Blended contact centers – those that do both inbound and outbound calling – face challenges far beyond what contact centers that do one or the other experience. Determining the right balance of inbound and outbound to maximize productivity is one of them. As is determining the skills of the agent for either (or both) and scheduling for these skills.
Chris Key, CEO of Hostcomm, recently told the UK site CallCentreHelper.com that contact center managers typically want to give the best possible customer service and maximize the volume and quality of outbound calls. But these two goals are often odds with each other, as spending more time on one usually compromises time spent on the other.
Achieving the right balance means integrating the customer relationship management (CRM) database with a predictive dialer. This leads to agents spending less time planning calls or waiting for them to come through and more time being spent talking to people and providing better quality customer service. With the right integration, contact centers can reap a number of advantages, including:
Automating outbound calls. By being able to pull information from the CRM database to place outbound calls, companies can better stratify and segment the pool of customers and prospects and target their calls better.
Automate follow-up SMS messages and e-mails. Sending follow-up texts or e-mails can help improve the chances of a sale and keep the message fresh in customers’ minds. By automating this process, call center managers can save time.
Automatically scheduling follow-ups. CRM databases are great for letting sales teams know when it’s time to follow up. When integrated with an outbound dialing solution, this process can be further automated to streamline the process and save valuable time.
“To eliminate manual error, you can automatically schedule calls to occur at specific times,” writes CallCentreHelper.com. “These could be calls manually set up by agents, or automatic follow-ups a few days after material is sent out, designed to nurture leads and drive more sales.”
When time-consuming follow-up tasks are automated, call center agents have more time to concentrate on the tasks that require a personal touch, which helps boost the quality of service for inbound. It also helps improve the chances of success in outbound campaigns, giving contact centers the best of both worlds.