In 2013 we wrote a trio of blogs looking at the impact of bad outbound practices on world markets. On a recent world tour we had a chance to see how different countries have been coping with the trends we discussed.
The most obvious and perhaps predictable finding is that consumers increasingly shy away from receiving cold calls. And the technology to do this is getting more sophisticated. In Hong Kong for example, if you receive an unwanted call, you can easily upload it to a cloud service that broadcasts to other subscribers, who may then choose to apply automatic blocking to it. And call centers are banned from buying telemarketing lists.
So not surprisingly, call centers are increasingly restricted to dialing just the people they know. Since smartphones take the vast bulk of calls, the trick here is to ensure that your customers have got your details stored in their Contacts, so they can be encouraged to pick up. Or, as suggested in our September 2013 blog, publicise your CLI so if you want to call people who aren't your customers, there is a chance that they will pick up, if they see your brand as good. Hong Kong has moved a long way in a few years and is a good example to other countries around the world.
And on the US. The home of outbound dialing especially predictive. Fighting our way through the maze of new rules at both State and Federal levels, three things stand out for us:
Firstly, no more dialing of mobiles with sophisticated technology. This ruling has gone further than it need and has got some call centers scrambling for rotary phones!
Secondly, some states are bringing in restrictions, especially for collections on how often numbers can be dialled in a given time period.
And thirdly, and a bit to our surprise, many companies who operate outside the predictive dialing rules net, for example market research and collections, are having a rethink about how they dial and beginning to adopt compliant dialing strategies.
These last two points mean just one thing; for campaigns which continue to be dialled predictively, having a well-designed dialer is essential. Legacy dialers, open source dialers and cloud dialers that were designed in an afternoon should all beware. The demand for responsible and effective dialing in the US by call centers may become widespread.