On the Campaign Trail

Manchester based Xarios has carved a successful niche for their products most notably with the vendor Mitel. Here we talk to Managing Director Chris Harris about the launch of their new Mitel Campaign Manager.

Comms Business Magazine (CBM): Campaign Manager is an outbound calling application and management tool – also known as a ‘progressive dialler’. What is the significance of such an application?

Chris Harris (CH): Most businesses have some members of the team who make out bound calls: such as for contract renewal, appointment confirmation, debt collection, post-sales follow up, regular customer contact or simply telecanvassing or telemarketing.

The fact is that this is generally a function that just happens, and even if the user has a call management system this still does not tell management who is effective and who is not, how many calls are met with a ‘no answer’ or answering service, how many get through to the decision maker and how many result in a sale or appointment.

Campaign Manager automates the entire process; starting with automating the dialling so that agents don’t have to consider which number to call, then we can screen pop a CRM with customer information and once on the call the agent or operative has a selection of disposition codes to qualify what happened on the call. These can be presented in a supervisor screen so that management know what is happening in real time.

Campaign Manager only works with the Mitel MiVoice office 250 platform and fully integrates with the Mitel Phone Manager which is an out of the box application shipped with every MiVoice office 250 system – it is an enhancement to the standard facilities of Phone Manager. However Campaign Manager is not just for new business opportunities – it can be applied to any MiVoice office 250 / Mitel 5000 that is installed and resellers can use this as opportunity to sell into their existing base of users.

CBM: So does Campaign Manager earn its keep? What is the ROI?

CH: It is generally accepted that if someone is manually dialling from a written data base they will probably get 15 minutes talk time in the hour if they work hard – if they use a highlight and dial system such as Phone Manager they will get 18 minutes talk time. But using a progressive dialler like Campaign Manager they will get between 30 and 35 minutes talk time per hour – so this investment will double the talk time achieved – this is not to say that it will necessarily double the number of sales but given that you are doubling the talk time it will increase the sales – even an increase of 10% in sales will result in a ROI of months rather than years.

The ROI will depend upon the nature of the calling activity – B2B, B2C and also the expected length of the call.

CBM: Why does campaign manager change the landscape?

CH: If you are talking to an end user – as soon as you mention diallers (to anyone not in a formal contact centre industry) they immediately think of the call that interrupts their dinner!

This is why we prefer to position Campaign Manager as an application that automates and manages the outbound calling activity.

Campaign Manager calls when an agent requests a call to be made: It dials in the same way an agent does and keeps them in control of the process (unlike a predictive dialler where the agent sits in silence waiting for a call to land in their ear.) So in this way it is very agent friendly – it enhances what they already do rather than changing the way they operate and helps them to be more effective in their job.

Unlike traditional diallers, Campaign Manager is scalable and realistic (both from a financial and technology viewpoint) from a handful of out bound staff upwards: there is no upper limit – we have existing customers set up with 5 seats confirming appointments to 150 plus agents in an outsourced contact centre.

In a climate where the effectiveness of all parts of a business needs to be monitored and managed – Campaign Manager brings structure and management information to this, often, key activity at a realistic and justifiable cost.

As part of the Mitel communications service application suite Campaign Manager integrates with Phone Manager for CRM integration, and also Mitel CSM for in-depth statistics (Campaign Manager has its own reporting tool for managing the results of outbound campaigns) and also integrates to the Xarios call recording application so that calls can be recorded and if desired ‘attached’ to a CRM record.

The sales pitch is – given that I have established that there is outbound calling activity – if I can show you a way of doubling your customer contact time on your outbound calling activity with an ROI of a matter of months you would want to know more – wouldn’t you?

 

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine