The hard work is done, the calls are being made and now it’s just a matter of waiting for the sales to roll in from the call centre, or is it?
Call centre execution of campaigns is crucial to achieving results for the business. However, ineffective operational structures, inconsistent operational practices, as well as conflicting campaign objectives and reporting can often lead to poor results for good campaigns.
Here are 7 areas that can lead to dramatic improvements in campaign performance.
1. Fixing Inconsistent Messaging
Variations in script intent from your consultants blur the focus of your offer. On the other hand, concise scripting with dynamic execution is a key driver of campaign success. Reviewing and improving your scripting to make it concise and dynamic can deliver a 1% increase in conversions, immediately bringing more dollars to the bottom line.
2. Putting the right consultants on the right campaigns?
It’s a fact that different consultants perform better on different campaign types. The right reporting and processes allow you to assign the right consultants to the right campaigns and maximize response rates for all campaigns.
Your quality and assurance (Q&A) processes and reporting should be based on calibration formats that can be used to increase capabilities, identify strengths and drive the learning and development needs of your consultants. You can then better match your consultants to the campaigns for which they have a natural affinity.
A stark example of the improvements that are possible occurred recently at a leading FMCG company where a review of their business planning and reporting produced a massive 5% increase in conversions.
3. Ensure that your Disaster Recovery process is organised
Ask yourself: “Would I still hit my targets if my call centre phone lines were cut for 24 hours?”
Would you still be able to service your customer’s needs and action campaigns if your call centre systems failed or were cut by, say, building works? Disaster recovery and continuity process are often not documented or tested. When the disaster comes customers are left hanging and sales slashed for hours, days or even weeks at a time.
One well known company didn’t plan for such an occurrence and when the unlikely but when the inevitable event occurred they lost over $30K per hour in sales. How much would it cost you?
4. Make sure that you call at the best time
If your operational hours are not aligned with your customer’s needs and lifestyles, you can be calling at the worst time for your customers; reducing conversions and driving up dissatisfaction.
By changing and testing your call times and operational hours you can actually reduce your labor costs and increase your sales revenue. Better still if you can be talking to customers when they are more responsive!
Following a recommendation from us, a tier one financial company started to include Saturdays in their outbound calling program. The result was a 30% increase in contact rates and a 5% increase in response rates.
5. Ensure that your call centre reacts quickly enough
Strong resource planning is mandatory for a call centre to meet business requirements, particularly dynamic and immediate requirements. If you can’t react quickly, you are often leaving sales on the table.
One call centre that had traditionally been held back by a sluggish response to opportunities uncovered a simple internal solution enabling them to become very reactive. The results were dramatic; just three months later the extra revenue generated pushed them above their year to date (YTD) targets.
6. Structure staffing to drive success
Staff structure within a call centre environment is key to the success of direct marketing campaigns. There need to be clear lines of accountability and business transparency in order to fine-tune campaign design, execution and reporting and achieve the best outcomes.
In a recent review for a top 20 financial services company, the campaign manager’s time was split between overseeing the execution of campaigns and organising legitimate, social events for the organisation. The company had great social events but their campaign results were less than desirable.
The introduction of a dedicated campaign manager and a change in reporting structure now sees the outbound call centre operation realizing its full potential with best to date results being achieved.
7. Check Consultant skills to maximize conversions
Skills training and staff knowledge are keys to campaign success. The more product knowledge and soft skills competencies a consultant has, the more successful they will be at executing your campaign. The creation and delivery of the right learning and development (L&D) pathways within the call centre will always benefit your campaigns and consultants.
One large financial services company held induction training, but did not follow through on refresher or enforcement training for consultants and they were not meeting their targets. A review recommended specific L&D initiatives which resulted in an instant 7% increase in up-sell and cross sell conversions and the conversion rate is still trending upwards.
The answer is clear, regardless of how good your campaign is, poor call centre execution can drive down your results. On the other hand small changes in execution can reap large and immediate gains in conversion. Make sure that you ask the right questions of your call centre and then ensure that they deliver for you.