‘I Want a Great Contact Center — How Do I Find One?’
By Greg Sarnow
As a brand marketer or owner, does this sound like you? "I have a great product line, and my sales confirm that our customers want what we offer. But I want to sell more of my products to a broader demographic with the most possible profit."
We have heard similar concerns from many marketers just like you. You have worked hard to develop an omnichannel marketing and sales strategy but find it challenging and time-consuming to master all the platforms and tasks across many channels. Moreover, determining which service providers to partner with in helping build business and reduce the workload can be a full-time job. Doesn't it seem like many service providers across all fields have a similar pitch and an overly long, boring presentation? How do you or any of us separate the wheat from the chaff to pick the best in class?
Asking the right questions can quickly separate out which service providers excel and which you may want to avoid. To help with at least one aspect of this challenge, we wanted to share what to look for when partnering with a contact center.
Why Do I Need a Contact Center?
A good contact center is invaluable to a DRTV or direct-to-consumer brand. Some of the tasks that a contact center can take off your plate include:
Providing a dedicated customer service team
Providing a dedicated call center
Offering omnichannel support to your consumers
Knowledgeable sales agents for campaigns that can scale quickly
Product tech support
Being an always-on, 24/7/365 resource to your customer
What Do I Look for in a Contact Center?
Certainly, you want a contact center team that can close the sale and address consumer concerns. Yet, there is much more to it: the search for the best contact center to partner with comes down to five significant issues: performance, reliability, culture, technology, and people.
If you have interviewed several contact centers, you may have heard many of the same promises:
"We have great sales agents!"
"Our agent pool has an average employment length of over 18 months."
"We have the best training."
"Our results are the best."
No doubt you have heard it all. And, no doubt, the difference between success and failure can be an organization that performs as promised. Understanding the metrics behind the promises is the difference between words and actual performance. When vetting a contact center, break down performance with the following data points:
Conversion: One of the most misunderstood metrics is conversion. Not because it is difficult to understand, but because many organizations calculate conversions from different data. Ask your contact center which metrics they use:
Gross Conversion: total calls received, total sales made, and the resulting percentage
Answered Call Conversion: total calls answered, total sales made, and the resulting percentage
Valid Call Conversion: total calls answered excluding invalid calls (no one online or customer service calls) and the resulting percentage
Unique ANI Conversion: any of the above, but also removing any phone number that called back and the resulting percentage
Net Conversion: Total sales opportunity calls (removing all non-sales opportunities), total sales made, and the resulting percentage
Abandon Rate has become more complex. Ask about:
Calls lasting more than 15 seconds that no agent answers