Turn Charity Telemarketing in India from a Gamble into a Gain
Here is something that most of us have experienced. The phone rings. You pick it up and hear: “Hello, please donate” or “Can you verify your bank information with us?” Instinctively, you think: “Someone on the other end of the line is trying to get my money.” This may be the mindset for most people when they receive an unknown call asking for donations. In India, while citizens register for the existing National Do Not Call (NDNC) scheme under the protection of Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations (TCPA), they can still receive calls or texts from charities.
Even with the legal exemption to abide by the TCPA, charities should follow best practices as telemarketing campaigns are more effective when ethical guidelines are observed. Productive telemarketing requires high-quality donor data, and over a phone call, a telemarketer needs to build trust, be skillfully persuasive and explain campaign outcomes.
For a greater chance of success, start by understanding the different types of calls, the goals to expect and the solutions to achieve them.
Eliminating manual work. One of the challenges that charities typically face is the manual work involved in converting leads to donors. The goal of a telemarketing campaign is to have conversations that leave supporters feeling closer to charities, no matter the outcome of the call. However, telemarketers would typically spend a lot of time managing calling lists on Excel, as well as making calls with softphones. Not only is it time-consuming, but this manual approach also increases the risk of data duplication or loss. With effective outbound calling software to automate dialing and improve data management, tele-fundraisers will be able to focus on delivering high-quality conversations with more people.
Enable easy compliance. Beyond implementing telemarketing strategies, charities need to protect the information of supporters including credit and debit card information, as prescribed by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). Aadhaar card numbers, email addresses, and prospect research files must be secured and without the consent of supporters, it cannot be disclosed to anyone who has no legitimate need for such information.
Higher conversion rate. Managing a healthy retention rate and upgrading average gifts help charities to focus on their development programs without financial worries. In order for every conversation to develop into a quality and personalised interaction, it is critical for telemarketers to be equipped with the right campaign information and supporting data.
Deploy cloud contact centre software. Leveraging on market leading cloud contact centre software, SG Support can optimise and enhance call quality:
• By eliminating or automating non-value-adding tasks, our time is better dedicated to cultivating supporters with the right questions from personalised call scripts. Likewise, charities can spend more time on planning their campaign strategies since they no longer need to call supporters manually.
• Given that two-way communication is encouraged, everyone benefits. The feedback and insights our call agents get from directly interacting with supporters is reverted to charities for campaign improvement. In addition, tracking each interaction with supporters via cloud contact centre software expands our ability to create deeper relationships and better conversations. Transaction approval rates, realisation rates, and retention rates from individual campaigns to emergency fundraising campaigns have seen a boost.
• While our dedicated telemarketers are developing stronger donor relationships on the phone, our charity partners are freed up to pursue grant applications, which will help strengthen the mission they serve.
End-to-end solution. What is better than managing donor information and the donor journey from A to Z? Transparency.
• Our CRM software keeps charity partners up to date by storing updated pledge details, completed call history, payment records, and communications that have been sent out. Besides tracking all interactions with donors in one location, we also evaluate donor quality and validate payment information. Running through and picking up on the call history, both SG Support and charities can translate these data points into quality commentary that are useful for fundraisers to improve call outcomes.
• Providing an end-to-end solution also means making it easy to donate. Since the payment details are already stored in our CRM, minimal intervention is required if a donor agrees to donate at a larger gift value or resumes their donation after cancellation.
Complete compliance. Charities usually reach out to SG Support for an easy and ethical way to collect supporter consent and process donations.
• Partnering with us means charities can rely on our compliant processes to track and manage donor consent and call lists, removing the risks of errors associated with manual tracking.
• We also make sure data is stored in secure locations to prevent breaches that would put supporters at risk of exposure. A key challenge for most charities is their dependence on a legacy tool to achieve continuous PCI compliance. This is further compounded by the burden of having to carry out manual checks and lack of oversight into unauthorised changes in their IT environment. Our solution combines the essential prescribed security controls with advanced data leakage and threat prevention and detection. When supporters agree to donate and prefer to do it online rather than on the phone, seamless and data-protected processes are taken care of.
Seamless donor experience. Having access to training workshops with charities improves our telemarketers’ skills at executing campaigns, securing donor upgrades, and personalising conversations in accordance with the charity’s brand identity. The story of our charity partner is everything. Whether they are fighting climate change or eradicating child poverty, we make these stories memorable to inspire supporters to donate and share with their friends.
While contact and success rates are important metrics for every telemarketing campaign, a well-managed contact centre adds value in many ways:
Campaign optimisation. When our charity partners are fully functioning with SG Support, they see even greater benefits from continued campaign optimisation activities. Charities can quickly troubleshoot issues that are in the way of their initiatives and minimise lost revenue due to one-off problems. For example, our telemarketing team received feedback from donors that the messaging around a campaign was unclear. We immediately worked with the charity to improve the scripts for a better outcome.
Increased fundraising income. Proven campaign results are good testimonials to significantly improve charities’ overall fundraising income, such as average gift value. By highlighting the impact of additional donations on the charity’s programs in their conversations, SG Support was able to raise the average gift value by 14% last year. However, this is an often-overlooked strategy that is highly effective in increasing the lifetime value of donors.
Ongoing growth. Although face-to-face acquisition is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing we have learned during the journey is that a hybrid acquisition model provides continuity and sustainability in revenue streams. SG Support has been able to seamlessly manage the associated growth for charities by acquiring new donors on the phone. Our team in Korea implemented donor acquisition through telemarketing in the second half of last year, and the campaigns are off to a good start. Close to 10% of leads made their first gifts, with an average gift value of $14.
How SG Support Can Help You
As an acquisition channel, telemarketing has been proven to provide high-quality regular give donors. SG Support specialises in designing and developing efficient and effective donor services that support acquisition, retention, reactivation, and conversion. Our deep operational expertise, advanced analytics and agile contact centre capabilities mean we are well equipped to help our charity partners get from ‘Hello ma’am, how is it going?’ to ‘Great, thank you for your support!’.