1049 — Call recording – The difference between an ordinary sell and an up-sell. The opinion of Robert Wint, EMEA marketing director, Verint Systems

Jan 30, 2004 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

Call recording and analytics is fast becoming big business. It is enjoying an unprecedented level of attention in contact centres where managers from a broad cross section of industries are recognising the enormous implications it can have for improving standards of quality by recognising and addressing both agent and operational weak spots. But, more specifically, it’s starting to make its mark in an area where typically businesses notice it most – in sales.As the methodologies and software used for call recording and quality constantly evolve, so too do we see contact centres in the retail sector reporting a notable rise in the opportunity for ‘up-selling’ and ‘cross-selling’, all brought about since the implementation of this technology.

Its application as a valuable sales coaching and training tool is becoming more widespread and is, understandably, making retailers sit up and take serious notice. Rather than just using the technology to identify weak areas or to pinpoint negative interactions, the technology is increasingly being used to highlight areas where agents go above and beyond the basic call handling needs and confidently cross-sell by suggesting other products or services to callers whilst they are at their most receptive.

Retaining such conversations as examples of best practice sales calls for later use provides the perfect basis for staff training to exemplify real instances of how up-selling or cross-selling can be done effectively and, conversely, where and how such opportunities may otherwise be unexploited.

As expectations increase, we all as customers have ever changing service needs. We want a product at a competitive price, and we now demand the ultimate service at the same time. Customers have less shopping time and are more resistant to part with their hard earned cash.

It is therefore the more enterprising contact centre managers and agents who will maximise every opportunity they are given to encourage customers to spend with their particular organisation.

When a customer approaches a contact centre to buy something, they have made first contact. In essence, it could be claimed that they have already made the choice to use that particular company’s products or services. How much, if any, they then go on to spend is, very probably, directly related to the way that call is handled and the experience they receive.

A confident, well qualified agent will make the customer feel at ease, be friendly, polite and informative, and will suggest alternative products that the caller may be interested in, or may not even have thought of. An agent that lacks confidence will only divulge the bare minimum of information, perhaps fail to mention upgrades or alternatives or, worse still, antagonise the customer so that they don’t spend their money but take it elsewhere.

In the travel sector for instance, the best agents are those who, in addition to accepting a booking for a flight, may also instigate sales of hotels and car hire. The financial services sector has an abundance of different products that again, a good agent, could draw a customer’s attention to. And, in arguably one of the most emotive selling sectors with parents buying for their children, one sale may easily lead to another if, for example, a customer purchases character merchandise and an agent can draw their attention to additional character items.

The beauty of modern call recording and analytics is that it is becoming so easy to use thanks to ever increasing technological sophistication. For instance, not only can individual calls be picked out, but so too can phrases and ‘buzz words’, such as:

“Thanks for the order for the new printer; will you need any toner cartridges to make sure you have a spare at all times?”

“Would you be interested in a special rate to insure you against any potential faults or accidents you might have with the stereo?”

“I’m sorry you didn’t receive very good service when you visited the store, but have you considered using our online service?”

One of our customers in the retail sector is a perfect example of how beneficial call recording, quality and analytics can be. Since installing call recording and undertaking quality analysis, the company has increased its cross-selling capabilities by 300 per cent and has seen a return on its investment in the call recording system within six months, which is much less time than the anticipated two years calculated at the outset.

Let’s not forget, agents are the people who are often the sole interface between the company and its customers. If an agent handles just 8 calls an hour, or 56 calls in an 8 hour shift, that’s 280 a week, or 14,000 a year. If these agents are not skilled enough or sufficiently equipped – e.g., having inadequate knowledge of the full range of a company’s products, or suitable alternatives to a customer’s first choice purchase – to do the job required, then this should pose a real concern.

And especially when each missed opportunity equates to a potentially vast impact on the bottom-line through lost sales opportunities. Only recording and analysing all interactions agents have with customers can proper assessments be made of how effective the contact centre actually is.

Contact centres are rarely seen for what they are which, in many cases, is ultimately a sales machine that must be kept slickly oiled if it is to keep its customers satisfied, spending and loyal. Instead of being involved in the sales plan, managers are tasked merely with driving efficiencies and maximising service levels.

However, if those companies in the retail sector really want to make the most of what they have, they would be well advised to take more notice of their contact centre staff and see just what call recording can achieve. It could make the difference between slow sales – and selling out.

Robert Wint
[email protected]

Em Foco – Opinião
Consultoria – Advice