Outbound Strategies (1,010 words)
Figuring out How To use Outbound Telemarketing to Get and Keep Customers can be a
Costly Trial, Often Ending in Error
By Melissa Sepos
Outbound telemarketing sales representatives often face more obstacles in their jobs than inbound TSRs. Following these five suggestions can make outbound calling yield higher customer satisfaction, increase sales and keep your employees happy.
Andrew Wetzler, catalog consultant with Andrew Wetzler and Associates in Boca Raton, FL, says training TSRs is often where companies lose ground.
"For the most part, inside sales [departments] and telemarketing companies do a horrendous job of training their team," says Wetzler. "The person calling starts out at a serious disadvantage."
For callers, the job can be daunting and discouraging, especially if most calls are to consumers with whom the company has had no prior relationship.
A good training foundation, says Wetzler, will teach employees skills to prevent "battle weariness." He says role playing and good and frequent coaching will keep employees striving for the next yes.
At Moore Medical Corp. in New Britain, CT, inbound and outbound TSRs are seated next to one another. The seating arrangement allows outbound reps to share their more in-depth product knowledge with inbound TSRs when needed. It also lets outbound reps assist with heavy call volume during peak times.
Ronald Floormann Jr., director of sales and customer support, says the arrangement reduces turnover in TSRs, which is important given the estimated year-and-a-half training curve for new employees.
The Direct Marketing Assoc-iation recently adopted a 5 percent abandonment guideline in response to legislative threats to ban predictive dialing.
Despite its controversial public image, predictive dialing can be instrumental to running an outbound calling campaign. Predictive dialers automatically dial numbers based on certain criteria, usually talk time. The rate at which they make calls, or their pace, can be adjusted. Unfortunately, automated dialers using estimated talk time cannot tell if a representative has completed a call and may occasionally result in hanging up on, or abandoning, your customers. But if done correctly, predictive dialing can make your telemarketing more efficient and help keep your TSRs from burning out.