Telemarketing Services – Building Opportunities Regardless Of Legislative Difficulties

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The telemarketing industry is confronting a daunting challenge that has gained impetus in the past few years – restrictive legislation. Regulation of telesales services has the votes of the general public and is also supported by both democrats and republicans. Though this exerts some pressure on telesales, it is also an opportunity for top quality organizations to show their worth by offering value to businesses and consumers.

Telemarketing regulations – a mutating challenge

The challenge of conforming to new restrictive regulations is further complicated by the frequent adjustments made to them. Old laws are regularly modified and new laws developed that frequently have overlapping jurisdictions. Telemarketing services have their work cut out in keeping current with the legislative environment.

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Some rules that a service provider must comply with to avoid fines are:

* Curfews: You are not allowed to call consumers all day. There is a prescribed time range within which sales calls are allowed.

* Do-Not-Call lists: Any phone on Do-not-call registration is out of bounds. Telemarketers are supposed to cross check the phone number with the list before dialing. There are a few exceptions when such numbers can be called. Do-Not-Call registries are managed at state and national levels.

* Licensing: Though not applicable in all states, vendors have to secure a license to operate. In some states the company has also to be bonded also. This creates additional paperwork and extra fees.

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* Mandating caller ID transmission: Consumers may screen calls and divert them to voice mail or decide not to receive them at all.

* Content restrictions: Laws also regulate what one call sell on the phone and even the way one can market. This is very limiting for sales representatives and sets additional vigilance.

Effective telemarketing – merging compliance and sales

Irrespective of the many limitations, telesales can still constitute a business’ marketing mix. Companies can maintain their phone-sales efforts by following these strategies:

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* Optimizing on existing customer relationships: Law allows calling customers who already have a relationship with the company, even if she is registered in the Do-Not-Call list. Cross selling to such customers helps the company keep doors open for future sales. To initiate a relationship with a new customer, loss leaders or selling low cost products during the first contact is advisable to extend the client base and improve the chance of making more profitable sales at a later date.

* Supporting telemarketing with other marketing strategies: Companies normally use multiple marketing strategies to promote products and offers. Marketing collateral such as newsletters,direct mail and email are also effective in introducing customers to call center numbers and to secure their permission to call them.

* Getting permission to call: Laws also exempt instances where customers on Do-Not-Call lists agree to receive calls. Organizations can get customer’s consent through affinity programs, contests or special offers.

* Being professional: The reason why telemarketing is regulated so strictly today is because of the indiscriminate cold calling used by unethical call centers in the past. The calls came close to customer badgering and telesales faced a lot of flak for it. Top quality telesales vendors uphold high standards by respecting customer’s time and willingness to receive a call.

New regulations, though limiting, have raised the bar for telemarketing services. With the weeding out of unethical companies, quality service providers can differentiate themselves with their services and strategies to get customer buy-in.

Daljeet Sidhu is at TradeSeam. Read Telemarketing Call Center advice. Signup for Lead generation.

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