Creating and Implementing a Call Center for Phone & Internet Sales

Overview

Boasting $5.6 billion in annual sales of luxury goods in 2009, a major European retailer and advertiser (the "Client") decided to increase sales by implementing a call center in the United States to handle national telephone and Internet sales. The Client's European counsel was not expert in the field of United States marketing law; therefore, the Client contacted my Firm to structure the call center policies governing incoming sales calls, upsells and service issues.


Objective

The Client was both eager and anxious to ensure that its call center policies would be compliant with United States federal and state laws, fearing facing statutory fines and potential civil actions that could result from non-compliant processes. As a result, my Firm was tasked with creating policies and business processes that would; (1) promote business development via telephone and Internet sales; (2) manage existing client relationships for upsells; and (3) be legally compliant with federal and state telemarketing and ecommerce laws. My Firm was then tasked with making the policies easy for managers to implement.


Strategy

The project was huge in scope, both from a legal and a business process perspective. The Client and the Firm were required to collaborate extensively to over the course of many months.
My Firm pieced the project into component parts and drafted extensive charts detailing federal and state laws describing the rules governing home solicitation, ecommerce and telemarketing sales as well as the penalties that result from a failure to comply. My Firm detailed cooling off periods, refund and return rules and processes, licensure requirements, electronic signatures and opt-in/opt-out options, statutory fines, civil penalties and applicable exemptions. My firm also threw in information covering security breach notification laws detailing how to handle the receipt of a consumer's personal information. Then my Firm summarized the charts and drafted internal procedures that would enable the Client's telemarketers to conduct business in a legally compliant manner.


Outcome

The end result of the teamwork between the Client and my Firm was the execution of an order process flow manual covering Internet and telephone sales that concisely details the Client's order flow procedures, both for internal sales representatives and third party call centers, such actions also compliant with the industry's best practices. At this time, results from the first quarter of 2010 for Internet and telephone sales appear to be extremely encouraging and the outlook for future growth seems bright.