Call/Contact Centers

Mobile Will Overtake the Desktop in U.S. This Year (and Probably Already Has)
August 2, 2013

Nonvoice mobile activity will account for nearly 20 percent of media time. Mobile has become so key to consumers’ lives that for the first time this year, time spent on nonvoice mobile activities will surpass time spent online on desktop and laptop computers, eMarketer estimates. U.S. adults will spend 44.4 percent of their overall media time with digital this year, including 19.8 percent on mobile—compared with 19.5 percent on laptops and PCs. Time spent with mobile phones and tablets, excluding voice calls, has risen from 13.5 percent of all media time last year, and has nearly tripled since 2011.

New Telemarketing Rules Coming in October
July 9, 2013

Will your marketing campaign be the target of a class action lawsuit or regulatory investigation for failure to comply with recent revisions to the telephone consumer protection act? The TCPA was passed into law in 1991. The FCC is empowered to issue rules and regulations implementing the TCPA. Among other things, the TCPA allows individuals to file lawsuits and collect damages for receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls, faxes, pre-recorded calls or autodialed calls. ... If you are utilizing any type of call center software as part of your telemarketing operations, you may be using an autodialer within the FCC’s definition

7 Customer Service Tactics to Copy From Apple
June 4, 2013

So I'm sitting on a hard wooden seat in my local Apple store, waiting patiently. It had been a half hour since I was politely shown to a waiting area while the large crowd buzzed around me. Twice, an Apple rep came over to apologize for my wait. Her apology felt sincere, like she actually cared that I was waiting and inconvenienced. Another point scored for Apple—sincerity. Which is when it hit me: In any other store, I'd be cursing under my breath, impatient as heck, demanding to be served. So why was I being patient?

Hello, Complaint Department? My Friends Are Listening
May 17, 2013

If it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep one, why do brands continue to try and ignore customer complaints? For as long as there have been businesses selling goods and services, there have been complaint departments. And I'm guessing that as the number of sales increased, so did the number of complaints. So why did it take until the creation of the Internet and the popularity of social media for so many businesses to really start to address customer satisfaction issues?

5 Calling Cadence Tips for a Lead Nurturing Symphony
February 27, 2013

In music, cadence is what drives the characteristic rhythm of a piece. Music teachers often compare it to punctuation, because cadence is responsible for pauses (commas) in music, as well as signaling the end of a song (period). Cadence also plays an important role in lead nurturing. A calling cadence visually depicts the rhythm of lead generation and nurturing campaigns by mapping out the frequency and duration of call attempts, as well as the communication mix. For example, a calling cadence may specify an email and follow up phone call in the first day, a second phone call the following day, then stretching out interactions as the campaign progresses

Sales Follow Up: Persistent or Parasite?
November 16, 2012

Lately, I've been feeling a little like Dory in "Finding Nemo"—quickly darting among the coral and plankton shouting "Stop following me!" It seems that everywhere I turn there's some sales guy on my heels trying to hunt me down. I know cold prospecting is hard—so here are a few tips that might help folks from wasting their (and my) time

The Results Are In: Direct Marketing Remains Prominent in 2012 Elections
November 8, 2012

Our ballots have been cast, final results have been tallied … and most of us are glad the election cycle is over. Pundits are calling this the most expensive presidential campaign in history, and the price tag on several congressional and constitutional issues have raised a few eyebrows. … It’s interesting to note the prominent role direct marketing played in these elections. … Political campaigns use multiple touchpoints to connect with voters, including direct mail, online advertising, emails and various social media platforms. Those of us in “battleground” states have been reminded political campaigns are exempt from "Do Not Call."

Is Your Customer Service Killing Customer Loyalty?
November 2, 2012

As marketers, we spend a lot of time, money, energy and brain power designing and building programs that will drive inquiries, close sales or increase brand engagement. And once a sale is secured, we move into loyalty mode—lovingly nurturing that customer to buy more and buy more often in order to derive a long term revenue stream and ROI for the marketing investment. ... So what the hell is wrong with the customer service folks?

Time for a Communications Audit!
September 18, 2012

In my opinion, every company should perform a communications audit at least once a year to see what's going out to prospects, customers, stockholders, employees and suppliers. That said, I love it when readers send me column ideas! This one came from a colleague across the Pond with the following subject line: "Thought you'd like this order confirmation email - has some personality!"

InfoCision Charity Scam: Report Finds Telemarketing Company Takes Largest Cut of Donations
September 13, 2012

A telemarketing company that solicits donations for several big-name charities is keeping most of the money raised and systematically lying about it to the public, according to a new investigation by Bloomberg Markets Magazine. InfoCision instructs its employees to say, when asked, that at least 70 percent of the money that they raise for the American Cancer Society and American Diabetes Association will go toward charity, Bloomberg Markets Magazine reports. But these charities, which approved the telemarketing scripts, had agreed to give InfoCision more than half of the money raised. In fact, InfoCision kept all of the donation money that