More and more call centre work is being redeveloped by businesses who have found a new and more effective way of communicating with their customers- mobile marketing.
In a world where consumers are increasingly on the move- and taking their mobile phones with them- mobile marketing (via SMS) is proving to be the most empowering and simple way of securing business leads.
A recent study into advertising response rates found that over 50% more consumers prefer to SMS for further information than picking up the phone and calling the toll-free number provided. This was regardless of whether the advertisement appeared in print, radio or television media.
Not only are toll-free numbers hard to remember, surveys show 69% of calls aren't answered between 6pm and 8am- prime advertising times. Subsequently, potential consumers who attempt to make a call-to-action will be left in the dark, and the chance to follow-up on leads is lost.
A New Zealand business advertising Christmas hampers through TV and print media was surprised to see the results their SMS campaign generated. SMS was by far the most favoured response method for customers- it was 5 times more effective than phone responses and three times more effective than trying to remember a website.
The ability to measure who responds to certain advertisements is not a new phenomenon by any means. Since call centres and the internet were widely available, businesses have been trying to measure who responds to their advertisements and when they are most likely to respond.
The difference with SMS is that people can respond immediately, and from virtually anywhere in the world at any time.
So why do people prefer to SMS instead of picking up the phone to call? We've all had our fair share of bad experiences with call centres- the inconvenient operating hours, the long queues, the incessant questioning.
The results of a survey into advertising response methods found that 30% of callers will hang up if they have to hold for over a minute. In addition, 76% of respondents reported that 24 hour-a-day seven-day-a-week call centre operation was important to their purchase decision.
Every month, over a million advertisements are sent via SMS in Europe alone, and this trend is rapidly increasing.
So, mobile marketing allows call centres to be more reactive. Consumers who text a short code to any business can be called back by a call centre operator. Not only does this mean mean that call centres only talk to people who want to be spoken to, it also means you'll never miss a lead.
Call centres face challenge from mobile marketing