Your Call Center Should be a Revenue Generating Machine
Originally published: 10.01.18 by Tom Merriott
Have your customer service team become brand ambassadors for your company.
This many not come as a surprise. After all, your call center is the source of your business, but if you really want your call center to increase revenue, start with a list of potential ways it can do so.
Here are a few examples to get you started.
Increase conversion percentage. This is nothing more than turning the calls you receive into appointments for your technicians, and this is the place where everyone should begin.
If you can get this percentage high enough you can increase call volume without any additional marketing spend, which will increase revenue.
Fill the board when the calls aren’t coming in organically. An outbound calling program is an essential part of any successful service business. If the phones aren’t ringing, then your team should be calling out. Creating work where there wasn’t going to be any is an incredible revenue boost.
Seek out referrals from current customers. A “happy call program” will let you know how your technicians are performing in your customers’ homes. Sometimes on those calls you’ll find raving fans of your work.
Ask those people if they know anyone else who might benefit from a great service experience. Don’t be afraid to reward the employees who refer new customers for their efforts.
Reduce the number of customer complaints and negative reviews. The happy calls I mentioned earlier are part of this puzzle but empowering your front-line customer service team to make your customers happy is another.
Look at each upset customer as a chance to create a raving fan.
Don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with this list. Some of the best ideas start as seemingly ridiculous ones.
I was working with a member company who asked how to get more referral yard signs up in their community. One of the first things I asked was if their employees had them in their yards.
After some discussion, they created a program where the managers would spot-check for yard signs and give random monthly prizes to employees who had them prominently displayed.
Having your customer service team become brand ambassadors for your company will build your business. I personally feel more comfortable spending my money on employees who love their company.
It makes me feel like I’m part of something special, and you should want all your team to feel this way so that feeling is transmitted through the phone to your customers.
One great way to get them to love your company is to have them research all the ways you are better than your competition.
You want your team to be able to brag about your business on a moment’s notice.
Now that you have your list, it’s time to prioritize. Look at the things you wrote down and decide what will have the most immediate impact on profits. For most, it will be increased conversion rates. If that’s the case, then the first thing you need to do is concentrate your efforts on booking more calls. Training should center around that goal. Each meeting or business-related conversation should tie in to making the most out of every call.
You should also have a plan built around measuring and increasing those numbers. It can be as simple as running a report from your telephone software of daily calls answered by extension or operator. Once you have the number of calls answered by each team member, you can then run a report in your dispatch software to find the number of calls booked.
If they answered 100 calls and booked 70, then their booking percentage is 70 percent. Following that, your training and coaching will be focused on incremental improvements to that number toward your final goal.
Once the immediate steps are underway, you should take the rest of the list and put it on a timeline. Pick the things you want to get done in the next quarter, the next six months, the next year, and then write down some preliminary implementation dates.
As you’re writing these down, make sure they are all aimed at your original goal of making customer service part of your goal of increased revenue.
Team Buy In
Now that you have a plan in place, you need to get the team to buy in. Most plans like this fail because the excitement primarily comes from the architects and not the people who have to do the work.
Let them know how important hitting these goals is and how much you appreciate all that they do. Keep in mind that most people need to know the why behind the things they are doing each day.
Also, don’t be afraid to gather input from the team. If they offer suggestions or improvements, you should do everything possible to incorporate those into the plan. People are much happier executing something that they helped build. Plus, their contributions show that they care about their department’s success, which is a great thing. I want you to be able to turn to your team and say, “Look what we did!”
Once you have everyone on board you should also consider some numeric goals. Think about that conversion rate example we talked about earlier. If you find that your current percentage is 70 percent, then post a team goal of 85 percent.
Build out a calendar of small, incremental improvements that get you to that goal over time, so this doesn’t seem impossible or overwhelming. In the earlier example, a two to three percent improvement is booking just two to three more calls per day, and everyone should be okay with that as a goal.
Once you reach a new level of performance, the bar gets raised. Repeat this until you’re where you want to be or beyond.
Plan to reward the team for meeting those goals. If they can do 15 percent better with the calls that are already coming in, then you’re ahead of the game. It means less marketing dollars to make the phone ring more to increase daily calls.
If they can raise the daily booked call count without any extra cash, consider providing a bonus or celebration to reward the team for their performance.
It might help you to visually track their progress in the office. A chart or graph that is updated weekly or a whiteboard will suffice. Make it someone’s responsibility to track and report results for all to see. A scoreboard keeps your team pointed toward the goal. This will also keep everyone focused once the newness wears off.
One Final Note
The overall success of any effort like this will be dependent on your attitude and the attitude of your team. If you really want something in your business to improve, then this needs to be an area of focus. If you want to increase your booking percentage, every manager who interacts with your customer service team should be checking in and asking questions.
Signs should go up with your stretch goal on them. If you’re giving out bonuses, you’ll need to advertise that internally as well. Your attention and attitude will make or break any major plans for improvement.