TELEMARKETING New Age Technology Turns Telemarketers into Tech
By clicking on an option to send an inquiry via e-mail, consumers can expect a response within 24 to 48 hours—an accepted time frame for e-mail users.
Because of this diversification, Davis says business is growing and revenues are up. And because direct marketers are pouring money into new Web sites, they need to outsource their high-traffic online customer queries, he adds. In addition, they need to move the perpetual costs of changing technology to a contact center that can spread the cost across its client base.
"Our customers want to focus on their core competencies so they are letting us handle the advancing technology," Davis says. "Now we are much more integrated with our clients' marketing programs and we've become the experts who can give them advice."
Positive effects on the staff also have resulted from the new technology. Davis reports that employee morale has boosted while turnover rates have declined, which he attributes to increased responsibility, new challenges and job variation. "Agents are developing new skill sets to handle Internet communication," says Davis. "Instead of spending eight hours on the telephone, reps spend time on the Internet, the phone and researching inquiries."
At The Telemarketing Co. (TTC), Chicago, IL, telemarketing reps are Internet accessible in a different way. According to TTC's vice president of sales and marketing Bob Aloisio, telephone service representatives (TSRs) receive phone calls and input order information that is then automatically sent to the cataloger via the Internet. While direct marketers appreciate the quick reporting provided through the Internet, Aloisio says, it's TTC's new telephone technology that is getting the most praise. Such technology includes an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, a Computer Telephone Integration (CTI) link for inbound callers and a sophisticated recording system to monitor calls for quality assurance.