The phone rings. Surprise, surprise, it’s an unwarranted sales pitch - the last thing you want to hear. 2017 has already brought about many changes, but some things remain consistent.
It’s well-recognised that people love to buy, but hate being sold to. That’s why when contact centres ring around in an untargeted fashion, it nearly always registers as spam.
It’s not just a problem when you’re on the receiving end of the calls. The noise-packed sales floors and commoditized roles at contact centres leave those working there with low motivation and even lower self-esteem. It’s not much fun being part of an industry which is often regarded as being one of the most annoying in the UK.
Whilst right now there are contact centres massively surpassing the national average of unsolicited calls, it’s not always been the case. In this article we’ll address how it got this way in the first place and what companies are doing about the problem.
Why we have an issue
To understand how the industry got itself in this predicament, it’s worth recalling the insight from Gary Vaynerchuk that “marketers ruin everything’ (3-minute video here). Does this feel familiar to your experience?
Back in the 1950s, when the first contact centres used ACD systems to handle incoming and outbound customer calls, the results were amazing. Being so new, people couldn’t wait to take a phone call.
This slowly evolved over time until the next large transformation - when Direct Line created the first outbound contact centre which relied purely on making calls to keep costs down and offer cheap insurance.
Once word got out that this was a profitable channel for acquiring customers, the marketers came flooding in. From energy to finance to holidays, just like Gary says, they saw the ‘attention’ and began to capitalise on it. It led to giant buildings being filled for the sole purpose of calling up prospects.
After a while this ‘cold-calling’ began to wear thin with the general public, finally hitting a crescendo in 1999 when, responding to complaints, the telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) regulations directive brought the telephone preference service (TPS) into act.
It’s not the medium that’s the problem…
Despite all this, it’s fair to point out that it’s not the actual medium of contact centres calling up prospects that’s the problem. It’s when the prospects are uninterested.
What once started off as a profitable channel with positive responses has slowly reversed to being associated as spam. Yes, it can still be profitable, but it’s short-term thinking. For every one sale you make, there’s another five people who are left with a negative image about your company. The only thing you’re targeting is a bad reputation and lost respect for your brand.
The bridge to the future
So what happens next?
Certain claims companies – those peddling pure direct response offers like PPI – will probably never stop making unsolicited calls until there’s literally no more numbers left to ring.
But the rest of us – those who value long-term brand strategy combined with short-term sales – can be more astute with our lead generation marketing.
It’s all in the technology
As you probably know, the general trend of outbound contact centres is moving towards high-quality, lower volume leads. This is at its most effective when it’s underpinned by technology to create a systematised version of your highest-performing marketing.
At Databowl, over the past few years we’ve engineered a piece of performance marketing software that has advanced the industry decades. It:
- Ensures you won’t lose any sales. In fact, lead conversions will be higher because of your ability to emotionally and intellectually engage with your prospects at a deeper level via personalised nurturing.
- Decreases the chance of getting hit by spam complaints, plus the resulting bad PR and loss of brand reputation. The Databowl system will automatically log and remove any leads that are not going to convert.
- Eliminates your liability legally for calling bad data, using advanced algorithms to cut out TPS registered prospects with a transparent system which allows you to detail exactly where your data has come from.
- Reduces overheads. With a reduction in data and increased conversions, you’ll need fewer staff, fewer computers and less office space. All you’ll be left with is a happier, more productive environment.
So, if that hasn’t convinced you that you need to be on the right side of history as all of this changes, then we don’t know what will.
This is your chance to move away from serving up spam, with a more targeted approach that’s more efficient and results in greater success.
Find out why everyone’s talking about Databowl’s software with a demonstration from our team using the link below. There is a better way to handle your lead generation and we’re here to provide it.