Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Call Tracking Isn't Just Tracking Calls Anymore

businessman dialing phoneWhen caller ID was introduced, the world was revolutionized. We no longer had to pick up the phone to know who was calling. We’ve come a long way since then. Now, customers expect you to know why they’re calling, give them instant answers and quickly solve any issues they have. This can be a feat for any business, but luckily there’s a solution.

Here are three ways call tracking can help your business succeed.

Be Prepared for Callers’ Questions

When it comes to reducing call handling times, getting the caller off the line ASAP isn’t the goal. After all, they want to know that you can meet their needs. Instead, focus on simplifying processes like looking up caller information, taking journal notes about the call and recording pertinent caller information.

If you want to reduce call handling times without sacrificing customer service, try a Windows desktop application such as Callbright Interactive, which pulls up information about your calls in real time. It’ll allow you to monitor inbound and outbound calls, receive call notifications, listen to call recordings and update lead information directly from your desktop.

Send Prerecorded Messages to Prospects and Customers

It can take a while to make sales and marketing calls to your customers and prospects, especially when you consider the time it takes to dial the number, wait for the line to connect and slip in short breaks between calls. In a single hour, an agent will only spend an average of 55-60 percent actually talking to a customer. Save time, energy and money by sending prerecorded custom messages to your customers with our Broadcast Message Manager.

Maximize Your Online-to-Offline Conversions

Ever lost an important sale because you overlooked a web lead that got lost in your inbox? Ouch. Keeping track of those leads can be difficult, but it’s important because the longer a prospect waits to hear back from a sales rep, the more likely they are to take their business elsewhere.

Implement an online-to-offline conversion tool like Lead Chaser that uses text-to-speech technology to convert the contents of the form to a recording. The agent then has the option to immediately call the prospect without even checking their email first!

How will you use call tracking to enhance your business? Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Vishing: How to Avoid Taking the Bait

Credit Card Information Being Phished
Scenario: It's been a hard week at work, and you're sitting there daydreaming about a white sandy beach with shimmering blue water somewhere far away. Suddenly you receive a phone call from a number you've never seen before, but the area code is local, so it must be important. You go outside to answer, and to your delight, the caller says, "Congratulations, you're the lucky winner of a five-day getaway in Jamaica!" Now all they need is your card info to credit your account. Wow, how lucky are you?

Not very.

Phishing, or the act of attempting to obtain confidential or financial information from people via email, has been running rampant among everyone with an email address since 1996. But hackers aren't just using emails to seize your personal info. Vishing, which is phishing via phone calls, is rapidly advancing. Every month, more than 86.2 million vishing calls are made in the U.S. So what can you do to avoid being lured into their trap? Follow these simple tips.

Don't Fall for Their Lines

Does that phone call sound a little phishy? It probably is. Educate yourself on the most common scams now so you can recognize when one is happening to you:
  • The IRS scam: One of the most prevalent scams within the past year, the IRS scam occurs when an "IRS agent" calls to inform you that you either have refund due or that you owe money to the government. The IRS will never call about taxes owed without mailing you first. To avoid this situation, hang up and on another line call the official IRS number for a reliable source to verify the situation. 
  • Vishing combined with malware: This vishing tactic involves a support representative calling from a company you are familiar with. The scammer tells you that you have a virus on your computer that can easily be fixed with their help. They then request that you grant them remote access to your computer so they can troubleshoot the issue. What they're really doing is installing malicious software that'll encrypt all your data. Never click on questionable links or follow instructions if something seems off.
  • The "yes" scam: Some vishers attempt to record you saying the word "yes" by asking a simple question like "Can you hear me?" They can then use the recording to access your account and provide verbal confirmation for wire transfers or some other questionable reason. The scammer may also ask if you'd like your name on the Do Not Call (DNC) registry. Well, of course you do, but the government never calls people to ask them if they want to be added to the DNC list. If you get one of these calls, hang up immediately and go to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website to register your number instead.
  • The bank scheme: In this scam, hackers call businesses in search of passwords or financial information by claiming they're your bank or business adviser. Alert your staff to never give out PINs or passwords over the phone, and let your bank or financial adviser know what happened.
Although this is not an exhaustive list, knowing about four of the most-used vishing scams will help you prevent scammers from taking advantage of you. Because scammers are always plotting ingenious ways to trick you, err on the side of caution every time you answer your phone.

Verify Callers' Identities

Determining which calls to take and which to avoid can be tricky. When you get a call you weren't expecting, consider these tips from the FTC (we like to call them the Four W's):

  • Who's calling? Identifying the caller should be your first line of defense. Bear in mind that laws require sales callers to state their name and product before they begin selling you something.
  • When are they calling? Telemarketers can only legally call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. If a call comes in outside that time frame, ignore it. However, even if a call does fall within the correct time frame, you should still check for other signs of fraud.
  • What's the rush? Everyone is in a hurry these days, but if someone seems exceptionally pushy, that's a telltale sign of a scammer. If the caller won't take no for an answer, just hang up.
  • Why are they asking for sensitive information? Don't provide or confirm sensitive information if you're not sure of the caller's identity. If the caller claims to represent a specific company you do business with, hang up and call the number posted on the company's website to verify that the caller's request is legitimate. If so, make sure you understand why the business is asking for confidential information before providing it.
Be cautious when providing sensitive or confidential information over the phone, or you could lose thousands of dollars — or your job, if you put your business at risk of a security breach — and then you definitely won't be going on any beach vacations!

Report Suspicious Calls to FTC Officials

Or should we say ophishals? The FTC wants to hear about any scams that happen to you. The agency even took two companies to court after they attempted to call people on the DNC registry and sell them fake warranties.

By following these tips and utilizing these resources, you can thwart vishing attempts. Have you heard of any other vishing scams occurring recently? Let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How to Rescue the Leads That Get Away

Baseball player makes a leaping catch
The one that got away — we've all experienced it. Going all in at the poker table with a full house and losing to a four-of-a-kind hand. Waving goodbye to your middle-school sweetheart when they move away during the summer. Having a fish spit out the hook right before it lands in the net. Coming up short is practically a fact of life.

Dealerships often feel the same way about leads that slip away. These days, every lead can make a difference, but tracking down leads lost to unanswered phones, dropped calls or even bad customer service experiences can feel like a herculean task. Is it worth the effort and resources?

The good news is that rescuing lost leads doesn't have to be a nightmare. Here are some things you need to know about lost leads and how to save them.

Recovering From Bad Customer Service

Research firm Luntz Group recently revealed that 40 percent of Americans dread the idea of buying a new car. Basically, they're already cringing when they pick up the phone to call your dealership. That means the first impression is critical to make sure your buyers feel comfortable in working with you and your reps.

However, phone conversations don't always go as planned. A new sales rep might not have much training, and a flubbed pitch could lead to a frustrated customer hanging up the phone. The poorly trained rep will probably just move on to the next lead, and management will be none the wiser. But what if you could be notified when these types of calls happen?

Consider deploying a service that listens to and reviews calls going in and out of your dealership. A team of highly trained professionals can spot mishandled calls like the one above and let you know when a call needs to be followed up on to work out the problem. This way leads aren't left frustrated and telling their friends how unhappy they were with your dealership. Instead they'll be impressed that you took time to make things right.

Returning Missed Calls

Sometimes customers simply slip through the cracks. In an ideal world,  your dealership employees answer every call — whether they're to your sales reps' direct lines or a general line that a receptionist should answer. However, for various reasons, some calls just don't get through. And since many people don't leave voicemails, how will you know who needs to be called back?

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking a customer will try to call again if they don't get through the first time, but that next call could be to a different dealership. If your employees aren't answering calls, customers might think they're not important to you. At that point it's not as simple as a call that slipped through the cracks — callers view lack of responsiveness as bad customer service.

Be sure you have a way to capture call information whether the caller leaves a message or not. It would also help if you could be notified that a call was missed and needs to be returned. You might not know exactly what the customer was calling for, but following up with a missed call can let customers know that you care and you want their business.

Letting leads slip away because you don't want to go through the trouble of following up or you don't have correct contact info is unacceptable in today's competitive market. What are some ways you've made sure your dealership's leads don't fall through the cracks?