When your company is launching a campaign on promotions and offers, it is important that the information that is provided is sufficient for your front line staff like sales and customer service to address queries from customers.
This information should be available at least about 3 to 5 working days before the campaign is to be launched. To ensure that information is provided accurately, there should be an SLA (Service Level Agreement) that is signed between department heads and documented.
This is to ensure that your front line staff is sufficiently equipped and ready for the campaign launch. It is very unprofessional if the campaigns are published all over the papers, Facebook, Google ads and updated in the corporate website but when a customer calls up, your staff is not aware of the campaign. It would cause customer to lose confidence, and if the call is not properly handled, it may led on to a complaint.
Note: However from experience, usually sales and marketing department would not be able to meet the SLA due to last minute changes and that they are rushing for campaign approvals and collaterals.
Updating the corporate website and public Knowledge Based FAQs is NOT enough
Often in a campaign, having access to the collateral, gifts/product specs and too overly general FAQs are not sufficient. Because customers would have already checked the website before calling to ask about information that is not there,
If you do not wish to be disturbed after working hours/ weekends/public holidays/ your off day from desperate staff who need the information due to handling a complaint, then it is to your best interest to perform due diligence and get at least the anticipated questions and potential issues ready and updated to equip your staff to handle queries that comes in.
How to update your intranet for a new campaign or promotion for your staff to refer to:
Below are a general template that I have refined over the years and require that campaign managers provide the following information to me. You may use it as a guide or modify the existing information:
- Campaign name
- Objective of campaign
- Communication to customers
- Important conditions
- FAQs (Frequently asked questions)
- Merchant outlet listing
- Exception Handling
- Terms and Conditions
I tend to use a simple table format as it helps to categorise information systematically.
An example would be a 10% discount offer at a restaurant if customer uses let’s say, your bank’s Visa card to charge.
|Duration of campaign:||
Start date- End Date
(any grace period? If yes please indicate)
|Objective of the campaign:||The campaign manager should know this.|
|Communication:||How the campaign is communicated to the customer. You may include a small thumbnail of the campaign poster which can be enlarged when clicked.
Reason why you need pictures to the visuals is because sometimes a customer may forget the name of the campaign but is able to describe certain elements such as ‘a picture of a girl holding a big hamper basket’ etc. Also, sometimes the campaign advertisement may be confusing to the customer and your staff need to be able to see what the customer is seeing. Don’t expect your staff to buy the newspaper to see the ad.
|Offer||eg 10% discount when purchasing xxxxx meals at restaurant xxxx|
|Mechanics||Customer who uses the bank’s Visa card to charge at restaurant X (selected outlets) would be eligible for 10% discount on the total bill.|
This is for your staff to be able to view the guidelines at a glance instead of having to skim through the full terms and conditions and risk overlooking the information
Your campaign manager should provide you with a full listing of FAQs with proper scripting for your staff to answer customers.
As the campaign progresses and more staff approach you to clarify questions that are not found in the FAQs, once you obtain the answer, update in the campaign page in your intranet for other staff’s benefit. Especially if more than 1 staff comes to you to ask the same question.
Then take note of the question of such nature and take note to check to bring up this FAQ with the next campaign so that it saves you the time of being asked the same question again.
|Outlets of restaurant X||
List all the outlets and phone numbers of restaurant X in your intranet because you would be surprised, many customers would call to check on the outlet address. The campaign manager should have this information if he/she is collaborating with the restaurant.
This list can be updated as separate link/page/pdf if there are too many outlets to avoid the page from stretching too long.
This section involves complaint handling to address possible situation that have occur to help your staff to manage the complaint.
This should be address with the campaign manager, if there is any allowance.
1. Customer went to the restaurant and the waiter claimed no such offer.
Scripting to provide to customer: Mr/ Ms X, based on my checking, you are supposed to be entitled for the discount in your visit to the merchant. As you mentioned that you have been informed the offer is not applicable, we seek your help to provide us with the following information so that we can bring this matter up with the merchant to check. May I have the following:
How to escalate: The process should be agreed with the campaign manager before the campaign is being launched.
2. Customer had called in earlier to check on an offer. Your colleague wrongly provided the information that the offer is applicable for public holidays. Customer brought his whole family there and was angry that he was informed he was not eligible for the offer.
Scripting to provide to customer: ‘Dear Mr/Mx X, we are so sorry about the wrong information provided to you earlier. Let me assure you we would escalate this matter for further checking. Please allow us about X working days to get back to you. May I have your best contact number?
How to handle: This should tie in with how your department manages complaint on staff who have given the wrong information. This would surely happen. Would the campaign manager able to support by liaising with the outlet to give another discount or to mail a voucher to customer?
|Terms and Conditions||
Usually campaign managers would provide the copy in pdf. I always ask for a word document or I would physically copy and paste out the campaign.
Reason is because it is easy to make amendments later or to highlight important clauses (which the pdf copy would not do so).
Sometimes the campaign ends early or extended, sometimes there are important changes. For example if the campaign is extended, you just do strikeoff and replace with the new date. A strikeoff will help your staff to know what is the earlier date and what is the new date.
In updating campaigns, I always do my best to make it easier for my staff to handle. For a few years, I had to handle calls and complaints on ill managed campaigns and had to suffer because my company’s intranet was not updated to equip me to handle the call. Once, I got so upset that I made a promise to myself that one day if I get to manage the portal I would see to it that the information are there and would not let the staff to suffer what I had gone through.
Becareful of what to you wished for because it may just come true.
In two years after making the pledge, I ended up in that position. Since then, I have honored the promise that I have made to my staff.
I hope the above information above is useful- the above were derived from my personal experience. I just use a simple template and guidelines that I have learned through trial and error. Over the years, I’ve worked with many different product owners and campaign managers and providing them with a proper guidelines does help them and help me.