The Importance of Good Customer Service

The Importance of Good Customer Service

By Ejaz Shah  —  2nd December 2020

Fresh out of secondary school I successfully applied for a part-time job to support myself whilst I went through college. As I walked into my first training session, the first thing I noticed was the large whiteboard across the room, with a phrase written across it in big red capital letters:

‘THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT’

This was the topic of discussion and although I can’t remember the name of the trainer, I have never forgotten his words.

Even when a customer is wrong, he is right. For he is in his right to tell you he feels wronged.

What is Good Customer Service?

Good customer service is not simply ensuring a customer’s query is answered, it is much more than that. It is ensuring that a customer feels valued. So how do you make your customers feel valued and ensure their loyalty? I share my top three points that I have picked over the years:

  • Smile

Believe it or not you can smile through the phone. Try it! A pleasant attitude is key to making a customer feel welcomed, part of the family and valued. It is a core necessity. This might seem like I am stating the bare basics, however, when you have taken your 25th call of the evening and Mr Smith on the other side of the call is not happy with the colour of the seats in the Taxi that came to pick him up earlier in the day (this is a plausible situation, Mr Smith might exist…somewhere…) it is very easy to fall into a robotic monotone and forget the pleasant attitude. 

‘I’m sorry Mr Smith that you didn’t like the light grey colour seats and would have preferred dark grey’…

I mean I get it; it is nothing to get excited about, but it is vital not to forget the aim and that is to make our customer feel valued (Mr Smith pays a lot for our taxis).

To ensure we do not fall into this robotic monotone, remember to smile each time you take on a new call. Just this simple act will ensure that you answer in a pleasant and uplifting tone, regardless of how many Mr Smiths you have spoken to already in your shift.

  •  Educate

Knowledge is key. I am sure I have stated this before somewhere in my blogs. Knowledge about your role, your product, your system is key to ensuring you carry out your job efficiently. When you are knowledgeable, you are in a position to educate your caller on what to expect, what the procedures are, how products work and what is most beneficial for them.

Do not underestimate your customer.

Customers will instantly be able to tell if you are lying to them, brushing them off or simply inept at doing your role. However, on the flip side, if you woo them with your knowledge (steady on, let’s not get too carried away), they will trust you, they will be confident in your abilities and thus be more understanding if things were to get delayed/go wrong. Educate your staff, yourself, gain knowledge and educate your customers, it’s the best way to build great rapport.

  •  Listen

Honestly my top three tips would be 1) Listen 2) Listen, 3) Listen and then the others would follow. I CANNOT stress the IMPORTANCE of LISTENING TO YOUR CUSTOMER.

Listen to their tone (what does it sound like?)

Listen to their silences (why are they silent? Are they making a point? Are they wanting an answer?)

Listen to their words – it’s obvious, but carefully and fully listen to what your customer is saying before you answer.

In the role of an operator, it is important to ensure we have the correct information, so great listening skills are so vital, but also make sure to follow that up by repeating and checking information to ensure you have understood the caller correctly. 

A Disgruntled Customer

This always comes up when I discuss customer service. ‘What if I get an unhappy customer? What if I get an abusive customer?’ Now firstly, I believe strongly that abuse should not be tolerated in any setting. In these instances, refer to your procedures and follow through, you still must carry out your role, however, follow the procedure in your business. However, as challenging as these customers can be and the ones that are disgruntled, they could well be handled by utilising the above points I made. 

During one of my training sessions with my last employer, I remember a call came through from one of the operators on the floor saying he had an abusive caller on the phone, who had been warned not to be abusive(which was the business procedure) however, was unwilling to cooperate now. I requested the call be transferred to me, whilst the call handler listened in on the call.

From the offset, I could barely get a word in, the customer was furious and was using abusive language to vent his anger and make his point.  

I listened.

Once he had finished, I let him know that I had listened, ‘I can hear your frustration and anger’.

 I apologised, ‘I am sorry that you feel this way/this has happened’.

I expressed my willingness to assist him, ‘I would like to rectify this for you’.

I referred to our policy/procedures, ‘however, I must advise you that we do not tolerate any abusive language, so can I please ask that you refrain from using that kind of language’.

I then ‘educated’ him on what I could do, step by step, to assist him and resolve this issue.

Honestly, the customer was taken aback, my tone was extremely pleasant and calm, I reassured him that I heard his frustration and anger and wanted to help him, alongside making it clear to him that any abuse would not be tolerated by me.

Now I am not saying this will work on any and every call, however, it is important to always stay in control of the phone call. Remember you are the professional, stay professional and handle the situation, keep yourself composed and do not let anyone rattle you.

New Era OS and Customer Services

At New Era we treat YOUR customers as OUR customers, we go the extra mile on every single call. Each customer is given the same amount of importance regardless of what the nature of the call is. Our training is tailored around each client and each agent is quality checked on a regular basis.

For our Taxi clients, we follow a very strict script where the agents must follow the 5 input & 7 output method. This is a tried and tested method and it ensures no mistakes are made. 

With no setup fee on your first agent, join us today and let us help you take your company to the next level!!

At New Era we treat YOUR customers as OUR customers, we go the extra mile on every single call. Each customer is given the same amount of importance regardless of what the nature of the call is. Our training is tailored around each client and each agent is quality checked on a regular basis.

For our Taxi clients, we follow a very strict script where the agents must follow the 5 input & 7 output method. This is a tried and tested method and it ensures no mistakes are made. 

With no setup fee on your first agent, join us today and let us help you take your company to the next level!!

The Importance of Good Customer Service

The Importance of Good Customer Service

By Ejaz Shah  —  2nd December 2020

Fresh out of secondary school I successfully applied for a part-time job to support myself whilst I went through college. As I walked into my first training session, the first thing I noticed was the large whiteboard across the room, with a phrase written across it in big red capital letters:

‘THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT’

This was the topic of discussion and although I can’t remember the name of the trainer, I have never forgotten his words.

Even when a customer is wrong, he is right. For he is in his right to tell you he feels wronged.

What is Good Customer Service?

Good customer service is not simply ensuring a customer’s query is answered, it is much more than that. It is ensuring that a customer feels valued. So how do you make your customers feel valued and ensure their loyalty? I share my top three points that I have picked over the years:

  • Smile

Believe it or not you can smile through the phone. Try it! A pleasant attitude is key to making a customer feel welcomed, part of the family and valued. It is a core necessity. This might seem like I am stating the bare basics, however, when you have taken your 25th call of the evening and Mr Smith on the other side of the call is not happy with the colour of the seats in the Taxi that came to pick him up earlier in the day (this is a plausible situation, Mr Smith might exist…somewhere…) it is very easy to fall into a robotic monotone and forget the pleasant attitude. 

‘I’m sorry Mr Smith that you didn’t like the light grey colour seats and would have preferred dark grey’…

I mean I get it; it is nothing to get excited about, but it is vital not to forget the aim and that is to make our customer feel valued (Mr Smith pays a lot for our taxis).

To ensure we do not fall into this robotic monotone, remember to smile each time you take on a new call. Just this simple act will ensure that you answer in a pleasant and uplifting tone, regardless of how many Mr Smiths you have spoken to already in your shift.

  •  Educate

Knowledge is key. I am sure I have stated this before somewhere in my blogs. Knowledge about your role, your product, your system is key to ensuring you carry out your job efficiently. When you are knowledgeable, you are in a position to educate your caller on what to expect, what the procedures are, how products work and what is most beneficial for them.

Do not underestimate your customer.

Customers will instantly be able to tell if you are lying to them, brushing them off or simply inept at doing your role. However, on the flip side, if you woo them with your knowledge (steady on, let’s not get too carried away), they will trust you, they will be confident in your abilities and thus be more understanding if things were to get delayed/go wrong. Educate your staff, yourself, gain knowledge and educate your customers, it’s the best way to build great rapport.

  •  Listen

Honestly my top three tips would be 1) Listen 2) Listen, 3) Listen and then the others would follow. I CANNOT stress the IMPORTANCE of LISTENING TO YOUR CUSTOMER.

Listen to their tone (what does it sound like?)

Listen to their silences (why are they silent? Are they making a point? Are they wanting an answer?)

Listen to their words – it’s obvious, but carefully and fully listen to what your customer is saying before you answer.

In the role of an operator, it is important to ensure we have the correct information, so great listening skills are so vital, but also make sure to follow that up by repeating and checking information to ensure you have understood the caller correctly. 

A Disgruntled Customer

This always comes up when I discuss customer service. ‘What if I get an unhappy customer? What if I get an abusive customer?’ Now firstly, I believe strongly that abuse should not be tolerated in any setting. In these instances, refer to your procedures and follow through, you still must carry out your role, however, follow the procedure in your business. However, as challenging as these customers can be and the ones that are disgruntled, they could well be handled by utilising the above points I made. 

During one of my training sessions with my last employer, I remember a call came through from one of the operators on the floor saying he had an abusive caller on the phone, who had been warned not to be abusive(which was the business procedure) however, was unwilling to cooperate now. I requested the call be transferred to me, whilst the call handler listened in on the call.

From the offset, I could barely get a word in, the customer was furious and was using abusive language to vent his anger and make his point.  

I listened.

Once he had finished, I let him know that I had listened, ‘I can hear your frustration and anger’.

 I apologised, ‘I am sorry that you feel this way/this has happened’.

I expressed my willingness to assist him, ‘I would like to rectify this for you’.

I referred to our policy/procedures, ‘however, I must advise you that we do not tolerate any abusive language, so can I please ask that you refrain from using that kind of language’.

I then ‘educated’ him on what I could do, step by step, to assist him and resolve this issue.

Honestly, the customer was taken aback, my tone was extremely pleasant and calm, I reassured him that I heard his frustration and anger and wanted to help him, alongside making it clear to him that any abuse would not be tolerated by me.

Now I am not saying this will work on any and every call, however, it is important to always stay in control of the phone call. Remember you are the professional, stay professional and handle the situation, keep yourself composed and do not let anyone rattle you.

New Era OS and Customer Services

At New Era we treat YOUR customers as OUR customers, we go the extra mile on every single call. Each customer is given the same amount of importance regardless of what the nature of the call is. Our training is tailored around each client and each agent is quality checked on a regular basis.

For our Taxi clients, we follow a very strict script where the agents must follow the 5 input & 7 output method. This is a tried and tested method and it ensures no mistakes are made. 

With no setup fee on your first agent, join us today and let us help you take your company to the next level!!

At New Era we treat YOUR customers as OUR customers, we go the extra mile on every single call. Each customer is given the same amount of importance regardless of what the nature of the call is. Our training is tailored around each client and each agent is quality checked on a regular basis.

For our Taxi clients, we follow a very strict script where the agents must follow the 5 input & 7 output method. This is a tried and tested method and it ensures no mistakes are made. 

With no setup fee on your first agent, join us today and let us help you take your company to the next level!!

Taxi, Technology & Outsourcing

Taxi, Technology & Outsourcing

By Ejaz Shah  —  25th November 2020

Reminiscing about the old taxi offices

“One second King, Sierra pick up from 254 VPR let me know the destination, King head towards CT”

I remember sitting in the taxi booking office, yellow walls and a cloud of cigarette smoke hovering above the desk, phone receiver resting on the shoulder as the main dispatcher spoke to the drivers on the old two-way radio system. Two operators were busy on the phones scribbling the jobs down on a sheet of paper, all 3 of them had a cigarette in their mouth and they were all stressed. I didn’t understand what the dispatcher meant when he spoke to the drivers in short code but he was managing a fleet of over 50 cars and I marvelled at how even though they were all stressed out, they still managed to have a laugh.

King and Sierra were both drivers and Sierra was told to head to 254 Victoria Park Road to pick up and King being directed toward the Clock Tower, I know all the shortcodes now but back then, putting in an 8/10-hour shift was like hard labour, you were mentally and physically drained.

Years later,  I found myself working as a taxi driver and studying in Stafford.  It was the best job you could do while studying as you could pick the hours you did working for the largest company there. Here the driver code names were changed into numbers to make it easier and I remember this one time a driver came through on the radio..

Driver: “Car 84 hat in bush”

Dispatcher: Car 84 come again

Driver: “Car 84 hat in bush”

Dispatcher: Car 84 I don’t understand

Driver: “Car 84, Hat in bush, head in hat”

I nearly choked on my tea as the office burst into roars of laughter

Dispatcher: “Car 84 are you ok bud”

Driver; “Car 84 on my way back to the office need a break, I am ok”

Dispatcher; “Roger bud”

Now a driver had been assaulted but the way he reported it back had us all in tears. Car 84 could look after himself but if you picture the incident, he had to drag himself back to the car and report it, there was no mobile phones back then.

Taxi and Technology

This has all changed now, you might find the odd small company still using the old two-way radio system but nearly everyone has moved to computerised dispatching systems. The taxi industry has come a long way from where it used to be and there was a massive surge of drivers joining the trade once outsourcing became the new way of business for many leading industries who chose to move their business overseas. Back then you would struggle to find a company with over 500 cars, which is now the norm, the standard as you will find a lot of small companies are now merged into one large company.

Back around 1995 I was introduced to a family friend Ali, a computer geek, who would go around taxi offices and sell them an Excel spreadsheet that he had made. The idea was to get rid of all the paperwork and make sure everything was categorically organised and while he was rejected by quite a few companies, he did manage to sell quite a few too.

This wasn’t an original idea of Ali’s, he had seen a proper dispatch system doing it’s rounds and had mimicked it, not as advanced as the proper dispatch system but the concept was the same and you had to marvel at Ali’s hustle.

That then was the tip of the iceberg, for the taxi companies that refused Ali back then are now using a dispatch system.

Bookings are now taken on a computer, stored on a computer, dispatched to the driver via the computer to the driver’s mobile and the driver’s job history is stored on the computer. This automation of the taxi booking office allows taxi companies to now take more bookings whereas, in the past, they would refuse them when the sheet was full.

I would be lying if I said the assaults on taxi drivers had now calmed down with the introduction of technology – it hasn’t, however, offices are now able to track the location of their drivers and all drivers have an emergency button on the screen, once pressed it alerts the office and every single driver on shift so help does get their quicker than it used to!

Life for the back office has become a lot easier with an easily accessible record of all the jobs done. Accounts at the end of the month or even week are a lot easier to arrange, whereas before you would have to go through the whole paperwork just to find who did what job on a certain day.

Taxi, Technology and Outsourcing

Even though taxi and technology have been working hand in hand since the 90’s, outsourcing did not come into the picture until after 2010. Allthough outsourcing has been in the market since around the 80’s the taxi trade was very late to jump onto the bandwagon.

Even while I type this blog there are quite a few taxi companies that still treat outsourcing as an alien concept and something they refuse to indulge in, it reminds me of the times I would go around with Ali trying to sell his Excel Spreadsheet to various offices.

Similar to how technology helped the taxi industry move onto the next stage of transportation, outsourcing is also just that, a helping hand.

Majority of the large taxi firms are outsourcing either just the overflow of calls or having outsourced staff handling every aspect of the booking. It is not only more convenient for taxi companies to outsource, it is also a big money saver. If you have recently seen a local taxi company rapidly growing and advertising heavily, chances are they are outsourcing!

All three do work hand in hand though, without the combination of taxi and technology, outsourcing would not be possible, because of technology it is now possible to have a remote worker on the other side of the world answering calls and booking in jobs as well as dispatching!!!

So, what can be outsourced?

Putting it simply, every repetitive task can be outsourced, below I will list a few for a basic taxi office;

  • Operator/Dispatcher
    • From answering the call and taking a simple booking to recovering a job, modifying it and re-dispatching it back to the same driver.
    • Taking account bookings
  • Online bookings
    • Bookings from your website to bookings done on social media
  • Customer Service
    • Customer complaints through emails
    • Customer complaints through social media channels
    • Customer complaints over the phone
  • Bookkeeping
    • Driver accounts including driver base rents and refunds, vehicle MOT’s and driver licensing
    • Weekly staff wages
    • Promotions, advertising and software fee’s
    • Account job’s

By outsourcing the above listed jobs, a taxi company could save around 70% on wages, this money can then be put back into and invested in the company and its future growth.

Me and New Era OS

Having gone through manual taxi dispatching to computerised dispatching systems with call centre experience from the UK not to mention first-hand taxi driving experience I created New Era OS to help taxi companies grow to their full potential and reach heights which they once thought impossible. At New Era OS we can easily handle all the above tasks in a professional manner that the customer would never guess they were speaking to someone some 4000 miles away.

If you have had a bad experience with an oversea call centre or outsourcing is something you have never tried before, get in touch today and take advantage of the no setup fee with your first agent. We are so confident in what we do we do not ask for anything upfront, you really do not have anything to lose!! 

New Era CEO Ejaz Shah

What is Outsourcing?

What is Outsourcing?

By Ejaz Shah  —  21st October 2020

What is Outsourcing?

In simple terms outsourcing is when a company hires a third party to perform certain tasks. We have seen examples of this in the banking trade, where several large companies have transferred their Customer Services departments overseas to an outsourcing company.  These tasks which would have been conducted inhouse, would then be performed by the third party.

A company can decide to outsource any part of their business. The most common are the repetitive tasks such as call taking or admin work, however, you can have outsourcing companies that provide full HR departments, web development and lone worker support.

New Era OS is one of these companies, we can undertake almost any task, please take a look around our website for more details.

Why do companies Outsource?

Majority of the time companies outsource to save money, however there are many other reasons too. Outsourcing a repetitive task enables a company to concentrate on more important issues whilst ensuring their core values and high standards are maintained. Space saving is another reason, you can have a team of 20 plus agents answering your phones, but your office does not need to be extended to house them as it is all outsourced. Finally, sometimes it is better to let a company who specialises in that certain field to deal with that certain task, that way you know you have professionals and experts in that field handling your work.

How does Outsourcing work?

If done correctly and with the right outsourcing company, outsourcing can work very smoothly. Whole departments could be based overseas, however, the efficient communication can make it seem like the department is still inhouse. To get it up and running is very simple:

How does Outsourcing work?

If done correctly and with the right outsourcing company, outsourcing can work very smoothly. Whole departments could be based overseas, however, the efficient communication can make it seem like the department is still inhouse. To get it up and running is very simple:

  1. Both companies liaise to discuss what sections of the business need to be outsourced and what the requirements and specifications are.
  2. The outsourcing firm, equipped with the specifications and requirements, will then train their staff up to the required standard.
  3. At the arranged takeover date, the outsourcing company will take over their delegated tasks, and continue to carry them out for the agreed period.
  4. Most firms bill monthly with some having contracted terms stipulating payment-up-front terms.

At New Era OS we are perfectionists, we have a strict policy of only taking on a new client on either a Monday or a Tuesday at the latest, for our onboarding department needs a week to collate all the requirements from the new client and relay the information to our training department. The training package for the operator is then tailored around these requirements, ensuring the operator and New Era as a whole, are delivering everything that the client requires of them.

What’s the catch?

There isn’t one.

The benefits of outsourcing are endless. Cost-saving, timesaving, space-saving, are just a few of the key benefits of outsourcing. However, it is imperative to find the right outsourcing company, the best way to do this is to take the time to get to know the individuals behind the company. With the right company behind you, you can take your business from just surviving to expanding.

There isn’t one.

The benefits of outsourcing are endless. Cost-saving, timesaving, space-saving, are just a few of the key benefits of outsourcing. However, it is imperative to find the right outsourcing company, the best way to do this is to take the time to get to know the individuals behind the company. With the right company behind you, you can take your business from just surviving to expanding.

At New Era OS, I personally take time out to meet/discuss matters with any new company we are taking onboard. Building strong, longstanding, relationships is very important to me. If there are any further questions you have, or you just want to discuss Outsourcing further with me, get in touch and I will personally take the time out to go through matters with you.

New Era CEO Ejaz Shah

The Benefits of a Call Centre & Outsourcing

The Benefits of a Call Centre & Outsourcing

By Ejaz Shah  —  13th October 2020

Call centre n. an office in which a large number of people work using phones, for example arranging insurance for people, or taking customers’ orders and answering questions

(Oxford English Dictionary)

A Brief History

Less than 50 miles from my hometown of Leicester is the origins of the first known call/contact centre in the UK. Back in the 1960s Birmingham Press and Mail had PABX (Private Automated Business Exchanges) installed in order to have rows of agents/advisors handling customer contacts. In the 1970s the call centre technology expanded, with telephone banking and sales as more industries started to conduct their customer service over the phone. It was in 1983, the term ‘call centre’ was first published and recognised by the Oxford English Dictionary and the 1990s saw the international expansion of call centres, with call centres becoming the ‘front line’ of businesses across the world. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that we saw the trend of outsourcing, with big businesses seeking to cut costs by transferring their call centres overseas. Call centres now are an integral and vital part of a business and an equally important source of jobs.

Outsourcing

The difference today is that it is no longer just big businesses that outsource their call centres. Due to the expansion of technology and the need to save costs in order to remain/become successful, more and more smaller businesses are outsourcing. In todays ‘Covid’ climate, this need to save costs is not to remain/become successful but to simply stay afloat, making outsourcing one of the most vital decisions a business can make in its quest for survival.

For someone that has spent many years working in and with call centres, I have seen first-hand the importance of call centres both to the businesses and the employees. Below I state some of the benefits I feel the call centre has to provide to businesses looking to outsource and some advice to employees looking to succeed working in one:

Working in a Call Centre

In the UK the call centre provides jobs for people from all walks of life. Students find it an ideal job to fit around their studies, parents find it helps with work/life balance and new graduates see it as an opportunity to grow and move forward in their careers. I have personal experience of a friend who left school at 17 and went straight into working at a call centre, over the years he worked his way up to a ‘Multiple Area Manager’. The opportunities the call centre provides to its employees are unlimited and I believe the success is purely down to the individual.

 

For me it is disappointing to see that Pakistan call centres are not viewed as job opportunities where an operator/advisor has the option of growth or progression. Yes, I have encountered individuals that have been in the field for a long time and have succeeded in building their careers, however, such opportunities are few and far between.

My advice to anyone wanting to work and succeed in a call centre is simple:

  • Be wary of clauses in contracts – a contract is an agreement which is beneficial for both parties, call centre owners tend to use jargon and put in clauses where they can restrict you from earning a living. Be careful of what you sign and make sure you are receiving all the benefits outlined by the government.
  • Master your trade – to succeed in your role, you need to master it. Pay attention with the training, ask questions where you don’t understand and persevere. Use all the resources that are available to you to upskill yourself.
  • Expand your wings – only once you have mastered the role you are being paid to do, take on extra duties. Ask to ‘shadow’ other departments or take notes at a meeting. The more you can learn about the business the more opportunity you have to offer new skills and progress in the business.

At New Era we have a very simple straight forward contract, it is a piece of document that shows the date you started working with us, your job description and our code of ethics/conduct. We do not use jargon or have hidden clauses. We are building a business where we want staff to want to come and work for and with us. We employ staff with the aim to have them with us for many years to come, so if the motivation is there to grow with the business, we will fully support it.

Using a Call Centre as a Client

Cost saving is the biggest benefit of outsourcing, followed closely by time saving (which in itself is cost saving, for time = money).

On average you can get someone answering your calls for less than half of what you would pay in the west. You save the time in not having to recruit or train agents and if you do end up building a team of outsourced agents, you only have to deal with the one person, rather than all of them individually.

If you run a 24-hour office, then monitoring staff at all times, especially those on the graveyard shift is both difficult and time (cost) consuming. By outsourcing, you have staff working for you that are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you require a large team of agents/operators then you need to consider the office space to cater for them. By outsourcing you eliminate that extra cost completely, if your team grows, your overheads will remain the same.

With the money saved, if you are able to reinvest it back into your business, it gives you the opportunity to further grow your business. I always advice my clients to use that money for advertising, the more you advertise, the more work you get and so on.

However, to successfully outsource and save money, you need to ensure you select the right outsourcing company.

New Era Outsourcing Specialists

At New Era, we don’t make false promises, our talking is done on the call centre floor, where our promises are met. Our charges per hour might not be the cheapest, but the training and continuous monitoring that goes on behind the scene is something we simply do not compromise on. We pride ourselves on being the only call centre with training methods similar to ones used in major UK call centres and taxi offices combined.

  • No setup fee for your first agent – we are confident in our abilities; we know we can assist in making your business grow. We don’t charge a setup fee for the first agent, because we will prove ourselves. When your business grows, you will increase the number of agents you need, it is only a matter of time. However, if it’s just the one agent you need, that is fine, you get that with no additional charges.
  • Staff monitoring – we have dedicated members of staff whose sole purpose is to monitor the work of our agents. We reward our agents on carrying out their roles at the highest of levels. Agents scoring 90%+ in quality scores are rewarded with bonuses.
  • Monthly reports – three months down the line we provide our clients with monthly reports including quality, punctuality and attendance scores for each agent. Feedback from the shift manager and the agent him/herself is also shared. We feel this gives our clients a clearer picture and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Outsourcing can be one of the most beneficial decisions a business makes, especially in these current ‘Covid’ times. You can help keep your business afloat, save money and see your business grow, alongside eliminating the stress of unwell staff and providing social distancing office space.

 If you are interested in working with New Era OS, as either an employee or a client, leave your details on our contact us page and someone will be in touch. 

Also do comment below with your experiences of working in call centres and outsourcing, I would love to hear from you.

Imposters Syndrome

Imposters Syndrome

By Ejaz Shah  —  22nd September 2020

Have you ever felt anxious that you are not good enough? Felt like a fraud? That regardless of all the certificates decorating your walls, the trophies lining your cabinets, the accolades behind your name, you know nothing, and that sooner or later you will be exposed? Well you’re not the only one.

David Bowie, Maya Angelou, Tom Hanks, all leading figures in their industries, have felt the same:

“I really felt so utterly inadequate” – David Bowie

“I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out” – Maya Angelou

“How did I get here? When are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?” – Tom Hanks

At some point in their celebrated careers, each one of them has/had suffered from ‘imposters syndrome’.

Imposters syndrome is the feeling of constantly doubting yourself, your talents, your abilities and living with the fear that you will be exposed as a ‘fraud’, regardless of your accomplishments. The phenomenon was introduced by psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Dr. Suzanne A. Imes back in 1978 and I’ve attached a link for you to read up more about this phenomenon if you wish to do so.

Why, when we have the skills, the expertise, the know-how, do we feel this way?!

Me, the Imposter and I

I remember anxiously waiting for my turn in a room full of interviewees as I watched hopeful candidates walk out of the interview room with a long face. I had been working at this well-known call centre for a couple of years and was now going for a more senior role. I knew everything I needed for this new role, because I had been temporarily covering the position for the last six months. But still, deep inside the knots were tightening as each moment passed. By the time I entered the interview room I was 100% confident that they would blow my cover, call out my bluff for what it was. A fluke. I was a phoney, a fake and that by sheer ‘luck’ I had managed to succeed in my roles.

This couldn’t have been more further than the truth. I was good at my job, because I had the expertise, the knowledge and the talent, which combined ensured I succeeded. I couldn’t see this at the time, however – thankfully – the interviewers did, and I got the job.

It wasn’t the first or the last time I felt this feeling of being an imposter in my own success. I recall years later, feeling the same, when I was working as a taxi dispatcher. The firm was going through a tough busy period and I was managing dispatching to a fleet of 100 plus cars. As the most busiest week of the season came upon us, I recall the voice in my head telling me, ‘this is it…you are about to be found out for what you are’, I felt awful, the doubt in my mind was eating away at me.

How do we deal with this? This feeling that most people will feel at some point in their lives/careers and some will constantly be battling it. The first step is crucial.

First Step: TALK

Talk, talk, talk talk! Communicate your feelings. I cannot express how important this is. If you keep this feeling to yourself, it will eat away at you, like it did to me. In my case I turned to my sister, who I have continuously relied on for advice and support. A recent graduate in psychology, she introduced me to the term imposter syndrome. At that time when I was questioning my worth, she was able to talk to me about my many talents, highlight my skills and show me my worth. It is hugely important that you are able to turn the negative thinking into positives, and whilst you nit-pick at all your faults, it is those that surround you that will be able to remind you of your many achievements and successes. Turn to your colleagues, your managers, your mentors, so that they can guide you back onto your path.

Talk, talk, talk talk! Communicate your feelings. I cannot express how important this is. If you keep this feeling to yourself, it will eat away at you, like it did to me. In my case I turned to my sister, who I have continuously relied on for advice and support. A recent graduate in psychology, she introduced me to the term imposter syndrome. At that time when I was questioning my worth, she was able to talk to me about my many talents, highlight my skills and show me my worth.

It is hugely important that you are able to turn the negative thinking into positives, and whilst you nit-pick at all your faults, it is those that surround you that will be able to remind you of your many achievements and successes. Turn to your colleagues, your managers, your mentors, so that they can guide you back onto your path.

Second Step: BELIEF

Believe in yourself. You have come so far, you CAN continue on the same path and fulfil your ambitions. Take the positives that have been highlighted to you by those that you talk to and keep them in mind. Focus all your energy on them and when they fully encompass you, there will be no stopping you. You need that belief in your abilities; and remember those around you see these abilities day in day out, believe what they say. Believe in yourself.

Third Step: CONFIDENCE

Ooze confidence. You’ve doubted yourself, you’ve talked to those around you about your doubts, they have shown you your worth. You have changed your negative thinking into positive, by believing in your talents. Now move forward in confidence. Be confident in your abilities, take pride in your achievements. Remember everyone around you at some point will have had these very feelings that you are experiencing. The people you look up to, the people you aspire to be like, they too have felt the way you are feeling. They expressed their feelings, grasped the positives and took giant strides in confidence – you too can do this!

And if all else fails. Crack open that giant tub of chocolate ice-cream (or whichever flavour takes your fancy), take the biggest spoon you own and make some heavy dents in that giant tub of deliciousness.

I joke – have the ice cream but in proportion and after you’ve taken the above mentioned three steps. You deserve a treat after all 😊

In all seriousness, we all could name at least one or two people in our lives that have doubted our ability, that will revel in our failures. So why do it to ourselves?! Let’s be our own cheerleaders. Recognise that these feelings can occur, this ‘imposters syndrome’ does exist, but we can battle through it and overcome it. Take those steps to rediscovering your worth and hold on to it tight!

I hope this blog has helped you if you are feeling this way. Comment below to share your experiences and your tips? Have you ever felt this way? How did you overcome it? What did you do? Please do share, I look forward to reading your comments.

Do you have the talent, the skills that we are looking for? If so, don’t hold back, we believe in your abilities and will support you to excel yourself further. Come, join the New Era family!

The Joys of Parenting

The Joys of Parenting

& what we can learn from our Offspring

By Ejaz Shah  —  15 September 2020

Parenthood... Parenting...

The joyous time in your life. A blessing. You nurture them, you give love, watch them grow, you feel love.

Love…Nurture…Grow…Love…Nurture…Grow… who am I kidding…?!

Screaming…Crying…Sleepless nights…Dirty nappies…Vomit on my new shirt…Vomit on my old shirt…Vomit on all my shirts…

I was excited at the thought of being a first-time dad, but when my first daughter was born, I was terrified. Not because she was an ugly baby, oh no, she was the most beautiful baby I had ever set my eyes on. But the thought of being totally responsible for another human being completely terrified me. The feeling wasn’t as daunting when the second one arrived, I was experienced, I had been here, I could do this…surely?! But when the third one arrived, optimism went out the window. Terrified is not the word. PETRIFIED. I was petrified. It was me against a house full of girls!!

Was I being punished here?! I mean daughters are blessings, I 100% agree with that. I am a blessed man but at times I felt like an atoned man. They’re not sweet angels, don’t be fooled, they’re devils in disguise. Take my eldest child, she’s always right, like always right, I’m the parent but she’s always right?! And that sweet smile of hers…ruthless! The middle one, I’m sure I have spent ¾ of my life savings on her alone, but I always say no to her, I don’t know how it happens?! The third one, the less said about her, the better. I am too scared to even talk about her and she’s just turned one!

I mean I love them to the moon and back, which parent doesn’t love their children. But if I made it to the moon, I’d stay there, for a gooooood while. It is not easy being a parent. 

Parenting is a role which you can never be prepared for. Read as many articles as you want, as many parenting books as you want, babysit as often as you want. All the knowledge and experience in the world, cannot prepare you for your own ‘bundle of joy’. I mean I had my fair share of experience with my nieces and nephews, but was I prepared? Oh no! I can clearly remember soon after my first was born, the nurse asking if I wanted to put her clothes on. She was so small and fragile, I graciously declined and watched from afar. 

My Three Angels

My first born aka ‘always right’, was a very good baby. She slept through the night, ate all her food and kept most of it down! We were constantly reminded of how lucky we were to have such a good baby. Looking back now, she’s nine, and I don’t know where the time has gone. I was apprehensive, scared and in new territory, but time really has flown. If I was to give any advice, it would be to cherish each and every moment you have with your child, because it’s true, they really do grow up fast.

My second child, ‘the big-money-spender’, is six now. To her credit, she was a delightful baby, like her sister. However, two months in and a small rash on her forehead developed into full blown eczema all over her small body. My baby really did suffer. She spent nights awake, itching, bleeding and crying. My wife and I would rotate shifts between us, staying up to look after her.

My first born aka ‘always right’, was a very good baby. She slept through the night, ate all her food and kept most of it down! We were constantly reminded of how lucky we were to have such a good baby. Looking back now, she’s nine, and I don’t know where the time has gone. I was apprehensive, scared and in new territory, but time really has flown. If I was to give any advice, it would be to cherish each and every moment you have with your child, because it’s true, they really do grow up fast.

My second child, ‘the big-money-spender’, is six now. To her credit, she was a delightful baby, like her sister. However, two months in and a small rash on her forehead developed into full blown eczema all over her small body. My baby really did suffer. She spent nights awake, itching, bleeding and crying. My wife and I would rotate shifts between us, staying up to look after her.

It was a testing time for all of us, and one of the main reasons for my move to Pakistan (I’ll explain this more in a future blog). She missed out on a lot in her early years, due to her eczema, but has that held her back – hell no! She’s making up for lost time, in supersonic speed (and cost)!

And finally, the one I fear the most, my youngest.  An angelic baby for the first 6 months of her life, she would lay there watching her sisters like a hawk, entertaining us with her babbling. As soon as she hit the 6 month mark, she stepped it up a gear or two! She causes havoc around the house, nothing remains in its place, the window blinds are her climbing frames, my laptop her personal stomping ground, our phones she uses for her practice catapult shots. It’s not just me, she bullies her sisters, her mother and she doesn’t stop until she gets her way! She runs our house. 

So advanced

Jokes aside, even though they are so similar in so many ways, they all have their own individual little personalities. So, when it came to ‘parenting’ and where something worked with one of them, it didn’t necessarily mean it would work on the other one too. With every child it was like being back at square one again and starting a new trip down the parenthood lane. You have to learn new methods of feeding, bathing and putting them to sleep, it’s all one big learning curve. Though one thing I have noticed, the kids of today are way ahead of where we were when we were their age, they make us look dumb!

I recall an incident when my brother was around 4/5 years old. My dad had recently purchased a VHS player (google this if you do not know, they were big in my day!) and the old VHS cassettes could only be inserted into the video player one way, if you forced it in the wrong way the VHS player would throw it back at you. So, on this particular day we had a room full of relatives gathered, joking and laughing together and I was sitting there watching my brother trying to insert a VHS cassette into the VHS player. He tried every side and seemed to be at it for what seemed like forever! Finally, he succeeded and managed to successfully slot it in. The joy from the elders as a result of him successfully completing this, what now seems like such a mundane simple task, was euphoric. Everyone was clapping, cheering and praising him for simply turning on a VHS player and inserting the cassette. What a smart boy?! I mean my one-year-old uses my mobile phone more efficiently than me! She dives straight into YouTube, skimming through all the videos until she finds one that takes her fancy!

I suppose in our days the VHS player was the equivalent to the iPhone of today, when it comes to latest gadgets. Times have changed, we’ve become so much more advanced than we ever have been, especially in the last 10, 20 years and so have our children, they do today what we will learn to do tomorrow!

‘Wave-gate’

When my first-born was around 4, we headed to our local shopping centre, father and daughter, me in the driving seat, her dressed in her favourite fairy outfit, in her car seat. Shortly into the drive I was cut off by an impatient driver, not wanting to curse in front of my little fairy, I signalled instead with a rude hand gesture, mouthing the curse words out purposefully to the driver. Instantly my eldest turned to me and asked, ‘baba what does this mean?’, as she performed my rude hand gesture back at me. Under pressure, I said the first thing that came to mind ‘oh baba was just waving at an old friend beta’. Thankfully and to my relief that reply seemed to satisfy her and we continued with our journey.

Once in the shopping centre we entered the lift to go to the floor we needed, alongside us was an elderly couple in their eighties. The couple were delighted with my first-born’s fairy dress; her fairy wings attached to her side and the little crown on her head, she soaked up the attention, grinning from ear to ear. The elderly couple were to leave a floor before us, and as they exited the lift, they turned around to wave goodbye to us. The last thing I saw, as the doors closed on them, was the look of sheer horror on their faces. As my gaze dropped down to my little one, I saw why. My first-born was enthusiastically waving back at them, with the same rude gesture she had seen me use earlier.

“But baba, you said that’s how you wave to friends?!”

“No no no darling, baba was angry when he waved like that”

“So that’s an angry wave?”

“Yeh beta angry wave”

Nothing more was said, and we continued with our shopping with ‘wavegate’ put firmly to the back of our minds. This was not a story I wanted to repeat to the missus.

Later that evening when we sat down for our meal, much to the disappointment of my first born, my wife had cooked vegetables. 

“But baba, you said that’s how you wave to friends?!”

“No no no darling, baba was angry when he waved like that”

“So that’s an angry wave?”

“Yeh beta angry wave”

Nothing more was said, and we continued with our shopping with ‘wavegate’ put firmly to the back of our minds. This was not a story I wanted to repeat to the missus.

Later that evening when we sat down for our meal, much to the disappointment of my first born, my wife had cooked vegetables. 

Tears, tantrums and much pleading later, my wife stood firm, the food had been served and it was all she was getting. As my wife took her seat, my first-born rose on hers and with the most passionate of moves I’ve ever seen her display, she went into a continuous display of my ‘angry wave’, right in her mother’s face.

Change is coming

Change is happening all around us whether we like it or not. We are changing, time changes us, it changes our priorities, our way of thinking and our outlook on life. Successful and more at ease are those who learn to adapt and adapt quickly.

So, whilst we struggle to rear our offspring to the best of our capabilities, what can we learn from them? The key thing I say is simplicity. A child is simple, they’re still grasping knowledge and understanding, so they look at everything in the most simplest of ways.  

This as adults we know, is usually the best of ways to tackle matters, especially when faced with a problem or when a key decision has to be made.

 

Change is happening all around us whether we like it or not. We are changing, time changes us, it changes our priorities, our way of thinking and our outlook on life. Successful and more at ease are those who learn to adapt and adapt quickly.

So, whilst we struggle to rear our offspring to the best of our capabilities, what can we learn from them? The key thing I say is simplicity. A child is simple, they’re still grasping knowledge and understanding, so they look at everything in the most simplest of ways.  

 

This as adults we know, is usually the best of ways to tackle matters, especially when faced with a problem or when a key decision has to be made.

 

However, we adults, we like to think and think and think. We are experts at creating mountains out of molehills by overthinking. Let’s just simplify matters and take it easy.

Secondly, have you noticed how children pick up new things? They are constantly observing their surroundings, monitoring everything around them, constantly feeding their imaginations and growing wiser for it. We adults get so consumed with matters at hand, that we adapt a tunnel vision and lose all sight of all the great things we have surrounding us. I have made it a habit to take time out weekly to try something new, explore a different avenue, experience something different. It’s made me grow and helped me switch off from day to day matters. I strongly recommend this.

As I finish this blog, I simply say to all the parents out there, you’re doing great! Don’t be hard on yourself, take each day as it comes, and enjoy as much of it as you can, because time really does fly. And grow with your children, learn to switch off, learn to simplify, learn to observe and take in all the good that is surrounding you.

But before I go, a warning. Children, they observe everything. EVERYTHING. I have lived to tell the tale above, learn from my errors…

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your parenting tips or disasters! I look forward to hearing all your tales. 

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