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AQM News

See here for the latest happenings at AQM……Updates on projects and people, industry trends, findings, case studies and a whole lot more.

This page will be updated constantly so please feel free to check in from time to time to see the latest news.

1 November 2012

As we get head at great speed towards the end of 2012 it is evident that it has been a "troubling" year for all manner of business

That said, people still need “stuff”

They are still buying the essentials every day (and life’s little luxuries when the budget allows or when temptation beckons!) and there is business out there for those who are willing to take a more pro-active approach.

There are no blank pages in magazines or newspapers or 2 minutes of silence in the gaps when TV stations show the adverts – that’s because when times are tough then these people have learned they need to go out and encourage people to buy from them.

These adverts still generate leads and sales enquiries otherwise why would they bother spending the huge amounts of money that they do?

Maybe the lead volumes have reduced or perhaps the customer may be more discerning or even possibly that the competition for consumer dollars is tougher – but if you have “stuff” or services to sell and people are coming to you but you are not maintaining your momentum or even growing your business then it may be that you need to change the way you do business.?

Crucial to weathering the storm for many is (I think) a greater emphasis on not just attracting potential customers but more importantly how much effort is spent on turning the lead in to a customer.

Each time I am contacted about potential business I follow the life-cycle of each and every lead channel.

I ensure that the lead is treated like “gold” 

Lead management is one of the first things we look at when working with a new client as without this aspect working effectively nothing else can possibly be achieved.

 

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18 October 2012

From our humble beginnings in January 2000 it has been an incredible journey and one that continues to bring new and exciting challenges.

The fantastic partnerships that we have formed with our clients over the years is testament to the continued dedication and support I have received from colleagues, suppliers, strategic partners and of course the mystery shopper teams who never cease to amaze me with their efforts and consistency when working on quality audit projects.

My own personal Key Performance Indicators have been for each of the clients that we work with to be able to see a very demonstrable return for any time and money they spend with us – I am proud to say this is the case and moving forward is something that I will strive to maintain and exceed.

We have a fantastic portfolio of clients but of course we are always interested in working on new and exciting challenges so I’d be happy to hear from you if you’d be interested in finding out more about our people and services.
Please feel free to contact me…my details are below.

Bob Stevenson
Managing Director
Australian Quality Monitoring (AQM)
Direct Phone 0403 589 195

Email bob@aqmpl.com.au

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18 June 2012

Quality monitoring provides a range of demonstrable benefits to business process, staff and importantly the customer!

 

The current Status Quo - Quality suffers when call quantity is the main focus

As business becomes increasingly reliant on the use of in-bound/outbound telephony staff and internet contacts to promote and sell its products and services the need to be confident of the abilities of the reps taking the calls has become of paramount importance.
Response times, telephone manner, compliance to legislative aspects, product knowledge and sales skills all play an important role in ensuring that your company is best represented and that the sale is made or the caller is 100% satisfied with the outcome of the call.
Invariably any deviation from expected customer care procedures or the conversion of an enquiry to sale is only discovered when a problem arises or at the end of a promotion or sales period when expected results have not achieved.
Just as damaging is any adverse reactions or misconceptions about your business or products not reported which also impacts negatively on revenue and reputation.
Including quality monitoring in the process and performing regular quality audits helps minimise and prevent these occurrences whilst also providing invaluable on-going feedback on your sales or call centre team.

Some internal quality initiatives.

Although it is now common to record a sample of conversations to assess performance, the results can be flawed for a number of reasons including internal politics, career protection, reps being "tipped off' etc.
Additionally these are time consuming exercises and in the high pressure environment that most call centre management work in, the monitoring and assessment of these calls can sometimes end up way down on the list of priorities (much though the managers don't want them to be!!).
Internal monitoring is a valuable tool but can and does in many cases reflect the “wants and needs” of the person monitoring or critiquing the team rather than getting feedback from the customer.
Alternatively if the call centre function has been out-sourced it can be difficult for the client to determine how well the service provider is performing these audits as problems with staff or quality not aspects a service provider is keen to highlight.
Ideally an independent source undertaking audits and monitoring can be the solution to overcoming these problems

Using external Quality Consultants.

The term "mystery shopping" will be familiar to many in the call centre environment. This entails sample calls being made under the guise of a genuine caller to provide a realistic assessment of the process and people.
Traditionally these calls have been made from large bureau type operations where documented staff turnover can be a regular problem and in some anecdotal examples it would appear volume rather than accurate feedback has been the driving force.
AQM’s proven methodology and process overcomes some of these traditional problems by employing a large flexible workforce from all sectors of the population in order to provide a true representation of “typical’ contacts from “typical” customers.
Working with benchmarks from the client the team is trained to assess the response received when dealing with the contact centre and provides realistic and qualified feedback.
In effect, they are your customers not part of a polished "young gun" bureau team!
A recent survey found that poor product knowledge from some of the reps reflected badly on the company (it is unknown if this was due to new staff or poor training but nevertheless was of immediate concern to the National Sales Director).
More startling however was very clear impression that the operator's priority was to give a quote and get on to the next call.
Of the survey undertaken only 12% of the callers were asked if they would like to “buy”!

Achieving uniform quality improvements.

Although quality auditing and monitoring will not solve the problem it will play a major part in assisting management understand how the service is performing and become a tool to highlight areas that do need attention.
In addition regular quality audits can achieve: -
Confirmation that the training dollar spent and techniques taught are impacting positively at an operational level
Identification of potential problem areas either with a particular person(s) or alternatively with a process.
Constructive feedback on sales/call centre staff’s ability
Provide additional input towards performance reviews
Test legislative compliance (NPP’s, FSRA etc.) – in addition, it has been shown that government bodies look upon independent audits as a willingness by the company to uphold the “spirit” of the legislation.
Deliver qualified feedback for management to assist in business growth, sales training or performance counseling.
Confirmation that external suppliers of call centre functions are maintaining agreed service levels and standards
Additionally an independent service monitor can play a useful part in evaluating service provider’s capabilities "in the field" prior to final agreements on tender exercises
Finally, morale and motivation are now major drivers to centre management. If used correctly, monitoring and audits can play a huge part in identifying "star" teams and individual performance to assist in recognition and reward processes

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