We are currently in the process of determining how to measure our outbound calls. To give you a background of our company, we have been an in-bound call center for over three decades. Transitioning to out-bound calls as well is a new avenue for our company. We will be making these calls to those currently active in our business to educate them on business techniques/promotions. Therefore it is not necessary cold calling as we have a relationship with these people. It is also not sales as we are not selling them on anything. More of an educational call.
My questions are:
“Do you have any tips as to how to measure outbound calls? Suggestions on how to successfully keep the caller’s interest? Any help would be appreciated!”
It is a Huge Challenge
I have monitored outbound calling and yes there is a huge challenge that lies in it for the executive, as its a different ball game compared to inbound. A few tips I wish to share to maintain customers interest:
- To ensure a smooth and successful calling, do a quick study of the profile of customer to know where he comes from, that helps in driving the interaction in his language or the way he would perhaps look at it.
- To always first introduce ourselves and where are we calling from. Its v.annoying to the customer if you ask him for details first.
- How your present the additional/educational details will hold customers interest. For instance: A benefit oriented/positive delight sharing should prevail always and packed with positive words in an assuring, enthusiastic tone, for cust to feel good about it.
Tips to measure outbound:
- We understand, without measuring any aspect, there can be no scope to further improve. There is the role of an audit sheet, that comes into the picture.
- To create an audit sheet, that has certain parameters which measures every interaction. This will be used then to give one to one feed back as well to every executive on his strengths and opportunites. We can help you with the audit sheet as we are into quality monitoring for call centres and trainings/consultations.
Thanks to Pinaz.
Be Clear What you Want Your Calls to Achieve
Outbound call can be a really cost effective and powerful tool for retaining and growing the spend of your existing customers.
I would recommend that you are clear what you want your calls to achieve and then brain storm best practice which will give you some clear measures.
A word of warning on measurement, you will get what you measure, so measure a blend of things. So for example if you only measure number of calls and length of calls, that’s what you will get but you are unlikely to get happy customers with that approach. Look to measure a combination of activity, results and the skills and behaviours that you want your people to have as part of your “brand voice”
With outbound calls engaging the prospect / customer and leading the call is a crucial requirement, and a clear call structure will help your people develop campaigns that work, as well as create best practice against which you can measure calls and coach for skill development.
As for engaging the customer / prospect, my top tip is get a question in early. There is a lot of poor to mediocre calling going on out there, especially b2b. Your people need to have good conversations with customers, understanding the customers world, and how your products and services can help them. They are putting your company’s name at the front of a decision makers brain, so with this type of calling a programme of calls can be highly effective as part of your overall strategy – put simply (b2b) it’s better to call one customer six times than call six customers once.
Thanks to Dianne
Keep the Customer Informed of Key Updates
From what you have mentioned, it appears to be more of a Customer Relationship call, keeping the customer informed of key updates within the business.
My suggestions would be as follows:
- Firstly establish what you are aiming to achieve from the call, whether increased sales leads, conveying key information, or simply fact finding from the customer, or maybe a combination of the above.
- Set out a list of what it is you are wanting to observe on the calls, for example rapport with customers, accuracy of information provided, use of systems to capture or provide information, tone/pace/volume, expected length of call etc.
- Set these out into a simple table format, and with a scoring metric (percentage often work easiest), and weight the most important areas with the highest percentage.
- Set out an expectation of how many of these calls you expect to monitor, whether it’s a percentage of total outbound, or number per agent per week/month, and how you will do this – eg. side by side, remote monitoring, recorded calls etc
- Work with the team you are going to be observing – and outline what you are trying to achieve – they will often have some good ideas and suggestions – and try to get them to come up with what you already have through coaching.
- Launch, trial and see how it goes.
Thanks to Andy