Many contact centers get hectic during the holiday season. Employees have a lot to accomplish. On top of family obligations and trying to meet personal goals, contact center agents must deal with a surge of consumer purchases. Reaching out to businesses and consumers for outbound sales becomes increasingly challenging during the time of the year that it matters most.
You can help your contact center succeed by using the following recommendations to scale your outbound sales efforts during the holidays.
Set Up Agents for Success
Setting up agents for success often means giving your current employees the tools and training they need to meet KPIs. You might also need to hire seasonal workers, outsource some of your labor, and offer your current employees overtime or flexible hours.
Train Your Agents Properly
Your contact center employees are the face of your business. A poorly trained agent could damage your brand, making it harder for you to reach sales goals.
Make sure all of your agents have the proper training to represent your company and its products and services in positive ways. You may need to give them product training that teaches more about what your business offers consumers. New scripts could also improve how agents communicate with leads.
Throughout the holiday season, ensure excellent customer services through call monitoring and coaching. A couple of strategic changes could make an agent much more effective.
Use Remote Employees
Hiring seasonal employees can take some of the burden off of your contact center’s full-time agents. Unfortunately, the number of available workspaces has historically limited how many seasonal employees contact centers can hire.
Remote employees eliminate the challenge of fitting more agents into your call center. Set up a virtual call center so you can scale your outbound sales efforts without renting more space.
Allow Flexible Hours
You need your employees ready to do their best work during peak hours. The holiday season can make it harder than usual for workers to arrive for their shifts on time, though. Heavy traffic, family responsibilities, festive activities, and high call volumes can add stress that undermines performance.
Adding a little flexibility to employee schedules could help reduce stress – and improve performance. Let agents know that they will not be disciplined for arriving a few minutes late or needing to leave a little early.
The amount of flexibility that you can give your workers probably depends on your business model and sales objectives. Do what you can to help everyone focus on work instead of worrying about rigid schedules.
Provide Incentives to Keep Motivation and Morale High
Motivation and morale can fall quickly when people feel overworked. Provide incentives that help your contact center’s agents stay positive. Some motivational incentives to consider include:
- Cash bonuses
- Extra paid time off
- The option to choose their shifts
Not all incentives need to focus on an individual’s achievements. You can also set team goals. When the team exceeds a sales goal, they can earn a bonus, lunch, or other incentives.
Utilize Scalable Software Solutions
Your agents can only do their best work when they have access to tools that help them succeed. Scalable solutions are important for every contact center during the holidays. They become critical when you rely on remote workers to meet sales goals.
CRM software can automate tasks, making it possible for your employees to focus on converting leads. Look for a CRM that provides information about each lead. Your sales agents can use that info to improve their conversion strategies. Ideally, your CRM should also update information without forcing agents to complete fields manually.
A well-pruned list of leads makes it possible for your contact center agents to call people likely to convert. List management software helps ensure that your agents spend time talking to consumers who have shown interest in your company, products, and services.
List management does more than improve conversion rates. It can also help your agents avoid the frustration of getting turned down by uninterested customers.
A well-pruned list even helps improve your brand’s reputation. When your agents contact people who find your calls annoying, consumers can start to think of your company negatively. They might even report your numbers as spam, which could eventually lead to flagged numbers.
Dialing software is imperative for your outbound sales campaign. Choosing the right type of dialer for your industry can help agents connect with leads and finalize more sales.
Simply choosing reliable dialing software will not get you the results you want, though. You also need to make sure the software integrates with other tools, such as your CRM and list management software. Properly configured dialing software can dramatically increase agent productivity, which should translate to higher sales and better customer services.
If you hire remote workers, you need to invest in collaboration tools that give them access to the tools and information that your on-site employees have. You want everyone, including people working remotely, to feel like part of a cohesive team.
Collaboration tools can offer features like:
- Real-time communication between agents and managers.
- KPI monitoring that helps managers recognize issues employees may be experiencing.
- Messaging that lets agents share their victories with team members.
DID Management Procedures
DID management helps ensure that your agents use untainted outbound numbers that are more likely to connect to leads. Registered numbers that display correct caller ID information will help people decide whether they want to answer your calls. In most cases, people answer registered numbers more often than they do unregistered numbers. That gives you an advantage that should increase your outbound sales results.
Buy Enough DIDs for Your Team
As you add more agents to your roster, you also need to add more phone numbers for them to use. You should not let a number place more than 100 calls per day. As numbers get closer to 100 calls per day, the risk of getting flagged by carriers increases.
Analyze the average number of calls an employee places per day. If the average is over 90 calls per phone number, it’s time to purchase more DIDs.
Swap Out DIDs Frequently
Call volumes skyrocket during the holidays. If you don’t pay close attention, your agents will dial from one number more than 100 times. It doesn’t take long before those numbers get flagged. At that point, they become useless. Hardly anyone will answer a call coming from a flagged number.
You can keep all of your numbers useful by swapping them out often before they get “too hot.” When a phone number nears 100 calls in a day, pull it out of circulation and replace it with a fresh number.
Monitor DIDs for Flags
Some of your numbers will likely get flagged by carriers or consumers during the holiday season. You can guess that a number has been flagged once it starts failing to connect to leads. You only know that the DID has been flagged, though, when you use a platform that monitors your outbound numbers.
Caller ID Reputation monitors all of your numbers for flags. When a number gets flagged or earns a negative label, Caller ID Reputation will send you an alert so you can pull it from use. You can also review your numbers throughout the day to see how well they perform. Caller ID Reputation can even give you screenshots from real mobile devices, letting you know for certain what caller ID shows when you call consumers.
Contact Caller ID Reputation now to learn more about monitoring your numbers during the holidays. Without number reputation management, you make it harder than ever for your outbound sales agents to convert leads.