Re-examine Your Call-Center Practices, Part 2
In the second part of this series on how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your call center as a sales channel, this week I provide tips on how to increase your call-to-order ratio.
(For part 1, click here.)
Not every prospect who calls your call center actually places an order. We all should strive for a 100 percent call-to-order (CTO) ratio. But due to the nature of the call center itself, with its inherent imperfections in technology and human behavior, 100 percent conversion is virtually impossible.
So let’s explore how to increase your CTO, increase your average sale and make sure you’re leaving no revenue on the table when prospecting.
To start, let’s identify the four types of prospect calls that will come into your call center:
1. calls answered where an order occurs;
2. calls answered where an order doesn’t occur — contact data captured by the customer service rep (CSR);
3. calls answered where an order doesn’t occur — contact data not captured by the CSR; and
4. calls not answered where no order occurs (calls abandoned).
For today, we’re going to concentrate on No. 4, abandoned calls.
When an inbound call to the call center is abandoned, often there’s a record of that call. That record, much like caller ID, is called automatic number identification (ANI). This service identifies the phone number of the caller. Check with your IT or telephony staff to see if your system has ANI capture.
First comes the gut check and then the business decision. Other than a wrong number, a good portion of these people had some reason for calling your call center. Maybe you took too long to answer the call, maybe your call choices weren’t clear enough, but whatever the case, no human contact was made.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.