This is the final segment of a four part series of Why Telemarketing Programs Fail.
“Branching” means that the agent is using a script and taking the script to other avenues to meet the same objective….the end result and that is to close the sale or make an appointment or generate a lead. Branching is always pre-planned that 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; this 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 part of telemarketing programs can be quite challenging and takes time and practice for agents to perfect the process. During Simulation Training (role-play), the agent can help to perfect various types of branched calls, but the best training is giving the agents time to perfect branching during the applied training (live calling) and give them 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 20% conversion rate.
Often, either the client or the center does not allow enough time for the learning curve (ramp up time) to develop so the call success rate can improve. Telemarketing programs should have frame or ramp up time for an agent to get comfortable or confident with a campaign. All too often, immediate results are expected, and either the client “gives up” or the project management team gives up before the agent can perfect themselves on the campaign, or not enough time is allowed for adjustments to be made. 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
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 by the 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 your 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.
Please keep in mind that in all telemarketing programs, 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 will be the guardian angle or watch dog of the campaign to help ensure communications flows successfully between all parties and responsibilities are accomplished. The PM is the one who holds everyone accountable.