Telemarketers fall pretty low on the totem pole of respect. If we had to estimate, we’d guess they’re just under Hell’s Angels bikers, and a notch above Neo-Nazis. So it’s no surprise that attempts are now made to exterminate the nuisances. The government’s new DNC (Do Not Call) registry is set to destroy cold calling…and vastly improve your life:
“Hi Mr Telemarketer, I’m so glad to hear from you,” said no one ever.
What is the DNC Registry?
The Do Not Call (DNC) registry is a free service for people who – bizarrely enough – don’t like interrupting dinner to hear about an exciting new interest-free loan. It’s run by the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) of Singapore, who are like a reverse Anonymous.
Organizations are now required to check the DNC registry before cold calling, and can’t contact any listed numbers. They’re also required to purchase credits to check the list, which should make cold calling even more inconvenient.*
Singaporeans have been able to sign up for the DNC registry since 2nd December. And as of 6.00pm that day, there were already over 67,000 numbers registered.
There are three registry lists you can put your phone number on:
- No Voice Call List
- No Text Messages List
- No Fax Messages List
*Amazingly, some companies have written in to complain about this. When telemarketers complain that we inconvenience them, you know the end of our civilization is in sight.
The Sad Business of Cold Calling
Let’s be honest here: We’ve all at one point in time or another, lost our patience with someone on the other line of a cold call. It wasn’t necessarily their fault, just that they may have caught you in a wrong time or place. That annoyance you felt is just symptomatic of a larger problem, which is this: cold calling is the lowest percentage sales call. Take it from the Harvard Business Review to tell you that 90.9% of the time, it doesn’t work. That is a startling statistic.
We could dump a whole bunch of other statistics on you, but we’re guessing that this new registry is probably the most obvious indicator that WE DON’T WANT TO BE CALLED.
So how are things going to change? Well for starters, you, the consumer have the onus to go and figure out how to make a more informed decision on the products you purchase and the decisions you make. This may seem like either a good or bad thing, but you don’t have to do this all on your own.
How Will It Benefit You?
1. You Have The Power To Choose
A business connects with customers in two ways: push strategies, and pull strategies.
Push strategies use in-your-face sales methods. Flyers on your car, spamming your e-mail, cold calling, etc. Basically the tactics of a desperate ex-boyfriend. Besides being annoying, push strategies can foist bad products on consumers.
Take insurance policies or loan packages: a lot of the time, people pick one because it’s shoved in their face, not because of the product’s merits. And before you roll your eyes and say “well, that’s your fault for not comparing“, do realise that retirees and the ignorant are the first to fall prey.
Well, those days are coming to an end. A transition to pull strategies means businesses will attract customers toward them. That usually means more innovative, less intrusive forms of marketing, and puts the power in your hands to choose what is best for you. It also raises the odds that the product is actually good.
Speaking of which…
2. Products Will Be More Competitive
When you can’t rely on an expensive horde of salesmen and spammers, all that’s left to attract customers is (1) product quality, (2) product cost, and (3) innovation.
It means customers will be buying on merit, or after (slightly more) conscious comparisons. That’s how you get stuff like cheaper home loans; by checking the rates yourself, instead of being shoved at the banker in a showroom.
3. Greater Transparency In the Market
Following on from points 1 & 2, with one less direct way to inform customers of the great products that companies have, they’re going to have to be a bit more innovative in finding methods to attract and acquire customers in a way other than “HALLO YOU WAN TO BUY INSURAN?”.
This is where we at MoneySmart believe that transparency is the key not just to empowering customers, but also being beneficial to institutions as well, both big and small, by giving a fair view of what is available to consumers and not hiding behind a whole bunch of jargon and information.
Not every organisation is going to be happy with this, and we’ve actually encountered instances of companies not wanting us to share their product information on our sites. Nevertheless, we believe that information is power and that takes shape in the form of our various sites.
Our portals such as SmartLoans.sg and SmartInsurance.sg help you to compare various product rates and choose what is best for you, whilst SmartCredit.sg helps people choose the right credit card that suits their needs.
We’ll be keeping an eye on how the DNC impacts certain industries over the year, with especial attention to:
- Bank Loans
Follow us on Facebook, and we’ll update you on changes and opportunities.
How do you think the DNC will affect business and you? Do you think this is a good or bad thing? Share your thoughts here!