Posts Tagged ‘efficiency’

6 Telesales Tips to Increase Efficiency

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by Dan Deschidar No Comments

There’s no doubt that most customers find telesales calls annoying. So, why do businesses still rely on telesales to contact their audiences?

Because, despite its bad reputation, telesales is a great way to engage with your customers, promote your products and services, and increase your sales on a global scale. In addition, while customers may be looking for exactly the kind of product or service your company provides, they may actually not know about your company – unless they receive a call from your telesales team.

Telesales has great potential for any business – but only if you have an effective strategy. In order to be successful, you need to follow a few steps.

So, in this article, I’ll show you how to increase your telesales efficiency. Stick to my telesales tips and success will definitely follow!

1. Recruit smartly

As I’m sure you’ll be aware, telesales is not for everyone, so it’s important to know what to look for when recruiting telesales staff.

A successful telesales agent needs to be optimistic, extrovert, and emotionally intelligent. In addition, a friendly attitude and great communicational skills will without doubt help them close more deals.

When it comes to recruiting telesales staff, I would recommend considering hiring part-time workers. As we already talked about in a previous article, the gig-economy workforce model works perfectly in call centers, so maybe it’s time for you to give it a shot.

Last but not least, always bear in mind that it’s a bad idea to try to ‘convert’ customer service agents into telesales agents. As mentioned above, telesales agents need to have specific skills that are very much different from the skills needed by customer service agents.

2. Invest in training

Having previous telesales experience, while ideal, is not essential for someone with the right attitude and personality.

That is why you should invest a lot of energy and resources into training. Make sure to take induction periods seriously, and organize in-depth training sessions to ensure your agents can master their telesales skills before they start working on your campaigns.

Furthermore, comprehensive knowledge of your products and services is a key to success. In order to close as many deals as possible, your telesales agents will need to know your products and services like the back of their hand.

And, as we all know, there’s always room for improvement, so it’s also important to offer ongoing support to agents once they successfully pass the induction period. Make sure to organize systematic training sessions and empower your agents with the opportunity to improve their skillsets.

3. Start with the manager

One thing is certain, a good team needs a good leader. So, once you have the right telesales agent team in place, you’ll also need to appoint a manager who will empower them to thrive.

Managing a team of telesales agents is no small feat, so don’t just appoint someone who seems to be promising but is not ready for the position yet.  

Telesales managers really have to be able to see the whole picture as they are responsible for the overall performance and budget of the telesales department. In addition, they will not only need to cope with processes, technology and customers, but also with employees.

In fact, good telesales managers don’t just give instructions to their team, they actively coach and motivate them. Therefore, if one of your potential candidates is exceptionally good business-wise but lacks people management skills, it may be a good idea to keep on looking.

Last but not least, bear in mind that a good leader needs to give plenty of feedback to their team. And if you haven’t mastered the method of giving feedback, make sure to check out our article on it.

4. Have realistic targets and appropriate tools

‘Anything is possible’ is a well-known saying, but let’s admit it, in business, one normally has to be a bit more down-to-earth. In order to reap success in telesales, you’ll need to set realistic targets, meaning you shouldn’t aim too high or too low.

Furthermore, as technology is advancing at lightning speed, and changing the world around us every day, in order to increase your telesales efficiency, you’ll definitely need to rely on a comprehensive software solution.

Software options these days come with many powerful features, such as predictive dialers or real-time statistics, which are vital when looking to increase your team’s efficiency. VCC Live®’s predictive dialer, for example, allows telesales teams to process a large number of calls and sign more successful deals by maximizing talk time per hour.

In addition, real-time statistics allow your team to make the most of customer data, as well as react to real-time situations including allocating more resources during peak times.

5. Have a powerful script

When it comes to telesales, having a powerful script can help your agents close more deals. Luckily, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to create a powerful sales script. Just make sure to do your research, check out how your competitors achieve success using scripts, and you can start creating your own.

Not so long ago, agents printed out their scripts, and read them out from their hard copy. Fortunately, these days, you can easily create powerful telesales scripts and integrate them within call center software.

Our call center software, for example, allows you to build and customize your scripts using an intuitive drag-and-drop editing interface.

6. Be patient

Last but not least: it requires patience to achieve success in telesales. My experience is that it takes about 2-3 months for even the best telesales operators to start performing well at their job. For most telesales agents this period is between 4-6 months, while for those who develop a bit slower than others, this period is normally about 10 months.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should fire your agents just because they need more time to perform well in their role than you would like. As mentioned above, it is definitely worth focusing on hiring and investing in training programs, as in the long term they will help you build the team of high-performing telesales agents you’ll need to maximize your success!

So, these are my telesales tips that will definitely help you put your business on the path to success. Make sure to follow them, and reap success in telesales!

Choose a Software Provider That Offers Call Center Consulting Services

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Ask any call center manager what they need most for their call center to operate successfully, and you can be sure they’ll tell you it is reliable call center software. However, what many call centers fail to realize is that leveraging call center consulting services is equally important for a call center to get ahead.

And you will see the best results if you can utilize both a reliable software solution and efficient consulting services from the same provider.

In this article, I’ll show you why you need to look for a software provider that offers proactive call center consulting services as well. Read on and make sure you are getting the most out of your business!  

The importance of call center consulting services

There’s no doubt that having comprehensive call center software in place is a prerequisite for any call center that aims to thrive.

However, call center software alone will not be enough to ensure that your call center runs successfully. Elevating your call center’s performance and your agent team’s effectiveness is also part of the game.

Amongst other things, KPIs, effective workforce management, strong process knowledge and reliable quality management are key to the successful operation of any call center.

Defining and optimizing these business processes is not an easy task, so it’s no surprise that more and more call centers are increasingly looking for consulting services.

Call center consulting services provide industry expertise, authenticity and consistency. They can use their industry expertise to help call centers overcome specific challenges and make suggestions for improving their products or services.

The goal of such services is to maintain the successful and long-term operation of call centers, and help improve their customer experience.

But if you think about it for a minute, call center software providers have some of the most valuable industry knowledge around, and luckily many of them are ready to share it with you.

So why look for a third-party consultancy, when you can turn to your software provider, who not only knows their software but also the industry like the back of their hand?

Improving customer satisfaction with consulting services

There are a great number of factors that contribute to the success of a call center, and customer satisfaction is definitely high on the list. One thing is for sure: in order to put your call center on the path to success, you’ll need to keep your customer satisfaction level as high as possible.

Nowadays, it is clear that the best way to win your customers’ trust is by providing them with a personalized customer service, in other words by offering them tailor-made solutions.

But it is only if you also offer continuous high-quality personalized service that you will be able to truly win customers’ long-term trust.

And this is exactly another reason why your business needs to rely on a call center software provider that offers call center consulting services as well.

A software provider’s call center consulting services will give you continuous support, helping you to listen more effectively to your customers’ needs, and offer them more appropriate tailor-made solutions. And, as well as helping your company’s profits to increase, your customers will also feel that they are contributing to the success of your products or services. As a result, you may even be able to turn your customers into brand advocates.

Choose a provider who can advise you

As technology advances faster than ever, so do the call center software options available on the market.

Today’s saturated market offers a wide range of call center software providers with cutting-edge technology and rich features. All you have to do is to find the one that is the most suitable for your business (if you need help in that, check out our article on how to choose a call center software).

Depending on your core activities, however, your needs may vary greatly. So you’ll need to make sure that the call center solution you choose is a personal fit for your needs and business expectations.

Ultimately, it should be the responsibility of any software provider to not only promote and sell their products or services but also continue to support the customer in the long-term. By assessing challenges, deploying action plans and drawing conclusions together as a team, business goals can be more easily achieved.

As already mentioned, the best way to keep your customers satisfied is to listen to their needs and provide them with tailor-made solutions. And what better way to ensure that then by choosing a software provider that offers consulting services as well.

A software provider with call center consulting services will be able to analyze your customers’ needs and help you get the most out of the software you use, as well as improve your business results by combining their industry knowledge and deep understanding of the software.

Furthermore, by sharing your knowledge with your provider while also relying on their industry expertise and best practices, you can mutually support each other.

Take away

As you can see, to achieve your call center’s potential it is highly advisable to turn to a software provider that also offers call center consulting services. Follow my advice, and make sure you place your business in the hands of experts! 

Call Center Workforce Management Best Practices

Posted on: July 20th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

If you want to run a successfully operating call center, efficiency is vital. Just ask any call center manager what’s their most important mission when it comes to managing the call center, and chances are they’ll tell you: it’s increasing efficiency.

There are many methods for measuring and improving call center efficiency. Increasing efficiency is the backbone of any call center, and an effective workforce management plan can definitely make things easier.

Call center workforce management is a set of processes call centers use in order to optimize the efficiency and productivity of agent teams. In fact, a properly implemented workforce management practice allows call centers to lower operational costs, reduce churn, and most importantly, increase the overall customer experience. And as we all know, in our customer-centric world, exceptional customer experience is king.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the most important call center workforce management best practices. Make sure to check them out, and start increasing your call center’s efficiency by better organizing the work of your agent team.

Forecasting

As we already mentioned in a previous article, customer service works best if it’s driven by data. And at a call center, data is everywhere: agent average talk time, average handling time and proportion of closed deals are all examples of essential data that should be used by any call center striving for excellence.

Therefore, the first principle of any effective call center workforce management plan is to forecast future workload based on the historical data your call center gathers.

You’ll see, by analyzing the available data your call center accumulates over the course of a day or week, you’ll be able to predict future customer interaction volume and better understand workload patterns.

Scheduling agents

Collecting customer data is an absolute must for any call center that aims to deliver an exceptional customer experience. However, one thing is to collect data, and another thing is to actually make good use of it.

Therefore, always make sure to utilize historical data to create better call center agent schedules as part of your call center workforce management solution. Amongst other things, an efficient schedule will definitely help you determine your resource requirements during peak and off-peak times.

When it comes to implementing an effective workforce management solution into your call center, assigning agents to tasks that match their abilities is equally important. With this in mind, before you start assigning your agents to projects, always make sure to thoroughly assess their experiences, performance, as well as preferences.

Furthermore, by empowering agents to manage their own schedules and giving them the opportunity to trade their shifts will help you reduce agent attrition and increase the call center’s overall performance.

In short, when creating schedules and assigning agents to them, your most important task will be to find the golden mean between the desires and needs of your agent team and those of the call center.

Practice makes perfect

So you successfully implemented a call center workforce management solution in your organization, ensuring a high level of operational efficiency at the call center. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that your work is done here.

Never take your call center workforce management solution for granted! In fact, call center workforce management works best if your processes are systematically monitored.

Therefore, the last and perhaps most important principle of any workforce management plan is the ongoing monitoring of agents’ adherence to their schedules. By doing this, you’ll be able to ensure that enough resources are allocated to projects during peak times, as well as identify if the demand becomes higher than the resources allocated.

Sum up

As you can see, implementing a call center workforce management solution is not an easy task, but your efforts will soon pay off. Amongst other things, an effective WFM will allow you to improve your call center efficiency, while helping you empowering your agent team.

Call center efficiency: three rules to add value to your customer service

Posted on: May 9th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Customer service is a part of every business: if you want your company to thrive, it either needs to establish an in-house call center or outsource its customer service activities to a service provider.

Having a company focusing on call center activities can be challenging: the operations are extremely costly, and to most people they don’t seem to be a good source of revenue. So the question is: is it possible to make your call center business a profitable activity? Well, it all comes down to your approach. By following these three simple rules below, you can add more value to your customer service and boost your call center efficiency.

 

Balance call center efficiency and quality

As everyone knows, call centers are often used to handle customer service activities, offering support to customers and aiming to ensure a high level of customer experience satisfaction in your organization. However, although customer service should always focus on quality, call centers often tend to shift their focus to quantity over quality. Since running a call center is costly, companies put too much emphasis on efficiency, and try to cut call center costs by setting impossible targets for their agents. But is it really worth trying to cut down on expenses at all costs? The answer is, without doubt, NO.

Just walk into any call center, and you’ll see inspirational quotes on the walls, saying such things as “You Can Do Better”. However, setting unrealistic targets puts an enormous stress on your agents to hit their KPIs at the expense of providing quality customer service.

So, instead of pushing your agents to process as many customers as they can, try and concentrate instead on customers’ needs by offering them the best customer service you can. As you will see, it works miracles – your clients will be impressed by the excellent customer service you provide for their customers, as after all, your call center is the face of their business.

Plus, providing excellent customer experience is one of the best ways to acquire new clients, and will also help your agents up-sell or cross-sell products. All you have to do is to find the optimum way to balance quality and efficiency.

(Here are some pro tips on how to measure your call center’s efficiency. Just don’t forget about the balance!)

 

Learn from customers’ feedback

Customer calls provide some of the most valuable information for your call center. True, you may need to invest in your call center, but in return, it will provide you with a goldmine of information. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to collect customer data and use it for product and process improvements. 

For instance, if you run telesales campaigns in your call center, you’ll probably accumulate valuable information regarding your products’ and services’ sales performance. So why not start to analyze this information? If some of the products aren’t performing well, you can simply use customer data to help introduce improvements based on it. This approach will definitely help you boost your call center efficiency.

Lastly, as we already talked about it in our previous blog post, never underestimate the power of customer reviews. Nobody likes dealing with complaining clients, but it’s worth the extra effort. It’s always a good idea to focus especially on complaints when monitoring customer calls. By using customer feedback to improve your services, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition. Don’t forget about this fact when claiming your call center is just a cost center.

 

Take advantage of technology

Technology is advancing at lightning speed, and changing the world around us every day. And it’s no different in the call center business: year after year, better and better state-of-the-art technology tools enter the market. And, as we mentioned above, although improving call center efficiency is usually the main goal, one thing is sure: pushing your agents too much won’t help you, but using reliable and up-to-date technology tools will definitely make a difference.

Amongst other things, a reliable call center software is fundamental to any well-run call center. Software options these days come with extremely smart features, such as a predictive dialer, CRM integration, or call blending (you can read about the benefits of call blending here).

These powerful features will definitely help you to boost your productivity and increase your sales without causing too many issues with your agents, for instance allowing you to set your inbound calls to take priority over outbound calls (or vice versa). This is just one aspect of how a top-quality call center software can help you improve your call center efficiency. If you’re searching for a reliable call center software containing all the features necessary for a seamless call center operation, then check out what we can offer here.

The appropriate technology will also help you make the most of customer data, which as we stated above is more relevant than ever in the call center business. By using such technology, you can create real-time statistics, which will be essential to help monitor and evaluate your performance.

In brief, technology tools will definitely bring you changes for the better – but only if you’re ready to use the customer data you collect.

 

So, as you can see, providing excellent customer experience is a challenging job. But if you try and balance quality and call center efficiency, learn from customer feedback, and leverage technology tools, your efforts will pay off.