Hosting, a new telemarketing operations system, can increase sales significantly according to Powergen. The company is only a month into its new Hosting scheme but retail director, Duncan Sedgwick has revealed that results are well above expectations.
Hosting occupies the middle ground between in-house telemarketing and outsourcing. The client company uses the call centre facilities and maintenance services of third parties but employs its own staff and management team.
This avoids expensive start-up costs and gives Powergen greater flexibility to meet demand. Benefits include flexibility related to demand, lower cost and control of brand image.
Sedgwick says: 'It takes away the uncertainties - you pay per desktop, not per sale.' Powergen currently rents 173 seats from call centre owner Cannock, but plans to increase this number to 350 in the next six months.
Putting the company's own people in seats is key to the programme's success, believes Sedgwick. 'Despite efforts to incentivise agency staff they are still not your folk and they work for the agency, not you', he says.
David Leedham, commercial director at consultancy Outsourcing Insight, who worked with Powergen to set up the resource, believes the problem of staff is 'less to do with people than the brand'. He argues that the internet is driving communication with customers, so agents are increasingly brand custodians and the demands placed upon them to represent that brand fully are much greater.
Leedham believes this way of setting up and running a call centre will be increasingly popular, though he says it is not suitable for short-term, one-off campaigns. It apes the application service provider model, which is becoming increasingly popular in IT circles. By letting an ASP host their data, rather than buying the necessary hardware and software themselves, businesses can make use of the most powerful and up-to-date programmes and systems.