Going Out to Bring ‘Em In
Inbound marketing is a great approach that permits the public to know what your business is about and what you’re selling. Depending on your point of view, this strategy is one of the most potent used in sales accumulation and ultimately creates new or better impressions of your company for your customers. Be that as it may, some people are more challenging to reach. And some people who could find use for your product may not be able to find your advertisements. Therefore, a different type of campaign, one that is more aggressive, is needed to really get your message across – we’re talking of course about outbound dialing campaigns.
The primary focus of an outbound call center is to make outbound calls to pre-existing or potential customers. It’s a fantastic way to spread awareness of your brand, new products, set appointments, or offer service updates. Common uses for outbound call centers include calling lists of numbers for cold sales calls, warm lead follow up, cross-selling, and market research. While outbound calling is perceived by the general population as disruptive, it can be beneficial to both the call center and the recipient if practiced correctly. Time of day, relevancy of your information, and length of the call are some of the few ways you can make your calls less intrusive.
Table of Contents
- Outbound Calling Activities
- Outbound Calling & the FTC
- Complying With the Telemarketing Sales Rule
- Outbound Calling for Call Centers
- Types of Dialing
- Additional Dialing Terminology
- Sample Campaigns
Outbound Calling & the FTC
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) covers outbound calls. There are multiple provisions within this law. A few key takeaways are:
The National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry
The DNC registry is a list of consumers who have requested they do not be contacted by telemarketers. Consumers can file a complaint with the FTC if called and you may be fined. There are also state-maintained DNC lists that may not be integrated with the federal list. To see more on the DNC Registry and to download your free DNC Scrubber, visit here: https://www.evs7.com/free-do-not-call-list-scrubber.
Restricted Calling Times
Without prior consent, you are not allowed to make calls outside of the hours of 8 am – 9 pm. There are also state-specific call times and holidays where telemarketing is prohibited. The timezone to which you are calling must be considered, too.
A call is considered “abandoned” if a customer answers a call and you do not respond within 2 seconds. Predictive dialers are usually the cause of abandoned calls.Using software that ensures a call abandonment rate of no more than 3% is one way to avoid enforcement action.
Voice blast messages are prohibited to consumers unless there is a written agreement with the customer except for a few exceptions. That’s right – you need their “John Hancock” before you can call them. A majority of call centers that get fined are doing voice blasting or press 1 campaigns illegally. The crucial takeaway is that if you’re going to be doing telemarketing calls to residential numbers, you better have an agent ready to speak to the customer live if they answer the call. Robodialing may be legal for B2B sales, political campaigns, and non-profits.
While most call center software lets you input the caller ID you choose, legally you must transmit a number that you own. Unfortunately, 1-800-HOT-STUF is already taken. However, I’m sure you can come up with something more relevant and accurate (If you really are “hot stuff,” please accept my sincerest apologies).
Complying With the Telemarketing Sales Rule
The FTC provides a detailed guide to Complying with the TSR. It is highly recommended by EVS7 and the FTC that you read, review, and thoroughly understand the guide to ensure your call center’s actions are legal. Also check with your state or states to where you will be calling for any state-specific laws. Keep track of any news or amendments to the TSR as well (the last amendment was made in 2015 though there are many pending court cases that could bring additional changes). If you’re still unsure, consult a lawyer.
Types of Dialing
With EVS7’s Cloud Call Center, you have several different dialer options from which to choose. Manual Dialing, Power Dialing, and Predictive Dialing. Below we go into detail on the different settings with each dialer option you have available.
1. Manual/Preview Dialing
An agent will initiate the phone call manually by pressing the dial button or manually entering a number on a dial pad. This can be done by the agent clicking “Get Next Lead.” They will be able to preview the lead fully and read notes before calling. An agent hears the phone ringing and the customer pick up the phone. This is not as fast as ratio or predictive dialing, but helps avoid dropped calls or delays.
Best Uses: Business to Business calling & Warm Leads
2. Ratio Dialing
With ratio, you can select how many lines will be dialed per each agent. In a 1:1 ratio, only one line will be called per each agent. In a 4:1 ratio, it dials four lines simultaneously to try to find a live person to connect with the agent. The agent will hear a beep in their ear when a customer is ready to be greeted. After the call is dispositioned, the dialer will continue dialing automatically.
Best Uses: Business to Business calling, Warm Leads, Cold Leads
3. Predictive Dialing
Similar to multi-line ratio dialing, with predictive dialing, several numbers are automatically dialed while the system attempts to connect an agent with a live person. The system adjusts or adapts the number of employed lines as it predicts when the next agent will be available. This is great for larger call centers.
Best Uses: Cold calling
Additional Dialing Terminology
Defines how dialing is to take place (i.e. manual, ratio, predictive, etc.). The Auto Dial Level can not be changed in any of the ADAPT dial methods. Only the dialer’s algorithm can change the dial level in predictive dialing mode as it predicts when an agent will be available.
Auto Dial Level
Sets how many lines the system uses per active agent in ratio mode. A level of 0 means auto dialing is off. Otherwise, the system uses a specific quantity of lines corresponding to the number of active agents multiplied by the dial level to arrive at how many lines each campaign should allow. The ADAPT OVERRIDE checkbox overrides the dial method to change the dial level in ADAPT mode.
Drop Percentage Limit
Sets the limit for the percentage of dropped calls while using an adaptive-predictive dial method. 3% is the legal limit.
Maximum Adapt Dial Level
Sets the limit to the number of lines you would like dialed per agent while using an adaptive-predictive dial method. This number can be higher than the Auto Dial Level. Value must be a positive number greater than 1.0. The default is set at 3.0.
Latest Server Time
Only the ADAPT_TAPERED dial method uses this field. Enter the hour and minute that you will stop dialing on this campaign. Entering 21:00 (military time) means that you would stop dialing at 9 p.m. server time. This setting defines how aggressively the Tapered algorithm will dial by how long you have until the shift ends.
Adapt Intensity Modifier
In predictive (adapt) modes, this adjusts the predictive intensity (the wait time between calls) higher or lower in the predictive dial method. The higher the positive number, the greater the dialer increases the call pacing when it goes up and the slower the dialer will decrease the call pacing when it goes down. The lower the negative number, the slower the dialer increases the call pacing and the greater the dialer will lower the call pacing when it goes down. The default is set at 0.
Sets the option for users of the campaign to send the call to a closer (the person who “closes” a sale) by transferring calls internally.
Set the fields in the ADD A NEW CAMPAIGN form to the following values for each dial setting:
Outbound calls can be a great way to add new customers, cross-selling, or proactive customer service to current ones. This guide also applies to those who may think of transitioning their inbound call center software into a blended call center.
Below we have a few other excellent articles from other blogs that would also be a great reference: