BrannContact Debuts in U.S. Teleservices Market

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Fourteen years after operating in the British call center market, direct marketing agency Brann Worldwide has launched its BrannContact teleservices division in the United States.

Part of Brann Worldwide's marketing services group, BrannContact is an attempt to tap the U.S. call center market, which is growing by 30 percent each year.

The division's charter is to ensure for its clients that the contact channel -- online and offline communications for message, data and delivery -- reflects the strategy and intent of the brand.

"Telephone reps, whether they are outsourced or employees of a company, talk more to a company's customers than anybody else in the organization, so they have a bigger opportunity to influence the company's brand than anyone else," said Steve Marsh, senior vice president and director at BrannContact, Wilton, CT.

"So it's critical that these customer service reps who are talking to your customers understand how important it is not to simply get somebody off the phone, reduce phone time, but to convey what the company is spending literally millions of dollars in trying to establish a brand."

Until his Brann appointment, Marsh was senior vice president at RappCollins Optima Direct, Vienna, VA, where he built the agency's teleservices consulting practice.

Later this year, Marsh will open BrannContact's U.S. headquarters in the Dulles corridor in the Washington-Virginia area.

BrannContact will offer three tiers of services to clients. The consulting service reviews the client's contact channel, examining the metrics of the call center. These include issues such as the call center's efficiency.

"Many times what the CEO wants doesn't get translated to the floor," Marsh said. "So basically, we look at the company's mission statement, aspirations and brand and make sure that the contact channel reflects that."

BrannContact will also offer transactional telemarketing. The division will manage inbound and outbound telephone calls and e-mail, online chats and voice-over IP for clients.

Finally, as part of a facilities management service, it will place its own employees in clients' call centers long term. These Brann employees will manage the client's call center, with the executives manning the phone lines or handling e-mail communications.

"We're working with several Brann clients, and that's really what we're doing at first," Marsh said. "Clearly, the reason we were brought on board is to offer Brann's current client base expanded touch points."

BrannContact is working with Visa USA and Bermuda's Department of Tourism and is doing scripting work for paging services company Arch Communications.

Marsh said his division would focus for a while on garnering business from within Brann Worldwide, Chicago.

"Outside, we'll look at people who aren't really reflecting the brand in their call center," he said.
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