A recent study by Salesforce found that telephone based conversion still has better response rates than emails!
This does not mean that prospects make it easy to reach them on the phone.
Way back in 2007 it took 3.68 calling attempts to get a prospect on line. Today, it takes upto 8 (or more) calls before reaching a prospect.
If phone calls still are the best way to generate leads and convert them, why does it take so long to reach one prospect?
Better yet, how can you make the process simpler?
This post will give you the answers
- Why are the pick up rates dropping?
- What should you do to increase pick up rates?
- What is texting from call center?
- What are the advantages of texting from call center?
- Business examples for using texting with call center
- How can you get started?
Why are the pick up rates dropping?
Nobody wants to answer calls from an unknown number. Thanks to the number of scams and robocall frauds in the US (17% of all robocalls in 2019 were scams), a call from an unknown number makes the prospect hesitant to answer the phone.
So even if you follow all the best practices of calling at the right time, keeping your list clean etc., you still have to win the prospect’s trust and get him to pick up the phone.
Clearly, this cannot be achieved simply by calling multiple times.
What should you do to increase pick up rates?
Instead of relying only on phone calls to engage with the prospect, you can reach out to him via text as well.
After the initial call if the prospect does not answer the phone, you can drop them a short introduction text telling them why you are reaching out.
Once the prospect understands the context, he will be more willing to pick up the phone.
It would be great if your call center software enables you to send these texts directly (without having to switch tools).
In CallHub this texting is facilitated directly from call center campaigns, so that the agent has more control over the texts he is sending out.
What is texting from call center?
Texting from call center in CallHub allows you to send two kinds of texts:
1. Automated texts:
You can automate texts to go out to each prospect (in the event they do not pick up the phone).
This is highly suitable for agents who use predictive and automated dialers. Automated dialers automatically calls every number on the list and connects the agent to only that prospect who picks up.
Predictive dialer calls only those numbers on the list, who are most likely to pick up. In both these scenarios, the agent has no control over the prospects that the dialer skips.
That is, the agent has no contact, the outreach of your campaign suffers.
Now, with text auto-responses from call center, you can configure CallHub to immediately send an introduction text to those prospects the dialer skips.
All you have to do is configure it once (at the beginning of campaign creation). The same text (with enough personalization messages) is sent to everybody, once the campaign starts.
2. Manual texts:
These are the follow up or additional information texts that the agent sends while he is still on a call with the prospect.
He could send information that will make the prospect more willing to convert. It could be linked to your website. Or it could simply be a short confirmation of what was discussed over call.
What are the advantages of texting from call center?
For the agent, the advantages are obvious. It helps him build a relationship with the prospect, with no extra effort.
All he has to do is edit a ready-made template and send the text – in a single click.
For the campaign and the business as a whole, there are immense benefits too!
1. Better engagement
Since the agent is essentially continuing the same conversation, but just on a different channel, the engagement rate with your prospects will sky-rocket. It could possibly exceed the 8% outreach rate that Salesforce calculated!
2. Higher outreach
Also, once you send an introduction text, you are increasing the chances of the prospect answering the call the next time you try the number.
That means the outreach of your calling campaign will be markedly higher.
3. Expand contact data
A lot of calling campaigns are based on landline numbers. In such cases, to send a text the agent has to get the prospect’s cell phone number.
This means that it is an excellent opportunity for you to not only expand your contact data, but also get consent to send the prospect more information via texts.
4. Increased chances of conversion
It is calculated that the conversion rate for cold outreach calls is only 2.5%. That is because even though the prospects promise to take action over call, they don’t always follow through.
By sending them a follow up text, with pertinent information (like say a link to the buying page), you are making it easier for them to convert.
Remember that the texts you send are highly relevant (because they are sent while the contact is still on the call). So the prospects would be happy to engage with the text (and not consider it a nuisance).
Business examples for using texting with call center
Now that you know why and when to use texting with your call center campaign, here are a few examples of how to use them.
1. Appointment confirmation
It happens quite often that the prospects who promise over phone to come to an appointment, do not always follow through.
By sending a text with the appointment details, you can encourage them to keep their commitment. This text could simply have the date, time and venue for the appointment and could be sent instantly while on call.
2. Calendar link for demo
For a lot of sales cold calls, even if the prospect is interested in the product, he would be unwilling to try it right away.
In such cases, you can encourage them to attend a demo so that you can show them live what value your product can add.
As ever, the chances of the prospect voluntarily visiting your website to book a demo is quite less. So send them a text with a calendar link. It will help them book a session right away.
3. Text follow up for those who do not answer the call
I cannot stress enough on the importance of this example. Everytime you send a text to a prospect who doesn’t answer the phone, you are showing them that you are serious about talking to them.
Not only will this help you build a relationship with them, but gives the prospect reason to trust your communication.
4. Additional information with website link
Not all prospects will be ready to buy from you at the first go. That is ok. However, it is not ok to not help them in their buying decision.
In this case, you can send a quick text with additional resources for the prospect to check.
5. Ask for feedback
Once a conversation is complete not a lot of contacts take the time (or effort) to leave a feedback about your agent.
The most significant reason for this is that it really is too much of a hassle to find the right forms.
By sending them a text with a link to your feedback from, you are making it easier for the prospect to take action. This will drastically increase the number of feedback forms you get filled.
6. A short summary of discussion
If the contact is already a customer and you are reaching out for a cross sell or upsell, then this comes in quite handy.
You can send a short text that highlights what you discussed so that it acts as a quick reference for your contact.
Reading a text is a lot simpler than wading through tonnes of email to get the summary!
How can you get started?
Since you already have a calling campaign, adding texts to it is quite simple. All you (as a campaign manager) have to do is enable texting while setting up the calling campaign.
As you can see, you can have a lot of control in choosing what kind of texts can be part of your calling campaign. CallHub allows you to enable manual texts and automated texts separately.
That is, a calling campaign can have only automated texts going out (to prospects who do not pick up). Or it can have only manual texts that the agent can send while still on a call. Or you can have both the above texts.
Once you enable manual texts permission, your agents can see a texting button right underneath the contact details.
Thus, they do not have to exit the screen to send the text – it is possible to do right from your call center campaign.
In the event any of your prospects respond to the texts, you will get them in a separate dashboard.
Remember, only you as a campaign manager can see the responses. This gives you more control over how to respond to a text and which agent to assign later on.
Last but not the least as any good campaign manager, you will of course check the metrics for each campaign.
The analytics section shows you the numbers for SMS from the call center separately.
That is, for each campaign, you will know how many texts were sent in total and whether you have received responses. You will also know the breakdown of manual and automated texts to give you an idea of how engaged your contact list is (more manual texts = better engagement; more automated texts = less pick up rate).
It is important to know that a huge part of the advantages is attributed to the fact that the texting option is available right from within you call center campaign.
That is, you can always run a separate SMS campaign for these contacts, however, the impact will not be similar.
In case your call center campaign does not have texting options from within the same campaign, it’s time to upgrade. Try out CallHub and see how it works for you.
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