How Inbound Telemarketing Works
Betsy Scuteri is the Sr. Director of Audience Marketing at Business.com. A mother, and digital fanatic, Scuteri is in charge of traffic acquisition of the companies owned and operated domains.
For the past 10+ years, Scuteri has been leading the conversions of start-ups and their needs as they grow.
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Most people associate telemarketing with outbound sales call centers- a huge room full of employees with headsets on making calls for sales, lead generation, or collecting survey information or donations. But telemarketing also works the other way around. If you don’t have the staff, or language capabilities to support taking calls, inbound telemarketing is a great solution for small businesses.
Businesses that can’t stay open 24 hours a day, or those with a large volume of incoming calls (too many for one person or even a small staff to handle) turn to inbound telemarketing companies for assistance. A inbound telemarketing firm can take orders over the phone and process customer payments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without concern to time differences or even language capabilities. If you have Spanish-speaking customers, hire a bilingual telemarketing company- customers can place orders easily, and processing will be more accurate.
Many businesses hire telemarketing companies for their customer service skills. For example, websites that sell products around the world, or large companies that provide services (think banks, hotels, airlines, etc) rely on inbound call centers to provide customer support. You can assign a 1-800 number to the telemarketing company to answer customer calls about billing, shipping, reservations, or other concerns.
Businesses that sell technical products, like software, often employ dedicated telephone service representatives (an employee trained by your business in your product’s features that only answers calls on behalf of your company) as a cost-saving alternative to having their own staff answer calls. Using inbound telemarketing for helpdesk support has other advantages, too- you can employ telephone service reps with different language capabilities that are available at all hours of the day.
Appointment Setting and Lead Generation
Another benefit of inbound telemarketing is that it can be used for temporary projects. Say you’re launching a new product that you want to push for summer, inbound telemarketing services can help. You can direct customers to call for more information about a product, take their information down, and pass the sales lead information to your staff. You can also use the telemarketing company to schedule sales appointments with potential customers.
The uses for inbound call centers aren’t limited to the above- call centers can be used for promotional contests (think radio call-ins) collecting information, taking donations (think non-profit fund drives or telethons) or for any other purpose that can benefit your business. Make sure you speak with several different telemarketing companies before settling on the firm you use, check references, and listen in on sample calls before making your decision.