Skip to: Site menu | Main content

Blog > Wasting telemarketers' time

>> Wasting telemarketers' time

Wed, Feb 7th 10:14am 2007: Bad People

Russell blogged about asking a telemarketer to wait and then putting the phone down until they hung up: his particular telemarketer lasted 8 minutes 20 seconds. We used to have a guy working here who would do almost the same thing. When he'd get a telemarketing call asking for someone in the company he'd say "sure, I'll transfer you now" and put them on hold, then just go back to whatever he was doing. A few minutes later the phone system would complain that the caller was still on hold so he'd pick it up again, say "they'll be with you soon", and put them back on hold. He'd just keep doing that until they gave up and went away. He had other tactics as well and he'd often have us listening over his shoulder and crying with laughter while he made telemarketers jump through ridiculous hoops. The basic economics of telemarketing are quite similar to spam: they're working on the basis of making a certain number of calls per hour, some of which convert to leads, some of which then convert to sales. The number drops off massively at each conversion point so the trick is to maximise the initial figure of calls per hour per staff member, and any delay that can be injected into the early part of the cycle has a flow-on effect that increases their final cost per sale. Spammers obviously work on the same principle: cost approaching zero per initial message with an extremely low response rate. Increasing the cost per initial message even a tiny amount would make it uneconomical to spam, which is the basis for proposals such as introducing a tiny charge per email sent to make spamming too expensive to sustain while making it cheap enough that people sending legitimate messages don't care.

Bookmark and Share