Industry: Inbound Customer Service Provider

Client Challenge

Our client had launched a new customer acquisition program where customers received a direct mailer that drove prospects to make an inbound call to a sales agent for purchase.  Mail response was much better than anticipated, but an inefficient call center was performing at low conversion and low utilization rates, and therefore a high cost per acquisition.  Our client had a short window of opportunity to drive sales and needed to lower the cost per acquisition, increase volume by 4-5 times, and still increase conversion. At the time of engagement, acquisition cost was nearly $120 per net new customer and conversion was hovering around 22%. 

Goal: $70 cost per net new customer and 30% conversion of inbound call opportunities.  Agent utilization to be near 50%.

Implementation

Channels aligned with the call center on the outlined program goals, and created a partnership to ensure that they were focused on the right actions.  Our team then did call monitoring to identify the barriers to sale representatives were experiencing. With this information, Channels coached the existing representatives on how to eliminate these barriers to sale with new tools and behavioral skills.  Additionally, Channels revamped the new agent training to be focused on sales skills specifically, including listening, call control, and making recommendations.  To instill this new approach in the performance management at the centers, we trained the supervisors on our new approach to sales training and call monitoring. Channels also revised the current staffing plan to ensure the full utilization of agents.

Results

By the end of the second month, the cost per acquisition on the program was averaging $45 per net new customer.  Agent utilization went from just over 35% to just under 60% on average.  Conversion of inbound calling opportunities jumped from 22% to nearly 36%, making the client believe that 40% may be attainable and they re-engaged with the call center with that new goal in mind.

Because of the revamped training approach, new agents were more prepared, and moved quicker through the learning curve – all of which was key given the 4-5x call volume increase.