Tranio, an international real estate broker, has a sales team on how to deal with time zone differences, approach people of different nationalities and build a call center to meet the plan and increase the number of calls by 20%.
The CRM system should maximally save the energy of employees
Problem: At first, our standards for calling clients were a document with scripts and regulations that employees memorized before going to work. However, this brought in leads with contacts only in every second case. In addition, over time, it became clear that people find it difficult to keep in mind the details associated with all applications. Especially if a person has several clients at the same time.
Decision: we started using a CRM system that regulates the work of the call center. The system stores the dial plan used by employees. By dialing, we mean working out a plan for communicating with a client – it includes not only calls, but also letters and messages. CRM-system sends reminders when to call client # 1, when to write a message to client # 2 in the messenger, and when to send a letter with a specific script to client # 3.
The system adjusts these notifications to the client’s time zone, so now employees do not need to keep in mind the place of residence of all clients – and they live all over the world – and calculate what time it is appropriate for them to call. The dialing plan is now 60% fulfilled.
We also noticed that employees get tired of monotonous actions, such as copying numbers, and tried to save colleagues’ time using CRM up to seconds.
Problem: Before CRM, call center employees spent time and effort copying and pasting the numbers they needed, keeping contacts and compiling a database. It seems that this is an insignificant effort, but when an employee has dozens of calls and letters per day, every second of unnecessary actions counts.
Decision: we have launched a system where you can call a customer in one click. You can also quickly choose which number the employee will call from: for example, from Spanish or German, if the client is from these countries.
The bonus system motivates when it is transparent
Problem: when employees have a poor understanding of what their salary consists of, their motivation drops. People are also confused by unclear instructions or a lack of understanding of how well the work meets department standards.
Decision: in the CRM system, you can see how each employee copes with calls and letters. Thanks to this transparency, the manager sees how things are going for each employee, and can quickly come to the rescue. Also, comparing your own performance to strangers works as an indirect motivation for colleagues who have a competitive spirit.
We have clearly defined the ratio of salary and bonus base for employees. Recently included in the financial motivation and the number of calls. Now the required dialing level for experienced call center operators is from 80%, and for newcomers – from 70%.
We also introduced quality control. Quality department employees listen to calls, collect feedback from both customers and colleagues, and constantly update scripts and tables used by the call center. By the end of 2020, the call center was already bringing 70% of leads with contacts.
Foreign SIM cards do not affect the number of calls
Problem: foreign clients did not always pick up the phone, and we had a hypothesis that they do not like it when they are called from Russian numbers.
Decision: we bought foreign sim cards. We chose the numbers of those countries with which we work most often: Germany, Spain, Greece. As a result, we did not notice a significant difference. For some clients, on the contrary, foreign numbers cause unnecessary confusion. They see that the company was founded in Russia and that the names of the employees are Russian – and they do not understand why then we use German numbers.
Communication in messengers is more effective than just calls
Problem: We’ve noticed that foreigners don’t always want to talk on the phone and respond better to WhatsApp messages. If we called a person and he did not pick up the phone, then he rarely calls back himself. And if we write him a message, the likelihood that he will get in touch is much higher.
Decision: before, we did not take on clients with whom there were no verbal agreements through a call. The call center, of course, still makes a lot of calls and talks on the phone, because that’s their job. But now we are trying to be more flexible.
For video calls – separate scripts
Problem: Since we work with foreign markets, the call center and sales people regularly communicated with clients via video link. After the coronavirus, video calls have become even more firmly established in our lives. The video has its own nuances, so it was necessary to adapt the regulations.
Decision: Basic requirements and tips are spelled out in the videoconferencing regulations. So, we split the video call with the client into three conditional stages, prescribed the desired duration of each and the potential development of events. This regulation takes into account the peculiarities of video communication – for example, at what minute a person starts to get tired of a video call and look less at the camera.
Remote call center employees work no worse than in the office
Problem: In 2020, the number of applications has more than doubled, and now we are short of people. Earlier, when looking for new call center employees, we were strongly attached to our offices. We thought that a new remote worker would be sad, difficult and lonely.
Decision: in a pandemic, we decided to recruit remote call center employees. It turned out that our fears about working remotely were unfounded. New hires are just as quick to learn and perform well as those working from the office. If colleagues working from home ask to provide them with equipment, then we are ready to buy them laptops and an audio headset.
Despite the fact that we willingly recruited remote workers to other departments, we hesitated for a long time with the call center. If we had overcome these doubts earlier, we would have spent less time searching for employees and missed fewer calls.
Newbies should be given time to get used to.
Problem: call center employees need to learn how to work with CRM and memorize a lot of scripts. At first, they were a lot nervous and made mistakes.
Decision: for new employees, we have allocated a week of training, when they are not yet working with real clients, but get acquainted with the management, master CRM and learn how to behave in various scenarios. And for remote workers, the training program is especially useful. It also helps us with recruiting: candidates see it as our advantage that we make the first days of work less stressful.
The first step, which brought significant results, was the emergence of a CRM system. It stores a dial plan for each employee, and the system itself sends notifications when it is necessary to call or write to certain customers. Thanks to it, employees do not need to keep in mind the work plan for each client or spend time dialing a number.
We have also established transparent criteria for rewarding employees. In CRM, each employee can see the results of both their work and the work of colleagues. So the manager can come to the aid of a lagging employee in time. We give new employees a week of training.
Simultaneously with the call center, we launched a quality department that listens to calls and makes sure that both employees and customers are comfortable working. The quality department regularly improves the work regulations – for example, during the pandemic, we worked out the regulations for video calls.
Having gone through this path of trials and hypotheses, at the end of 2020 we increased the number of leads with a contact to 70%, and the dial-up plan is now being fulfilled on average by 99%.