TELEMARKETING New Age Technology Turns Telemarketers into Tech
By Sharon R. Cole
Live chat rooms aren't just for Internet happy friends who tap and click their way through conversations. It seems some telemarketers also are wiring into this popular resource as a way to communicate with customers wanting quick, real-time responses to basic inquiries. At least this is the case for USA-800, Kansas City, MO. With new tech-savvy tools such as live chat, e-mail, instant Web-page pushing and click-to-call options, the primarily inbound contact center is able to service customers using a keyboard and a mouse.
"Our conversion from a call center to a contact center is defined by flat growth rates in toll free phone usage and an increasing rate of Internet use," says USA-800 president and CEO Tom Davis. "Because of this shift, I'm encouraging more direct marketers to set up interactive Web sites that incorporate tools that humanize their customers' online experience."
The Human Touch
Through live chat, customers navigating a direct marketer's Web site are able to get on-demand responses. Not only that, but "chatting" agents can handle three or four customer requests at one time—something they can't do on the phone. Davis explains that many Internet-adept users prefer the convenience even if they have to give up some human interaction. For those wanting a more personal connection, however, the click-to-call option exists.
"This allows Web-browsing consumers to input their phone numbers and then click the option triggering a telemarketing agent to call them immediately," Davis says.
At this point, instant Web page pushing can be enabled. While conversing, the agent can push through a Web page that is pertinent to the browsing consumer's inquiry. "We call this 'Web collaboration,'" Davis says. "We can even use our wipe board technology that enables the agent to draw on the screen that is seen by the agent and customer simultaneously."