This webinar brings insights to sales and lead generation teams in the home services and solar industries about how they can increase contact rates and conversion rates. Convoso CPO & Co-Founder Bobby Hakimi joined solar call center expert Heather Griffin and the CEO of Balto, Marc Bernstein, to discuss key issues facing outbound call centers in these markets and to provide tips and strategies for meeting those challenges.

Two competing dynamics have been at work in recent times for solar and home services businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on crucial door-knocking operations. As a result, and as Marc Bernstein put it while kicking off our webinar, “The call center has never been more important.”

But in the face of rampant call flagging and blocking that makes it harder than ever to connect with customers and close sales. 

So, how do you make sure your outbound efforts translate to effectiveness? The call center experts on our webinar came together to answer just that. Over the course of their conversation, they covered:

  • Why your calls aren’t getting through: The root causes of call flagging and blocking
  • How you can avoid call blocking and flagging: Strategies and solutions that can solve for these issues and boost contact rates
  • Lost opportunities and lost revenue: Best practices for converting leads and maximizing sales
  • An integrated approach to increasing contacts and conversions: How powerful dialing functionality and real-time guidance can combine to drive increased sales in your industry

Catch some of the highlights in our recap below, and watch the full video to take a deep dive into the material and gain even more insights on how you can take your contact rates and conversion rates to new heights.

 

Why Are Calls Not Getting Through?

Starting things off, Bobby Hakimi broke down some of the most prevalent factors driving down contact rates for so many contact centers:

  • Telephone carriers blocking and flagging calls, sometimes erroneously
  • Call blocking apps downloaded by consumers
  • Consumers may block calls they perceive as unwanted and potentially report them to the FTC
  • STIR/SHAKEN legislation was introduced to address fraud

Heather Griffin chimed in to say that it was “night and day” when STIR/SHAKEN was initiated, with contact rates steadily declining from that point on. But while most people fear call blocking, it’s actually call flagging that should be drawing most of their concern:

“The bigger challenge is the ‘Spam Likely,’ the ‘Telemarketing,’ the ‘Fraud’  – all those labels showing up…I have experienced myself, as an owner and as a consultant, just how drastically this has really affected us in the past 12 to 16 months since this law started.” 

There was, however, some hope offered by Griffin:  “The good news: There is software, there are processes, and there are best practices that can resolve this issue.

 

Find out what you need to know about TCPA Compliance Trends 2021

 

How Can You Avoid Call Blocking and Flagging?

Hakimi covered a few categories of solutions that can help call centers protect themselves from harmful call blocking and flagging. It all starts, he said, with looking at your data and developing smarter strategies:

High intent vs low intent leads

“If it’s low-intent data [that you’re dialing], you probably don’t want to leave them with a lot of voicemails and text messages…On the flip side, with high-intent data, you want to be strategic: calling them precisely, leaving them a personalized voicemail, maybe leaving them a text message if you haven’t got ahold of them, and really getting creative about having a multi-channel outreach [strategy].”

Managing caller IDs and the value of DID cost

Also discussed was just how important a role that caller ID (DID) management can play in avoiding costly call blocking and flagging issues. The right DID management solution can automatically help you identify when a number is being flagged.

And although some call center operators might balk at the cost of buying new DIDs, both Hakimi and Griffin said that the benefits far outweigh the costs:

Hakimi: “In the past, I’ve seen people hesitate because people don’t want to spend the money to buy the new numbers. But ultimately what’s going to happen is you’re going to spend more minutes and more manpower talking to people that aren’t interested and answering machines—and at the end of the day that affects contact rate.”

Griffin: “[When I’m consulting], I always get this [complaint], ‘I have to pay extra just for DIDs.’ And it’s always such a simple math equation: If you have the same fixed costs, and you contact 30% more people…the output number [at the end] is going to be massive. And you’ll be compliant and less likely to get lawsuits, and you’ll have better retention.”

 

Watch the full video to hear expert insights on other call blocking solutions like number registration and A/B Testing.

 

Lost Opportunities = Lost Revenue: Best Practices for Increasing Conversions at the Agent Level

Marc Bernstein talked about where call centers are often missing out on opportunities. He identified a common disconnect in approaches to increasing revenue: “We often look at revenue at a macro level, but we don’t usually take it down to the agent level and say, when you have these conversations that your customers are having on the phone with your agents, where can you increase conversions and where can you increase revenue there?”

Some of the opportunities that Bernstein identified include:

  • Appointment no-shows: Failure to confirm information and conduct good discovery results in waste time for outside sales reps.
  • Preventable mistakes: Agents lose up to ⅓ of calls due to human error, leading to higher no-show rates and lost calls.
  • Learning retention:  Agents forget 59% of their training after the first week, according to Bernstein’s framework.
  • QA Bandwidth: Managers are only able to score less than 5% of calls.

To deliver the revenue that’s missed in these areas, Balto’s AI-driven Real-Time Guidance solution analyzes everything agents and customers are saying, and in real time gives agents recommendations for how they can be as effective as possible. 

 

Watch the video to see Balto’s Real-Time Guidance in action—you have to see it to believe just how effective it can be for your agents.

 

An Integrated Approach to Increasing Contacts and Conversions

Of course, Balto’s capabilities are all the more powerful and effective as part of an integrated approach that incorporates a powerful dialing solution alongside AI functionality. With all the right solutions to make sure that you avoid blocking and flagging, boost your contact rates, and connect with your costly data, integrated automation can then help you increase conversion rates and drive revenue. Balto is an integration partner with Convoso.

 

To learn more about how Convoso can deliver these improvements to your sales and lead gen operation, schedule a demo today. And for more best practices and expert insights on the latest developments in the field, head to the Convoso contact center blog.