What is Call Blending?  How to Choose the Right Type of Software for Your Call Center Operation

What is Call Blending? How to Choose the Right Type of Software for Your Call Center Operation

March 26, 2024 | Convoso

In this article, we’ll look at what call blending is and the potential advantages and disadvantages of the different blended (and non-blended) call center solutions available. Dig into this crash course to understand which type of call center software is the right option for your team.

What is Call Blending?

First things first. What we mean when we say “call blending” is the ability to both receive inbound calls and place outbound calls using the same set of agents and same contact center software system.

Some call centers can specialize in outbound calling, while others, like customer care contact centers, may focus on taking inbound calls. However, call blending enables call center agents to both receive and properly route inbound calls and dial outbound calls, without needing to rely on separate call center software solutions.

Done right, and with the right blended dialer solution, call blending can unlock new efficiencies, reduce agent idle time, and boost productivity and morale. 

Although, it’s important to note that this increased performance is far from a foregone conclusion. As we’ll explore, some blended call center software options may leave much to be desired when it comes to either sales or service capabilities.

What Is a Blended Dialer?

For call centers looking to optimize both inbound and outbound contact center operations, a blended dialer is a solution that can make it all possible. Relying upon intelligent technology, a blended dialer is a type of blended call center software that automatically connects call center agents with both inbound and outbound calls.

For instance, at a blended inbound and outbound call center, automatic call distribution (ACD) technology may work to route inbound calls all while predictive dialing optimizes agent wait time and drop rates, dials outbound calls automatically, and connects agents to live prospects who pick up outbound calls.

To Blend or Not to Blend? The Advantages and Disadvantages of Call Blending

What exactly are the benefits call blending can bring to a call center?

  • Efficiency and Productivity: Agent efficiency is one of the three key efficiencies for call center success. Giving your agents the ability to switch seamlessly between inbound and outbound duties is a huge boost. As priorities fluctuate at your call center, your agents can adjust. Allowing agents to handle both inbound and outbound calls minimizes idle time and gives your agents more opportunities to interact with leads and close sales. As inbound traffic fluctuates throughout the day, your blended call center software will automatically adjust the rate of outbound dialing based on how high a priority is placed on inbound calls.
  • Agent Morale: Productive agents are happy agents. Keep agents in rhythm with a diverse workload and minimal downtime.
  • Increased Revenue Opportunities: Whether it’s in upselling inbound customers or reaching more prospects via outbound, effective blended dialing can be a big boost to your call center’s revenue.

Executed effectively, and with the right dialer, there may be little that’s not to like about call blending—assuming that it’s actually what your team needs.

Where Some Blended Software Options Fall Short

While the right blended call center software gives some teams all of the tools that they need, the lack of specialization can lead to issues—particularly at organizations where the primary focus is on outbound sales and lead generation efforts.

For many other teams, delivering efficient and effective customer service is the primary focus. Many blended call center solutions—including some of the most well-known options—tailor their offerings and feature development to this emphasis on inbound and support-handling features.

The result is that those high-volume, fast-paced sales teams—whose operations need to contact and convert as many leads and customers as possible in the shortest amount of time—wind up being shortchanged by their inbound-centric software. Service teams may thrive with such software; there’s no argument there. But sales productivity may suffer as dialing capabilities lack required power, intelligence, and flexibility; speed to lead lags along with conversion rates; inbound queues are prioritized over speedy outbound connections; and new features that accelerate sales and lead gen capabilities are slow to be developed.

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Finding the Best Blended (or Non-Blended) Call Center Software Solution

Generating leads and making sales at scale isn’t getting easier. That’s why it’s only getting more important that teams adopt the specialized, purpose-built sales solutions that help them drive maximum ROI.

What does that mean, exactly? It may mean opting for a blended solution—one that offers essential inbound features to support sales and basic, effective service, but also delivers a comprehensive set of innovative and automated sales functionality that can lift your outbound operation to a new level of performance entirely.

So, what should you look for in a blended dialer? For starters, your dialer of choice should have essential inbound calling features that let you field customer calls on your terms. Look for features like:

  • Smart-routing capabilities that direct calls to the right agent or group of agents.
  • Skills-based routing based on agent proficiency in each skill.
  • Customizable inbound-outbound call ratios so that you can tackle priorities in real time.
  • Hosted interactive voice response (IVR) that makes life easier for customers and agents.
  • Dynamic scripting equips agents with the right response to customer needs. This cuts down on training time and supports compliance. (It’s also an effective outbound sales and lead gen tool.)

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Does Your Call Blending Software Deliver When it Comes to Sales Features?

When it comes to outbound features though, for outbound lead generation and sales teams, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate dialers’ offerings. Although many inbound software providers—including some of the most popular options—claim to offer outbound capabilities, their features are often seriously lacking. Without outbound features like these, your lead gen or sales operations can suffer:

  • Caller ID (DID) reputation management: Call labeling and blocking are making it harder and harder to reach your customers. Your software needs to deliver the tools you need to overcome these hurdles and continue to maximize the value of your costly leads. Caller ID reputation management tools and managed services enable teams to monitor flagged numbers, properly manage call volumes, and rest and replace damaged numbers to avoid costly drops in performance.
  • Omnichannel outreach tools: The right dialer offers far more than just auto-dialing options; it’s a hub for strategic campaign management. With your choice of dialing mode alongside omnichannel outreach capabilities, you can craft campaigns that connect with customers on their preferred channels—voice, text, or email. Integrated sales workflow automation tools allow for the creation of targeted cadences that personalize outreach and yield consistent engagement that meets the demands of today’s consumers.
  • Multiple dialing modes: Just as you might need to prioritize inbound or outbound over one another at times, different campaigns may require customizable dialing modes. Choose an autodialer software that can adjust to your needs.
  • Workflow automation: Take the guesswork out of your call cadence with workflow dialing that helps you reach customers at the right time and automatically schedules callbacks.
  • Answering machine detection (AMD): Save agents’ time and boost sales by accurately detecting voicemails that leak through to agents. Every second saved is more time your team spends selling. 
  • Compliance support: The complex web of today’s telemarketing regulations requires constant vigilance and adaptability. Outbound software built with compliance at its core goes beyond basic adherence, providing the proactive compliance tools and features necessary to mitigate risk and maintain the integrity of your campaigns. Support compliance and protect your business with the help of:
    • Real-Time Do Not Call (DNC) Scrubbing: Advanced scrubbing technology should seamlessly compare leads against national, state, internal, and wireless DNC lists. 
    • Time-Zone Adherence and Restrictions: Automated compliance features adhere to complex time-of-day regulations at state and federal levels, minimizing the risk of human-error and accidental violations by preventing calls during restricted hours.
    • Compliance Expertise and Consistent Updates: The right outbound solution will continually monitor regulatory developments within the TCPA and across states and deliver purpose-built solutions to help your team adapt to change without sacrificing performance.

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Maximize Your Conversion Rates with Convoso’s Blended Dialer

Looking to skyrocket your outbound sales performance without sacrificing basic inbound offerings? Want to pair industry-dialing outbound dialing power with a separate, inbound-centric customer service solution? Look no further than Convoso’s cloud-based contact center software. Powered by the fastest dialer engine available, Convoso comes back with a comprehensive set of powerful features to help your team thrive—whether you choose to blend your call center or not.

Request a demo to improve your tech stack and outbound campaign performance with Convoso’s blended dialer.

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