January 16, 2019

Outbound Call Center Productivity Changes to Make in 2019

The times are changing quickly. Up until now, sales teams had a high chance of reaching someone on a landline with a phone call. However, landline phones are losing their relevance as smartphone popularity grows, leading to a loss in outbound call center productivity.

improve your old outbound call center productivity

Smartphones VS Outbound Call Center Productivity

In 2004, more than 90% of households in the U.S. had an operational landline phone - now it's even less than 50%. With everything moving to mobile phones, call center compliance is becoming a bigger and bigger issue. On top of that, some apps prevent companies from being able to reach people on their cell phones.

Going Cloud, Virtual and Social Were Big in 2018

Call centers need to stay ahead of the game. Being proactive ensures that they continue to reach new customers and keep in touch with existing ones. There were a lot of changes to the call center and customer experience landscape in 2018. These include cloud communications, virtual agents, and social media updates.

2 Outbound Dialing Software Changes to Make

This year, you can expect to see even more changes. Look for better analytics, smarter technologies, and productivity boosts in the mobile phone communication world. Here are two significant changes that all call centers should consider implementing in the year to come.

1) Ringless Voicemail Software

Ringless voicemail is the delivery of a voice message to a voicemail box without ringing the recipient's phone. It offers a new way to reach people directly on their voicemail boxes on their time. That way you aren't interrupting them with phone calls.

Ringless Voicemail Drops Avoids Wireless Networks

This technique doesn't even use the wireless carrier's phone network. Instead, the message is sent straight to the mailbox, located on the carrier's servers.

The ringless voicemails can be prerecorded, which is even more convenient for call centers. You can deliver important information directly to thousands of leads without agents having to repeat themselves. For consumers who don't have landlines anymore, this is a convenient way for them to get voice messages directly.

Follow TCPA Guidelines for Compliance

It's important to note that this is still a grey area of compliance. The FCC is even considering a petition, which would make a ruling to allow for ringless voicemail. Political parties are arguing that, because it isn't a phone call, it shouldn't be subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The TCPA is the law that stops companies from using robo-dialers to deliver prerecorded messages to wireless users. However, for organizations using the technique for legitimate messages, it could benefit both businesses and consumers.

Make Sure Your Provider Follows Guidelines

For instance, a lot of ringless voicemail technology is not genuinely ringless. Keep an eye on this trend as it can be a super productive tool in the mobile phone communication world.

2) Predictive Dialing Software

A predictive dialer is an outbound calling system that automatically dials from a list of telephone numbers. Predictive dialers call numbers automatically and help agents screen for busy signals, voicemail, no-answers, and disconnected numbers.

This technology helps increase compliance because it works to connect a human to another human. In contrast, non-compliant "robo-dialing" connects a robot to a human.

How Predictive Helps Call Center Productivity

What sets predictive dialers apart from robo-dialers is their use of call metrics. The system predicts the moment when human agents can make the next call. They can also dial multiple numbers at the same time. The goal of predictive dialers is to ensure maximum agent utilization by calling the right amount of leads at the right time. That way, every agent is paired with a call at all times, and customers get to enjoy a better experience.

Predictive Dialing Technology is Tried and True

Predictive dialers have been around for a long time - their first appearance was in the bank industry for debt collection. Now they are used across a wide variety of industries on software hosted in the cloud. The technology can save agents and telemarketers tons of time, improving outbound call center productivity.

For example, it might take 30 seconds for an agent to manually dial a number - and still, only 25% of calls might get answered. Predictive dialing makes call centers more productive by eliminating these manual tasks. When phone utilization is a primary concern, predictive dialers have been shows to deliver amazing results.

One study showed that they improved agent productivity by 200 to 300 percent.

Call Block Apps Are a Growing Threat

The rise of call-blocking apps has made it more challenging to reach consumers. More and more of them are allowing users to flag and block calls. This automatic blocking can drastically decrease call center productivity.

Flagged Numbers Wont Get Through

It's important for call centers to manage their blocked and flagged numbers to maximize productivity for agents. Otherwise, they may spend valuable time dialing from numbers that won't let them get through. Even though this is compliant, you still need to manage your caller IDs reputation when dialing at volume. You don't want to end up needlessly annoying customers that can block or flag you.

One way to cover your bases is simply inserting this sentence into your terms and agreements:
"If this is a mobile number, I permit communications with me via this number."

By doing so, you have legal grounds to defend yourself in case of a subpoena by a consumer or vexatious litigator who is looking for a payout.

Make sure that you are staying current with the online marketing practices available. Ensure you are building a sizeable opt-in database with consumers or businesses that align with your product.

Use a Do Not Call List

It's also essential to make sure you are scrubbing against DNC's, registering your caller ID's, and dialing in a compliant manner. One of the main factors in a consumer filing a lawsuit is how the agent responds to their requests.

Train Calling Agents on DNC Compliance

Agents need to react accordingly when a consumer requests no more contact. After all, you are the one calling someone to offer a product or service. The most important things you should emphasize on your sales floor are respect and kindness. Treating your customers with respect could flip the angry caller into your next biggest customer or success case.

On the sales floor, agents love to brag about flipping angry callers into happy customers - and it happens every day. Adding these default structure and base protocols are going to be a necessity in 2019. Separate yourself and run in a safe harbor manor that keeps you in business and eliminates the competition. The FCC is serious about making sure that all carriers either get in line or go out of business.

Outbound Dialing Will Continue in 2019

For call centers to remain competitive in 2019, it's essential to implement new technologies and keep up with the ongoing trends. Mainly, they should try to increase their productivity and improve their compliance. With a few specific changes, you can do both at once. Focus on maximizing agents time, improving the customer experience, and remaining compliant.

These measures cover all bases and should help you stay in better contact with your customers in the year to come.

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