Hiring an offshore call center provider can make even the most seasoned executive a little bit nervous. In reality, there are many reasons to be nervous. An external company is being hired to speak directly with your customers on your behalf. However, these concerns can be overcome by hiring the right call center.
Here are the top outsourcing concerns:
You'll find scam everywhere where business is done. Especially by doing business over the Internet. For this make a background check about your future business partner. Scammer are lazy, they are even to lazy that they are informing themselves about the business. For this are able to find out if you are talking with a real business partner by asking him specific questions about his work. A scammer will not be able to give you a suitable answer to your questions.
You know your product best. If you provide quality by a good presentation of your product, a good FAQ, the differences to your competitors and good sales arguments then it will be easy to get the telemarketers trained to sell your product.
Don't choose cheap Internet offers for buying the data, which the telemarketer shall call. This data are already heavy used and for this is it difficult to sell something by calling. People, which are already angry at the time picking up their phone, will very seldom take an advantage of even a good offer. The most good data provider are only selling their data packages only inside the country. For this is it very hard for an offshore call center to get such quality data.
You get what you pay for - nobody is able to work for free for you and a call center is not a data provider. Quality call centers will use your data only for your campaigns.
So many outsourcing companies do not provide dialing data. Reason is they don't wanna mess with keeping the center up to date, because the company have their agents and other tons of center they work with. In many cases company pays huge amount to other companies in place of giving them data . That is exactly the wrong way for a successful outsourcing.
Choose a call center where the agent is immediately on the phone when he calls you. Playing a prerecorded message first will tell to the called one, that a call center is calling, which likes to sell something to him. The most of the dialer are working in a different way. There the agent picks up the phone only if the called one is already in the line.
- Loss of control
Quality call centers are offering features, which are giving you the same possibilities like at an inhouse call center. You can can get:
* actual status of the calls done for you
* a spy connection where you can listen the actual call
* recordings immediately after the hangup of the call
* actual online call detail records after the call ended
* a direct connection to the agents working for you
Use all this possibilities for make the best out of your outsourcing process. The only difference to an inhouse call center is that you can communicate with "your" agents only over the phone or by using some messenger like Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, etc.
The accent is not so important like the sales talent of the agent. Our best telemarketer in Austria is coming from Romania. If your mother tongue is German, than you hear that she is not a native German speaker, but it does not matter if she sell something to a customer coming from Austria, Germany or Switzerland. She has in any case success. So don't overweight the language barrier. The sale can be even be easier for such people than for native speakers.
Offshore outsourcing is cheaper than to run your own call center, but don't expect that the big savings are already during the first month. You have to invest some time into the training of "your" agents and you have to listen to the recordings and tell them where they are making failures and give them some information how they can improve their performance. It is the same work like you need to do by hiring a new staff. The savings are coming with the time. Mostly they are starting during the second month.
Preview Dialer: In Preview mode, the agent starts by himself the next call (semi-automatic preview dialing) on a software-based selection process. The preview dialing ensures that the call center staff can preview the record from the customer database. If the agent triggers the call attempt by himself, he has also opportunity to prepare for the interview and detailed view (for example the contact history). The employee initiates the call either by using software or by manually dialing the telephone number.
Power Dialer: The dialer software automatically dials the next phone connection as soon as the processing of the previous record was completed by the agent. This can be done by the software on the client or on the central server. It can be set with an "overdial factor" that not only one but several telephone lines per agent get to be established. The dialing attempts are doing mostly displayed in the selection preview on the workplace of the agents. The first successful selection is presented. Other successful dialing attempts are distributed by chance on the next available agent. In the calculations involved, that usually not all numbers dialed indicate a dial tone, but might be busy or unavailable for other reasons.
Predictive Dialer: Even with predictive dialing the telephone numbers of the contact list or database of the company or service provider get selected automatically. In addition, the dialer software monitored by mathematical methods continually in several ways, such as the current availability or the average call duration of each employee, and includes this in the calculation for the selections. The Predictive dialing is thus a forward-looking, self-adjusting dial. The predictive dialer controls the number of dial attempts per agent, taking into account the current and historical accessibility of customers and on the basis of the derived prediction. This not only minimizes the waiting time between two contacts of the agent, but also provides the ideal case that as many calls as possible are made without call attempts must be canceled. Lost connections causing the called phone rings, after picking up is no caller on the other end available or it rings only for a very short time (dropped call). Consumers perceive this as harassing or threatening.
In the UK, Ofcom requires that predictive dialers abandon less than 3% of answered calls on a daily basis. Ofcom also requires that if an agent is not available within 2 seconds the call is considered "abandoned" and an automated message is played. The automated message must identify the company making the call, the purpose of the call, a free phone or basic rate phone number to call back on and must not contain any form of marketing. A phone call to the return number must not be treated by the company as an opportunity to market, but to be removed from the calling list. In the UK "abandoned" calls must not be called back within 72 hours unless there is a dedicated agent available.
In the USA, if someone answers but no agent is available within 2 seconds of the person's greeting, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations consider the call "abandoned" and require the dialer to play a recorded message. The FCC requires that predictive dialers abandon less than 3% of answered calls.
In Canada, the maximum abandon rate is 5%, and calls cannot be made to numbers registered with the National Do Not Call Registry, emergency or health care providers.
This week I have found an advertisement at LinkedIn:
Wanted Centers for PPI & PBA
We provide Data dialer with voips experienced and new centers are welcome. Thanks
As there has been no contact address given and his profile did not have any contact address stored, I have dropped my email address in the comments. As a reply I got the invitation for a Skype conversation. The guy has been from UK and seemed to be a direct customer, but he even did not remember his own advertisement.
First he tried that we are using our own data for dialing. I explained him that we are only dialing with data provided by our customer and we are not reusing this data for other campaigns. It will not make us trustful using data from one customer for another customer’s campaign.
After an explanation about the difference in the quality of data coming from local agencies to these ones, which are getting traded between the centers and which are already heavy used, he dropped the message:
"We provide them profiled data and at the time of invoice we deduct the price of data that we provide center"
At this time i decided to drop the business and send him to other centers.
A call center is working for the customer. If the customer does not have data, then this data need to get bought by the customer. If a customer does not like to pay the data, which are getting used only for him, already, then the full business is it not worth to get done. The most good address broker are selling the data only inside their country. If a customer likes to bill this addresses and maybe his own stock of addresses to the call center, than he will find thousands of reasons too, for not paying his bills. I don't need such a kind of customer.
Call centers are service providers. They need to work with the material that they get provided by their customer. If the customer likes to get quality, than the customer has to provide quality too.
Like everywhere in business you get for what you pay for. For this an outsourcer need to know what is in his budget and what he can get for this budget. As better the quality should be as higher the budget need to be.
You like to
reach as many people as possible for a low budget?
Why are you not sending out mass mailings, mass emails and short text messages
in this case? You can even record some messages and send it to the caller by
using a full automated system. You need no human agents in this case. You can
send out millions of emails or short text messages during a short time. If you
have not the infrastructure for short text messages or calling with voice
recordings, we have it. You need only provide the data, the content and you
need to tell us how many we shall send per hour.
agents, which are working like robots - Take robots?
Why do you not use an IVR system with speech recognition in this case? There
you can play recordings done by professional speakers. You need no human agents
in this case. The system is able to run 100 000 simultaneous outbound calls.
That is not really a problem. Are you able to pay the phone bill in such a
case? Are you able to handle the responses and the flames if you are using such
a system? Will your own phone system not break down in such a case?
You like to
have an accent free professional speaking agent for low cost?
Use the Avatar technology with professional recordings. But think that the called
one will remember the sound of the voice. For the case you are calling the same
number a second time you have to change the recordings. An agent can handle
multiple calls by using the Avatar technology. But he has to listen to the
caller for selecting the correct sound file played in answer to the called one.
human agents which are calling, but the costs should be very low?
No problem, search for one or more of the many call centers, which are working
with using the technology like dialer and queues.
You like to
have a quality call center, where the agents are taking time and handle each
called one like a king?
Even that is possible, but in this case you cannot expect, that such a center
is working on a per sale base. There are a lot of quality centers with high
qualified agents available. All this centers have something in common: They are
working only on an hourly base and you have to provide them good quality data
with more information than only phone numbers. The call volume per hour and
agent will be lower than from the other choices above, but the success rate
will be much higher.
I know it is hard to bring quality if the broker or the customer thinks that everything is free and they need only pay for sales and not for the work, which is behind the sale and are even thinking that you need to take all the risk. The highest risk is their own product, which they are not able to sell by using a normal way like in a shop. Reject such offers like I have described it in “A LinkedIn offer where the broker likes to reinvent the slavery - David Goodstein”. The result of taking such an offer will be that you are destroying your own reputation.
A good sale needs time. You are expecting a good quality work from your agents. Why are you making it hard for your agents by using such dialer where the called person hears a prerecorded message while you are connecting to your agents?
If the caller gets it, that he is listening to a tape, he knows already that you nothing else than a Call Center. The sound of a recording is different than the greeting of from the agent even if the recording is from the same agent, which shall pick up the phone. That is not a technical issue it is depending from the stress and mood of the agent, which changes the sound of his voice during the shift.
Use another system than such a dialer like described before. Your agents are not robots. Let the agent decide his own workflow and working speed. This will reduce the amount of called people over the phone per hour, but will increase the sales rate. Use a system like “Click to Dial” or “Code to Dial”. This can be simple done by your internal website with a button like “next caller” or by dial a code at the phone. In such a case the phone of the agent rings first and the VoIP System will dial the next caller in the list. Sure the agent need to wait until you reach someone, but the agent is already in the line and the called one does not hear a prerecorded message.
Let your customer provide the data of the people which you should call. Your customer knows better the target group of his product. For this he can make a better selection by using an address broker. Good address brokers in the US are trading their addresses only if you are using an IP-address from the US or you have a postal address in the US. The data, which get traded here from one center to other centers, are useless, because they got already used too many times. Good data are expensive, but your customer likes to sell his product. If your future customer does not like to provide data, than he is too greedy in any case and his product is from a very low value too. Such products don’t get sold good. In such a case you should take only the contract if he is paying per agent, hour, phone minutes, data and the necessary clean up against the “Do not call list”.
Make your own fair contracts and conditions for which you are working. These contracts, which I have seen until now from the brokers and customers don’t have even the value of the paper on which they will get printed. You have only duties and no rights in these contracts, which I have seen until now. They are only for ripping you off. If one point of your contract does not fit for your customer, than this point can get negotiated, but don’t let get yourself ripped off.