Hoiio Blog
Sharing our thoughts on a smarter hello

Ace customer requests with 3 guiding questions

Author: , October 29, 2014

What keeps customers coming back? Most of the time the answer is excellent customer service, which makes nailing it crucial to any business. While there are many things you can do to aim for good customer service, we believe that truly excellent customer service stems from a wish to make the customer’s experience a great one.

Every so often, businesses get special requests, where customers ask for small changes to their order here and there. “I’d like this colour of roses instead of the default one.” “I’d like the cut of this suit to be more fitted.” “I’d like…”

While the requests may be small, the fact that the customer made a point to request for it makes it important for businesses to try to meet it.

Sure, customer requests take more cognitive effort to process. You’ve refined your regular order-taking procedure, and now you’ve got to do that extra bit to meet the customised order.

However, the time and effort spent is worth it. People are different and so are customers, so it’s not unexpected that there will be those who want something tweaked. Businesses that specialise in custom orders such as florists and tailors receive and manage personalisation requests on a daily basis, so it can be done. It really all boils down to a willingness to be flexible.

To simplify the process and achieve the best outcome possible, here are three questions you can quickly run through in your mind when faced with a customer request.

“What is the request?”

This is the most basic question, but it’s often underrated. When customers make a specific request they do it for a reason, so it’s worth paying them the proper attention.

“Why is the customer asking for this?”

Tap on your listening skills and find out the reason behind this request. There’s usually a legitimate underlying issue that’s important to the customer, and saying a straight-out no can be offensive.

This step is important to figure out because let’s say you can’t accede to that particular request. As long as you understand the motivation behind the request, you can then offer an alternative solution that meets that same need. You get to offer a more doable solution and the customer gets what he wants. Win-win.

“How can I help the customer achieve this?”

Here, the positive wording is key. It’s not so much whether it’s doable or whether you are helping or hindering the customer from accomplishing it. Focusing on the solution structures your mind to seek ways to meet the customer’s needs and gain a satisfactory outcome for the both of you.

This might sound simple, but these three questions frame the approach you take to handling any customer request, which can be make-or-break in customer service.

The next time a customer makes a special request, instead of hearing “I need you to do something troublesome for me,” hear this: “I like your product/service, but it would be even better if you could make a few small changes.”

Try your best to fulfil it, and you’ll be looking at a satisfied, and potentially return, customer.



Top Challenges Singapore HR Managers Face

Author: , October 24, 2014

The role of a HR manager is multi-faceted and evolving. Not only do they juggle multiple duties, they also have to stay responsive to day-to-day fluctuations in the company as well as external changes in the economy. We touch on the top challenges that Singapore HR managers face today.

1. Retaining staff

Employee retention has always been the number one problem for HR. With high turnover, not only are sunken training costs and investments costly to the company, it also affects morale. Keeping key positions filled with the right people increases the potential for the company’s growth. Reasons for leaving an organisation are often situational, which makes the task of employee retention harder.

2. Managing a multi-national workforce

WIth Singapore’s immigration policy geared to attract foreign labour in order to remain competitive, companies now have a mix of local and foreign employees in their employee base. Cultural differences have introduced new challenges to workplace dynamics where employees have to adapt to each other’s working and communication styles.

3. Developing potential of existing workers

The tightening labour market means that companies have fewer options when it comes to recruiting the suitable person for the job. In order to maximise the existing workforce, HR managers now need to focus on retraining and reskilling workers to remain employable.

With the heavy workload of HR professionals, it would be good if processes that can be automated are done so.

We have been developing intelligent cloud solutions for businesses to communicate, offering quality service with cost savings. Having created flexible and agile telephony apps for enterprise communication, we decided to continue developing software for other business functions.

Right now, we’re working on perfecting a suite of HR apps that automate HR and admin processes, and the first cloud-based service for HR is now available on our app center. With administrative processes automated, HR managers can then focus on the bigger issues that only expertise and experience can solve.

Do stay tuned for upcoming HR apps, each one designed to complement each other as well as function well as a standalone app. More details are coming up very soon!


Hoiio partner, Xorcom, brings customers quality VoIP telephony solutions

Author: , October 20, 2014

A leading PBX manufacturer in the European market, Xorcom uses Asterisk Open Source IP-PBX to design and produce VoIP and PSTN office communication solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Hoiio recently partnered Xorcom to bring customers in Asia better SIP hardware options. Alongside Hoiio SIP service, customers get direct access to quality IP-PBX solutions, such as Xorcom’s CompletePBX. The business-grade telephony solution offers users a comprehensive product line of hardware configurations to support varying telecommunication requirements, from standard to enhanced.


More than just a PBX manufacturer and provider, Xorcom hosts an extensive library of SIP and PBX resources. Xorcom’s knowledge base provides relevant and useful information to its customers and site visitors, including product manuals, brochures, white papers, case studies and downloadable multimedia resources. Should there be any need for technical support or industry-related information, the customer need not worry about a lack of self-service help resources available in the Xorcom resource bank.

Celebrating their ten year anniversary this year, Xorcom has been providing customers with quality telephony solutions for a decade now. As a Xorcom partner, we extend our congratulations to Xorcom.

If you have a SIP subscription and would like an IP-PBX solution, do explore the various telephony solutions Xorcom has to offer.


The Enterprise Solution: Using SIP on the IP PBX

Author: , October 17, 2014

This is part two of the Hoiio SIP series. We hope this guides you to find the SIP client best suited to your needs.



An IP PBX (Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange) is a telephone switchboard privately owned by the enterprise. It acts as a central switching system for phone calls within the company, as well as directs multiple incoming calls to the right departments.

Do I need an IP PBX?

Go with a business phone system that comprises of an IP PBX and IP phones, if your business operations require a sophisticated system with many capabilities. Some of the IP PBX’s features include automated attendant, hold music, call transfer, barge-in, call park and call pick-up.

The IP PBX can cost anywhere between $700 to $60,000. Yes, it’s expensive, but for good reason. The IP PBX offers a comprehensive list of calling features that gives your company flexible options about what to do with a call, and the more features it offers, the more expensive it is. So if your company budget allows, the IP PBX can be a real asset to your business communication.

Guides for configuration

Configuring your SIP service on the IP PBX can be complicated. That’s why it’s best left to the system integrator to help you set up the business phone system. Should you require any assistance with your IP PBX, do seek help from your hardware vendor.

Hardware providers

PBXs are available in various configurations to cater to the diverse size, connectivity and communication requirements of companies. As every business has a unique set of communication needs, we recommend discussing with PBX providers to select the right IP PBX for your company. Do consider factors such as the calling features you require as well as the networking and reliability policies.


For a more mobile alternative, you may want to consider the softphone — stay tuned for part three.

Find part one here.

How to market safely under the PDPA

Author: , October 08, 2014

With the provisions of the DNC Registry, marketing to customers has undeniably become trickier. It can feel like navigating a minefield when trying to ascertain what’s okay and what’s not in your marketing workflow.

For some businesses, it is not so much the business complexities but the huge fine involved that deters them from marketing. There are companies that would rather put their marketing efforts on hold in the meantime, before they find a viable solution.

However, avoiding any marketing isn’t a long-term solution. After all, it’s a matter of time before your sales figures start to suffer. A better option would be to educate ourselves with the information required to market safely within the constraints of the PDPA.

Equip yourself

To ensure that you don’t step on a DNC landmine, marketers ought to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the DNC Registry and incorporate this knowledge into the company’s existing workflow. A talk held by Straits Interactive aims to help marketers do just that.

Straits Interactive, PDPA and DNC specialist firm, is offering a free talk tomorrow to help marketers understand what it takes to comply with the DNC, and equip them with skills on how to market under the PDPA.


Straits Interactive will also make recommendations on solutions that can help marketers achieve DNC compliance with minimal disruption to daily operations. It takes just a little adjustment to market safely and responsibly, and marketers can look forward to discovering compliance tools that integrate compliance processes seamlessly with their existing workflow.


pdpa marketing


To register

To secure a seat at this free talk, do sign up early to avoid disappointment.

When: 9 October, 2 to 5 pm

Where: Seminar Room 3.4, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SMU

For the full conference agenda, please click here.

If you have any further enquiries, kindly contact Karen at +65 68718958 or email info@straitsinteractive.com.