Monday, July 23, 2012

B2B Telemarketing - Driving Social Engagement Beyond Social Media

There seems to be no end to social media marketing and last week, cNet published an article reporting that the Global Fortune 100 are have only just begun maximizing this new channel. The article also mentions five findings as the result of the study but here is one that's most notable:

3. Engagement is becoming second nature to companies. Seventy-nine percent of corporate accounts on Twitter attempt to engage with other users by retweeting and using @mentions.”

Indeed, engagement is the critical factor in social media marketing. It's what both makes it an effective medium and at the same time, it's what proving to be the challenge for these companies. However, is such engagement necessarily limited to social media? You see, when you make that the goal, the medium might hardly matter.

In this case, telemarketing services can also be used to drive engagement and achieve similar results:

  • Interest – It checks for a prospect's interest and responds appropriately. If there is clearly no interest, then simply move on. If there is more interest but not enough to warrant a lengthier conversation, they're tagged for follow-ups. The more interest there is, the more a telemarketer can engage with them and send them further into the sales process.
  • Needs – A potential client won't have interest if they don't have any needs for the products and services offered. On the other hand, you can only learn to serve better if you knew the finer details of these needs.
  • Time – Engaging a prospect through telemarketing does not necessarily consume as much time. You just need to make sure that follow-ups are done right and measures are placed to take the conversation elsewhere if the phone is proving to be too time-constraining.

Then again, perhaps what really puts social media over telemarketing is that it has enabled customers to organize themselves and given them a greater voice. This blog from the Harvard Business Review already demonstrates how this is so for B2C companies:

In other words, social media improves service by making the market for peer-to-peer opinion more efficient. This is good news for good service and bad news for bad service. End of not-so-complicated story.”

Still, does this apply to B2B? As far as organizing peer-to-peer opinions, it actually does! While businesses would rather be treated on an individual basis, things like referrals and reviews can improve your image and in turn attract more prospects towards your business. On the other hand, negative feedback can also call you to fix things up and improve services.

That doesn't mean that other forms of communication cannot compliment that though. For example, once you've received your feedback, you can try outsourcing call center services to gather more data. Since businesses would still prefer to be treated on an individual basis, using both the collective feedback from social media and the individual feedback from one-on-one phone surveys can help paint a clearer picture of what you've done right and what you can do better. It also shows that you're not just engaging them as an entire audience but also as separate entities with separate needs. Don't just limit social engagement to social media. Go beyond it!

1 comment:

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