The holiday season is here, which means businesses near and far are prepping for the inevitable rise in customer communication. If you’re using an answering service to help with phone orders, or you’re hiring seasonal order takers in-house, we’ve created a spreadsheet to help you evaluate each transaction. The form includes what questions to ask when taking orders over the phone and key evaluation metrics like were the order details documented properly and did the order taker show a knowledge of the product catalog.
In addition to the spreadsheet, see below for a detailed explanation of each evaluation point.
- Correct assessment of call reason: When customers call your business, each call has the possibility to be different. People could be calling for product issues, returns, new orders, questions, etc. So, it’s important that your agents are able to adequately assess the reason for the call and handle appropriately.
- Correct documentation of first and last name: Documenting the correct first and last name of your customer is important, as it makes the customer feel valued, and it helps give your business a personal touch. For example, sending an email that says “Thank you for shopping with us, Ashley!” looks a lot better than an email that says “Thank you for shopping with us, asheley!”
- Correct documentation of phone number: If there is an issue with an order that the agent is unable to work around, documenting a call back number is helpful. That way your staff can contact the customer back and help troubleshoot the issue. Without a valid phone number, you may have to rely on email communication, which could prolong the interaction and possibly affect the outcome of the sale.
- Correct documentation of email address: Since there isn’t a tangible receipt that can be printed and given to the customer when processing orders over the phone, they rely on an email confirmation to verify what they’ve purchased. Without correct documentation of your callers’ email addresses, your customers could become irritated when they don’t receive their confirmation, and you could wind up doing extra work trying to correct all of the errors.
- Complete understanding of product catalog: When your agents are knowledgeable about the product catalog they are processing orders for, they are able to adequately assist callers. They may even be able to sell more as they would be able to recommend other products that would compliment the item that is already being ordered.
- Accurate answers were provided: Usually when people call to order a product, they may also have some questions. If your agents are unable to answer basic questions, they are less likely to lock in a sale.
- Correct documentation of item details: From the item number, to the size and quantity, it’s important that the agent gets the entire order correct.
- Agent attempted to up-sell or cross-sell: In addition to gathering the essential information like name, number, email, and the item itself, some other ways a call center agent can maximize a sale is with up-selling and cross-selling. If you think we just made those words up, here’s what they are:
- Cross-selling: The act of selling an additional product or service to a customer at the time of sale. For example, an operator taking orders for a hover board infomercial might try to cross-sell a set of knee pads and possibly a helmet. It’s almost always a related or similar product.
- Up-selling: The act of selling a higher-end product or a larger quantity of a product at the time of sale. For example, when taking an order for a bottle of perfume, a call center agent may try to up-sell the customer on purchasing a larger bottle, or possibly 2 bottles instead of 1.
- Appropriate quotes and applicable fees were applied: Between coupon codes and shipping fees, the agent should always apply the correct coupons, and quote the correct shipping fees.
- Correct credit card information was documented: If your agents are unable to collect and input the correct credit card information, then you might as well kiss your sales goodbye.
- Agent did not place the caller on hold: The more often your agents have to place callers on hold to ask questions, the less knowledgeable they seem to your callers. When agents seem unfamiliar about a product, callers are less likely to go through with placing an order.
- Brand was represented well: Overall, the person handling your phone calls (whether they are your own staff or your call center agents) should be able to represent your brand perfectly.