Monday, July 19, 2010

Telemarketing is not Evil

I get a little upset every time somebody trashes telemarketing. I worked Telemarketing for four years and I can tell you that I learned more about marketing in that time than I did in college.

My department was something of a pioneer back in the day. We were the only college in Puerto Rico that did their own telemarketing campaigns. We had the equipment and knew how to use it. We created everything, from selection of prospects to call, segmentation of student populations, transfer of information to call server and creation and programming of calling campaigns. We got a little input from the Marketing department about the information on some of the scripts. We deliver the final scripts, trained the telemarketing personnel and help thousands of students through the 800 number created for the university. We also made collection calls and invitations to special events.

I personally see many uses for telemarketing, not only for collections. I do not understand the use of international call centers for domestic calls. I think that rubs customers the wrong way. I understand that companies want to save money. I also know that the wrong information to customers that do not understand your representatives cost your company money in the long run. I have experienced this first hand with banks and I have closed a couple of banks account because of it. I remember once calling a certain bank to inquire about my account and the telemarketer just repeated everything I said. She got stuck on the script and I guess she figured that if she repeated what I said it would sound sympathetic. She did not solve my problem and the next day I closed the account.

For any companies out there that have telemarketing departments, specially for their 800 numbers, I ask you that you keep the department local and that you constantly train your telemarketers to offer the best customer service possible. That way, we will not be made the butt of jokes and the investment will convert to more and many happy clients.

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