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Collaboration between the education sector and our contact centre is a constant since 2001. We provide a range of services tailored to schools, colleges, courses providers, books & education material providers, training departments amongst others. In this case study, we will describe our latest promotional campaign in the education sector performed by a dedicated team of 3 call centre agents.

Why promote new courses to past students is a good idea?

Our client is a retail company which provides services through a franchise approach. They place a great emphasis on training their franchises and employees in their brand values but also in key operational areas such as food management. Through their centralised software, our client keeps track of training requirements and plans refresher training courses to be delivered to previous attendees. The success of the training and therefore, their brand depends on a proper promotion of new courses to franchise owners and team members.

The promotion of these new courses and refresher training has multiple benefits. First, it ensures that best practices are applied throughout the franchises / organization with the aim of standardising processes. Secondly, it creates synergies between independent franchises and the core brand by improving brand loyalty and the collection of feedback. Thirdly, it provides different franchises members with the opportunity to meet, interact and create long-lasting relationships.

Promoting courses in the Education Sector: The Call centre approach

This case study focuses on our latest promotional campaign in the education sector but in a franchise setting. Nevertheless, the process of delivering a promotional campaign is similar for any education supplier. The steps followed for this campaign included:

1. Appointment of a Key Account Manager

Arema Connect designates for each contract a Key Account Manager (KAM). This person becomes client’s point of contact for the duration of the project and ensures that all requirements are fulfilled as per contract specifications. KAM role is supported by the IT, HR and Quality Control departments. This guarantees the suitable support for any technical, recruitment, training and performance needs. Our KAMs are experienced individuals who started with us as call centre agents and have increased their responsibilities using a merit-based system.

2. Final agreement of the promotional campaign parameters

Sarah, the designated Key Account Manager for this project, met our client to finalise the promotional campaign parameters. Key elements agreed included project’s deadline, scripts to be used, clients’ expectations, human resources required, review of the data quality, and specification of the data return. The prompt identification of requirements allowed our team to better determine HR and IT requirements. Furthermore, it allowed our client to meet our team and review the process to be followed.

3. Receive and review the data

Our client sent us a password protected excel file with their contact information. Password was sent using a text message to our team to ensure data protection. The first step was to review the data in order to familiarise our team with the information received. Basic data review was also performed including remove of duplicates and detection of entries without a phone number. 5 records were identified in this phase as no fit for purpose as information was missing or was a duplicated entry. All changes were recorded and communicated to the client to ensure data accuracy.

4. Train the required number of agents to meet the contract deadline

Sarah (KAM) prepared the training material and identified the need for 3 team members to meet the contract requirements. The selection of the team was performed in conjunction with the Human Resources department and existing employees were assigned to the project. The selection was based on their ability to fulfil similar contracts and their knowledge of the systems used. Training was performed using a role-playing approach and minor changes in the script were discussed during the training. The run test dial was performed that evening.

5. Process the contact’s database in our autodial

Clients approved contacts were uploaded by Sarah (KAM) in our autodial. It was paramount for the success of the campaign that the contacts were pre-evaluated by our client to assess their interest in the campaign and if they have actively opted in to receive information about our client’s products. Following the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) active consent or a clear benefit for the customer had to be recorded.

The process of uploading the database to our autodial is relatively straightforward. The database is formatted to the required software standard (eg. column titles and phone numbers format) and additional fields are added to record call output. Depending on the future reporting requirements, additional fields can be created to gather additional information (e.g. rating of a previous experience with the company).

6. Run a test dial

It is always advisable to run a test dial by an experienced customer agent or by the Key Account Manager. The purpose is to test the autodial, review the script, evaluate the information gathered, and improve training material. It is advisable to run the test dial over a 10% of the database as standard. However, if the dataset is too small (e.g. less than 50 records) then it is recommended to play ‘devils’ advocate and play role within the team members and the client team instead.

For this campaign, our team had a database of over 1,000 contacts. Therefore, the team run a test dial of 50 contacts and then met to evaluate their feedback. The script and the process was straightforward and not major issues were detected during the exercise. Therefore, it was deemed appropriate to launch the campaign after providing feedback to the client.

7. Provide feedback to client related to performance and script of the test calls

A teleconference was scheduled after the outbound trial of 50 contacts. All feedback provided by the team was presented to the client by Sarah (KAM). Additionally, the script was reviewed and smaller changes were added upon clients request. Finally, the timeframe was finally agreed including start and end dates for each round.

8. Promotional Campaign Activity

A total of five call centre agents were allocated for this promotional outbound campaign. The selection of them was based on their performance on previous outbound telephone campaigns and their knowledge in the sector. The team had previously performed the dial test and therefore, training requirements were minimum. Sarah (KAM) listened to call recording for each agent and suggested individual improvements in the tone used and replies to provide to potential objections. Without any other requirements, the outbound campaign started and the 1,000 contacts were dialled within ten days.

9. Activity report for each round

A total of three rounds were performed. For each contact made our team qualified the outcome within the following categories: Number no in Service, No Answer, Voicemail, Call Back, Interested, Not Interested. A contact was considered closed after explaining the reason for the call using the script and recording their interest (i.e. Interested / Not Interested). If the agent marked one of the other three categories (No Answer, Voicemail or Call Back), the contact progressed to the next round.

During this campaign, 47% of the contacts were closed on the first round (Number no in Service, Interested, Not Interested). The reduction in the number of contacts reduced the number of team members. The agents with a bigger success rate (a larger number of ‘Interested’ outcomes) were kept in the team for the following two rounds. As 20% of the database was marked as Voicemail, the client agreed to designate a dedicated phone line for potential callbacks and our team modified the script to include this phone number. At the end of round two and round 3 reports were sent to the client including summary statistics and a copy of the database.

10. Quality Monitoring

Sarah (KAM) performed quality monitoring for each round. Audits were done in each agent performance, their adherence to the script, soft-skills used during the call and their success rate. Calls were selected randomly and feedback provided individually. At the end of each round, all team performance was discussed and improvements suggested. Sarah also encouraged team members to share experiences (while keeping customer details anonymous) as it helps to develop the team skillset through knowledge sharing techniques.

11. Final report and the return of updated database

Three weeks after the campaign started, the database was closed. A total of 257 records were unreachable by our team; however, voicemail was left to 152 of these. Over 52% of the database showed interest in the course offered and they requested a follow-up e-mail from the franchise to process their registration.

The updated password protected database with the outcome of each call was sent back to the client for their own records. Records with personal details updated were highlighted to ensure that our client kept the information accurate impacting positively in future campaigns.

12. Remove records from our system following GDPR regulation

After a final meeting with the client to present the results, all records were removed from our systems. It included to delete the excel file, delete the autodial records and any e-mail that made reference to personal information of our client’s customers. Our data quality manager oversaw this process and the full campaign was audited in line with the ISO 9001 requirements.

Results of the New Course promotion campaign

The promotion of this new course was a success for our client. 520 contacts showed interest in the course, and 437 finally registered and complete it. The script created was designed to increase also brand awareness and encourage their customers to visit their website to check other existing courses. An increase of 5% of visitors was detected by the marketing team in their website and 28 contacts requested information using our client’s online form. Overall, the campaign was a success for our team and we are working on a future project for this client.

If you are planning a promotional campaign in the education sector or have any other promotional campaign in your pipeline, contact us for a free quotation.