How to get more clients for your call center part 2
Part 1 of this series about marketing your call center was very nuts and bolts. Basically, you contact companies who might need your services, be receptive to their questions and needs, and offer them a few hours sample of your work if you think they are serious about a long term relationship. The several hundred dollars you lose giving a free sample could come back to you 1000 fold in the long run with repeat business and referrals.
Hiring the right staff
There is a spiritual law that says that if you have the right people, business will naturally come to you. Isn’t it funny how some businesses grow without putting a dime, a peso, riyal, or rupee into advertising? This always frustrated me as a child while I put endless hours in sweat equity marketing my lawn mowing business while other people just got the business while they were sipping iced tea. Although, I eventually got referrals, and was good at certain tasks concerning the manual labor that I used to do, I did not have the refinement necessary to be someone’s first choice. I also didn’t have a marketing system for getting referrals. Its much easier to build your business through referrals than it is by getting clients through advertising. What I learned later in life, is that it is not a crime to spend a fortune on advertising, but it is a crime not to have a good “offering”, and a good system for gettting referrals.
Hiring the right staff that comprises the perfect blend of personalities to handle your clients and future clients is imperative. If you have a call center with a bunch of pushy salespeople, and customer service reps who mumble, you are going to have a hard time growing at any price. Remember, that the cost to a company for losing them a client is much greater than whatever they are paying you! Outsourcing is a great way for companies to save money, but let them save money without the headaches that are associated with outsourcing. Give them the best service in town and a great experience that they will remember
Can you imagine if XYZ company hires a call center, and the service was mediocre, but dealing with them was a pain in the neck? The manager at XYZ will have a bitter taste in his mouth with all of the bad memories of XYZ company. It is a far better plan to give companies who work with you as wonderful an experience as you can while still maintaining a good price. When all is said and done, and all of the numbers are crunched (analyzed), giving people a pleasant experience counts for 50% of their decision of whether they are going to use you again, even if your actual work is not the best.
Having polished staff members
There are call center companies where the employees speak clearly, are patient, polite, and explain things well. These are the call centers that are going to get the repeat business. I spoke to a call center rep who was the most polite person I have ever encountered. He worked for a fancy bank, and it is no surprize that they value that individual, as he brings professionalism to their already very professional organization. On the other hand, there are nightmare call center staff members who hang up on clients, lose their temper, or are always transfering them to someone else who may or may not be there. You could lose a million dollar account with behavior like that. The quality of your staff = the security of your future success in business!
Training and mentoring
Nobody starts out perfect, except perhaps today’s call center rep from Well’s Fargo. Most call center emplyees just don’t have their act perfected. It is critical to spend more money on middle level management who walks around and moniters people. You have to make sure people are performing at an optimal level. If someone is not answering questions clearly enough, give them a coaching session. If someone is too quiet, or rough, give them a mentoring session. If someone has a pronunciation problem, give them a training session in clear speech. Nobody is perfect, but through molding, amazing improvements can be made. If you do not start out with assets, you can turn someone into an asset in a few months!
It’s the experience
My favorite experience with a call center employee was a young lady I talked to many years ago. She was working for a credit card company and she was located in the Philippines. She solved my credit card issue quickly and efficiently, but she also had a nice personality too. We talked about my flight to India. She commented, “Oh, you flew right over me.. next time you fly over the Philippines, say hi, okay?”. I’ll never forget her. If you have staff members who are so charming and pleasant that people would actually like to meet them and get to know them, then you are in business. You will be discovered soon enough. You can have the best marketing department in the world, but a charming staff member is much more potent than the best salesman on earth! Remember, you only talk to the salesperson at the BEGINNING of your relationshp with a company. After the sale is made, you see the regular employees. If they make your day, you will stay with the company forever!
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