The 50 Best Tips of 2006
Motivate contact center reps without money.
Ask some key questions: What three things annoy you about your job? What would make your job more satisfying? Also conduct regular training and informational meetings as it’s difficult for reps to keep track of numerous marketing and merchandising initiatives in the expanding multichannel world.
—Angela Wolfe, The Orvis Co., “If Money Isn’t the Answer, What Is?” August, Catalog Success
Track your call-to-order conversions.
Set up tracking methods so you can see why people call but don’t buy. Most call center software lets you track this, or your reps could use simple tick sheets to check off reasons callers don’t order. Don’t include customer service-related calls (e.g., returns, exchanges, order status) in this metric. Once you have the reasons people don’t order, you can work to address them within in your organization.
—Jim Gilbert, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Contributions to Profit, “Track Call-to-Order Conversions,” January, Catalog Success
Choose the right contact center outsourcing partner.
When shopping for a provider, methodically investigate service quality. For example, insist on monitoring a few customer calls. Are the reps polite, efficient and obviously qualified? Is there too much background noise? Also, call the provider and do a little mystery shopping to see how the company handles your queries. And don’t throw any softballs — make them work, then document their responses and how they handle your call. Call companies that use those the provider offers as references. Visit the contact center.
—Marc Klein, SC Fulfillment Services, source, “How to Select an Outsourcing Partner,” April, Catalog Success
Respond to customer information requests or complaints within 24 to 48 hours.
It’s not imperative to come up with a resolution that quickly since it’s not always possible to fix the problem immediately. But you should respond right away to alert the customer, “Here’s when you can anticipate hearing from us.”
—Lisa Ford, Ford Group, source, “Dig to the Root of the Issue,” April 18, Catalog Success Idea Factory
- Altman Dedicated Direct
- DM Transportation
- F. Curtis Barry & Co.
- Federal Express
- Fry, Inc.
- Hershey's Gift Catalog
- J. Schmid & Assoc.
- J.C. Whitney & Co.
- Lett Direct Inc.
- Liz Kislik Associates LLC
- McIntyre Direct
- Millard Group Inc.
- Orvis Company
- SC Fulfillment Services Inc.
- Sierra Trading Post
- The Rimm-Kaufman Group
- West Companies Inc.