Phone banking for a political campaign is hard to manage and plan if you don’t have the tools you need. You’d be managing recruitment of volunteers, time schedules, calling lists, digitising survey results and a whole host of other time intensive tasks. Here are 10 tips to help you win at phone banking.
To scale a phone banking campaign all you need is volunteers. The first step to recruiting volunteers is letting people know that you need them. For a large campaign, spread across a city or nation, the only viable cost effective channels are the internet and phone. Use social media to attract people that have similar view points. The next important step is conversion. Have a form online that acts as a call to action. You’d want to convert them when their interest is at peak. Tools like NationBuilder, help you create forms, host them and save these volunteer registrations directly into a manageable system to then later be assigned to campaigns.
Office spaces with computers, phones and laptops across a nation is hard to hope for. When space is hard you need to look for a tool that allows a volunteer to join a campaign from anywhere. The advantages for scaling far outweigh the negatives of losing control. With CallHub, a volunteer has 3 ways of joining a campaign. They can dial in from a phone, use the CallHub agent console and make calls through a browser or they can use a SIP phone. No matter what the channel, the experience is similar.
Calling a stranger and talking to them about political issues is challenging. The chances of the call succeeding improve when the similarities between the volunteer and the voter are greater. A voter is more inclined to listen to someone that is similar to them when it comes to area they live in, accent and maybe gender. This makes assigning volunteers very difficult. You need a fine balance between sorting volunteers to campaigns by voter profile and by campaign size. With volunteers recruited online, you wouldn’t have details about their background. We’d recommend asking volunteers for this information when they sign up, for example, which area code they belong too. Using a tool like CallHub that has the ability to manage teams of volunteers, you can then assign a group of similar volunteers to a calling campaign with similar voters.
Keeping volunteers motivated
With traditional phone banking, a lot of time is spent manually dialling, waiting for the receiver to pick up and then repeating the process. Using an auto dialer system helps take care of these tasks leaving the volunteer to focus their efforts on just talking to the voter. This increases their sense of accomplishment and improves the morale of the volunteers as they can make far more number of calls in a time period when compared to a manual system.
Moving your phone banking campaigns to an automated system helps you now look at other ways to keep distributed campaigns running successfully. If all your volunteers were in a single space, running contests, badges and maintaining a leaderboard on who the best phone banking volunteer can be done. With a distributed campaign, you need technology. We’ve seen the Bernie campaign succeed in gamifying their phone banking efforts to not only encourage healthy competition and encourage their volunteers but to also bring their community together. Seeing a large group of supporters from across a nation working towards the same cause can be very motivating.
Validation from a campaign manager can be very motivating to a volunteer. Sending messages to them will help them feel like their efforts are noticed. But these messages of gratitude have a higher degree of success when sent at the time of phone banking. A tool like CallHub helps you send messages through the agent console to volunteers during the campaign. Messages of support, gratitude or even informational ones help the campaign unified.
A volunteer needs to understand the script you give them, make sure they take down notes as well as make the calls. There can be many gaps in this workflow for a volunteer to fail. An integrated system for a volunteer to read a script, fill up a questionnaire and add notes as well as see detailed information about the voter will greatly reduce the number of points of failure. This makes training them easier too. You’d need to share a demo video of how it’s done through just one portal like CallHub and the volunteer would be ready to start in a matter of minutes.
How do you keep your campaigns under a budget? Things that can affect your budget are length of call to a voter and wasting minutes on answering machines. CallHub let’s you limit the maximum time a volunteer can spend on a call. This removes edge cases where a volunteer spends too much time on one person and the benefit is minimal. Call dispositions allow you to disconnect if you get an answering machine. With a distributed campaign, you could have regional campaign managers. Sending funds, invoices and accounting is cumbersome. With CallHub’s sub accounts, all regional campaigns can be linked to a primary account. The main campaign manager can allot funds to each sub account while maintaining invoices and billing in a single account.
When to call
Calling a voter at a time that they are most likely to pick up will help your campaign succeed. Now these times are different for each voter. Timezones, days of the week and varying work timings affect your campaign schedule. Splitting your campaigns by area and profession will help you schedule calls. CallHub takes care of issues with voter timezones. Prediction algorithms can understand voters patterns and automatically make calls at that time period.
Monitoring and recording
The negatives of a distributed campaign is losing your control of which volunteers can make calls for you. In the worst cases, the volunteer could be actively working towards sabotaging each call. Random monitoring of these calls helps you keep these errant volunteers in check. CallHub lets a campaign manager listen in on any call that is taking place. Every call made is also recorded for the manager to evaluate. During a call, if a volunteer faces issues they can transfer the call to a manager to take over.Tags: Phone Banking, Phone Dialer, Political Campaigns, Telemarketing