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The Multi-Faceted Problem Of Contact Rates, Episode 3 - Should I Leave a Voicemail...Yes or No?

Updated: Apr 29


Short Answer: Yes...probably...


Longer Answer:


So, let me start by acknowledging that every contact center is a unique animal, and as such, there is no "silver bullet" when it comes to what is right or wrong for your particular environment...


But from a PURE contact rate and phone number hygiene perspective, there are many reasons why it is a good practice to leave voicemails for your prospects...


For starters, one of the behaviors anti-spam and anti-scam algorithms look for is "short duration calls". While every carrier and technology platform has their own definition of this, one can imagine that placing thousands of calls, and screening out the answering machines without leaving a voicemail, from the perspective of those algorithms, looks kind of like this:


  1. You call a prospect

  2. The prospect answers the phone

  3. You hang up on the prospect

Over, and over, and over again...


Because the algorithms don't know that this was an answering machine that picked up, all they see is a pattern of dialing outside phone numbers, connecting, and then immediately disconnecting, en-masse...


Leaving a voicemail for your prospects (or even better still, a series of variable length voicemails) displays a behavior pattern more closely resembling a traditional phone caller, than that of an outbound contact center.


Another MAJOR reason to leave voicemails is to invite call backs from interested parties. Yes, I know - you will also get call backs from complainers, sure, but fielding those and handling them adequately and professionally is an important part of all this, as well.


It's somewhat amusing when you think about it - I meet lots of companies who won't leave voicemails for their prospects during traditional dialing, but who will then pay extra to a third party to deliver ringless voicemails to further annoy those exact same prospects...this day and age, when you're more likely than ever to actually wind up speaking to an answering machine, for goodness sake - use it to your advantage, and give the prospect the chance to make an intent decision... :-)


From a much higher level, another reason to leave voicemails is plain old consumer preference...


I speak to consumers all day long who tell me, point blank, that "if they really want to talk to me, they'll leave a message"...so, if even a portion of your current non-contacts feel this way, and are using the voicemail as their barometer, at least make an effort to appeal to them, too...give them a chance, and leave a message, as for that particular group, it's simply the only way to connect...


At the end of the day, if you are asking your customers to let you in, you have to be willing to invite them in, as well. Make it a two way street. Generate your own inbound call backs, with creatively crafted and staged voicemails. Maybe not every time, but for sure some of the time. If you leave a message on every 3rd dial attempt, your behavior pattern looks 1/3 as bad to the algorithms...leave it every other dial attempt, your behavior pattern looks 1/2 as bad...that's the math, in a nutshell...


In our next article, we will dive deeper into mitigating "short duration calls", including the pros and cons of using Answering Machine Detection...as with almost everything in outbound calling, AMD is both an art, and a science... ;-)

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