Business Breakthrough: Outbound Calls
by Mike J. Agugliaro
Today’s business breakthrough is to take apart the mystery of outbounds. So, what is outbounding? In your call center, or however you’re answering your phone, there’s two types of things that should be happening.
I always tell my customer service experts, “You’re either picking up a phone to answer someone on the other line, or you’re picking up the phone to talk to somebody on the other side.”
Now I know some of you are thinking, “Well I’ve only got one person, and if they’re only making calls out, how are they going to get one in?” There are a couple solutions to that:
- Get another person
- Create a relationship with a call center that can handle the phones when they go into overflow. So, if they are making an outbound call, and a call comes in and rings too many times, it goes to a call center, gets picked up and then you can recover that from there.
If you want to maximize call effectiveness, you really need to have both. You need to have an inbound center, people who work inside your office that are going to answer your phones. And you really need an affiliate or a company that’s going to answer overflow: nights, weekends or when you get really busy.
But let’s get back to outbound, because that’s really what I wanted to talk to you guys about. When are you doing outbound? All the time actually.
How much would your family, kids or friends care about you if you never talked to them? They’d treat you like shit. And rightfully so. They should be. Because you’re not paying any attention to them.
So outbounds can be done several ways:
- You’re just calling in. Check in on your customers and show them you care about them. Showing your care, that’s wow service.
- If you have a hot promotion coming out, a direct mail piece, a TV program, whatever it is, always extend that to your existing customers first.
- If they have a membership plan, or if they don’t, there are two different calls you could make. One could just be explaining the power of your membership plan, or if they already have a membership plan, don’t wait for them to pick up the phone. You call them.
- You could also call just to say Thank You! Isn’t that a profound message?
Now the last thing I want to tell you about outbound is, if you are doing happy calls, those are BS. I’ll tell you why. First off, people are just not nasty. So when you’re making your outbounds and saying, “Hey Ms. Jones’ how was our service from a 1-5 today?” They’re like, “yeah it was okay, it was pretty good.” They’re not going to be honest, because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. If you want to get real, honest feedback, then I would create an automated survey. You need something that is non-confrontational where they just have to push a button to answer some questions. The nice thing about that is, it could be put on an automated program so it happens without having to put in a lot of effort.
Your business challenge today is “What does outbound mean to your business? What should you be doing with your outbounds? You should have a program, some basic outlines, a module or some scripts. Real low key, because at the end of the day you need to let your ordinary people become extraordinary.
Mike Agugliaro, Business Ninja