A tele-calling or telemarketing executive has the most critical job with respect to communications in the industry.
He is responsible for answering customer queries, fielding questions, processing their requests, taking feedback, registering complaints and also marketing products, converting leads into customers and trying to instill loyalty in the customers.
This job description covers a wide range of topics, so agents need to be absolutely on the top of their game to make an impact.
They have to work in shifts so that there is someone on call at any point of the day, and coordinate within their teams so that different departments can pitch in ideas for a solution.
Given how many responsibilities a telemarketing executive handles, it is difficult to define the “role” of an agent because it transcends to so many parameters.
Agents have to be well-versed in communication, must know how to handle technology and should have a knack for coming up with innovative solutions for a problem.
Moreover, they need to exhibit patience and tenacity, as the job can get grueling with the long hours and the stressful work environment. Keeping all of this in mind, here are a few of the responsibilities of a telemarketing executive.
1. Talk to prospective customers – One of the most important jobs for a telemarketing executive is to convert inquiries into sales.
Interested potential customers are identified over the course of market research, and it is the job of the agent to convert as many of them into regular customers as possible.
For any company to grow, it needs to expand its user base, and the way to do it is to convince these interested leads to buy in to their product.
An agent who has a very high conversion rate in this regard will automatically be more valued at the call center because he is directly contributing to increased business.
2. Advise present customers so that they stick to your brand
It takes far more money for a brand to gather a new customer, than it does to keep an old customer loyal to it.
This is very important because it ensures repeat sales and promotes organic growth of the brand.
A customer sticking to a particular brand is seen as a vote of confidence.
Agents must be able to periodically stay in touch with the customers, listen to their feedback on the products and try to solve all their queries so that they remain with your company.
3. Make sure of technology to identify most suitable customers for a product or service
In the digital age, telemarketing executives have to handle technology to be successful at their job.
Contact centers use systems that can sift through huge amounts of data collected about the customer profiles, their previous buying history, likes and dislikes, product placements, etc. and then draw out tailor-made suggestions for the products you are trying to sell, as well as your target customers.
Agents need to be able to interpret this data and follow the results to draw out the best possible solutions.
4. Keep a log of transactions and other documentation
At the call center, every move has to be recorded, whether it be for security purposes, or keeping records, or to use as reference in future cases.
Agents working there have the responsibility to keep a log of every transaction that takes place, so that they can be monitored and referenced later on if required.
As an organization it is important that they keep a record of their events in a searchable format, in case one particular transaction needs to be referenced out of millions.
5. Maintain product and customer databases
Data is the most valuable resource a company has.
Product information, relevant dates, detailed information, units in store, prices and discounts, labels and affiliated products are all stored as part of a database that must be maintained by the agents.
On the other hand, customer information, including their personal details, previous purchases and requirements, are also stored as part of a separate database.
Both these pieces of information are vital to the company for understanding their own ways of action.
Agents are entrusted with the management of these databases because they handle the changes on a day-to-day basis.
6. Contribute to team meetings citing specific problems
No single individual can make a huge difference on their own.
Teamwork is the greatest asset for a company, and agents need to be encouraged to work in groups and look at the bigger picture.
A good agent is able to align his own goals with that of the larger goals of the team.
He brings all his specific challenges up at team meetings, so that everyone can brainstorm and come to a solution that works to the benefit of all concerned.
Such solutions are far more likely to serve the customer better since a lot of different perspectives are covered.
7. Maintain operations by following policies and procedures
Every workplace has protocol that needs to be followed for its smooth functioning.
Agents need to understand that a call center is a hub of activity, and one chink in the armor could jeopardize the entire process.
Therefore, it is very important that they do things as and when required, stay on-call when they need to be at their phones, document their daily activities, stay in touch with the management and keep an eye on their key performance indicators.
All of this contributes to a more smooth flow of operations and allows work to go on seamlessly.
8. Attend workshops and training courses
There are new and better methods coming up to deal with problems every single day.
Often, agents find themselves lacking knowledge about problems that have cropped up recently.
This is why they need to stay abreast with all of the latest developments through attending workshops and undergoing training designed specifically for them.
They need to stay updated about the latest technology in the market, improved ways of dealing with clients, new processes to interpret data and so on.
Constant learning is a must to be a top performer in such a fast-changing world.
9. Take feedback from managers as well as customers to understand job performance
As an agent, you can only improve your productivity if you know what you are doing right, and what you are doing wrong.
The best way to do so is by gathering feedback – from customers regarding how satisfied they felt with your service and what you could do to improve it, as well as managers who know how you are performing with respect to certain metrics that they have defined.
Implementing their suggestions would make the agent more efficient and productive, and make him an asset to the company.
10. Know your product so that you can answer any queries
Knowledge about your content is the most important thing an agent has to possess.
You should know your product like the back of your hand, so that any customer query can be answered swiftly and efficiently.
Customers expect you to know what you represent, therefore, it leaves a very negative impression if you are not prompt with your answers.
Agents must be regularly reminded of the key features of the products they are entrusted to sell.
With enough knowledge, they can successfully steer the conversation towards the positives of the products and convince the customers to buy.
The Case Study
So far, we have spoken about the different roles and responsibilities a call center executive .
These responsibilities could be direct, such as the ability to communicate effectively with customers, handling call center software, having knowledge about the products they are selling and converting enquiries to sales.
There are also indirect responsibilities that an agent has, which end up having a significant effect.
Maintaining protocol at work, being dedicated to teamwork, gathering feedback and maintaining records are all examples of these.
To understand the importance of good agents, let us take the example of Databrink Solutions, a telemarketing agency providing call center solutions for a large company.
In this case study, we will look through the situation they were in, what sort of challenges they faced and how they drew up solutions to overcome those challenges.
We will also see what sort of effect those changes had on the overall performance of the call center, and the results which transpired in the short and long term.
The Problem Scenario
Databrink was suffering from a lack of effective resources in terms of agents.
Their employees were unable to handle the call center software solutions provided to them, and hence a lot of work was inefficient.
The company was looking to overhaul its current procedures and put in place a more practical and effective system.
The problems that the company faced are listed below.
1. Agents were not trained regularly in the latest technologies, so they were often stumped when a new problem came up.
2. The agents were working with outdated systems which did not have the capacity to project trends as required to bring out the successful solutions.
3. There was a breakdown in communication between management and the workforce.
Managers did not know the ground realities and workers did not get the bigger picture.
4. Customers were unhappy because their queries were often bounced around multiple agents and departments before they were being answered.
The managers identified the flaws they needed to fix, and drew up the following solutions to counter the existing problems.
1. The company decided to bring in the best call center software so that agents had all the resources they needed to provide the most effective solutions.
2. Managers regularly provided feedback to the agents and told them their performance levels with respect to the KPIs agreed upon, so that agents had a fair idea of what was expected of them and how they could improve.
3. Training programs were introduced for the agents, so that they were made aware of the latest developments in their field.
This helped them to field questions on a wider range of topics and deal more effectively with the problems that they faced in their daily work.
4. Agents were asked to have a thorough knowledge of the products they were selling.
Failure to do so would see penalties imposed upon the agent in question.
Stricter measures ensured that agents were well aware of every detail about the product, and customers were served better.
The telemarketing executives are the most important element of any call center.
For Databrink Solutions as well, the quality of telemarketing software improved greatly as the agents were given better training and better equipment to work with.
Customer satisfaction rates were higher than before, since their queries were now being answered in a more effective manner.
Managers were now able to understand the details of work agents were doing.
There was a greater spirit of teamwork in the workplace, which contributed to raising productivity levels.
In addition, more and more interested leads were being converted to customers, since they were being approached the right way now.
A mix of technological intervention and improved pitching from the agents helped to garner more customers and also keep the ones who already were affiliated with the company.
Both of these factors directly influenced the increase in sales that the company saw over the next two years.
Revenue generation was up by more than 10% from the previous year, even after the investment in training and bringing in advanced technology.
The company was able to retake its lead in the market and establish itself once again.
Thus we see how critical the role of a telemarketing executive is, in the sphere of the call center industry.
A company which has the best of human resources will definitely rise to the top with the help of tech.
Agents are given crucial responsibilities that have a direct impact on how the company performs.
So, the effect of a tele-calling agent are not only limited to his own desk or his workplace, but influence the market and his company’s position in it.