customers-turned-advocates. These are the loyal patrons who use your service or buy your products over and over, even bringing in more customers through referrals.  

When transactions are done through a computer or a phone, it is even more important to consistently convey authenticity. Customers are smarter than ever and, given thousands of options, they can easily identify and compare which brands are genuinely interested in them and in solving their challenges. Even with the rise of automation and machine learning, many successful brands still opt for live customer service – mainly because, when done correctly, the human aspect of interactions makes things feel less transactional and more personal. Great customer experience, after all, is founded on great connections.

While the internet has made it a lot easier for entrepreneurs to get started, it has also made it a lot harder for companies to stand out. Products go viral overnight, one wrong tweet can cause brands to come crashing down, and new digital trends are introduced by the minute. The key is to find a way to blend brand, product, and marketplace seamlessly. No matter how advanced online retailing becomes, it’s always good to go back to the basics: providing value and serving customers well.

FGC+ can help set your e-commerce brand apart from the competition with our highly-trained customer service professionals who are eager to take customer experience to a whole new level. Contact us today

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5 Common Outsourcing Myths, Debunked https://www.fgcplus.com/5-common-outsourcing-myths-debunked/ https://www.fgcplus.com/5-common-outsourcing-myths-debunked/#respond Wed, 29 Jan 2020 19:38:58 +0000

Outsourcing has long been a go-to business practice by many successful companies. Big names like Alibaba, Skype, and Google all credit this strategy as one of the reasons behind their accelerated growth and continued advancement. But even with its long list of demonstrated benefits and success stories, many are still undecided about it. The uneasiness is because of the many persistent misconceptions that need to be addressed. Here are some of them:

Myth # 1:

Only large companies can outsource.”

In the beginning, the majority of the players involved in outsourcing were big companies that hired hundreds or thousands of offshore staff for customer support or manufacturing needs. This is probably how the notion that outsourcing is only accessible to large companies came about. Truth is, it actually makes more sense for smaller businesses (with presumably lesser budgets) to outsource. Nowadays, there a lot of service providers that can cater to SMEs or small to medium enterprises, offering customized solutions and accommodating functions where only one hire or a small team is needed. While the main draw is being able to save money (especially beneficial for start-ups who may have limited resources), the greater value is in leveling the playing field by allowing these growing businesses access to the same kind of talent and technology that more prominent companies enjoy.  

Myth # 2:

“It’s just too risky. Data and security breaches are rampant.”

This is a common concern – and a valid one. But this isn’t a problem unique to the outsourcing or offshoring industry; even major on-shore companies have faced corporate issues of this nature. Reputable outsourcing vendors acknowledge these threats and know that security is a top priority. Several measures can be put in place to mitigate these risks, such as building data safety into contracts (through NDAs or confidentiality agreements) and having different levels of user access so only what is necessary for a particular task is revealed.

Myth # 3:

“It’s too hard to find the right person/people for the job.”

One of the pitfalls business owners face when they finally decide to outsource work is the challenge of finding the right person or people for the job. Receiving hundreds of applications online can be overwhelming, and going through each one is undeniably time-consuming. An applicant can claim to know a certain skill but then end up not being up to par. A dependable outsourcing partner has dedicated teams and verified processes that pre-assess a candidate’s aptitude and skills, based on a client’s requirements. Also, in cases where an outsourced employee decides to leave, knowledge transition can be done to ensure continuity of operations.  

Myth # 4:

“It’s cheap so it’s probably low quality.”

This mistaken belief is a hasty generalization. Many established outsourcing partners have several layers of quality control to ensure that results are consistently top-notch. Apart from having dedicated teams (quality assurance specialists, trainers, reports analysts, internal management structure, etc.) to monitor and improve output regularly, they also have metrics and KPIs to keep outsourced staff adherent to standards.  

Myth # 5:

“No one will get my product/service the way I do. If I have to check all their work anyway, I’m better off doing it myself.”

The right outsourcing company trains its teams to treat their clients’ businesses as their own. They take time to learn the product or solution so that they can discover the best way to communicate with customers and represent the brand. They also provide dashboards and other reports that simplify keeping track of important matters. A good outsourcing partner makes things easier, so their clients have more time to do things they want to do. Like any other industry, outsourcing has greatly evolved and is continuously evolving. Many of the misconceptions that have been busted here are based on outdated knowledge and biased stereotypes. Of course, appeasing hesitations and disproving all these wrong notions once and for all boils down to finding the right outsourcing partner. Outsourcing can be a secret weapon if companies don’t let these myths hold them back.

5 Common Outsourcing Myths, Debunked

FGC+ is a reputable outsourcing services provider with a track record of helping start-ups and SMEs grow. We have established recruitment processes, security measures, and quality monitoring systems to help ease your outsourcing doubts. Still undecided? Schedule a call with our sales team to learn more.

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The Key Elements to Consider When Managing Remote Teams https://www.fgcplus.com/the-key-elements-to-consider-when-managing-remote-teams/ https://www.fgcplus.com/the-key-elements-to-consider-when-managing-remote-teams/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2020 14:45:50 +0000

Remote work has taken over today’s modern companies – thanks, mostly, to the advancement of the Internet and the influx of jobs that no longer require the traditional, 9-to-5 grind. This kind of flexibility has given many businesses definite advantages: they attract better talent from the global pool (remote working is considered a motivating perk – 74% of North Americans reported they are willing to switch jobs based on a work-from-home policy), they are able to save an average of $11,000 USD for each employee who works remotely 50% of the time, and they get better results as studies show that remote workers are 35-40% more productive. These reasons, among many others, are why remote working is dubbed as the “future of work.

But managing a remote team is very different from managing in-house employees. Many still consider virtual communication less productive and nearly half of managers surveyed admit to feeling confused and overwhelmed by collaboration technology. Virtual teams are definitely hard to get right, but here are some key elements to keep in mind to ensure successful virtual teamwork:

1. Hiring Process

Your team’s composition is your starting point. Like in any recruitment process for any organization, choosing the “right fit” will help everything fall into place much easier. While skills and practices can be taught, it is difficult to teach integrity, the aptitude to work independently, good communication, resourcefulness, and intrinsic drive. Each type of business may have their own technical requirements, but selecting a candidate who fits well with your existing team or who displays characteristics that you value will help managing the whole team a breeze.

2. Collaboration

One of the most prevalent concerns that come up in relation to working remotely is that it can foster an environment that lacks a sense of community. Working in front of screens, even with solutions like video conferencing, just cannot replace face-to-face interaction. With that being said, it is important to come up with and establish effective ways to work together at the onset of bringing someone into the team. Some of the ways to build better bonds are: having chit-chat sessions (about non-business matters) regularly, setting guidelines for team interfaces, using different digital platforms for better visibility of tasks, and organizing in-person meetings or retreats.

3. Communication

When your team doesn’t share the same physical space, there’s a greater need to be better at communicating effectively. The best virtual teams overcome the challenges of being in different parts of the world through consistent contact and open communication. You have to be mindful of the cultural differences that your team may have and take this into consideration when speaking to them. You also have to be available to respond promptly to your employees – research shows that engagement is highest for employees who have daily contact with their managers. To help with this, there are a variety of tools that can be used like Zoom or Skype. For quick exchanges, chat applications can be a more practical (and more “warm”) solution than email.

4. Autonomy and Workflow

A work culture that encourages autonomy – trusting that your employees can get things done, allowing them to assume responsibility and be accountable, and giving them opportunity to get better – is a must for remote teams. Because you don’t see each other frequently and you’re not entirely sure what each team member is up to all the time, it can be difficult not have doubts and not to micro-manage. The answer to this is having systems, processes, and standards in place. Also, project management tools like Slack and Asana are useful for improved task delegation and integration, better project tracking, and an over-all more seamless workflow.

5. The Big Picture

Team members who share the same vision and similar values are more likely to succeed together. This is why it’s important that managers are able to relay the big picture to everyone in a way that each member knows his individual goals and how they contribute to the company’s, as a whole. Letting them be part and parcel to the direction of the business will not only align their work product and laser focus their objectives, but it will also make them feel truly part of the team. 

For some, especially those with no prior experience or have been accustomed to the office set-up for so long, the contrast in management can be daunting. But as virtual teams become increasingly commonplace, managers and business owners can rely on these key elements for their remote teams to flourish.

At FGC+, we don’t stop at just finding the right staff with the right fit for your organization – we make sure we’re with you every step of the way. We provide regular monitoring and management support to help you in running your remote team. Contact us to learn more.

The Key Elements to Consider When Managing Remote Teams
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