The future of outbound
We were recently asked by a business partner whether outbound has any future. Our answer today is the same as it was 25 years ago:
‘Yes, as long as you do it right!’
Contact rates for voice outreach have dropped to new lows that require most dialers to either generate staggering levels of nuisance calls or remain unprofitable.
In this context, ‘doing it right’ today must involve a properly joined-up view of the customer. Beware the buzz phrases ‘360 degree view’, ‘Omnichannel’, ‘AI’, ‘Big Data / Data Warehousing’. We are not saying these things aren’t relevant, but they are often indicative of a ‘technology will solve the problem’ approach.
Rather, what’s needed is joined-up outreach.
This is the process of understanding what works for connecting with your customers and prospects, and then executing and refining outreach programs during their lifetime.
Yes, you need a suitable contact center platform for this but the requirements aren’t that onerous. You need:
- Some means of storing and having fast retrieval of both inbound and outbound contact history for a customer across all media channels.
- Contact preference data for customers, or the means to permute this from contact history.
- Some insight into how differing contact channels will work for your proposition.
- A baseline set of inventory rules that is well-thought out and the tools to automate across all channels.
- Reporting / feedback that enables you to validate your assumptions and refine.
You could, in theory, do all of this with existing technology and manual processes but there is one word hidden in these bullet points that is critical, and that is automate.
Automating your Outreach
The days of simple recycling of no answers and answer machines are long gone, but despite the tools available there is still a tendency to ‘run through the contact list, analyse and recycle’. The decision tree for contact needs to be tailored for each individual customer; so the right time, media and sales approach.
Your choice of platform must be able to automate scheduling, selection of media for next contact, and handling of what happens to scheduling if the campaign is put on hold for a few days. In these days of customer-specific decision trees for contact, you will not have the resources to have manual control of this process. It must be automated.
Analysing feedback to optimise your inventory strategy comes from having meaningful reporting. Knowing, for example, that customers respond better to SMS outreach for a particular type of proposition during the business day rather than the evening, probably has even more value than ‘when we used these words in the SMS we got a better hit rate’.
Also, making changes to inventory strategy needs to be done within a framework that automates the consequences of change. If you are getting a better response from some types of customers with a different medium and time, this will have consequences for what you do to keep your outreach teams consistently busy during the shift. An automated solution solves this for you.
Sytel sought to change the dialer industry in the early days of our existence by making predictive pacing entirely automatic. We did this because a well-designed intelligent machine can react far better to changing conditions than a supervisor ever can. In today’s complicated multimedia and multisession landscape, the execution of your outreach strategy needs the same intelligent approach.
What We Offer
Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC) – multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions.
Available by subscription as CCaaS, fully managed and supported by Sytel, or for quick and easy deployment by partners and enterprise users.
All Sytel cloud components are secure, resilient and scale seamlessly from 10 agents to 10,000+, whether local, mobile or remote.
Flexible Contact Center Software
Softdial Contact Center™ – rich functionality, all-in-one, designed to deliver at scale
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)
CCaaS for subscribers – global service, with no upfront costs
Contact Center Platform – CCaaS Partners
Build your own CCaaS business using the power and flexibility of Sytel software
Contact Center Platform – Enterprise
High performance platform to drive contact center productivity – cloud, on-premise or hybrid
Blended Media Desktop
Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace
Browser-based tools, no software installation required
Customise, Localise, White Label
Design all user interfaces to individual requirements
Integration via APIs
‘Swap out’ components and integrate with 3rd party apps
World Class Development
Continuous evolution pushing technical boundaries
Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) is designed to be flexible, extensible and scalable, integrating with any legacy equipment, and meeting the most complex of requirements.
All Media Channels
Voice, chat, email, social, etc – fully integrated and blended
Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media channel
Dynamic Workforce Management
Optimise agent usage and balance workloads in real-time without human intervention, across all media channels
Best-of-breed performance under compliance
Optimised Inbound Routing
Smart rules and ‘best-available’ decisions to drive great customer service
Help agents achieve and maintain excellence
Voice and Screen Recording
See and hear exactly how agents are interacting
Analytics and Data Feeds
Measure and evaluate performance at every level
IVR, Bots & Conversational AI
Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers
Customer Journey Tracking
Stored customer contact history, to aid routing and add context to conversations
Drive operational efficiency, increase customer satisfaction & improve agent performance
Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators
Create complex process flow scripts for agents, IVR, chatbots and other applications
Sytel AI Dialer™
Maximum predictive dialing performance, under any compliance rules
Precise routing rules for ‘best available’ connection
Softdial Media Server™
Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/outbound SIP calls
Softdial Reporter™ 5
Fully customisable performance stats, charts and reports, across all channels
Comprehensive data output to build your own reports
Softdial Recording Monitor™
Audio and screen recording of agent activity to ensure the highest standards
Softdial Campaign Manager™
Automation to optimise any outreach strategy
Central storage and configuration of common resources
Sytel Global Compliance™
Flexible ‘no contact’ rules to protect contact center and consumer
Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications
By Business Type
A full featured contact center software solution, designed for optimum performance at scale
Small/ Medium Business
Options for SMBs to subscribe to our full-featured cloud service managed and hosted by either one of our partners or by Sytel themselves
Connect quickly to well equipped agents
Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration
Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app
Sales & Telemarketing
Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing
Secure, highly-configurable multichannel communications for excellence in patient care