If you feel the pain of paying for leads that are costing your call centre money and not making it then this may be the most important post that you ever read…
Having fraudulent and invalid leads come through your inbound sales and marketing process is a quick way to turn a well-oiled machine into having a serious problem that will mess up your metrics right down your marketing funnel.
For many knowing who, what and where to get the leads from is a complex task filled with many bad mistakes. So we have put together this article to help you escape from the noise with some practical strategies.
1. Out of Spec - Paying for leads that are out of spec is a bad way to run out of money that can’t be replaced. Whether your specification is people who are over 50, or having only people from a certain postcode. Making sure that the leads you buy in are matching your specification is an easily looked over part of the lead acquisition process. However this is a component that advanced marketer’s focus on with incredible detail, and understand that they need intuitive systems in place that allow them to do this automatically in real time rather than having manual processes to run through data.
2. Reporting - Just like fighter jet pilots you rely on the metrics that are presented. To avoid ending up in flat spin you need to make sure that the data being fed to your system is correct. Instead of your agents ending up doing an improvised routine, using the correct reporting statistics can turn an unprofessional sloppy call into one that is textbook. By using immediate action on which leads to purchase on the back of what is working this can be overcome. Therefore if a source or blend is not working you don’t have to wait a week or even a whole month to see it. This is a component that the highest performing centres focus on with incredible detail and they understand that advanced data software is the key to getting the job done efficiently, quickly and cost effectively.
3. Invalid Leads - A dud, is a dud, is a dud is a dud. Buying a lead that is totally invalid is a quick way to lose money fast. When dealing with large volumes of leads coming into your company even the most blazingly obvious of fake data can come through basic filters without the correct validation, verification (they are different) and security procedures in place. Visually seeing these numbers can be nerve-shattering even to the most grizzled pro’s. So it is absolutely vital that these invalid leads are removed with pinpoint accuracy, real time before they get into the system.
4. Formatting - The manual costs of manipulating and moving the data into the right format for your phone diallers can be pure gut-wrenching agony, with dodging a mistake like running through a minefield blindfolded. Making sure that your data is fed into your call centres with military precision and on time is all about systemisation. Having systems that can automatically increase the fluency of receiving data and being able to act upon it effortlessly makes a massive impact on overall efficiency and performance. Systematisation when set up right will work for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without the needs for sick days, making complaints or going on holiday.
5. Blend of leads - Just like creating the perfect soup, it takes the right blend of lead data to work your call centre at optimum capacity. Call centres as you know are a data thirsty animal that need a constant flow of leads like the oxygen we breathe. Make sure that you get the right blend of data to cover the costs and performance. The key is to have the same systems, the same formats, the same reporting and the same process on all the data, no matter the source, type, or price.
6. Arm agents with information – Call centres are a people business. This means that people drive the results (and losses) of how your campaigns perform. The more information and data call centre agents have to go into the field with the better armed they are to deal with all of their conversation outcomes. Letting your agents get up close and personal with the customers details, is a fast track way give agents a better, clearer picture of who they are speaking to. Also finding out the key bits of data and information that make a difference to the agents will also allow you systemise training practices for future call outcomes and give the agents a greater degree of control whilst on a call.
7. Cost of leads – Everyone is cost conscious. But cheap can also be expensive. 100 x £0.20 leads costs £20 alright, 10 x £0.50 costs £5, but the conversions and revenue are the only thing that matters here. Obviously exposure has to be limited but trying to convert customers that aren’t interested in your product can be more harmful than anything else. By focusing on the right leads rather than the volume you are getting for your money, you can save on agent’s costs and data and have real, genuine interest from consumers in your product rather than focussing on the data volumes.
8. Agents Wellbeing – The most important point of all to achieve high performance from leads in call centres is HAPPY AGENTS. As of right now artificial intelligence can’t yet replicate the human response, or emotion, or rapport building that a person can. The agent’s wellbeing is absolutely key to having strong results, a strong team and a happy client. Leads can play a part in the agents positive state of mind - Interested, and engaged consumers come with good quality leads, high conversions follow, bonuses and agent morale rises, every day becomes a productive, happy, strong performing day. Having a system in place that allows you to replicate, monitor and regulate the leads going to the agents allow you systemise and repeat this success and can add to agent wellbeing in the same way it improves the overall performance of any given campaign.
These 8 key insights will allow you to explore how you can improve the performance of your call centre and the leads that go into it.
There are 2 things that you could master in a short afternoon to dramatically increase your call centre productivity.
Firstly Call centres need a system, or machine in place that allows them to only accept valid and relevant leads in a completely standardised format. The same system should be able to add 'information enhancements' that arm your agents with key details for rapport building and product choice. All of this needs to happen real time and needs in-depth reporting that can be quickly accessed to enable you to drill down on lead buying successes, or failures immediately.
Secondarily the agent’s well-being is always going to play a huge part in the performance of any call centre. What agents need is positivity, and this can be partly fulfilled by the leads that they receive. Giving agents data that increases productivity, performance and up time can make a genuine difference to their ability to cope with setbacks and believe the next deal is going to happen on the next call.