Wednesday, 5 April 2017

4 easy steps to manage your inbound leads better

Setting up outbound campaigns for lead generation has become the “thing” to do these days – Cold calling, telemarketing, Email blasts, Automated IVR blasts and so on. Given this mindset, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate whether all inbound prospects are being handled the right way.

Let’s take a look at a simple 4 step process to ensure inbound leads are handled efficiently

STEP 1 - Identify all relevant channels to be tracked

A seemingly easy sounding step that has gotten complex given that the number of channels that prospects can reach out has grown multi-fold. If we have to just consider a text based enquiry, this can be done now via (noting only a few)
  • Incoming SMS
  • Website live chat
  • Facebook messenger chat
  • Twitter comment
  • Linkedin comment/post
As per your Buyer’s persona, a list of such channels need to be made and a process set in place which can help monitor all the communication.
Making a call is often the easiest way to reach out, for prospects, especially in India. Keeping this in mind, we, at Ozonetel, have kept a Toll free number visibly published on our home page for prospects to call. Though I see that many companies have avoided this practice and keep the number hidden in the “Contact us” section or somewhere at the bottom of the page.

STEP 2 – Set in place a process to handle these enquiries

Let’s take a look at our own call flow process for incoming enquiries.

We use our own in-house Cloud based call center solution to handle all the calls landing on the company toll free number. We will address the system capabilities more in the next step. As of now, we look more at the process to be in place to ensure timely and effective handling of calls. As you can see in the flowchart below, even a simple call handling process has to be made fool-proof with backups, alerts & reports to ensure a speedy resolution of enquiries.

For B2C businesses, especially ecommerce, a large number of calls would be order/support related and having a system in place to address these calls gives real time view of the entire operation.
  • Is the SLA for inbound calls being adhered to?
  • Does the support team need to be expanded?
  • Should the query resolution be automated for standard queries?
  • Can priority be given to repeated missed callers?
  • How to ensure that all calls are handled?
  • What fallbacks can be put in place in case of a peak load scenario?

STEP 3 - Identify the software or system which can help you streamline this flow & be fool-proof

A similar process flow as shown above needs to be put in place for handling other channels too. However, the dilemma that most owners will have is, how do we handle different channels – do we dedicate executives as per channel? If so there’s a possibility of under-utilization and sub-optimal performance due to the unpredictable flow.

Running an Omni-channel contact center is the answer to the question of how to handle multiple channels at the same time. Now, executives can view all customer conversations in a single window, whether Call, SMS, Live chat, Email or Social media.

Below is the screenshot of our multi-channel contact center which helps us monitor all our enquiries. The required alerts, notifications and reports can be configured to reflect real time information and keep all the stakeholders updated. There’s no more a need to depend completely on individuals to ensure the process is being adhered to.

Step 4 - Assign responsibilities

Now that a process is in place and a system which can throw up all relevant data, what remains to be made is a performance dashboard which can be in lines with the objective of the company. Providing incentives for process adherence is the best way to ensure a smooth functioning system.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- is a Deloitte fast 50 technology company catering to the Contact centre needs of over 500 enterprise customers in India - HDFC Life, BigBasket,, Agarwal packers,DHFL PR America, HUL, United spirits, BNP Paribas, just to name a few.

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