There has been a lot of media coverage of call centres closing down in Australia. In November of last year Energy Australia announced it was planning to close its call centre in Melbourne's north-east. Up to 300 people will lose their job as the backroom operations move to the Philippines in September of this year.
QANTAS had previously decided to ‘consolidate’ its three Australian call centres into one facility based in Hobart by 2016 – closing its Melbourne and Brisbane call centres. The move is part of its previously announced $2 billion transformation program and associated reduction of 5000 jobs.
But one Australian company, soon to launch in the United Kingdom, is actually reversing this trend.
“Lead generation is essential for all organisations, large and small and as a business you can’t just rely on inbound enquiries to generate new sales and business growth,” Richard Forrest, founder and managing director, of the Forrest Marketing Group (FMG) says. “You need to be proactive with outbound calls and this is what we offer our clients.
“We don’t employ students or backpackers, but experienced people who have had careers and are now generally aged in their late 40s so they know how to speak to people at all levels to generate interest in our clients’ services and helping their business succeed.”
Forrest Marketing Group (FMG) is not only expanding their business into Europe, but also making plans to grow their team in Australia.
“We are launching in the United Kingdom because I can see that the time is right to expand our business internationally, as we have a great service to offer to businesses over there,” Forrest says.
“We have grown year on year in Australia. We employ 90 people working on 100 active campaigns a week and we believe that we will grow to 120 people here in the next year or two, as well as employing up to 35 people in England in the very near future.
"As a specialist lead generation/appointment setting organisation, I believe the key to our success is that we have developed a unique 'market research' approach to our calls that enables our agents to develop natural conversations that uncover a prospect’s needs and enables us to present our client's services as solutions to all levels of decision makers across almost all industries.”
Forrest started FMG back in 2006 with one client and three part-time sales people.
In the first three years the company grew predominately from word of mouth and doubled in size every year over this period. From 2010, Forrest Marketing Group invested heavily in human resources and infrastructure to enable the company to increase the sophistication of its service and attract larger corporate clients.
FMG's service has matured and its reputation has spread, so that their client list now includes large national and international businesses including Adobe, BOC, Boral, David Jones, Elders Insurance, Hoyts, Harvey Norman, Pirelli, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Readers Digest, Tradelink and TNT.
“It has been a wonderful journey so far and I am confident that we will continue to grow in the future,” Forrest says.
The FMG expansion into the United Kingdom will be under the name of Air Marketing Group, which will begin trading on March 7, located in Exeter, England.
Owen Richards will be the managing director. Richards was previously operations manager at FMG for seven years before returning to the UK in 2015.
"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to carry on the great work that Forrest Marketing Group does, on the other side of the world,” Owen Richards, managing director, says.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of FMG's success in Australia for more than seven and a half years and I believe we can carry on the great work in the UK and beyond.
“Air Marketing Group represents a great new opportunity for all involved.”