This is the final segment of a four part series of Why Telemarketing Programs Fail.
Branching: “Branching” means that the agent is using a script and taking the script to other avenues to meet the same objective (the end result)which is to close the sale, make an appointment or generate a lead. Branching is always pre planned and allows the prospect or caller to take the conversation in another direction. Branching causes the agents to go off the script and think “out of the box”. The outcome is still the same but the process is different. The agents need to understand the process of branching. Branching is taught during basic training and allows the agents to use their skills and techniques to guide the call through with a more personalized approach. This process can be challenging and takes time and practice for agents to perfect branching.
During Simulation Training (role-play), agents can perfect various types of branched calls. However, ideallyagents will perfect branching during the applied training (live calling); this givesagents time to learn through trial and error. Being able to branch is what differentiates one agent from another as far as productivity and why one agent may have an 80% conversion rate and another will have only a 20% conversion rate.
Learning Curve: Often, either the client or the center does not allow enough time for the learning curve (ramp up time) to develop so that the call success rate can improve. With every campaign, there is a time frame or ramp up time for an agent to get comfortable and more confident with a campaign. All too often, immediate results are expected, and either the client will prematurely terminate the campaign or the project management team gives up before the agent can perfect the campaign. Furthermore, adequate and a reasonable timeshould be allowed for adjustments and script enhancements. It is ideal to allow agents the opportunity to tell you how they think the program can be improved. Often the agents’ feedback is key to identifying issues with the account or with the agents’ techniques.
After The Call Is Completed
Communication: Clear communication must be established between the agent, the supervisor, and the client regarding successful or unsuccessful calls. Always stop to review how things are going, what changes should be made, etc.
Follow Up: Follow up with management, agents, project management team and the client is essential, particularly when information is given regarding the progress of a call or the campaign. Keeping open lines of communications is vital in learning how to improve and reach a more successful outcome from the agent level to the call center manager.
For all campaigns, your project manager must have one point of contact assigned who will handle priority tasks and coordinating the campaign. A plan must be in place to include responsibilities and accountability for follow up. The assigned project manager is the guardian angel or watchdog of the campaign. This person helps to ensure communications flows successfully between all parties and assigned responsibilities are accomplished. The project manager is the one who holds everyone accountable including the client.