Call/Contact Centers

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

Sprint CEO Hesse: Good Customer Service Costs Less
August 8, 2012

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said Tuesday that, like a good Olympic athlete, his company is always going to be focused on setting a new personal best. ... “What you are not going to see around here are any ‘mission accomplished’ signs,” Hesse told a group of journalists who have been touring the company’s Kansas headquarters over the past two days. “We are on a long-term turnaround plan.” One of the big areas of improvement has been in customer service.

It’s Time to Accept Responsibility for Your IVR
March 15, 2012

There is a customer service revolution afoot. Consumers will no longer put up with poor customer service. As the number of product and service alternatives rises, the companies that provide the best customer experience will gain and retain, while the companies that don’t struggle to stay afloat. I swear I didn’t mean for both of those to rhyme. Corporations are paying closer attention to the value of their customers. Those of you who follow Net Promoter Score are aware that detractors of your company (unhappy customers who feel trapped in a bad relationship with the company) are …

FCC to Get Tougher on Robocalls
February 17, 2012

You should soon be getting fewer of those annoying "robocalls" at home. The Federal Communications Commission today is set to approve tougher rules giving consumers additional protection against unwanted autodialed or prerecorded calls to home phone lines. "We have gotten thousands of complaints," says FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "Consumers were still getting robocalls they don't want and shouldn't get." He expects the commission to approve new rules that will require telemarketers to get written consent before making such calls. Even though Congress in 2008 passed legislation making Do Not Call permanent, some telemarketers have continued …