I am the first to appreciate and embrace well-done and smartly executed outbound calling. I am also highly critical of and greatly annoyed by poorly executed telemarketing efforts. Another example for this latter perspective arrived at my office today, courtesy of my telephone. The call went like this:
“May I speak to the person in charge of your freight deliveries?” She mechanically droned. The agent had a pleasant enough voice, but showed no enthusiasm or interest.
“We don’t do any freight deliveries,” I responded matter-of-factly.
“Really?” she asked. “You do no inbound or outbound freight shipments?” she probed, as though I was lying. “But I got your number from the Internet,” she added, as if that was the ultimate source of accurate information. (Incidentally, the number she called is not listed on any of my Web sites.)
“We do no freight,” I confirmed. “I’ll let you go on to your next call,” I said as positively as I could muster.”
“You’re rude!” she declared.
I responded in kind and communication quickly deteriorated, with me hanging up on her—which would have been more productive had I done so much earlier in the call.
Each time that a telemarketing call fails, be it through lack of training, a poorly conceived campaign, a bad list, or a company that just doesn’t care, the result is the same: everyone’s job of making calls has just become a bit harder.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Connections Magazine, covering the call center teleservices industry.