Telemarketing offers a unique way to connect with prospects directly over the phone and deliver personalised sales pitches. Although the advent of digital marketing has undermined traditional marketing channels, such as broadcast and newspaper advertising, telemarketing continues to hold its own as an important tool for direct sales, thanks to its ability to create an immediate rapport with customers, as well as address any doubts about the product or service which the customer might have, immediately on the spot.
The future will see telemarketing reinvent itself thanks to new technologies such as AI and data analytics. Here are five important telemarketing trends that are likely to emerge in 2021 leading to a more effective, non-intrusive and personalised customer experience.
1. Growing Use of AI
The telemarketing industry has been leveraging nascent artificial intelligence (AI) to make its services more efficient and usher cost optimisations for several years. In 2021, we could witness greater emphasis on utilising AI for improving customer experience.
For example, AI could be used effectively to gain insight into when people are more likely to be receptive to sales calls, or suss out whether the prospect is actually interested in the offering. It could also help businesses obtain a better understanding of customer behaviour, to enable the telemarketing agency to customise the sales pitch accordingly.
2. Using Data Analytics to Improve Quality of Leads
Successful telemarketing is much more than high-volume calls; it is also about high-quality leads. Thanks to data analytics, it is now possible to screen customer profiles to target specific interest groups, demographics and regions with the potential to generate maximum sales for the company.
The use of data analytics to segregate lead quality and focus on specific customer groups could become one of the defining trends of 2021. The potential for achieving better outcomes is likely to encourage more agencies and clients ramp up investment on data analytics.
3. Multiple Contact Points
With social media and smartphones becoming an essential part of our everyday lives, the need for omnichannel marketing will be keenly felt in the coming years. The year 2021 could witness greater synergy between different types of channels like telemarketing, web and hoardings, to provide the customer with an immersive marketing experience.
The proliferation of communication technology in today’s world, coupled with a greater exposure to brands, means that a single channel cannot work effectively in isolation. Strategies that hinge on telemarketing must factor in allied channels such as digital marketing to attract the attention of customers and get them interested in your offerings.
4. Organising Customer Data
Customer data is one of the key factors that determines the success of a telemarketing campaign. But sadly, it is not stored systematically, grossly undermining the results of numerous telemarketing campaigns.
It is important for telemarketing agencies to increasingly start synchronising customer profiles across different verticals into a single database, to optimise the telecalling experience for both customers and agents. In 2021, we could see renewed efforts at organising customer data into suitable categories to generate efficiencies in telemarketing operations.
5. Data Security and Maintenance
With telemarketing companies dealing with large amounts of customer data, it is essential for them to make proper arrangements for the safety and security of this information. But the reality is that cyber security is a game of one-upmanship between hackers and cyber criminals on the one side, and businesses striving to keep their data safe on the other.
In future, telemarketing companies could increasingly opt for a cloud-based model to minimise risk to their data and prevent data breaches. Shifting to the cloud will also remove the need for internal maintenance of hardware and software, thereby allowing the in-house IT team to focus their attention on developmental projects rather than maintenance.
A Holistic Customer Experience
The constant evolution of technology provides an opportunity for the improvement of business processes leading to enhanced operational efficiencies and better business outcomes. Thanks to technology, telemarketing, too, has evolved from its nascent days to offer greater value to clients through improvements and optimisations.
The coming year may witness greater synchronisation between telemarketing scripts and customer profiles for a more effective and personalised sales approach. There is also likely to be greater coordination between disparate marketing channels to create a holistic experience which can cater to changing customer realities in a post-Covid world.
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