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contact center

Here at Incept, we strive to be the best and live by our values. Every time we have the opportunity to make improvements, we go for it.

We have goals to hit every month for each of our clients. In order to hit these goals, our team leads, team captains, and coaches make sure to help our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) as much as possible by listening to their calls and going over a coaching form with them.

Coaching forms are very beneficial in many different ways. Believe it or not, these forms do help Incept meet their monthly goal and here’s how:

  1. One of the ways a coaching form can help is by boosting up the CME’s confidence level, which goes a long way in recruitment calls. Our management team makes sure to point out positives in each phone call, such as the CME going the extra mile to show appreciation to the donor, sounding very friendly, and using a strong second attempt to close out the call with a blood donation appointment. Letting CMEs know all the positive work they do helps them continue to make quality calls that our clients love to hear.
  2. Another way a coaching form can help a CME is by providing an opportunity to make improvements. One of the topics in a coaching form is area of improvements. This is where the CME is given advice on what they could have done or said differently. It can be as little as reminding the CME to capture an email to notify donors of future blood drives, verifying zip code to find the most convenient location to donate, or offering an assumptive question to gain a better chance of setting up an appointment, etc. When giving this advice, it encourages CMEs to do better in their calls, to exceed their expectations, and to accomplish an improvement.
  3. Coaching forms not only help with those two aspects but also (most importantly) they help with PDR. PDR is the percentage of donors that CMEs actually get in the door to donate blood. The higher the PDR, the more donors there are coming in to help save lives! As I mentioned earlier, we have a monthly goal which is a specific amount of blood donations we need scheduled to help blood centers all around the country meet their daily blood supply.

Here at Incept, we strive to bring out the best in each other, and coaching forms are one of the ways we are able to bring out the best in our Conversational Marketing Experts. With the help of our wonderful management team and by using the helpful techniques such as coaching forms, our CMEs are able to drive great results!

How do coaching forms help you?

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Your tele-recruitment investment may be the most important financial decision you make this year.

In working with over 40 blood centers over the last 16 years, we’ve found that an optimized tele-recruitment strategy can:

  • Save money
  • Deliver the right product at the right time
  • Prevent critical appeals during difficult summer months

Join us on May 21st at 2:00 PM EST for a FREE webinar to learn ways to improve your collections at a lower cost this summer.

Please register for this webinar by filling out the form here.

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Many workplaces have a certain atmosphere, whether it be a family-oriented atmosphere, professional atmosphere, or both! Here at Incept, we are one gigantic family, and that is the exact reason why I love it here so much. When anyone has a birthday, an anniversary, or just does a phenomenal job on the phones, you know about it and you celebrate with them. More often than not, we even get Sam Falletta, the CEO of the company, to sign the birthday cards.

My particular department, which is the training department, is very much my second family. We always give each other surprise parties when it’s one of our birthdays, and it makes you feel very appreciated and welcome. Unfortunately, it isn’t always fun and games all the time. So when it’s time to be professional, we always step up to the plate and bring our A-game. Also, whenever someone has something going on in their life that is bringing them down, there is always more than one of us that will be there for them to confide in and get advice from when needed. And that goes for the rest of the company too. If someone needs to talk about something, or if you just don’t feel too chipper one day, there are plenty of people here to help cheer you up or just give you a shoulder to lean on.

All in all, this is the best job I’ve had in a while. The amount of support and appreciation that is here every day is phenomenal. Although, we can’t forget that you do make a pretty penny here as well. Those two items combined will make me stay here for quite some time.

What’s your favorite part about Incept’s atmosphere?

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While on the phones, it’s very easy to be distracted because there is a lot of multitasking that goes into being a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME). However, as a CME, one of your main jobs is to actively listen to what the donor is saying to you. You cannot have a productive conversation with the donor unless you listen to their side of the story. Without listening, you are not having a conversation; you are talking at the donor.

When the donor is speaking to you, it gives you a chance to use active listening to find the tone of their voice and recognize how they are feeling. By determining what tone they have with you, you are able to match it. If the donor is upset or angry, you want to sound calming; if the donor is bubbly and excited, you want to match their excitement. Oftentimes, people make the mistake of not matching the donor’s tone, and it can be a killer to the call. For instance, if a CME sounds too excited and shrill and the donor on the other end sounds sad, the donor would be more likely to hang up.

It is also important to use active listening to truly understand why the donor is either motivated or unmotivated to make a donation. Being a CME can be a difficult task at times because you are busy trying to be one step ahead of the donor. However, if you don’t listen to what the donor is telling you, the way you respond to them could give them a negative view of the donor center, and they might feel like you don’t really care about what they are saying. We want the donors to know that we care about them, so when they are explaining a situation to you, take a moment to truly listen to what they are saying so that you are able to converse with them and give them a genuine response.

Using active listening from the very beginning of a call may be difficult because being a CME means doing a lot of multitasking, but being a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) also means that we need to have productive conversations that drive meaningful results. Having a productive conversation means listening to the needs and concerns of our donors. If you do not use your active listening skills you could give the donors the wrong impression and, in turn, lose an appointment. So always take the time to pay attention!

How else do you use active listening skills in your blood donor recruitment calls?

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Strategy + Change = HELP!!!

Most of us know that the key to a successful strategy is to stick to it. But how do we stick to a strategy when our industry is changing every day? For years we’ve battled with never having enough inventory. Then the industry had a surplus. Now we find ourselves attempting to react to both problems, often in the same month! How do we, as organizational leaders, create a strategy to recruit donors that is cost-effective, flexible to our changing needs, and stable enough to keep us moving forward in the future?

During Billie’s session, she will discuss what components of blood center strategy need to be evaluated, how to incorporate goals and accountability, how to build a self-correcting reporting system, how to evaluate outcomes, and how to incorporate innovation to ensure a successful today and tomorrow!

Billie Johnson will be speaking at the ADRP Conference in Denver Colorado on April 22nd at 8:30AM. This will be a session you won’t want to miss!

Download the ADRP Conference brochure here.

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The changes facing the blood center industry are significant and are making executive roles more difficult than ever.

You are faced with many challenges, including:

  • Decreasing demand
  • Increased competition
  • Price pressures on every department
  • Patient blood management programs
  • Acquisitions
  • Personnel challenges

Over the last 16 years, Incept has helped over 40 blood centers reduce cost, increase collections, and improve donor relationships. Last year alone, we conducted over 6 million conversations with blood donors and recruited more than 267,552 units, all on a fixed cost-per-donor payment structure. Meaning our clients only pay for a usable unit.

Billie Johnson, Incept’s VP of Client Results, uses her 16 years of experience to develop customized solutions to increase collections and improve donor relationships for each of our clients. Based on her expertise in Donor Center Strategy, we’ve created a monthly webinar series dedicated to helping the blood center industry face new and existing challenges.

We’d like to invite you to a private webinar series hosted by Billie and special guest Dave Walter. On April 16th, they will be sharing industry best practices regarding goals and accountability for tele-recruitment, as well as answering your most pressing questions.

Please register for this webinar by clicking here.

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In today’s society it is not uncommon to have a busy schedule. So oftentimes when you are on the phones you will have to second-attempt a donor when they explain that they are too busy to donate. When a donor who is too busy to donate agrees to schedule a blood donation, it is imperative that you explain the importance of rescheduling in case they are unable to make it to their appointment.

When a donor schedules an appointment, a spot is saved specifically for them and that spot is considered a promise to a patient who is in need of a transfusion. When the donor doesn’t call to say that they are unable to make it to their appointment, donor centers aren’t able to open that spot for other donors who are interested in giving blood; this is now a loss to the donor center and to patients in need. For this reason, you should inform the donor of their options if they are not able to make it to their appointment.

What exactly are the donor’s options? Well, we are able to give them a reschedule number, and they can call that number to be directed to one of our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) and set up a time that is more convenient for them. If the donor wasn’t able to write down the reschedule number, it’s not a problem. We have the option to send it in a text message reminder that they will get both 24 hours before their donation and 2 hours before their donation. Incept also provides the donor with a reminder call; this is typically done a few days before the donor’s scheduled appointment. It allows the donor the opportunity to reschedule when they get their reminder call.

Letting the donor know how important their blood donation is to a patient in need allows them to understand why they should always reschedule their appointment. When a donor reschedules their appointment, it allows someone else to fill the time slot and it ensures that there will not be a blood shortage in the future.

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Here at Incept, we focus on making quality calls.

Making quality calls gives the  Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) a better chance at getting blood donors to make their scheduled appointments to donate blood. Why is that? Well, when calling an individual to donate blood you want to make sure to show compassion, empathy, appreciation, and understanding, all while being polite and pleasant. By having communication skills and showing all of these aspects in a donor recruitment call, a CME is able to strengthen the relationship with a blood donor so that they continue to donate blood on a regular basis. This is what makes a quality call. When you do not use these aspects in donor recruitment calls, donors will not feel as important as they should.

When we are making calls, we don’t want to give the impression that the only thing we are interested in is getting an appointment. Instead, we want to make sure that we are listening to the donor 100% ,as well as acknowledging the donor whenever they make a statement, ask a question, or give an objection. It is also important to go the extra mile to make donors feel appreciated for taking their valuable time to help their communities with blood donations.

In addition, using voice inflection is a very important part of the phone call. This is what helps to grab the donor’s attention and keep them engaged on the phone. If you use a monotone during the phone call and don’t show any excitement, there’s a better chance of the donor getting restless and hanging up. Remember, as a CME, our voice is the only avenue of communication we have to use while making calls, so we want to make the best of it. The speed that you’re talking to the donor is also very important. We want to read at a pace that the donor understands clearly. Not only that, but we only have a couple of seconds to make a good impression to grab the donor’s attention. Quality calls show better results, and this is why quality is so essential here at Incept!

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Established business rules will determine whether or not you should leave a message when recruiting blood donors.

Some organizations may use automated voicemail. If yours does not, keep your message brief and to-the-point. Inform the blood donor about why you are calling, give brief details about any current promotions, and provide a callback number where he or she can self-schedule.

Your marketing strategy will dictate whether you choose to incorporate broadcast voicemail.

Broadcast messages are very low-cost, but also yield very low results, so use them smart and sparingly. They tend to be most effective for supplementing other reminders, alerting donors to location changes, or notifying donors about cancelled drives.

Voice messages should be brief and to-the-point. Inform the donor about why you are calling, give brief details about current promotions, and leave a callback number. Tele-recruiters must use great diction and inflection and must sound personable. Otherwise, it’s better to skip the message and attempt to reach the donor live another time. A poorly delivered message will do more harm than good.

What are your best practices for reaching unresponsive donors?

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Change Your Language

Begin thinking of what your tele-recruiters do as ”having conversations” rather than “making calls.” A call is of good quality if it’s dialed correctly. A conversation is of good quality if it engages another person and both parties learn something of value. Such conversations build strong relationships, in this case between your blood center and the donor. That’s what you’re really after.

Define Quality Standards

Measuring a conversation’s quality requires dissecting it. Standards must be objective and inviolable. Let us know if you’d like a copy of our Conversational Quality Scorecard to see how a typical donor conversation may be broken down to clearly show which specific parts of the conversation meet your quality guidelines and which specific parts need improvement to meet your quality standards.

Connect Quality Standards to Employment Policies

Quality Standards must be thoroughly integrated into your employment policies for them to have any real effect on tele-recruitment conversations and donor relationships. Promotions, pay-per-performance programs, corrective action, and similar policies must be explicitly connected to objective measures of quality.

Appoint a dedicated Conversational Quality Manager

It’s imperative that a dedicated, unbiased individual or department is responsible for monitoring tele-recruiters’ adherence to your conversational quality standards. To avoid conflicts of interest, this Conversational Quality Manager should report to a department that is not incentivized for the contact center’s results. Furthermore, whoever provides oversight of the Conversational Quality Manager should set continual improvement goals for the quality management function itself.

Separating out this function in this way has numerous benefits:

  • Bias will be eliminated
  • The quality measurement process will not become lax or soft
  • The quality measurement function won’t get triaged to other priorities

Audit Tele-recruiting Conversations

The Conversational Quality Manager’s role is to audit all tele-recruiters’ conversations on a continual basis. Avoid the temptation to only use this function to check up on tele-recruiters you suspect are slacking in their duties. Quality audits are not disciplinary tools. They are tools for continuous improvement.

Even your star tele-recruiters can incrementally improve. Even your greatest tele-recruiter needs to be held accountable for maintaining that greatness. When approached well, good tele-recruiters should look forward to seeing their quality scores and learning if and where they can improve.

Grade Tele-recruiting Conversations

As the Conversational Quality Manager listens to calls, he or she will assign point values to all items on the Conversational Quality Checklist and grade each tele-recruiter according to those criteria. We recommend grading quality performance on a 100-point scale. Nearly everyone is familiar with this format, and it provides the right amount of granularity.

The scored results from this ongoing quality audit can then be used to correct, reward and develop tele-recruiters and strengthen donor relationships in the process.

Generate a Personalized Conversational Quality Audit Report for Each Tele-recruiter

At least every two weeks, the Conversational Quality Manager creates and prints a quality audit report for each tele-recruiter. The report assigns an overall and specific performance score. It also provides narrative descriptions of performance indicators for those two weeks.

Distribute Conversational Quality Audit Reports to Supervisors

The Conversational Quality Manager distributes the personalized reports to the contact center supervisors. This supports the important accountability system that is so critical to continuous quality improvement.

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