In this special report:
- On what exactly agents are wasting time in your contact center?
- How you can utilize the agent's time the most productively?
- What do managers and agents fear and consequently lose a lot of time?
- The 3 single most relevant questions you need to ask yourself before you sell anything.
- What kind of info do you need to give agents to really utilize their productivity at 100%?
Source: The UK Contact Centre Decision-Maker's Guide 2020-21, Contact Babel, pg 33
Even if in previous years, you could walk away without devoting much time and still achieve a good-enough margin. Starting from the next decade after 2022, you can't get away too far by keeping this habit in your mind.
Understanding the meaning of the time spent is ultra-critical for both managers and agents. Managers as heads of call centers and agents as their followers come out only with two principle things. They either use the working time productively or throw the money away. Let's tell you why and how to slash wrong time-wasting habits once and for all. And achieve happier and easier work in the future.
Here's How The Outbound Call Center Wasting Patterns Show Up
Yes, the outbound call center is your revenue machine when you know how to utilize all the time possible for the business. The truth is that customers give a call to companies as a passive response to the advertising campaign, promotions, word of mouth, etc.
On the other hand, outbound call centers evoke the cash flow through the agent's calling or contacting activities. And believe it or not, customers are waiting for you to call. You just need to call at certain hours and make a valid pitch.
Source: The UK Contact Centre Decision-Maker's Guide 2020-21, Contact Babel, pg 35
Weak sales pitches are not the "unlucky day" pattern
Your sales pitch is the single most powerful approach that generates a huge profit. And the majority of agents and even managers misunderstood the quality of the pitch. What exactly are we talking about?
The winning sales pitch that pulls out the highest response on warm and even cold customer bases stems from these few yet crucial foundations.
The knowledge about the product or service you’re selling. One of the first and foremost bad working habits is the lack of knowledge about your goods and services. Firstly study your goods based on the information you have at your fingertips. As a manager, you can directly ask your staff, and your question looks like this: “What kind of information do you need for me today, to make your knowledge about product/service better?" And as an agent, you need to request information about the product directly from the manager.
Notice that the knowledge about the product is not selling yet. Great selling stems from good-enough knowledge.
Occasionally, if agents experience a lack of info about the technical characteristics, manufacturing processes, delivery patterns, and competitor’s products, they can’t quit out with a sales pitch that is good enough to generate a net profit.
As we mentioned above knowledge is finding arguments in a conversation based on facts and not on tricks and gimmicks. Because no matter how pleasant the agents are on the phone, customers decide to spend their hard-earned money, only when they see a clear reason why.
That’s why always provide your agents with encompassing knowledge about the product and competitors. Moreover, you'll do the best job if make your research on the companies that provide similar goods in your niche. And make an effort to track the innovations in the niche you might use in your pitch.
Ridiculous Fear Of Nothing
Do you know how much people fear calling to others? Perhaps a long time ago or a few days ago you’ve experienced fear during the call or contact. However, you shouldn’t. Why?
Because the fear of calling or contacting someone stems from the perception that something wrong can happen. Either it’s the angry customer or declining of your proposition or hard customer, or whatever.
Those who fear something will eventually find the evidence of their faulty assumptions, for example, in the customer's tone of voice. And they immediately remember and block themselves for solutions.
Fortunately, you can overcome the fear of nothing when you call customers. It’s simple like follows: “Just call people for fun”, not because you’re dying because you can’t make a sale. By thinking so, you’ll slash the nervousness, and inconvenience and will negotiate much more stronger.
Is That Not Working Out?
There are cases when you can’t change your attitude overnight yet you need to close sales or you’ll start to lose your money and fast. Thus, here’s the solution. Try to nail small sales, instead of big ones. In most cases, you can’t nail the sale (especially a big one), because you try to bite too big at a time.
Instead of this, bite for small sales and you’ll see that your sales are increasing from each conversation. Then when you’re feeling confident enough in small sales, raise your goal.
If you fail again, repeat the trick again. One small, then one big attempt to sell. This is the workable pattern that works for decades and you need to try it if you struggle with sales via phone.
Source: The UK Contact Centre Decision-Maker's Guide 2020-21, Contact Babel, pg 89
The Calling List Is The Difference Between Success Or Failure
Fair enough? Sometimes you have a calling list that hardly breaches the bottom line of your sales plan. One of the causes that you address to calling the irrelevant list of customers. Because if customers have zero interest in your offer, nothing can convince them to purchase a thing.
The solution to achieve the relevant list looks as follows:
- Your own list for calling. This list is collected through, inbound calls, website, social media, email, etc.
- Rented list. You purchase the list of customers to whom you’ll intend to call. Of course, the quality of the list 100% depends on a list broker.
There are honest people in the broker business, however, they are so few. If you find such a person that delivers you a relevant list every time you ask, make them your best friends.
But the most interesting thing in the calling list is this: Recency is an indicator of success in cold calling. The more recently they've purchased similar goods or services, the better for you.
The rule is this: calling those who order your goods or similar to yours goods and services recently, is the most successful practice in cold calling. Yet it seems only successful entrepreneurs do it.
To Walk An Extra Mile Or Not, That’s The Question
It’s the occasional situation when you’re trying to persuade customers until they make a purchase. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes scratch the surface. What to do?
To solve this tricky issue, please understand that if the customer doesn’t want or need your product, there’s a high percentage of bouncing of your offer. On the other hand, almost every time when you’re calling the “starving” customers they require little or almost no effort for persuasion to make a purchase.
The winning and balancing situation is when you walk the extra mile with each customer yet naturally without pushing too much. Try one or two times to overcome their objection and especially demonstrate:
- Why is this solution much better than anything else on the market?
- Why should customers believe you?
- Why should he act now?
Now answer these questions and include these ideas in your sales pitch. Then look at how your sales will soar. Again, if your customer doesn’t want what you’re offering then it's much more productive and profitable to move to other customers.
By The After-Work Time Chunks, You're Throwing Money Away?
It’s an issue when the time utilization goes unproductively. For instance, when an agent tries to fill out the information in the customer card that hardly helps in future conversations. And when the agent is writing down the info that is accurately used by agents, it’s becoming the ultra-critical part of the work that allows asking customers for the purchase or following up.
Thus as long as the info filled is relevant it’s a vital part of the work. And give agents a break when they spend time in this manner.
How To Not Waste The Time In The Inbound Call Center?
The inbound calls are another opportunity to achieve more orders and consequently establish great relationships. There’re a few tips you need for good-enough and great results during inbound calling.
Picking Up The Phone When It’s Too Late
Source: Finances Online
Presume that you’re calling a company and wait for minutes. Anybody home, right? In the same way, every customer will feel alike. Plus, in the eyes of customers, that’s the indication that you give a damn about their needs.
Once the customer thinks that you’re wasting their time, they just turn off you and move to another company with similar products or services. In most cases, calmly, without any angry voice or complaints. But we need to retain as many customers as possible.
We all have that kind of experience and don’t put with it for too long. So, if we attend to pick up the incoming call then we should do it no later than 20-40 seconds.
Keep Customers Through Informing About The Average Waiting Time
Still, if you’re willing to put people in the queue when you have a high inbound calling volume, just inform them about how long they will wait.
Some say that it’s wrong to inform people that it will trigger the abandonment rate to increase. That's wrong. Even if the person is quitting the queue, you’ll not face complaints because you delivered the information about the waiting time, which means you care about the caller’s time.
The Lack of Preparation is Even Worse than Not Picking up the Phone at All
We need to understand that customers have their knowledge about the product. Perhaps you’ll meet a customer that knows even more than you. But let’s face it: It’s your job to have more knowledge than your customer.
Thus do your homework in studying the product’s or service’s advantages, and characteristics, in a much more advanced way than the customer. When objections would come, you’ll easily overcome them and guarantee to present your solutions in the best fashion.
Why Lose Sales Opportunities by Not Utilizing Other than Phone Channels?
Despite the fact that calling is the fastest and surest way to make sales in the B2B or B2C relationships, other channels are also in favor, such as web chat, social media, and emails. Each one of these channels can deliver you new and occasional customer orders.
Because of that, it’s highly recommended to constantly review your social media pages, and emails and constantly be on the web chat.
If the web chat is constantly in front of your eyes and you’re answering within 20 seconds or so. Don’t forget to check the emails and social media when you have free time outside of calls and chat conversations to ensure all customers are served and inquiries answered.
multichannel contact center solution
If your legacy business phone system doesn’t cut it anymore, replace it with modern contact center technology!
The Callback Is More Than You Think
It’s not a problem to miss inbound calls once in a while. The bigger problem is not calling back. The vast majority of customers make a purchasing decision and call you once. If you’re not picking up the phone within 20-40 seconds and miss the call. At least, they’re hoping you give them a callback.
You’ll be surprised by this yet some call centers never give a callback because they are too busy with the ongoing calling routine during the shift. By doing so, they force people to call again and again. Until they either reach a live agent or tire of calling and move to another company.
On average, new customers call no more than two times to establish relationships. If their efforts remain without any callbacks or attention whatsoever, they flip to another company with similar goods and services.
Always give a callback and you’ll make a perfect impression and achieve more from customers. By the way, start to hire new agents if you constantly miss calls and all personnel is busy.
One Task Pays Off While Numerous Tasks Fall Down
Really, if you want to succeed in inbound calling, as well as in outbound one, just focus your attention on the quality of conversations, after-work times, etc.
The span of attention on more than 1 activity at a time, triggers the lowering of the work quality, by order of magnitude. And remember that it’ll be challenging to remain productive in the long run (4-8 hours straight) if you have more than one activity.
If, however, you can’t focus on one task, try to slash the irrelevant routines to optimize your work.
To Be Humble Is A Great Human Quality Unless It Hurts Your Work
“That is not what I requested”, “I need to repeat you all over again?”, “Wait a minute, have you heard what I’m saying?”, that’s how a humble agent listens to a complaint from a customer.
The agent that hears these words can perform better in the future by asking questions regarding conversation. There are situations when customers aren’t talking loud enough or their speech is uninterpretable.
Agents need to promptly say: “Could you speak a little bit louder, please?” or “Could you repeat what you’re saying, please?”
The same issue must be with all unclear moments in conversation. If the agent doesn’t hear what callers say or don’t understand what they want, they need to ask for clarification as listed above.
Hint: It’s better to ask twice than deliver something irrelevant to people. And of course, never to look stupid as a result of a humble attitude.
Pass The Baton On-Time Means Winning
Calls that require more sophisticated knowledge than the current agent have, must be transferred to another, more experienced agent or supervisor. It's like passing the baton during the sprint relay.
The result is you’re not wasting your and people’s time when you are really unaware of a customer’s question, request or issue.
Well, newbie agents are vulnerable in this situation and try to be creative. Frequently they miss the mark. So, they need to know and be confident with transferring calls, in challenging situations.
How To Shape Yourself After The Difficult Customers And Save Time?
One of the stressful and unpleasant situations is when you’ve just talked with a customer that was abusive, unpleasant or even threatening to you.
This situation particularly decreases the newbie’s motivational attitude toward the work. Once someone loses the motivation they can’t perform, only fail. So it’s important to keep the motivation high and here’s how to do it.
Take a few minutes off, if you feel worse after the conversation. Inform your colleagues, supervisor, or manager that you need a short break. Of course, return after the break to your working place.
Have the attitude about every difficult customer such as: “This customer or individual has nothing personal against me. He or she just has troubles today. Maybe she had a car accident or her dog is ill”. This attitude will shape your motivation and accelerate restoration processes.
One of the techniques that successful people use is that they smile for five seconds before they pick up the phone and say: “Hello”.
Making yourself in shape after difficult customers is an investment in the work not a waste of time. You couldn’t perform anyway until your head carries everything bad from previous conversations.
How To Be A Super-Time Saver As A Manager?
The first piece of advice comes from Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto that designed the Pareto principle. We advise you to study the full story about this method, yet here’s the short story. 20% of your time generates 80% of your revenue.
Successful call center managers use this rule in this way:
1) Conduct the most challenging manager’s routines in the morning or the first 3 hours after sleep;
2) Focus on the most relevant routines and leave them less relevant for the rest of the day. They do it if there’s still time or slash them if they need to sleep or take care of families;
3) Plan in advance the next schedules, weeks, and months. They adhere to their schedules no matter what;
4) Write down on the piece of paper or your PC/notebook how many hours you've spent today on different routines: talking with colleagues, conducting training, attending meetings, solving issues, etc.
Everything must be written down.
Hint: The results will differ from your assumptions.
The time-saving effects come when each of the three issues listed above has a certain time frame. It means that you devote a certain number of hours or minutes to certain tasks.
You write down your time expenses and then look at them and decide whether a certain routine was relevant or not.
Provide Agents With Encompassing And Updated Information
If you only knew how many agents and customers were frustrated because of the lack of information on the employee’s side. You’d deliver the relevant information as soon as possible.
Plus, the more info your employees have in front of their eyes, the better they perform in any kind of information. So this is your job, as a manager, to furnish them with updated information regarding customers.
Consequently, managers, supervisors, and agents must devote the maximum time to the quality of the filling of customers' cards.
Are Your Agents As Good As You Think?
The manager’s responsibility is to know the real situation with the agent’s knowledge and performance. In addition to qualitative work factors, you need to constantly increase their professionalism.
The solution is to constantly conduct one meeting per week to review the agent’s results for future improvement. Never give employees the chance to work until they’ve prepared well enough for talking with customers.
Especially, pay attention to newbies that are most likely to fail because of lousy knowledge about their work. Furnish them with the product’s or service’s specs, digital or print materials, scripts, etc.
The Time Is The Single Most Valuable Resource On Earth
Is the time that you utilize daily and conduct relevant routines regarding your manager’s and employee’s activities listed above. Moreover, if you follow this advice, you’ll notice how your productivity and results are soaring. Literally on the day to day basis.
We also urge you to contact us if you have any necessities for the cloud-based call center software. This kind of software works from any location in the world. All you need is an internet connection, PC or laptop, and the team starts from 3 agents and more.
If you’re interested the software has such features:
- Auto dialing. The auto dialer software is designed for maximum automation of outbound calling. All you need for calling is to have a phone number or list of phone numbers;
- Avoid busy signals and answering machines. The software guarantees identification and avoids any kind of answering machine. Your agents talk only with the live customers;
- Automatic call distribution (ACD) system designed to lead your callers to the relevant agent dash department within one call;
- A smart interactive voice response (IVR) system provides your callers with the relevant agentless features they can use in order to free up your agents from too occasional requests. And be free for challenging requests.
multichannel contact center solution today!