From Contesta headquarters, at Vertice Building enjoying the incredible views of Madrid Operators are talking and tapping out words bringing me back remembrances of a summer park. Contesta is a call centre founded in 2001, 500 hundred employees, 400 out of them call centre operators. Its business is focused on customer service and sales. Mr. José Luis Perez Madrigal Contesta Chief Technical Officer responsible for support, projects and business processes improvements. We prepare ourselves to start the interview, not before tidying up the pile of papers on the table, as he points out ” it is commercial documentation from other companies”.
We sat down and started talking.
Lleida.net- How is a typical business day in Contesta?
Jose Luis Perez- Customers give us their databases, and we execute the sale based on a protocol set by law and established by the customer in accordance with internal regulations As there are legal requirements for hiring and especially for distance selling, we need processes to make sure the sales process is closed, and to avoid not having the whole contracting cycle.
Lleida.net- That sounds pretty logical. Have you implemented any solution to facilitate your daily work?
Jose Luis Perez- Call centres are experts on call phone techniques conversation, management, coding, retries in other words: customer interaction . One of the things we are doing to promote and to improve the quality of phone calls is legal information to become automated, so that people do not have to memorize or read anything because a single comma or a word invalidates the whole process completely. The problem begins at the end of the call, when you need to complete the sales process. In that sales process you have to ensure that the client receives all the information he reads, you must have the tools to certify somehow they have done so and receiving the customer’s approval without the need of traditional courier services.
Lleida.net- Which services and solutions from Lleida.net are you using so far
José Luis Pérez- We opted to find a solution to substitute traditional mail for a legal equivalent and with the added value of simplifying the conversation with the client. Consequently we opted for a combination of Registered e-mail with SMS contract. We send a document to the client with a key that has to be returned by SMS, so that we exactly know who that person is, since the data on his mobile phone with the key we have sent have to match. We got two points of contact that we can control and validate. The whole process is certified. This allows us to tell what have we sent to the customer (conditions included).We can ensure the customer has received all terms and conditions of the contract, and besides we can certify and validate the customer’s express acceptance. That is, legally speaking, precisely what we are looking for. Its great benefit being that all is done online, and in less than 4 hours. The whole process takes just hours, not days, and quite obviously, at a more accessible cost when compared to courier services.
Lleida.net- How are your customers embracing this solution?
José Luis Pérez- We want to simplify the contracting side, we want to move the sales process forward, to close the sale, preventing customers to regret their decisions . I am not talking about cheating or not giving clear information, but it is true that a more sales process lengthen, the higher the chance to lose the sale . If the customer is told to reply an SMS when receiving the contract by email, everything becomes simpler, clearer and quicker. Beyond the above mentioned advantage, our customers value being paperless, since all the information is digitalized, the related info of the sale and mailbag is uploaded to an FTP server and you may add recordings,or any additional information. We are talking of a digital information package. It would be magnificent if we receive 1000 daily ink contracts, though uncontrollable. Automated process just required of controlled tasks, the status they are in and the resolution of any possible issues. In addition, people know technology offers the reliability and trustworthiness of any written processes . Phone calls always leave the user with a doubt since the consumer can only grab to his memories. In days gone by, no mail was sent to confirm the oral signing. Following the legislation and taking advantage of the new technologies, the purchasing process is documented and the user knows how, when. What, who … That is to say, the most rigorous and accurate control I have ever known. Should the need arise to review a sale, you got enough work to keep you busy until you are old and grey regarding that specific sale.
Lleida.net- It seems you are receiving a quite positive feedback
José Luis Pérez- Broadly speaking yes, although we are facing some resistance from legal departments. Not so much for the technology itself, but for a matter of motivation and willingness to change . By force of habit, it seems papers offer greater reliability, which is obviously not true and for example insurance documents should be stored for a period of five years once the contract terminates. Electronic formats versus paper, bags and loss of potential sales involve a lot of work and a waste of money. Operationally speaking there is little resistance because it is given for granted that sales will improve the speed and the reliability of the process. I strongly believe operative good sense will prevail. I think paper must be managed for those not wanting for whatever reason, because the client has the right to choose his option. For those looking forward a distance sale you must incorporate more mature processes.
Lleida.net- So, these processes do not fully replace other
José Luis Pérez-. No, of course not. Firstly because you always need to have a backup plan, technology needs of a plan B. And secondly, because of the client not knowing how to deal with it or because of exemptions not previously taken into account. All in all, everything is complemented. In percentage terms, 95% of certification processes through SMS and e-mail and 5% of existing technological exceptions.
Lleida.net- What is your overall evaluation on Lleida.net services?
José Luis Pérez- For us, first an enormous financial benefit, because we have optimized processes like courier services and mailbags. We have optimized sales time management especially in the back office. We have improved our response rates. Thus, we have not only reduced the cost, but we have also increased our sales turnover because sales are not falling . What we have learnt is that technological solutions are not plug_and_play, because customers usually need customized solutions. And it is here, at this point where we have relied on Lleida.net technical department support to adapt ours and Lleida.net tools to the need of our customers. Honestly speaking, it has been harder to sharpen the process as such, than getting familiar with the tools. We quickly overcame the integration of Registered e-mail and Registered SMS. It became harder to mature a new management process and to find the possible weak point. There is a need for immediacy that is perceived as an advantage, if your selling process involves waiting a week … Also, the contact is direct; the number of intermediaries and risks in the process of selling is reduced.