Cold calling: is this the best way to communicate with your customers?

Cold-calling: It’s pretty much universally loathed by the general public and yet companies carry on phoning us to talk about PPI claims, accident insurance, double glazing, changing our energy provider etc. Is it the best way to communicate with potential customers? Doubtful, I think you’ll agree.

As the person receiving the call, it can be both annoying and inconvenient to take these calls. But I’m assuming that companies do get a certain amount of business through this method – does anyone know? It seems like a very strange way to entice new customers. I can’t imagine that most people will answer the phone with ‘Hello! I was in the bath and have just trod wet footprints across my carpet. But YES, I do want to talk to you about a PPI claim RIGHT NOW!’.

It would be really interesting to know what the success rate of these kinds of calls is. And what kind of precedent these companies feel they’re setting from a brand experience point of view. Starting a business/customer relationship by interrupting their evening meal or waking them early on a weekend seems an odd way to engage your audience.

One guy in the UK does seem to have come up with a novel way of getting his own back. He’s set up his own premium phone number, which he gives out as his home number. So when the cold-callers do start harassing him, he’s actually making money from the call! A genius idea, I think we’d all agree.

You can read the full story here –

2 thoughts on “Cold calling: is this the best way to communicate with your customers?

  1. Couple of thoughts… if they’re after a single transaction like PPI or a conservatory rather than an ongoing relationship then yes p*ssing off 99 people for every sale is worth it. With 20m odd households to pick from you can afford to burn through a lot of data/phone numbers. Plus of course the fact it’s been going on for years shows it’s working for the businesses concerned. Not for you and your soggy carpet sadly.

  2. Good point, Emma. If it’s a short-term win that these business are after, then the cold-calling serves it’s purpose. I’m guessing we’ll see a lot of this kind of interaction moving to the digital space over time – in fact, I’m hoping to blog about this topic soon.

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