Outbound calling is one of the most effective ways for lead generation, follow-ups, surveys, and customer engagement. Timely calls can boost conversions and have a direct positive impact on your revenues. It is imperative that your outbound calling operates at maximum efficiency while ensuring a superior customer experience and zero agent burnout. The right technological features can enable you to do just that.
Top 5 Features to Super-charge Your Outbound Calling
Call centers have come a long way from using individual telephone lines and PBX phone systems to upgrading to VoIP-based (Voice over Internet protocol-based) calling in today’s times. Automation and analytics are increasingly being used in call centers to enhance the performance of the calling agents. Below is a list of must-have features in your outbound call center to take it to the next level.
- Automated dialer technology
Gone are the days when call agents worked through a spreadsheet and manually dialed each number to realize that more than half the calls would not get connected. Progressive dialers take care of this job by automatically dialing the numbers as per predefined lists. If the call gets connected, it routes to agents based on availability. It saves time and effort, so the callers can focus solely on engaging with the customers. Predictive dialers go one step further and initiate dialing even before the agent is free to handle another call. It is done based on a preset dialing ratio that predicts the time it will take for a call to ring and be received.
- Intelligent call-back scheduling
Leads are also generated through channels other than the call center like websites, chat, social media, and offline events. You need to call these leads for follow-up as per their preferences. Missing any call-back may lead to a bad customer experience and lead abandonment. These call-backs can be scheduled automatically by the dialer system.
Some outbound call center services also have intelligent call-back options. A customer waiting in a queue can choose this option and continue his work. The outbound dialer calls back as soon as an agent becomes available.
- CRM system integration
The customer relationship management (CRM) system provides a 360-degree customer view covering the profile details, purchase preferences, transaction history, interaction history, and even personalized offers. This data can be available to your calling agent in real-time while the call is in progress. Computer telephony integration (CTI) provides this feature. As soon as a call is connected, the customer details are fetched from the CRM system using the registered phone number and displayed for the call agent’s reference. With this data readily available, the agent engages the customer with confidence.
- Integration with marketing automation tools
You can leverage marketing automation tools to run targeted call campaigns. The marketing team segments customers based on demographic data and purchase behavior and creates personalized call scripts and product offers. These calling lists are scrubbed against the don-not-disturb (DND) database and entered into the dialer. The agents engage the customers according to the campaign calling scripts and report the call closure data for each call. With this data, your marketing team can accurately determine the number of leads and sales generated through each campaign. You can use this to calculate the ROI of each campaign.
- Wrap-up codes
Agents need to record information about how each call concluded. It needs to be done succinctly to minimize after-call work (ACW). Smart wrap-up codes or disposition codes help with this. An agent can tag each call with codes to indicate the type of call (for example, lead follow-up) and the status of the customer interaction (for example, passed to the sales team). Without these wrap-up codes, agents who handle the same customer in the future would have to go through detailed notes to understand past interactions. It would require keeping the customer on hold – a bad experience. Color-coded wrap-up codes also make it easier for supervisors and managers to visualize the daily performance of each agent in a single glance.
Licensing and setting up a call center platform with all these features in-house is a costly project. It is better to outsource it to a global business services partner. It will ensure a faster go-to-market at lower costs. It will also provide access to skilled calling agents and integrated call center management platforms.
Choosing the Right Outbound Call Center Provider
Established companies offer the latest technology platforms as part of their services. You should check the productivity features available on their technology platforms before selecting an outsourcing partner. You should also study if they follow industry best practices like wrap-up codes and intelligent call-back scheduling. Once the agents train to use these features effectively in their calling workflows, you can generate a staggering ROI on your call center investments.