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  • Writer's pictureJason Shatzkamer

Training Your Agents To Coexist with Answering Machine Detection

One of the most overlooked aspects of running outbound campaigns with Answering Machine Detection (AMD) enabled, is training your agents on how to properly deal with it...





Even in the best of cases, AMD results in a subtle or slight pause after the customer says "Hello", prior to connecting the call to the agent...


As such, by the time the agent hears the beep of the call connecting, the customer has ALREADY SAID "HELLO"!


All too often, I see agents, after hearing the beep, sitting there silent, waiting for the customer to say "Hello"...this is disastrous, as the call plays out like this:


CUSTOMER: Hello?

<BEEP>

AGENT:...

AGENT:...

CUSTOMER: <HANGS UP>

AGENT: <DISPOSITIONS "SILENCE OR DEAD AIR">


Other times, I see agents, after hearing the beep, say "Hello?"...this is also disastrous, as the call plays out like this:


CUSTOMER: Hello?

<BEEP>

AGENT: Hello?

CUSTOMER: Hello?

AGENT: Oh yes, hi...


Most awkward opening ever...the most pivotal moment of the outbound call, fumbled and ruined...


BUT - if you train your agents properly, and you explain to them, as part of your standard training, that:


  1. With AMD, the <BEEP> "IS" the "Hello"!

  2. When you hear the <BEEP>, know that the customer has ALREADY said "Hello"

  3. As such, when you hear the <BEEP>, you should go IMMEDIATELY into your opening, with no delay or hesitation

  4. Only you can hear the <BEEP> - the customer can not - and as such you should be talking OVER the <BEEP>, you should be speaking RIGHT THROUGH the <BEEP>, not WAITING until the <BEEP> is over


When agents do this, the call plays out like this:


CUSTOMER: Hello?

<BEEP>

AGENT: Yes, hi, this is Jason calling from outboundANI...may I please speak with John?


The symptom of this problem affecting your floor is a high volume of dispositions like:


  • SILENCE

  • DEAD AIR

  • HUNG UP ON PITCH

  • NOBODY THERE

  • HANGUP

  • etc.


What if I said a good 30-50% of those bad outcomes, were potentially self-created, and avoidable... 🤔


Remember - the human ear is incredibly sensitive, and can detect even the slightest of unnatural pauses. As an outbound caller, your job is to minimize such things every where you can. This particular optimization is a big one, and because it impacts the most important moment of the call - the opening - the impact on production, contact rates realized, and conversion rates is very, very real...


So - train your agents properly, for the task at hand. Encourage them to work on their timing, and optimize their opening and greeting, ensuring a friction-free handshake with all potential customers or prospects...see where that takes you... :-)


And remember - NOT EVERY NEEDLE MOVER OR OPPORTUNITY CAN BE FOUND IN A SPREADHEET! :-)



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