Telemarketing is a huge field in the contact center industry. Almost every company and contact center engages in telemarketing, whether it’s to connect with customers more closely or generate leads to pursue. As a result, many innovative technologies have been created and used by contact centers to reach more customers more efficiently.
The term carries negative connotations with it, however. Telemarketing phone calls are infamous for being spammy and intrusive, leading many to turn away when they sense that a phone call is telemarketing-focused. Telemarketing calls became so intrusive, that many federal laws were passed to regulate the telemarketing industry.
Rather than annoy customers, outbound telemarketing software can be used to form deeper relationships with your customers, perform quicker lead generation, and stimulate customer engagement if used properly. In this blog, we’ll take a look at what your telemarketing software should have and how you can use it effectively.
WHAT IS TELEMARKETING?
Telemarketing is the direct marketing of goods or services to potential customers over the telephone. Telemarketing is either carried out by telemarketers, telemarketing teams, sales teams, sales agents, or by automated “robocalls”. Telemarketing activities include outbound campaigns, lead generation, selling business products, customer engagement, cultivating interest in potential customers, and persuading customers through the use of sales teams and sales agents to purchase products.
The rise of telemarketing happened in the 1980s. In 1981, the business expenditures for marketing exceeded the amount of money spent on direct-mail advertising for the first time. By 1987, spending on telemarketing, telemarketing teams, sales teams, and sales agents was more than double that of direct mail. Eventually, some of the largest U.S. businesses in many industries, like financial services, tech, automotive, insurance, and telephone, spent nearly $90 billion dollars a year on telephone marketing. In the modern day, the telemarketing industry employs 5.6 million people and sales are up to $585 billion dollars.
LEGALITY OF TELEMARKETING
Since the beginning, telemarketing has been met with criticism and skepticism. According to the U.S. Justice Department, telemarketing fraud costs consumers $40 billion to $50 billion dollars each year. This included scams involving personal info, credit card info, and bank account info. In a survey done in the 2000s, it was found that 93% of U.S. households wanted to stop receiving telemarketing and outbound calls and 85% felt strongly about this opinion.
Soon after, the government set up the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, which was set up by the Federal Trade Commission. Telemarketers and sales teams are disallowed from calling any number on the DNC Registry, and any violations will lead to massive fines for each call.
In 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was signed into law to combat the rise of unregulated and harassing telemarketing calls and faxes. TCPA restricts telemarketing, voice broadcasting, and the use of automated phone equipment. The Act limits the use of pre-recorded voice messages, automatic dialing, SMS use, and fax use. Callers must adhere to strict solicitation rules and honor the DNC Registry.
WHAT SHOULD TELEMARKETING SOFTWARE HAVE?
The explosive growth of the telemarketing industry can be attributed to advancements in outbound call campaign software that allow call centers to make outbound calls more efficiently. Here are some of the tech that your telemarketing software should have to streamline your call center.
Predictive dialers, or telemarketing dialers, dial lists of telephone numbers and connects the answered dials to call center agents. A predictive dialer solution utilizes algorithms to minimize the time that agents spend waiting between conversations and minimize the occurrence of someone answering when no live agent is available to pick up the phone, leaving the client with busy signals.
Modern dialers are built into call center solutions and increase agent productivity, maximize call success rates, simplify list management, and are compliant with the latest regulations. Implementing a predictive dialer solution in your call center can help streamline your contact center and boost lead generation.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integrations are a must in your call center solution when providing great customer experiences through telemarketing. Seamless integration with CRM can help you easily keep track of customer contacts, call lists, and campaigns. With each client your agent dials, he or she can view detailed information about each client during interactions and see call recordings, voicemails, interaction history, and more.
Bright Pattern’s CRM integrations cover your existing system of records or can integrate with any major third-party CRM, including Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, Oracle Service Cloud, ServiceNow, Zendesk, and more. Using customer relationship management software (CRM) can streamline your workflow, track sales, keep track of clients, and deliver great customer support
COMPUTER TELEPHONY INTEGRATION (CTI)
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is standard in today’s call center solutions. CTI is any technology that allows interactions on a telephone and a computer to be integrated or coordinated. In a CTI system, there is seamless integration between your computer and phone system. This allows call center agents to perform call-related tasks directly from their desktops from different locations, giving you the ability to decentralize your call center operations through a versatile cloud system that can’t be had in an on-premise solution.
A CTI system in a call center solution allows agents to take calls, track customers, and have relevant customer information all on their desktop computers. Combined with advanced call center features like interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distributors (ACD), progressive dialers, and predictive dialers, CTIs can streamline your call center and boost efficiency.
Omnichannel cloud call centers are the newest and most advanced iterations of the telemarketing contact center. An omnichannel solution allows you to connect with customers on the channels they prefer, like text message, voice message, email, voice, social media, video, live chat, or web chat. You can text message customers on their smartphones during outbound campaigns, or connect with them through the email. Omnichannel is flexible and can provide your customers with great customer service.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest-growing fields within tech. Artificial intelligence adds flexibility to your telemarketing operations and ensure that every interaction between your agents and the clients are high-quality.
Artificial intelligence is capable of monitoring 100% of interactions on all channels, meaning AI can monitor calls, review call recordings, and ensure every human interaction is great for the customer. You can also tailor the AI to examine interactions based on different metrics, making quality assurance tailored for your specific scenario.
When interacting with customers, it is crucial that their information is kept safe as per government regulation. Sensitive information like names, addresses, and credit card information must be kept secure during outbound calling campaigns. As a result, when looking for the best telemarketing software, make sure it is PCI, HIPAA, GDPR, and TCPA compliant.
Beyond the software, implementing many safeguards in your call center can also help with security. Things like levels of access among employees and managers, encryption of credit card and personal information, and comprehensive auditing are all necessary to ensure a secure call center.
BENEFITS OF TELEMARKETING SOFTWARE
Implementing these telemarketing-oriented features in your call center solution has many benefits for your call center operations.
EASE OF USE
Telemarketing software is excellent for streamlining your cloud call center for the best results. Implementing telemarketing software will make outbound calls much more efficient and allow agents to spend less time waiting and spend more time interacting with clients.
Through the use of Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) and predictive dialers, agents will experience less downtime while customers get faster service. A unified agent desktop makes the job easier for agents as well, since everything they need is at their fingertips in a unified agent desktop. This, in turn, improves the customer experience while empowering agents.
INCREASED AGENT PRODUCTIVITY
Implementing telemarketing software has the added benefit of increasing agent productivity while reducing the amount of time agents spend idle. Through the use of power dialers, the progressive dialer, automatic call distribution (ACD), and interactive voice response (IVR), your call center can take more calls while reducing agent idle time.
Technology like automatic call distribution (ACD) and predictive dialers are capable of intelligently routing calls from phone numbers to the next available agent and dial through phone lists quickly, improving connect rates and contact rates between agents and clients. Combined with a dynamic contact center software that has customizable scenario builders and APIs, you can tailor your call center to suit any unique situation, increasing productivity and returns.
BRIGHT PATTERN – EFFICIENT, EASY-TO-USE TELEMARKETING SOFTWARE
Bright Pattern’s cloud call center software supports seamless conversations across all channels, all in one easy-to-use, unified agent desktop. Bright Pattern Contact Center includes all of the necessary telemarketing software features, like automatic call distribution, predictive dialers, computer-telephony integration, and omnichannel, in its outbound telemarketing software. Being based on a versatile cloud system rather than an on-premise solution, Bright Pattern’s call center software is constantly releasing new features that can be easily implemented while providing flexibility to your call center.
Bright Pattern can be tailored to suit any situation with its dynamic APIs and scenario builders. Whether you’re a small business or medium business with small teams, or a large enterprise with massive call centers, Bright Pattern’s outbound call campaign software can be tailored with APIs for any situation.