Do you get new volunteers involved in your phonebanking campaign?
Most likely yes. After all, your experienced volunteers would be involved in other demanding parts of the campaign like contacting election officials or raising funds. Plus it is much easier to get new volunteers started on phonebanking with the tools and technology available to make their job easier.
How comfortable do you find new volunteers are to get started once the training is complete?
There are some factors that ease the learning curve and give the volunteers the confidence boost to make calls right off the bat. Let us take a look at some of these factors we have come to recognize and some additional steps you can take to run an efficient phonebank with new volunteers.
Make sure they understand the interface
Volunteers who belong to an older generation might be thwarted to get involved because they are not used to the technology. Of course, there would be quite a few volunteers of that demographic and you do not want to lose them. So the phonebanking tool should have an interface that is simple to understand.
That means the buttons should be clear to spot, contact lists and voter information should be easy to access and the steps to collect call feedback should be minimal between calls. The volunteer can then focus on the call better.
Engage them to participate
Since the volunteers are all new to the experience plus chances are they do not know anyone else on the team, the campaign should make an effort to engage them. They already have the benefit of being like-minded in their support for the same causes. Some simple steps to build team spirit would keep your volunteers participating all through the campaign.
How about a leaderboard to inspire and indulge your team through friendly competitiveness? Since your efforts are all concentrated toward something you believe in, take the initiative to make the journey fun.
Provide a script to guide them
You must have covered the points to address in a call during volunteer training; however, the receiver’s reaction may sometimes make the new volunteer fumble for words. At a time like that, a script would get them back on track.
It is also a double-edged sword at that. If the volunteer sticks to the script for every call, they might sound almost mechanical or detached from the conversation. So ask the volunteers to use their own words and refer to the script only when they need to.
Give them time to prepare before each call
It might take your volunteers a couple of days before they are able to go from one conversation to the next without the need to catch a break. For your new volunteers though, the effect may be overwhelming.
Giving your volunteer the time to prepare before making the call would ease the task for them. A preview dialer lets the volunteer take their time with the voter’s information to figure out how they want to start the call before dialling.
Minimize work for volunteers during phonebanking
In most campaigns, the phonebanking volunteers dial the numbers, carry out the conversation and then take notes about the voter before moving on to the next call. Repeating the process for every call means they tire out faster. If there are fewer steps the volunteer has to perform, it would make them much more efficient in the same amount of time.
This is where a predictive dialer comes in as a volunteer’s best friend. It dials the numbers automatically and bridges answered calls to the next available volunteer so the volunteers can focus on the conversations instead. It keeps the volunteers occupied by filtering out unanswered calls, voicemails and fax machines.
Calm them between calls
You could also do a bit to get your volunteers refreshed during the phonebanking session. Keep water, snacks and coffee handy at the campaign center. It is also good to provide some recreational material for volunteers who work day and night to get their mind off things.
Playing white noise or pink noise between calls is a fine way of calming volunteers between calls. Alternatively, play them sounds of nature which have a calming effect on the mind. These little steps will keep your volunteers working more efficiently because they won’t be stressed out within the hour.
The volunteers who come out readily to help you would stick through to the end if they feel their efforts are justified. So you have to make sure the processes within the campaign does not alienate them or break them down. New volunteers bring in a lot of energy and when properly used, they can be the driving force behind your campaign.