While Not Always Favored, Automated Calls Can Be Beneficial
August 15, 2008
By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor
While automated calls have made a tremendous impact in the global business infrastructure, it has not always been a positive impact. Automated calling saves time and money, while enabling mobile consumers to access real-time information at any time and location.
This can be a positive spin for some, but others have used websites, blogs, news articles, radio station call-ins and more to vent their frustration with automated calls.
When the average consumer is exposed to roughly 3,000 ads per day, it stands to reason that they would want to escape the bombardment while in their own home.
At the same time, many of these same consumers claim that the use of automated calls in not only an expression of free speech, it is also a bona fide means of notifying and communicating to the public. It seems to be a great case of: yes you have the right to do it – somewhere else.
Advocates for automated calling have pointed out that while some consumers complain about automated calls, they also reject other forms of customer contact. At the same time, consumers repeatedly report that they want to feel that their business is important and contact from a company creates that satisfaction.
"There's a lot of negative hype surrounding automated calls, but the other side of the story is often neglected", said Chris Kolker, in a Friday statement. Kolker is the founder of GOP Calls and a veteran in the automated call industry.
"People get frustrated with automated calls, but also dislike bombardment of direct mail, TV commercials, and radio ads."
Automated calls deliver a variety of benefits versus other media outlets. This technology can deliver quick turnaround, micro-targeting, interactive communication and captive audience to name a few.
Cost is always an important factor when considering call methods. It costs approximately 88 percent less to 15,000 voters using GOP Calls’ services, than to send 15,000 direct mail pieces.
Impression rate is another factor that supports automated calls. GOP Calls reports that they typically reach 85 percent of consumers, compared to most direct mail vendors that experience a 66 percent impression rate.
Automated calling is demanded in legitimate and even urgent causes, such as reverse 911 calls. At the same time, there are still some that abuse the technology, such as a “push-poll” that is used to influence a voter’s view under the pretense of a legitimate poll.
"Consumers are protected from most automated phone solicitation through the national do-not-call registry," noted Kolker. “Exempt organizations include those involved in political, charitable, and survey work. For about $25 yearly, consumers can further filter calls through Privacy Manager which requires "unknown" callers to identify themselves.”
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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
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