We love to respond to our readers questions, and this is a great one:
TTT Reader Qu: We have an out bound call center that sets appts for our outside reps. I am having an issue with no show clients and I think that we are setting real solid appointments (nothing is jumping out on our calls that we record and listen to)as these appts are set for the next day.
Any help or other articles/sites that will increase our client show rate is greatly appreciated.
This is a great question, and one we haven’t blogged on before… so thank you. Our answer is comprehensive, but well worth the read, so stick with it!
You don’t mention who you are setting the appointments with, either residential or business clients, and I’m also unsure whether you are setting appointments with only one client, or whether you need more than one person present e.g. the whole family, or all decision makers. However, I have some ideas that may help.
Setting appointments within 48 hours is a good strategy, however the down side of setting appointments the day before, is that the client may just be going along with your telemarketer, but not really committed to the appointment. If you think about it, most people have busy schedules these days, so the chances of people being available the next day (especially if you require more than one person to be at the meeting) should be quite small. Sometimes a good strategy to try, is to book two or three days ahead, and then confirm with an assumptive confirmation script the day before. You may lose some appointments on confirmation, but at least you are not wasting time and money sending reps to appointments where the client doesn’t show.
In my experience, you should only expect about 50% of your appointments to stand up (this is with residential appointments, where you require the whole family to be home), unless you confirm an hour before the rep goes to the meeting. If you are booking business to business appointments, or even residential where you only need one person present, this rate should be substantially higher.
There are a few reasons that people don’t show up to appointments. Either they forgot, something unexpected came up, or they really weren’t interested, but felt it was easier to book an appointment than to say no. We can’t do anything to stop things popping up for the client, but we can take action to eliminate the other issues.
People forget, that is part of life. However if the client believes there truly is value to them, if they have a reason to look forward to or be interested in your meeting, they will remember it. So have a truly great offer, one that hooks the client in and gets them excited. A compelling offer will not only help to stop people forgetting, but will also help with our third issue and get your client genuinely interested.
Additionally, you may want to listen to the manner in which the telemarketers are engaging with the client. The telemarketer should build rapport very quickly, and then rely on that rapport and your compelling offer to get a good appointment. But when telemarketers don’t have rapport and still get the appointment, it is usually because they are being pushy, or completely dominating the conversation. I have found that many telemarketers think being pushy gets them good results. And whilst it does look good on their call to appointment statistics, the stand up appointment rate will suffer. Many clients will go along with the telemarketer, rather than be objection handled to death.
If you are convinced the telemarketers are booking quality appointments, there are a few additional ideas you can employ to lock in the appointment. These really work best with residential clients, especially if you need both decision makers home at the appointment time.
- Mention the time and day of the booked appointment at least 3 times after confirming the time.
- Ask them to write the date and time down
- Ask them to mention it to their partner
- Ask them to leave a light on for the rep (if it is an evening appointment)
- Ask them for the nearest cross street (the client needs to picture driving to their house to name the street, which helps cement it in their memory)
So an example of a lock-in is:
That is booked in for 5pm this Thursday. Can I have your address please? And what is your nearest cross street (or a landmark)?
Great. So our representative will be out to see you on Thursday the 22nd at 5pm. If you could write that time down and also mention it to your partner, so everyone can be home and ready to be involved.
If it’s possible, could you also leave an outside light on so it’s easy for our rep to find you.
Thank you so much for your time today Mrs. Smith, and I hope you enjoy the appointment with John on Thurday at 5pm. You have a great Day.
For much more detailed advice, try our eBook Recruit, Train, Motivate which helps with all aspects of running a telemarketing room and getting top telemarketing results.