Sep 6, 2012

yes, outsource

By all means, outsource. I did.
But choose the right provider. I didn't.

This is a short, measurable story about call centers. One of my most solid presumptions was shattered: that English will take you anywhere.

When planning campaigns / events abroad and approaching companies, you might have the illusion that English works everywhere. It doesn't. You might even think that, if you're calling medium & large companies,  English is sufficient.

But if you imagine this will not affect your success rate, you are wrong.

I've measured the difference.

I've worked with an English-speaking call center for a project addressing companies in a German-speaking country, calling multinationals. In the database qualification phase, their success rate was 35%.  Most of the rejections sounded like:
- we're not interested
- we can't provide any information over the phone
- we don't speak English
- they hung up / transfer failed.

Taking the same project to a native call center made the difference. 96% completion rate. Where the companies were previously rejecting any form of collaboration, now they provided the requested data.

So there you have my conclusion, in measurable form: use native speakers when cold calling the companies.

Sep 4, 2012

foreign direct investments: Austria -> Romania

This is one of those posts with statistics about Romania's commercial relationships with other CEE countries - Austria, to be more specific.

The source for this statistics is this study released by the Commercial Service of the Austrian Embassy in Romania:

  • Austria is the second foreign investor in Romania, after The Netherlands
  • more than 1,000 active Austrian investors are present in Romania
  • Austrian investment amounts for 9.35 BLN Eur and represents 18% of the FDI in Romania
  • more than 6,100 companies with Austrian equity are established in Romania
  • these companies employ over 100,000 people
  • main sectors are: Resources | Agriculture | Industry | Services
  • Austria is market leader in Banking and Insurance
  • Austria is Top Investor in CEE: Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.