Monday, September 27, 2010

Preplanning Telemarketing Calls

By Ivana Lewis

Call center companies are not spoilt for resources. They have a limited supply of raw materials at their disposal. That is why they need to make optimal use of what they have on their hands. In the telemarketing department, a lot of expenditures can be saved by careful planning. All the managers at the BPO need to do it outline a plan for their lead generation campaign. A plan makes the whole process easier than it seems. Agents know their jobs and they know their contribution toward the bigger picture. They are also aware of what is expected of them and how they are going to achieve it. Breaking down the target into smaller deadlines works well for a department that is always running against the clock, so to speak.

The primary objective of the plan is to determine the purpose of the campaign. That is the big question that needs to be answered before anything else. Call center services carry out telemarketing calls for various purposes. It could be for leads, which is the most basic purpose, or it could also be for market survey, or for brand positioning. Check with your clients what they want to achieve and what kind of goals are they looking at. Your goals would determine the kind of telemarketing services that you are going to do. In case you are just providing the leads, all the outbound call center guys have to do is ask questions. In case of leads, they have to approach these calls as telesales calling.

When you have determined the purpose of the call, it's time to draft the questions accordingly. The thumb rule to keep in mind here is to be relevant. Pick up only the information that will serve a higher purpose. Asking for his email id is correct while asking for his car registration number is not! Remember that the person you are talking to is doing you a favor by talking to you. You have to respect his/her time. Keep the questions short and close ended. Questions that can be answered in a definite yes-no have better effect on a customer. Asking speculative questions leave the ground open for interpretations that confuse the customers. That would also mean that you are wasting call time on matters that will not aid you or the campaign in any way.

Outbound call center agents calling prospective customers always have to be ready about receiving no for an answer. That can be very damaging for the spirit of the agent. That is why it is important to have a second, less imposing motive on every call made. It could be an assurance that they will be willing to receive brand literature or business correspondence or such similar positive note. When the caller agrees to this, you have some victory to count on and that remarkably pulls up the spirits. It also ensures that the call was not a total waste when it comes to making a contribution to the telemarketing campaign.