It’s no secret that the call center representative is the single most important part of the sales process. It simply doesn’t matter how great your technology is, or how brilliant your marketing efforts are that got the attention of that potential consumer and convinced them to call, if the person responsible for the actual closing of the sale is ineffective. This is why dispositioning – or call analysis – is such a critical part of any pay per call partnership with MobileFUSED, and why it should be just as important to you if you rely on inbound calls for sales.
Over the course of the next three weeks, we will identify the top three reasons we have found for sales calls not converting, based on literally tens of thousands of dispositioning reports we conduct every year.
Our dispositioning reports are broken down into dozens of categories and subcategories, so we are able to pinpoint exactly what went wrong with each call that did not turn into a closed sale. They are a big reason MobileFUSED clients stick with us, because they can see -and hear – exactly what is going wrong with their sales closing process at their call centers, and what they need to do to fix it.
However, time after time, we see three main issues pop up more than any other. The first of those will be revealed next week.
Part 1: A little kindness goes a long way
You finally realized you are an addict and need help. You muster the courage to make that first call, knowing you will be telling a perfect stranger some of your most personal secrets, confessing that you are flawed, vulnerable and asking someone you’ve never met for help.
So you click through an ad for addiction treatment and hear the phone ring. A person answers and they are … well, rude. They don’t really seem to care about what you are going through. In fact, you get the sense that they are just doing a job – going through the motions until it’s time to clock out and go home.
How would you feel? Would you hang up? Most would. In fact, most would never call back again. Unfortunately, over the course of our dispositioning, we see this far too often, even from commissioned salespeople.
Whether someone is calling about addiction, buying insurance or reducing their debt, that person is almost always calling because they feel helpless and are looking for answers. They need to speak with someone who understands their issues and concerns and can help guide them in the right direction. They decided to call because they saw an advertisement that promised exactly that. A call center representative that doesn’t care is simply breaking that promise, and the caller will act accordingly.
A successful representative must have genuine empathy, understanding and – more importantly – patience – for anyone calling for help. Letting the person know that they are not alone, that others have taken the same path, that they understand exactly what they are going through, can not only make the caller feel more at ease, but ready to take the next step and commit to treatment.
Conversely, being rude, callous or impatient can drive the caller away – sometimes for good.
Part 2: Hello? Anyone there?
If you were to make a list of all the reasons sales call do not convert into actual sales, and list them in order of the most easily correctable to the least, not having an actual person on the phone when the call center representative answers would probably be right at the top.
Believe it or not, this is also one of the top reasons for low cost per acquisition ratios among some of our clients, based on our disposition reports.
Calls dropping in the middle of the conversation, garbled or poor connections, the caller not hearing a ring tone, long pauses between the call being picked up and the representative answering, no answer at all – these are all easily fixable issues that we see over and over with call centers that are not converting.
This is why it’s not only important to frequently listen to calls, but also to call into your call center yourself as if you were a prospective consumer. How many rings until the representative picked up? How much time passed from dialing the number to hearing the voice on the other end? Can you hear the person clearly?
Technology isn’t perfect, sometimes things stop working correctly. Unfortunately, when they do, sometimes the call center representative doesn’t fully realize it and report it. They just assume there is only a higher number of hangups than usual that day, and go on about their business. It is always up to the manager to constantly check for technical problems, and get them fixed ASAP.
Part 3: No pitch = no sale
By far, the #1 reason we have found that a call center is not hitting their conversion goals is that the representative is not making a sales pitch. In fact, no other reason comes close.
Again, in most cases, the caller doesn’t really know what they want or need, they are simply looking for help and to get some answers. A representative’s job is to guide them through the sales process.
It all starts with asking the right questions. Why did the person make the call? What are they really looking for or need the most help with? If the caller says they are “just browsing,” for example, it is the representative’s mission to find out exactly what they are browsing for, what questions they have. Only then can they effectively make a case as to why the caller should stop browsing and make a purchase.
But therein lies the problem – all too often, the representative listens to the caller, asks the right questions, but then simply fails to make a case for their product or service – to offer a solution after finding out the caller’s problem, so to speak. In many cases, the caller may even be unaware of the different services or products that are being offered until the representative mentions them.
One thing a representative should know – there is ALWAYS an opportunity to make a sales pitch, even if the caller is talking or asking about something else entirely. It is their responsibility to drive the caller to the point of commitment by asking the right questions and making the case as to why the caller should move forward with either payment or insurance information.
Asking questions, being patient and understanding, being informative and helpful, and – finally – making the sales pitch – that is what call dispositioning should focus on.
To get a better idea of how we analyze and report our calls, and run them through our proprietary platform, give us a call and we’d be happy to go over our process in more detail.