There is a lot of untapped potential in digital customer engagement technology still to be realized by outbound sales teams. In this case study, we provide an example of how far the technology can take you.
Jane, a sales contact center manager, was handed down her new KPI’s from executive management. Her sales reps were now expected to increase the conversions achieved each month from 2.46 percent to 3.26 percent. Jane’s surprise then turned to astonishment when she saw the accompanying budget for the next year was reduced by a third. Management were essentially asking her to achieve more with less!
It did not take Jane long to realize that her current system of outbound sales was just not going to meet these new demands. Currently, her contact center’s outbound customer engagement strategy consisted of cold calls and emails, that had low rates of conversion. Employee retention rates were not great, to put it best, and industry regulations were consistently narrowing in the limitations of her contact center’s sales activities. And this was only in regards to targeting leads, customer conversions were a whole new ball game!
Managerial and regulation requirements necessitated that prospective customers had to complete a series of activities in order to convert; be it provide specific documentation, sign documents, submit them, indicate consent, etc. Analytics data shows that the company’s process abandonment rate was as high as 70 percent. Jane knew that she needed a tool that would help to reduce the impact of these challenges and increase her contact center’s conversion rate.
Along Came Digital:
Once Jane started to research available solutions, she came across the concept of outbound digital customer engagement which is how she stumbled upon customer experience software. There were numerous benefits that caught her attention:
- Automated process increased the opportunities for self-service. By incorporating customer experience software, messages are sent over social media, Visual IVR, widgets, SMS text, etc and once clicked on by a lead, processes can be pursued in self-service. This drastically reduced the more menial activities of the sales staff.
- Transforms audio calls to real digital interactions. Using omnichannel customer service a phone call is no longer just a phone call, but an enriched digital interaction. Once a call is initiated sales reps and prospects can share screens, exchange documents, forms, images etc, all in real time. This also means that new customer data is collected and used to inform future communications.
- The degree of personalization. Optimized digital engagement employs visual notifications that are sent out to people’s smartphones. These notifications are targeted, personalized and therefore consistently relevant to the customer’s needs and interests. For example, advise customers that their membership is expiring and provide them with a pathway to renew it, or advise a prospect who has demonstrated an interest in a product, that the next version is now available if they wish to buy the updated version.
- Enhanced Customer Experience. Reduce the number of hurdles to conversion with the ability to complete transactions on the spot. Optimized digital collaboration tools, enable sales staff to work with prospects in a multi-modal session, where they can assist in filling out forms, digitally sign and upload documents whilst on the phone with them.
Then Things Started Going…
Once Jane got executive management on board to convert their outbound sales processes to digital, the ball started rolling very quickly.
First, the company focused on setting up the omnichannel environment. They contracted a digital customer engagement company who were able to support their integration needs. The omnichannel customer service necessitates that all the company’s digital channels are fully integrated. This includes the website, the mobile site, the app, social media sites, chatbots, and the IVR system, along with the company’s backend sites such as the CRM and the sales platform.
Once implemented, prospects and customers immediately get picked up from any one of the omnichannel touchpoints, and then Jane’s sales team works to nurture those relationships by segmenting them to receive personalized communications. So for example, a customer who viewed a product on the company’s mobile site is later on the Visual IVR waiting to speak with an agent and they are shown more details of the same product, along with similar products to promote a cross-sell or an upsell. Once the call is transitioned to the sales rep, the customer knows what he wants to purchase, the sales rep clarifies a few questions from the customer, and then facilitates the conversion process in real time, through to completion.
The Home Run
With the digital customer engagement platform in full swing, Jane found that processes were running far more smoothly. Her sales call center was less burdened, more relaxed and professional as they were talking with prospects and customers who were already interested in products, and their role was merely to support them in their purchase decision. This made the conversion process much easier. Sales staff are able to interact with customers more meaningfully and directly collaborate with them using customer experience software that served to expedite the purchase process. By the end of the month, Jane not only found that she met her new KPIs, but she exceeded them, significantly improving conversion rates just within the first month!