Control Your Telemarketing Data To Control Your Fate

Control Your Telemarketing

If you’re a direct marketer then you know how tough it is to get a consumer to raise their hand by calling in to an inbound call center, especially in this economic environment.
Among the many challenges that marketers face is the fact that within the direct marketing industry and the call centers that they rely on, there is no clear definition for the various broad categories of call types. These general categories include calls that were:

No Answer
Within these broad categories, there are sub-categories of various call dispositions. These include:
Caller Hung Up Before Connecting
No One On Line
Prank or Obscene Call
Wrong Number
Test Call
Computerized Autodialer
Customer Service
Hung-Up Mid-Script
Misunderstood Offer
Doesn’t Have A Check/Credit Card Info Ready
Question About Payment
Question About Product
Will Call Back
Order Calls

Finally, the sum of all of a campaign’s calls are frequently grouped into:
Unique Callers
New callers
Total calls

With all of these various ways of accounting for calls, a marketer must ask themselves: What is my campaign’s real call count? The answer, more often than not, is: whatever the call center says
it is because each call center may have their own definitions for these various categories.
There are several reasons why this is important. First and foremost is the fact that without clear and consistent meaning for these various categories, a marketer doesn’t really know what is
happening with their campaign. If they are using multiple call centers, which is quite commonplace, and their call centers define these terms differently, the marketer has no clear way
to accurately determine who is performing best. In fact, call centers frequently discard hundreds, even thousands of calls based upon their own arbitrary definition of what constitutes a valid call. As a result, divining such key statistics as the percentage of consumers who buy and the closure rate of a given call center become nothing more than guesstimates.

Let’s look at a practical example. The definition of a short call as determined by any given call center might vary from a few seconds to anything less than sixty seconds. Within that span, any
number of scenarios may be unfolding from misdials to prank calls to legitimate calls who disconnected out of frustration. Imagine if, as a marketer, you could determine what was really happening and pick up another 15 or 20 percent of genuinely interested consumer calls? That would be a powerful tonic in today’s environment, no doubt. But how can one divine such insight when the call enters seemingly control the dialogue, not to mention the reins?
There are actually a number of solutions to solving this problem. They include:

Obtaining the Data at the Switch Level

Toll free numbers are controlled by a RespOrg (short for “responsible organization”). Some RespOrgs are also phone companies, such as AT&T and Verizon. Other RespOrgs, such as Dial 800 utilize phone companies to carry their client’s phone traffic. Such organizations can provide data at the switch level that enables the marketer to see all of their call data in its raw, unfiltered form. A marketer can then set their own rules for the categories above versus relying on multiple, crosswise definitions from their respective telemarketers who may skew the way they count calls to fortify claims of superiority such as higher closure rates. This is the first step in getting to the truth.

Record Calls

With software such as Dial 800’s CallView 360?, a marketer can record each and every call and then listen to it online on any computer. Listening to the calls helps a marketer figure out what is really going on with calls, such as short calls, e.g., is there a pattern of hang-ups at a certain point in your IVR platform? Are operators botching the inbound calls? Imagine the insight available to a marketer willing to invest in such due diligence!

Use Direct Mail to Save the Sale

With Boomerang, Dial 800’s automated direct mail program, a marketer can potentially save the sale by reaching out to consumers who called but didn’t buy. The way it works is that a reverse append to the inbound telephone number is cross-referenced against a database that identifies the inbound household’s resident, address, etc. Within 24 hours, a postcard is mailed to that household with a special offer designed to reengage and entice the consumer. Such programs can deliver more than four times the ROI of conventional direct mail programs.
The bottom line is that marketers must proactively take control of their call data in order to succeed in today’s complicated marketplace. We’ve all heard the oft-repeated cliché of “garbage
in, garbage out” when it comes to information technology. Yet there is no need for marketers to find themselves relegated to the scrap heap when, armed with the right knowledge, they can take
a seat at the top of the success ladder.