5 Strategies to Boost Call Center Revenue Growth in 2023
This is the time of year when companies are prepping for the New Year. Companies should be looking back on the last year and asking “what worked for our company and team”, “what helped us grow”, and “what hindered our growth”? Most executives, when going through this process, look at their call center as a necessary evil; a cost center.
Whether you’re focused on building out an inside, phone-heavy sales team or a customer service center, profitability isn’t mutually exclusive from your call center. Rather, an inside sales team is your revenue’s engine and the call center is the oil that keeps the engine running smoothly. The mistake so many make is that they don’t look at the direct profits generated from a call center; just a large phone bill, nonstop recruiting, and a whole lot of management!
1. Promote an Effective Call Center Management Team
The first place you should focus on is your management team when questioning what strategies will bring revenue growth in the new year. It sounds cliché, but a team is only as good as the manager(s) that lead them. Management needs to be rooted in the culture that everything can be a profit center when putting the customer first. If they come from an old-school, traditional environment where everything can be outsourced to a BPO to reduce costs, your results are going to reflect that mentality.
While we’ll let the millions of leadership books do most of the work, there are a few qualities that come to mind when I think about what makes a good leader. This person must have great communication between higher-ups and their sales team. The best way to encourage communication is to have experience on both the front lines and as an experienced manager. They must be able to communicate appropriately and effectively with customers and prospects to model for the rest of the team.
Leaders must be able to model great communication when training new team members. What is understated in the call center world is the fact that training isn’t enough; however, as understanding what drives and motivates the team is just as important. Just like leaders must read customer context and drives, a good leader does so with their employees. They need to understand the wants, desires, and needs of their team. Paired with that must be a deep understanding for the product and/or service at hand.
2. Focus on Delighting Customers and Promoting Success
While “omni-channel” is a buzzword we all throw around, the reason it’s important isn’t to simply get communication started and over with as soon as possible. Omni-channel sales and customer success are rooted in the desire to delight customers. Just like problem-solution selling no longer works, neither does problem-support when promoting customer success.
In 2023 more than ever, it’s imperative we focus on making prospects and customers feel heard, enjoy the process of talking to our teams, and feel accomplished when all is said and done. Ways to kick this process off in 2023 without burning cash is to start setting up NPS and quality assurance surveys. These will provide some indication as to where you should invest. While tedious, customer interviews are also a great way to dig into delighting customers more thoroughly.
We focus so much on metrics in the world of call centers, but they’re often the wrong metrics. Total talk time and the time spent on a restroom break are superficial. The metrics we should be focused on are customer success stories, situational awareness, and correlation to revenue. A customer might buy another product or service in 3 months simply due to the experience they had with your company’s call center. Without proper tracking across an omni-channel strategy, you will never be able to correlate these events.
3. Time-Saving Behaviors
Call center professionals and managers should all be analyzing day-to-day behaviors. In the movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness” with Will Smith, hits this on the head. Christopher Gardner, played by Smith, was a stockbroker in a “Boiler Room” type setting. When he was struggling to get off the ground while raising his son, Christopher realized he could save 8 minutes and dial additional numbers if he simply didn’t set the phone down. This is dramatic, but this is the type of mentality you want to create in your call center. However, motivation has to be in the right place.
Your team shouldn’t feel taken advantage of. Rather, they should feel like they have the opportunity to help more people when they focus on efficiency. What behaviors in your team’s professional routine can be adjusted to promote sales and closing deals? The answer is going to vary person to person and company to company. But there are tasks and behaviors that stand out as a way to increase revenue when you actually practice these behaviors.
Establishing a protocol and system for accurate call routing is a great way to promote more time and therefore more revenue. This not only helps to get the customer to the best person to communicate with quicker, but it also is cost effective with rep’s time. Customers have a right to be routed to the most equipped sales rep.
No one should automate themselves out of a job. But everyone should automate all daily tasks that they can. This can directly promote revenue growth through - more calls, more time nurturing prospects, more proposals being sent, more deals being closed.
4. Incentivize Your Reps
Success should be rewarded. There are always exceptions to the rule, but sales reps tend to work harder when they are working towards an incentivized goal. Providing goals that reps can work towards will help boost their engagement and their morale at work. The key is that these goals have to be meaningful, not superficial. Focus on opportunities generated, customers helped successfully, etc.
How each company incentives their employee’s is up to them. In the sales world, the standard commission could range from 3% to 15%. Customer success reps are more likely to get bonused as opposed to commission. Going into 2023 companies should look at what incentive program they currently offer, if any. Whether this program is a form of financial compensation, extra vacation or sick time, or some type of recognition program, it is clear that providing external motivation to your reps to work harder will result in positive changes throughout the company.
5. Use The Right Tech
Having a discussion around call center efficiency doesn’t make sense if it’s not incorporating technology. So many call centers are old school in the way they operate, the interfaces they provide their team, etc. Revenue generating call centers will be using tech that promotes an experience your team and customers want to work with. If they’re “dealing” with what they’re given, chances are you’re not delighting your customers. A team with low morale directly affects your customers.
The core technologies you should be focused on as a call center leader include the telephony system, CRM, customer context, and lead routing systems. If you have these elementary, yet vital platforms in place, you will be on your way to a profitable call center.