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Voice Broadcasting
July 26, 2010 @ 10:40 AM by:

17 Questions To Ask Your Service Provider
Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
by Elan

Are you shopping around for a solution to automatically send outbound calls to customers or prospects?

Whether you call it Voice Broadcasting, Phone Broadcasting, Voice Mail / Message Broadcasting, Robo Calling, or just automated calling, here are 17 questions you should consider asking before you choose your provider:

1. On-Time Delivery Guarantee – This isn’t the airline industry. Expect on-time service. If your calls go out late, you shouldn’t have to pay. Unfortunately some voice broadcasting providers tend to over-schedule broadcasts at a given time, forcing them to send out your broadcasts behind schedule. Does the provider have an on-time delivery guarantee?

2. Self-Service or Middleman – Can you manage & schedule your own broadcasts, or will you need to rely on a middleman to do everything on your behalf? We strongly recommend the former. In either case, expect excellent customer service.

3. Transfer Fees & Double Billing – Some providers advertise one per minute rate, but double bill by charging you for each person on the line. Ask if they charge extra for a transfer, or if they double bill, to make sure you’re not going to be charged twice the advertised rate.

4. Extra Fees – While you may need to pay for extra ports if you want to send out lots of simultaneous calls, you shouldn’t have to pay for setup fees, unanswered calls, busy signals, disconnected numbers, or fees for transferred calls. Ask what extra fees may apply.

5. Per Minute Rates- How much are per minute rates? More than 10-12 cents per minute is pretty high, while 1-2 cents per minute is suspiciously low. Where are the hidden fees? How is the sound & delivery quality? Ask these companies tough questions, and ask for references.

6. Rounding – If you are doing high volume broadcasting, will the company offer 30 second, or even 6 second, rounding instead of to 60? A provider that offers 6 or 30 second rounding could save you half (or more) of the advertised price of a provider offering only 60 second rounding. If a call is normally $0.035/minute, rounding a 24 second call could cut your call costs in half with 30 second rounding, and even lower with 6 second rounding.

7. FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule Opt-Out compliance – In 2008 the FTC enacted the Telemarketing Sales Rule which requires voice broadcasters to offer an opt-out option in their voice broadcast messages. Much like the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of solicitation emails, certain voice broadcasts now require an “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” option. Ask what compliance tools your vendor offers.

8. Pausing Campaigns – Let’s say you are voice broadcasting to generate leads. Your campaign does surprisingly well and all of your phones are ringing off the hook. If your agents are all busy, you’ll want to temporarily pause your campaign so potential leads don’t get a busy signal when they transfer back. Does the voice broadcasting provider offer a pausing capability?

9. Voice Mail Detection – Can your vendor detect whether a live person or voice mail answers your call? Just like you’d relay a message differently to a live person than to a voice mail, your voice broadcasting company should enable you to deliver an alternative message for voice mails.

10. Interactive Voice Response capabilities – Do you want an interactive voice broadcast, or are you just looking to send a recorded message? If you want interactive calls, ask your vendor about interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities. This can be especially useful in the lead generation business where you want to prequalify leads.

11. Transfer – Ask how you can route customers or prospects when they chose to transfer back to you. For example, many voice broadcasting companies will have you record a message and then tell the caller to press 1 to be transferred back to a single number. What if you want to route the caller based on their location to the nearest store? To an available sales agent? To your office, cell, & home phone simultaneously? To your virtual receptionist, an interactive voice response dialog, or voice mail? Figure out what you need, and find a voice broadcasting company that can route calls to fit your need.

12. Recording – When there is a transfer back to your sales agent, do you want to be able to record that conversation “for quality & training purposes”? Ask if that is possible.

13. Best Practices – Does your vendor truly care about your success? Ask for tips & best practices or assistance from a customer service rep who has experience setting up successful broadcasts.

14. Customer Service – Can you reach the provider over the phone? If you schedule a big broadcast will they monitor the calls? Are they nice, helpful & informative on the phone? Consider your voice broadcasting provider a partner, and demand outstanding customer service & support.

15. Open & Honest – Does the provider publish pricing on their website? Do they answer your questions in a straight forward manner? Do they get back to you quickly? Can you find their phone number, address, and management team on the website? Do they have convincing testimonials from real customers? Find a company you can trust.

16. Reporting – Do you get instant access to reports, or do you need to wait? Can you download them into multiple formats, or is it just some numbers in an email from your sales rep? Using reports to determine your ROI and to improve future broadcasts is crucial. Demand top-notch reporting.

17. Silo or suite – Does your provider just do voice broadcasting, or can they come up with creative solutions to help your business grow? Ask what else the voice broadcasting company does for companies in your industry.

In the voice broadcasting business, you get what you pay for. Spend time doing research & asking the right questions.


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