When you think of call centers, do you think of a dark, chaotic room in another country full of people wearing headsets, drinking coffee, and reading (poorly) from the printed scripts in front of them? Do you assume the telemarketers employed there are busy interrupting family meals with incessant phone calls to push a product for which the family has no use?
Such images and experiences are the reasons people cringe at the thought telemarketing, and with good reason.
Call centers, when used properly, have the potential to benefit your company as well as your customers. In fact, a call center could actually make your customers happier, thereby solidifying their loyalty to your brand.
Not convinced? Let’s look at some specific industries to see what’s possible.
Financial Institutions and Proactive Customer Service
What if you used a business call center to engage in proactive customer service? Instead of waiting for customers to call with a complaint or concern, you could call preemptively to say something like, “Hey, we’ve been having trouble with our website this week, so we’re just calling to see if you have any questions or concerns you weren’t able to address online,” or “We’ve noticed some unusual activity on your credit card, and we wanted to call to make sure you had authorized that activity.”
Proactive customer service improves retention, and loyal customers are more likely to recommend you to a friend or to come back to you for additional services in the future, like car loans, mortgages, or money market accounts.
A call center makes this level of customer service and retention possible on a large scale.
Insurance Companies and Major Life Events
What if you could cross check your call list with potential customers’ life events for highly targeted marketing campaigns? Or what if your call center informed commercial building owners in a storm-damaged area that claims adjusters would be available on a certain date?
Birth announcements, 16th birthdays, name changes (marriage/adoption), and graduation season all become opportunities to call and offer specific congratulations (to show you care about individuals) and present targeted offers (to make the sale). People don’t feel as imposed upon when you know the specifics about their lives.
Event Marketing and Personal Invitations
What if the people in your industry got a personal invitation to attend the upcoming tradeshow? Sure, go ahead and send the direct mail pieces and emails, but close the deal with a phone call asking your target market if they’ll be there or inviting them to visit your booth. “Hi. The [event] is coming up next month. We’d love to see you there. Have you had a chance to register yet?”
There’s just something about a personal invitation.
Manufacturing and Appointment Setting
What if you could schedule appointments with your target audience to demonstrate an innovative new product that solves a particular problem you know they face? “Hey. We just came out with [new product name] to help with [pain point]. Would you be interested in seeing a free demonstration? Great! What’s a good time for you?”
A call center provides the opportunity to save time and money that would otherwise be spent going door-to-door in hopes of getting past the gatekeeper to talk to a decision-maker. Instead of trying to introduce the brand, the product, yourself, the offer, and close the deal all in one phone call, the goal of the call is to simply schedule an appointment. It’s one touchpoint out of the average of seven touchpoints necessary to make a sale.
Hospitals and Informational Calls
What if you could reach out to patients before they needed you to let them know you’re the nearest hospital on their healthcare plan? And what if you could encourage them to schedule a preventative care appointment?
3 Keys To Business Call Center Success
The success of these call center strategies relies on more than just the purpose of the call for any particular industry. For a call center to be truly effective, the following components must be in place:
- Properly scrubbed call lists
- Well-trained, local (not overseas) callers
If you need help with any part of the outbound lead generation process provided by business call centers, give Alliance a call. It’s what we do all day everyday, so we’ve gotten pretty good at it.