Sales instead of costs: Would it not be beneficial if you could improve both your sales and contribution margins in the service centre while maintaining your good service level at the same time? Read here how this can be implemented fast and simple.
Your service centre has been a cost factor for many years? And it is becoming larger from year to year? Besides, the service levels can hardly be maintained with the present staffing? And the management would like it best if the hotline extended its business hours? It’s high time to finally generate sales with your customer service!
Service centres are the central interface between your company and the customer where all customer experiences come together each day. The majority of inbound call centres today are still being run as cost centres. The faster a customer problem is resolved the lower are the costs. The criteria underlying this business model are:
Thus, questions are concerned such as: Which portion of the queries can be answered directly without forwarding them to the “2nd level support” or the technical field force? How quickly could the customer be helped?
The result from this perspective: each customer contact is a “bother” instead of an opportunity to generate sales. The service centre meanwhile can contribute quite a bit to sales growth and customer loyalty when it is run as a profit centre. For example, by means of active cross and upselling, in the traditional service talk with the customer.
You can roughly systematise the starting points for cross and upselling when speaking with the customer:
We have the following assumptions for this business case and respectively work with the following experience values from our practice:
Depending on the contribution margin, a significant portion of the personnel costs is therefore earned from the generated sales. With high contribution margins above 40%, even a profit can be earned with this.
The business model that is oriented on generating sales and fostering customer loyalty of the sales-oriented contact centre directly leads to a different perspective: Here, the calling customer is no longer a “bother.” He does not cause costs. Instead, almost every time a customer gets in touch, a new opportunity arises to generate sales and contribute to the company’s success. The more customers call, the more possibilities are offered to recognise and satisfy new need.
Employees in traditional inbound centres are typically specialists in their area. The organisation of an actively selling contact centre, in contrast, requires employees who have such a “sales gene”, thus an affinity for sales. This means that these employees still always have to have technical competence but they also need to be oriented on generating sales and have a talent for sales.
The central factors in organising a sales-oriented contact centre are the selection of the right employees and the change of targets or key performance indicators toward the new sales tasks. If these factors are implemented correctly, it is possible to organise a contact centre for B2B sales, which does not cause any costs. This can be organised as an internal or external solution.
Companies that have managed their call centre internally so far can remodel it into a call centre actively promoting sales. As decision-maker, you foremost need the necessary feel here for which of the existing employees have the “sales gene” and how you then reorganise your process world to get the right spirit and achieve process reliability.
It is often easier for companies, which have external call centres handle their inbound calls, to take the step and become a sales-oriented contact centre while they can frequently realise the additional sales quicker with proactive up and cross-selling.
But also the step from a presently purely internal solution to an external solution can be well planned and realised. When engaging an external service provider, you will have its process and solution competence available right away. Moreover, you have access at any time through your sales service provider to the “right” kind of employees, as the service provider leads them through the various stages of its recruitment process on a daily basis. The service provider will normally implement the set targets more effectively than an internal service provider does, because the internal service provider is often used additionally for other “services,” which have little to do with the actual task on hand.