2020 is all but done and dusted. For some businesses, it’s been a transformation-filled period with old ways of transacting getting replaced by rather new ideas.
But some ideas we had thrown out as old have also emerged as saviors for many business types.
One such frowned-upon practice that looks likely to make a return is outbound calling.
Remember how sitcoms subliminally hyped inbound strategies by bad-mouthing sales calls that almost always ring at the wrong time?
Outbound calls are not the black sheep of marketing. Especially considering how they can actually make certain that your customers stay happy and loyal.
That said, companies need to consider setting up outbound call centers as part of their overall customer support strategy.
Let’s see how outbound calls, particularly scheduled and automated ones, will boost customer satisfaction and sales in 2021 and beyond.
Automated outbound calls – what is that?
An easy definition of automated outbound calls should mention that the conversation happens when the company (well, agent) calls customers.
The automation part, interestingly, suggests that the communication will have been planned. Keep in mind there is no mention that the customer agrees with the plan, although it is better that way.
Why are automated outbound calls necessary?
You have to follow up on your customers. After-sale service is in itself a smart marketing strategy.
In fact, research has repeatedly shown that it is more lucrative to focus on customers already closed than casting lines for new ones.
Repeat customers will be a clear favorite for business should we continue in the same environment seen through the year so far.
Another reason why you should bulk up your outbound efforts is that calls tend to drop before resolutions are reached. We’ll discuss how you can douse frustrated callers with outbound calls shortly.
Setting up an automated outbound call strategy
Several call tools need to communicate with each other in order to have a seamless automated outbound call strategy. One call tools challenge that plagues most companies is the issue of compatibility.
The best way to achieve automation is through APIs.
The easiest way to know who needs help is by keeping track and calling back customers after they’re inbound call attempts are futile. A smart CRM-attached IP call system will have the details required for your agents to initiate communication with the customer.
Assuming you’re already using a well blended contact center, automated call scheduling, and a well-to-do call scheduler will be critical ingredients for your teams to successfully execute automated outbound calls.
Using automated outbound calls for customer support
We mentioned earlier how easy it is to use an outbound strategy when calling back customers after they have already tried reaching out to you. However, that’s just one side of the possible pool of outbound call targets.
Customers that don’t actively try getting through to your contact center constitute the other half.
Luckily, since a blended contact center implies data is shared amongst the various tools you use, a CRM will have all the information you need to initiate calls. Phone numbers, current service levels, and any tickets your customers currently have are all useful when making contact.
Checking if your customers are still using the products they bought and ensuring that they get the best from their purchase paints a caring image of your company in their psyche.
It’s not odd to discover that your customers are not aware of new products and services that may be right up their alley. As such, what starts out as a routine (scheduled) customer check-up ends up being a sales call.
From the ideal scenario portrayed above, it becomes easy to agree with your customer when they would like to chat with a sales representative.
Automated outbound calls and customer retention
You’re not the only one looking up ways of keeping your customers happy. Chances are, your competition is just as close to (if not already) using the tools we’ve discussed herein to stay profitable.
Customer retention efforts on a regular basis will require an automated dialler to save your agents the boredom of actually punching in your clients’ phone numbers before every call.
Automated scheduling based on one of several variables makes it effortless to keep track of every customer spending money on your business.
Here’s a hypothesis: say a trigger is set each time a customer signs up, requiring outbound calls to be made 30 days thereafter.
The result would be a notification to your available agents with the phone number and purchase details, set to start automatically. A clever way to have your customer ready for such calls is integrating SMS notifications into the process. This way, your customers know you respect their time and would not impose your schedule on theirs.
None of the technologies we’ve discussed so far are fresh-paint new, neither are the ideas. However, the logic surrounding each point resonates with proven results and forecasts. Your customers want to feel that you care beyond getting paid and feeding them new products.
Automated outbound calls are the first port of call towards maintaining a good rapport with your company’s lifeline — the customer.