We’ve all heard the old adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Yet a surprising number of direct marketers do just that by employing only one telemarketer. Nonetheless, in today’s recessionary environment, where it is tougher than ever to secure a sale, using more than one call center makes sense. Using multiple call centers creates competition for a marketer’s business and affords an opportunity to see which vendor can deliver the highest sales per minute (SPM).
SPM is a simple yet accurate way to compare call center performance. And, allocating more calls the call center(s) with higher SPM will make the marketer more money. In fact, many boutique call centers who specialize in order making versus order taking are often limited in scale to 100 to 200 seats, and may experience capacity issues given the kinds of call surges that DRTV and radio can create. This is where intelligent call routing comes in. With intelligent call routing, marketers can actually change call allocation percentages in real time so that more calls are directed to the center that is performing the best and, in addition, those calls can also be scaled to align with the capacity of a given center. So, for example, over the weekend, often a critical time for campaigns, a marketer or their agency could see which center performed best on Saturday.
Using an intuitive online dashboard, a campaign manager could easily then change the distribution of calls so that on Sunday more calls go to the leading call center without overburdening their capacity. Furthermore, there is a critical added benefit of safety. If a call centers goes down, due to a power outage for example, calls can be instantly rerouted to the other call center(s) with a few simple keystrokes. In fact, the best boutique call centers invite this sort of competition because they are confident they can prevail with the best results under such a Darwinian scenario. Intelligent call routing gives them an opportunity to compete with the bigger telemarketing players while the marketer can take advantage of the best of all possible options at their disposal. The underlying motivation for marketers is the same as using multiple media agencies: they create competition for their business and neutralize vendor complacency. If you think about it, intelligent call routing creates a win for all stakeholders–More sales as a result of more calls answered at a higher closing ratio. The relative costs are nominal, but the benefits can be exponential.