Jim Gilbert's Return on Intelligence: Your Call Center is Bleeding! - Connecting the Dots of Your Customer Touchpoints, Part 2
In part one of this series on customer touchpoints, I defined touchpoints as all the points of contact between your company and its prospects and customers. In part two, I look at one of the two main touchpoints: your call center.
Before I start any discussion on call center and web results, I always tell clients, "Look out — what you're about to hear may bruise your egos." I offer that same warning to you.
Here goes ...
No matter what company I visit, I always come away with the same thing: They're not as efficient at converting sales as they could be. I get that knowledge the old-fashioned way: I listen to calls in the call center, and I make a number of test calls externally. I also go to a client company's website and order a product (or attempt to, in some cases).
First Off, the Call Center
There are just too many missed opportunities in the call centers I evaluate. Missed buying signals, missed cues, reps not listening effectively, etc. I also see environments that are too tightly controlled and scripted, and others that are totally unscripted.
Of course when I tell clients this, often times I get a blank stare, like, "What do you mean my call center sucks? Do you know how much effort I put into technology, people and training there?"
And sometimes, right there, the messenger gets shot! But in truth, this does happen, and if you're willing to spend time listening, you'll hear it too. We reconvene here in two weeks. When we do, I'll offer some simple call-center training techniques I've used to increase sales conversion rates by as much as 20 percent.
In the mean time, please listen to your calls, make test calls to your call center and soak in as much as you can. You may be in for an eye-opening experience. This is especially true if you're in another department or are an executive in your company.
After the call-center training in my next post, I'll move into web orders and how you're missing the boat there.
Oh, and a last point: If you don't have a call center, you ARE missing sales. We'll discuss that next week, too.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.