A story about Contact Center Software

Friday, October 15, 2004

Are you spamming?

As a contact center you are probably doing outbound calling. Do you also do outbound e-mailing? Then be sure that you don't spam!

Although e-mails are inexpensive to send, spam does have a bad name with customers, perhaps even worse than the cold-calling telemarketeers. Spam e-mails are perhaps less intrusive, but (because of the low cost) many of the outbound e-mails are not targeted. You should not be doing this. Spamming has caused the consumer to complain enough to pass some serious laws. In many countries it is now forbidden to send spam.

Most of these directives state that

  • The sender must not conceal their identity
  • The sender must provide a valid address for opt-out requests
And there are even more strict rules applying to marketing messages sent by e-mail. You cannot send these messages unless they have the recipient's prior consent to do so, or
  • You have collected their address during a sale or negotiations for a sale
  • You send promotional messages relating to 'similar products / services'
  • When the address was collected, the recipient was given the possibility to opt-out. The must be given the opt-out possibility on every message.
As you see, the laws are very strict. You need to take great care when sending outbound e-mails as a contact center! You need to understand your clients and target your messages so that they are not seen as spam, but as valuable information. So either you abandon your outbound e-mail as a channel or use it with care to communicate to customers in a value-added way. E-mail is an inexpensive channel that could be used to advise your customers, remind them about new products, relevant news and time-sensitive actions needed. However, be sure that you build up a good relationship with your clients! If you don't do this, they will either opt-out for all of your messages, complain to you (or worse to the legislator), or move your messages to the recycle bin automatically. Which is the opposite of what you want. You want them to read your e-mail with interest, go to the web-site or call you so that further business can be done.
So, bottom line, spend some more time on making your message interesting, on targeting the right group of people and do a follow-up to see whether you don't offend them.
Next time you want to do a multi-media blended contact center, think Altitude Software, a Leader in Contact Center Solutions and Unified Customer Interaction


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