Maintaining your reputation as a legitimate call center is a difficult task, particularly since unethical telemarketers continue to operate, angering the public and drawing the attention of regulatory agencies. Keeping your good name means you must meticulously follow the rules and regulations that govern the industry. You need to be aware of certain practices that can flag you as a spam risk and take steps to correct them. Some of the most sensitive practices include the following:
Number of Calls Per Hour
You need to calculate your cold calls per hour so that you can achieve your conversion target. However, dialing too heavily can cause your phone number to be marked as a spam risk. Achieving the correct balance between conversion needs and call numbers requires that you control several factors.
- Lead List Quality – A poor lead list means your employees will have to dial heavily to reach even a few interested parties. The calls will be short and drive up your numbers. A quality list obviously means greater success and fewer calls.
- Average Pitch Time – While your pitch should not be lengthy, it should be complete and compelling. Also, if the call is to a business, a little research before the call is in order. Preparation and pitch should not exceed 5 minutes. A poor pitch and lack of research means your staff will make more calls, but they are not likely to be successful.
- Your dialer type will also determine the speed of your calls and will help determine connection and abandonment rates depending on the parameter settings you use.
Your goal should never be to reach as many people as possible but to reach the optimum number of qualified leads and give a solid presentation. Making too many calls per hour indicates your employees are not being successful and puts you in danger of being labeled a spam risk, something that will harm your future your current profits and future results.
Number of calls per DID (Outbound Phone Number) Lines
You should consider if you are using enough DID lines for your business. You need to analyze how many agents you have and how many calls per hour they are placing. If you use one phone number too often, you greatly increase the chances that it will be flagged and/or blocked.
On average, you should not be making more than 250 calls each day from a single number. If you have a high-volume center, you need to swap out your phone numbers frequently in order to avoid being labeled a spammer.
Quality Lead Lists
Using a bad lead list can also increase your chances of having your phone numbers flagged. On top of this issue, your conversion rates will be lower with bad lists. Buying lists generally leads to worse quality leads. Some things you can do to improve your lists are:
Clean Up your Lists and Separate Good Leads from Bad Leads
This process is not as complicated as it sounds. For instance, you can clean up your email lists by eliminating addresses that bounce back to your email. Those are clearly undeliverable. Also, get rid of those names that rarely, if ever, open your emails. In this case, more is definitely not better.
Score your Leads
Calling poor quality leads sucks up your time and can cause your company calls to be labeled spam. A simple way to qualify leads is to put a low-scoring offer and a high-scoring offer on your website or Facebook page.
A low-scoring offer is one that is general and appeals to a large number of people, like a guide to internet marketing. The high interest offer would be something specific that indicates a true interest, like a demo request. You can then focus your efforts on those people responding to the high-scoring offer.
You can also use more sophisticated online tools or software to score leads, using demographics, website traffic, etc. Your agents can then make fewer calls but have better results.
Lead nurturing means using targeted emails to nudge less-than-perfect leads toward your product. If they read your content and show some interest, you shouldn’t give up on them. Using the targeted emails is a time-efficient method to work this group. Also, it doesn’t raise your call volume.
Better lead lists and lead cultivation methods help you avoid being labeled as a spam risk and being the subject of formal complaints.
Better Procedures and Scripts
Good scripts mean fewer hangups, longer calls and better results – all things that keep your number from being blocked as spam. Some experts suggest that instead of an actual script, you arm your agents with talking points. That way they begin a conversation with a potential customer instead of offering an overly rehearsed spiel. Consumers often immediately reject those calls as spam. A confident, articulate agent will do much to further your cause.
In addition, your agents need to master proper procedure when they call. They should always complete the following:
- Ensure customer consent before dialing
- Verify phone type (mobile or landline)
- Verify ownership of the number
- Scrub the list of “bad” numbers
Cold calling always has the potential for damaging your company’s reputation. Consumers often find cold calls annoying and frustrating. When conducting cold calls, your script is what should set you apart from getting your number flagged. Using ethical dialing practices and quality scripts or talking points can help reduce the number of irate prospects.
Avoiding Spam Risk Flags
When placing outbound calls, there are a variety of factors that can hinder or bolster your success. Engaging in bad practices can lead to your phone numbers getting flagged as “spam risk” or “scam likely,” which makes it harder to connect to your leads. As a result, your business can easily go into a downward spiral. You need to choose quality over quantity and set a high bar for your employees. Using ethical practices is the best way to maintain your business’ reputation and ensure success in outbound dialing.