Old customers or clients can be a valuable source of income for your business. However, it isn’t always simple in convincing them to return, and importantly, it can also be extremely time-consuming and expensive.
Here are some useful tips in how to re-activate your existing customer base, keeping both time and costs to a minimum, for maximum effect:
Choose telephone over email For existing or former customers, email just isn’t enough. Anyone who has already done business with you will feel a certain connection with your branding, and will likely already have had a lot of interaction with your employees, so a more personal touch is needed. Calling customers is the obvious way of achieving this – encourage your employees to tailor each call as much as possible, to make it clear to the former customer that you value their business.
Use a hosted predictive dialler Automating calls can help your business cut both costs and time when it comes to calling former clients. Employees will be able to reach a larger number of customers in a shorter time – but ensure that you choose a fully unified platform, like Blue Telecoms dialler, that offers complete integration with cloud services and apps that your business already uses, plus reporting features, excellent security levels and 24/7 customer support.
Initiate a review Encourage feedback and discussion from your former clients once you have them on the phone – what can your business do better? What did they like? Why did they leave? Ensure that the customer feels they can genuinely air their issues or opinions with you, and react with fairness and understanding. By showing them that you’re responsive, you are far more likely to win their custom back.
Consider special offers Most people cannot resist a bargain, so giving your former customer base a chance to grab an exclusive offer is an easy way to bring them back to your business. You can make the offer relevant for a limited time only, or you can communicate a longer-standing discount if the client purchases a certain amount of products or services.
To learn more about how a dialler can help you re-activate your old customer base, call us on 03334445558 or email email@example.com
There are two huge factors when people make a buying decision: the want to gain something, and also the fear of loosing out. When making a purchase, people mostly look to weigh up any benefits they might gain from a product, with anything that might cost them in terms of money, time or anything else they feel is important at the time.
If you want to boost your sales, it’s vitally important that you realise this process of weighing up gains and losses.
The Fear Of Loss
Most sales people agree that tapping into fear of loss is one of the biggest psycological plays they can make during a sale. For most humans, the worry of loosing something important, completely outweighs the joy of gaining something new.
There are a couple of ways this can work:
Fear of loosing out on a great deal.
Fear of loosing financially (Redundancy, Getting a poor deal, Missing out due to a timeframe).
Fear of loosing something important personally (Family, Friends).
The way you use this during the sales process can work in two ways. Either you need to reassure a prospect that any sale will lead to a possitibe outcome for them (Always gaining) – or alternatively, you can point out the losses that could arrise from not taking a deal (Lack of insurance, Loosing out on a great offer).
You’ll almost certainly come across objections during this process, but focusing on the positive outcomes that you product provides is the most powerful way to push your product and close the sale.
The Desire To Gain
The first thing to realise about gain, is that it can take many forms. Some decision makers might focus entirely on the price/benefits, whilst others might focus on other issues – like brand identity or the status ownership of a product might have. With products such as mortgages or insurance, security is also a tangible gain that customers will get.
To sell a gain, you need to approach each prospect seperately, understanding what gains are most important to them. Once you have this information, you can continue to emphasis these benefits to try and mitigate any fear of loss they might have.
To make good use of fear/loss as a sale technique, your telesales staff need to quickly understand what a prospect views as important early on. By building rapport with a client, they’ll soon figure out what’s important, what’s not and how they can tailor their pitch to match.
By making a few tweaks, your staff can improve the quality of their calls hugely – hopefully giving their overall conversion rate a boost too.
Hold music is one oh those annoying parts of modern life. Everyone has had experience of listening to awful hold music – all whilst wondering just how long they’re going to be kept waiting for! It’s a daily occurrence that fills most people with dread!
Studies have shown that the type of hold music you deploy, can have a huge impact on your customers mood by the time they reach and agent. Some experts have even started to suggest that poor quality hold music is an example of bad service.
So Why Are Companies Getting It So Wrong?
Given the importance that customers place on holding music, why are so many companies so slow to get it right? Some companies, obsessively try to push “cool” music as part of their hold function – mobile phone and tech companies are particularly guilty of this; however, there’s one thing they all tend to miss.
Even if you manage to implement a system that plays a mix of old and new songs, lovingly curated to keep your customers entertained – the sound quality of most phones will likely result in a horrible experience for the end user.
Telephones Are Not Radios
The main issue with hold music, is that phones aren’t designed to playback with the same audio quality as MP3’s, CD’s or even radio. To ensure everyones conversations can travel through the phone network, the audio quality will inevitably be lowered to keep everything running smoothly.
Compare this to a service like Skype, where the audio quality is crystal clear and you could genuinely play a record – hearing every part of the song as the musician intended.
For normal phone calls, this drop in quality isn’t important. Most phone conversations occur within a standard frequency range – anything outside of this isn’t important – and this is exactly what gets cut.
Hold Music, Done The Right Way
To deploy your hold music the right way, there are a couple of simple rules to follow. If you keep in mind the limitations of phone lines, and stick to simplicity – you’ll soon make holding for an agent as pain free as possible.
Keep it simple – Try to use simple pieces of electronic or acoustic music inside your hold function. Try to avoid overly loud pieces or singing, as this can cause an issue known as clipping. Try to listen to an entire song all the way through before choosing it, listening carefully for loud endings or choruses.
Keep it licensed – The last thing you need as a business owner is to be hit with a large bill for copyright infringement. If you do use a piece of music, always license it and/or gain the permission of the artists behind it. You can check the status of songs by visiting the PRS Website.
Listen to the song – And by listen to it, we mean all the way to the end. Some songs will be particularly loud in certain sections – leading to the clipping issues noted above.
Don’tmake assumptions – No, classical pieces don’t always sound sophisticated, and modern pop music won’t always make your brand appear cool too!
Lengthy Hold Times Aren’t Great Anyway!
At the end of the day, lengthy hold times won’t make for happy customers – regardless of the song they listen to. There are plenty of ways to ensure your customers get through to the correct agent for their needs, such as IVR systems or inbound routing.
Another interesting piece of technology, and something that comes as standard with the Blue Telecoms dialler, is a messaging system that lets your customers know exactly where they are in the queue. A customer is far less likely to drop if they know they’re 2nd in the queue.
If you’re not 100% certain what’s achievable with regard to hold music and inbound routing, give our friendly team a call – we’ll be happy to assist you.
For most businesses, the phone is an essential tool for marketing and developing your lead base. Telesales continues to be a hugely important part of this, helping to nurture and build those leads into appointments and ultimately sales.
If you’re looking to bring your A game to the sales floor this year – here are 3 ways you can get the process rolling.
Responding To Hot Leads Quickly
Leads will flow into your business everyday, either by phone, internet or by email. Even so, 78% of companies accept that a portion of quality leads never get the attention they deserve. This real issue here is that leads begin to cool rapidly, as consumers and businesses purchase from other vendors – or simply loose interest.
There has been research into how leads cool, leads that are responded to within 5 minutes convert at a massively higher rate than those left for 30 minutes. It gets even worse the longer that time period takes too, with each hour cooling your lead until it becomes absolutely stone cold.
The easy way around this, is to set companywide policies on how fresh leads are dealt with. By using a dialler system such as the one Blue Telecoms provides, you can also push fresh leads directly into your telesales agents queue to be called. This can help your business ensure as many of your leads are responded to within the 5 minutes golden period.
It’s also worth mentioning that automated responses just don’t cut it in the marketing world. There’s absolutely nothing that can compare with a human response – keeping those leads pipping hot.
Analysing Your Sales And Refining Your Approach
Sales performance is never something that can be left without analysis. Sometimes, one method of approaching a lead might not work – whilst a seperate method will convert at a far higher rate. This doesn’t mean you have to resort to rigid split testing, but a good phone call from a business development manager with the right questions can really point your agents in a right direction.
By optaining feedback from your customers, you can constantly refine your approach to each lead – ensuring slow and steady improvements over time. You can also begin to understand what techniques suit your particular industry, as what works in one arena may not fly in others.
It might be a simple case of framing your proposition in a better way, or possibly there are pricing issues you need to address. Whatever you discover, asking the correct questions will yield you the data to boost your conversion rate.
Good telesales agents can also profile customers. Simply by talking with them, they can understand who make decisions, who has influence and also what issues need to be resolved for a hot lead to convert to a sale. Great telemarketing agents can also quickly figure out the “hot button” topic that will lead to sales, up-sells and further opportunities down the road.
With this helpful information, your sales staff can refine their approach on an individual customer basis to ensure the client gets the exact sales response they require. Most companies don’t even consider this, yet it’s possibly the biggest thing you can do to take your sales game to the next level!
A good telesales team does way more than canvass, they can quality leads, find the issues that matter and turn a hot lead into an inferno! Use them wisely!
If you’re interested in learning more about responding to leads within the golden 5 minutes, and how Blue Telecoms can help you achieve this – get in touch with our friendly sales team.
One of the first issues you’ll need to deal with when building a predictive dialler campaign, is that you† need to deploy a dropped call message. You need to ensure this is set before your agents start to dial. Ofcom introduced a range of guidelines in 2011, all designed to minimise the number of dropped or “silent calls”.
As part of these new guidelines, there is now a maximum fine of 2 million (GBP) for companies that ignore the rules and become a nuisance for consumers. Even so, many companies don’t give these rules much thought – possibly through lack of knowledge or that they believe their dialler company will take care of everything.
If you’re worrying about company compliance, it’s good to know that the regulations are reasonably straighforward. There are just a handful of steps you need to take to ensure your dialler setup is compliant.
First, let’s take a look at the current rules, and then how you can deploy the changes necessary to stay within the rules. It’s also worth spending some time on the Ofcom website, as the rules can change periodically – keeping up to date is an important part of compliance.
Important: We should point out, that this post doesn’t constitute legal advice. We advise you to visit the Ofcom Website to understand the rules fully, and consult with a professional dialler manager if more assistance is required.
Creating Your Dropped Call Messaage
When recording your message, you need to follow these rules:
Identify The Calling Company
You need to identify the company who is responsible for calling the customer. For example, if you’re calling on behalf of a charity, you need to state the name of the charity involved in any fundraising activity.
Alternatively, if you’re more of a comparison service with multiple partners, it’s more beneficial to state the name of the comparison service that’s calling.
Giving The Option To Decline Further Calls
During the message, you need to give the customer the opportunity to exclude themselves from further marketing calls. This can either be in the form of a contact telephone number, or alternatively an IVR option that automatically marks the customers number as “Do Not Call”. It’s also a good idea to include a voicemail option for customers to make contact even when your agents go home for the day.
You Outbound Caller ID
There are restrictions on the type of phone number you can use when outbound calling. In the first instance, this needs to be:
Starting with 01 or 02 (A Standard Landline)
Starting with 03 (A Freephone and/or local rate Number)
You must also avoid using local landline numbers that may give the impression you’re located closer to the customer than you are. For example, if your company is based in London, you cannot use a Manchester number to call customers in Manchester to give a false impression. Of course, if you do have a defined base in Manchester, such as a smaller regional office with staff on-site, this is perfectly fine.
You Cannot Use The Message As A Marketing Opportunity
During the dropped call message, you cannot use this as an opportunity to market your business. Stating your company name, reason for the call and giving an adequate opt out mechanism is great; however, stating that you’re calling about a “great opportunity” or “low price” would be against the rules.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot provide your standard sales number suring the message. If your customer want to call you back and hear what you have to offer – that’s perfectly fine. Customers should have the choice to do this though.
Bringing It All Together
At this point, it’s worth mentioning again that these tips aren’t legal advice, they’re pointers to show you what good compliance may look like. We always suggest visiting the Ofcom Website to become better informed about the rules and/or consult a professional call centre manager to guide you.
With this in mind, here is an example of how a good quality dropped call message might sound.
“This is an automated call from Blue Telecoms regarding predictive diallers. Unfortunately, due to a technical error, no agent is available to speak to you at this time. This is not an important call and you do not need to take any action as we will call back at another time. If you wish to receive no further calls from us, please call 0333 444 555 8 and we will be happy to remove you from our calling list. Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience.”
A nice, short and to the point message – ensuring your customer has the option to opt out if required and also explaining exactly what the call is about and who placed it.
If you’d like to find out more about our predictive dialler range, please get in touch with our friendly team.
Most people are agreed that engaging your employees is major way to create successful brand. For call centre dialler managers, keeping employees motivated means they’ll give better service that customers love.
At the heart of this, should be an engagement function that allows your agents to give feedback on how they feel campaigns are running. Almost all employees have something interesting to say about how their workplace is run, yet according to polls, only 15% of them feel truly engaged and listened to in work.
If you’re ready to start engaging with your employees, here are our top tips on getting started.
Gain feedback directly
What many business owners forget, is that their employees are the first port of call for all their clients. Employees soon learn the pitfalls of any service, and the common issues that might arise on a daily basis. By asking your employees regularly how they feel things are going, you’ll get a far greater understanding of how your dialler campaigns are running.
Another added bonus to this, is that the more you actually talk with your employees, the more they’ll open up and feel empowered to talk about things freely. Winning their trust is key to building a great brand.
Let your employees share information
All your employees will have existing skills they can share with the rest of your team, so why not let them? Peer to peer training is extremely powerful as a motivational tool, and can help your staff to tackle all kinds of issues, from problem customers to domain specific and technical issues.
Some companies dedicate time to peer training, whilst others work it into the daily schedule and allow such training to occur “off the cuff”. Whatever way you decide to incorporate it into your sales floor, it will help your employees feel more valued and enable all of them to gain new skills and confidence.
Give sales staff opportunities for growth
Most members of staff would like to move up in their careers, and nobody likes to stay in the sale place forever. Sometimes, it’s easy to adopt the approach of keeping good sales staff within their roles – after all – they help boost your overall sales figures!
Unfortunately, what many business owners forget, is that their staff don’t exist in a vacuum. If a sales person is good, there’s a high chance that other companies would love to employ them. With platforms like LinkedIn on the rise, it’s even easier for them to make an approach.
To counter this, give your employees suitable opportunities to grow within their careers. Sometimes this can mean making a highly prized sales person a floor manager. This doesn’t mean you’ve lost sales – in reality you’ve just gained the best trainer of new agents you can get!
According to a Bridge survey, 67% of millennials would leave a position if the job lacked growth and leadership opportunities. So make sure your employees can climb the ladder to success—and watch your brand do the same.
Involve them in building the campaign
Now you’ve started gaining feedback from your agents, you can take the relationship to the next level by building campaigns and tweaking them based on their advice.
Often, agents have amazing ideas that can lead to increased productivity and sales; however, those ideas aren’t listened to – or the staff members don’t have the confidence to vocalise them.
Based on their feedback, consider ways in which service processes may be streamlined in each department. Involving employees in the actual implementation of new processes is an excellent way to ensure that they will be motivated to do their best in an environment that suits their needs and the needs of your customers.
One thing is certain, your telesales staff work extremely hard throughout the day. Making sales and contacting prospects all day is hard work, while management have to spend time improving and adjusting their technique to get the best conversion rate.
One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your entire sales floor, is by using a call centre dialler system to try and keep your agents busy – whilst your team leaders and managers can have access to reporting that makes their job easier too.
If your business is coming to the point where you need to decide on how to boost your conversions or ramp up sales – this article is a great place to start. We’ll explain the different types of predictive diallers out there, enabling you to make an informed choice on what your business needs.
Below, is a whistle stop guide to comparing call centre diallers, and how to deploy each type.
This is likely to be the first point that small to medium SME’s start from in their telesales journey. This is perfectly fine, and often provides a helpful boost in sales whilst a fledgling company gets going.
Allowing agents to choose what to dial is helpful, although this method won’t scale properly and any reporting will be hard to maintain. Still, it’s a quick, cheap and dirty way to get going – and there’s nothing wrong with that!
If your business already operates a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), click-to-call might be a great solution. With this method of dialling, your agents can view a prospects details before making a call – ensuring that they have everything they need to complete their call successfully.
Slower than using a predictive dialler, click-to-call is more useful for businesses that need to take a little time with each client, for example insurance companies or financial advice callcentres.
Another benefit of integrating with an existing CRM, is that any information updated during the call will be updated on your CRM system straight away – improving the way your company manages its data.
For many telemarketing companies, predictive dialling is exactly what they need. Here, calls are automatically placed at a pace to keep your sales team bust actively canvassing potential clients. Any calls answers by a human being, are automatically routed to the next available agent, whilst answer machines or dead lines are categorised as such.
The benefits of this, are much higher contact rates in comparison to manual dialling, and access to reporting to help team leaders and managers actively tweak the campaign to get the best ROI.
The only downside, is the fact that some calls will be dropped. This means that a human answers, yet unfortunately no agent is available to take the outbound call. There are strong regulatory rules regarding the use of the predictive dialler too, and it pays to talk to an experience company such as Blue Telecoms to ensure you get your campaign off to the right start – both in terms on ROI and also ensuring you follow Ofcom rules.
At Blue Telecoms, telesales campaigns will always remain helpful and current. Whilst we’re aware that for lots of people, the idea of telesales can
appear negative and somewhat sleazy – our view is that’s because most people don’t understand enough about the industry.
Why Many Companies Use Telesales As A Default Option
We believe that the biggest reason many clients use telesales campaigns to reach their audience, is that it grants far more control over who you actively market towards. You can only choose to contact the people who you place value against, modifying your pitch to solve the issues of different types of customer. It also ensures you can contact many “quality” clients en-mass, boosting your efficiency ten-fold.
Why Telesales Can Perform Better Than Other Marketing Channels
Some companies can have doubts on the benefit of telesales, especially in comparison with other media channels such as social media or web search.
Our belief, is that telesales campaigns can easily work alongside other channels, like social media. In many cases, the ability to call leads generated via these methods quickly and efficiently can lead to more positive engagements and hopefully increased sales. This is especially true of B2B sales campaigns, were clients will often want to learn about a product before signining the order.
Addressing Negative Telesales Associations
The main reasons we feel that telesales campaigns have a bad name amongst many companies, is through the use of old fashioned telesales techniques. This includes dialling methods such as harassing clients, or simply dialling from a list of clients – regardless of how much those people want to hear from you. Thankfully, these old methods are dying out and in many cases have been actively banned.
By integrating your dialler system with other channels, such as email marketing, seocial media, SEO and PPC leads – you can create multiple ways for your clients to interate with your brand.
Telesales Will Be Around Forever
In our view, telesales and telemarketing will remain to be a force for sales. The personal connection you have with each client cannot be beaten, and any developments will likely well your brands engagement with customers.
Cloud technology has moved on leaps and bounds over the past few years, and according to statistics from Microsoft, almost half of the World’s contact centres are now making the switch. For the most part, it comes down to cheaper prices, and the scalability that comes from hosting your services with a reputable tech company.
It’s not all plain sailing though, there are a few things that can hold any company back from taking the plunge with hosted dialler services. Reliability is one issue, whilst concerns about data security and essentially giving over your infrastructure to a third party company is another.
With this in mind, how can you move your dialler to the cloud, whilst ensuring you’re prepared for any downsides? Here are our top tips to finding a good hosted dialler company that will look after your systems.
Double Check Who Owns The Systems & Infrastructure
For a hosted dialler system to really excel, it needs to its own carefully managed infrastructure that’s easily scaleable. You might think this should be the case; however, at the lower end of the price spectrum not all is how it might appear.
Always look for a provider that owns their own systems, and has the capability to control the day-to-day running of their service.
In-House Technical Support
There’s nothing more frustrating than ringing a support line and getting through to a gatekeeper – especially when something is stopping your agents from dialling. Choosing a company that has a well run support function will mean always getting through to someone that can help when you need it most. If the support team is represented by people with good experience of the technology they work with, you should find most issues can be fixed quickly.
All support services should also be backed up by a service level agreement, ensuring that issues are resolved quickly and effectively.
Clients of All Shapes & Sizes
Our last tip, is to try and find a dialler provider that deals with clients of all shapes and sizes. Most dialler companies will be more and happy to introduce you to current clients who can talk to you about their use of the system.
By looking for clients of all sizes, you can get a better understanding of how well the company can scale up. The ideal hosted dialler provider should be able to serve smaller clients and large organisations alike – providing a comparable level of service.
If your dialler company can serve a large company well, they should be able to do the same thing for you.
Finding The Right Team
When looking for a new dialler provider, always listen to what they say during early discussions. They should be happy to answer any questions you have, and be eager to ensure your satisfied with the results. They should also be able to guide you through any transfer to service from your current system to the cloud.
At Blue Telecoms, we tick all the boxes above. From our in-house support team, to our dedicated server cluster and communications systems – we have the power to serve large and small clients alike.
If you’re thinking of introducing predictive dialler to your business, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is the type of dialler you want. There are quite a few different modes you can use, but all of them fall roughly into four categories.
Preview (Sometimes known as Click to Dial)
In this mode, once an agent has selected ready, information about the next call is displayed to them. The number can either be automatically dialled after a set time, or the agents can choose when they want to dial.
This mode is slower than most; however, it’s extremely useful for those who deal with complex clients – such as debt management companies or collectors.
A progressive dialler is far quicker than a click to dial version. Using this mode, agents will see the lead details, at the same time the call is dialled. If the call results in a voicemail or dead line, the dialler will cut the call and move on to the next one.
This method of dialling is quite fast, and most commonly used by small telesales companies who need to canvass large numbers of prospects each day.
Predictive dialling, is by far the most aggressive version of call automation. Here, calls are placed independently of agents, the dialler waiting to hear a human on the other end before placing the call with an agent.
Predictive diallers also assign statuses to the calls they make, often leaving numbers that don’t answer for a period before trying again.
One of the main issues with predictive dialling, is that you’ll almost always get a small number of abandoned calls along the way. This is where a customer answers the phone, but there’s no agent available to take the outbound call. Running a predictive dialler is something of an art form, keeping your agents busy without abandoning too many client calls.
Predictive dialling is used by telemarketing companies, and is a highly regulated industry.
This is a much older term that can be confusing to understand. Many people use the word “power dialler” to describe all automated dialling systems, whilst others use it to describe older systems developed in the 1990’s. For most purposes, the term power dialler is defunct, and we now simply use the work “dialler”.
At Blue Telecoms, we can offer solutions that use all the dialling methods listed above. Get in Touch to find out more.
Client data is probably the most important part of a telesales company. As the starting block for your campaign, it dictates the customers you contact – helping you match your product with the correct people. Keeping it up to date and healthy, complying with regulations such as GDPR, and using it properly can help you achieve your business goals quicker and with less fuss.
In May, GDPR rules finally came into force. These new rules are designed to help protect personal information, and stop the more unscrupulous marketing companies from blindly contacting customers. European Law now gives individuals the ability to prevent direct marketing, and companies have to be more careful to gain consent before making approaches.
For more information about GDPR, visit our GDPR help page and also visit the ICO Guide for more technical assistance.
As soon as a business or individual asks you to remove them from your marketing list, you need to ensure you’re taking action. By continuing to contact, you run the risk of customers directly complaining to authorities such as the ICO. Even from a purely business perspective, why waste your agents time contacting people who have specifically asked not to be.
By regularly pruning your marketing lists, and ensuring that GDPR requests are actioned quickly – you can keep your list health high and only contact prospects who want to speak to you.
It’s also extremely important to obtain your customers consent before storing their details for future marketing campaigns. It’s always a huge temptation to mass contact clients; however, this can backfire hugely, and cause clients to completely opt out of further contact with you.
Ensuring your agents check client details with every call will help you keep your information up to date. This does take a few extra seconds each call, yet can make a huge difference later on – as your lists remain fresh and up to date for longer. You can even use your lists on later campaigns, safe in the knowledge your contact data is as fresh as it can be.
Getting your staff members into the habit of checking customer details, and then updating them is a great way to keep marketing lists active and healthy.
Databases are extremely technical beasts. By using a company like Blue Telecoms to host your data, you can rest easy knowing your marketing lists are backed up and stored safely. Want to know more? Get in Touch with the team today.