Editor’s note: Contributor Ellen van Aken is an experienced intranet adoption manager. Follow her @EllenvanAken
One of the teams spends their days making telephone calls to customers, asking them about a brochure or telling them about a new product or a special offer. This team has many calls to make each day, the more the better!
All phone numbers were in an Excel file, which was shared in a Team Site. Every Call Agent looked through the Excel file for the numbers assigned to them, and after the call edited the line item with the outcome of the call, as well as changes in information that they had learned during the call. (E.g. new contact person, change in telephone number).
What was the problem?
- Opening the file and finding their assigned phone numbers took a long time.
- Editing the item and saving the information caused waiting time (if the file was checked out by another call agent) or overwriting issues, (if a call agent forgot to check out)
- All customers were in the file, whether they had been called or not
- Management was always asking “how things were going” because they were curious and nobody had an overview of progress or results. This meant Call Agents had to spend time on ad-hoc reporting, which took time away from their calling time
What is the solution?
We opened up the Excel file by importing the data into a pre-configured Issue list in a Team Site. We created different views, such as:
- New calls to be made, as well as call-back appointments, grouped by Call Agent
- Completed calls, grouped by Result Code for a quick overview with sums (e.g. Appointment, Not interested, Business Discontinued, Offer)
- Export view to export the data back into an Excel file for detailed analysis
By removing the finished calls to a different view, every call agent can see quickly which and how many calls he or she needs to make, without making mistakes.
We also added some real-time Excel graphs for management, so they can see progress and outcome of any promotional action in real-time. These graphs can also be used to evaluate the Call Agents’ performance and to share tips for a succesful approach between Call Agents.
What are the benefits?
- Call Agents know exactly which customers to call or follow-up; editing a line item is much faster than editing a file so they can do their work more quickly
- Call Agents make less mistakes in calling a customer twice or overwriting someone else’s edits
- Management has a real-time overview of progress and outcomes, and they can see that without bothering the Call Agents
- It is now possible to see progress as you go along, enabling the Marketing Manager to make adjustments during the promotion
- It is clear which Call Agent is most succesful, which enables exchange of good practices between Call Agents
All in all, this simple Issue list has enabled the Call agents to make TWICE as many calls a day as before!
So, small wonder that other departments have embraced this solution as well – by now there are 3 teams calling in this way.
Another succesful cure for Document Addiction!
Please find a screenshot below, this shows the real-time Result Codes (e.g. Call, Written Proposal Requested, Meeting Requested, Already Bought This; Not Interested etc.) on the horziontal axis. Vertical is the count of this result code. The graph is slightly distorted because screenshot was made early in the Action, when there were still many calls (3344) to be made.
Below is a screenshot of the results by Call Agent. On the horizontal axis the names of the individual Call Agents, on the vertical axis their stack of different result codes. This enables management to monitor both their productivity (# calls made) and their effectiveness (# of calls that have a favourable result). Please note that Call Agents do not all work fulltime.