Fed up with cold calls?

In the world of CRM in which QGate lives, I am very conscious of what happens when our customers or ourselves get things wrong, particularly around the use of CRM for cold calls and marketing to the masses.

…what to do about it, and are you guilty..?

It’s a fact of life that companies and organisations want their message to be heard, but as we all know and have experienced, some go too far or ignore the guidelines or even laws in place to remove this annoyance. Services like the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) and the associated Telephone Preference Service (TPS) are there to allow you to register your desire not to be hassled/receive cold calls.

Nice idea, but not always effective because of my earlier point of company’s either blatantly ignoring the rules or simply having not having the ability or system in place to effectively manage the process. Also, companies that operate from outside of the UK may think themselves immune to these guidelines.

What can you do personally?

Obviously, the first step is to register yourself with the MPS and/or TPS. However, if that fails, you can follow one man’s example who took the issue to heart. Richard Herman, the owner of Retell Call Recorders, took up the challenges of getting his name of one particular list. He was eventually successful and although only awarded modest costs it was a victory. He has now set up a website exclusively to assist those finding themselves in a similar position, with advice and even the letter templates to use in executing the process.

What to do ahttps://www.saynotocoldcalls.com/bout it from a company perspective?

The above is helpful for you individually, but do you have any idea on how your company stands in not being guilty of carrying out such cold calls? Internally we have a number of processes to manage this concern. However, the issue for ourselves as a Business to Business (B2B) company is not as significant as for some. If you are in the world of Business to Consumer (B2C) the stakes are most definitely higher.

Mailing Subscription Management

Within our system, we have an ability to subscribe contacts to specific mailing lists, such as CRM Customer, CRM Technical Contact, Microsoft Partner, Christmas Card List (most important!!!). A contact can be subscribed to multiple lists. Contacts can, therefore, be un-subscribed to individual lists as they request. We don’t delete them from a list, as the history is useful, ensuring they do not get erroneously subscribed again in the future. This granular level of management means that our contacts can pick and chose what types of communications they wish to receive from QGate. The other advantage with this approach is that it is very simple to pull together an audience for a particular mailing, from announcing a new product to notification of an important service pack or roll up, and of course, managing that all important Christmas Card list.

Managing Phone Numbers

As part of our telephony integration, we manage the phone number data in a number of ways. Some of this is to ensure a correct formatting for dialling and inbound call recognition. However, one element is a flag against the number to indicate it should not be used for marketing – the TPS flag. When you click to dial the number a warning is posted to the user to inform them of the fact. This doesn’t stop the number being called, because there are legitimate reasons why I would want to call the MD of another company for example. But when we carry our telemarketing we are warned, it’s a NO.

Not a perfect world

All the above is not going to completely irradicate our ability to not market to someone who does want us to. Such an example was an email campaign we ran recently to an element of data that we hadn’t touched for a while. The email went out in my name and I got a rather irate email back from one of those on the list. He first made the assumption I didn’t exist and then complained about his inbox and the fact we were cluttering it with emails that he didn’t want, and where did we get his name from in the first place!! – we have all been there.

Well, I looked back through our CRM and found out his company had approached us about 3 years ago in relation to a possible CRM requirement. I was able to quote the key person we had been dealing with, but also noted he had been copied in on some of the correspondence. My email to him was one of acknowledgement and apology. I was able to confirm that he and his colleague were now marked as un-subscribed. There followed a couple of light-hearted banter emails between us and we parted happily in the knowledge that his preference had been managed. Perhaps when his CRM requirement looms again he will remember our positive interaction.

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