What are some of the major phone-related challenges that contact centers face? What are some effective strategies in dealing with them?
It is a very challenging environment to be on the phone and selling on the phone. Due to the bad calls that really messed everything up, telecom providers have now taken matters into their own hands and decided which call to make or not.
In this episode, Nima Hakimi from Convoso and I, talk about his experiences in Omni Channel Software in Contact Centers and Lead Generation. We also talk about dialer strategies, and utilizing omni-channel effectively.
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Nima Hakimi has been active in the lead gen industry since he co-founded Convoso in 2006. Today, he is leading the continued growth of Convoso by persistently focusing on customer success, one of the core values he established to guide the company. As a member of LeadsCouncil’s Board of Directors, Nima is committed to helping call centers in the lead generation ecosystem be compliant as well as profitable.
Jason: Hey everybody so glad that you’re joining me for another episode of the scalable call center sales podcast. I am super excited as always to have my guests Nima Hakimi from convoso so, uh, they are focused on Omni channel contact center software.
[00:00:15] I’ve gotten to known Nima and his team, uh, at Convoso over, especially the last year. Through various conferences and various groups that we’re going to talk about today, for sure. And, uh, he is just focused on helping the lead generation industry specifically co-founded Convoso in 2006 and, uh, it’s all about the customer success.
[00:00:37] He’s also something else I know is going to come up. He’s a board member on leads council. If you remember anyone listening to this, I had Rob Seaver on the show early on when I launched this podcast and he is just all about. The whole ecosystem, which is why I’m super glad that he’s here. Uh, Nima, welcome to the scalable call center sales podcast.
Nima: Yeah, it’s good to be on you. I’m excited Jason , um, you know, ready to rock and roll and really just have some good conversations and hopefully add value to what is, uh,
Jason: So here’s the part that’s fun for me is, um, I’ve listened to you speak many times, especially over the last, let’s say nine months of going to conferences, where you were at, where I was at and, you know, the industry events that we did through leads con uh, Leeds con and, um, leads council.
[00:01:26] Um, so a lot of this, like I know the kind of fun stuff that you talk about and things that are there. So I know this is going to be a super easy conversation. Very comfortable with all of this. Obviously our goal is on call centers, contact centers. You know, you have an omni-channel platform. The part that matters the most because it’s hard to sell via text and email.
[00:01:47] Those are vehicles towards it. So let’s talk about the phone side. Um, what are some of the biggest challenges that your seeing contact centers face right now when it comes to the phone?
Nima: Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest one that’s really, you know, is probably obvious is that, um, Nobody wants to pick up the phone anymore.
[00:02:10] We just kind of, um, interesting when you think about it, because if a consumer is, is, is, uh, interested in your product or service and they’re filling out a form online, you think that they want to take that call, right. But, um, you know, all of the call, the IDs now being flagged or labeled as spam scam, um, that confidence has gone down.
[00:02:31] Nobody wants to pick up the phone sites. Definitely one of the biggest challenges that call centers are facing. Um, that’s because of the bad actors that have really just ruined everything right now to telco carriers have taken matters into their own hands and decide which call, um, should either go through or not, or be blocked.
[00:02:49] So some calls are not even going through. One of the most, uh, challenging things. So that’s probably at the forefront of everything that every call center that’s doing, the genders is facing towards a challenge. Um, there’s, there’s always, you know, high agent turnover. It’s a very challenging environment to be on the phones and selling on a phone, right?
[00:03:08] Like you’re getting rejected 99% of the time. So call centers typically have a high turnover rate. Um, and then. Just getting good leads, you know, uh, obviously having consent and then wanting to talk to people that want to talk to you, that interest in your product services is definitely one of the challenges as well.
[00:03:28] Where can you continue to generate leads or bylines of people, consumers that are interested, truly interested in your product or service? Um,
Jason: those are a huge three things, so let’s take them step-by-step. So the first one he talked about, which is the calls actually going through and the carrier is blocking them for people that aren’t familiar.
[00:03:47] Haven’t heard about it. Stir shaken was the big thing. That’s kinda disrupted this. Uh, and it’s an acronym that sounds or something. I actually have it in my notes, but I’m not going to read it because it doesn’t matter, uh, for most people, but fundamentally understanding that the carriers are responsible for.
[00:04:04] Who they let through and who they keep from letting through, right. The phone calls.
Nima: Is that correct? Well, so still shaking is a little bit, you know, everything is related to each other, but still shaking is more in a sense of I’m supposed to solve the problem of caller ID spoofing, right. Just putting a call ID that doesn’t belong to you.
[00:04:23] And so what the telco carriers are required to do now as mandated, but if the FCC. Um, giving a rating to each call. And if it has an, a rating to let the call go through, if it’s B or C, it may or may not go through. So that’s, it’s actually a good thing that’s happening. But beyond that, um, it’s these there’s certain companies, three companies that are these analytics companies that work with the telco carriers, that monitor calls going through their networks.
[00:04:51] Right. And they see if there are too many. They’re being placed, using the same caller ID and a certain period of time. And nobody knows a true formula of how to decide what gets flagged and labeled a scam spam, but they monitor this and then data side to label that call as scam or spam. Um, and there’s no rhyme or reason in terms of when it happens.
[00:05:14] It’s, there’s all kinds of things that are happening. Uh, nobody truly knows, which is really frustrating. Again, if you got consent from a consumer to say, Hey, I get this call and the phone company decides, Hey, we’re going to mark this call as scam, who wants to pick up a phone that says, um, that is a scam, right?
[00:05:34] No one is.
Jason: Um, and I can totally imagine a scenario where you’re running a call center, right? You’re running a sales team. You’re getting consent based marketing, right? You’re buying leads or, you know, stuff is successfully getting. Through the marketing to your sales team. And then you’re literally on the dialer or your reps are maybe even hand dialing and they think the leads are bad, but it might be that nobody’s picking up because it’s literally being flagged and they just don’t even know.
Nima: Yeah, that’s the challenge. A lot of customers do not have the insights to, um, to know that their calls are being flagged log until they start to see the contact rate go down or they’re getting too many voicemails or answering machines, right. That are coming through that. The, the biggest signs that it’s, nobody’s picking up the phone and you’re getting a lot of voicemails, then chances are your, or your numbers are getting flagged or block.
Jason: Well, and what’s interesting though, is on the surface. If somebody is not aware that that could possibly be what happened is it’s usually the leads, right? Uh, I’ve talked to enough companies where they say, well, our contact rate is low, so we just need better leads or different leads, or, you know, maybe we sold some age data and, uh, that’s what it is, but that might not.
[00:06:49] What it is, right. Is that what you’re saying? Yeah.
Nima: I mean, chances, I mean, there’s always, the challenge of, you know, is the, is the place where you’re buying the leads from are to give you good leads. But, um, more so than not every single, uh, Legion company is facing this challenge and problem. And you just don’t know when it hits you, unless you have the right tools and systems in place that let you know when it happens.
[00:07:10] But regardless of who you are, it is going to happen to you one way or another. Um, yeah, I just need to have transparency and information readily available to do something about it. And then there’s obviously other strategies that we’ll talk about in terms of what you can do to try to minimize the chances of getting flagged.
[00:07:28] Um, and even when you do what you should do.
Jason: So let’s stay with this topic then, and without turning this into a complete sales pitch demo for continuous. So like how have you guys, cause I know that you have a solution for this or ways that you tackle it, especially with, uh, you know, your brother Bobby and his wizardry behind the scenes.
[00:07:49] Um, you know, what’s the, what is the solution that you’ve come up with to help that like identifying when a, did you have or a number that is now on the bat?
Nima: Yeah. So like there’s so many different things you can do, regardless of whether it’s what we do or not. You need to have technology that gives you the insights into your caller IDs and letting you know, um, which carriers are flagging or blocking them.
[00:08:15] Right. So we have a dashboard that lets you know of. But what’s more important is that knowing about that in as real time as possible so that you can quickly, um, fix it, meaning to replace the numbers with clean, um, numbers and there’s no, it’s not perfect. Like you will get numbers. The challenge right now becomes a, you will still get numbers at times that are.
[00:08:37] Flagged right. Like new numbers. I heard
Jason: you talk about that a couple months ago to conference. And I was like, oh my gosh. Like, cause there’s how many new numbers are. There is not enough. So you’re buying a recycled number that might be dirty.
Nima: Yeah. You’re the carrier supposed to rest it all the for a period of time so that it gets clean and, and give it to you.
[00:08:56] Um, but even with that, you know, it’s something that we’re working on on a continuous basis to minimize. Um, when it is a flag. So those are one thing. I mean, being alerted of it, being able to replace it in a timely manner, you know, by knowing about it in a quick, short amount of time, you can minimize the damage of those two leads, especially if you’re generating real-time leads.
[00:09:17] When a person is filling out a form, if you don’t get a hold of that person and you wait now X number of days, chances are that you’re not going to convert that lead, or you’re going to have a significant impact on your. Right. So having that dashboard available to insight the transparency in the moment, um, on like a daily basis, letting you know which carriers are flagging and blocking it, so you can replace it as one thing, um, registering the numbers to get white listed helps.
[00:09:44] It’s not a full proof system, you know, um, there, we have heard different times where even when you register them, uh, with analytics companies, that it will still. Get flagged, but you have to do a bunch of things. You have to do that Google verify. So what we work with our customers to help them, um, register numbers with Google verified, Google verified as a service that on any Android phone, it will show up a logo of your company, the name of your company, and the reason for the call.
[00:10:12] So now the consumer has more insight into why to call them, you know, why are they getting that call and then make a decision based on that? So those are some of the things that we help our customers. But really the bottom line is you want to be proactive around it. You want to register your phone numbers.
[00:10:28] You want to know when, when it gets flagged, um, what you quickly being able to replace the numbers with cleaning numbers so that your contact with.
Jason: And it might be in those strategies, but you had said a few minutes ago about ways to not get them flagged at all. And I know whitelisting would help. Um, I mean, is there like best practices for not even getting on that bad list or is it arbitrary?
Nima: So there’s no, there’s some things you can do. Um, you know, it’s kind of funny, right? Because the way that your calls get, um, Flag and nobody has the exact formula, but the more calls you make with the same number, the more likely it’s, it’s a call being made using, um, some automated system, rather somebody picking over the phone manually.
[00:11:17] Right? So while we wish that we didn’t have to do this, meaning, Hey, we’re a legitimate business that has arrived. To make these calls. We shouldn’t have to go through the process of having to use these strategies to, you know, not make it appear that it’s an automated system, but because of the bad actors, having Buena for everybody else, you should maintain a certain number of calls with the same number of caller ID on a day.
[00:11:42] Basis. So you want to lower the number and what we do at Convoso is what scan we’ll take a look at your, um, lead overall leads that you have in your database, where you’ve called them and make a recommendation on how many numbers you should get in what geographies, um, so that you minimize the, the, the load on each phone number, right?
[00:12:03] How many numbers? I mean, how many calls get placed per caller ID so that it doesn’t appear. As a call that’s placed using an automated dialer or some sort of a dilated. So that helps to some extent to minimize, um, the chances that it gets flagged. That would be one of the strategies and then other strategies would be using an AMI challenge.
[00:12:27] So if you’re generating a real-time leaders, maybe you don’t want to call them in the first attempt. It’s not calling them, but sending them a text message where you let them know who you are and then say, Hey, we noticed just fill out a form on ABC and trust.com, um, would like to set up a call with you.
[00:12:44] And so setting a, a text message like that up first, and then maybe following it up with. So you want to have strategies that automate that process and an omni-channel approach where you set up a set of events that takes place using texting, emailing calls. And then knowing when to stop that sequence, the moment there’s a contact made or whatever you define as success on a lead.
[00:13:07] Um, so you don’t continue to harass and annoy that, that person, which is what happens with a lot of systems that just call over and over and over and over again. But they sent a text message, even though they’ve already had a call. So that annoys the consumer. It has a bad customer experience is not something you want to do, but unfortunately there’s a lot of bad technology out there that just doesn’t know how to do that.
Jason: Yeah, just doesn’t stop. Uh, doesn’t know how to do it. And I liked that, uh, idea that you have about using the omni-channel and really shifting the load off of the outbound dials as part of that initial contact. Like if you can do SMS, if you can do something else that maybe even converts it into an inbound call and then takes that pressure off of your outbound dialing.
[00:13:53] Right. And then the load balancing that you’re talking.
Nima: Yeah. I mean, everybody used to use a strategy. Let me call them these 50, a hundred times that doesn’t work anymore. Yeah,
Jason: it doesn’t work. And it’s a, it doesn’t work with that consumer and B. It’s only going to put yourself into that hole that you don’t want to be in when
Nima: it comes with the carriers.
[00:14:12] Exactly. You get blocked by the, uh, customer gets. There’s no, that’s not a winning strategy, but you still have a lot of cost centers that do this and it just blows my mind. And you need to think smarter, dial smarter, not harder as I say all the time, but it’s really true. Figure out after how many attempts does the contact rate go down?
[00:14:30] Why call the same person 50 times when after the seventh call. They may not respond or majority will do not pick up. Right. That’s just not a good strategy. Why do you
Jason: think before we get onto the next topic, why do you think companies still do that? Like call people? Let’s say 50 times. I usually, they don’t do it that many, but like we can all just imagine.
[00:14:54] Why, why did they do.
Nima: You know, it’s, I mean, there’s not one specific reason, but you know, one, it, it is habit. This is what’s worked in the past. This is all we know. So we’re going to continue to doing, what’s worked for us in the past. They’re not adapting. Um, they don’t know a better way. They don’t have enough data that their, their system does not give them the insights.
[00:15:16] They only look at the data, right? A lot of cost centers, you know, rightfully so you, a sales mind, individuals that just care about, we need to get X number of sales. We need to have X number of targets, but they don’t go deeper into the data. Some of the, some of the costs that they don’t look at the reporting enough, um, to figure out what a limit is, where they should change.
[00:15:38] And so. I think it’s a combination of, of the technology they’re using, not knowing better being stuck in old habits that they’re not getting out of. Um, and not realizing that this is a new world we’re living in the consumer has a lot of capabilities to decide when to get a call. Well, not when not to get a call and it’s no longer in your direct referral.
Jason: Yeah. And I. I can see all of those, especially that this is the way we’ve always done it. Old school. Let me just call them and old school, calling them over and over again. Especially with hand dialing or power dialing versus, you know, some kind of high power dialer. You physically can’t call them a ton of times if you have enough leads, but now you just turn on the switch and you can just obliterate somebody so much that they really don’t want to talk.
Nima: Yeah. Yeah, no, exactly. So the
Jason: second part that you brought in, as far as the challenges that you see that call center space is turnover. And I know from hearing you speak and also, uh, Lisa, uh, light at your company as well, is that, you know, turnover from the sales perspective, from a contact center perspective where you’re making these outbound dials.
[00:16:51] You’re in sales. You’re going to get rejected more times than not just, even if you’re amazing. You’re still never going to win a hundred percent. If you’re calling a lot, it’s going to increase that number even more of the failures and where that balance is between how much you want your reps engaging with those activities versus how much you want to have technology takeover so that they’re not just grinding.
[00:17:18] On, let’s say bad calls or voicemails or ups for their whole career, right. Until you burn them out. Yeah,
Nima: yeah. Yeah. I mean, so a lot of it these days has to do in my mind with the quality of leads, the type of leads that they are calling on, you know, there is there’s your high intent deeds, right? These are people that actually expressing an interest in your product or service.
[00:17:47] You have your low intent, which we refer to as Coleridge leads, right? Where they fill out some sort of a, um, some offer to win something. And then they get asked a series of questions in order to, you know, put that consumer in some sort of. You know, did it have a certain amount of debt? Do they own their own home, whatever the case is.
[00:18:07] And so while we all want more leads, you got to find a fine balance between getting that quality leader of the person who’s truly interested in your product and service versus a lower intent who may or may not be an understanding how many times you want to call the leads. Um, you have to have different dialing strategies and different strategies for your high intent needs.
[00:18:26] There is no intent and don’t put them in the same bucket. Um, so that’s very important. So that the agents, when they’re calling on both types of leads, that consumer has a certain kind of experience, that’s more positive. So when they do get on a call, they’re not getting cursed out, you know, or saying I’m not interested and that’ll, where’s the agent down.
[00:18:44] I don’t care who you are. You’re going to get call after call. If people are not interested, it’s going to.
Jason: Yeah. And I can see that, right. I’ve been in enough centers where you just see reps just tired of the rejection. And here’s, what’s interesting too, is that, you know, I’ve seen some high volume outbound sales centers where when they do get somebody who is interested in talking longer than 30 or 60 seconds, that rep is also just.
[00:19:15] Out of the game, right? Like they’re out of shape if you will. Um, for when that opportunity does come up, they’re not ready for it because they’re just used to being punched in the face for awhile. Um, whether it’s a half hour, an hour, three hours, uh, it’s like getting them off the bench to hit the game, winning shot.
[00:19:32] Very few people can pull that off. Right. Um, and so now they’re not even ready and when they are given a good opportunity, they blow it because
Nima: they’re, they’re not. Precisely. I mean, that momentum that you’re talking about that needs to happen for them to be in that rhythm where, you know, the, in their, at their best, um, that is definitely at the heart of everything.
[00:19:55] And if you’re getting connected, like I said, with people that are mostly not interested or you get a lot of a bigger challenge also is, um, getting too many voicemails. So what happens is ending on what technology is used is, you know, there’s that answering machine detection, which is a very fine line between.
[00:20:10] How it needs to detect a call to see if it is a real person, human answering, a call or a voicemail. And so your data needs to have good sensitivity in terms of deciding when to make that, um, decision of whether it’s a real human and answered a call or a voicemail. And depending on the quality of leads you have, you’d have high intent leads.
[00:20:30] You may want to bring that sensitivity down so you may get more voicemails, but you’re not going to filter through real. Humans that are answering the phone. So you have to play around with it a bit and make sure that you’re not getting too many voicemails that are transferred to copy because the agent will get frustrated and tired and you know, that momentum, they will lose it.
[00:20:51] If they’re getting too many voicemails coming through because they want to talk to people. They don’t want to talk to answering machines that are not going to get them in. Yeah. Well,
Jason: and, and to clarify, because I think this is a really interesting point and part of that strategy, like you said, where you have different dialing strategies based on different lead quality, right?
[00:21:11] I’m not talking about the salespeople who always think they want the best leads I’m talking about like what you’re paying for, what the intense. How solid that intent, how much they raised their hand for you specifically versus raising their hand for something, um, and giving permission. So, but what you said is that you’re talking about that voicemail detection, which I believe, right.
[00:21:31] Correct me if I’m wrong. That’s that point when we all get these auto robo, whatever dials and there’s that gap sometimes two, three seconds where we say hello, there’s. And it’s determining if we’re a human or if we’re a voicemail and then connecting us to some sales person. Right?
Nima: Yeah. So there’s, I mean, there are a couple of reasons when you’re talking about, um, yes, there needs to be some very limited delay for, for the system to figure out if it’s a human or not.
[00:21:58] But when you’re talking about, for example, two or three seconds, that’s because their dialing is not configured well to handle the call volume, which is the number of available. They’re available or sales to take the call. So what’s happening is it needs to wait for someone to be available. And the system is placing more calls the predictive side or predictive dialer as we call it is not doing its job.
[00:22:20] Right. Um, if you’re waiting too long, um, to talk to someone, but yes, a part of that delay is because it needs to figure it out, you know, with us it’s milliseconds. So it’s very short amount of time. You need any needs to be as short as possible. So that there is a good experience on the other end and they don’t get annoyed saying hello.
[00:22:39] Hello. And then three seconds later, they talk to some. And then yeah, forget about, yeah. Forget about having a good conversation at that point. You’ve already set up that conversation to being on a negative, um, position.
Jason: Well, and I think that’s such a valid point and what you said then, which is the next level, which is okay.
[00:22:57] If you have high intent data, someone was on your page, filling out a form saying, I want help with insurance, right. Or a mortgage, but then you want to turn that sensitivity. Down, or you basically want to let more calls get through where you would rather have false voicemails getting through then cutting somebody off was a real person and not letting them get through to your agents, right?
Nima: Yeah, exactly. It’s, it’s that type of lead. You want to probably have the still thing, be a little bit like, uh, take a little bit more time to see if it’s a human, like, make sure that you will get through. You’ll have a little bit more voicemails comments. Um, if it’s a corridor lead, you probably want to make it, um, less of that.
[00:23:43] There’s more filtering that’s happening. Right. And you have less voicemails that get connected to the agents. Um, so it’s all about the quality of the data that you have to figure out which strategy you should use on your exhibition.
Jason: Well, and, and the advice I would give call center owners based on my experience with the training and the work that I’ve done is if possible is to set the agent, the sales reps expectations for, okay, you might get more voicemails, but here’s why this has to happen.
[00:24:13] And this is intentional. Like we know voicemails suck, but just so you know, we don’t want to blow any of the good leads by having it filter too early. So you’re going to get more when the leads are from this other call. You’re going to get less. And so it’s not just a, we don’t care about you and just, you know, grind and leave voicemails.
[00:24:29] It’s this is intentional. There’s actually a strategy behind the scenes
Nima: a hundred percent. Yeah. I would imagine most, a lot of customers do not give that direction today. You know, you’re getting leads from so many different places, buying them, generating them. I mean, one thing that you can do in that situation is, um, there’s gotta be some guidance, some, some personalization around that conversation and around the color, the script, which is, should be more used as a guide in my point of view.
[00:24:56] But your system should have the ability to. Um, give you insights on each lead. What offer, what landing page they fill out? What was the offer? Right? What did it say? No, don’t, don’t make it just to be generic, but you have a lot of, um, leisure companies that generate a buyer leads from 10, 20, 30 different sources, especially the bigger you are that you can’t use that same conversation and approach to every single call that you connected to.
[00:25:21] You need to have insights that get shared, whether you’re using a system like, you know, active. That then collects amount of certain information. And then, you know, on, on, on, on under daily side of things, it’s very, it can be very personalized to pull information on the lead. So you can mention the website, the actual website that it filled up the form on.
[00:25:41] And you know, that personal will be more responsive to hearing what you have to say versus just having some generic, um, opening to your, to your call.
Jason: Yeah, I think there’s a huge difference from a consumer’s perspective, like which we all are at some level, uh, for getting a call and said, Hey, you filled out a form to get some insurance versus, Hey, you filled out a form on ABC insurance.com and I’m following up because, you know, I want to talk to you about that, right?
[00:26:10] Like that is so important. Um, I know that I know too, is that when you tell your salespeople or your reps that you have different levels or qualities of leads or there’s different sources, they’ll usually make up their mind about which ones they like. And don’t like, so I know from a management perspective, that’s also a, sometimes it’s a dangerous game to, to tell your reps, I’ve got my good leads and I got my not good leads.
[00:26:37] And, um, you know, now I’m turning on the not good leads.
Nima: Yeah. Yeah. There’s a lot of stuff that happens there as well. For sure. Yeah.
Jason: Well, and it’s about balancing. I know that when I’ve run centers with that, it’s about the compensation plans being different. If it’s like, let’s say a co-reg like, Hey, if you can convert those it’s worth more.
[00:26:56] So that’s great. Right. And we want to reward you. Um, so I think that’s important. I think the why is always important when it comes to those strategies. I know that one of the big things, you know, you all like, uh, Take an analytical approach to let’s say, you know, looking at this turnover issue, but not the turnover stats.
[00:27:18] Cause everyone knows turnover stats, but like agent utilization and wasting agent’s time and like how much money you could save just in productivity. Um, When you’re optimizing for contact rates.
Nima: Yeah. I mean, do you
Jason: have some of those stats or just a general idea, like for people listening to go, okay, well, that’s great Nima, you, you, you know, you want my agents to leave us less voicemails, but that sounds like a lot of work.
[00:27:45] Like why is that even worth
Nima: it? Yeah. I mean, I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but we did do a study around, um, you know, obviously like when you look at the percentage of calls that go to voicemail, it’s, it’s like always 70%. So majority of calls go, go get connected to voicemail, not somebody answering the call.
[00:28:03] Um, and when you look at the amount of time that agents waste, when you know, you have some cost centers where 20, 30% of the calls that get connected or voicemails. So now you’re talking about how much you’re paying them on an hourly basis. Um, and what percentage of their calls are voicemails? If you say 30% and you’re paying them $50 an hour, Right.
[00:28:27] That’s that’s 30% of that. That’s what is it? Four or $5 an hour to just get wasted, multiply that by the number of hours worked in a day times, the number of agents think we did a study that was like literally millions of dollars over the course of the year. So you’ve been in be really mindful and pay attention to the number of calls that get connected to agents that are voicemails rather than just letting it be and just like saying, okay, it is what it is.
[00:28:52] Just deal with it today. You need to pay attention to that. And I don’t think enough call centers look at that to see what can be done, because they’re just told, you know, this is what it is or, you know, we don’t know what to do about it. And I don’t think that’s a good enough answer. You need to go deeper than that to see how you can solve that problem, because it’s very costly when you do the math on the lost productivity.
[00:29:17] The turnover, right? That the agent morale goes down, which leads to turnover and those costs, we know, um, you know, there’s enough studies and done on terms of hiring someone at the cost of hiring someone new, to replace someone who’s, you know, trained and up to speed on everything. So there’s a lot of different ways that, um, things that get impacted based on this.
Jason: that’s why I love that calculation just on the surface, even if we don’t look at the turnover, but then when you factor in all those things, uh, it does make a difference, even when we’re just talking about voicemail detection, right? This one factor, and even talking about lead quality, you can keep buying the same leads that you have, but if you can adjust this one thing, then, uh, it makes a big difference.
[00:30:02] So when you’re talking to companies, right, so you’re, you’re focused on call centers. Contact centers, anybody who’s, you know, would use a system like this. Part of what we talked about was they might not want to change or do anything different with their strategies because it’s the way they’ve always done it.
[00:30:18] Um, what other challenges do you see when you or the team talk to an owner or a leader of a contact center and they just don’t. I think it would apply or they don’t want to change. Like what’s the best way to help somebody or, you know, I guess sometimes if you could just shake them and say, listen, like, here’s why you need to do this.
[00:30:41] Um, you know, what, what would that be to get them to like, if somebody’s listening to this and they’re like, I don’t know, I’m on the fence. Why would I want to change what
Nima: I’m doing? That’s the thing about fear of change. We all, as humans do not like change. Nobody does for the most. Um, so I mean, that is, that is usually a big challenge.
[00:31:02] I would say that you need to, uh, look at how you’re currently performing. And, um, if you’re looking at a solution like ours, the only true way you’ll ever know what’s on the other side, um, you have to do a comparison. Right. You got to give it a test and, and see for yourself. Um, what the difference is because just because it’s, you’re, you’re getting by today, uh, technology and things are changing and it’s really, uh, becoming a bigger challenge to keep up with all of these changes, because again, carriers and, you know, the regulators everybody’s taking matters into their hands and they’re deciding your fate.
[00:31:48] So you have to really look at. And understand that if you don’t make some sort of a change to solve some of these problems, you will not be in business maybe in a year from now. And it’s not, if it’s just a matter of when, so you have to really be more proactive around looking at what else is out. Giving it a fair shot, your team has to get bought into it.
[00:32:10] So the way that we do that is obviously involving them in the process and understanding what challenges they’re having, getting to understand how we can help them solve their problems and showing them. ’cause that’s one of the things, right? A lot of times the owner is, is, is all in on it, but then they have to get their team on board because they’re the ones that have to actually make the true change.
[00:32:29] Right. And that’s where you get a lot of pushback is because they’re comfortable with what they have. They don’t want to learn a new system, you know, so we try to make them, help them understand that they’ll go through a training process and onboarding and really showing them how it works and not just making a switch.
[00:32:45] And then them being stuck with something, they didn’t know how to use it. So they’re lot, there’s a training component. There’s understanding their current performance and how we can help them do better. Um, so that they’re more open to the change versus resisting it, which is what happens a lot of times
Jason: when somebody is looking at like a platform, like what you’re talking about or any dialer.
[00:33:13] What kind of questions are people not asking? Or what should they be aware of that they might not know. I mean, there’s always the challenge, especially if buying new software, new solution to anything is that we have this fear of change, like you said, which I love that you brought that up. And then also we don’t know what we don’t know.
[00:33:31] And so a lot of times people aren’t asking the questions that would help them, let’s say overcome that fear of change. So what are the best questions for somebody who’s looking at? Dyler contacts, solution, you know, software,
Nima: it started with compliance. And what does the company know about compliance? What are they doing about it?
[00:33:50] How are they keeping up with the changes that are happening? What are you doing about . You know, how do they help you, um, with compliance, not to say that you’re looking for legal advice, because that should be something you should do with, you know, with your own counsel and get, get that advice. But at the same time, from the buyer’s perspective, how much do they know about what’s happening and what did it doing about it?
[00:34:15] How proactive are they about. Um, so I would say that’s definitely a really, really big one. And then the other one, you know, we’ve talked about, about how are they helping manage your caller ID reputation? I think at the end of the day, if you don’t figure that out, forget how great the, the, the, the, the dialer might look or feel or whatever the case is, but how are they helping you solve that problem?
[00:34:38] Because you can have the best leads you can have the best agents. You can have the dilator that makes the calls, but if they’re getting fired or blocked, nobody’s picking. So you want to ask specifically what I did do, is it a third party solution? Um, you know, and I would even get on the phone with that third party solution and ask them questions specifically around how did they do it?
[00:34:57] How did they manage the call ID reputation? Because it’s easy for the company that you’re working with to say, yeah, we’re using XYZ and they do it. And it’s great, but you might find that that’s not going to help you on until you truly know. How they go about doing it because sales people sometimes, you know, they want to sell and you want to work with a company that’s truthful.
[00:35:16] And if it’s a third-party you relying on you better want to talk to that third party and understand how they’re doing it, if it, you know, unless it is the company itself, the dialer themselves, the way that we do it is that we’re the ones that are helping you manage. Um, you want to ask those questions about how, how does it work?
[00:35:32] How do you make sure that it doesn’t get blocked? Or how do you minimize it? What are the strategies that are used? Um, and then third, you know, not in these, but last, uh, what is the team behind the company? You know, what kind of changes is there that helps you with the data? How does the onboarding process work?
[00:35:48] Who’s involved? Who’s helping you train what happens after, you know, you’re onboarded on the system. Somebody that’s assigned to your account, that will be there to ask a questions for you to help you implement best practices, to monitor the accounts and the performance of the account. You know, um, it’s a dial is a pretty sophisticated depending on what you want to do.
[00:36:10] And so you want to make sure that there’s a team behind it that can help you get the most out of it over a period of time. That goes beyond just the first few weeks. I mean, there’s a lot more. Yeah. But
Jason: I love that list. I mean, it all makes sense from the onboarding training to what’s included and how are you handling compliance and all of those different pieces.
[00:36:32] So, one other big thing that I know happened to the whole world in the past, let’s say year and a half now, um,
Jason: Pandemic is most call centers. At least short-term had to go remote and do something that they never thought was possible. I’ve been around enough call centers, contact centers, and sales teams.
[00:36:53] To know that it was never thought that you could let people work remote and be effective in a call center, sales team, anything like that without seeing them all. And then obviously everyone had to, for a period of some time, some are still that way. What do you see for the future? Of the call centers of sales teams.
[00:37:14] Right. Obviously they embrace the power of the cloud and cloud software like yours and like others. Um, couldn’t do premise-based things like they used to. Um, but where do you see things going either from the call center side and how they manage people from the consumer side or what they expect, you know, like you’ve been in this game for a long time.
[00:37:33] Like where do you see things going from?
Nima: So, you know, the different ways of looking at it, but with technology these days and the way that technology is moving and how innovative it can be, AI continues to play a role and the term, depending on how you even define AI, but there are technologies out there that help.
[00:37:52] Um, when it comes to agent training, which makes remote working from home type of, uh, uh, programs for agents work better. But there are systems out there that help you monitor every single call. You know, we partnered with a company called Baltimore, for example, that will listen to every single call and give you live, call guidance, to help the agent be on, you know, on track with a conversation and say the right things.
[00:38:14] So there are things like that. And I think that will continue to play a role to make working from home. A good solution. I think there’ll be some hybrid with, you know, some call centers wanting to do some work from home while having some people come into the office. I think it will be combination of that because not everybody wants to continue to work from home.
[00:38:32] Right. It, it doesn’t, um, it’s not, it’s not suited for every single person. So I think there’ll be some hybrid in that. And then just continuing to focus on, uh, better, uh, better. Somebody who’s truly interested in your product and service and being more focused on that. You know, you’re generating these on Facebook and different places.
[00:38:52] It’s better than just calling somebody who may not have raised their hand as, as you, as you stated it. Um, and just being more focused around the consumer and the customer experience, um, not just calling them to death, like we talked about and having better quality conversations and maybe having less conversations, but.
[00:39:12] Conversations. So I think it’s continuing to stay focused on that and having the customer at the heart of everything to ensure that they have a good experience, that your agents can have a good experience at a company can have a good experience all around to deliver whatever product or service that you’re selling.
Jason: love it. That’s a perfect list. I mean, I think the key is, like you said, Your agents are going through this. Some are going to work from home. Some are going to be hybrid in the office. Fundamentally the consumers are just like your employees, just like your reps. Everyone is dealing with the pandemic in some way.
[00:39:45] And so also being mindful. And I love that you said. Yeah, basically quality over quantity at some point, wait, whatever’s best for your business, but keeping in mind, you’d rather have more quality conversations, which will then help with all the other factors we talked about from compliance to caller ID to turnover.
[00:40:03] Um, you know, and how do you do more of that quality and just convert better, right? Like, and especially okay. Quality contact rate. Okay. And then what, how do you make sure you have quality conversations that can be. So that you don’t need a hundred conversations to close
Nima: and it’s a big shift. Yeah. And it’s a big shift.
[00:40:23] Listen, I’m not saying that don’t, don’t call on corridors. These, because you want to scale, you want more, you want to generate more sales. You just need to look at everything and figure out the right strategies for the type of leads that you’re calling versus just this shotgun approach of calling over and over again.
[00:40:42] Um, that’s just not a good idea.
Jason: Yeah. And, and I love that too, where it’s, it’s not just go this route and don’t go this other way. W route with leads or data that you’re buying, it’s more about just be mindful and have a strategy for each and then play the different game with that lead type in that cost, uh, and that contact rate, so that you’re going to win instead of throwing them all into one bucket and trying to win the game, uh, win each game individually.
Nima: Yeah, couldn’t have said it any better.
Jason: So, uh, first off, I appreciate you being here. Uh, I love this conversation. I love the intersection of this technology with the compliance, both, like you said, at the very end there it’s like about the customer experience. Uh, and it’s about the company and. Benefiting, you know, employees being happy and all of that, but doing that in such a way where it’s just facilitating, what’s being sold and helping customers.
[00:41:40] And I love all that. Um, I know for people listening to this, they want to find out more, they can go to dot com. Also. I know you guys have a very. Uh, well maintained and updated blog. So if they go to dot com slash blog, there’s a lot of articles talking about, you know, various strategies and, and a lot of stuff that you talked about here and in the things that you do, uh, I also know that people can connect with you on LinkedIn.
[00:42:03] So if they go to LinkedIn, uh, Nima Hakimi. And sushi there. I’m pretty sure you’re the only one on there, uh, with that name makes it easy. Any other cool things, anything for people listening or watching the video of this, uh, where they can find out more things that you have coming up or any other resources they,
Nima: they could, uh, yeah.
[00:42:24] You know, I would highly recommend, obviously the conference is coming up. Leeds con is coming up. There’ll be a lot of good conversations. Uh, definitely attend, uh, you know, yes, it is great for networking. Um, so that’s always great, but again, because so many things are changing, I would really highly suggest you come.
[00:42:40] You you’ve listened in on some of the conversations and, uh, you’ll find that there’ll be some invaluable things that you, um, will get value out of to help you, not just survive but thrive. And so you need to really be kept abreast of all of that. Make sure you come. And if you can find a way to get access to the sessions.
Jason: Yeah, that’s awesome. I know that you and the team will be there. I will be there as well. So that’s going to be fun. Excited when these conferences have started coming back and being able to meet people and learn and network and grow and just stay on, like you said, stay on top of it so that you know how to stay compliant and win, right.
[00:43:17] Not just stay safe, but also successful. Well, Naima, thanks for joining me and being here on the scale of we’ll call center sales podcast. I appreciate it. And, uh, I look forward to seeing. Here soon at the next conference. Yeah,
Nima: likewise. It was a great feeling. Did you get some inspirations of ways to help your call center sales team win bigger, stronger, and faster.
[00:43:41] Hope you are fired up to scale your sales operations. If you got value from this podcast, please go in and leave a rating. Also make sure to forward this episode to anyone else, you know, in the call center space, we appreciate your support in growing the scalable call center sales podcast, family. And if you have any comments, ideas, or feedback, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. .