Re-examine Your Call-Center Practices, Part 3
We all know that not every prospect who calls your call center actually places an order. This week, in the third installment of this series, I offer a fresh way to leave no stone unturned and no money on the table when it comes to your prospecting efforts.
First, a quick review of my last column, in which I defined the four types of calls your call center receives:
1. calls answered where an order occurs;
2. calls answered where an order doesn’t occur — contact data captured by a customer service representative (CSR);
3. calls answered where an order doesn’t occur — contact data not captured by a CSR; and
4. calls not answered where no order occurs (call abandoned).
This week’s column focuses on No. 3 above.
Prospects often call with questions. Maybe they’re just tire kickers, or maybe their sales “problems” never were solved during the phone call with your CSR. Your CSRs should view themselves as problem solvers. Therefore, they need to ask questions, probe these prospects, and determine the difference between what the prospects say and what they really mean. The best CSRs have a level of intuition that helps them ferret out those who are real prospects vs. the deadwood.
But then again, not every CSR can have that level of prescience. And even if they all did, not every call would close.
So give your CSRs every ounce of ammunition they need to close sales. And if they can’t close sales, they should be armed with the tools they need to capture prospects’ contact information. Here are a couple of ways on how to make this a reality.
* Have some low-cost items your CSRs can use as a down-sell, which is a last attempt to make a sale. Identify a group of products that have universal appeal and are low-cost. Then train your CSRs to offer these items before they get off the phone. Your CSRs shouldn’t be pushy; they should even offer it as a throwaway item.
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.