For many companies, making outbound calls and texts to customers makes up a large volume of everyday work that their live agents handle today. Outbound calls and texts are used in a variety of ways, such as to preempt situations or to keep customers up-to-date. They are often used to remind customers about important or upcoming appointments, deliveries, and confirmations, typically helping businesses run smoothly. Businesses also use these calls to remain proactive at maintaining resources and preventing unnecessary expenses. For example, by reminding customers about their upcoming service appointments, they can save on truck roll costs if customers need to change or cancel last minute.
However, these repetitive call types need to be made hundreds of times per day, and can often make up a large part of a live agent’s daily routine. While necessary, outbound notification calls are often extremely expensive and take an enormous amount of time, since agents must dial each customer consecutively. Not to mention, these calls are very tedious, especially since many customers do not actually answer the call.
However, robocalls don’t work either. While they are cheap and quick, customers who need to make changes or have questions have to hang-up and call back, as opposed to being able to make changes on the same call. The same goes for automated outbound texts that cannot handle anything more than yes/no answers.
Another cost-effective alternative exists – and it simply involves supplementing existing interactive voice response (IVRs) with AI-powered virtual agents with natural language capabilities. Automation makes it easier to handle the high volume of outbound notifications that need to be placed, and AI allows the calls to be more complex from a conversation perspective. Instead of relying on agents to make a few calls at a time, hundreds of thousands of calls can be placed in minutes.
These aren’t simple robocalls either - automation allows calls to be personalized to every individual customer. Because these virtual agents have natural language capabilities, customers can then respond to the prompts – beyond yes/no – and make changes to, update, reschedule, or even cancel their appointments. Customers can even ask questions and get more information about their appointments with conversational AI. They can also request to be transferred to a live agent, who remains on standby for failovers. Automating outbound calls makes a dramatic impact on efficiency within your call center and saves your company time and money, while freeing up your live agents for more important conversations.
Companies have started to see the benefits and the successful impact on ROI. A top regional DISH installer was able to save over $2 million simply by using virtual agents for outbound appointment confirmations. The call authenticates the customer and reads off the appointment time, asking if the customer will still be available. If yes, the virtual agent confirms the appointment in the system; if no, the virtual agent can help reschedule the appointment for a better time, cancel it, or transfer to a live agent for additional help. This drastically affected the efficiency of the service department, reducing the number of unnecessary truck rolls to empty houses, which costed the company up to $150 per roll.
The best part about virtual agents for outbound: they can integrate easily and painlessly with your existing platform. Dozens of companies are turning to automation to complement their existing IVR, to get the cost-savings they want for their call center, while providing seamless and overall better experiences for their customers.
Outbound calls and texts with dynamic conversational capabilities are the fourth and final way that contact centers are automating more with virtual agents, following natural language intent capture, front-end data gathering, and repetitive inbound call types.