5 best practice call handling tips

You know how hard it is to generate leads for your business and manage conversion. Putting some simple processes in place will help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your sales teams. Through our experience, we’ve put together a list of tips to help stop you burning away your hard won leads through poor call handling.

1. Have clear targets

It’s important to identify a set of performance targets for your call handlers; answering inbound calls within three rings, conversion rates, costs per acquisition/lead, lifetime value, customer satisfaction levels and Net Promoter Scores are just a few examples.
Communicate these targets to your call handlers, monitor them and incentivise your teams to achieve and exceed their performance targets.

You are what you measure

To measure how your company is performing, it’s imperative to have the right tools in place. Call tracking can help you define realistic performance targets for your call centre by showing you which of your online and offline adverts, campaigns, referring websites and keywords are generating phone calls.

2. Prioritise calls

Identify and prioritise the various types of customer contact so that the most important calls are answered 100% of the time, and ensure that calls are not abandoned. Use the call whisper function to pre-announce the source of your calls. This can help qualify the call, enabling you to prioritise urgent or VIP calls.

This feature is also useful when you are advertising more than one business. You will always know how to answer the telephone if the voice before the ringing tells you what to say.

3. Manage peak periods

Good team management means having the right staffing levels for busy periods. Monitor your calls by date and time and you’ll get useful information on when your telephones are at their busiest. This information can help you in two ways; firstly, you will be able to staff appropriately or, alternatively, route calls through to mailboxes or queue them up. Secondly, you will know when to market when the phones go a bit quieter.

4. Staff performance and training

Use call recording to provide personalised training to your staff, and help maintain strong relationships with your clients. Listening to how both inbound and outbound calls have been handled will enable you to ensure that your team are making the most of every lead that comes in via the telephone.

It’s also a good idea to share best practice amongst your call handlers to help reinforce the good behaviour, and encourage others to achieve the same standards.

5. Empower agents

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting passed around the building if the person answering the call doesn’t know how to deal with the query. Call handlers should be cross-trained to answer the most frequent cross-departmental queries. Giving staff the power to make decisions is a great motivational tool as staff feel that they can make a greater contribution to the company’s bottom line.

At Mediahawk we monitor thousands of campaigns and help companies improve their telephone effectiveness and increase sales as a result. Using call tracking to monitor calls means that problem areas can be identified and sales will improve. Get in touch with us and make sure you have the right technology to get the best results for your company.

About the author - Harry Bott

Harry Bott, Director at Mediahawk, has over 20 years of experience helping marketers generate a better response from their marketing. He has enabled businesses to improve their conversion rates through his consultative approach and deep understanding across various sectors, including automotive and care homes.

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