When you think of outbound contact centers, the first thing you think about is cold calling. This is perfectly understandable as one of their most popular uses is lead generation. They are, however, helpful in various other cases.
So, what is an outbound contact center? What do they offer for businesses? This post will look at these questions a bit closer.
What is an Outbound Contact Center?
An outbound contact center makes outgoing calls to leads, existing customers, debtors, and other businesses. Generally, these contact centers make these calls to market a specific product or service, make sales, provide customer support and service, or do market research.
Common Outbound Contact Center Services
Now that we’ve seen what outbound contact centers are, let’s look at some of the common services it provides to businesses.
One of the most popular uses for outbound contact centers is lead generation. Here, sales agents will call prospects and tell me more about the products or services a business offers. These sales agents are usually specifically trained to identify customer challenges and pain points and provide solutions to these problems.
Although inbound contact centers typically focus on providing customer service, you can also use an outbound contact center to provide customer service proactively. This will, for instance, be the case when you want to inform your customers about new product features, information about orders or deliveries, general feedback about customer issues, and more.
And customer service is extremely important in a competitive marketplace. In fact, 79% of consumers believe that the experience a business offers is just as important as its products or services.
Nowadays, to be successful. selling products to existing customers is just as important as selling them to new customers. Here, customer retention is crucial. By using an outbound contact center, you’ll be able to foster lasting relationships with your customers by, for instance, providing proactive customer service. In turn, this increases your customer retention rate.
Once your business has won a lead, that lead might not be ready to buy your products or services just yet. In such a case it’s necessary to nurture the lead and help them along the sales funnel. This is where outbound calling is extremely helpful.
You can nurture these leads by, for instance, calling them and finding out if there’s anything else they want to know about your product or service or if you could help them in any way. By doing this, you’re able to eliminate any objections they might have in buying your product.
Before you sell a new product, it’s worth your while to consider whether there’s a market that will buy it. This is where market research comes in. It gives you valuable insights into the market, who will buy your product, and what they like about it. In this way, you’ll be able to tailor your offering exactly to what your customers want and expect.
This is especially helpful when you consider that 69% of customers expect more personalized offerings when buying products or services.
One of the best ways in which you can improve your products or services is by having insights into your customers’ opinions, what they like about your offering, and what they don’t. Customer surveys can provide these insights. You can use outbound calling to conduct these surveys by calling customers and asking for specific feedback.
Collection and Debt Management
An outbound contact center can be a very effective tool in helping you manage your debtors. Here, agents can call customers to request payment of outstanding balances. This makes your collection processes more effective and efficient. Moreover, it frees up the time of other employees who would usually call customers to follow up about outstanding payments.
Outbound contact center agents can call prospects and lead to scheduled appointments and demos. This makes it an effective tool in your outbound marketing strategy. It goes further than this, though. You can also use outbound calling to schedule appointments with existing customers to nurture your relationships with them and improve retention, or to solve any challenges they might experience.
Key Metrics of Outbound contact centers
It’s simple, if you don’t measure something, you won’t have the necessary insights to improve it. In order, to make your outbound contact center as effective as possible, you should measure and track its performance. To do this, you’ll need to look at some key metrics and KPIs.
Average Handling Time
Average Handling Time or AHT shows the amount of time an agent is on the phone with a customer or prospect. This metric shows how effective an agent is at solving customer issues or engaging with prospects.
Conversion rate shows how many calls result in the action which is the purpose of the call. For instance, from a sales perspective, it will show how many calls result in a sale. It’s expressed as a percentage which indicates the proportion of successful calls.
If this metric is too low, it shows that the agent is underperforming which, in turn, increases the cost of acquiring a lead.
First Call Close
This metric shows the number of successful sales an agent was able to make with just a single call. As such, the higher this number, the more effective the agent.
Calls per Agent
The Calls per Agent metric shows you how many calls a specific agent handles in a determined period. This metric then shows you how productive an agent is. Keep in mind, however, that, although it might show how productive the agent is, it doesn’t show how successful they are. In other words, an agent might make many calls but only close a few sales.
Advantages of Outbound Contact Centers for Businesses
Considering the above, outbound contact centers offer the following advantages for businesses:
- They can increase sales and revenue.
- They can generate more awareness about a brand or product.
- They can improve customer service and attract more customers.
- They can provide valuable insights into the market.
What’s the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Calling?
As their names imply, the main difference between inbound and outbound calling is that, while inbound calling involves receiving calls, outbound calling revolves around making calls. Because there’s a difference in who initiates a call, there’s also a difference in the purpose of inbound versus outbound calls.
Here, outbound calling is primarily focused on promoting products or services and making sales. In contrast, inbound calling primarily focuses on increasing customer satisfaction.
Choosing the Best Outbound Contact Center
An outbound contact center can be an effective tool that you can use to create more awareness about your brand, sell more products, and generate more revenue. The proviso is, of course, that you need to use the right tools.
This is where ULTATEL’s Cloud Contact Center Solutions for businesses come in. They provide you with the ideal solution for your business’s customer call management. And priced from $37.95, there’s a solution to fit every need and budget.
To find out more about these solutions and how they can help you, request a demo today.