Study Shows Outbound Marketing Generates Most Leads

When you’ve got a best-in-class contact center as your business partner, you have more than just great B2B customer care support, you have help with meeting your company’s goals and improving your bottom line.

In fact, a recent study revealed that 39 percent of B2B sales leads are generated from outbound marketing in the form of inside sales or telecommunications—compared to just 27 percent from trade shows and 17 percent from online searches and testimonials. From these statistics, one can ascertain that human interaction still wins out when it comes to maintaining customer loyalty and acquiring new patrons.

To maximize your contact center services ROI, therefore, use your contact center to help generate leads, segment your marketing database, and build stronger relationships with new and existing clients.

Business intelligence tools, like market segmentation software paired with a robust consumer database, can help brands improve their marketing campaigns by reaching more-qualified and sensible leads. For instance, marketing segmentation technology works to extract business contacts from your consumer database, aggregate their characteristics including demographics and buying behavior, and help guide your marketing initiatives toward a strategically targeted consumer base.

In addition to these technology benefits, the level of expertise and poise displayed by your agents while handling phone calls can boost your sales as well. For example, a team of expertly trained agents who act as your brand ambassadors can help portray your brand in a positive light. Mature and knowledgeable brand representatives with social intuitiveness will boost your brand’s ability to make the long-lasting connections you need to retain and attract more consumers.

So think again before putting outbound marketing on the back burner—it’s just what you need to rejuvenate your B2B sales success!

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Are Your Agents on the Same Page?

Consumers turn to their favorite brands’ customer care hotlines for guidance, a quick solution and hopefully a pleasant, concise interaction. So, imagine the frustration they feel when prompted to speak with multiple different agents who all seem to provide conflicting answers.

If you’re shaking your head thinking that your contact center agents would never provide such poor service, it might be time for an audit, as recent research suggests this is a rather prevalent issue. In fact, a study conducted by CIO Insight revealed that the No. 1 pain point in customer care —according to 41 percent of 5,000 survey respondents—is different agents providing different answers.

This should be a major wake-up call for supervisors as this type of inconsistency can negatively impact your clients’ contact center services ROI, since frustrated consumers aren’t likely to return. While it’s true you can’t hold your agents’ hands or be there for every single customer care interaction that takes place, there are still major holes you can fill to prevent this issue.

So, how can you fix this problem and prevent it from happening in the future? Here are few ways:

  • Offer client-intensive training: Agents must know your brand like the backs of their hands. They must memorize even the most intricate details about product information and company background before they even think about getting on the phone with customers. In fact, your agents should become absolute experts before they officially represent your brand, as they will be on the front lines and the first point of contact for your company’s consumers.
  • Ensure consistency in ability: Agents must be trained to meet the performance of the strongest member on your team in terms of client knowledge, phone etiquette and problem solving techniques. When your agents can operate with a consistent level of proficiency your consumers won’t have to speak with multiple agents to receive an answer as all of your employees will be able to handle the inquiry on their own.
  • Ensure agents possess similar dispositions: It’s important to ensure that your agents exhibit maturity and dedication to their work. When hiring agents, supervisors must thoroughly vet their candidates to determine whether or not they will take the role seriously. Your agents must be diligent and enthusiastic across the board as one dispassionate agent can negatively impact your contact center services reputation.

It’s time to redirect your customers to agents with answers. Ensure your agents are knowledgeable and prepared to handle each call with self-assurance.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Must-Have Traits for Successful Nonprofit Fundraising

When it comes to fundraising for the nonprofit space, contact centers are often the muscle behind producing results. In other words, the success of fundraising campaigns truly rests upon the shoulders of contact center agents who represent the frontline for effectively communicating the urgency and worthiness of a cause.

For prospects to become donors, they must be induced to empathize with and understand a charity. As such, when agents reach out to potential contributors, they must be able to clearly articulate the nonprofit’s value to society.

When nonprofits leverage outbound contact center services to produce better fundraising results, they’re also putting their institution’s reputation in the hands of agents. Contact center supervisors must take this immense responsibility into consideration when selecting employees to handle donor solicitation for nonprofit organizations.

Therefore, you must ensure that your agents possess the following must-have traits to guarantee fundraising success:

  • Eloquence: Your prospects are most likely strapped for time—whether they’re rushing to work, caring for their children or tending to any number of tasks—so when they answer the phone, your agents must be able to efficiently deliver an articulate message and imbue it with a sense of urgency. A potential donor will quickly become disinterested if the agent’s story line is convoluted. Instead, agents must effectively convey the charity’s worthiness in a professional and compelling manner. It’s crucial for agents to relay a polite sense of immediacy to evoke emotion and empathy from donors.
  • Trustworthiness: Especially in fundraising, contact center agents must come across as trustworthy advocates for the causes they are promoting. Supervisors must ensure that their agents aren’t making a sales pitch when requesting donations, as this approach will only undermine their efforts. The best way to turn a potential donor into a recurring contributor is by gaining his or her trust. For instance, when conversing with new contacts, agents need to communicate the quantifiable difference a single donation will make to the charity.
  • Maturity: The agents who are chosen to handle outbound fundraising should be contact center veterans dedicated to their career and, therefore, most likely to communicate effectively. Mature, experienced employees will be more successful at commanding donors’ attention through their knowledge and professionalism.

Take a tender approach with your fundraising efforts and be sure that your staff has the right set of traits to produce significant contact center service ROI for nonprofit organizations.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Business and Social Intelligence: Why You Need Both in Your Contact Center

Where do technology and empathy meet in the middle? In the contact center space—that is, a bit of both human compassion and hard hitting data is required to provide the best possible customer care and, in turn, contact center services ROI. If you’re ever stumped as to why you aren’t seeing a profitable return on your contact center services, then perhaps it might be time to investigate how well your organization is marrying business and social intelligence.

You see, the role of the Communicator and the role of data analytics must support each other. In fact, without a strong contact center support system comprised of business intelligence tools—like predictive analysis, market segmentation, and socially intuitive Communicators, then your customer churn rates are likely much higher than they ought to be.

For example, it’s one thing to employ a staff of exuberant contact center agents; however, if they can’t make use of important data derived from predictive analysis, they will most likely miss the mark with customer care—leading to continuous customer churn.

A Business Intelligence tool like predictive analysis aggregates customer history so as to remove unnecessary guesswork from a Communicators’ interaction, informing them of the likelihood of the customer’s inquiry before the agent even answers the phone. In doing so, Communicators are sufficiently prepared to solve the problem at hand so they can focus on demonstrating compassion while on the phone.

Conversely, making use of data can only take your agents so far if they aren’t innately equipped with the right set of interpersonal skills. For instance, say your contact center uses market segmentation to strategically group sets of customers based on personal characteristics and buying behaviors. Subsequently, you would assign a contact center agent who engenders the same characteristics and can therefore care for these customers in most knowledgeable and understanding way. But, imagine an agent who buckles under the pressure of addressing issues and struggles to remain calm when speaking with customers. It’s important to not only expertly train your agents but ensure they are confident and compassionate from day one.

In the contact center space, being analytical and emotional are equally important and directly related to your overall contact center services ROI. So ask yourself: “Is my contact center adequately balanced?” If you’re unsure of the answer, feel free to contact us to learn more about striking this balance.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Three Ways to Produce Sky High ROI

A recent article from The Guardian struck me interesting. The news discussed an airline company, Ryanair, which claimed that its “softened” customer care practices –defined as the addition of new policies like “allowing more carry-on baggage, allocating seating and cutting punitive charges,”—contributed to a 28 percent jump in passenger numbers compared to last year.

From this statement alone contact center managers should gather one key takeaway: Customer care and ROI go hand in hand.

Simply put, the key ingredient to experiencing the most ROI is to build an entirely customer-centric strategy. As such, supervisors in the contact center space should strategically use this piece of news as motivation to augment their own best practices to boost contact center services ROI.

The question is then begged: What steps can contact center management take to create a well-rounded customer care strategy? For starters:

  • Leverage more business intelligence: There’s a strong relationship between data and customer care in today’s buying landscape. Streamline your customer care strategy by taking advantage of pertinent data your contact center aggregates from daily inbound and outbound calls. For example, track your target consumer’s buying behavior over a period of time in order to produce customer profiles. Moreover, leverage these profiles to create predictive models for each of your buyer personas. In doing so, you’ll be able to provide faster, more knowledgeable support with each new customer care interaction.
  •  Boost your agent training procedures: The support of data analytics can only take your customer care practices so far. That is, your contact center agents represent a vehicle that drives either a positive or a negative customer care interaction. To safely ensure your contact center provides the best in customer care communications, in-depth agent training is required. By arming your agents with client specific training, for instance, they can become subject matter experts in targeted areas rather than be only somewhat knowledgeable in a number of areas.

If you want your contact center services to fly high this year, remember these important tips to augment your customer care strategy.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

 

Three Quick Ways to Boost Contact Center ROI

As a business leader who has  invested in an array of advanced contact center services, great importance weighs on seeing the ROI of these various tools. After all, how else can you measure profitable growth within your contact center?

The question remains, however, of how to actually measure this ROI within your facility. Enhancing contact center services ROI isn’t difficult so long as you have invested in a solution that is utilized by the right staff; boasts business intelligence; and ensures regulatory compliance.

To provide a more in depth explanation of these three points let’s deep dive into the functions of each:

  • Inbound and outbound call center technology: A best-in-class contact center will make use of advanced technology to ensure each inbound and outbound call is treated with the utmost care by the agent with the most refined skill-set. For instance, inbound call center tools such as skills-based routing make for the best customer experience as specific inquiries are automatically transferred to the agent with the most expertise in the subject matter. Therefore, a seamless interaction can occur and end on a positive note with a found solution.
  • Regulatory compliance: In addition to implementing the right technology, regulatory compliance is integral in providing contact center clients with the most reliable service possible. A leading contact center will assure its clients that they are 100 percent compliant with state and federal laws, so as to avoid unnecessary fines that legislative branches can incur on contact center services clients. This also means that your contact center services do not violate Do Not Call legislation—which in turn enhances the institution’s overall quality of services.
  • The right staff: Finally, the life-pulse of the contact center is of course the person who answers the phone and provides service to the customer. Without a mature, client-based trained and socially sensitive group of Communicators, a contact center’s quality of customer care can waver. Consumers value pleasant interactions, applied expertise and ability to solve problems quickly when speaking with contact center agents.

If you’re not impressed with your business’s contact center services ROI, it might be time to look for a call center that provides each of the above essential elements.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Maximize Contact Center ROI by Stepping Outside of the Box

Perspective is quite impactful in our everyday lives; even down to how we experience the temperature outdoors. You see, 50 degrees in October sends a chill down our spines as the onset of winter is fast approaching; however, that same nip to the air in March, with the expectation of spring around the corner, feels much different. If we are capable of experiencing such variation in attitudes towards the weather all due to changing perspective, perhaps businesses are capable of doing the same in redefining their strategy towards reaping contact center services ROI.

In the contact center space, it’s important that managers consistently step-back and reevaluate their customer care best-practices, as well as investigate resources that could improve their customers’ experiences and their organization’s bottom line. For instance, if you’ve been using just one method of communication to provide customer support—perhaps it’s time to integrate another channel of customer support, like online services, in order engage customers in a new way.

It’s also important to integrate data-driven marketing strategy into customer services, today. According to the Direct Marketing Association’s latest study titled, “2014 DMA Statistical Fact Book,” 66 percent of marketers believe that data-driven marketing adds positive value to their company. This means your company needs to act fast in gaining new insights in order to keep up with the changing customer care landscape.

Ready to take a look at contact center services ROI through a new lens? Here are some strategies and tools that can be leveraged to provide you with that new angle:

Business Intelligence: Tools such as market segmentation and customer profiles  are sophisticated big data resources that business can utilize to better strategize the handling of incoming customer services questions, as well  as to better target potential customers when making outbound calls.

Multi-Channel Marketing: Stepping outside the box might mean taking on a whole new element to your company’s customer care and marketing technique. Try adding a live chat or texting option for customer s inquiry in addition to your contact center telecommunication services.

Remember, there is always a new way to look at a situation— in fact, we do this every time the seasons change. So, why not use the freshening up of perspectives and apply it improving your contact center service ROI?

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

How to Turn a Customer Service Interaction Around in Minutes

Technology can only help contact center agents so much when a service call goes inexplicably awry. In those situations it is the agent’s personality and genuine empathy shown for the consumer that can turns the interaction around immediately. In serving today’s consumers, using business intelligence is a remarkable solution to better understanding consumer trends and expectations. But even so, a synchronous relationship between the individual using the technology and the technology itself needs to exist.

Predictive analysis, a tool that aids Communicators in resolving customer issues more timely and accurately, is of course widely appreciated by consumers looking for a quick and painless interaction. But the consumer isn’t aware this technology was deployed in order to provide best-in-class service; he or she can only judge the interaction by the surface of the call portrayed through the demeanor and demonstrated knowledge of the Communicator.

A staff of emotionally sensitive and socially intuitive Communicators will help businesses build brand and relationship equity among consumers. According to the American Express “Global Service Barometer,” recommendations from friends and family are most likely to get consumers to try a new brand. In fact, positive word-of-mouth is more influential than a company’s sale or promotion in recruiting new customers. How are you going to increase your businesses recommendations?

Follow these tips below and you’ll be sure to surpass your contact center services ROI:

  • Bond with the customer: It’s as simple as asking about the customer’s day. Create a real conversation in order to grasp hold of details that can better establish a personal connection between customer and Communicator.
  • Show empathy: Don’t just help your customer solve the problem; convey a genuine level of empathy for the situation at hand, especially in situations where the interaction is going south. Small details down to tone of voice can matter in relaying empathy in the contact center space when body language is not applicable.

Never doubt the impact of sincerity in customer service—show your consumers you’re more than a voice in the receiver but rather a human who cares about the issue at hand on a personal level.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Predicting Customer Service Success: The Importance of Data Analytics

I think most would agree with this suggestion:  consumers expect customer service agents to know how to efficiently solve any and every problem at hand. Due to the fact that agents aren’t mind readers, supplying your contact center with the right tools to better identify future customer inquiries is critical in reaping full ROI.

Recent research suggests that advanced business intelligence directly improves customer experience as well as contact center services ROI. According to Dimension Data’s “2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report,” 57 percent of companies relate improved customer service experience levels to ROI, while 75 percent of contact centers can now pre-identify and segment their customers. It’s evident that contact centers’ improving ability to predict customers’ future behavior and, in turn, offer a catered experience to each segment is an important correlation.

Guarantee your agents are prepared for any type of customer by instating these three forms of business analytics:

Predictive Models: Foresee the imminent behaviors of particular customers by compiling past transactions to create a customized model. Learn from past consumer actions by using those experiences to better prepare for the next. The customer is bound to appreciate the personalized attentiveness of an experienced Communicator.

Market Segmentation: Use your contact center’s abundance of incoming data to organize your consumers. Grouping certain consumers based on personality and historical tendencies saves time and money. This allows for improved Communicator assignment, as the agents most experienced with specific groups can be strategically assigned in order to ensure the best customer experience.

Customer Profiles: The ways in which we are able to use data are nothing short of incredible. Contact centers receive massive amounts of information about customers through inbound customer service calls and/or outbound calls to prospective non-profit donors. Leverage this data in order to create customer profiles based on the similar attributes detected in specific groups of consumers. These profiles will give businesses an edge in predicting future behaviors.

Hiring mind readers isn’t a realistic goal, but we can provide our employees with top notch business intelligence for a best-in-class customer experience. Learn more about business analytics strategies that can help augment your contact center services ROI.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Three Reasons Contact Center ROI Might Be Alluding You

As a business leader, is there anything more frustrating than investing in best-in-class business solutions and not being able to realize their full potential? Take the contact center space as an example. Perhaps you’ve invested in third-party contact center solutions provider to augment your customer service, but you aren’t yet reaping the ROI. Is it possible you haven’t chosen the right vendor? Or, is it likely you haven’t presented the provider with the necessary information about your company and offerings to enable them to fully support you?

Below are three reasons why your organization’s contact center ROI might be slipping through the cracks:

1) Agents Are Operating with Limited Product Knowledge: By leveraging a third-party provider for your contact center operations, your consumer inquiries will be answered by outsourced agents rather than your internally trained employees. How can you ensure they will properly address problems and concerns? To begin, make sure you are arming them with ample information about your company. Just last year, Temkin Group reported that 63 percent of companies expected to spend more on customer experience practices than years prior, meaning customer service is more vital to your company’s success than ever before and poorly informed agents can hinder growth. As such, rigorous client specific training is a must have in contact center services. To guarantee your representatives are boasting ample client expertise try offering client-specific training. Solutions such as skills-based routing allow our expert Communicators to work with clients according to their personal experience and strengths.

2) Representatives Lack Requisite Professionalism: While it is crucial to ensure your agents are adequately informed of your business’ corporate philosophy and services, this expertise is nothing if not delivered in a professional manner. Consumers expect their service experiences to be efficient yet still sensitive to their personal needs. According to Walker, consumers of the future will “expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize their experience.” Consumers want the representatives who service them to have an implicit understanding of their needs. Ensuring your agents are caring and professional will boast increased consumer retention. For example, implementing quality monitoring solutions will allow businesses to observe skills and level of professionalism employed by agents.

3) Outbound Marketing is Not Targeted: Businesses cannot expect contact center services ROI if their market is not targeted correctly. For starters, companies must identify their consumer base in order to create a comprehensive marketing campaign. Utilizing Business Intelligence analytics can help pinpoint your clients’ top consumers and subsequently structure your marketing campaign around this information. By leveraging tactics such as market segmentation, clients attain the ROI they set out for when initially outsourcing to contact centers. Grouping consumers together based on similar attributes enables organizations to better target customers and reach a wider market. Setting your aim at the right market early on will not only drive development within your business, but it will also serve as a key factor in ensuring your consumers’ satisfaction if they feel as though their service experience was a personally enriching one.

End the headache-inducing process of poor contact center services–not only for you, but more importantly for your customers’ sake. The right solutions are more attainable than you think. Why let contact center services ROI slip away any further?

To kick your customer service into high-drive this year, click here to learn more about how you can maximize your contact center services ROI.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.