One solution, however, that removes the risks and allows you to cost-effectively trial different campaigns could be to use an outsourcer. The appeal of using an external agency is that you don’t add to your fixed costs because there’s no payroll expansion and there’s no need to invest in any supporting technology. This is good news for those that are trying to reduce costs but at the same time need to drum up new business. As well as avoiding any substantial investment, you can also take advantage of running pilot campaigns without any long-term commitment. The starting point is to think about the type of campaigns that may be successful. Here are just a few areas that companies can tap into which are likely to see lucrative returns both for telemarketing and inbound call handling. Affinity sales: Look at existing customers that have already bought from you. This may sound obvious but is often overlooked. If the buyer already perceives you as a trusted supplier then it’s far easier to convert a sale. Old customers: Dig out data on individuals or companies that have bought in the past. One example might be a publishing house with lapsed subscribers. Expand your horizons: Entering new markets will increase reach and potential volume of sales. Make the most of busy periods: Depending on the nature of the business, there are often peak times during the year where internal resources struggle to cope and many calls are lost. In plenty of circumstances, especially for example DRTV (Direct Response Television) campaigns, it is highly unlikely that the caller will ring back, meaning that not only have you wasted a sale but you have also wasted any repeat business too. Open all hours: You may find it’s too expensive to man your own phones around the clock but by using a third party to take calls out-of-hours may mean you can maximise sales that would otherwise have been missed. This makes even more sense if you have an internet presence and are targeting different timezones or people that want to order in the evenings. With a pilot campaign, the idea is to see what formula works best which may mean fine-tuning the script or changing the time you contact a prospect. The results from a pilot that typically lasts between one to three months will give you a breakdown of statistics such as: level and value of sales, what number of agents are required, what scripts or offers work best, which data sets perform well and typical return on investment. Armed with this information, you can then decide whether to discontinue, downscale or upscale accordingly. *Stuart Walland is business development manager at outsourced contact centre ConversoPicture source
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