The Future of Outbound Telemarketing

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The Future of Outbound Telemarketing

  1. 1. The Future of Outbound Telemarketing Point of View Gráfica.eCRM Corp. May 31, 2002 © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 1
  2. 2. Executive Summary Today, customer relationship management (CRM) and its related technologies give every firm the opportunity to see the sum of a customer’s interactions/transactions with the goal of serving each customer on a one-to-one, personalized basis and building long-term relationships. Outbound calling will play a crucial role in the growing success of CRM. However, a fundamental change must take place regarding its use and abuse. The technological innovations associated with CRM create a customer feedback loop: “I know you and remember you. Tell me what you need, and I will provide it for you.” This feedback loop has the potential to make customers very loyal, but each component must be carefully designed with the customer in mind and then integrated to fully serve the customer. The database must include all relevant customer information (a 360º view), the firm must provide a variety of interactive “touchpoint” channels to be used at the customer’s behest, and production must be able to integrate and process customer input. In the midst of the CRM revolution, it is incumbent upon marketers to treat consumers not as groups or segments, but as individuals. All customers are different. Each needs different things from a firm, and each brings different value to the firm. A customer’s lifetime value (LTV) will depend largely on how long the customer remains loyal. Knowing what each individual customer needs is more than simply adding up what they’ve purchased, because two customers might buy the products for very different reasons. Knowing what a customer’s underlying needs are, the firm can sell more to the customer and thereby increase loyalty and LTV. One of the keys for the successful firm will be to make it easy for the customer to communicate his/her needs. Thus, each customer contact is an opportunity to brand the company and increase the value of the customer relationship. Each customer contact plays an important role in the firm’s ability to up-sell, cross-sell, develop brand loyalty, and create customer equity. Armed with only a name and phone number, a personal outbound call is a wasted opportunity to interact intelligently with a prospect or customer. And, in the worst-case scenario, the call could diminish brand equity. Contact Centers today are migrating toward managing two-way relationships across multiple touchpoints or media channels, rather than simply making a one- way call. With a 360º view of individual customers, Contact Center representatives will be able to differentiate customers based on value, and then initiate the “warm” outbound call to meet an identified customer need, thereby deepening the relationship. Marketing strategists must help leverage each customer contact by ranking each customer’s LTV, developing a consistent but flexible communication program/scripts, and identifying relevant opportunities for cross-selling/ up-selling and retention efforts. Only then can sellers leverage the value of the outbound call – real-time personal contact – and advance it from being a customer annoyance to deepening that customer’s relationship with the organization. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 2
  3. 3. Introduction The telephone remains a primary tool for buying and selling in America. However, outbound telemarketing is taking a hit these days. Consumers are increasingly blocking telemarketers with Caller ID services, and the federal government is promising a national “do not call” (DNC) list to relieve people from those intrusive suppertime calls. Even the word “telemarketing” has become a liability, as the industry renames itself “teleservicing,” and firms evolve into multichannel service providers. Straight outbound or “cold” calling seems to be the culprit. Marketers are currently reassessing its impact, both positive and negative. “It’s a sharp double-edged sword,” notes Ernan Roman. (Yoder, Eric, “Is Outbound Telemarketing Dead?” 1to1 Magazine, April 2002.) Outbound telemarketing can significantly lift the response rate of a program, but it also has the power to create customer dissatisfaction and ultimately hurt a brand. But like other marketing media, outbound telemarketing is maturing beyond simple one-way selling toward building two-way customer relationships. Marketers and the teleservices industry are responding to the changing environment, and media touchpoints are being integrated to facilitate better relationship building and sales. Warm calling to retain current customers is replacing cold calling, and the telemarketing industry is redefining itself way beyond just a cosmetic name change. In the end, outbound calling will survive the current storm. Yet in order to remain an effective tool, outbound calling needs to be a well thought-out tactic integrated within the seller’s broader multichannel CRM strategy. Daunting Environment Consumer Fatigue In the consumer’s mind, outbound telemarketing has a negative perception and, in general, calls are considered frequent and intrusive. On average, the typical American household receives two to three telemarketing calls per day (http://www.dianamey.com). In addition, the growing number of “dead air” or abandoned calls, where the consumer experiences calls that are abandoned after a few rings or “dead” when the receiver is picked up, adds to consumer irritation. And with increasingly busy lives, the typical consumer rarely feels comfortable considering a product or service decision “on the spot.” Telemarketing practices that fuel the nuisance factor include deadpan scripts about products that consumers are not interested in, poorly targeted lists, and incomplete customer data. But the statistics on deceptive selling speak for themselves. Americans lose $40 billion a year to fraudulent telemarketers, according to the National Fraud Information Center. A survey conducted for the National Consumers League found that 92 percent of adults in the United States reported receiving fraudulent telephone offers. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that there are 14,000 illegal telephone sales operations bilking consumers in the United States every day. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 3
  4. 4. The more mainstream telecommunications industry is not doing itself a favor by deceptive practices, such as “slamming” and “cramming.” Though both slamming and cramming are on the decline, they have both made the top ten lists of telephone fraud schemes in 1999, 2000, and 2001. These factors increase consumer pushback, weaken outbound calling effectiveness, and maintain the flow of consumer complaints into the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Consumers on the Offense Consumers are taking an offensive stance in protecting themselves from unwanted inbound calls using Caller ID services and devices. According to an American Teleservices Association (ATA) survey conducted in the spring of 2001, almost 40 percent of Americans subscribe to Caller ID services. In another study cited by Southwestern Bell (1998), nearly 70 percent of the company’s Caller ID users said that they consider the ability to screen calls the most important attribute of Caller ID. Another 80 percent believe Caller ID has reduced or controlled the number of harassing and annoying phone calls. Legislative Response Some telemarketers today are concerned that the government aims to regulate their industry out of existence. C. Tyler Prochnow, the ATA State Legislative Counsel, recently noted that lawmakers on the state level have proposed 180 pieces of legislation this year aimed at the industry. The FTC is currently proposing more extreme restrictions on telemarketing. Local state legislatures and the FTC already have legislation and regulatory actions in place to protect consumers (particularly households) from deceptive practices and the nuisance factors associated with telemarketing. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), which went into effect December 31, 1995, are the major federal acts regulating teleservices. They offer regulations such as: • Calls limited to the period from 8AM to 9PM. • Firms must maintain a DNC list and honor a request for 10 years. • Telemarketers must disclose a telephone number or address where the seller can be contacted. The recently proposed amendments to the TSR focus on altering the industry’s use of predictive dialing and the creation of a national DNC list. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 4
  5. 5. The abuse of predictive dialing is demonstrated by dead air calls. The number of dead air calls is increasing, along with an escalated number of complaints to the FTC. One possible outcome is the banning of predictive dialers altogether. That would relieve consumers, but it also means a significant loss of productivity and money for teleservices companies, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). In January 2002, when the FTC proposed the creation of a national DNC list, the announcement was apparently met with enthusiasm by consumer advocates and the public. The FTC has since received over 42,000 comments regarding the proposed national DNC list. The vast majority of comments favor the establishment of a national DNC list. FTC Marketing Practices Division Director Eileen Harrington defended the FTC’s effort to modify the TSR at the Teleservices Annual Legislative Conference in April 2002. Harrington explained that the FTC is responding to legitimate concerns that the current version of the TSR is ineffective in protecting consumer privacy. As currently written, the rule lets consumers request that individual companies not call them, but provides no way for consumers to block all telemarketing calls at once. (Hovanyetz, Scott, “FTC: No Campaign to Promote National DNC List,” DM News, April 23, 2002.) The problem with a national DNC list, according to the ATA, is that it adds to what is already an administrative nightmare for companies trying to comply with the varying laws in 20 states focused on curbing fraud and deception. Lou Mastria, Director of Public and International Affairs, also wonders if this proposal is so broad it could block legitimate communications. He suggests that the consumer would be better served by the active prosecution of illegitimate telemarketing firms. (Teinowitz, Ira, “‘Do Not Call’ Proposal Sparks Response,” Advertising Age, April 8, 2002.) Bullish Industry The Other Side of the Story No matter what consumers might say, they buy over the phone. Sales topped $600 billion in 2001 for telephone marketing, according to the DMA. And 185 million Americans made a purchase via outbound telephone calls in 2001. According to Private Citizen, a consumer advocate organization, the industry makes 148 million calls per day. Outbound telemarketing remains one of the most popular media utilized by direct marketing firms. According to the DMA, marketers spent about $75.6 billion on telephone marketing in 2001 (38 percent of all direct marketing expenditures) and $47.4 billion on direct mail, as compared to 2001 email spending estimates of $948 million from Gartner/G2. That sounds like a robust industry that is still generating a positive investment for marketers. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 5
  6. 6. Estimated Total Teleservices Expenditures Outbound vs. Inbound (Dollars in Billions) Outbound Inbound Year Expenditures Percent Expenditures Percent Total Expenditure 1999 $66.8 53.8 $57.3 46.2 $124.1 2000 $71.0 48.1 $76.7 51.9 $147.7 2001 $75.6 45.0 $92.4 55.0 $168.0 2002 $80.5 42.0 $112.2 58.0 $191.7 2003 $85.7 40.0 $128.6 60.0 $214.3 2004 $91.4 38.0 $149.1 62.0 $240.5 Compound annual growth rate, 2000 - 2004: 6.5% 18.1% 13.0% Source: Direct Marketing Association Plus the outbound sector continues to grow, though slower than inbound, at a compound rate of 6.5 percent. The DMA projects that outbound telemarketing expenditures will increase to $91.4 billion in 2004. Employment growth in the industry is also quite impressive. The DMA states that telephone marketing employed 5,998 million persons in 2001 – 38.5 percent of all direct marketing employment. The industry provides flexible employment and creates opportunities for women, minorities, working mothers, students, part-time workers, and people with disabilities. Next year, the industry is predicted to need 254,000 new workers. Evolution of Telemarketing Firms The image of telemarketing as large rooms filled with people at phones madly dialing and reading set scripts to unsuspecting consumers is definitely a vision of the past. The evolution of Call Centers has been intense in recent years, spurred primarily by consumer behavior and technology. They are long past the use of a single channel (voice) and now represent the strategic integration of a variety of media across all customer touchpoints. Besides building relationships and customer equity, many firms strive for a single representative being able to help from one point in the system. With the advent of fax and then the Internet, suddenly businesses and consumers had an alternate means of communication to reach or respond to sellers. Telemarketing firms added fax machines and email capabilities to their inbound and outbound phone services. Although they were now multichannel, these new channels were not real time and were typically handled as a batch of emails or faxes, rather than as part of an ongoing, integrated, two-way dialog. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 6
  7. 7. Today, the Call Center faces the primary challenge of integrating Web-based capabilities with traditional voice solutions. Telemarketing or teleservices firms are more correctly termed “Contact Centers,” with each representative managing contacts with customers via a variety of dynamic media: inbound calls, email, chat, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), callbacks, and outbound calls. They are assisted by data feeds of customer information, including demographics, contact history, as well as purchase and account information, giving the representative a holistic view of the customer. Customer information empowers the representative to have an intelligent, interactive, and intuitive (not fully scripted) conversation with the customer, creating opportunities for selling and meeting individual customer needs. The future of teleservices has arrived for a few firms that are incorporating CRM theory and technology, thereby transforming themselves into dynamic Customer Interaction Centers (CICs). These teleservices providers have already integrated a 360º view of the customer and are now overlaying marketing strategy, business rules, call routing, and queuing to dynamically service each customer based on their importance to the company and their individual needs. These newly evolved CICs have moved from generic selling or support systems to individualized selling and service via a variety of channels. These teleservices representatives have a wealth of information at the click of the mouse, including customer history, value to the firm, and suggested real-time message/offer to create a more natural synergy between buyer and seller. It is as close to the “mom-and-pop” model of personalized, face-to-face selling as one can get today. The outbound call remains the most powerful medium to achieve this synergy. To develop these kinds of relationships with customers, teleservices representatives today must have more than a nice speaking voice and a courteous attitude. Representatives need to be prepared to handle complex requests; navigate multiple layers of information; communicate via phone, fax, and email; participate in live chats and VoIP; and initiate outbound calls. Most importantly, they need to be able to uncover and act upon the opportunities to serve and sell the customer a full line of the firm’s products and services. Evolution of the Call Center Call Center Web-Enabled Call Center Voice channel only. Multiple-channel silos. Contact Center Customer Interaction Center One view of the customer. Using CRM technology, adjust routing, queuing, and message content to influence individual customer behavior. Source: Convergys © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 7
  8. 8. Customer Choice Customers are changing the ways in which they contact and interact with companies. By the end of 2002, the Meta Group estimates that nearly one third of all customer contacts will be made by a means other than the phone. The 800 number, for example, is giving way to the Internet by way of Web-based self-service, Web chat, and callback. The use of these new touchpoints by consumers is predicted to double. Forrester Research forecasts that email will grow from 9.8 percent to 17.3 percent of a company’s total number of contacts with customers between 2001 and 2002. At the same time, contacts by way of the Web will jump from 8.1 percent to 17.1 percent. This is supported by a recent study done by the ATA, in which 45 percent of respondents said they made a purchase over the Internet in the last year, while 41 percent reported they made a purchase over the telephone during the last year. Contact Centers continue to respond by creating multichannel customer service. Email will continue to take center stage as a means of communication, as the number of worldwide email mailboxes is expected to increase from 505 million in 2000 to 1.2 billion in 2005, according to the International Data Center (IDC). With the advent of CRM, companies are now, more than ever, committed to communicating with the customer at the right time, in the right place, and via the medium that benefits the relationship. The goal is to empower the customer to interact with the company in the way he or she is most comfortable. Marketers need to accommodate customer preferences and provide an array of media channels to interact with the consumer. The challenge will be reacting to those contacts in an integrated and intelligent way. Customers have always shown a preference for self-service if it proves to be an easy task. As companies continue to put emphasis on Web-based capabilities to satisfy their customers, they may also find the benefit of cost savings. According to industry analysts, the cost of live agent- assisted customer service is much higher than self-service solutions. (Yankee Group on Web Self-Service Applications.) Teleservices and marketing firms are working to balance the customer preference for self-service, while maintaining and integrating the ever-important voice services. Companies see the future as the total integration of all customer touchpoints in the CIC. Security Federal, a Flint, Michigan-based credit union, is integrating email, phone, ATMs, and audio tellers into a CIC. Their goal is to ensure access to a live customer service representative, if the customer wants, no matter what initial channel was used. Security Federal is seeking to increase customer satisfaction, and thereby retention, by letting customers choose their own means of access to the bank. But if customers are unsuccessful in completing a transaction or getting information via a one-way medium, access to a live teller via Web or the phone is a button push away. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 8
  9. 9. The Future of Outbound Calling? Our Point of View The Transition Has Begun The transition of outbound cold calling to warm calling has already begun. As noted in the DMA statistics, outbound calling is growing, but only at half the rate as inbound calling. This may indicate that firms are not using outbound calling as aggressively for acquisition, with perhaps more emphasis on customer retention. To strengthen this view, Gráfica.eCRM conducted an informal survey, monitoring the telemarketing calls received by Midwestern middle-income households for two weeks. We found that two-thirds of those calls were, in fact, warm calls or calls from firms with which the household was currently doing business. The teleservices representatives were typically trying to up-sell value-added services or obtain renewals. But the downside of the “generic” outbound call is still very evident. One household reported a representative from a local phone company trying to up-sell a service the consumer had just purchased on her own volition the previous week. That representative could not redeem the call in the mind of the consumer. When asked, the representative could not help with a billing question. Obviously, the representative did not have a 360º, real-time view of the customer at hand or the authority to help. If the firm was integrating knowledge and touchpoints, this bothersome call could have been turned into a relationship-building opportunity. Why Is This Shift Happening? This shift is happening because of technology enhancements, as well as the increasingly hostile consumer and legislative environment toward outbound telemarketing. The situation has given marketers pause. This is the opportunity for marketers to assess the features and benefits of outbound telemarketing and determine how it can be better used in the context of multiple media channels and the increasing use of CRM. CRM is defined by three important, new capabilities available to marketers: 1) The database allows you to tell your customers apart and remember them. 2) Interactivity means the customer can now “have an intelligent, two-way conversation” with a business via a variety of media, rather than simply being the passive target for a promotional message. 3) Mass customization technology enables businesses to customize products and services as a matter of routine. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 9
  10. 10. Combining these three technological innovations creates the customer feedback loop mentioned earlier: “I know you and remember you. Tell me what you need, and I will provide it for you.” By carefully designing each component with the customer in mind and integrating it to fully serve the customer, this feedback loop has the potential to make customers very loyal. Again, the database must include all relevant customer information (a 360º view), the firm must provide a variety of interactive channels to be used at the customer’s behest, and production must be able to integrate and process customer input. As companies start embracing CRM, in the sense that it delivers relevant and personal communications and not just technology, each outbound call becomes a more powerful branding and selling opportunity that drives successful relationships. Why Should This Shift Be Happening? This shift away from outbound cold calling should be happening for two reasons: to build and protect customer equity and to preserve the brand. Customer equity is the new measure of value consisting of brand equity and relationship equity. Companies invest in their brand to create a positive impression of the brand and lock it into long-term memory. That image of consistent quality tied to the physical attributes of the product and/or service and the specific emotional attributes or benefits needs to be impressed in the customer’s mind. At its core is the commitment to deliver against the promise of value. Relationship equity is the value of the individual customer experience derived from ongoing interactions with the firm. It is the way that the company fulfils its brand promise. To maximize customer equity, companies must adopt an “outside-in” perspective – the customer- driven approach. This means intentionally choosing the right customers and then taking a holistic view of delivering the total customer experience. The aim is to create an end-to-end view of valued customers that transcends functions and departmental silos, giving a complete, coherent picture of each customer. Thus, the company can deliver a consistently differentiated customer experience, regardless of what the customer buys or how he/she chooses to interact with the brand. The key then is to consistently provide high-quality service and personalized interactions irrespective of the channel the customer chooses. Two internal obstacles typically undermine a company’s effort to provide personalized customer interactions. Companies either fail to develop skills and technologies to enhance the various interaction channels (Web, phone, direct mail, email, etc.) that are preferred by the customer, or they fail to knit the various channels together to provide a consistent customer experience. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 10
  11. 11. Marketers must think outside traditional media channels and planning processes and reach out to customers and change their perceptions of the company (not just the products). Success is not simply measured in response rates or number of campaigns launched. When a firm seamlessly integrates all customer interactions across multiple channels to offer anytime, anywhere access and individualized experiences and offers, success will be measured by the value, strength, and durability of each customer’s relationship with the company. This relationship is the equity upon which to build a future. Cold Outbound Calls Are Turning Warm Though outbound telemarketing continues to show growth, companies are moving away from a one-size-fits-all strategy and utilizing teleservices within a CRM strategy. Outbound calling is a powerful component of the direct marketing mix, but experienced marketers cannot afford to call people with a low affinity for a product, a low propensity to buy, or an expressed preference not to be called. Forward-thinking firms are working to overcome the consumer objections by using technology thoughtfully. These firms incorporate data modeling, list hygiene, “do not call” suppression, file rotation, and low dialer settings to decrease the nuisance factor while they reconsider the use of outbound calling. Outbound calling is the optimal channel to deliver customized information. By nature, the personal and real-time nature of a call makes it the most intense and engaging opportunity to grow customer relationship and value. But the future focus of outbound telemarketing has to change for it to remain effective in the marketing mix. CRM initiatives make each call more meaningful for the seller and buyer, and the resulting ongoing relationship will be the long-term goal – not just the sale. Cold outbound calls are turning to warm calls, as outbound calling becomes a retention tool to assist and grow an organization’s current customers. Live Sales Contact Features Benefits • Most intense interaction • Engages customer/potential customer • Highest level of individualized • Opportunity to grow customer value information • Real-time convenience • High level of personalized service • Opportunity to deepen relationship How Exactly Does This Happen? A warm call can be defined as an outbound call to a: • Prospect that has shown a strong interest in a product/service for acquisition purposes, or • Current customer for the purpose of retaining and upgrading their product/service. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 11
  12. 12. Cold calling is on its way out. An outbound call should be relevant and within the context of an existing CRM relationship. Each call must be viewed as an element of an ongoing (multichannel) dialog between the company and customer. The next communication must begin where the last one left off, whatever channel was used. That dictates that the representative making an outbound call must be fully informed, armed with a 360º view of the customer. Plus he/she must have the training and the authority to assist the customer with billing, service, and sales. Without that commitment, the warm call can damage brand perception, like the example of the Midwest household and local phone company given previously. The warm call can be initiated for a variety of reasons. It can be a: • Follow-up for more information. • Call to announce a new product or enhanced services. • Call to advise customers to change their pricing package based on past billing. • Call to alert customers about changes in their service. • Call to notify customers about the newest upgrade. • Reminder that it is time to service a product. • Survey, or simply a thank you. To take advantage of the power of a live, personal interaction and to honor the customer’s time, the teleservices sales representative should not make the call unless he/she is fully equipped to handle any customer request. Golden Rule, an insurance carrier, used to practice the traditional approach of following up direct mail with outbound cold calling for customer acquisition. But now they only call people who have expressed a definite interest in one of their products. It is a matter of efficiency and effectiveness, explains Assistant Vice President of Direct Sales, Greg Kohne. He notes that it has proven to be more effective to focus on people who have expressed a need for help in obtaining insurance. (Yoder, Eric, “Is Outbound Telemarketing Dead?” 1to1 Magazine, April 2002.) Opt-In Multichannel Model Marketers today, more than ever, must be committed to communicating with the customer at the right time, in the right place, and via the right medium that benefits the relationship. The goal is to allow consumers to choose the communication channel most efficient for them. We need to ask consumers if they want to “opt in” for a call about a new product, or ask current customers if they want to be called about a service upgrade. Since email marketing actually set the precedent for opt-in promotions, it might be prudent to monitor their success. There is documented success in the email marketing world with corresponding high rates of usage, response, and deepening customer relationships measured by retention. 70 percent of all email marketing manages relationships with existing customers. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 12
  13. 13. The new technology-enhanced environment requires marketers to stretch their strategic creativity beyond the traditional. Today, marketers are faced with an expanding number of touchpoints in which the customer can interact with the firm. These touchpoints can be more complex, yet more flexible and more interactive – and drive measurable revenue. Proof Point: Recent statistics from Peppers & Rogers Group (PRG) show that consumers reward institutions that practice personalization and effective relationship management. Those that falter in their CRM practice, on the other hand, suffer. Level of Relationship Management High Poor Likely to switch away products in the next 1% 26% year: Likely to add products in the next year: 31% 15% Likely to consolidate with one provider: 44% 21% Technology Makes Multiple Contacts a Reality The final frontier, the evolution of the Call Center to the full-service CIC, will take place when customer information/data becomes an integral part of the center. This knowledge will allow companies to know when to act and how to act based on each customer interaction. This means that companies will need more than a 360º view of the customer. They will need a marketing strategy and accompanying business rules on how to segment customers and optimize relationships for the best return on investment (ROI). A firm will then be able to adjust individual call routing, queuing, and message content to influence that individual customer’s behavior. Conclusion More Savvy Use of Media It may be that the FTC is simply sending a wake-up call to marketers. Outbound calling, as it is conducted today, is outliving its usefulness. Outbound calling, just like every channel in the media mix, needs increasing scrutiny on how it serves both the customer and the seller in this era of database technology and relationships. Marketers are being forced to be smarter to find the right place for outbound calling within a customer-centric CRM strategy. And marketers are being forced to work harder to communicate with each customer on the customer’s terms in any medium, be it phone, fax, email, Web, direct mail, etc. As part of this new mix, perhaps outbound calling will reveal itself in a whole new light, as a powerful opt-in medium that fulfills a certain consumer segment need to have an intelligent conversation with knowledgeable teleservices sales representatives. This will be the case where quality is better than quantity, as fewer calls may be made, but each call will have the power to build a stronger, more meaningful customer relationship. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 13
  14. 14. Sources Articles American Teleservices Association (ATA), “Telephone Still Favored Purchasing Channel” and “The Majority of Americans Do Not Subscribe to Caller ID Services,” ATA Consumer Research/Telephone Surveys, February/March 2001. Barber, Kathryn, “Calling All Marketers,” The DMA Insider Citation, Fall 2001. Berkowitz, David, “Case Study: Shatterproof Bulbs.com,” eStatNews, February 12, 2002. Brault, Deborah, “Ask the Expert,” Peppers & Rogers Group, http://www.1to1.com, December 2, 2001. Campbell, Christine, “Achieving High ROI Through Integration,” http://www.searchCRM.com, February 22, 2001. Campbell, Christine, “Bring on the Bandwidth for Futuristic Contact Centers,” http://www.searchCRM.com, October 8, 2001. CRM Forum, “Calls to Create ‘Intelligent Call Center,’” http://www.crm-forum.com, March 27, 2000. Datamonitor, “Outbound Call Center Activity: The Rise of Warm Calling,” Spring 2002. Faulkner, Michael, “The Viability of Using Ring-Back Signals as Part of Stronger Predictive Dialer Standards,” the Direct Marketing Association, March 25, 2002. Hovanyetz, Scott, “FTC: No Campaign to Promote National DNC List,” DM News, April 23, 2002. Price, Mark, “On the Marketing Frontier: The Challenge of the Mind: The Evolving Role of Creative and Analytics in Technology-Enabled Marketing,” DM Review Online, September 2001. Richardson, Robert, “Creating Real Motivation for CRM”, Communications Convergence, June 5, 2001. Southwestern Bell, “Half of Southwestern Bell’s Customer Lines Now Have Caller ID,” News Center, http://www.swbell.com, November 5, 1998. Teinowitz, Ira, “‘Do Not Call’ Proposal Sparks Response,” Advertising Age, April 8, 2002. Wallace, Bob, and George Hulme, “The Modern Call Center,” http://www.informationweek.com, April 9, 2001. Yoder, Eric, “Is Outbound Telemarketing Dead?” 1to1 Magazine, April 2002. © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 14
  15. 15. Companies Convergys Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Forrester Research Gartner/G2 Golden Rule International Data Center (IDC) Meta Group National Consumers League National Fraud Information Center Peppers & Rogers Group (PRG) Private Citizen Security Federal Yankee Group © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 15
  16. 16. Web Sites http://opt-out.cdt.org http://www.crm-forum.com http://www.dianamey.com http://www.fraud.og http://www.ftc.gov http://www.informationweek.com http://www.junkbusters.com http://www.1to1.com http://www.searchCRM.com http://www.swbell.com http://www.the-dma.org © 2002 Gráfica.eCRM Corp. This work is the property of Gráfica.eCRM Corp., and no part of it may be used or reproduced without its written permission. Page 16

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