A telemarketing call center is not beyond the scope of any business today – even small and medium enterprises.
Telemarketing can help businesses achieve many objectives like creating awareness, leads generation, increasing telesales, collecting customer feedback, and more.
We have written about the difference between telemarketing and telesales and reasons why small and medium enterprises cannot afford to ignore telemarketing.
So if you would like to know how to set up a telemarketing call center for your business, here are five proven tips to do the same.
Hire the right people
- The right people are those who enjoy working and lead to outcomes like improved personal performance, enhanced CSAT, and lower attrition.
- Such people come at higher pay than the cheapest labour in the market. In the short term, this might mean a revenue hit for the call center and the projections might not look great. But you witness amazing benefits in the long term.
- To hire the right people, follow three steps:
- Hire for skills: A skilled workforce might be more expensive, but reduces your problems drastically, and is definitely worth the investment.
- Keep a half-yearly pipeline: Your team can forecast the hiring for each quarter based on turnover, shrinkage rate and amount of time it takes to find the right person. Keep interviewing until you have six months’ worth of high-quality employees that you can hire when needed.
- Cut the fat quickly: Put your bottom quartile on Performance Improvement Programs (PIPs) and monitor their progress. If they don’t improve, let them go. You don’t need dead weight slowing your organization down.
Choose the Right Software
- It’s not just enough to hire people and tell them what to do. Tracking performance of individuals and teams is equally important.
- Performance tracking and data enables you to have much better control of your sales and marketing processes, and make your team efficient. A CRM software will provide your agents with the necessary data about prospects before the call hits. A recording software lets you listen to recorded and real-time calls and provide feedback to your agents accordingly. A monitoring software lets you track how much time your agents’ average call handling time, their occupancy levels, and so on.
- Call centre software doesn’t just show you data. It also provides insights and reports on performance, which you can use to train your agents and improve their effectiveness.
Track the right metrics
- Managers feel overwhelmed by the sheer load of information that gets generated and stop taking interest in reports. The result is that things drift and the organization turns directionless.
- Reports are not just numbers. Nor are they drivers of a process. They serve as indicators of performance.
- Instead of drowning managers in a sea of reports, align what they see with their job roles and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). We often use the 3W’s + H format to identify the right reports for every manager and leader to see. The format is as follows:
- Who will see this report?
- What should they see in this report?
- When do they need this report?
- How will they see the report?
- The metrics should always be aligned with your goal for setting up a telemarketing call center – generating leads, making sales, and so on.
Set Up an Audit Mechanism
Effective processes lead to expected outcomes. Ineffective processes lead to, in Jeff Bezos’ words, “the process becoming the proxy.” In other words, people follow the process because they should without checking whether it leads to a positive outcome.
An audit should show you whether a process is effective and if not, what steps you should take to streamline it.
A process gets followed only when it gets audited. Such audits are not part of just the Quality Evaluator’s KPIs, but of the Operations Manager’s too. Auditing team leaders’ performance and coaching them to improve is necessary. In turn, team leaders should do the same for their respective agents.
Track Customer Feedback
- Customer feedback is the final point in the effectiveness chain. It’s also the most ignored.
- Call centres focus on metrics to track efficiency. But customer feedback is the most important metric to track effectiveness. And barely anybody tracks it.
- Customer feedback is not to be confused with CSAT. CSAT is a score that an external auditor calculates and provides after collecting feedback from a sample of customers. It arrives once a month or once a quarter.
- Customer feedback, on the other hand, is a mechanism to collect feedback from existing customers on an ongoing basis.
- A telemarketing call center can turn into a powerful profit centre for businesses and brands. Just ensure that you set up and track the right metrics in the short- and long-term.