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Pros do the outreach – for less

Live Reps Call Center exists to help ISOs run one business instead of two, according to Steve Wachs, the company's Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer. For costs "amounting to $5 per hour," Live Reps handles inbound and outbound calls – tackling such tasks as appointment setting, lead generation, advertising, selling, billing and payment receipt, Wachs said.

Live Reps is designed to help clients increase their call-handling capabilities while substantially decreasing costs. "They're buying equipment, headsets and computers," he said. "They've got to hire somebody for at least $7 or $8 an hour, and they're paying for training and retraining, dealing with sick days and holidays, and all the problems. They're essentially running two businesses."

The company can also reduce lost sales. "If a prospect calls and gets a voicemail, half of them aren't even going to leave a message; they'll just call the next person," Wachs said. "We operate 24/7 and capture every call. We have 50-plus people working, backups for backups, bilingual employees. We're there to take calls on weekends, on holidays and during bad weather."

Tailored service

Live Reps functions as a seamless stand-in for its clients, with representatives answering the phone as if they were employees of the ISO itself, Wachs said. He added that callers can instantly access client-specific scripts on a computer to view relevant information, culled both from discussions with the ISO and from previous calls with the merchant in question. "We customize the greeting, and all of the vital information for a script is prepared on the screen," Wachs said, adding that transfers are available for callers needing to speak to an executive or salesperson with the ISO. "We have all the contact information [for the ISO]. So if the caller needs to speak to the owner, we can redirect them immediately." Live Reps also conducts surveys with its call recipients to ascertain areas that are strong or need shoring up. The company also holds weekly conference calls with clients to exchange feedback and modify call scripts, as well.

Incoming calls generally entail fielding technical or billing questions, redirecting callers to an executive or salesperson, promoting the client's services, or closing sales. Outbound sales calls begin with a robust and customizable prospect list, Wachs said.

"We target the categories you're having the most success with," he said. "If it's restaurants, we can do 10,000 restaurants in Pennsylvania, or nationwide or east of the Mississippi. If you want to target specifically pancake houses instead of waffle houses, we can do that. … We have been doing this for 11 years, and we have really good data suppliers with good, targeted lists."

In person and automated

Wachs pointed out that outbound calls are done both with live callers and with interactive voice response software, which sends automated calls to thousands of prospects. Even a good automated message generates responses from only about 1 percent of call recipients, but with thousands of calls going out, that's potentially a solid handful of prospects expressing interest within a short time, Wachs said.

While outbound calls may end with a completed sale, they can also lay the groundwork for future sales through information gathering and appointment setting. Data can be entered into a customer relationship management system for future use, Wachs said.

"We're using our technology to make thousands of calls and to get that merchant statement or appointment," he said. "They might say, 'I might be interested, but can you call me back on Aug. 2?' Sure enough, we call back on Aug. 2 because it's in the system. Or sometimes it's just lead generation info: 'Who is your decision-maker? What is their email, phone number or fax? We're just calling for an update so we can follow up in the future.'" end of article

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Live Reps Call Center

Live Reps Call Center

ISO/MLS contact:

Steve Wachs
CEO and Founding Partner
513607 0312

Company Profile originally appeared in
The Green Sheet Issue 131001

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