Maximizing Call Center Performance
Are you a brand wanting to expand your reach or a marketer ready to bring a product to market? The Direct Response space will welcome you and for most; chew you up and spit you out.
We’re all enamored with the multi-billion dollar industry we call Direct Response and hope to get a little piece of it. Your success will begin and end with the ability to sell your product with your choice of several channels but none greater to connect with your customers than the mighty telephone.
The call center world seems simple, but most don’t understand what it takes to get the most out of your “call center.” The myth is that you can create a stellar creative and purchase media through TV, radio, the web, or even print and drive your consumers to sales agents that simply read a compelling script and your product will sell. The “Art of Selling” has been in discussion for thousands of years and frequented the headlines of Forbes all the way to the best sellers on the New York times. With all this knowledge available, why are marketers still not getting the results they need (to be profitable)? The first step is to understand and embrace the “opportunity” and recognize that every single phone call is an opportunity for a marketer, sales agent, and for the consumer. With every opportunity, you have to Know More, Care More, and therefore, you can Sell More.
Know More – Understand the science of what is motivating the customer to call. What is the desired result; and what needs to be done to increase the rate at which results are achieved? There is a process to uncover, articulate and communicate. You must maintain the value proposition of a product or brand. Knowing and understanding the work that is put into acquiring each customer is important. The call center needs to subordinate their systems and processes to maximize the value of each customer to the client; as well as the value that the marketer provides for each customer.
Care More – Once you understand how to convert calls to sells, you have to maintain the idea that “customer care” is achieved through “conversion care.” You have to utilize real-time measurements to ensure the sales agents are in sync with the customers. Tracking the results of each phone call is a direct reflection on the ability to achieve the goals as sales agents, management, and the marketer. The passion for personal results (sales agents and management) should drive the call center to pursue excellence on each phone call. The management methods should be designed to tie those two things together in a symbiotic loop. Developing happy agents leads to satisfied customers and happier marketers. This is the real measure of a successful sales desk.
Sell More – You can sell more by valuing each opportunity and each customer. We know that “Sales” is really the ability to give someone confidence that a decision they already made was/is the right decision. The opportunity for the sales agents is to create confidence in the marketers products, to build the perceived value of the marketers brand and create a lifelong advocate. Creating raving fans can only be achieved through truly understanding value; the value proposition of the product and the value of each customer.
As a marketer, your call center has to be relentlessly committed to improving and not focused on industry norms or acceptable performance standards. The Direct Response space creates moving targets, and the call center must close the gap on improvement and build agents, systems, and methods to gain new insight and increase the ability to hit those moving targets. “Good enough” is too often the enemy of “Great,” and just creating satisfied customers can be the enemy of creating raving fans.
Your call center is NOT a commodity and should be one of the most important decisions you make when creating a successful business plan. Unfortunately, it seems to be one of the last decisions to be made and therefore the rush of identifying a call center, signing contracts, and integrating takes precedence over infusing your sales agents with confidence about the value of your product and providing the tools to create a successful launch. Remember, sales are simply the ability to give someone (Sales Agents) confidence that a decision they already made was/is the right decision. A true partnership spirit should be created along with a robust feedback loop to identify how the Call to Action (CTA) is working, know what your customers are experiencing and understand how to present the value proposition to ensure they are in sync with your brand.
PlusOne – We’ve created and refined a solution that leads the industry in sales performance based on simple core principals I.C.A.F.C.A.TM
Intent: It is impossible to achieve elite results if they are not first clearly articulated. PlusOne believes in beginning with the end in mind. Goal setting is pervasive throughout our company, and Win/Win/Win is our standard. Ensuring that the intent of each agent is aligned to fulfill the intent of each client and customer is a special part of our culture!
Confidence: The ability to give someone else confidence is the most coveted ability in humankind. To give others confidence, we have to have it. We become more confident people by creating success, and each phone call provides an opportunity to accomplish the goals we set.
Action: When you combine intent with confidence you take action. Action creates opportunity. We recognize that the actions we take dictate opportunities we encounter. If no action is taken, there is no chance of fulfilling intention. If action is sustained and refined, the moment of fulfillment moves ever closer.
Focus: Fear and complacency are continuously threatening our ability to take strong action. PlusOne was founded on the principle of proactive FOCUS. Rather than becoming caught up in good enough numbers or becoming overwhelmed by bad results, our company focuses on things we can control and creates success with those things. That success gives us confidence and increases the chances of accomplishing things outside our control.
Commitment: Why? That is the question. What commits someone to perform? Understanding what is motivating people is the key to performance. We have a clear understanding of what is driving our agents, our customers, and our clients.
Accountability: Results hold us accountable. Are the actions we are taking effective? Are we making progress toward our intentions? It is crucial to measure where we were, where we are and how far we have to go. This allows us to refine our course of action to increase the capacity of each opportunity to deliver our desired result.
Now, don’t go running to your sales team and let them know cipher has been decoded, and you expect conversion and the average ticket to skyrocket. Frankly, this is only half the story, and I’m nearing my 1,200-word limit. Pick up that almighty telephone; it could be the best decision you make all year!