If there is one area in which unlimited possibilities give rise to the craziest fantasies, it is undoubtedly that of telemarketing and telesales. Every production manager can understand that the more your employees talk to your customers, the more likely they are to gather as much information as possible, get an appointment or even complete a sale!
Of course, just like in the universe, what seems limitless to you always has its limits.
The first one is the human limit.If a normally working employee is capable of being present on your premises for 140 to 160 hours per month, i.e. a maximum of 9,600 minutes, he will fortunately be entitled to statutory breaks, training, briefings, relaxation time, etc. Then, during the processing of a customer file, he will need a little time to prepare his call and a little more after the conversation to fill in the different areas of the script you have given him to complete. If we take into account a reasonable and objective activity rate of 70 to 80% (some reach 92% with Nixxis), we will reach a potential total monthly call duration of between 4,500 and 5,500 minutes per month. Time is supposed to be unlimited, but this human factor is indeed a first limit, and it is a good thing!
Then there’s the telecom limit.
Every now and then, we see telecom offers which, for a fixed price, offer to call “unlimited” phone numbers, often landline numbers, of a specific area, let’s say United Kingdom. This fixed sum is sometimes even included in the monthly fee of a call centre software, most of the time based on an “open source” software, thus avoiding to have to pay its developers.
In fact, just like with your monthly mobile subscription to your favourite telecom operator, “unlimited” is just a word, the rest being written in Arial 4 small print in your contract …
It should be noted that telecom operators don’t have unlimited interconnection agreements with each other and any call that is picked up inexorably leads to a per second charge from the operator who has terminated the call. Indeed, the operator who sends you your bill is the one with which you have a subscription. When you make a call, this operator becomes the operator of the origin of the call and will have to send it to the operator where the subscriber you are trying to get in touch with is located, which will then become the call terminating operator.
And so here is your favorite operator which is faced with a fixed income, that of your so-called unlimited subscription, and which has to bear a variable cost from the terminating operator, that of the number of seconds you have spent talking to the person being phoned.
By now you have understood that if your operator wants to increase its profit margin (and who wouldn’t want to ?), it’s better for the operator that you call as little as possible through an operator which will present it with a bill based on the minutes you have used at the end of the month!
It’s a bit like your famous “unlimited” gym membership, you know, the one you take at the beginning of January armed with good intentions… The owner of your gym has every interest in never seeing you in his gym or as little as possible so that he doesn’t have to put up with the cleaning of his gym or the wear and tear of his machines due to your presence! Moreover, it is said that more than 50% of gym memberships never see their subscribers come to the gym. So there’s a price to pay for a clear conscience.
And so, for unlimited telecoms, where’s the thing!?
At this point, you’re probably starting to suspect it : there’s more to it than meets the eye… Just like with your favourite mobile subscription, the limitations may not be in what you see, the minutes when your employees call, but in everything you don’t see (the famous iceberg theory).
Perhaps we should recall here the importance of a good dialer to work with.
First of all, a dialer must be well designed! Let’s consider the design of a dialer that has revolutionized the field of numbering in the last 10 years, I mean the predictive dialer : picking a piece of “free” code found on the Internet at GoAutodial or ViciDial in order to get the absolute weapon is definitely not enough. It is even the best way to get average or even bad performances which will then lead organizations like ARCEP in France or OFCOM in the UK to impose maximum abandon rates of a few percent.
Secondly, depending on the time of day, the profile of the person being called, and the quality of the call file, a good dialer will also need “dialing channels”. Dialing channels are telephone lines on which you will be able to dial in order to get in touch with a telephone party. Since each of these lines must have a maximum ringing time, usually 20 to 30 seconds, once you have dialed through a line, that line will be unavailable for the next 20 to 30 seconds, the time your system determines whether the call has a chance of succeeding or not. You can realize that if you don’t want your employees to wait indefinitely between calls, you need a sufficient number of lines per employee (2, 3 or more lines per person).
Finally, once you have enough lines available, it is also necessary, if they are offered to you in the form of a Voice over IP connection, also called a “SIP Trunk”, that they can cope with the dialing rate you are going to impose on them
In the profession, this rate is called “Call Attempts Per Second”, generally shortened in “CAPS”. The more “CAPS” you have, the faster it will dial.
Imagine you are given a highway with several lanes (the famous telephone line seen above) but you can only travel at 10 miles per hour per lane. This comparison helps you understand that the speed is limited. A capacity of 100 CAPS seems a minimum to us.
A well-designed dialer, the CAPS and the number of channels available are therefore three important data for your production activities in order to check whether the unlimited telecom offer that you are presented with is not too good to be true.
One way or another, it will always be more profitable for you to get a good price for your telecom minutes charged per second because all in all, your employees will talk more on good quality lines and that is the guarantee that your investment will be profitable at the end of the day!