28 Dec 2016
Specialize, Specialize – Division of Labor in your Call Center
Getting the most out of your Call Center is important as it directly affects your bottom line. Is your Outbound Marketing strategy working as effectively as possible? Do you have your closers in the best possible position to secure a booking? Are your leads being qualified appropriately? Let’s take a look at a hypothetical situation.
You’re managing a call center with 10 agents. Two of these individuals are great at closing bookings during the initial call, converting on over 60% of their inbound lead opportunities. Two these individuals are great at following up with travelers, qualifying your leads as well as booking additional ancillary services for those travelers who are confirming their reservations. Your remaining six agents provide customer service and support when necessary, but do not excel at pushing the prospect/lead to book a room or any ancillary services. How can you best align your team to maximize revenues?
At its core, B2B sales can be broken down into three major components:
- Inbound Lead Qualification
- Outbound Cold Calling
- Account Executives/Closers
Think about your sales team like a factory that makes sales wins. Rather than having your Account Executives hunting for business, fielding inbound inquiries from hand-raisers, and closing business, wouldn’t it make more sense to let them do what they do best – win deals? The same is true for cold callers. By separating that function and allowing your inside sales reps to specialize in the nuances of that function, it’s better for the whole team.
In business, division of labor has commonly been credited with increasing overall efficiency of a team of workers. Separating duties in lodging reservations can create synergy, where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
Adam Smith, the pioneer of modern economic principles, foresaw the essence of industrialism by determining that division of labor represents a qualitative increase in productivity. Henry Ford realized that his automobile factories could achieve super-efficiency with an assembly line. Rather than having five workers each assembling a car from start to finish, it was more productive to have five specialists assembling their own specific part of the vehicle on an assembly line.
It’s easy to implement your own Division of Labor within your reservations menu, allowing your guests to connect directly with the correct representative at your property/call center. Speed and personalization are critical factors for travelers attempting to make a booking as a faster and more personalized experience is more likely to be perceived as impeccable service. Let’s take a look at what Four Season, Ritz-Carlton, does to allow for specialization within their reservations menu:
Hello and welcome to Ritz-Carlton Hotels. Please select your option from the following menu:
- Press 1 to Make a New Reservation
- Press 2 to Modify a Current Reservation
- Press 3 to Contact Guest Services
- Press 4 to Make a Restaurant Reservation
- Press 5 to Make a Golf Tee Time
- For any other requests please remain on the line
This division of labor ensures that a traveler looking to book a tee time is not directed to your property restaurant or your reservation agents. It also takes the hassle of a traveler being transferred to multiple individuals before their needs are met. That all looks great in theory, but marketers want to see the numbers and results to back it up.
Let’s take a look at on of our TRACK partners to determine how their division of labor has improved the efficiency and performance:
- Calls To Reservations Queue: 84,000 YTD
- Calls to Guest Services: 110,000 – Every Res call results in 1.3 Existing Res Calls
- 75% Res Lead Rate to just Reservations Queue – 7.5 of 10 Calls have the chance to close the sale
- Overall Res Lead Rate 32% – 3 of 10 Calls have a chance to close the sale
Let your Sales Staff be 42% more productive in chances to close the sale by focusing their calls for only New Reservation Opportunities. Revenue/Productive Hour increases accordingly. Guest Services Staff that can educate vacationers on things to do, details about their unit, and take payments. These low converters can become great people persons and create the memorable experience your guests are looking for.
For more insights into optimizing operation of your call center, visit the our Resources page.