Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is It Possible To Out-Perform US Call Centers?

There is an existing debate going on between proponents of offshoring call centers and those against it. The belief that US Call centers can communicate messages effectively, know-how on instinctively promoting products and services and closing a sale outweighs the beneficial effect it brings globally, specially to third-world countries, is becoming prevalent.

Clearly the US Call Center industry has two clear and distinct advantages over its offshore competitors.

1. Clear Communication

Let's face it, no amount of language training can ever replicate those of a native-speaker. Accent and language barriers are the chief reasons why US callers hang-up. They get annoyed at the stark realization that they're trapped in a lengthy sales script delivered in a hard-to-understand accent. What's sad is that for a lot of these callers, a not-so-american accent equates to a not-so-impressive customer service. Even having an American sounding name doesn't help at all, in some situations it even infuriates the caller because the name doesn't match the accent.

Customer satisfaction surveys proves this point because as soon as the caller realizes that they're calling a call center instead of the business they need to be connected to, their opinions turn south. Even more so when they realize that they're speaking with a non-US agent, the opinions toward the agent plummets even more. Callers often point out difficulty in communicating with thick-accented agents, and they feel just moving back and forth with a set of scripted questions, lengthening the time spent asking even simplest of questions.

2. Cultural Affinity

A shared language and business culture is what connects US agents naturally connect with their callers.

These are but some of the hurdles offshore and outsourced BPO's and Telemarketing Call Centers have to face. What is least mentioned is the fact that offshore telemarketing services, lead generation and answering services provide a stable income for third world countries. What they lack in language proficiency they make up in excellent customer service, going the extra mile to prove that having a little if not negligible accent, is just a minor inconvenience compared to the customer service they will experience.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Appointment Setting: Key Element for Business Growth

For businesses to gain more customers and increase their market share, they must focus on an important element of business development – appointment setting. It has been the B2B industry's lifeblood when it comes to acquiring more leads and sales. Appointment setting by far is one of the most viable and flexible marketing tools organizations can employ. Companies from around the world have been using the process of setting appointments for growing their pipelines.

Be that as it may, the changing economy and technological evolution force companies to come up with better marketing solutions to draw more customers. This is the reason why professional telemarketing firms have developed innovative appointment setting programs to arouse interest in people and eventually buy certain products and services.

Appointment setting is critical in a cutthroat business environment. Organizations need to expand their client base to secure a stable position in the industry they belong to. Some companies have their own marketing teams that implement appointment setting projects while other agencies engage the services of professional telemarketing firms. These firms are able to develop personalized and customized telemarketing activities based on a company's marketing goals.

The usual process of generating leads through setting appointments begin with calling potential customers or prospects with the intention of arranging a face-to-face meeting for a firm's sales representative. Once the prospect agrees to the meeting, the sales representative now has the opportunity to discuss the service or product in detail as well as establish rapport with the decision-maker.

The appointment setting process allows salespeople to have a fair chance at demonstrating how certain products/services can be beneficial to the prospects. It also provides the prospects more time to know what advantages or disadvantages the products/services have that will help them determine whether to buy or not.

Appointment setting may seem like an easy task, but it requires more than just calling people and arranging meetings. Customers and prospects demand more substance from a meeting as opposed to watching mere product demonstrations and listening to sales pitches. Salespeople must be responsible for developing an impression of how they want the company to be perceived.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Outsourcing Lead Generation Services

For a starting company or small business to get a leg up these days the use of lead generation services is often the only way to go so they can actually have a sales team of their own. Unless your current staff has plenty of time to spare, this is a guaranteed way to make your presence known in the market.

Many firms and small businesses unfortunately do not see their companies heading in that direction. They feel that lead generation services is not the right choice for them as of the moment. Some managers are not comforted with the idea of outsourcing such an important area as sales, rejecting the idea of outsourcing lead generation assistance because they believe they can do a better job of controlling their company image and presentation of product or service information.

Deciding to use BPO lead generation services, there should be a striking balance between control, image, and cost.

The range of services provided by lead generation services companies is the most pressing concern for most businesses. Most companies however, focuses on B2B services.

A diverse range of services will be offered by different companies. But a great deal of lead generation services companies will offer the following services:

-- Provide a valid list of leads for you to follow up on
-- Referral management
-- Up selling
-- Cross Selling
-- Building customer relationships
-- Management of all leads through the first sale - converting the lead
-- Solicitation of leads via Direct Mail
-- Telemarketing programs
-- Building a lead profile
-- Contacting and qualifying leads for you
-- Follow-up with people who make inquiries

It's acceptable to just acquire the lead generation services they require straight off and then just add others as the business grows along the way. Proceeding slowly but surely is advised.

Once you've figured out which type of services you need and you've obtained the costing estimates, be sure you are working with a company of untainted reputation. No harm in check out these companies carefully.

Obtaining the services of lead generation contact centers can be the make or break for small capital businesses and professional firms alike. Oftentimes, these firms can spell the difference between having a sales team that works and not having a sales team at all. When a new product or service is introduced to the market, lead generation services can definitely prove to be indispensable.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Telephone selling has evolved tremendously along with technology. Outbound call centers and professional services firms are continuously growing as demands for new products and services rise up. Salespeople are constantly improving their telemarketing skills in order to stimulate customer interest and eventually make a sale.

Some telemarketers have developed bad habits to cope with the physical and mental challenges of the job. These behavioral changes include developing overly aggressive and displeasing telemarketing strategies such as lying.

Everybody is capable of lying, but for businesses, INTEGRITY is a virtue that must never be broken. In order for companies to achieve success, every single transaction should be conducted with professionalism and honesty, and this includes phone selling.

So how does one sell with Integrity? In her book Selling to Anyone Over the Phone, Renee P. Walkup (with Sandra L. McKee) gave six ideas:

• Always tell your customers the truth – that way, if you're not smart enough to remember a lie, you don't have to worry about it later! Over the phone, your customers can't see you, so they may be worried about your integrity at first anyway.

• If you don't know the answer immediately, tell your customer that you will check into it and get back to him or her by a certain time. That way, you preserve your credibility instead of guessing.

• Fact-check before quoting a price. If you give a ballpark figure on your product or service, it could possibly come back to haunt you later. You may have either overquoted, which negatively affects your credibility, or underquoted, which makes you look like a liar!

• Make sure you understand what your customer's real need is. If you don't understand the customer's specific problem or goal, you may end up trying to make a square product fit into a round hole.

• Remember that your long-term success is dependent on happy and loyal customers. Don't blow it.

• Think before you speak.

Telephone selling can be challenging, but with the right attitude, salespeople can pull it off without resorting to deception and using misleading statements. Telemarketers are considered the front-liners, so it is always best to start any phone selling campaign with genuine regard for the customer.