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I am setting up a blended multi-channel outbound environment contact center. What features should I be looking for in an outbound dialing solution?

I am setting up a blended multi-channel outbound environment contact center. What features should I be looking for in an outbound dialing solution?

8/13/2013

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Question
I am setting up a blended multi-channel outbound environment contact center. What features should I be looking for in an outbound dialing solution?

Answer

The goal of an outbound interaction is to communicate with an individual for a defined purpose. In some situations, it’s fine to leave a message. In others, it’s essential to interact live with a specific person, as in the case of late-stage collections or fundraising. Sometimes an organization will use proactive outreach, while at other times they need to respond to a customer-initiated event. Some customers who will never pick up a call from your enterprise may be willing to read an email or text, and could even be warmed up by a social media post. The point is that outbound solutions need to be highly flexible in how and when they interact with their targets, and need to be multi-channel. An important element of this concept, which continues to challenge many organizations, is the need to blend the handling of inbound and outbound interactions.

  
Outbound dialers are dedicated to reaching out to a large number of targets, prospects and customers, many of whom are not available when the initial contact is made, despite the best predictive dialing algorithms. This is a proven fact. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon the organization to create a warm and friendly environment that encourages acceptance of a “callback” in whatever form it comes – a call, email, text, fax or tweet. If someone is getting back in touch with your organization, this contact should be prioritized, as it’s a highly qualified opportunity. This means that anyone doing any form of outbound dialing also needs to have an inbound environment to accept and handle the responses.
  
Below are a few of the features that are needed for a flexible and effective blended inbound/outbound dialing solution:

  1. Intuitive administration environment that makes it easy for supervisors to define agents’ various roles and priorities
  2. Native ability to handle all types of interactions: calls, emails, text, faxes, tweets, etc.
  3. Advanced skill-based routing capabilities to ensure that interactions are directed to appropriate agents
  4. Tools that display a local number to each caller to promote greater intimacy and encourage callbacks
  5. Adaptive real-time routing capabilities that can alter the priority of interactions and who receives them, based on the real-time performance of an agent or the department
  6. An agent interface that makes it easy to switch the agent handling mode dynamically between inbound and outbound and various media channels

  
It’s clear from this list that the old way of doing outbound dialing is gone, replaced by fully compliant dialers that make it easy for administrators, agents and the target audience to make a connection, whether for sales, collections, service, appointment reminders or something else.

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