No matter what type of Contact Center you are, now a days there is always some aspect of sales. Customer service centers are looking to upsell and cross sell, outbound center are looking to sell. How do you get your associates to do this the right way with out having your quality drop?
Almost all call centers fight with the concept of interdepartmental mingling. The finance guys need the sales numbers to be X while the customer service executives need quality to be Y. This is a constant struggle in a lot of center.
Most call centers that has a sales aspect does some sort of commission, proficient or incentive to reward sales in the center. Sometimes associates do anything they can for that sale to make a quota or sales goal leading to low quality sales and sales that have a high cancel and low stick rate.
We at Expivia have gone way with using the word “Sale” in our call center for both our inbound and outbound programs. When it is used it actually has a negative connotation.
We use a different term. ERQ.
ERQ stand for End Result of Quality. On sales programs ERQ is the end goal. It means our associate did what the real prose of the call was in any high quality contact center, they secured a sale the right way. What is the “right way”?:
They were in full compliance with all regulations. This is program specific but incudes things such as not even approaching the line when it comes to compliance verbiage. They gave all the proper language in its full context and reading disclosures verbatim. Our rule is that if you are approaching the line on a compliance issue you are over the line.
The tone of our associate is appropriate. While sales calls and customer service calls may have different goals the tone of the associate should be the sale. If you have a sales associate that is pushy or talks down to customers, then they are not trained well enough to be on the program. Remember most of the time the “tone IS the message”.
They need to be able to sell on the merits of the product, if they can’t then they should not be on the floor. You should never sell on low commitment either. If you are selling in the fact that the customer can cancel for a refund then what is the point? You will have very low stick rates driving up costs and frustrating all involved most importantly the customer. Remember most of the time the “tone IS the message”
Their technique need to be perfect. Most insurance and financial service products have scripts that need to be strictly adhered to as they have gone though many eyes at legal. Are they following the script? For our scripts we teach our guys to follow the script, if a customer asks a question you answer it with our leaving anything out, they do not leave dead air for the customer to take control of the call. They need to transition the end of the question back to the script.
Fifth and last on the list is did they secure an ERQ. The ERQ is a RESULT of the quality steps being done right.
Anyone can get a sale, they are easy. Anyone can fudges information. Anyone can push sales though. That takes no talent and no skill. Getting a “sale” in our organization is actually looked down on.
All centers with a sales aspect should not be looking for sales, they should be trying to achieve the End Result of Quality or ERQ.
Thomas Laird is a customer service and contact center consultant and operations professional with over 25 year of experience. Thomas is currently the CEO of Expivia Interaction Marketing Group, Inc. A 100% onshore multichannel contact center and lead writer for the Contact Center Muse Blog.