Leveraging Outbound Offerings in the Contact Center

Are you looking for some expert advice to complement your contact center? Couldn’t make it to ICUC 2012? Look no further. From now until the end of the year, stay tuned to our new blog series, Industry Insights. In this six post series, best practices from your world and ours will be featured on the inContact Blog. Look for the second post, Industry Insights: 10 Characteristics of a Winning Quality Management Program, coming Monday, December 3. Don’t get left out in the cold this holiday season... stay informed. 

Leveraging Outbound Offerings in the Contact Center

A relationship is a two-way street, as they say- so why should an organization’s relationship with a customer be any different? Consider the number of times your contact center receives inbound calls or requests from customers. Now think about how often your organization is the one reaching out to provide value to the customer proactively.

Outbound offerings in the call center are still an underutilized tool. It’s not to say we don’t use them – for example, it’s commonplace to leverage these tools in areas like sales and bill collection, but consider how these capabilities may be used in a positive way to enhance a customer’s experience. 

Rather than waiting for inbound requests, contact centers are beginning to take proactive steps, reaching out via outbound capabilities to enhance the customer experience. Consider the benefit of providing courtesy reminders for prescription refills or doctor appointments, or how a customer may appreciate a safety-related call—notifying them of an emergency or of a recall for a product they may have purchased. 

While consumers do still seek information, they have become accustomed to receiving it through tools like Google alerts and curated feeds, which deliver relevant content to their fingertips without having to work too hard to find it (think Twitter feeds and email alerts).  

This above and beyond approach to customer service is something the average customer is already experiencing in other areas of their life.  So in order to keep up with the convenience consumers are used to, outbound campaigns should be leveraged to deliver valuable and relevant information, creating a more balanced two-way communication with our customers and callers. 

In regard to outbound communication, and much like other areas of customer service, keeping customer preference top of mind in an important consideration. We may use a certain channel a customer prefers or call during specified hours to ensure a positive experience, but at times, those preferences may include requests to opt out of certain marketing related calls. It’s vital to make sure these requests are honored and that the system keeps accurate records to inform how we work with these customers moving forward. 

In February of 2012 an FCC compliance mandate was rolled out to further protect consumers from unwanted calls. By investing in technology, like inContact’s Intelligent Call Suppression, that helps contact centers and agents make adjustments and quickly get up to speed on changes like this one, companies are able to dedicate energy and resources to address customer concerns through inbound requests and further strengthen those relationship by providing value via outbound communication.