For the latest episode of the B2C Lead Generation Podcast we take things in a slightly different direction and go straight to the coalface, the place where lead generation culminates in either success, or failure - The call centre.
Below are some of the key ideas discussed during the podcast, but be sure to check out the entire episode at the bottom of the page.
We’ve noticed in the UK especially that churn of agents within a call centre is huge. Have you found this? And can you actually link this to the data agents get given?
Dan Turner: Exactly. Most call centre providers, because they have that sort of inherent churn rate - and it is hard to invest in the right level of training - they don’t want to take risks with the better data sources so they tend to put newbies on the worst data, so you end up in this vicious cycle where it’s really hard for an agent to succeed because they’re almost set up to fail to begin with.
We don’t do that. We put new agents that come in on the same data set as everybody else, because we need to be able to accurately assess whether an agent is actually any good, right? The best way to do that is to asses their performance on the same data set, against the top agents.
Why do you think good data - and not just calling list data - is so important, not just to the call centre and the sales, but in terms of representing a brand?
I don’t understand why any company would spend millions on advertising to create the ad, and then a few million dollars on the media spend, to then have an agent in a dodgy call centre in the middle of nowhere ring up and not be on brand.
So many times brands spend all this money trying to get their positioning bang on, but when the actual potential customer has the first interaction, they have someone who may not be as on brand as they like.
Why don’t more organisations adopt the approach of higher quality data and fewer - but better qualified - agents?
You also have to bear in mind their is a structural issue in the way call centres are priced. The overwhelming majority of call centre operators charge on an hourly basis, right? So, they actually make money selling bodies by the hour.
Therefore, having far less leads and actually making fewer , but better, quality calls, doesn’t actually appeal to call centre operators. The call centres make more money generally by having more bodies, working for longer hours. So even though they’ll talk about wanting to generate sales, and they’ll probably put some money at risk on sales results, they’re normally just trying to get as a big a team as possible, or that the client will tolerate.
The call centre pricing model is often not aligned to the client outcome.
From the perspective of the brand, what do you think is the future of using call centres?
So a lot of the guys who are smart now do know that they only want to use leads (not list data) and are becoming really smart about how they buy those leads and how they manage those leads. The clever organisations are starting to take ownership of the lead management at least. They take control of the leads and distribute them to the call centres.
In the old days the call centres would sort of point them in the right direction in terms of data, whereas now the clients are being much more prescriptive about what data they want called and how they want it called. And that’s only a good thing.
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