While delivering top-quality customer service is the primary focus for call centers, many organizations now realize that the call center can also be an effective revenue generator. By cultivating a strong relationship between customer service and sales, you can highlight the mutual benefits of both departments working together and instill a more sales-focused mindset among your customer service agents.
A well-rounded customer service team, capable of delivering exceptional CX and taking advantage of selling opportunities, will diversify revenue streams and boost your organization’s bottom line. In fact, the 2022 Salesforce State of Commerce report found that nearly 50% of companies have already made commerce a part of their customer service experience.
In this context, the call center is part of the input (people, time, effort, etc.) that drives a business’s output (profit, revenue, etc.). If you can make your call center more efficient, you will be able to generate a greater output from your input. In other words, the greater your call center’s operational efficiency, the more revenue you will generate. A PwC survey of 1,300 CEOs found that almost 80% considered revenue growth a primary focus. With this in mind, it makes sense to leverage agent-customer relationships as a means of further driving revenue growth. With strategic changes and QA innovation, you can streamline contact center processes to enable this growth.
As the frontline of many organizations, the call center is in a unique position. By delivering exceptional service and developing a sales-focused mindset, call center leaders can cultivate an environment where sales and service operate hand-in-hand as a revenue-generating machine.
We’ve established that the call center can be an effective revenue generator if managed correctly, but how do you go about repurposing your call center to focus more heavily on revenue growth? Below, we will examine some of the most effective approaches managers take to ensure that their call center is consistently generating revenue.
Putting your call center in a position to generate revenue is largely a strategic task, requiring careful organization and a change of mindset. You need to instill the idea throughout the entire company, from the C-suite to the agents on the frontlines. Doing this may require a new hiring approach, a redefined mission statement, a focus on different metrics, and updated training for agents. For example, you could focus more heavily on revenue per interaction alongside typical contact center metrics like CSAT and NPS or hire agents who have experience in both sales and customer service positions.
When it comes to providing exceptional CX, agents need the right training, or they’ll fall short. The same is true for agents adopting a more sales-focused mindset. Agents should receive targeted training based on existing skill and knowledge gaps, as well as instruction on how to upsell and cross-sell. It’s also important to deliver soft skills training regularly, as things like empathy, positivity, and emotional intelligence are beneficial for both service and sales. Effective training methods are key for improving every aspect of the job, from conversion rates and average order size to overall customer experience.
As in customer service, incentives can be an effective tool to drive performance in sales. By cultivating a little healthy competition among agents, you can incentivize their performance and push them to hit targets, leading to increased revenue generation. Things like leaderboards, weekly competitions, rewards for hitting certain targets, and recognition for achievements are all excellent motivational tools in the call center. Make sure the rewards are appropriate—bonuses, gift cards, priority scheduling, etc.—and stagger them throughout the year to keep motivation levels consistent. A big advantage of an incentive-based approach is that it keeps reminding agents of their sales targets.
Of course, even if your customer service team contributes to total sales numbers, they aren’t a replacement for the core sales team. For the best possible ROI, you want to get these two departments working in tandem. Agents should be referring happy customers to sales, as it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than to someone new. Conversely, if a sales rep isn’t needed to close the deal, the agent should feel comfortable in doing so—the additional step of transferring from CS to sales can sometimes break the momentum in an interaction. Most importantly, customer experience should be unified across all departments. Better CX makes customers much more receptive, making the deal easier to close for CS agents and sales reps alike.
Regularly evaluating the success of your revenue-generating efforts is key to implementing the best approach and allowing your agents to thrive. If a more sales-focused mindset is new to your agents, you will want to tweak their goals accordingly and track their performance in relation to the new targets. By doing so, you can provide regular feedback and change things accordingly. Similarly, you will want to carry out performance reviews to ensure that your entire organization is focused on enhancing revenue generation. These broader reviews, alongside individual agent evaluations, will allow you to assess new challenges and tweak your approach if necessary.
To conduct the agent evaluations mentioned above, you should implement scorecards. A fully-flexible scorecard tool will allow you to design evaluations based on specific agent behaviors relevant to revenue generation. This is particularly important if you are cultivating a sales-focused approach, as you can use scorecards to link agent performance to your newly-prioritized metrics like conversions, bookings, and revenue per call. Scorecards are also useful in the training process, as they highlight weak spots which can be targeted through tailored programs.
HubSpot research shows that 93% of customers are more likely to be repeat customers at companies with excellent customer service. If your agents are delivering top-quality service, they will find themselves in a much better position to convert a customer call into a sale. Eliminating CX issues like long wait times, poor product knowledge, and lack of empathy will go a long way to boosting sales and generating revenue. Furthermore, great service leads to great reviews and customer testimonials, helping to create even more sales opportunities in the future. In fact, when you examine the role of a salesperson, closing deals is a relatively small part of the job—most of their time is spent cultivating relationships and nurturing leads. This process of establishing trust is what CS agents are trained to do, making them perfectly suited to embrace a sales mindset.
The ability to generate revenue is by no means confined to the sales team. Businesses are beginning to view the call center as a revenue generator in its own right. With the appropriate training, clear targets, and some strategic changes, you can make your call center an efficient tool for generating additional revenue while still ensuring high-quality service for customers. Scorebuddy allows you to link key metrics to agent performance and identify areas for improvement. As you shift your focus from service to sales, you can create customized scorecards to monitor the impact of this shift on overall performance. To learn how Scorebuddy can help your call center generate more revenue, book a free demo today.