By understanding the motive of outbound calling and what it takes to get an outbound call center up and successfully running, you'll be able to determine if it's the right time to add it to your business. In addition, learning the best practices and right technologies will guide you toward magnifying the potential and profits of outbound calls.
WHAT DO WE UNDERSTAND BY OUTBOUND CALLING?
An outbound call center is a basic function of a business operation that employs customer support agents to make outgoing calls to third parties-namely customers, prospects, or other businesses. Outbound call centers may exclusively make outbound calls or combine inbound and outbound calls. An outbound call, unlike an inbound one, can be stated as a call that emerges with a sales or support representative dialing a prospect or customer's calling number. Depending on the business type and the larger industry, companies hire outbound call centers for call center outsourcing for the following purposes:
- Customer service calls
- Telemarketing sales cold calls
- Marketing research
- Updating contacts lists
- Surveys outreach
- Customer notifications
- Non-profit fundraising
- Requesting information from other businesses
- Post sales-follow-ups
But a call center handling outbound calls can only fulfill its motive when it is effective. By using metrics to measure their performance, companies will improve the CX, which positively affects customer reputation and retention rates.
A few important areas that outbound call centers focus on are having clean and accurate call lists, having the customer's history records, and high conversion rates.
IS OUTBOUND CALLING NECESSARY FOR CALL CENTER OPERATIONS?
When you decide to include an outbound calling facility as a party of your overall business plan, it is important to first understand the purpose of this function. Other factors that might affect your decision about setting up outbound calling capabilities are the location of your call center and your budget. If your business includes any one of the purposes listed in the above bullets, outbound call functionality may be the right choice for your company. Most modern call centers use a digital tool that lets customer support and helpdesk agents quickly pull up a contact's number and automatically dial it. By utilizing smart integrations, they can access call history at the same time, so they already have the context and information as soon as the phone rings.
By merging outbound calls with your CRM software, your call center agents will be able to respond to customers in a personal way, which is something highly valued by the customers. Outbound call software also supports compliance with regulations.
Location is a huge consideration when evaluating implementing an outbound calling strategy. There are various pros and cons to on-site outbound calls vs. a virtual call center. Some organizations prefer using a fixed location where they have complete control over employees and security. Before making this decision, it is important to weigh the costs of in-house expenses. A virtual call center can become an option for companies that require outbound call capabilities and cannot manage the related office expenses. Employees work from home, which reduces the in-house setup costs. On-site and virtual call centers can make a choice between using remote teams or distributed teams.
BEST PRACTICES IN OUTBOUND CALLING
Most of the call center's best practices revolve around its compliance and offering excellent CX. When viewing from a legal standpoint, call center business needs to know the legal requirements for making an outbound call to a customer. Federal laws allow your contacts the right to opt out from receiving sales and marketing calls. If a customer asks you to add their names to the DNC registry, you must comply with the same. The TCPA or The Telephone Consumer Protection Act lists the rules for outbound calling. Keeping in mind the outbound dialing methods, calling hours, pre-recorded messages, and other information. If your in-house call center or your hired one is not set up for compliance, you will risk substantial fines and backlash from your contacts.
Abiding by the practices of call centers will help your agents to respond genuinely and empathetically to the customers and make a connection that yields the best possible response from your customers.
It is important to create a first impression from the very first call itself. Thus, write your script in such a well-formed manner that call agents can recite them without coming off as overly rehearsed. Also, encourage them to pay attention to their tone and ensure that it is enthusiastic and positive while remaining genuine. While customers prefer a personal touch, urge your staff to focus more on the main reason for their call. Your customers are busy in their day-to-day lives, and they appreciate it when you respect their time.
Be sure that your call center agents understand your customer's needs before they even say hello. The numbers in which call agents are dialing belong to someone that has a specific requirement that your company can provide. An outbound call can help resolve their particular needs and pain points, and you can leverage that information to provide even better customer support.
In general, support agents get a bad reputation because people become tired of call center agents that waste their precious time with multiple sales calls, they weren't remotely interested in. A cloud-based system and other digital applications allow contact call center agents to approach a call with accurate information, address customer needs, and allow customers to get back to their other activities in short order.
EFFECTIVENESS OF MAKING OUTBOUND CALLS
Think of the various ways to measure outbound calls in terms of activity, productivity, and customer service. A cloud-based phone system offers you a dashboard that allows you to see the number of inbound and outbound calls your call center agents to make daily. It will also tell you to know the total time they spent on each call. If you are doing inbound calling as well, your dashboard will help you evaluate customer service. It lets you know the percent of missed incoming calls out of the total inbound calls you received. Also, it shows the percentage of voicemails your customers left. You will also benefit from checking out the average waiting time where your customers have to wait before they are actually connected with a call agent, and the average treatment time is the time before a voicemail or missed call gets archived by a user in the phone app. Access your daily productivity by closely monitoring the average duration of outbound calls and the average number of calls per user.
TECHNOLOGY DRIVING OUTBOUND CALL SUCCESS
Contact support centers are quickly gaining momentum and gaining a standard in the present marketplace. Grand View Research shows that the size of the contact center software market could reach $72.3 billion by 2027, with an anticipated compound annual growth rate of 19.7% over this period. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence will have a notable impact on the growth rate.
The introduction to IVR or Interactive Voice Response and ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) software is also helping call centers to increase the rate of productivity. Cloud-based phone systems have helped to enhance the security of confidential data via web security. The addition of a cloud-based system also improves call center efficiency as it provides multiple communication channels and has remote capability.
If you are choosing call center outsourcing for your business, a reputed service provider's cloud-based phone system helps in call routing, call recording, and call distribution. The software also smoothly integrates with your CRM and other applications, paving the way for great CX, which translates to long-term value for your business. (VoIP) Voice over Internet Protocol has become the preferred technology because it's less expensive than other phone service options.
When your business has the requirement for outbound call center operations, it pays to do some pre-planning to result in its success. Do a varied review of your business plan and ensure that it will help you meet your targets. Be clear on your requirements for your outbound call center and carefully choose the metrics to tie in with your goals. Choose the appropriate location that best suits you and train your agents well in compliance and customer service. Finally, continue making necessary adjustments as you learn and grow.
Outbound calling allows you to have conversations with your target audience to discover insights that you may not have considered otherwise. You can use these insights to improve your marketing and sales message and guide product and service development decisions.