Inbound Telemarketing: Haband Exec Explains When to Outsource
An 82-year-old direct marketing business that primarily serves value-conscious senior citizens, Haband Co. always must keep an eye on the old-fashioned ways of doing things to properly serve its clientele. For instance, a sizable portion of Haband customers still mail their order forms. These people also like to strike up friendly conversations with telephone reps.
But for the past seven years, Haband, a loose-sheet cataloger of budget-priced clothing, food, gifts and home furnishings, has outsourced overseas a sizable portion of its call center. Haband Online President Jay Baney, who’s also Haband’s vice president of technical services, explained how Haband decided to rely on Cyber City’s Philippines-based call center during a presentation he gave at last week’s Cyber City Teleservices Forum and User’s Conference in New York City.
* Haband was comfortable with the ethnicity of Filipino call-center reps because “their accent is of undeterminable origin,” Baney said. “Though I’d be hard-pressed to determine where they were from if I didn’t know.”
* When it used to operate its own call center domestically, Haband had rent and reps to pay whether or not call volume was high. “It was great when we were busy, but overnight, weekends or during the summer it wasn’t very cost-efficient,” Baney said. So outsourcing with “one massive fixed cost” was the solution.
* How it handles excessive chit chat with seniors: Haband has worked with Cyber City to develop a model that gives financial incentives to reps for volume. This, Baney said, helps reps keep the talk time down. “But if we feel our customers have something to say and are worth talking to,” he noted, “they’re certainly worth talking to.”