A funny thing happened over the past few years as regional and national media organizations consolidated – call center representatives absorbed an increasing number of transactions and more responsibility.

Today, these call-center teams are smaller than ever before and responsible for customer support, inbound order-taking, and outbound sales for a growing number of products, platforms, and packages. Additionally, these teams also have been tasked with servicing multiple market areas of the regional media organization.

In fact, what used to be considered self-service or call-center software, has now evolved into a central portal to support every kind of advertising sale, by a customer, seller, and manager, in addition to a call center.

The role of the call center has also expanded from taking inbound orders and making outbound sales to managing fast-growing revenue streams across verticals, powered by the size of an unmatched audience for local news.

So today regional and national media chains are rethinking how they can both organize super competent teams to manage thousands of transactions across multiple products, verticals, and platforms.

The iPublish AdPortal® platform is a virtual sales assistant at the center of this new process, and enhances the way companies think about the role of the inside team.

Regional and national chains who use iPublish AdPortal® are finding that a centralized call center supported by the right software can actually preserve local jobs, increase efficiencies and enable these teams to be more responsive to local needs.

Centralize operations around a high quality team

For the most part, the people running call centers are some of the most competent because they are survivors of classified decimation, consolidation, cutbacks and the shift to less-supervised work from home processes. It goes without saying they are often already super-stars, but adding intention to create an A+ team always helps!

Regional call centers can work out of one office location servicing hundreds of newspapers, as Gannett and McClatchy do, or remain at the local level concentrating on a specific newspaper or newspaper group.

Regional newspapers can also elevate the best of the local inside teams at one or more locations, who still work out of their locale, and join the corporate team using enterprise-level software to streamline workflow processes while supporting other markets.

world class call center team

Whichever path your organization takes, the amount of revenue involved in just Obituaries and Public Notices – much less classifieds, real estate and other verticals – means call-center operators in 2023 are some of the most important people to all of the properties they serve.

These operators must be multi-talented and dynamic as they respond to customer service issues; support inbound sales with appropriate recommendations, upsell and closing skills; work with email and the CRM, follow-up with outbound sales; kick-off product launches and understand multiple verticals. So promote excellence, hire well, and structure pay accordingly. Then provide the tools to make it easy for them to succeed!

Empower the revenue department with fast, simple-to-use, world-class software

There is no longer a need to burden a call-center team with software that requires shifting between platforms, using complicated pricing matrices, or performing extra work to communicate with other departments to place and fill orders. In fact, there may be no need for paperwork at all, since iPublish AdPortal® integrates with both front-end advertising and accounting systems, Facebook, and owned & operated, programmatic digital platforms.

AdPortal’s world-class user interface is easy to implement, and has powered hundreds of millions in online-transactions without a glitch.

Products, pricing and packaging can be designed and vetted locally, but are also easy for remote users to access from a menu. Since the verticals are built on the same platform, there is no need for cross-training.

call center vertical

The AdPortal® platform functions as a virtual sales assistant, handling multiple sales transactions simultaneously – helping the user build their display ad campaigns, take and process the insertion orders and payment, send final creative assets to production, and send automated performance reports. This allows the call-center team to focus on relationships and more complex revenue generating opportunities.

Best-case scenario, the corporate team frees up the local market customer support teams to do what they do best.

The email or phone-in experience for the customer is also better: they receive faster responses in the case of email, and no longer have to wait for long periods of time as a call-center rep manipulates software or calculates pricing. Plus, customers can always find a live customer service representative who lives in the United States, understands the local products, makes consistently good recommendations, and processes orders in a matter of clicks, if needed.

Give the call center team great, customized products to sell

When iPublish AdPortal® is deployed as an enterprise solution, the individual markets retain their ability to customize their products and pricing based on local needs under its own brand. What sells in a beach town in South Florida may not be relevant in an edge-city outside Tulsa. In fact, there are almost always unique localized variations in pricing and packaging. So vet the product mix and pricing locally. Customized multi-platform bundles are a snap with iPublish AdPortal®, and can be sold by anyone.

AdPortal® Real Estate packages can include video, social and programmatic display advertising campaigns to target down to the neighborhood level. AdPortal® Public Notices is configured with state and local municipality rules for fonts, placement, and pricing. Competitive situations that require different combinations such Waze, or print special sections are easy to set up.

competitive products

Because iPublish Media Solutions has successful implementations at the enterprise levels, there are always ideas and best practices to draw from; as well as webinars in which enterprise customers give tips and use cases. Keep in mind that at the local level, the software also supports the sales team and DIY customers, so it’s a win-win all around.

At the end of the day, a successful enterprise-level call center builds bridges across the company and the community.

Consider making 2023 the year to think about consolidating with enterprise-level solutions and leverage a central team to maximize efficiencies and profitability. The fixed pricing used by iPublish Media Solutions means that all of the additional revenues, in addition to savings drop to your bottom line, where it should be.

For more information or a product demo, contact sales@ipublishmedia.com