Ask Kathy: Outsourcing Support: Reasons Why Campaigns Fail

By Kathy Sisk

When outsourcing a call center campaign, there are three places failure can occur: before the calling begins, during the calling, and after the call is completed. Here are some ways to avoid problems before the calling period begins.

Plan for the Program: Problems occur when calling begins without a written plan agreed to by all parties. There are approximately twenty points to cover, and the plan will change as the program moves along, but it is imperative to follow a logical path. If you do not have a written plan, where does the blame go when problems occur?
Usually fingers point in the wrong direction. When that happens it is difficult at best to find a solution that rectifies the failure. Instead there are only accusations and disgruntled parties.

This is why I create a project management guide (PMG) for every campaign we manage. All parties are required to study the PMG and discuss the issues, rework them, and then start the campaign – whether inbound or outbound – at a slower pace to see what is working and what areas need improvement. This is the testing portion or ramping up phase of the campaign.

Program Objectives: All concerned parties – client, service provider, agents, and project managers – must hold the same understanding of the campaign’s objectives. The client communicates to the project managers what he or she wants accomplished, including any expectations and specifications of the campaign. This is done by completing the account overview questionnaire.

Once the client completes the form, we transfer the information to the PMG so the call center’s staff can be properly orientated and trained. A program can have several levels of objectives, such as: set appointments, send literature, lead generation, take orders, troubleshooting, conduct surveys, and so forth.

All objectives and levels of objectives are pre-defined and identified in the PMG. The PMG then becomes the roadmap to the overall success of the client’s outsourcing campaign.

These items are key to avoid problems before calling begins. In the next issue I will share the expectations and vital aspects for setting up and managing a campaign.

Kathy Sisk is founder and president of Kathy Sisk Enterprises Inc. and is a trainer and consultant, contributing thirty-five years of expertise to the telemarketing, sales, and customer service industries.

[From Connection Magazine Nov/Dec 2014]