Traditionally, outbound calling has been primarily associated with telemarketing sales teams and bill collection firms. These outbound call center campaigns were used to find new customers, conduct market research or chase down delinquent accounts.
However, due to the growing emphasis on proactive customer engagement in business, the scope of outbound calling is expanding. For example, it can now include multiple purposes such as notification campaigns from healthcare or travel services, fundraising campaigns for non-profits and post-sale follow up campaigns for all sorts of retail businesses.
Today’s forward-thinking executives are seeing outbound calling as a key strategy to proactively improve the customer experience, shorten sales cycles and expand customer care initiatives.
This increased focus and reliance on outbound calling challenges managers to adapt to new success criteria. Whether you are building out your first call center or are a veteran looking to fine tune your performance, here are some helpful tips to maximize your success for effective outbound campaigns.
Understand How Efficiency Influences Your Overall Efforts
Regardless of all the other tactics you use, the main factor in the success of your campaigns is achieving a high level of efficiency. Your end results are directly tied to your effectiveness in streamlining processes and focusing on the minute details.
For example, how well you use each hour of the day and how adept your agents are at progressing through each stage of a call are vital performance indicators. The tools you use to track and improve these are simply a means of attaining greater contact center productivity.
As we go through this list of tips, keep in mind that they all fit under the umbrella of this golden rule. When you are detailing the pieces of your outbound strategy, keep asking yourself, how can I make us more effective in this area?
Constantly Improve Outbound Call Center Campaigns by Updating Scripts for Your Agents
Whether your agents use a detailed script or have a loose sales pitch as a base, they are following a talk track designed to produce certain outcomes. When your agents are on a call, are they frequently improvising, or do they have a steady reserve of battle-tested talking points ready to go?
The right talk tracks guide your team to better call outcomes more frequently. While you are surely providing them with at least a sales pitch, do you know how successful it is under various call scenarios?
One quick way to create more detailed agent scripting for various scenarios, which agents are more likely to use throughout call staging. Call staging breaks a call down into phases that you consistently see within your industry. For example, a common call flow might be:
- Sales pitch
- Client rebuttal
- Agent clarification
- Close the sale
By breaking down the call into recognizable stages, you are able to track the overall performance and results in each phase. This critical data allows you to hone your call scripts to create a higher success rate over time for each phase of the call. Higher success rates at each call stage can be transformative in your overall growth over time.
Closely Monitor and Coach Your Call Agents Continuously
By increasing how granularly you track and monitor agents, it simplifies your ability to identify and coach them through sticking points for quick wins. For example, move from a simple buy/didn’t buy measuring system which treats the entire call as a success or a failure to a staged pass/fail system that contains various steps of your typical call sequence.
When you increase how closely you monitor these details, patterns will emerge showing when and where individual agents are stumbling. This allows you to focus training on each of your agents’ weakest skills for a faster, more predictable growth of your entire contact center over time.
To better understand what key performance indicators (KPIs) to use in your outbound center, check out this helpful blog post here.
Consider Moving to Newer More Modern Outbound Calling Platforms
Outbound calling has experienced several technological breakthroughs. The first was automated predictive dialing replacing manual by-hand dialing. A computer would use call center metrics to start dialing while agents were still talking to a customer. This cuts down time spent listening to dialing tones and could effectively double overall outbound efficiency
The next revolution came when CRM driven campaigns could match agents with the best leads and contacts to call. Calls were prioritized to prospects more likely to buy. Also, the agent could make their outreach more personal on each call. Are your dialing tools helping your agents spend more time on the phone and engage your clients in a more personal way?
Many cloud phone system solutions provide out of the box dashboards to monitor key performance indicators so that you can monitor customer service. You can monitor agent activity and use the data to make benchmark goals and steadily improve outbound performance.
Invest in Using Proper Headsets for Your Call Agents
An underrated means of improving performance for your outbound campaign are the headsets that agents use. The right headsets improve call quality by cutting down on background noise. A clear voice instantly provides more credibility and a professional image on your calls.
Additionally, comfortable headsets are important when your team is using them for entire shifts. After all, they can only make outbound calls while they’re wearing their headsets. If your team is frustrated with their current headsets, click to see our headset recommendations here.
Use AI Technology to Automate Wherever Possible
is the next revolution on the horizon to impact outbound teams. To prepare yourself, start investigating where you can automate tasks or events within your current campaigns.
For instance, with the right software you can automatically create a follow-up cadence for your agent to call clients after a specific amount of time. Structured follow-up within a short period of time leads to a higher chance of success.
The motive is to reduce the manual labor spent on supporting tasks that reduce productivity, while letting your team focus on tasks that contribute to major campaign goals. A few minutes saved here and there adds up quickly.
Automations like ‘Click to Call’ may seem like an insignificant detail, but when you are making 100 dials a day, that’s an extra hour of talking to customers instead of punching buttons on a phone.
Make Your Call Center Remote-Worker-Friendly
Coronavirus forced many teams to work remotely throughout the 2020 pandemic, and many may never return to the office at all. Even under normal circumstances there are times when your agents could benefit from working somewhere outside of the office. It doesn’t take too much agent unavailability to capsize a campaign.
By having a remote-friendly call center, you can better ensure agent availability while also empowering your workforce to succeed in the environment that’s most comfortable for them. Your team can conduct calls on their own personal device while in the call center, from home or from anywhere an internet connection is available. UCaaS providers like RingCentral offer software solutions to help you create a fully capable remote team.
Follow Federal Guidelines For All Your Outbound Call Center Campaigns and Stay Current
The Federal Trade Commission
established outbound calling rules in 2003 and have only added more rules since then. After almost 20 years, there are a myriad of laws around when your agents can call, how many calls they can abandon and what they can say during the call. All of this means greater liability on your end, so it would behoove you to stay current on FTC outbound calling regulation.
To make it easier to follow regulations, the right technology will help you to stay on top of compliance and reduce your legal risks. One example is using a predictive dialer that was discussed earlier; it gives you the flexibility to run an effective campaign while also ensuring you adhere to FTC guidelines such as a maximum 3% call abandonment rate.
If you are looking for more information about outbound calling solutions, contact us today and we’ll be glad to help provide the guidance you need. As a RingCentral Premier Partner, we can offer a free demo and consultation of the RingCentral solutions that best fit your needs. Request a demo, contact us online or call us at (888) 338-0532.
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