Telemarketing and Call Center Information

Telemarketing has the highest response rate of any direct marketing tool, such as print advertising or email.  This is because it has the capability to target market specific prospects who fit the buyer profile, and it allows for interaction to answer objections.
 
Typically,  telephone calls made for sales or marketing are referred to as outbound telemarketing. Calls received for customer support, order processing or answering services are inbound.  In-house or outsourced services are available for businesses, with offshore services now increasing worldwide.

Outbound Telemarketing

Outbound telemarketing is used by a telemarketer on the telephone to talk to prospects, for: tele sales, appointment setting, lead generation, research surveys and polls, information verification, business to business telemarketing and business to consumer telemarketing. Telemarketers call prospective business or residential customers to market or sell products or services.  Call lists (that are usually demographically specific so the prospect fits the buyer profile) are provided to the telemarketers. After a contact is made the Call Center emails the information or does a “hot transfer” or “live transfer”

Inbound Call Centers

Trained telemarketers receive calls from a prospective customer who qualifies himself by calling them.  The incoming caller is usually motivated to call by an advertisement, catalog, or other outside information that provides this telephone number for some type of response. Call Centers (or Call Centres – alternative spelling)  provide Inbound services such as: customer service, answering service, order processing, email support, medical answering service, help desk, tech support, and 24/7 after hours service.   It is called Inbound Telemarketing when used for: infomercials, cross selling and upselling.

Off-Shore Services

Using an off-shore service is often considered the most cost-effective approach for large inbound projects.  It is operated from outside of the North American continent, and is usually generated from a: Philippine call center, India call center, or Pakistan call center.

In-house or Outsourced: Call Centers/Telemarketing Campaigns

With an in-house call center or telemarketing campaign, your business has total control over the whole process and will have to: set up a location within your business for telemarketers to call from, write the script, hire the telemarketers, do the training, oversee what they do, and monitor their results.  They may also need to be able to process credit cards through your website, or have a call center merchant account.

The outsourced call center or outsourced telemarketing service handles all of these tasks from their own separate location.  Some businesses prefer this option rather than setting up their own call center or telemarketing campaign in-house.  Justifying the cost is usually based on the size of your projects and a comparison to outsourced pricing.  It also may be more convenient to have this operation handled away from the business site.

Costs: Inbound CallCenter Services Outbound Telemarketing Services

In general, the larger your project, the lower your rate per call. Usually domestic inbound call centers charge from 50 cents to $2.00 per call. Call packages are sometimes offered that include a certain number of calls, or minutes of phone time, for a flat fee. Outbound telemarketing services in the U.S. charge $20 to $40 per hour, with a $1,000 to $1,500 minimum per project. Off-shore call centers: charge range from $10 to $20 per hour, with a $5,000 minimum per project.


Telemarketing Call Center Services Quotes

 

 

Recession Talk Leads More Companies Offshore

The latest indicators are showing that businesses will have to tighten up financially to stay afloat.  

One area reaping the benefits is the offshore call center industry. Recently,  Avon Corporation signed a big contract with an offshore call center to take over Avon’s big customer service centers.  Thousands of call per day are now streaming offshore from Avon representatives and customers.

Avon hopes to lower its expenses since much of its business is conducted over the phone to its customer service departments.  Manpower has been a huge expense for them.

With a 50% to 75% lower cost for telemarketing and call center services, what was already a popular and growing industry is now booming. 

As US companies need to reign in expenses to balance the downtrend in the financial market, lowering expenses is part of the equation.

Telemarketing and Appointment Setting

Telemarketing by itself has a proven and successful track record.  But if you can meet the prospect in-person, the sales rate increases dramatically. 

90% of many business marketing budgets are spent on appointment setting.  This is because appointment setting gets your sales person in front of the decision maker.  For example, it’s used by:

  • top Fortune 500 companies
  • the smallest one-man shows,
  • doctors for new patient generation and patient reactivation
  • financial planners
  • insurance agents
  • contractors
  • most service oriented businesses

If you want to increase your sales, let telemarketers get your sales person in the door using appointment setting.

Telemarketing and Lead Generation

Sales still come from leads, and leads come from…yes…telemarketing, as the most preferred method by businesses.

I wonder if Alexander Graham Bell knew what he’d started with his “little” invention, the telephone?

Carol Krol’s recent article in BtoB Magazine, “Copy this:  Telemarketing Big with Xerox”, summarizes the importance of telemarketing as the most versatile lead generation tool for Xerox Corporation.  It’s used for:

  • prospecting,
  • qualifying,
  • reconnecting,
  • following-up,
  • validating,
  • building relationships,
  • and scheduling. 

Although telemarketing can’t do the whole job, its position in growing and maintaining businesses is evidence that it’s here to stay. 

Telemarketing is now a recognized “staple” for doing business at Xerox, other businesses, and anywhere in the world. 

Wall Street Journal Reports on FCC Broadband Auction

Outbound telemarketing as an industry is always looking for better ways to reach customers.  And broadband is part of that new technology.  The Wall Street Journal reported recently: 

“The fate of a valuable block of airwaves that went unsold in the government’s recent $19.6 billion auction became murkier Tuesday, when lawmakers questioned Federal Communications Commission and public-safety officials about what could have made such coveted spectrum so unattractive to bidders.

Options for reauctioning the swath are being debated, although no consensus has emerged at the FCC or in Congress about what to do.”

“The block would have given the winner a nationwide broadband license, but the company would have had to share its network with first responders.”

Telemarketing continues to grow as an industry, and in the broadband arena specifically.  Using newer telephony is where the industry is headed.  Better and better communication offers better telemarketing as well.

Telemarketer Tips For Success

No matter what call center you use, onshore or offshore, big or small, success in telemarketing still comes down to the telemarketer. 

Here are the characteristics that make the difference: 

ONE: Motivation. Successful telemarketers are motivated to do the job.  Incentives help, but the person has to be motivated from within.

TWO: Product knowledge. A telemarketer should be able to answer the questions about the product or service.  This will help the telemarketer make a successful deal.

THREE: Know the script. A successful telemarketer will know the script, then tailor it to their advantage.

FOUR: Attitude. Attitude comes through on the phone, and the successful telemarketer will have a positive attitude.  Even smiling can be “heard” by the prospect.

FIVE: Know the customer. Don’t try to sell them something they are not interested in. Find out if they are a valid prospect, and if not, move on.

SIX: Visualize your success.  By having a vision of the outcome (a sale), a successful telemarketer can create that atmosphere on the phone.

SEVEN: Enjoy the success. A successful telemarketer will always take the time to relish the sale.

Offshore Call Center Choices

Probably the most efficient and high quality service offshore call centers are mostly in India, Mexico, China, and Philippines…

The costs of hiring these Call Centers and services are less expensive than domestic services because of the low cost of labor in these countries. And each one produces a lot of fresh college graduates who are very competent and highly qualified to do the job.

Most important to most companies is that an offshore call center has competent and professional individuals that are capable of speaking and understanding the English language proficiently.  Clients want to be able to communicate well.

One way to test English capability is to call the call center outsourcing firm that you want to hire and pose as a client.  You can find out how effective and efficient the call center is.

If you are planning on hiring an offshore call center, consider the fact that the particular offshore call center is capable of answering the needs and inquiries that your client may seek. If the company does not meet your standards, look for other offshore call centers that will be more efficient and effective.  There is plenty of competition out there, which usually means the client benefits in getting better service.

India Has 80% of Offshore Outsourced TeleMarketing Share

India continues to be the top purveyor of outsourced telemarketing and call center business in the offshore market.

According to the Gartner Group:

  • India has 80% of the Offshore outsourcing market
  • India earned $27 Billion in revenue in 2007

Offshore outsourcing to India has become mainstream and offers great telemarketing services at a very low price. But India is not the only offshore telemarkeitng service to offer quality benefits and prices.

A Philippine call center, India call center, or Pakistan call center all are able to provide good services.  India leads because it was the early entry into the offshore telemarketing market. 

Philippine and Pakistan offshore call centers are increasingly strong players and are vying for their share of the offshore market.  South Korea and even China have positioned themselves to compete as well.

Telemarketing Services Using New IP Technology

An outsourced telemarketing service has to be updated constantly with the new technology in order to provide the best service and compete nationally and internationally.

So when Vonexus announced that it now offers an IP PBX that is pre-integrated for Microsoft applications, telemarketing services can receive the following advantages:

• Telemarketing businesses can save between 30 and 40 percent on their telephony bills through broadband connectivity versus a traditional PSTN service.

• Simplified management and administration because VoIP is software based and easier to deploy and integrate new services.

•Voice and data networks are converged onto a single IP network, which significantly reduces infrastructure costs that are associated with a traditional PBX-based network.

•VoIP can improve a business’ communications by providing flexibility and preventing proprietary lock-ins by deploying voice as a desktop application.

•Improved employee production: A company can offers several applications that improve the efficiency of employees (including drag and drop conferencing and on-demand recording).

•IP telephony enables remote employees to connect with the company’s phone system from anywhere, and makes them available for calls as if they are in the office.

Arkansas Call Center Provides 500 New Jobs

On April 15, 2008, StarTek (an outsourced call center service provider) announced it will soon be opening a 500-seat call center in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  This increase in new jobs is lauded by the state.

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that the company has signed a lease to open a 55,000-square-foot facility on the site of a former grocery store.  Now this site will no longer be sitting empty, which is an additional benefit to Jonesboro.

Like other StarTek facilities, it will be handling inbound customer calls mostly for clients in the telephone, cable and satellite industries.  Besides having the site availability, Jonesboro is seen as having a good base of qualified candidated to fill these jobs.

 Call Centers are increasingly being used to help companies handle information dispersal, order entry and customer service.  Large sites like this new one in Jonesboro can handle inbound services for businesses across the country.

ATA Meeting to Discuss Direct Marketing & Other Topics

This year’s American Teleservices Association (ATA)  Summit will take place in Washington, D.C..

It is scheduled to include:

  1. Unveiling of ATA’s SRO Online Assessment Tool
  2. The States on Consumer Protection
  3. ATA and DMA(Direct Marketing Association - In Cooperation for Our Future
  4. Road to the White House: The 2008 Election
  5. The How-To’s on Building a Powerful PAC
  6. The ATA is M.A.D. (Making a Difference)

The meetings will take place on April 27th to 30th at Hyatt Regency Crystal City. You can find more information at  www.ataconnect.org/washington .

Most teleservices can be handled by outsourced telemarketing service providers, and these companies should keep up on the latest information such as this upcoming meeting mentioned above.