Established in 2010, Expat Help, based in Amsterdam, are destination specialists who help expats and companies who employ expats with issues such as relocation, housing, schooling and tax in the Netherlands. Their expertise covers all aspects of living in the Netherlands from applications for work visa and residence permits, to finding a new home. Their tailored, personal guidance ensures a smooth and stress free relocation so that expats settle quickly into Dutch life and are more productive when they start work, saving employers time and money.
Expat Help has supported companies in a range of industries including fashion, media, pharmaceutical, chemical and banking, as well as in geographic locations across Europe and the United States.
Campaign objective and project background
As part of an initiative to develop new business around their relocation and housing service, Ex Pat Help approached three telemarketing agencies in June 2016 to trial telephone appointment setting services targeting HR, Relocation, Compensation and Benefits Managers/Directors within SME organisations in the Netherlands. After a competitive pitch, The Telemarketing Company was identified as the best fit for the requirement due to the breadth of their sector and account management experience.
The Telemarketing Company was thoroughly briefed by Expat Help to carry out an initial 7 week campaign. The briefing took place remotely and included a number of additional agents to ensure back up for sickness or absence, and to allow flexibility in finding the best agent profile fit for the campaign.
Data was supplied by the client, available to them through their subscription to the Knowledge Migrant Scheme, a scheme introduced to make the Netherlands more attractive to high-level knowledge workers and scientists, and to address the needs of Dutch companies and Knowledge Institutes. The campaign was geographically targeted to The Randstad area, consisting primarily of the four largest Dutch cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht) as well as Eindhoven, the design and technology hub in the South of the Netherlands.
Agents were briefed on the company’s ongoing social media activity and asked to be aware of opportunities created by companies considering relocation as a result of the UK’s Brexit vote. In addition to training on the service itself, agents were also given a thorough briefing around various pain points and objections that might be raised. Where prospective clients had other services in place, or were not receptive to the appointment offer, profiling questions were provided to gather future intelligence; for example, details of current providers and expiry dates for existing agreements.
The target for the campaign was to achieve one appointment for every ten hours of calling. In the early weeks of calling, while pipeline development was strong, results were failing to materialise despite repeated attempts to moderate and alter the call approach. It was eventually decided that the campaign might benefit from a completely new calling team; once cleared with the client, the switch took place with immediate benefits. Early pipeline and extensive feedback on previous calls were instrumental in helping to change the campaign fortune and appointments followed. Despite the slow start, the client remained actively engaged throughout and along with the account manager proactively helped coach new agents and worked collaboratively with the agency to provide feedback on areas for improvement.
In the second half of the campaign, calling focused more heavily on Amsterdam where housing provided a particularly strong hook. Agents firmed up their closing techniques and took extra care in finding the right balance between securing appointments quickly and spending time gathering detail around each prospects’ interests. The shift in emphasis contributed to improved results.
By the end of the campaign, the original target had been surpassed and one appointment made for every nine hours of calling. A longer lead time than expected meant that results from the pipeline generated early in the campaign did not come to fruition until the later stages. A key success factor overall was the partnership approach and open exchange of information and ideas between client and agency. Proactive campaign management on behalf of both the client and the agency led to improvements in the call structure and stronger results in the second half of the campaign. The client has now extended the campaign for a further three months and, as the campaign has now reached steady state, client and agency have agreed to raise the target to two appointments per day.