A.L.Challis Ltd, trading as Challis Water Controls, was established in 2000. A family firm run by 3 brothers, Russell, Chris and Simon Challis, the company has 10 employees. Offices and warehousing are based in Cookham, Berkshire, and manufacturing in Luton, Bedfordshire, where the Challis Ag+ shower heads and hoses are manufactured. Ag+ products are UK manufactured, and Challis is an ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Quality Assured Company. The company produces the UK’s only antibacterial disposable shower head and hose.
Campaign objective and Project Background
Challis specialises in the design, manufacture and distribution of a wide range of water saving products and key customers include the Ministry of Defence, NHS Trusts across the UK, Accor Hotels, top UK universities and the UK government.
Challis approached The Telemarketing Company to deliver a campaign into NHS Hospital Trusts promoting the Ag+ Scheme, with the aim of setting up 20 minute appointments with key decision maker contacts. The trusts can be made up of one large hospital, normally in high population conurbations, or a collection of several hospitals serving a large more rural and dispersed population.
The Ag+ Scheme is based around replacing showers and hoses with a brand new antibacterial disposable colour coded shower head and hose, instead of cleaning the old shower. The new hose and head are supplied to hospitals each quarter. Replacing with new disposable shower heads and hoses each quarter is quicker, safer, easier and more efficient than cleaning old showers and hoses. The Ag+ units are collected and recycled, enabling the trusts to meet their sustainability compliance targets.
NHS Trusts across the country are coming under huge budget cuts backs and as such are looking out for any opportunities to cut cost whilst at the same time increasing levels of safety, efficiency and compliance. The implementation of the Ag+ Scheme exceeds all these requirements.
The target audience was decision makers within the Estates and Facilities departments and, specifically those responsible for water safety, Legionella control and quarterly deep clean of showers and hoses. Challis provided the data for the trusts The Telemarketing Company was to target, and briefed the calling team via Skype. Data needed to be managed in line with the brief – for example calls to larger trusts with a higher number of beds had higher priority.
All NHS Trusts have an Estates & Facilities department, which normally has responsibility for all the buildings within the trust, the supply of utilities and the day to day management of the facilities, including the quarterly deep clean of shower heads and hoses. Heads and hoses are cleaned at least once a week by the domestic staff within the hospital. This was not the focus of the campaign, however; rather the key interest was is in the quarterly deep clean carried out by Estates department maintenance teams.
Responsibility for the quarterly deep clean is often delegated to a particular Maintenance Manager who will most likely also have responsibility for Legionella control. This person is generally a main member of the particular NHS Trust WSG (Water Safety group). Getting to the right person with the right message was of the essence and it was critical for the team to qualify contacts correctly to ensure appointments were valid.
The brief included the main pain points and objections, which the callers were likely to encounter, and the corresponding benefits. In terms of messaging, the key facts were around the simplicity of the scheme and the reduced management requirement, cutting maintenance cost and time for more important tasks. This product is the UK’s only antibacterial disposable shower head & hose and helps trusts hit certain targets, including:
- Antibacterial protection 24/7 - Improved Infection Control
- Different Coloured showers for each quarter - Proof of Change Easy Auditing
- Delivery Collection & recycling included in price - Recycling Meeting Trust Sustainability Target
Whilst the unique qualities of the product provide a compelling proposition, callers still faced a wide range of objections such as the fact that in-house maintenance might be considered cheaper, or competitive products and processes were already in place.
In 175 hours of calling, 34 appointments and additional leads were produced. Appointments needed to be grouped together geographically to minimise travel time and cost for the client, and very careful diary management was therefore deployed. Additionally, during the campaign, The Telemarketing Company monitored all email replies closely and fed replies back, as some decision makers had technical questions before they were ready to commit to a meeting.
In addition to appointments and leads supplied, a cleansed and qualified database was also delivered to support future marketing activities.
The brief we gave to The Telemarketing Company was, to say the least, very challenging, and our expectations were very high. I am pleased to say that they rose to the challenge and exceeded those expectations, surpassing our ambitious target of 30 appointments.
This was the first time we had used a telemarketing service and, as a result, we really needed some hand holding, which the staff did very efficiently and expertly throughout the campaign. In the past, we have tried many different marketing channels but this was by far the most successful and, more importantly, the most cost effective we have ever tried.
I have no doubt that we will be using telemarketing again in the near future in order to build on the success of this first initiative. I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending The Telemarketing Company, especially to companies who haven’t used this channel before.
Owner, Challis Water Controls