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February 25, 2011

Telemarketing Software: Kissing Frogs to Find the Right VoIP Provider

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


 The ever-readable Ken Murray (News - Alert), always one of the most entertaining and rewarding voices in telemarketing, recently broke some bad news:


 “To get to the right VoIP provider you are probably going to have to kiss a few frogs in order to find a prince of a service provider.”

 Obviously this is a man who speaks from experience: “We have thousands of customers that have tried and are using every provider under the sun. We are integrated with most providers meaning we can auto dial over their platform, launch their soft-phone, record calls and so forth. When a prospect or customer asks who we recommend, we usually tell them that they will need to try a few to find the one that provides the best quality at the best price... what works well for one company works poorly for the company next door.”

 By the way, that’s a crucial insight to bear in mind: Just because something works great for your golf partner or brother-in-law’s far more successful operation doesn’t mean it’ll work equally well for you. As Murray says, quality differs provider- to- provider, location- to- location, cheap to expensive.

 The way he explains it, “your calling pattern (how many calls, where they are going, and the geographic location of the person who places the calls) will impact your opportunity to get the best quality. Some companies can select the lowest cost provider and end up with great quality. Others have to move up stream and pay a little more to get a quality standard that meets their expectation.”

 He’s not solely a gloom ‘n’ doom merchant, however, he does have some tips for making a good selection of VoIP sevice provider:

 Determine what providers work with your lead management or telemarketing software. Take into account your specific needs: auto dialing, click to call, recording, etc. Select at least two providers to test. Many offer a 30-day free trial.

 Set realistic expectations. The $14.99 service is not going to have the same quality of customer service as the $39.99 service. Don’t expect great service. VoIP operates on razor thin margins. This is not the old Bell or AT&T (News - Alert).

 Review and understand their “fair use policy.” Some providers limit you by minutes and some by minutes and dials per day. Some let you violate usage while others strictly hold you to it.

 Be sure to switch services between your test users. Don’t let one sales person test company X and the other test company Y. Swap them half way through the trial period. Have your testers track dropped calls, low quality and so forth. You are going to have a decision to make. You want hard data.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that an extra $10 per month is not worth the quality. It is. A low quality call often kills the sales opportunity regardless of your great offering. Additionally, if you are always on the phone having to complain it is worth the extra $10 per month for quality and a customer service department that can resolve issues.


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Janice McDuffee


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