Question 1 – What are your aims and objectives and have they been communicated effectively?
Gather all stakeholders to check they share your vision and strategy for success. When everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, they will focus everyone on the task. You need to consider everything from strategic planning through implementation to campaign appraisal and reporting.
Question 2 – Who do you think will be calling?
Unanswered calls reflect extremely badly on businesses and are a lost opportunity, so where possible, make provision for 24/7 availability. If you are handling the campaign internally and your resources won’t stretch to this, consider employing an outsourcing service for out-of-hours call handling. This can be a highly cost-effective way of meeting your customers’ needs while giving you the control over your campaign budget and strategy that you need. Client testimonials should be available from these providers to help you sort the wheat from the chaff. If you choose to outsource, make sure you keep your provider informed of any campaign changes or extra marketing drives that might affect call volumes – forewarned is forearmed! Carefully review forecasting figures and make sure you have allocated ample provision for spikes in call volumes and, unless you are sure of your anticipated call lengths, err on the side of caution.
Question 3 – When do you think they will be calling you?
Another important consideration in terms of availability to your customers is time zones. Your overseas customers need to contact you at their convenience. Make sure the contact centre you use has 24/7 availability. If you are venturing into non-English speaking territories, consider options for multi-lingual call handlers, or if this is not possible from a live point of view, perhaps you can arrange to have a brochure or fact sheet translated to furnish callers with more information or maybe live email chats are a suitable option or a call back at an agreed time.
Question 4 – What channels are you going to use?
Omni-channel provision should be at the forefront of your strategy – there must be no barriers to customer acquisition. For example, if you are going to use web chat/response, you must clearly indicate on your website/collateral what your SLAs are; how soon will someone get back to the customer? They must never feel that their enquiry has gone into the digital ether.
Question 5 – Have you considered every possibility for optimising your campaign, including upsell/cross-sell?
Are you addressing any seasonal events that might result in extra purchase/engagement opportunities? Try bundling products or services. The modern consumer is highly media savvy, often to the point of cynicism. But everyone loves a freebie or an incentive, as long as it is framed appealingly. If your campaign is not strictly sales-related, offer added value by signing your customer up to a newsletter or loyalty scheme. Do you have a blog they might find useful or a social media community? Despite being rather ubiquitous these days, customer testimonials are still a valuable way of attracting new audiences; encourage your customer to leave a review on your site or social media portal.
Question 6 – Have you addressed all compliance requisites?
Outsourcing your contact centre services? Then you need assurance from your provider that they are fully compliant with all the processes relevant to your campaigns. However, if you are managing the campaign it is up to you. For example, you need to be fully PCI-DSS compliant or risk fines and reputational damage to process credit card payments. This standard, set up by the credit card industry, includes 12 requirements for any business that stores, processes or transmits payment cardholder data.
Question 7 – Are your script and campaign message up to the job?
Your script, FAQs, etc., are integral to your success. If appropriate to your campaign structure, you can make significant savings on call durations by ensuring your website has a comprehensive FAQ section for people to visit before they pick up the phone. With the phone brief, you must consider content, pacing, and opportunities for cross/upsell (as mentioned above). The focus should be on clarity of message, consistent promotion of brand values and ensuring that all information is available to call handlers. They can only do their job properly if they are armed with the most current information about your products and services. If there is an alternative number to call for other customer enquiries, be sure to give this out; this way, customer service calls won’t impact your main commercial line.
Question 8 – How will you benchmark your successes and ensure you learn from experience?
There are plenty of all-singing, all-dancing CRM systems out there. Each one is just waiting to be diligently updated and analysed by you and your colleagues. These need to be managed properly and integrated with any other systems you use. That way you will get a truly rounded picture of your campaign progress. Don’t leave all the reporting and scrutinising until after the campaign. You should review daily and adjust resource allocation and campaign strategy accordingly. Make your technology work for you and never ignore customer/call handler feedback!