Telemarketing Appointment Setting Best Practices: Part 1
Author note: This is the first article in a 3-part series.
Telemarketing appointment setting is a cost-effective way to use less expensive people resources to set appointments for your salespeople. The best telemarketing appointment setting initiatives have these things in common:
If any of these core components are not optimized, then your telemarketing appointment setting program will not produce the highest Return on Investment (ROI) possible.
Telemarketing appointment setting requires tenacity and creativity. The tenacity is having the will power to make hundreds of phone calls a day, resulting in a handful of appointments. The creativity is identifying what works and what is not working – to come up with the best approach to secure more appointments that are kept.
In this first article in a 3-part series, I’ll cover the concept of Appointment Kept Rate and what you can do to ensure the highest appointment kept rate possible.
What is the Appointment Kept Rate?
The Appointment Kept Rate is the percentage of appointments that are kept (not cancelled or no-showed) by your prospect divided by the total number of appointments set for the period of time that you’re measuring. For example, if your outbound telemarketing appointment setting team set 500 appointments last month and 300 appointments were kept (including those that were rescheduled), your appointment kept rate is 60%. That’s a pretty good rate.
As an outsourced telemarketing appointment setting resource, our company works with many clients in many different industries and we find that the methodology of getting a high appointment kept % is relatively simple.
The first critical component for a high appointment kept rate is making sure that the prospect is told very clearly WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Some people agree to appointments because they don’t like conflict or don’t like saying "no". So they agree to the appointment but don’t honor the commitment because it is easier to say yes and then not show up. Make sure that you reinforce with your appointment confirmation (wrap-up) verbiage what your prospect will gain by attending the appointment and if you can’t put that in one or two sentences you need to work on creating an effective nutshell message.
Next, be sure you send a calendar invite immediately following the telemarketing call to lock in the appointment time on your prospect’s calendar. It is best if you can get access to the salespeople’s calendars and set the appointments on their calendar on their behalf, inviting the prospect to the appointment. In the calendar invite, the nutshell language should also be included in the appointment notes or comments to reinforce why it is worth them keeping the appointment. Another nice touch is to send an email from the appointment setter to the prospect (cc to the salesperson that the appointment is set for) thanking them for their time and letting them know that they should have received a calendar invite and ask them to PLEASE accept the appointment to lock in the time.
If you set appointments too far in advance, expect a high rate of no-shows or reschedules. As a rule of thumb, we limit our outbound telemarketing appointment setters to set appointments no more than one week from the date of the call. If the prospect insists that they can’t do an appointment sooner (out of the office, etc.), then set a callback to set the appointment, don’t set the appointment and hope for the best.
In the next 2 articles on this topic, I’ll share best practices for finding a good prospect list and best practices for writing an appointment setting script.
About Quality Contact Solutions:
Quality Contact Solutions (QCS) is a 100% U.S.-based B2B and B2C telemarketing and call center solutions provider. QCS is PCI Level 1 certified, experienced in many different industry verticals, and has 15 different locations in the U.S.
Published: Monday, November 12, 2018
miSecureMessages is an encrypted messaging application designed as a pager replacement for healthcare organizations, call centers, and enterprise environments.
Voice to Digital Connect, Agent Guided Workflows
Cielo helps companies improve customer service experiences in the voice channel by connecting them to ai digital journeys that resolve issues.
Voice to Digital Connect works in the IVR and gives mobile customers the option to skip the wait and connect to an ai chatbot that is built to resolve specific low-touch repetitive issues, all via text.
Guided workflows automate the many steps agents need to take to resolve a customer issue with AI-powered procedures, all within one agent-guided screen. It integrates directly onto the agent’s desktop with digital applications that create a hybrid voice + digital experience that reduces AHT and improves first-call resolution.
eGain has rearchitected its platform to handle the messaging channels in a new way. eGain Customer Engagement Hub™, the platform that unifies knowledge, AI, analytics, and conversations to ensure that no channel is left in a silo, also powers the eGain Messaging Hub.
Contact Center Software
Startel is a leading provider of unified communications, business process automation and performance management solutions for contact centers. Since its founding in 1980, Startel has established a loyal customer base from a variety of industries, including contact centers, education, healthcare, insurance and telephone answering service. Startel's solutions are designed to enhance the customer experience, improve employee productivity, reduce operating costs, and increase revenues.
Chat, Synthetix’s multichannel live chat solution offers customer support in real-time, driving huge efficiencies.
When customers have complex queries that require human intervention, live chat proves far more efficient than traditional channels. Not only is it quicker and more convenient than waiting on hold to be dealt with, but with AI-powered features, it produces massive ROI.
With concurrent chat slots, a live key-press feed and AI-predictive suggestions that recommend articles in real-time, Synthetix Chat reduces average handling times by up to 50% compared to standard live chat.