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Using call centers for sales, how to approach loyalty and more


How can I use my service center for sales?

“With the current economic climate, most companies are looking to existing customers for revenue growth,” says Ronald Hildebrandt, SVP of marketing for Enkata. “Transitioning the contact center to incorpo­rate sales can be a natural extension.”

First, he says contain your operations costs. “The foundation for a strategic service center is a well-run, efficient operation,” Hildebrandt explains. To improve productivity, managers and agents need visibility into their performance on key metrics.

“Second, achieve service excellence,” he adds. “You cannot sell to a customer that didn’t have a good expe­rience with the contact center. The single most impor­tant metric for customer service is first-call resolution, to ensure work is done right the first time. Finally, you can turn customer loyalty into higher sales with a foundation of superior service. It can be done with the right balance of metrics and effective coaching tools.”


What are some key points to remember when designing an ad for a direct mailer?

“Direct marketers are often under intense pressure from clients to produce ingenious mailers,” responds Charles Boyar, VP of US Operations at MediaAna­lyzer. “Unfortunately, this pressure often becomes so great that they can overlook the primary functions of direct mail.”

It’s most important for a mailer to have a strong key visual to accompany the copy, Boyar says. Marketers should always place the brand logo in a prominent place so that mail recipients see it — try to integrate the logo into their scan path for maximum visual impact. Finally, “Marketers should try to communicate their messages without heavy copy,” he adds. “If you need lots of copy, easily read copy text is always best. Ideally, the copy should use little text, be salient with a bullet point structure and be in a big font size.”


What are some objectives to keep in mind when measuring customer loyalty?

“There are no shrink-wrapped solutions to building loyalty, as each company and customer is unique,” answers Linda Shea, SVP and global managing direc­tor of customer strategies for Opinion Research Corp. “However, we have found that successful approaches often follow a similar path.”

The first challenge in approaching customer loyalty is to determine what customer loyalty means to your organization and its customers. Shea suggests four objectives for a customer loyalty program. “Understand what loyalty means to your business by taking into account your markets, your competitors and your busi­ness objectives. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach,” she explains. “Look for ways to align internal financial and business metrics with external feedback about loyalty. Identify case examples of loyal customers, and determine what about your relationship with those customers allows them to fit that profile.”

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