– Senior Manager, Strategic Sales & Marketing at LiquidHub
We have deliberately built ourselves up to not be a mere cold-calling machine. Even though this is a common model in the world of Demand Generation, we have consciously stayed away from it. At Beyond Codes, we are quality-focused rather than focused on making thousands of calls a day. Many of the systems that we have in place at Beyond Codes go directly against standard call center practices, and as a result, we are able to cater to the highly specialized, knowledge-based needs of our clients.
Unlike call centers, we also take measures to ensure that our attrition rates are very low, and we make a commitment to our customers that our LGEs (Lead Generation Executives) will remain on their campaigns for as long as they are with us, with the support of our strong team of delivery and training experts. Our LGEs thus maintain strong, lasting relationships with customers, without the wastage, confusion, and constant catching up that are inevitable in a constantly changing call center team.
The key element of our approach is our proprietary Call Smart model, a highly scientific, research-based model that, rather than being quantity-based and scattershot, is quality-based and focuses on connecting with only the right people, to get a better return on investment. Call Smart is our guiding principle, and it rests on the six pillars of our business – People, Training, Process, Quality, Technology and Feedback.
People first – unlike the approach of the average call center, we don’t see communication skills as something that gives you an edge. They are the bare essentials – without them, you are nothing. It’s taken for granted that communication skills are necessary to do what we do, but to do it well, you need much more.
We only hire people with at least three years of relevant experience. The idea is NOT to hire fresh talent, pay them minimal salaries, and train them on the job – it is to hire mature staff with the experience, understanding, insight, and confidence that comes from spending 3-10 years on the floor. These are people who have an understanding of cultural and time zone differences, people who have not accumulated quiz factoids by rote, but who have an in-depth understanding of the countries in which we do business. More importantly, we look for in-depth and extensive knowledge of domain and technology, from banking to insurance and from media to retail, along with the ability to speak the same language as our clients.
Training is our second pillar. Before he or she is allowed to make a single call, every Beyond Codes recruit goes through a thorough, rigorous, extensive, and lengthy period of training that includes, but is not limited to, CAN SPAM, voice and accent, and soft skills training.
We begin with four weeks of generic training, followed by another four weeks of in-depth training in a specific domain/technology, depending on the recruit’s prior skills and experience. Here, the recruit learns exactly what Beyond Codes does in a particular domain, learns about the clients we work with, examines case studies, and much more. In the third month, the recruit listens to live calls for two weeks, followed by two weeks of listening to recordings of successful calls within the same domain. Only then is the first call made. Of course, training never ends. At Beyond Codes, our employees go through training every month, to keep abreast of industry developments and market trends.
Process is the next, extremely important pillar at Beyond Codes. Our processes are based on measured client success, and they touch upon everything that we do. This is not mere bureaucratic form-filling – it is essential to maintaining quality. From capturing client information in an Account Information Form to preparing and maintaining Do Not Call lists, and from conducting mock calls to generating weekly performance reports, there is a process for everything.
Some of our most critical templates include the Account Information Form, Meeting Fixed Information, Weekly Status report, Executive Calling Sheet, Resource Allocation Report, Resource Utilization Report, Grading Sheet, Hiring Sheet, and Call Rating Sheet, etc.
Quality is the fourth pillar of Beyond Codes. There is a fixed set of parameters based on which our dedicated quality team checks every call. These checks address fundamental factors, such as whether or not a meeting seemed forced; whether the caller obtained and verified basic information, such as the prospect’s name and title; whether an agenda was set; whether areas of interest or pain points were discussed; whether a date and time were locked; whether an alternative date was set, and whether the caller listened and elicited information, or only talked.
The quality team asks specific questions that are based on our past experiences of situations in which customers would be unhappy with calls or reject them. Based on the answers to these questions, the team rates each call, and makes training recommendations if necessary. The ratings and scores are also shared with account managers, the training team, and the client feedback team.
Technology is Beyond Codes’ fifth pillar. We at Beyond Codes leverage technology without being enslaved by it. For example, rather than having a dialer system that makes random calls and ensures maximum utilization, our dialer system only ensures that a minimum number of calls is met, while also ensuring that the maximum number is not crossed. In this way, we use technology to incentivize intelligent calls rather than to maximize cold calls. A caller cannot exceed the maximum number of calls without a manager’s signoff.
We also use technology to enable videoconferencing. Our customers naturally want to see the faces of the people on their team at Beyond Codes, and whenever a face-to-face conversation is not possible, videoconferencing facilitates that personal touch. Our systems seamlessly integrate with our clients’ CRM systems. At Beyond Codes, we also have our own hosting – confidentiality is of paramount importance, and a customer’s information is never hosted on a 3rd party server.
Feedback is the final pillar, and is something that we use to strengthen and improve everything we do. We have two main feedback mechanisms at Beyond Codes. Firstly, we have a feedback session after every meeting, in order to understand the customer’s opinion of that particular meeting.
In addition, we have a second feedback mechanism – our customer delight team. This is a dedicated team that makes a monthly call to the customer in order to obtain every possible bit of feedback and offer absolutely any kind of support the customer needs. Members of the customer delight team report directly to the CEO, and have the power to make certain commitments on behalf of Beyond Codes. The entire focus of Beyond Codes’ feedback mechanism is to identify deficiencies early so that they can be corrected early, and as a result, delight the customer in the process.
As is evident, the overarching theme behind Call-Smart, and in fact behind everything we do, is the philosophy of continuous improvement. Everything we do is approached with this philosophy. We aim to excel at even seemingly routine aspects as well, such as HR policies and recreational activities. Our endeavor is to ensure that every meeting is better than the last, every month is better than the last, every engagement is better than the last, and in fact, every single day is better than the last.