Call/Contact Centers

Catalog and Direct Selling: Get on the Horn
August 1, 2004

Build additional sales through an outbound call program Even in the face of increasing privacy legislation and mounting consumer backlash, there is a place for outbound telemarketing programs in consumer catalogers’ contact strategy. Like any customer contact, an outbound call program is most effective when relevant to the customers who receive it. There are advantages and disadvantages to using outbound call programs to build additional sales for your catalog business. On the upside, the call is a highly personal contact point with customers that allows you to directly communicate an offer that, ideally, has some urgency. And much like e-mail campaigns, offers that are

Why Hang Up on Inbound Opportunities?
April 1, 2004

Turn customer service calls into customer research connections Today’s consumers complain about being overmarketed to and about the frustration of broad-brush, undifferentiated or manipulative marketing techniques. Simultaneously, your competitors seem to be waging an ever-escalating battle to gobble up your market share. So minimizing customer attrition and gaining more of your customers’ wallets and loyalty takes smarts, not to mention every tool at your disposal. The more you can learn about your customers’ views and preferences, the more targeted your shot at providing desirable products, offers and services. You can gain some incremental value out of your current transactions by using the contact as

Ideas You Can Take to the Bank!: Improve Call Center Performance
February 1, 2004

Offsetting some of the operating costs of customer service with cross-selling or upselling has become much more commonplace than ever. A profitable cross-sell/upsell program requires a well-conceived plan and skillful execution to avoid pitfalls. 1. Resolve Customer Service Issues A customer’s service issue must be resolved to his or her satisfaction before the selling process can begin. In some upsell/cross-sell programs, CSRs have been instructed to try to sell every customer. This is neither practical nor is it advisable. A customer with an unresolved problem will only be antagonized by the sales effort, and the program just won’t make sense to the CSR. 2.

Does Telemarketing Still Work?
November 1, 2003

For some in the telemarketing industry, the Federal Trade Commission's creation of the National Do-Not-Call Registry was a call to arms. For telemarketing consultant Jon Hamilton, president and principal of JHA Telemanagement, it was a wake-up call. "The number of unduplicated households on the do-not-call list today is 42 million to 44 million, according to sources I know who've analyzed the file," says Hamilton. "We're heading to 60 percent to 70 percent of all U.S. households being on the list. Without permission marketing, consumer telemarketing will cease to be an effective marketing tool." At the time this interview with Hamilton

Can We Chat About Web Chat?
November 1, 2002

Why your call center absolutely, positively might need Web chat. By Mitchell Lieber Did you realize that your Web site is considered antiquated if it doesn’t have Web chat? Did you know that customers will desert your business if you don’t offer it? Hold on! That’s not quite true, yet—certainly not for all businesses. Perhaps some day it will be, but today, using Web chat should be carefully considered. See below for a few examples of companies that use Web chat, and others that don’t. All of these companies are icons in their markets. So how do you know if your Web