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Marriott Federal Credit Union

10%-20% Increases in Multiple Product Sales as a Result of Improving the Customer Connection

The Marriott Federal Credit Union in Bethesda, Maryland answered service calls from Marriott’s employee base. They would receive calls from around the world. Agents answered questions about banking products, took payments for credit cards, checked balances, etc. Management wanted the agents to complete the service request effectively and then offer employees an extra banking product (e.g. a savings account, money market, credit card, etc.).

Unique Challenge

When CCTS interviewed the agents, each one stated that these calls were very difficult. “The callers are all mean to us if we offer them any additional products,” was the common sentiment. “Some get downright nasty to us.”

  • Claims of mean-spirited behavior from callers (other employees) really surprised the CCTS team.
  • One thing about hospitality, it requires employees that are patient, caring and humble in order to effectively deal with travelers in their hotels.
  • After extensive call analysis, we did confirm that many of the callers were a little rough on the agents – at the point of the cross-sell offer.
  • Callers just wanted to have their request completed and end the call.
  • The absence of a connection with the agent made it easy to object about other offers and terminate their calls.

Training Provided by Call Center Training Solutions

The goal was to restructure the typical call to make it a) more fun for both employees (agent and caller – the way it ought to be for two employees of the same company), and b) more interactive. The agent needed to learn more about the caller to make the cross-sell feel more appropriate and more targeted.

  • Training’s Big Idea: Verbally welcome your fellow employees onto the call.  They will thank you with engagement and respect (and some smiles).  Then you can learn about them and their life experiences, and offer them the right additional financial products.
  • CCTS built a customized service-to-sales program, combining skills from its Superior Service and Telephone Sales Mastery courses.
  • The course had a heavy focus on the “Caller Connection,” as well as skills for learning more about the caller’s true banking and financial interests, opinions and needs.
  • Reps were encouraged to use the skills immediately to make sure they cemented the new learning and changed the way they took calls.
  • CCTS delivered a one-day version of its Call Center Floor Management program for the two supervisors.

End Results

Connecting with the caller and cross-selling attempts increased right away. Sales of all banking products increased by 10%-20% as a result. This was all wonderful news, but the reason we included this case study is because of the following funny story. On a follow-up call with the agents, one month after the training (CCTS already knew that the results had started improving), the agents were asked, “What are the callers like now?” The agents started explaining that the callers “have become so much nicer.” Some reps figured that a whole other group of “nicer” employees seemed to be calling them nowadays. None of the agents was sure why the change occurred. We had to laugh. The agents were not taking credit for changing the calls and making them more enjoyable – being more proactive about the connection. The only thing that changed was the agents, for the better. We had to convince the agents that they were the reason for the center’s success. Bravo!

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