Dimension Data: Customer-Centric Strategies Are 200 Leagues Ahead

    Permission-Based Contact Centre Campaigns Prove Their Effectiveness

    JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, March 19 /CNW/ - Permission-based sales and
marketing campaigns to prospects and existing customers are more than 200
times as effective as calls to a prospect list, according new research
findings in Dimension Data's Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report 2007.

    The Report, which surveyed 403 contact centres across 42 countries,
confirms that permission and loyalty marketing principles deliver results when
applied to outbound contact centre campaigns. Cross and up-sell calls to
existing customers, and appointment setting from a qualified lead are 225 and
212 times more effective than calling to a prospect list.

    Cara Diemont, editor of the Report comments: "This is encouraging from a
sales conversion perspective. Also, calling existing customers and prospects
that have asked to be contacted is a customer-centric strategy that's aligned
with privacy legislation."

    In line with the implementation of privacy regulation, the Report shows
an overall slow-down in outbound dialling. Average outbound call volumes last
year returned to 2001 levels at just over 1.2 million calls per annum - a drop
of over half a million calls (from a peak of more than 1,7 million on average
in 2003). This decline is pronounced in regions where Do-Not-Call lists are in
place, demonstrating that privacy legislation is having a significant impact
on outbound activities.

    Do-Not-Call legislation was first introduced in the United Kingdom and
North America in 2003(1). With governments in Europe and Asia-Pacific planning
to introduce similar laws, many companies have been concerned that this will
result in the demise of telemarketing.

    "The findings show that this development is not necessarily something
companies should fear, as it is far more effective to call existing customers
and it's clear that permission-based outbound calling is highly effective on
the whole," explains Diemont.

    However, the outbound function remains a manual process in most contact
centres, with a typical outbound call requiring a pre-call setup of 31 seconds
on average. "Outbound traffic management is a specialised practice, and one
that inbound-focussed businesses fail to do as efficiently. Depending on the
purpose of the contact, only 10% -15% of respondents to this year's survey
employ formal campaign management methods for their outbound traffic."

    "To realise the positive returns from outbound initiatives, which the
Report indicates are possible, it's essential that contact centres put in
place consistent processes and use relevant campaign tools to ensure outbound
calling is both efficient and effective," concludes Diemont.

    About Dimension Data

    Dimension Data plc (LSE:DDT), a specialist IT services and solution
provider, helps clients plan, build and support their IT infrastructures.
Dimension Data applies its expertise in networking, security, operating
environments, storage and contact centre technologies and its unique skills in
consulting, integration and managed services to create customised client


    About the Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report

    First published in the UK in 1997 by Merchants, Dimension Data's
specialist contact centre outsourcing and operations division, this year's
edition is the ninth in a series of the industry-renowned benchmarking
reports. The report has balanced global and industry representation from 403
contact centres located across 42 countries and five continents, and is an
invaluable reference for all contact centre professionals. It provides
managers with a set of best practice standards and benchmarks, including
staffing and training, performance metrics, technology usage, budgets and
development plans. The report is researched and published by Dimension Data.
For more information about the Report, please go to www.ccbenchmarking.com

    (1) Entered into legislation on 4 October 2004. Source: www.ftc.gov

For further information:

For further information: Dimension Data Hilary King Tel: +27 11 575 6728
Cell: +27 82 414 9623 Fax: +27 11 576 6728 hilary.king@za.didata.com

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