Calling Restricitons for May
May 4th: Rhode Island Independence Day
- Rhode Island
May 22nd: National Patriots Day
- Canada (Quebec only)
May 22nd: Victoria Day
- Canada (All provinces except New Brunswick and Nova Scotia)
May 29th: Memorial Day
- Rhode Island
Apps to Drive Productivity
There are thousands of apps out there designed to increase productivity. Some do an excellent job of increasing workflow and efficiencies; others become a distraction. Here are a few of my favorite apps:
An extraordinarily powerful tool for notes. I have used both Microsoft Note as well as Evernote. Evernote has a clean, crisp presentation and is extremely easy to use. The “Basic” plan is free and includes 60MB of uploads per month. However, for only $34.99/year you can upgrade to the “Plus” plan which includes 1GB of uploads as well as the ability to forward emails into Evernote. The search functionality is powerful allowing you to quickly locate notes with keywords. The “Premium” version even goes as far to allow you search text inside of PDF documents, Office documents, and scanned business cards. I have just ordered a stylus for my tablet and plan to begin using my tablet to take written notes into Evernote. While I have not fully gone “paperless” this application has helped me to clear a considerable amount of clutter from my desk.
Bannanatag is a great application if you’re involved in sales. While a “read receipt” request in your mail client can be ignored, Bannanatag integrates with your mail client to insert a tag inside emails to track opens. Ever send a sales email off and wonder “did they even read that”? You don’t have to wonder anymore. This application is not a smartphone application, but an application installed within Outlook or Gmail. For $10/Month you will receive 100 tags per day. I also receive a report when someone opens an older email. On many occasions, I will get a notification that a prospect re-opened a sales email that I sent months ago. What a better time to reach out, you’re top of mind.
Todolist is a simple, yet very effective application to manage your tasks. It works across all of your devices, so I can add a task from any of my devices and it syncs. This is very powerful tool when you have an idea or a simple task needs to be quickly noted and you are away from your desk. When you finalize the task you simply check it off the list. Email reminders are sent to you periodically alerting you of “overdue” tasks. The only problem, it doesn’t “do” the task for you and I find that they begin to pile up in the application – overdue. Eventually you need to clear them out as something completed, or decide it no longer takes a priority.
I live on the edge of town and unlike my concrete dwelling neighbors, deal with mice, spiders and the occasional snake (they’re there for the mice I suppose). I have two pest control companies I use on occasion. I am not an extremely loyal customer to either of these two exterminators, but nonetheless a customer. To be honest, if I needed one of them right now, I am not sure who I would call. Most likely the one whose phone number I can locate the fastest. Both show up on time, both have done a satisfactory job, and both have done absolutely nothing to earn my repeat business. It takes more than timely and satisfactory service. You must WOW me.
I want to be courted by my providers. I am the girl waiting to be called on a Friday night for a date, but no one calls. I don’t receive marketing email and no one follows up after their visit to make sure that my problems have been solved. No attempt is made to move me to a quarterly maintenance schedule. Nothing but complacency on their part. Much like the Cheap Trick song: “I want you to want me.”
Here are four ideas to leverage outbound telemarketing and put an end to the complacency:
$1. Build and maintain a customer database. If you don’t have one, start now. You can leverage a direct marketing company to help you cleanse this database for future marketing efforts.
$2. Create a campaign to call past customers (those like me who haven’t heard from you in a while, nor have you heard from me). Give me a reason to act with your company – a good deal and a proactive attitude would earn my business right now.
$3. Business 2 Business lead generation. Look at your newly formed and cleaned customer database. Who are your biggest commercial clients? What industries are they in? Use this analysis to build a list of businesses to contact with a lead generation effort.
$4. Did you solve your customer’s problem? Are they happy with your service? Look at engaging with a satisfaction measurement survey to build confidence with your customers as well as gain valuable feedback. See more here: http://www.gad-inc.com/blog/customer-satisfaction-measurement
Theodore Levit, who is credited with coining the term “globalization”, says: from a practical viewpoint, the primary goal of an organization has to be customer retention. This simplistic statement highlights the fact that customer loyalty is the foundation of any successful company. In order to achieve customer loyalty, a company must understand and maintain their customers’ satisfaction.
Today it is more important than ever to develop and foster a “Customer Satisfaction Measurement” (CSM) program. Maintaining and strengthening relationships with existing customers is a critical strategic weapon that can bring increased market share and increased profits. Graven Austin and Drake designs CSM programs which include an ongoing customer satisfaction survey customized for each client. The data collected from thoroughly planned CSM program can help your organization manage customer loyalty from a Macro, as well as a Micro level.
At the Macro level you will be provided with measurement that is necessary to identify and implement changes within company processes and systems. These changes will have long and lasting effects on your customer loyalty.
At the Micro level your Account Team will be given the opportunity to connect with customers that respond unfavorably to your product or service. Instead of focusing on modifying processes and systems, the focus is on addressing a specific customer’s concern. This allows your team to correct the problem, gain goodwill from your customer, as well as provide important feedback directly to management. There are many ways GAD can communicate these “at-risk” customers to you:
Our company does not engage with text message marketing. Texting is such a personal form of communication that many find it a violation of their “personal domain”. One might even argue that it is more intrusive than a phone call. While our company does not provide texting services, and personally I rarely use text as a communication for external clients and potential clients; many of our clients have an interest in pursuing marketing via text messaging.
Because text messaging falls under some of the same rules as telephone, I am familiar with the regulation. I always advise extreme caution to these clients. In the spirit of education I have provided a link to the FCC Enforcement Advisory HERE. If you are considering gaining opt-in, make sure you include telephone calls to mobile phones in addition to texts. This will provide you with the ability to call using an ATDS.
Stay compliant and stay happy!
Colorado Springs is a great place to live and work – it’s no wonder we hang our hats in the shadow of Pikes Peak. Over the years we have found many of our client’s vacation in the area and we are always asked for recommendations. We thought it might be fun to compile a list of some of our favorites for our friends who are visiting the area.
Looking for something healthy while absorbing the beautiful views of Manitou Springs? Visit Adam’s Mountain Café. If you venture out for breakfast, try the Orange Almond French Toast! http://www.adamsmountain.com
Pizzeria Rustica in Old Colorado City is a great place to grab a wood-fired pizza http://pizzeriarustica.com/
For the microbrew aficionado don’t pass up a trip to Phantom Canyon Brewery in downtown Colorado Springs. http://www.phantomcanyon.com/
If you want to transport yourself to London for a pint of Guinness, try the Golden Bee at the Broadmoor. https://www.broadmoor.com/golden-bee/
There are many ways to enjoy the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains, most of which are budget friendly!
Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods is the most visited attraction in the Pikes Peak region. Garden of the Gods offers breathtaking views of red rock formations, as well as natural scenery, rock climbing, hiking trails, and much more.
Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains reaching 14,115 feet. The mountain offers sightseeing in addition to miles of hiking and biking trails, and three reservoirs that provide ample opportunities to catch fish.
United States Olympic Training Center
The Olympic Training Center is a training center for the U.S. Olympic Committee and Olympic Training Center programs.The Center brings in 130,000 visitors a year, and guided tours are given year-round.
Old Colorado City
This town is filled with an abundance of history, shops, and mouthwatering restaurants. Old Colorado City provides museums, rock climbing, horseback riding, and water parks. .
Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo
The rodeo has been a tradition for more than 70 years, promising significant excitement and traditional events guaranteed to please the whole family.
Helen Hunt Falls
A great hike that takes you to the face of Helen Hunt Falls. The hiking trails are dog friendly (with a leash) and have picnic areas around and near the site.
Five Mistakes Clients Make When Choosing a Telemarketing Firm
If you’ve never worked with a telemarketing company before, it can feel pretty intimidating to start out. Of course you want the biggest return for your investment. But, in order for that to happen you need to know exactly what results you are looking for from your telemarketing campaign.
We’d like to help you avoid the headache that can come along with finding the perfect telemarketing service for your company’s needs. So, we’ve compiled these five common mistakes that clients make when choosing a telemarketing firm.
1. You don’t have a clear vision of your audience. Going into a business relationship with a telemarketing firm, this is one thing you need to be clear on. Don’t go in expecting the firm to know who your target market is. Know your stats, do your research. In order to move forward with confidence, you need to be able to give the telemarketing firm that you choose an accurate description and qualified leads for your target audience.
2. You don’t know your position in the market. Who are your competitors? What are your company’s strengths, and how can you build on them? Before setting up a meeting with any telemarketing company, these are questions you must ask yourself in order to get the best results out of your campaign.
3. You don’t do enough research. Vet the prospective companies just as you would a prospective employee. Do your research and get references. Actually follow up with the references, too. Find out what their primary strategy is in landing the sale. What do they do to get their customer’s attention?
4. You don’t get to know your sales team. This is so basic, but also so overlooked. These people will be the voice of your company, representing everything you have worked hard to build and maintain. Make sure they have the experience needed to boost your sales and create the connections that would most benefit your company. Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, you need to make sure the telemarketing team representing you is qualified with experience in your field. Here at GAD, we specialize in both B2B and B2C services.
5. You didn’t ask their focus. Ok, so you may know where you stand in your market, but what about the telemarketing company you’re researching? Do you need straightforward sales, or a company with consultative sales experience? Calling someone and directly selling them a product has a different skillset than calling an executive for a high end service. Consulting sales are more complex – sales members need to dig deeper into the companies they are calling, get to know the structure of the company, and assure that they are connected with the right person to make the sale. Figure out which one you need, and then start contacting telemarketing firms.
We hope in sharing these mistakes, you are able to have a clearer vision going into your search for the perfect telemarketing firm to run your campaign.
Gaining Consent for ATDS
Marketing to cellular phone numbers was forever impacted with the FCC’s Declaratory Ruling in 2015 which expanded the definition of an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS). It is important to realize that this rule not only impacts telemarketing calls made from a ATDS, but text messages as well.
The current TCPA ruling as of, July 10th 2015, deems an ATDS as any technology with the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers. Basically, a sales person who takes his personal or company phone and texts a client or manually calls their cell phone will not be liable under the TCPA for mobile texting/calling. However, if the device that initiates the text or call utilizes an ATDS (which is applicable to most mass texting and all predictive dialer applications) it requires that the company attain written authorization prior to the software or an auto-dialer initiating a text or call.
Unless you have prior written consent, you should identify mobile numbers on your behalf proceed with two options:
A simple prescription to avoid these options and provide your vendors with the ability to leverage ATDS technology is to acquire written consent. Publishers should be careful in crafting consent language to make certain it complies. You should seek legal counsel to make this determination.
The written agreement must include the signature of the person providing consent (this can be an electronic signature per ESIGNAct).
By clicking the “SUBMIT” button below, I expressly authorize [SPECIFIC COMPANIES] to call me or send me recorded messages or texts about their products using automated technology to my telephone/cellular number I entered above [specific number]. I understand that I am not required to give my consent as a condition of any purchase. [SUBMIT BUTTON]
GAD Softball Team Completes Season as Runner-up
The GAD softball team completed their season with a record of 6-2, finishing 2nd Place in the league as the Colorado Spring Parks and Recreation Fall Coed Runner-Up. Congradulations to this group on great teamwork!
Most marketers place a growing importance on collecting email addresses. The marketing value to having this data-point on your database is considerable. This begs the question: If it so important, why don’t most marketers devise a more intentional approach to email collection.
Many times I am faced with the opportunity to help an organization increase the value of the telemarketing calls by collecting email addresses. While there are some simple techniques to increasing collection rates including the assumptive manner in which you ask for the email address; there are many things a marketer can do to provide incentive. In most cases, the end result is throwing something at the wall and seeing if it “sticks”. How we ended up with the “Whitepaper” as a “go to” incentive for email collection is perplexing. These assets were brought to B-to-B marketing in the early 1990’s and are typically a long-form content platform; a persuasive paper. My eyes gloss over when I see the word, and rarely do I engage. It sounds laboring to read.
Marketers should begin to seek assets that provide value in exchange for an email address. Content Marketing is shifting. Inc Magazine produced an article in 2014 highlighting the biggest trends for 2015 content marketing. Of those mentioned, two of the trends were:
White Papers hardly fit either of these two trends. Test assets that are brief, relevant, engaging, and multi-media rich. Don’t just reach for the easiest asset to access. If you are working with a call center vendor, get feedback. Measure the results. Have your center deploy the email with the asset so they can deliver it quickly and read the engagement rates.
Graven, Austin and Drake has become a wonderful partner to Fastline as it relates to customer research. It is important to Fastline to understand the needs of our read...
We have found Graven, Austin, and Drake to be a wonderful partner in helping us gather i...
As telemarketing expert, I'm often asked for referrals to companies who can handle business development. Graven, Austin, Drake is at the top of my list for several reasons.I've worked directly ...