Use the Call Center to Advance Your
Performance, Sales and Revenue
By Matt Harless
call center is a channel of communication that strings caller and
business together. Through
an improved understanding of ways to optimize loyal customers and new
clients, companies are taking existing service levels and proactively
increasing sales and revenue. The
call center is showing them the way.
organizations understand how important each and every direct customer
touch is to their success now and in the future.
An optimized company would understand that it is far more
costly to unmake a disgruntled customer than it is to develop a new
one. An optimized company
would have systems in place to know what's happening with customer and
prospect alike, and place the same level of focus to shoring up this
virtual hub of business. The
call center is more than a simple telephone.
It is an interactive marketing machine that consists of
outbound telemarketing, inbound sales and customer care, and email and
web based interactions. The
goal is simple: drive a winning customer
experience. Not just
once. Not just twice.
Not only for tomorrow. But
ongoing and consistently.
what are the steps to optimizing your business, increasing sales and
performance, and ensuring your loyal customer base turns into even
more loyal business opportunities?
like your customer: There are a number of best practices that
create intimacy with customers: direct mail, e-mail, print media,
collateral, telephone and trade shows are among the many solutions.
The most direct line of fire, the hub of any marketing effort,
incorporates these marketing efforts with the call center.
The call center brings all forms of intimacy directly to the
customer. So, direct mail
campaigns have a giant percentage leap in success when combined with
outbound telemarketing calls. E-mail
marketing demonstrates clear superiority when the recipient can
respond by either inviting a telephone call for more information, or
through dialing a telephone number to speak with a live customer care
an “act-now” offer, such as a free book or white paper, in a
direct mail or email campaign followed by either a proactive outbound
telephone call or an enticement for the prospect to call, improves hit
rates as well. Direct mail
and email is just one piece to the puzzle-the call center completes
the cycle and provides the audience with more opportunities to speak
to your organization.
center would clear obstruction and create a fluid channel of
communications and thus sales. A
call center would instantly provide:
and customer analysis. Once
the customer accepts an outbound telemarketing call, or proactively
initiatives a telephone call to your center, data can be collected.
First, how did the customer learn about your offer?
When did the customer and company make contact?
What did the customer desire?
What demographics can be compared for future marketing
Add peak and off
hour contacts. Expecting
everyone to work on your time zone is unreasonable and places the
focus of service in the wrong direction.
Remember, it's all about the customer.
And clearly, they want to speak with your organization only on
their time. The call
center can provide complete 24/7/365 solutions.
Call centers offer solutions that drive the sale, cross
sell, up sell, bundle product, save a sale and a wealth of other sales
opportunities. With proper
scripting, call centers unblock obstructions to the sale.
cost less than telephone sales. A
significant portion of a “call center” can also allow for e-mail
“calls,” instant messaging or other forms of instant
particular customer thinks a
certain way. They want a
certain touch. They want
to hear certain messages in order to act.
They want to be reached. Your
job is to combine all the resources available to you and find which
resources work with which customers.
Think like them. Figure
their actions. Create a
marketing program around those traits.
programs to win old customers back: We know that the memory of a
poor experience remains with a customer long after the event itself.
We also know that disgruntled customers are most likely to
share their pain, and spread word of their poor experience.
Call centers are a great resolution to winning back the unhappy
consumer. In our previous
scenarios, the blend of direct mail, e-mail and the call center forms
a friendly customer experience.
What many organizations do not do today is proactively use
their customer database to improve revenue.
For instance, a past customer at one time chose your
company-and today there are a myriad of reasons why they are no longer
a customer. Find out why!
Package a reason for them to act.
Show them that your opportunity, considered a win by them when
they acted the first time, is still a win for them today.
Many companies have databases of tens of thousands of past
customers, melting away untouched, as if yesterday’s customer is
today’s bad apple. That
simply is not the case. Combine
direct marketing efforts with web-based and telephone communications
and attack your goldmine of an audience:
your customer base.
warm leads to sizzling sales: Today’s economic climate compels
business to: “Do more with less.” So when warm leads go cold, a
company has squandered a valuable resource at an exponential cost.
Warm leads don’t just appear.
They are the result of a concerted investment in time and
money. Those 300,000
prospects in your data base who have either inquired about your
services or have been ranked as a “propensity to say yes” do have
a shelf life. Prospects
that were gathered through last quarter’s advertising campaign will
not remain qualified forever. Your
business can leverage scalable operations while eliminating fixed
costs. The optimized firm
would know that following up on leads is a win-win situation.
They win by making the sale, but they also win by demonstrating
the quality customer service which is the bedrock of customer
satisfaction and loyalty. The
follow-up of warm leads, if nothing else, demonstrates interest for
tomorrows need. How many
customers complain that today’s organization show no “interest”
in them? Never forget that
customer service IS sales and sales IS customer service.
A touch today means results tomorrow.
coordinated multi-channel contact with warm leads also provides
feedback to generate new campaigns.
It allows a business to address concerns before customers vote
with their dollars. For
instance, a business may contact 100,000 warm leads and convert
fifteen percent. But,
through data collection, this business may learn that 40% would have
said “yes” to the offer if the price break were just a few dollars
less. All of a sudden,
performance, revenue and sales will increase soon enough because your
organization now has the knowledge to better package future offerings.
Seamless interaction between a call center team and customers provide
an opportunity to:
Think and act like your customer.
Win back lost customers
Find revenue and data through existing prospects.
Cross sell other goods and services.
superior customer care
organization as a proactive company that has an interest in existing
customers and new clients.
profitable, successful firm, no doubt, must use their entire marketing
efforts to collect data and touch customers.
The optimized firm creatively seeks ways to apply this data to
direct contact with customers and prospects.
An optimized, successful firm, with a “customer
experience” in mind, cross-references, scripts and measures,
thereby leaving no opportunity or marketing effort incomplete.
your business. Move to the
next level. Don't do more with less: do more
with what you have. Use
the outbound, inbound, e-mail and web based solutions that a call
center delivers to provide the ultimate customer experience. Improve
your existing marketing efforts and let your existing marketing
efforts drive superior results.
Read other articles and learn more
about Matt Harless.
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