Quality assurance policies and procedures must be in place to ensure that optimum returns are realized from sales programs. Further, these policies and procedures must be implemented prior to the launch of sales programs to certify that procedures do, in fact, work prior to commencement of efforts.
We recently experienced the negative effects of a lack of attention to quality assurance. A promising interactive program of online marketing communications and sales was handicapped from its outset as the result of a complete breakdown in the telephone response system for the program. We had spent months negotiating with our client to ensure that a telephone number would be displayed throughout our online marketing communications collateral. Our objective was to ensure that prospects and customers could utilize, at will, the “instant synchronous access” promise represented by a telephone call to discuss specific opportunities.
As is the case for many innovative technology businesses in the post Internet and Web world, our client was hard pressed to recognize the value of publishing telephone contact information. Certainly we do not dispute our client’s contention that promoting contact availability without ensuring that most telephone calls would be managed by a human being (rather than by an IVR system or by even simple voice mail) made lots of sense. However, we have deep experience with telemarketing and teleprospecting and, therefore, saw lots of value in publishing telephone contact information. Further, we provided the required human resources to manage incoming telephone calls.
It should be noted that important assumptions about the online marketing program, itself, specifically with regard to the appropriateness and effectiveness of our online message were in the balance pending a review of the results of the in bound telephone program.
The results, in fact, appeared to be quite dismal. Our client’s website receives high volume traffic. Further, our client’s website is prominent with the Google Search Engine. Nevertheless, it appeared that the results were abysmal: lots of traffic, but few inquiries and few conversions.
A review of the telephone support system quickly revealed the core of the problem. The alerting system for voice mails had not been correctly configured. Further, the call forwarding feature of the telephone system had not been correctly configured. We need to note that it took us the better part of 3 months to find these problems. Three months worth of incoming telephone calls, voice and text messages had been buried in a non working system.
We cannot overstate the importance of managing the rather mundane tasks of certifying and periodically testing back end systems. These tasks are not glamorous, but neglect them entirely at your peril. Certainly do not make decisions about programs without first testing, in detail, the individual components designed to support the specific programs under scrutiny.
We can help point out the mandatory quality assurance procedures that must be in place to support marketing and sales programs for technology innovators. Please call me, Ira Michael Blonder, IMB Enterprises, Inc at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion about your product and your plan.
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