Category Archives: Marketing

Make a customer not a sale

Categories: Marketing | Leave a comment

The job of a salesperson seems to be to make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time. But, the fuel that keeps companies going in the long run is not short-term cash. It is long term relationships. The faults of the salesperson might be due to their manager who is always pushing them to make more sales. Obviously, they need to make sales. But, planting seeds of trust and admiration that are necessary for a long-term relationship is what really counts.

In real life business, you might get to know a contact for a week, six months, or three years before they actually buy something from you. I have been buying hosting from a guy for three years for a low price. I am finally ready to get programming services from him after thinking about it for three years. In real life, hiring decisions for freelancers and outsourced companies do not come in on schedule. But, if you don’t nurture the relationship correctly they won’t come at all.

The secret is to be personable, knowledgeable and helpful rather than just trying to force a sale down someone’s throat. If you seem like the most wonderful company for the job, people will come to you without you even mentioning the word “contract.”

And after you make your sale, you still need to take care of the customer. Unfortunately, most salespeople are only part of a small piece of the transaction. They are the initial contact for the client or prospect and are out of the picture once the work begins — not very holistic. Maybe it makes more sense for a higher level manager to be in touch with contacts during the whole life of the relationship from initial contact to first job, to three years later. That might be a more realistic way to nurture a customer rather than just a sale.

The way to a customer’s heart = much more than loyalty program

Categories: Marketing | Leave a comment

“The way to a customer’s heart is much more than a loyalty program. Making customer evangelists is about creating experiences worth talking about.” – Valeria Maltoni

It is easy to create a loyalty program and promote it. It is not a bad idea as I have developed many long term relationships with companies who provided me with generous loyalty programs. But, those companies also provided me with quality service which is a bigger reason for my loyalty. The loyalty program is the 25% extra — the icing on the cake.

The question is, how can you create experiences worth talking about with your customers? The key is to understand what bothers your customers and to do the opposite.

Some customers are furious that they can never reach a qualified rep on the phone. What if you make it easy to reach someone smart? If not by phone then by email? Or have a few phone hours per day and then email outside of those hours. Customers might like it if you return emails quickly as well with useful answers instead of generic links embedded in the email to long Q&A pages that don’t focus on what they are asking.

Other customers are upset by companies that are always late. What if you deliver early no matter what to that customer. They will love you for life.

What if some customers like touch ups to their work and you are always there to quickly and pleasantly do touch ups.

Some customers want to choose their reps. Do you give them one choice of a bad rep or five choices of great reps?

What about an engineered and customized customer experience? If you interview the customer ahead of time, find out their likes, dislikes, what went wrong in their last work relationship, etc. Then, you can craft a unique customer experience just for them. Even if it costs you more, you will win over their loyalty.

Let’s say you run a hotel and you know that Fred likes to sleep late, get a Wall Street journal, and have breakfast delivered to his room. You can talk to him the night before and ask him to call you the minute he is awake and that you will have his paper and breakfast ready within minutes.

There are many ways to design the perfect customer experience. The idea is that you put some attention into it, and that could help you succeed in a huge way!

Loyal customers recommend you

Categories: Marketing | Leave a comment

“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” – Chip Bell

Imagine a company that only thinks about making money. They try to squeeze as much as they can out of anyone who calls. They will do well, right? Not really. Now, imagine another company who tries to help every single person who calls as much as possible without trying to make money off them. In real life, a company has services which they charge for, but you can introduce them without focusing exclusively on promoting them.

The fact is that if you offer amazing service that people rave about, they will be loyal to you and introduce their friends. Your business could mushroom quickly and grow out of control.

However, in the real world, most businesses do not offer the most amazing service you’ve ever seen. They offer the minimum for what the customer is paying. They don’t get back to you. They don’t care about the results they are giving. They won’t give good answers to a lot of your questions. Most companies make it difficult to get service out of them. Isn’t the whole point they are in business to give service?

It might be time for us all to take a closer look at how we operate as businesses and try to do a little extra for our clients. You might be surprised at how much extra you get back when you give a little more. It might come back to you ten fold!

What is your metric for creating a personal experience?

Categories: Marketing | Leave a comment

My best call center experience was ten years ago. I remember talking to a lady in Manila. We talked about my flight to India and she said, “Oh, so you flew right over me!” I was actually about two hundred miles North of her, but that is close! I had a nice experience talking to her because she was very sweet, soothing and personal not to mention fun.

There are all types of metrics in the call center business. You can measure how many percentage of calls were resolved without transferring. You can measure customer satisfaction rates. You can measure how long the call took or waiting time for the call to be answered.

To get real customer loyalty to your company, you need to find those agents who you never forget. Unfortunately, there are not so many agents who you will fondly remember, but many who you will wish you could forget!

To put the cart before the horse the way the gurus normally do, part of the battle here is to create an experience for your agents and managers that they will not forget. If you treat your agents like slaves, how can they treat your clients like kings and queens? Think about that! If you pamper your agents and give them amazing working conditions to brag about, they might just feel a lot better about treating your customers well and giving them a great experience.

Training agents to make small talk and little jokes, perhaps a little well placed sarcasm might make a huge difference. Even phone answering robots that are trained to make little remarks about the line to the ladies room for female robots, or how they haven’t been oiled in weeks could create a memorable experience.

You can measure metrics until you are blue in the face. But, what humans want in the stone age or the space age remains the same — we want a personable experience. The question is — do you have it in you to systematically provide those experiences?

Which of your employees affect your brand?

Categories: Marketing | Leave a comment

Do you ever think about your brand? You should! Most companies behave as if the salesperson is the only employee that affects their brand reputation. The problem is that your company is like a chain. If there is even a single break in your chain, your whole service falls apart. Therefor, your company has to realize that even one bad employee in some back room that nobody talks to can undermine your whole company.

You need to think about this when hiring new employees. You really need to think about what your standards are. You also need to measure performance metrics in all types of ways. How good is your employee about getting back to people, answering questions, getting things done on time and how sloppy is their work.

You might have a training program before you hire people to make sure they are up to your high standards. That way you can watch them before they actually do anything.

Most outsourcing companies have a few star employees and a whole bunch of nightmares. You need to engineer your company so that customers never have a nightmare. Many companies try to prevent you from talking to the nightmare employees so you won’t know they are there. But, what happens when the good employees are busy and there is nobody else around to talk to. The moral of the story is that you can hide your shameful employees temporarily, but they will get found out one way or another. They will get found out when they answer the phone using poor communication skills. They will get found out when they screw up a critical job and get your entire company fired by an important client. They will get found out when they write a clueless email to a customer.

How can your company grow when your star employees are always busy? Your new clients want good people to handle their case, but there are no good people. So therefor your new clients will go somewhere else and your company will never grow.

To grow your company you need AVAILABILITY of quality workers who interact well with your customers. If you are always running at 105% of capacity, you have no room to grow. You need to hire more good people, and perhaps fire a few of your budget workers who save you a few rupees, but lose you a few million dollars worth of customer loyalty. Do the math!

All of your employees affect your brand — especially the worst ones!

Your brand will last as long as your worst employee stays hidden. The minute he/she is discovered — you’re fired!

Do you start clients out with your worst employees?

Categories: Marketing | Leave a comment

It is a common problem at outsourcing companies that your best employees are busy on another project. When a new client calls, you spend a long time trying to pass off your worst employee off as a viable resource. Unfortunately, companies do this to me all day long. When I hire outsourcing companies, I want to get to know the employee a little bit as so many are so bad. If I interview twenty companies, I might only be satisfied with the employees at one or two of the companies. The result is that the others have wasted their time with me. They wasted my time too because they tried to offer me substandard employees who have poor communication skills, poor thinking skills and assumably poor work skills.

Many companies hire a fancy salesperson, and you get a wonderful impression of the company talking to the salesman. I want to get rid of the salesman as fast as possible as they are not going to be around when your work gets screwed up. The purpose of the company wanting you to spend most of your assessment time talking to the salesman is purely for the purpose of impression, and not for the purpose of transmitting reliable information. It is in a sense a con job where you hire the company under false pretenses.

When I talk to the company bosses about how they screwed up my project and lost me as a client before I even was a client by screwing up my test job. The answer is always the same. Their star employee Rahul was busy on another project and didn’t have time to work on mine. The result is that they lose me as a client forever because the boss couldn’t have Rahul sacrifice three hours of his time. Putting aside the fact that the other employee screwed up the job, the other problem is that the boss promised me Rahul and delivered someone else because of a last minute scheduling issue.

When I hire programmers, I like to work with the same person and know them. If you change who my programmer is each week, you make my code into a free-for-all with 100 different coding styles and I never get to know anyone. Indians need to realize that there needs to be loyalty to one’s job and that having employees who you treat as disposable parts doesn’t cut it with me.

So, the result is that most companies lose my work because they offer me their worst employees, don’t keep commitments, and rarely make sure things get done on time. It is like going to a dance wearing your worst clothes, unshowered, and with your hair a mess. If you show up at a dance looking like you just got out of bed, do you expect others to dance with you?

Outsourcing BPO work: How do you find a decision maker at a prospect company?

Categories: Marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

So, you own a BPO. Perhaps you just purchased a 10 seater, or you want to start a company. We’ve heard this many times before. If you don’t have many years of management experience at someone else’s BPO, you are doomed to failiure. Knowing what you are doing has many facets. Getting work done, hiring, dealing with finding the right property all matter. But, if you can’t find jobs, then what good is it?

I found a list of 500 companies that hire outsourcing companies to do their work such as call center, data entry, BPO, programming, social media, etc. You can look those companies up online. But, how do you find the decision maker? Do you talk to the secretary? Do you send an email to the wrong person who assures you they will forward it to the right person? Do you visit their company in person?

Pick a state
Since there are companies all throughout the United States that hire overseas outsourcers like yourselves, you could pick a state and visit all of the companies in that state. It is hard to find a contact person. But, if you are physically in their office, you will be very focused about finding that person, and the local staff might feel more inclined to actually help you since they can see that you are a real person, and well dressed with a briefcase, serious facial expression, etc. You could visit all of the selected companies in a particular state. It might take a while, but you might actually find real people. And people are much more likely to deal with you if they can interact face to face. But, is a personal visit a good first step? I think that would make a great marketing experiment if you visited offices cold for a week and saw if it led to any sales over a six month period. Sales don’t always come in immediately.

Linked In
You can use Linked In to find out who does what at what company. I am not skilled with Linked In, but it might make sense to master the art of Link-Inning so that you can find some good contact people. Finding the right contacts is half the battle, the other half is to get them to like you. So, have someone agreeable who speaks good English who is NOT PUSHY make the initial contact.

Cold Calling
Be prepared to hammer companies incessantly to find the right person. Remember, that the right people are the ones who are hiding. You will always get a secretary who knows nothing and who has no desire to help you. But, to reach the right person requires finding out their name, what they do, when they are there, and how to reach them. I have no idea how long this takes, so expect a long and hard battle.

Sometimes high ranking people have profiles on Twitter. Some of the fancier social media companies have ways to target your marketing to reach only those high ranking folks. I have actually met good people on Twitter by accident. But, imagine meeting them on purpose!

One outsourcing company advertised on apps & got big business

Categories: Marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How do I advertise my outsourcing business?
How do I advertise for my BPO?
Advertising in the outsourcing business is a tricky thing. There are brokers, directories, websites, word of mouth, networking, and more. I like to ask around to see who is doing what.

One company claimed that they advertised on apps and using banner advertising on relevant websites. This is not a bad idea if you can measure the results from each advertising medium. You basically need tracking for each app, and a different page that each banner forwards clicks to. Then use Google Analytics to see how much page traffic each page got. Measuring results is easy if you use a sensible system as I described.

The hard part is deciding which apps to advertise on? How do you even source them? The solution is to scour the world market for apps, and see which ones might be relevant to your business or attract people who might want to use the type of services that you offer.

Trial and error and measuring ROI is a huge part of being a good advertise or marketer. So, learn to identify all options and research the best options and then compare. The secret to success is in your skill of comparing.

An Outsourcing Directory is the best way to find outsourcing companies

Categories: Marketing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Many people look around the web for outsourcing companies, but using outsourcing directory is a much more streamlined way to find good companies. Why is that? calls every company that is listed with us. We check to see if their phone works, if they communicate well, and if they are helpful. We also check to see how many clicks their listing gets which is an indication of popularity. On top of that, we email all people on our site to make sure they give quality responses to emails.

If you find outsourcing companies on your own, you take the luck of the draw. But, if you find people on, you are getting companies that have been rigorously filtered by us, not to mention the fact that we have a great selection of companies in so many categories such as inbound call center, BPO, technical support, ePublishing, medical transcriptions, and more…

A client of’s divulges it’s marketing secrets!

Categories: Marketing | Leave a comment

“To be precise our only avenue to clients has been simply our standards and practices that we adhere to on a daily basis. It is critical from a client’s point of view, that he/she does not worry about his non-core activity and spend too much time and resources in grooming a outsourcing services provider because that is the sole purpose in the first place when it comes to choosing an outsourcing services provider. Binfex is meticulous while approaching a client for an engagement, we believe without the right research and knowledge about the customer’s core business one cannot deliver customer delight and enable the customer to be free of worries with his non-core activity.

There are key ingredients which as a team we always believed that would separate us from the lower quality service providers.
Our unwavered focus and commitment to service delivery, strategic knowledge about customer’s core business function and most importantly a strong and effective campaign management strategy for quality driven performance.

A list of methods that we apply while working approaching.

1. A Strong corporate brochure explaining why we are a value addition to the customer

2. A service portfolio that give absolute clarity on service delivery standards

3. Our quality culture, performance management, employee development practices, data security practices

4. Strong Core Team with in depth knowledge and experience

5. Effective and secure technology infrastructure with high availability.

6. Constant interaction with probable clients who need our service.

These are some of the methods follow and have inculcated as a culture at Binfex and we feel these standards and methods are critical for any service provider’s success.

Answering emails is not a strength at many outsourcing companies

Categories: Marketing | Leave a comment

I get a dozen unsolicited emails daily from companies in India and the Philippines begging me for work. But, the companies on directory of outsourcing companies are a different story. I recently emailed ten call centers for rates. Only two got back to me. Do the other eight not want my business? Yes, I am a small customer, but small customers can turn into big customers!

BPO’s behave like they don’t want customers
My main issue is that I run an outsourcing directory, but find that most outsourcing companies behave as if they don’t want customers. The ones that do want customers behave as if they can’t handle customers. Most companies do not answer the phone properly and don’t have reps that have IQ’s necessary to answer basic questions including: what is your name, and what city are you located in. The latter seems to them to be a trick question which requires putting me on hold without my consent which is unbelievably rude. Remember, that as an outsourcing company, people in foreign countries will be putting their trust in you. If you act completely irresponsible or inconsiderate from square one, why would anybody trust you even with an easy assignment?

I remember that I had a call center boss come to Los Angeles to see me.
We spent an hour together going over what they could do. I emailed them the specifications and they quit before they accepted the job. The minute you expect them to be able to follow complicated directions they quit. Part of the reasons is that their girls quit after three months. My directions take six months to master, so if you quit after three months, I can’t hire you in the first place. They were incapable of finding me someone who could last longer, yet expected me to sign some long term contract that guaranteed that I would pay them dollars, while I had no idea of who would be working for me. That doesn’t seem fair.

I have a better idea.
I’ll pay you in an undetermined currency and you can give me an undetermined worker. If I like the worker and they last for more than six months, I’ll pay in dollars from day 180. If the worker is not responsible, I’ll pay in Kenyan shillings or Brazilian Reals and hope that no devaluation happens any more than you are devaluating my business by offering bad service!

I’ll demote you if you don’t answer!
If you are so negligent in your business practices that you ignore sales inquiries, you shouldn’t be in business. I’ve decided to downgrade companies on my directory who don’t answer emails. I make sure to confirm the email address over the phone before using it. But, if you don’t answer within 72 hours, you go down a few notches!

Does it make a difference how fast you answer emails? (Yes/No?)

Categories: Marketing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fast answers help when people are shopping around.
Many of us do not think about how fast we answer emails. It actually might matter a lot. If someone is emailing twenty companies for quotes for a job, the first one to email them back might get special consideration. You are more likely to get the job if you email someone back while they are still thinking about what they ask you. Keep in mind that business people juggle all types of tasks. They might have twenty things to do in a given day. So, if they are thinking about outsourcing from 9pm to 10pm USA time and you answer their email within minutes while they are still thinking about outsourcing, you might score a deal easily. The other guys who get back to you in twelve hours (which is still not bad) or thirty-six hours, or two days, or a week are progressively less likely to get the job.

So, how glued to your email should you be?
It depends on how competitive your job is. If you are purely in sales and there is a lot of competition in your industry, you might consider glueing yourself to your computer or handheld. Especially for new inquiries from unknown entities, a fast reply is paramount. For existing clients, 12-24 hour responses are usually okay unless the issue is pressing.

How to stay organized
It might even make sense to organize your email into folders. You can put the pressing emails into a pressing folder and get to those within minutes. The other ones do later on in the day.

Making the right impression counts a lot
Making an impression is another reason to answer emails fast. I don’t like sluggish people. Trying to get anything done with a slug is like pulling teeth. Fast people are fun to work with and get the job done. In addition to the convenience of people answering emails fast, it is more fun and makes an amazing impression if you get back to people at lightening fast speeds. At, I keep track of how fast people get back to me. Unfortunately, I’m not so fast getting back to them because I’m overwhelmed. But, since they are competing for work, I like it when they prove themselves. We have 800 outsourcing companies on my directory, and I like to keep records of how good people are on the phone, and how fast they answer emails with actual answers. A fast response does no good if you didn’t answer the question, right?

So, take a minute to think about how much it matters how fast you answer emails in general, or particular types of emails. Think about it and then take action! And forget about all of those popular blog entries telling you not to stay glued to your email. If you’re in sales, it is imperative that you stay glued!