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 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.