How to Get More Business For Your Call Center — Better Training!
Everybody in India wants to start a call center. But, those that succeed have better training for their workers. But, you might say, “I need BPO clients first before I can think about training, how can I get clients?” You can get call center clients by networking with others who have call center business. You can buy leads from them, or create advertisements visible to those in the West. But, if you don’t provide good service you will get dumped before you know it, and you will be out of business. So, GETTING business is not your problem — keeping it is the problem. Sure, it is hard to think like that when you don’t have business and have never had it, but try to think from the perspective of someone who has tried and failed in the call center industry and learned something! Training is the secret to keeping clients.
Impress people with your training
If you can impress upon prospective clients how well trained and flawless your call center employees really are, they will be more likely to want to sign a contract with you. If you simply hire people off the street and don’t invest in their skills at all, when the critical call comes in from a prospect, you will have no way to impress that person. Conversely, you will be very evasive, and try to sweet talk them. You will try to assure them that everything will be okay if they just sign that contract. This is not a reliable way to gain trust. Gain trust by getting to know people, and let people get to know your staff. Don’t hide your staff — show them off (if they are any good)
Americans are wary of bad service
Americans are so sick and tired of bad service from India. You should be very tuned into this sentiment instead of continuing to ask, “How can I get clients”. If you offered high quality service you would have to fight to get rid of clients. Instead, ask yourself how you can give Americans the best service that they ever had in their life. If you can make that fantasy a reality, then your phone will ring off the hook. Word travels fast.
How do you train people?
Part of the training is for management. Managers at Indian outsourcing companies typically have many unprofessional types of behaviors. They answer the phone saying, “Hello”. Professionals state their name and company name. Only 2% of companies in India have professional sounding answering machines that actually state the name of the company you called (so you don’t have to guess) and make it possible to leave a message. Whether they actually call you back is another story. Training sales staff to actually answer the phone and be able to answer basic sales questions is another matter to consider. But, actually training the workers is harder than you think. You are not American, and you don’t know how Americans like to be talked to! You need to hire someone who specializes in training call center employees to come to your office and give regular training sessions.
That sounds expensive!
Doing business is expensive. Paying salaries, rent, cab fares, utilities and other expenses are not for free. If you are going to pay all of these other costs, invest in training. My guess is that he who invests most in high quality training will probably grab a higher percentage of market share more quickly than any other company. Most companies are not even trying to compete. Americans are less sensitive to price variations as they are to quality variations in companies. Because, if you give them low quality service, then they will lose THEIR clients which will make them go out of business. Americans would rather pay a little more and get better service. I’m not suggesting that you charge double what the others charge in your area, but don’t try to be the cheapest, try to be the best. Sure, offer special sign-up deals for the first three months to get people on board if you need to, but in the long run, focus on quality.
What type of training do people need?
Call center employees need help with pronunciation, clear speaking skills, speaking loud enough but not too loud, and handling difficult situations. You need to be sensitive when there is a problem. You need to be on the side of the person you are talking to and care. You need to be able to explain complicated situations flawlessly to the person on the other end of the phone. Some call center employees can do this, but, many can’t handle even the smallest of complication. Learning American culture and expressions is always helpful. Mastering the art of American small talk is quintessential to success. But, it is the Philippinos who learn these skills almost effortlessly and not the Indians. Why is this? People in the Philippines have excellent interaction skills in general, and they rub off well on Westerners. People in India often just want to make a buck, and don’t want to learn anything about their client or interact with their clients. This attitude is not attractive to Americans and has to change! Otherwise there is no way that you will be successful!
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