Written by: John Borillo
Published by: Magellan Solutions
Businesses are outsourcing to call centers to minimize staffing cost and waiting time of customers. It is also the responsibility of call centers to maintain customer loyalty and satisfaction that are vital to businesses. The interaction between customers and agents is one way of knowing the needs of the customers. It is during such interaction that marketing activities come in and this is when the agent can suggest or offer products or services that can satisfy the needs of the customers.
Cross-selling is one of the inbound call center services offered in the business process outsourcing industry. It is a form of marketing activity that has operational implications that are quite noteworthy. On the other hand, it is also important to study the implications by adding sales functions. The call center representative should know the techniques in cross-selling. As much as possible, the agent should focus on the potential customer that is interested in the product and is deemed profitable. This should be done rather than focus on those less profitable customers.
Inbound services are very important in running a business because it handles incoming calls from customers. Thus, the inbound center can offer marketing services offered by the company. Aside from marketing activities, inbound services are also important to enhance customer service and support and these are significant for the business. Majority of companies in the Philippine contact center industry are not only offering inbound services but also other services as well. However, the concentration remains on the business’ core activities. By giving quality services to customers, the business can expect to generate leads that would turn into sales.
In order to understand the significance of marketing, the best thing to do is to know first the marketing department functions. This department serves the company as a guide in determining the right product and the right price that will be used in the promotional campaign. There are several duties involved and that is why the marketing staff needs to be flexible and creative. The most important of all the functions is focused on increasing sales and profits of the business in order to maximize earnings. Here are some of the functions of the marketing department.
If the marketing department will handle the operations of a call center, then one of the functions that the staff would do is to obtain customer feedback. Usually, marketing analysts and research managers do this job. They get feedback by doing surveys through phone, mail, online and in person. Knowing the functions of marketing department will help the BPO industry in the Philippines to be more effective in accepting outsourcing services.
Likewise, by getting customer feedback, the company will be apprised with the needs of the customers as well as the changes that need to be done.
The marketing department is also responsible in creating promotional ads and materials such as brochures, visual aids used by sales representatives, sales letters, blogs and newsletters. The ads are designed to be used in magazines, newspapers, television and radio. Marketing personnel ensures that all ads and promotions can attract the attention and interest of the customers.
Another function is to gather competitive information from outside agencies like Forrester Research and Nielsen. Some of the information needed includes sales trend, marketing activities and market share of the competitors. These help the company determine and create more aggressive tactics that will keep them above and beyond their competitors.
Establishing prices is another function of marketing department. Customers are price sensitive and that is why a company should be knowledgeable about pricing strategies. The marketing department sees to it that the pricing strategy of the organization is competitive for customers.
If the call center will be under the marketing department, they will most likely employ a digital marketing strategy. Dramatic transformation has been happening to marketing in which businesses are competing with each other to attract customers’ attention. That is why most marketers are looking for the best tools including digital marketing to enhance their marketing strategies.
Through a marketing strategy, the marketer should think about a customer engagement strategy. This is done by improving conversation power and not the campaigns. Keep in mind that customers nowadays are getting smarter as they do research before buying a product. That is why marketers should know how they can convince customers to engage in a conversation. In addition, data driven marketing can also help in improving customer conversion ratios. Likewise, it also assists in determining which marketing strategy is working or not. Thus, they will also know the effects of their marketing strategies.
Indeed, marketing and sales automation tools are important in improving the adversarial relationship between these two departments. Keeping them aligned will make the business flow smooth and the process will follow suit. That is why every organization should think about automating the marketing processes. Indeed, marketing and sales play important roles in promoting a business and a brand.
Starting up a call center business is not an easy endeavor. It is essential for the marketing department to know the strategies that can help in running the business and in attracting clients.
• Planning – This is the most important part of starting up a call center because it will serve as a guide in running the business. The first thing to do is to define the market that you would like to target and know how big or small that market is. This way, you will know the services to offer, the scheduling and the pricing.
• Segmentation – The main objective of call centers is access to global reach. That is why segmentation should be implemented to know the type of customers and their needs as well as the geography. Keep in mind that in order to establish a global business, you need to obtain contacts in the local market. However, the services needed by customers vary depending to the project and industry.
• Promotion – In order to obtain contacts and resources, implementing marketing promotions will help. This is done by sending brochures to your potential contacts. Make sure that the cover letter includes the services and expertise of the business. Likewise, you also need to explain the operational efficiencies and strategic value of outsourcing your services.
The marketing department in call centers should be more collaborative with other departments, including the sales department. Collaboration between the sales and marketing departments spares everybody the overlap between these two areas. Likewise, they will be more effective in meeting business goals and making work flow smoothly. Once the marketing and sales personnel are working harmoniously, it can be expected that they can come up with the best possible results.
Indeed, the call center industry is a great help in reshaping different business industries. It is because they offer various services that are helpful in making a business become successful. If the marketing department will handle the operations of call centers, there is a great possibility that more foreign companies will be attracted to outsourcing services in the Philippines.
Likewise, foreign companies will be interested in working with call center agents because they know that all the services are properly implemented. Thus, the BPO industry will flourish not only in the main cities of the country but also in the neighboring regions. In fact, fresh graduates are trying out their luck in call centers because they believe that it is easier to land a job in this industry. Of course, this is because there are plenty of companies opening such services and in need of agents. The industry has opened up a huge amount of employment opportunities. However, to ensure that call center outsourcing will be delivered to be of quality, the industry sees to it that all the representatives are highly capable of doing the job.
Furthermore, if the call center will be run by the marketing department, it is important that the marketing staff is knowledgeable on how to implement the marketing practices in the call center setting. Marketing and sales are two different areas in an organization but their functions are equally important in the business operations. Nevertheless, proper implementation of the marketing practices and techniques can also improve sales.
That is why companies that want to grow their business invest in outsourcing to call centers all their non-core functions – particularly customer service. Business owners should focus on the marketing and sales aspects of the business. However, not all have the ability to manage and handle these areas. The good thing is that call centers are offering services to different business sectors related to marketing and sales.
Outsourcing from call centers will reduce the overhead cost of hiring employees. Likewise, there are representatives who are capable and knowledgeable of handling marketing-related issues and concerns. Call center agents know how to deal with prospects through different avenues such as direct mail or newspaper ads. However, you need to ensure that the agent knows the nature of the business so that it will be easier to convey the message to the customers at the same time address the issues raised by customers.
Additionally, call center representatives know tactics on how to motivate the prospects. They can also provide service 24/7 and that is why business owners can ensure that their business is running even if they are on vacation. It is expensive to outsource services at first go but it is going to be cheaper in the long run as compared to hiring in-house staff. In outsourcing, you need not bother to send your staff to trainings and seminars in order to become efficient in doing the job. Trainings and seminars happen mostly during orientation. Any client updates are done during meetings.
The services come various packages – that is why you can choose the one suitable to your business’ needs and budget. It is worthy to invest in call center outsourcing services because you can expect good returns to your business more than you expect. Magellan Solutions Outsourcing Inc. offers companies a wide range of BPO and contact center services. All you have to do is determine first if your business really needs to outsource and how much you can afford to invest. If it is for the good of your business, then you should start outsourcing to a call center and enjoy its benefits now.