EWA follow a research led approach to create a sales-orientated contact team and a successful contact and qualification process for Linden Homes.
Linden Homes builds new homes and properties nationwide, constructing over 3,000 new homes in 2011 alone. Operating from 12 regional HQs and with a staff of more than 850 they regularly receive awards for the quality of their new homes and consistently achieve high levels of customer satisfaction.
Coming to EWA as a result of a third party recommendation for expertise in response and enquiry management, Linden Homes required outbound contact centre operation, telephone and email response handling services.
Fundamentally, the project required EWA to take all website enquiries (approximately 1500 per month), qualify them through outbound contact and then pass on the lead to the relevant sales office. EWA were set the goal of contacting 60% of all enquires, of which 40% had to be referred for an appointment.
To achieve these objectives EWA instigated a 3 step strategy, involving:
• Researching the sales process thoroughly and identifying the key information required by Linden Homes sales personnel.
• Developing a robust and flexible contact resource capable of responding to fluctuations in demand whilst exhibiting a strong affiliation with Linden Homes brand values.
• Creating a logical and practical process for the contacting, qualification and delivery of enquiries.
Such a strategy demanded that EWA become fully immersed in Linden Homes internal processes in order to appreciate the challenges faced by their sales personnel and deliver rich customer experiences.
Initially, EWA instigated mystery shopper activity to gain insight into the expectations of sales executives and used these findings to shape the contact process. During the early stages, members of the EWA team received in-depth training from Linden Homes which included visits to local developments.
This training, which had the ultimate objective of creating a heavily sales orientated contact team, was delivered by the previous incumbent and Linden Homes. It focussed on the brand values, USPs, the regions and also the current CRM system being utilised by Linden Homes.
EWA also created a bespoke 4 step, multichannel contact process that utilised telephone, voicemail, email and SMS to gather information on and qualify new enquiries. On a logistical level, the process consisted of an outbound telephone call on receipt of an enquiry. If no contact was made a voicemail would be left, followed by email and SMS communications. EWA would instigate contact on 4 separate occasions before passing the enquiry over to Linden Homes for continued attempts and further development of the enquiry.
Due to a short handover period from the incumbent the project was fast tracked requiring training and implementation to advance at pace. The speed of implementation combined with the complexities of the existing proprietary CRM system did provide a challenge at first, although by having the previous account director on site, EWA had the support required to understand and best utilise the system within a week.
Throughout the implementation phase communication with Linden Homes was carried out through regular meetings and conference calls. Today, regional marketing and sales management personnel at Linden Homes are contacted on a weekly basis to discuss performance and developments.
Since the implementation of the project EWA have achieved a 23% increase in conversions to appointment and a 2% increase in successful contact rate for Linden Homes. These successes are largely attributable to the selection of contact agents with sales backgrounds and the continual optimisation of processes through call monitoring. .
The EWA contact team are now wholly integrated with Linden Homes’ sales personnel and act as the first human point of contact for potential customers registering on the Linden Homes website. The team also uses the insight gained from weekly calls to evolve the training programme into the “Linden Homes Bible,” a quick reference guide for all agents containing information on the latest offers and incentives.
EWA have added value by:
• Attending regional quarterly sales and marketing meetings to provide overview statistics on current activity and recommendations for future activities.
• Establishing strong relationships with regional stakeholders.
• Continuing to enhance customer experiences by leaving them with rich and complete information that complements the website and sales process.
“Since we began working with EWA, I have been consistently impressed with both their professionalism and the level of knowledge they have gained over a relatively short space of time. EWA act as the first point of contact with prospective Linden Homes customer’s who enquire through the website. The CRM team provide an exceptional customer experience and help to reinforce the Linden Homes brand values.”
Emma Fjaerem, Marketing & Connections Manager at Linden Homes.
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