Choosing the right outsourced telemarketing partner is a business-critical decision. The horror stories circulating about incompetence, hardball tactics, and spammy ‘stalking’ don’t make the decision any easier.
It’s the stuff of most business owner’s worst nightmares. After all, investment in outsourced telemarketing is supposed to generate results – not alienate existing clients and send new prospects running a mile.
Besides results, reputation is at stake when a telemarketing company is entrusted to be what’s often a prospect’s first touchpoint with a business. Paying for the privilege of getting demolished publicly on LinkedIn by a less than impressed call recipient doesn’t bear thinking about.
It’s understandable that the prospect of outsourced telemarketing is a scary one for the very businesses that could really use expert help with –
- Outbound calls
- Follow up calls
- Appointment making calls
“Our unofficial strapline is – ‘We work as you, for you, with you’”, says Paula Bates,
Managing Director at Toucan Telemarketing. “We take pride in working as an extension of in-house teams, not as some disjointed enigma.”
“We have every client’s best interest at heart. We’re not suggesting that other outsourced telemarketing businesses don’t. But, let’s be honest, it’s a sector that gets a bad rap because of some of the less than desirable practices that goes on.”
So, what should businesses be on the alert for when they’re looking at potential telemarketing suppliers?
Warning Signs to Beware of
- False Guarantees – We’ve all heard the old adage – “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Businesses should be wary that over-promising and under-delivering is rife. Outsourced telemarketing doesn’t and can’t always justify ROI. There are many factors that influence end results, such as the nature of every business, their products and/or services, their target audiences and their objectives.
- Too Big to Care – Paula describes Toucan Telemarketing as, “Big enough to cope, small enough to care”. But, many of the criticisms levelled at telemarketing companies suggest that the big isn’t always beautiful in terms of client service.
- Off the Shelf Approach – There’s no such thing as one cap fitting all in telemarketing. An alarm bell should go off if a telemarketing company isn’t interested in digging deeply in what makes a business and its solutions unique.
- Lack of Transparency – Great telemarketing companies are able to provide insightful reporting that can influence and dictate future activity. Businesses should clarify how results and insights are reported back to them before they choose a telemarketing supplier
The Buck Stops Somewhere
Clear lines of communication are also key. Business owners and their teams need to know exactly who they need to speak to about different matters, including when things don’t go to plan.
“I get fully immersed in new client set up and onboarding”, Paula confirms. “I’ve got the time-honoured experience and know-how to guide clients, even if it’s not telling them what they want to hear all the time.”
“For example, clients will often bring strong opinions to the table about what should be said on calls. I’ll challenge them about what needs to be included and what doesn’t.”
“I even like to keep my hand in and make batches of calls myself to gauge the temperature. It’s especially useful if we’re working on a tough project that my team need different angles on.”