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Leveraging Outbound Channels to Improve the Customer Experience

December 03, 2012
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

While outbound call center services often take a bad rap – people seem to think about unsolicited telemarketing calls during the dinner hour – in truth, outbound is so much more than this. Customer relationships flow both ways, inbound and outbound, so successful companies are the ones that take advantage of the outbound channel to maximum effectiveness.

Outbound offerings in the call center are still an underutilized tool, according to a recent blog post by cloud-based call center solutions provider inContact. Too many companies confined their outbound work to areas like sales and bill collection, but fail to consider how these capabilities may be used in a positive way to enhance a customer’s experience.

Successful companies find better uses for outbound, engaging customers in a way that both helps them and boosts the value of the customer relationship. These uses include appointment reminders, follow-up surveys, medication refill offers, scheduled callbacks (when call traffic is heavy, for example), upsell offers or maintenance calls, just for starters.

Customers are receptive to many of these outbound efforts. While consumers do still seek information, writes inContact, they have become accustomed to receiving it through tools like Google (News - Alert) 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). In this case, customers will find well-crafted outbound campaigns to be helpful, provided they are leveraged to deliver valuable and relevant information, creating a more balanced two-way communication with our customers and callers.

It’s important to be delivering information that’s relevant to customers, provide the customer with an easy route to follow up on your outreach, allow the customer to easily opt out of the contacts should they wish to, and mind your timing (outbound outreach should be tied to a specific action, not a random event).

To be sure that you’re doing outbound contact right (rather than annoying customers or even breaking the law), it’s critical to put some controls in place. Solutions like inContact’s Intelligent Call Suppression helps contact centers and agents make adjustments to outbound campaigns and quickly get up to speed on outbound regulations, helping them dedicate energy and resources to address customer concerns through inbound requests.

While smart companies today are taking advantage of outbound channels as much as inbound ones, they also know the limitations and parameters of the outbound model…with a little help from technology.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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