In a voice broadcast, just like a manually dialed phone call, the phone call can be answered by a human being or by an answering machine/voicemail (or not answered at all).
Based on that, you may prefer to play a specific pre-recorded message to someone who answers live and a different pre-recorded message to an answering machine. Of course, the answering machine message will be retrieved and listened to later.
With automated calling, the technology that makes this possible is called answering machine detection.
The recording for people who answer their phones must include language like "press 1 to be transferred to our office. If you'd like to be removed from this customer calling list, please press 9".
The second recording will play to answering machines or voicemail after the beep. This recording should not include the live transfer language. Instead, it must include something like "Please call our office when you have a moment."
Of course in both situations, the Caller ID of your organization will appear on the recipient's phone.
There are 4 interrelated factors that are very important to a successful "push-to-talk" live transfer campaign.
It's very important to communicate with the people who will be answering the phone on the day, your press one campaign is running.
The first thing is to simply let them know in advance that you will be using an automated calling system to call 100's or 1000's of your customers.
Then play the audio recording for your team. Make sure they know what to say to people when they call back whether from a live transfer or from the answering machine message that was left on their voicemail.
Some common things people might say when calling back.
It's important to first patiently explain the purpose of the phone call. Then go into a written script if possible.
There may be a situation when the person calling back truly does not know the company that called them. In that situation, the phone number provided may have been incorrect. It's important to explain that your company is calling it's customer phone list and their phone number was called in error. Sincerely apologize and let them know you will add their phone number to your company's do not call list. In your Sigma Voice account, there is a Call Block List page. Simply add their phone number to the Call Block List and that phone number will not be called again.
Each call will show a date and time along with the contact's name and phone number with the call disposition.
The call disposition will be 1 of 3 options.
If a contact pressed the 1 digit, that will also appear in the call report along with the length of the transferred call like 3.2 minutes.
This is used by non-profits for fundraising campaigns as well as home services companies for service reminders.
The response rate can vary from 1% to as much as 10% depending on the purpose of the call, the content of the message and who you're calling.
One thing to keep in mind is that most if not all of the responses will be in the form of an inbound phone call. So it's really important to have a knowledgeable representative available to speak with each customer.
This will be quite different that an email campaign. Email campaign responses will typically be replies via email. Also, email open rates are about 25% versus automated phone calls are answered by 95% between live answers and answering machines.
So for a list of 1000 customers. An email might be opened by 250 people and a 2% response rate is 5 people replying via email.
A phone call recording will be heard by 950 people and a 2% response rate is 19 people replying via phone call.
Because of the difference in "open rate" between an email broadcast and a call broadcast, there's usually a large difference in the actual number of responses.
Let's say you have a customer base of 10,000 customers.
Depending on the number of people who are available to answer the phone within your organization, you may want to split the phone list into smaller lists and call the smaller lists over the course of several days.
If you have enough people to field the incoming leads, then you may want to call the entire list in one day.
In general, about 45% of the calls will be answered by a live person and those are the calls that have the option to press 1 to be connected.
Another 45% of the calls will go to answering machines. A percentage of these people will call back to get more information or schedule an appointment or donate depending on your call objective.
The other 10% will be no answers meaning those phone calls did not connect to a human or a machine.
So out of the 10,000 phone calls, there would be 4500 live answers and 4500 answering machines and 1000 no answers.
As mentioned earlier, the number of lead responses of the 9000 connected calls, is dependent on several factors.
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Check out the Sigma Voice blog to learn about mass calling and texting best practices.