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customer service

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This Black Owned Customer Service Company Is One Of The Fastest Growing Businesses In The Country

Chime Solutions is a Black owned customer service company that provides U.S.-based outsourcing services for small businesses and Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of industries, including financial services, insurance, healthcare, and telecommunications.

Headquartered in Marrow, Georgia, about 10 miles south of downtown Atlanta, the company operates call centers in several cities.

Chime’s roots originate in 2001, when Mark Wilson and his wife, Shelly, started RYLA Teleservices out of the basement of their home. They grew RYLA into a nationally-recognized customer support and contact center with more than 3,000 employees and revenues in excess of $100 million. Wilson eventually sold the business in 2010 for a reported $70 million.

“It was a significant operation, but really, it was our training ground. With RYLA, we learned everything there is to know about call center services,” he said.

black owned customer service
Mark and Shelly Wilson, CEO and COO of Chime Solutions | Credit: Atlanta Daily World

After the sale of RYLA, Wilson teamed with a group of investors, including Magic Johnson, to acquire an Atlanta background and employment screening firm called eVerifile. As CEO of the private equity owned company, Wilson was responsible for driving double digit growth. He was also responsible for establishing eVerifile CS, a subsidiary that was focused on Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services.

He would eventually acquire eVerifile CS in May of 2016 and merge the operation with Chime Solutions.

black owned customer service
Chime Solutions President and CEO Mark Wilson at the Morrow headquarters.| Credit: Joann Vitelli

According to Wilson, Chime puts its customer support centers in “the middle of neighborhoods that have high unemployment with a rich pool of talent and people who need work.”

“We opened Chime in an old J.C. Penney’s in a shopping mall and converted it into a 1,500-seat, state-of-the-art call center in Morrow. We expanded in a mall in southern Dallas which opened in October (2020) with 500 seats. We also repeated the same thing in Charlotte,” Wilson explained.

“Our goal is to replicate this model for various Fortune 500 companies that are willing to outsource their customer service to us. The Fortune 500 companies send us a trainer to train our trainer, which enables us to continue to provide training for any additional new hires.”

Next up are Baltimore and Detroit, he said. Five other cities will be added over time, with the goal of 1,000 jobs created per city for those living in underserved communities.

In December of 2020, Chime closed on a $30 million recapitalization investment that will enable the expansion into new markets and allow them to invest in next-generation customer experience technologies.

“There is a lot to what we are trying to accomplish,” Wilson said. “We’re doing business as a Black-owned company, creating jobs for Blacks. Using the multiplier effect, meaning for every job you create, another is created. And it is money spent in the community.”

 

Tony O. Lawson


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5 Ways Black Businesses Can Improve Customer Experience

Let’s face it, Black businesses have a horrible reputation when it comes to offering a great customer experience or customer service.

Whether this stigma is justified or not, the fact remains that business should always strive to offer the best customer experience possible.

Keep these stats in mind:

78% of consumers did not make an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. Source: American Express Survey

It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs

In 2016 one study found that 75% of companies said their top objective was to improve customer experience.

So, what can Black owned businesses do to improve their customer experience and keep their customer coming back? Glad you asked!

1) Help customers to help themselves

The majority of consumers will always check a website for information before calling or e-mailing a business, so make it easy for them to find answers to their questions quickly and easily by deploying an online FAQ, or Live

2) Listen to customer feedback and react

In order to improve your product and service offering, you need to have the best possible understanding of what your customer’s needs are.

Providing customers with several ways to provide feedback (social media, email, on-site suggestion box etc) will enable you to monitor and implement changes and address issues when they arise.

3) Don’t take it personal

The ability to swallow one’s pride and accept blame or negative feedback is crucial. Whether your team works directly with customers or looking for feedback on social media, they’ve got to keep the customer’s happiness in mind.

4) Listen to your team/staff feedback

If you have a team or staff that are on the front lines dealing with frustrated and agitated customers, be aware that they are knowledgable about the customer’s wants, needs and pain points.

They should be given the opportunity to provide this customer insight regularly, via a method that is most comfortable for them.

5) Embrace the complaints

When a customer takes the time to share suggestions or vent frustrations, you can be sure that they are one of several customers that share the same frustration — or soon will, unless an improvement occurs.

Better for you to hear it and make the change before these customers move on to your competitor.

Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson (IG: @thebusyafrican)