Customer experience is soon turning out to be the single most powerful differentiating factor between business and brands, no matter how small or large they are.
Also, businesses are no longer restricted to cater to customers of specific geographic locations. With online marketing and the ability to tie up with channel partners, a business can expand its presence in any area across the globe.
This means that a business should be more proactive in acquiring, serving, and retaining customers. And one of the key activities to help them (especially small and medium enterprises) achieve this is telemarketing.
What is Telemarketing?
Telemarketing is a service that involves connecting with prospects and customers over the telephone and moving them ahead to take action that’s beneficial to them and the company.
The most popular form of telemarketing involves calling making calls to individuals and businesses and pitching a product or service to them (also known as telesales). Lately, however, the scope of use for telemarketing in India has expanded.
Businesses, especially in the SME sector, can use telemarketing to spread the message about their product, to collect feedback, for customer service, and more.
Benefits of Telemarketing
Here are seven activities for which telemarketing for small businesses can be beneficial:
1. Lead Generation
- To serve customers, businesses must first acquire customers. And the first step towards that is to generate leads.
- Telemarketing enables businesses and brands to generate leads through outbound and inbound calling. By making outbound calls to a database, they can speak to prospects and check whether they qualify as leads or not. By talking to prospects who call them on a number or filling an inquiry form, they can turn cold prospects into leads as well.
- Telemarketing for small businesses helps them generate leads at scale.
- Telesales is the original form of selling a product or service to prospects over the phone.
- Agents can make cold calls to numbers in their database and try to convert them into customers. Telesales a much quicker way of going through a database, qualifying leads, and engaging with them to achieve a positive goal than door-to-door sales.
- Of course, physical selling is more personal and has a higher conversion rate. But telesales is not a bad idea as a backup option.
3. Information Sharing/Appointment Setting
- Most customers don’t like a hard sell on the first attempt. This is why the hit rate for telesales is quite low.
- Instead, telemarketers can work as an entity that provides useful information. For instance, they give contact details about channel partners to prospects spread over different geographic locations. They can inform interested people about upcoming seminars and webinars and new schemes and offers. Or they can fix appointments with prospects for the salespeople to meet.
Thus, telemarketing for small business can work as a value add for its prospects.
4. Customer Satisfaction Surveys
- Retaining customers proves highly beneficial to businesses since it reduces marketing cost and increases profitability.
- Customer satisfaction surveys go a long way in helping businesses and brands understand what they can do to retain their patrons. Agents can ask open-ended, yet pointed questions to customers and gather valuable data on what they like and don’t like about the product.
- This goes a long way in helping businesses and brands identify how they can provide better service to their customers and stay ahead of their competitors.
- Upselling and cross-selling are proven ways to command a larger wallet share of customers.
- When customers purchase specific products, telemarketers can call them to upsell annual maintenance contracts, warranty extensions, upgrades and more. Alternately, they can also cross-sell supporting products that will benefit customers based on their purchase. This is why businesses need to use software to track and analyze customer buying behaviour and patterns.
- Alternately, telemarketers can also collect referrals from satisfied customers during customer satisfaction surveys and add them to prospect.
6. Renewal Reminders
- Upselling and cross-selling are not the only ways to get customers to remain customers.
- A business which works on the subscription or monthly/annual plan model can also use telemarketing to generate revenue without too much effort from the sales team. Telemarketers can call to remind customers that it’s time to renew their subscriptions, insurance, or other plans, and also offer to collect the premium for the same on the call itself.
- Sending reminders for renewals and meeting for collection of payment is often the job of the sales team. But imagine how much more efficient the sales team will become if renewals get handled by your telemarketing team?
7. After-Sales Support
- Customers generally buy from companies where they’re assured that they will get access to support in case something goes wrong.
- Customer support is a huge differentiating factor between businesses for obvious reasons. A telemarketing team can also double up as a customer support team which answers customer questions, resolves customer complaints, and keeps them informed about the status of their queries.
- By providing high-quality post-sales support, your business can differentiate itself and also generate more leads thanks to word of mouth, thus bringing down overall marketing and sales costs and increasing profit.
Nowadays, there are many tools that can enable telemarketing for small businesses, even for teams as small as two people. These tools also enable businesses to track agent performance accurately and enhance their productivity.
When you cater to the needs of your customers using modern technology, you become smarter, faster, and better at what you do. From there, growth in terms of revenue and scale become highly achievable dreams.