Who is monitoring your calls?
Most of us have heard this when we are waiting to speak with a company…
“ This call may be recorded for training purposes”
While I see the benefit of recording calls, I often wonder, does anyone from this company really listen to these calls?
An associate of mine who works in the automotive industry mentioned that dealerships are now moving a majority of their marketing budgets to the online media channels; Adwords, Blogs, Social media, Banner Advertising and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I did not hear any discussion of an investment in their call center infrastructure.
Although consumers are choosing the Internet to research their cars before speaking with a car dealer, a company should not ignore that many online shoppers will eventually end up as a phone conversation with one of their employees.
If dealership employees are not trained correctly, then any change in allocations in a dealer’s marketing budget will not be fully leveraged. Internet call centers or BDC teams, no matter how small or large, need to have the proper training to convert conversations into sales and positive customer service experiences.
Part of this training needs to include feedback from calls that were recorded and scored by a professional call center trainer.
Companies like “Whose Calling” www.whoscalling.com will provide tracking and statistics from the calls they record. Although they provide a valuable service to companies, are car dealers really utilizing the true value of the service? Is anyone at the dealership actually listening to the calls?
If managers base decisions only on numbers they receive, they can end up praising poor execution versus correct effort. Call volume only tells a part of the story, hearing what is being said on the phones is the other half.
If companies do not take the time to review incoming calls , how can their teams improve? More importantly, if calls are not being handled properly, your online investments are being negatively impacted.
In 2010 companies that want to improve can do the following:
- Decide on a number of calls per agent/ per week. Make sure to select a variety of call types. Do not focus just on calls that result in a sale. Listen to refusals, calls that are very short or very long. This will give you a scope of how your employees handle all situations.
- Utilize a uniform call checklist to score agent’s performance on each aspect of their calls.
- Provide feedback to the employee in a manner where your comments focus both on what they are doing well as well as areas they can improve on.
- Follow a consistent “Coaching Process” where you take the time to explain what they need to do but also demonstrate for them how to improve.
- Track the agent’s performance each week to monitor their improvement.
- Continue this process as part of your ongoing training for your employees.
This process will not only help you to fully monitor how your employees respond to customers, but also allows you to adjust scripting, providing needed answers to FAQ and make sure everything is aligned with your image and ideals.
The goal is to ensure that utilizing the new marketing channels work in your favor. Remember that a customer’s negative impression of your company will be spread across the Internet just as fast or faster than your marketing efforts.
Why risk a negative brand image due to something that is within your control.
Let me know your thoughts.