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08-09-2017 · Marketing and Enrollment Strategy,

The Sales Call Isn’t Dead – 3 Tips for a Successful Call Center

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One of MindMax’s core competencies is serving as a call center for programs in continuing, professional, and online education units.  Our client’s programs include credit-bearing undergraduate and graduate programs as well as noncredit courses and certificates.

Some would suggest that the art of the sales call is dead because no one answers their phones anymore (caller ID) and the horrible reputation of telemarketers.  This is a common misconception, but unequivocally untrue!  Granted, the calls MindMax makes on behalf of our partner institutions are “warm” (a person expressed interest in the program – we aren’t calling to sell life insurance at dinner time!), but they are still outgoing calls that may not be expected.

So here are my top 3 tips for a successful call center:

Invest in a first-rate CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

This is a KEY element to any successful call center.  We work with Salesforce and it IS everything that you’ve heard about and more!  It allows me and my team members to be incredibly efficient.

Put the right people in the call center seats

At MindMax, we call ourselves “enrollment advisors” and we mean it.  We’re friendly and genuinely believe in the value of the program’s we are representing.  Everyone has had an off-putting moment with a call center where the person isn’t friendly or knowledgeable.  Keep that in mind when creating your own call center culture and best practices.  What experience do you want prospective students to have with your school?

Though this piece of advice may sound obvious, ensuring that your staff exudes the right attitude will have a noticeable impact on the effectiveness of your sales calls.

At MindMax, our call center is responsible for enrolling students and providing customer service.  I listen more than I speak.  I ask questions and don’t just “feature dump” or use a canned spiel.  My team members and I also anticipate objections, stay goal oriented, and maintain a touch of competitiveness which I know contributes to our success.  Particularly when a call requires customer service, I make sure to go the extra step and become an empathetic problem solver.

Knowledge is key

Lastly, it’s important to keep your audience in mind.  At MindMax, we study the course information and “speak” in the school’s voice.  At any given moment in our day we may be speaking on behalf of many different schools.  We have to know all aspects of each program from session dates of a certificate program to the details of a master’s degree application process.  We read up on the latest developments that affect the programs and the trends in higher education.  We know the competition and how to sell against them.  “Learn Always” is one of MindMax’s core values, and our sales team really embodies this.  Consistently staying on top of trends and exploring better ways to get the job done are keys to a successful call center.

In this new age of inbound marketing and targeted digital advertising, it’s easy to quickly disregard the importance of the traditional call center.  Especially in the continuing, professional, and online education industry, the sales call continues to produce enrollment results by connecting prospective students with the information and encouragement they need.  By leveraging a CRM, exuding a positive attitude, and knowing our audience, MindMax has seen great success from our call center efforts.

So, if you’re looking for tips on how to bolster your own call center, these best practices will help get you on the right path.  If you are interested in learning more about the work we do at MindMax, check out the wide variety of solutions we offer or contact us today!

 

How I lived, saw or experienced one of MindMax’s values this month

Get Results – Learn Always – Align to Mission – Build Meaningful Relationships – Ask for Help.

MindMax’s enrollment management team lived the “Get Results” value by achieving our enrollment goals for the month of July.  Goals were reached and even surpassed(!) for all four of the noncredit programs we run for one of our largest university partners.