“This is a call from your Visa or MasterCard provider”
“Your car warranty has expired”
“You’ve been selected to — ”
These are all actual calls I’ve received in the past week — all calls I’ve ended quickly and without a shred of guilt. We hang up on robocalls because they’re robots, but how do you react when a real person reaches out to you via phone? You’re less likely to hang up immediately on an actual person, maybe giving them a few seconds to state their case.
You can spot a bad telemarketing call from a mile away, so the practice is dead, right? Not so fast. Bad telemarketers don’t use the channel because they want to annoy you. They use it because it works. But slapping crappy practices on a useful tool is always going to result in bad ROI.
With caller ID, automatic dialing software, and number spoofing, things have gotten harder for legit telemarketers who want to differentiate themselves from the scammers and do real business over the phone. They have to adapt to changing conditions by adopting new best practices.
These rules will keep your brand safe, will help you drive traffic and leads to your brand, and keep your callers on the public’s good side.
Use US-based call centers
If you’re going to call in North America, you need a call center located in North America. Most companies shy away from contracting with local call centers because outsourcing your calling or moving your call center overseas can save money on office overhead and caller wages.
But if your callers can’t make themselves understood, the money you save by outsourcing your calling may be money you lose from customers. Your callers have one method of communicating. If the prospect can’t understand them or has to spend a lot of mental energy to follow the line of questioning, the prospect experiences more friction. More friction results in fewer conversions.
When you contract with a company that runs North American call centers, you increase the likelihood that your callers will speak the customer’s language. You want your callers to make as many successful calls as possible in the least amount of time. Reducing friction and getting the callers what they need are integral to your success.
Find actual humans with human QA
Leads should be more than a bunch of names, email addresses, or phone numbers on a page. They should have real humans matched to those names and numbers. Some vendors don’t have a quality assurance (QA) process that weeds out old or fake information, so that bad data is passed on to you, wasting your sales reps’ time and your marketing budget.
Instead, work with a vendor with an advanced QA process where real people verify lead data before they send it to you. A good vendor will have several QA methods they employ to ensure their data is as up to date as possible. Look for vendors who:
- Call to verify identity
- Check employment status through LinkedIn and other data sources
- Verify email receipt of opt-in content
If you’ve received outdated lead information or obviously fake data like a 555-555-5555 phone number from your telemarketing lead vendor, it’s time to stop wasting your money and find a reputable data partner.
Engage with dynamic scripting
The most infuriating part of talking with a bad telemarketer? Feeling like they’re running through a script instead of actually listening to your feedback.
Instead of forcing callers to drone through a single script that doesn’t fit the needs of the contact, use a telemarketing partner who can provide dynamic scripting. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure book for callers. They ask the contact questions, and then use the information the contact provides to tailor the experience of the call to the needs of the contact, rather than the needs of the marketer. So instead of offering every contact a white paper on your software’s latest niche feature, offer them content that speaks to the work they do.
Dynamic scripting has far-reaching benefits:
- The contact is happy because you connect them with content that they care about. This increases the contact’s trust for your content and increases your overall conversion rate.
- The company running the content syndication program gains more success from each call, driving down the price of calling. They can then pass those savings on to you in a reduced price per lead.
Ultimately for telemarketing to succeed, it has to be based around good user experience. As marketers, we love to critique the user experience of websites, emails, and other forms of digital outreach. Telemarketing, like any other poorly utilized marketing outlet, gets a bad rap because some marketers misuse it.
But when you apply user experience best practices to this tool — a tool that provides real connections to actual decision makers — you can increase your ROI significantly. It’s long been known that business consumers expect personalized experiences. What’s more personalized than listening to the contact’s needs and giving them what they want?
We marketers all want to believe that the messages we send and the content that we promote will change a reader’s mind or finally convert that buyer, but it’s how you approach an audience — rather than what content you serve them — that makes a difference. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, people may not remember what you write, but they’ll always remember how you treat them.
No matter your method of outreach, think about the customer’s experience. How do your callers treat contacts, and what policies can you change to improve the experience? What changes can you make that will pay off in ROI and customer lifetime value later?
At TechnologyAdvice, we follow these customer experience best practices in our telemarketing services for content syndication and lead generation. Want to learn more? Contact us today, or visit our Partners page to find out more.