AllCall, a BDC (Business Development Center) based out of Danville, Kentucky, has thrived during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Greg Wells, the owner and operator of AllCall, has, despite losing some of his staff due to the pandemic, only become a force to reckon with during these unprecedented times.
Prior to COVID-19, AllCall was a bustling call center that housed 40 agents. The average tenure of these agents was 3+ years. Which made AllCall a call center filled with those that were capable and competent in their field. Most of his agents were women -- many of which have young children. One of the key benefits that Greg offered to his agents was a child care area for school-aged children -- complete with toys, games, and a television. If his agents had smaller children such as infants, they were able to bring their bassinets to work and set them beside their desks while they worked.
Thus giving his agents the opportunity to work without worrying about who will watch their children. Greg Wells believes in families first, especially after witnessing his wife take care of the children and the household while he worked 70 hour weeks in the car dealership business. This belief of family first, along with building a sense of community and mutual respect among his employees, has directly impacted his employee turnover rate in a positive way. Since their conception in 2012, AllCall has had between 84%-94% employee retention. One of the highest numbers in the call center business.
The “Stay at Home” order went into effect for Kentucky on March 26th. Wells sent all 40 of his call center agents home with their computers. These agents were laid off for three weeks. The only employees that continued to be paid were the call center managers. He didn’t expect the productivity during this time to match that of a normal work week. Especially since he was working with only 3 managers. However, he was proved wrong.
Despite having young children and the weight of the household on their shoulders, Wells’ managers tore off their stripes and joined the ranks of his agents. They didn’t hesitate to pick up the phone to start reaching out to leads. Because of their outstanding performance and dedication, they were able to keep AllCall alive and thriving. AllCall did not see a decline in their appointment rate as their agents are extremely well-trained. The agents' performance is directly tied to their pay, so they were determined to continue their high-level of productivity.
During the "Stay at Home" order AllCall was forced to lay off most of his staff. This posed a problem as the service departments in most dealerships remained open and required call center agents to field outbound calls. Despite losing his staff, AllCall saw an increase in service leads and were able to onboard several new clients. Call hold times increased slightly -- just over a minute -- however, AllCall's clients were understanding, being that they were severely understaffed. Due to the decrease in staff, AllCall experienced a 30% decrease in labor costs. They were able to save money on labor, which in accordance with his stellar managerial staff, were a few reasons why AllCall was able to stay afloat.
Even though Greg Wells has a committed group of individuals working for him, he doesn’t only attribute his success to them. Creating a culture of community while fostering exceptional management processes are just as vital to AllCall’s success as those involved. Prior to the pandemic, Greg and his managers would host daily huddle meetings -- 3 times a day -- so that all of his agents were on the same page as to what was expected of them as far as call volume and conversions were concerned. Despite not being able to have these meetings in person, Greg and his managers have taken the idea and purpose behind these meetings and taken them virtual.
Through utilization of Microsoft Teams, AllCall is able to meet with its agents on a daily basis to check-in and provide feedback on the quality of the agents’ calls when necessary. Greg is also an avid reader and loves to share his love of books with his employees. In fact, all team members will read 2-3 books a year and they meet to discuss what resonated with them, what they hope to apply to their lives based on what they read and the like. This desire to share and grow personally as a group trickled into their professional lives -- adding to the overall success of the company.
In accordance with a great culture and like-minded, dedicated team, AllCall also credits its successes during this time to the constant need for outsourcing by car dealerships. During any critical economic timeframe, the car business thrives, regardless of the circumstances. Those who own and manage car dealerships are always looking for ways to manage their labor cost, and overall cost effectiveness of their businesses. Hiring a BDC is just one of their cost effective measures. Greg and his team have been very successful because of this overwhelming need for outsourcing.
Therefore, the successes of AllCall can not be ascribed to a single entity or being. It is a group effort, the focus being on a family first approach. Everyone who is a part of AllCall is family, and they take care of each other. Whether that means a manager jumps on the phone to contact leads when an agent is unable to, or meeting to discuss call quality and providing constructive feedback in order to encourage the professional growth of an agent. These processes help to shape the company and allow it to take the call center business by storm.