- plan and preparation
- direct campaign implementation
- result analysis
The efficiency of outbound system directly depends on quality and well-timed execution of specific tasks at each of these stages pre-planned in Siebel CRM development. It is of paramount importance to understand that technical outbound system will fail to effectively deal with all tasks on its own. Outbound systems nearly always work along with specialized applications. Depending on the direction the company follows the list of applications may vary. When dealing with debtors at Soft Collection stage the debt recovery service can be used. When offering new products to regular customers the specialized accounting system will become handy, when processing service requests – ServiceDesk system… Our experience shows that the finest efficiency of outbound system can be reached when it comes in joint use with CRM-system. The CRM-system will accumulate necessary client information and will help to reasonably plan further actions depending on purpose of outbound campaign.
And now I will try to reason the efficiency of CRM-system at each stage mentioned above.
Planning and preparing outbound campaign
This stage requires the following tasks to be solved:
- to prepare the list: whom to call and what number to use
- to prepare information for a call: topic and subject of a phone call, additional information, result evaluation process
- to define necessary resources for campaign completion
Outbound system usually deals with the latter task (its main part).
So how does CRM-system deal with other tasks?
Firstly, it is CRM-system where one should define aims and tasks of campaign, picture of target audience, design typical call scenario and set options to evaluate campaign results.
Secondly, call lists are designed in CRM-system. It means that basing on aims and tasks of campaign it is possible to form segmentation criteria and choose only the respective target audience to call. The phone number and call time are chosen in compliance with certain conditions. The list of calls based on these data is a file of a certain format the call-center outbound system will work with.
When Siebel CRM development is complete CRM-system usually contains information which can increase the efficiency of outbound campaign. It can be detailed contact information, data on the most convenient call time etc. For example creating a list of calls one should consider that it is better to call home (not work) to discuss certain issues. If the outbound campaign is scheduled on a working day (under the condition that selected clients work) than it is unreasonable to call not at working time but rather in the morning or evening instead.
To call or reach a client is not a key point in terms of business. What really matters is to deliver the message to recipient, get feedback on specific matter, obtain an agreement on the matter etc.
In terms of every separate call the role of outbound system comes to an end once it has reached the client and switched the call over the operator. The exceptions are wrong number and client`s request to postpone the talk.
A client-operator talk will be mainly based on the information stored in CRM-system. This information may refer to data on client identification, call topic, developed at planning stage scenario, additional information on the matter etc. This information will significantly cut down talk time and demand for highly professional operators, facilitate replies on questions arisen in the course of talk and consequently increaset the campaign efficiency.
Basing on on-line analytics CRM-system will be able to correct the campaign which is already on the go. For example outbound campaign on complacency of clients who use a certain service is useless as it runs at working time. It will be efficient to learn this problem in the course of campaign and reschedule its implementation. A completely different situation will be when resources are already used and a client has a negative attitude towards service.
It is worth admitting that the call-center outbound system stores only technical results: N tries committed, X clients reached, Y times failed to reach because of invalid number, operator Sam made Z effective calls etc.
For instance Cisco outbound system defines 27 types of phone call results (network error, no answer, line is busy, invalid number, fax, answering machine etc.).
Technical results analysis will help to find obvious technical connection problems or unbalanced operator load in different groups. However technical data is not sufficient to estimate the progress of business challenge and some technical results must be correctly interpreted.
Even if the outbound system tagged a call as effective, the result of the call and further actions are not always clear.
It is CRM-system that stores business-results of talks with clients that will become the core for further planning.
If the client is interested in a special offer the client profile gets tagged what will be a signal for sales department specialists to start the work. There is also a possibility that invalid phone numbers will be found in the process of telemarketing. If it happens CRM-system can switch over the responsible person the task to specify the phone number. Besides it will be unreasonable to delete the invalid number from client profile as this very number may be later imported from third systems by the other worker. It means it may again enter the list of calls. To prevent such situation one should carefully manage status (invalid number or old number).
If desired IT-developers can integrate CRM functions into call-center. They can also create outbound system on the base of CRM system or any other specialized application… But how effective will it be? Why to spend time and money to invent a bicycle if there is no guarantee you will ride it? So here above I have described standard options of the call-center outbound system for call-center and CRM-systems and given tangible advantages of their joint use.