When we think of what call centers do, we think of words like, "telemarketing," "cold calling," "customer support", "scheduling", and "taking orders." We tend to think that call centers deal with angry people all day, or that they are a hassle to work with because they are doing grunt work. However, that doesn't have to be the case, and you can utilize call center services in a way that isn't a hassle and that doesn't involve angry people. It's called lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is different from lead generation, and it's definitely different from cold calling and telemarketing. Lead nurturing is about building relationships and trust with your prospects in a way that is both consistent and relevant. It's working with those people in your database, those people that have already become needs and now need to be moved through the buying process to become customers. Utilizing call center services this way will not only be a nice relief for those call center representatives, but it could actually do a lot for your bottom line. Here's how a call center can help with your lead nurturing:
Further Qualifying Leads
Your company generates a lot of leads, getting them from the website, trade shows, social media, phone calls etc. However, just because someone filled out a form or expressed interest at a trade show doesn't mean they are going to become a customer tomorrow. That lead needs to be qualified even further to see if they would be a good fit for your company, what sort of solution they really need, what kind of budget they have. All that can be accomplished with a call center to contact these leads and to ask the right questions. This way, salespeople can spend time making a sale to those who are ready for it. This method is better than typical telemarketing, since the calls are going to people who've already had a connection with your company.
Updating Your Database
Did you know that you're B2B database degrades by 30% every year (B2C databases degrade by 7%)? Unless you take the time to update your database regularly, instead of simply adding to it, you're never going to catch up with the accumulation of outdated information. Use call center services to get in touch with these contacts to not only make sure all their information is correct, but also to see if they're still interested in your products/services. By doing so, you ensure that your lead nurturing is getting to people, but is also getting to people who are most likely to engage with that information.
Following Up with Current Customers
For most companies, customers aren't just a one-time buy. There are opportunities for a customer to purchase again or to renew something. Why not have call center services reach out to current customers for those things? This isn't necessarily to make another sale, but maybe to warn them about a subscription or warranty that's about to expire or even just to touch base to see if they have any questions, comments, or concerns about whatever they purchased. This option is great for building trust and brand loyalty, since it shows customers that you don't see them as transactions and that you are looking out for their best interests.
It does take a little bit of creative thinking, but call centers and answering service can be used for more than telemarketing and generating leads. Besides those methods don't work as well as they used to, with 200 million people on the Do Not Call list and the extremely high cost-per-lead that comes from telemarketing. There are better ways to use your marketing dollars - if you are spending money to acquire leads, make sure you are nurturing them and taking care of them.