Good Quality Customer Care comes at a Cost

Customer care is now more important than ever before. Competition for limited customers is high. And new entrants are happy to slash prices to get new customers. In the price war scenario, one tool that will help with your customer retention is your customer care, customer service and customer call centre. High quality customer care includes the following components Having the right technology to answer calls based on their importance, the customers needs, the skills of the customer care representative and language Deploying the right human resources who are mature, trained and customer focussed Implementing quality monitoring processes that are thorough and pervasive Creating reporting and analytics systems that allow management to take the right decisions Creating and implementing processes that deal with customer issues, escalation and resolution on a timely basis Trained and consistent management team that does not see customer care as a duty but as a passion All the above come at a cost. And if you cut cost, you will have issues with quality. As a brand owner or business manager, you should have customer service and customer care as a well planned and budgeted function to ensure that this function delivers the quality required to keep customers happy and retained. You can outsource your customer care and customer call centre to established and dedicated organisations like Kankei. To know more about how Kankei can provide you with customer service and customer call centre services please contact...

The Role of Call Centres in Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM is a loosely defined term that encompasses a range of activities relating to customer engagement. Just like we invest time and money managing personal relationships – talking, meeting, gifting, eating out, going out – the same way organisations invest in managing customer relationships. Some organisations may manage customer relationships in a formal process oriented fashion, while some may just do it in an informal way, while others just don’t manage their customer relationships at all. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) manifests itself in different ways. From lavish engagement of customers through gifting and rewards to good quality customer care , several initiatives fall under CRM. One essential part of any CRM strategy or plan is to have a good contact centre. A contact centre can play several roles that are critical to CRM. Whether your customers are consumers or trade partners. The role of the call centre in your CRM plan could be one or more of the following Welcome and onboarding contact Rewards and Loyalty program support Contests and Promotions support Customer transaction and service enquiry management Special event invitations and RSVP Customer retention of customers intending to cease relationship As a brand manager or business head you can use a call centre as an integral part of your CRM program To set up and operate your call centre for CRM you can seek the services of established firms like Kankei. To know more please contact...

The Role of Consumer Services is Changing

The consumer is not only the King. The consumer is now the influencer, the director, the maker or breaker, the chief architect of the brand, and the ultimate decision maker about the future of your business This is more so true now than ever before. As the consumer is enabled and connected, the consumer role in any business success is now more significant than ever before. When the consumer speaks, the management needs to listen In many corporations the role of consumer services may not be very well defined. I have personally called several large multinational and domestic companies’ consumer services lines and got a dismal response. In some industries it is mandatory to indicate a consumer help line on the packaging. For example, for the packaged food industry. However in most cases, having a consumer help line is an option left to the brand.  As a responsible organization you can consider the following facts: Consumers now expect to be able to reach the manufacturer via telephone, email, social media and web Consumers expect responses to their questions and demand a resolution to their problems, irrespective of the sales channel from where the product was purchased A poor consumer response will surely lead to negative feelings about your organization and brand The cost of getting customers and that too happy ones is very high Getting loyal customers is an almost impossible task requiring a zeal and mission driven by the organization across all its customer contact points As a senior business executive who may be in charge of consumer affairs, you can consider outsourcing parts of your consumer services...

Use of Call Centres for Consumer Marketing

Call centres have obtained a not so nice reputation of being the source of pesky calls. Waking you up on Sunday afternoon, interrupting your meetings with a credit card deal though you already have five, selling you insurance when you seemingly do not need it. As a marketer, one can leverage call centres and the emerging technology in ways that are far more effective and non intrusive. Leverage the communication medium to promote your brand and sales, in ways that are more acceptable to consumers and public at large. Some of the key ways to use call centres for marketing: Direct Response Marketing Experiential Marketing Cross Selling Online Sales Conversion Direct Response Marketing When we spend money reaching out to prospects, we should want to make it easy for prospects to reach us.  What better for consumers than having an option to reach the brand or retailer directly to get answers to their questions? Display an inbound hotline number on your advertising, website and marketing collaterals. This can be a 1-800 Toll Free or a regular landline where the costs of calls to the line are borne by the caller. Staff it well or outsource it to a specialist. Close the loop by having a good funnel management system. This will help collate inbound leads and pass them to the appropriate team for closure. Using appropriate technology and CRM systems, you can convert prospects to customers with maximum impact and minimal drop offs. It also helps to reach out to the prospect after a certain time period and to check if the company served the prospect. More often than...

How much does it cost to have a face to face sales prospecting meeting (India)?

There are times when I meet prospects and share with them the cost of our face-to-face meeting. The conversation goes as this: ‘This meeting is costing both our organizations around INR 100,000, so lets make the most of it and conclude with business’. Surprise and a look of amusement is usually the result of such talk. Surprise because they never did calculate such costs while entering a meeting. Amusement at the fact that a prospective vendor is bringing up such a topic during a business meeting. As an illustration here are some numbers worked out to show how much it costs for an average customer meeting done by a business sales representative Illustration Mid Level Sales Manager earning INR 100,000 per month Item INR Comments Monthly Salary 100,000 Mid Level Overheads 20,000 Rent, Computer, Mobile, Phone calls, Support services Travel cost 10,000 In Town costs Incentives and benefits 20,000 TOTAL Monthly 150,000 Number of meetings held 25 On an average one meeting per working day. 5 day week with annual leave and other holidays leaves us with around 220 working days per annum Cost per business meeting 6,000 Conversion rate 10% 1 in 10 meetings results in a customer Cost of acquiring a customer 60,000   Senior Level Sales Manager earning INR 300,000 per month Item INR Comments Monthly Salary 300,000 Senior Level Overheads 20,000 Rent, Computer, Mobile, Phone calls, Support services Travel cost 10,000 In Town costs 50,000 Out of Town travel Incentives and benefits 50,000 TOTAL 430,000 Number of meetings held 20 On an average one meeting per working day. 5 day week with annual leave and...

Leveraging your Brand Investment in Digital Marketing

A few years ago Digital Marketing was considered by many to be a baby that would remain a baby for very long. Many advertising agencies set up ‘Digital Arms’ to satisfy the need of the completing a check box for their clients. Fast forward to today. Digital Marketing is now serious business. Consumers are empowered and connected like never before and the trend is only in one direction – towards increasing investment in Digital Marketing.  How do you evaluate digital marketing?  As it is, it is difficult to measure the real effect of advertising on sales. A few companies have mastered this science but a large number of marketers do not have an answer to a simple question – How much does your advertising directly impacts sales? At least not in developing markets like India. As a marketer and controller of significant advertising budgets once told me –  “we spend crores of rupees on advertising and this is tracked by viewership, readership and ad recall tests.  Research agencies are then used to also conduct field research on usage and attitudes and a positive shift towards the brand and away from competition are considered a good measure”.  The same marketer had learnt that the report presented to the brand competitor by its research agency showed a positive move for the competitor and the report presented by the brands own agency to the brand showed a positive move towards the brand! So both parties seem to be gaining ground as per their respective agencies! Digital Marketing on its own too does not have any major ‘Sales’ oriented benchmarking. One can see...
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