Predictive Dialer Featured Article

The "Do's and Don'ts" of Outbound Telemarketing



In an era of multichannel customer support, many companies forget that customer support works two ways: both inbound and outbound. With profit margins narrowing and companies jostling to get ahead of their competitors, many have turned to outbound methods to both sell and engage in proactive customer outreach in order to cement the customer relationship into a loyal one.


Outbound telemarketing, however, isn’t for the faint of heart. Done improperly, it can be intrusive, annoying and even costly, if it violates rules and regulations. There are many moving parts in an outbound telemarketing campaign, and it’s important to keep them all under control and proceed the right way instead of the wrong way.

That said, the following are some “do’s and don’ts” when it comes engaging in outbound telemarketing.

Do pick the right time to call. Calling a customer to try and sell them something unrelated after they’ve just made a large purchase will annoy them. Calling them to upsell or cross-sell them on related products or services, however, can be a great opportunity, and welcomed by customers. Ensure the pitch and its timing are appropriate.

Do link your CRM to your outbound efforts. Before a call is even placed, make sure the agent can see the entire history of the customer’s relationship with the organization in order to avoid asking dumb questions or seeming unaware of the customer’s history. Nothing will turn a customer off to your company more than realizing that, despite having spent a lot of money with your business, you don’t know who they are and what interactions they’ve had with you recently.

Do use a dialing solution. By segmenting customers properly and building intelligent calling lists, outbound marketers can place more calls and reach more customers at the right time. A dialing solution can allow agents to call many times more customers per hour and greatly increase the likelihood of a connection and a sale.

Do put the right people on the phones. Outbound telemarketing is not for the faint of heart, but there are some people who have a knack for it and some who don’t. Ordering an agent with no skills and no enthusiasm to make outbound calls won’t do your organization any favors.

Don’t forget to ensure you are legally able to call a prospect or customer. In addition to the federal do-not-call registry, there are state registries that must be observed. Moreover, each state may have its own rules about calling hours, prior relationships and calling mobile phones.

Don’t use automated outbound calling (i.e. “robocalling”) for prospects or customers you don’t have an established relationship with. For starters, it’s illegal in many circumstances. Secondly, customers dislike it intensely: you risk turning your company into “Rachel from Card Services.” While automated outbound calling has a place in service reminders, appointment reminders or refills, automated cold-calling should be struck off a marketer's to-do list permanently.

Finally, if you believe that an outbound campaign would help your company but you decide you simply don’t have the resources for it, consider hiring a professional third party to do it. It’s not the sort of project that should ever be undertaken with incomplete resources or amateur methods. 




Edited by Blaise McNamee
 

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What Are Related Definitions You Should Know?

Related definitions that you should know as you increase your understanding of predictive dialers include:

Dialer: generic term for any computer-driven device that places outbound calls and connects the answered calls to an agent or operator.

Agent: telephone professional to whom a predictive dialer sends the ready call.

Predictive Dialer: Predictive dialing was introduced for the purpose of increasing efficiency within calling centers. They are computer based system that automatically dial groups of telephone numbers, and then passes live calls to available agents. The SpitFire Enterprise dialer utilizes sophisticated algorithms to speed up and slow down the call rate based on, number of available agents, number of available lines, the campaign’s average call time and other statistical information.

Quick Connect: Quick Connect allows your agents to log in one-to-one with a phone line. This option is great for B2B purposes, especially when your agent needs to be on the phone line through the entire call.

Fixed Dialing: Fixed Dialing gives your call center manager the power to manually set the volume of calls. The software will then automatically dial a predetermined number of lines per agent. Fixed dialing is ideal for political campaigns, charity campaigns, and other situations drop call ratios are not a factor.

Auto dialer: makes thousands of calls screening for busy signals, no answers, fax machines while detecting answering machines/voicemail and delivers pre-recorded messages. SpitFireX Auto Dialer is a low cost solution for voice broadcasting.

How Do Predictive Dialers Work?

Predictive dialers use complex mathematical algorithms that calculate, in real time:

  1. the number of available agents
  2. the number of phone lines available
  3. the probability of reaching a human being at a specific number
  4. the time between calls required for optimum agent efficiency
  5. the length of typical agent/customer or
    debtor conversations
  6. the average length of time agents require to wrap up after a call

SpitFire Enterprise Predictive SEP is a fully blended call center solution that supports unlimited lines, agents, and campaigns. Its greatest strength is in its flexibility: multiple campaigns can be set up, viewed, and changed with the click of a button. With easy options for customization, data and dispositions can be catered to each campaign. In addition to our user-friendly interface, SEPhighlights full customer data and combines multiple campaigns on one screen. All the information your agents need is accessible at a glance, freeing their energy to focus on what matters: the calls.

Keep It Simple with SpitFire Fully Integrated Call Center Software

Our greatest priority is making your call center run smoothly, and we do that by developing software that is intuitive and easily integrated with your current systems. SEP works seamlessly with most CRM applications and long distance carriers, making it the simplest and most cost-effective solution for your call center.

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Benefits of Using a Predictive Dialer

  1. Manages the process of dialing tens of thousands of calls or tens of millions of calls in its lifetime.
  2. Detects the result of the call, as an example: no answer, busy, fax, bad number, answering machine without any presence of human expertise. Consequently saving time by only transferring calls which are voice connects to the agents locally or remotely.
  3. Using predictive dialer increases the productivity of the company by drastically increasing the time agents spend on the phone talking to actual customers or prospective clients.
  4. Predictive dialer users get the ability to organize and better manage the client information, no lost notes scribbled on pieces of paper. The database used by the dialer organizes the calling structure.
  5. The most significant task done by the predictive dialer is to predict, which means always making an effort to get a live call to the available agent with the shortest amount of wait time. This is achieved by self learning algorithms within the predictive dialer to increase or decrease the dial ratio per agent, logged into the system.
  6. Inbound call can be better dealt with by allowing the customers to wait on hold in an IVR system, or a way to leave a message they'd like a callback while the agent is busy talking with other customers.
  7. Most important benefit of a predictive dialer is it reduces expenses for your company over a period of time since you do not need to buy and deploy a complex and sometimes extremely expensive PBX system. Your company will experience return of investment (ROI) in a period of six to twelve months.
  8. A predictive dialing system can effortlessly fit into your companies existing infrastructure since it is software controlled.
  9. The call routing logic and the contact management is all included in one software package. Your call routing logic implemented as per your specifications. Since it is a software package it can easily be upgraded even if you are located remotely with the help of internet.
  10. Provides an added cost effective method of managing the client database by giving the user of the predictive system ability to rework your database on previous call results.

    Example:
    1. only redial records which were busy, no answers and answering machines
    2. Delete records which are bad numbers, disconnected numbers or operator intercepts
  11. Do a real time look up against the do not call database saving the predictive dialer user from accidentally calling people who have enrolled in the do National not call registry. This saves the company from lawsuits and others risks conforming to all legal statutes and FCC complaints.
  12. Provides progressive dialing capabilities like call blending which means handling inbound and outbound call at the same time.
  13. Provides ability to integrate call recording devices and call monitoring interfaces which helps call center supervisors to train agents and users and improve their customer support skills.
  14. Easy to setup and learn the predictive dialer logic and software tools.

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