Outbound Strategies (1,010 words)
Mitch Lieber is president of Lieber and Associates in Chicago, a company that specializes in telemarketing consulting and integrating outbound calling with direct mail campaigns.
Lieber says most companies think keeping the dialer pace excessively high will increase the telemarketers' output. Not so, though. In fact, lowering the dialer pace and using a few tricks will actually make your employees and customers happier.
"Companies have to realize that reps can't be on calls 59 minutes out of the hour," explains Lieber. "The difference between 59 and 49 minutes in the grand scheme of things doesn't get you more."
The predictive dialer can be useful when targeting your best customers. After the call list has been tailored, different scripts can be loaded for each offering. Some dialers can use the final screen of a transaction, rather than estimated talk time, to trigger the next call, typically lowering abandon rates.
The Power of the Pre-call
Before your catalog hits a potential buyer's doorstep, a pre-call could earn you a sale. A pre-call arrives before a catalog, to highlight a product similar to one the customer has purchased before, to suggest a new one, or to make a special offer or a discount.
Liz Kislik of Liz Kislik Associates in Valley Stream, NY, says a carefully targeted calling plan, which includes a pre-call, can have up to a 40 percent success rate.
Kislik emphasizes that offers should not be general, but specific to the customer's past shopping patterns. She says it isn't always necessary to offer a discount on a particular product, but calling with a limited-time pricing offer can be suggestive.
Kislik advises that in order for the pre-call to be effective, staff must know the product line so they can handle full orders and questions. The TSRs must also have good phone manners.