Your call center isn’t an island, so don’t let it feel “lost.” Make sure your telephone reps know what offers and promotions are going out to customers in all channels.
Lillian Vernon’s Virginia Beach call center reps receive copies of all the print catalogs mailed by the company to review, and get a phone briefing on current promotions each week, notes John Buleza, director of marketing for Current/Colorful Images/Lillian Vernon at Current USA Inc.
Customer service reps also help the Colorado Springs-based marketing team proof promotional e-mails, so they know exactly what the promotion is and how it works. The company’s e-mail strategy is typically promotional messages targeting segments of the file that have shown interest in a particular type of product — outdoor and patriotic messages hit this time of year, for example — and larger sale e-mails that hit a wide swath of the customer base. Lillian Vernon is also testing triggered e-mails such as welcome messages.
On the merchandising side, reps receive plenty of product information so they can answer questions about specific items.
Since 60% of orders now come in via the Web (30% are by phone and 10% by mail), reps are now also often tasked with answering questions about things like when items listed online as being backordered will be available, notes Buleza.
“All channels work together to keep the brand consistent,” he says, noting that Lillian Vernon has worked over the last few years to integrate all departments, including catalog circulation/marketing, Internet operations and merchandising, and to move away from a siloed organizational approach.
The 900,000-sq.-ft. facility in Virginia Beach employs about 200 staff year round and adds roughly 1,000 seasonal positions in the fall. In April, it was reported that Current USA will transition Lillian Vernon’s operations to other locations within its own parent company, Taylor Corp., by August 2011.
Got a telemarketing tip to share? Contact Beth Negus Viveiros at firstname.lastname@example.org