Re-examine Your Call-Center Practices, Part 4
Over the course of this series, I’ve discussed several techniques to help you maximize revenue in your call centers. Today, I offer another way to make sure you aren’t leaving sales dollars on the table.
To review, I’ve defined the four types of calls into your call center as follows:
1. calls answered where an order occurs;
2. calls answered where an order doesn’t occur — contact data captured by the customer service representative (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 (call abandoned).
This week’s column focuses on No. 2 above.
If your CSRs have done their job properly, they’ve done everything possible to close a sale. If after all their sales tactics have been exhausted and there’s still no sale, then it’s necessary for them to capture the prospect’s contact info. If they’ve gotten the prospect’s phone number, they have a whole new opportunity to generate a customer.
Develop a call-back program where your CSRs — or an outside company if you have the volume — call prospects back and make them offers they can’t refuse.
Consider the following factors before starting your own outbound telemarketing program.
* Test slowly. You never know how prospects will react to being solicited over the phone. Of course, you’re going to meet resistance. Most people, in fact, won’t be happy you called. Set yourself an initial goal of converting 5 percent to 10 percent of the people you call.
* Test different offers until you find the one that’s best received by your prospects (i.e., the offer with the highest conversion rate).
* Monitor your calls to determine if you’re doing the right thing by calling.
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.