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Alexander Brown, Vice President of Engagement, Telepathy Unit

05 May, 2016

This is probably what you see you when you think of a call center…

Call center

Row after row of headset wearing drones, mindlessly reading robotic scripts as infuriated callers desperately try to pay their damn electric bill. 

It’s a place most of us would like to stay far away from. 

The good news is; you probably will never have to step into one that looks like this. After all, call centers are an afterthought for most marketing campaigns. People buy things online now. Some Millennials would rather clean their toilets than pick up the phone and speak to a living, breathing human being. It’s just a set-it-and-forget-it tactic, right? 

Think again. 

When your customer or target calls your company, in their minds they’re speaking with your company, not some call center rep. Tele-services is built on understanding how, why and when people use phones…including smart phones. 

Tele-services are often times the face of your brand experience, and can make or break any direct response campaign. Here’s why:

Reason 1

Contrary to the stale headlines plastered over every marketing and advertising publication, some people still use the phone. Not everyone is online or mobile first. In fact, there’s a huge demographic that has immense purchasing power that often calls first. They’re called Baby Boomers.

Telepathy linkedin graphic 1

But it’s not just pensioners that pick up the phone. For many, serious purchases or commitments require the confidence that only a real connection to a real person can give. Someone who can answer detailed questions about the fine print of a life insurance policy, or a medication’s side effects when it’s taken with other prescriptions.

Telepathy linkedin graphic 2

Reason 2

Call centers aren’t a glorified switchboard anymore. While the rest of the mar-tech landscape was flowering, tele-services were growing, too. The tactics and technology have come so far, in fact, that I’ve started referring to the discipline as Telepathy, because call center management is no longer reactive.  

Robotic scripting no longer rules the day. Smart phones have paved the way for an entirely new set of capabilities. It’s all a highly choreographed system to funnel your customers into the best experience possible so that your campaign hits its objectives in stride.    

These are some of the top Telepathy tactics to drive conversions and effectiveness.  

Screen Takeovers: It’d hard to fathom, but not every person in America is a savvy computer user. If a caller gets stuck or needs help completing an online process, call centers are now equipped with the ability help the caller through the process.  

Dynamic Call Flow: You constantly test the performance of emails and landing pages. We monitor agent performance, in real time. Those with the hot hand receive more prospects. The same is true for geography. If an agent converses well with East Coasters, they only receive callers from the east coast. Data determines all.  

Campaign Feedback: Creative directors will never admit it, but sometimes when people call in, it’s because the ad they saw was confusing. Call agents are trained to pull qualitative feedback from callers, which provides a more nuanced set of feedback on creative performance.  

Click to call: When a call is the desired action, make doing so easy. Click to call simplifies the process for the user and also collects valuable data on who is calling and from where.   

Social Media Engagement: Everyone worth their weight in data has a post campaign marketing assessment of social media response and reaction. But Telepathy agents have the experience to engage in real time. And though most of the action goes on behind the close doors of the DM, there’s more to response than just DM’ing angry customers dial-in numbers to pacify them and get them to delete their surly tweet. Brands need to actively monitor LIVE hashtags and engage their customers with discount codes and offers when most customers are emotional and most prone to switch. Hashtag monitoring can even be used for acquisition when competitors’ customers are dissatisfied.  

Whether it’s sexy or not, picking up the phone and making a call is still a serious pin-drop on the customer journey for millions of people.  

The biggest mistake most brands make is one size fits all thinking. Brands don’t pick agencies based off what Google spits out on the first page. They shouldn’t pick call centers with an SEO gamble or let account executives run contact center campaigns either.  

Phone rooms, call centers, teleservices and overseas outsourcing are all dinosaurs of yesterday. Telepathy strategically manages social, mobile, and contact center campaigns in 2016 real-time form.

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