“Scale without automation doesn’t exist.”
That’s what Convoso’s CEO and Co-founder, Nima Hakimi had to say during a 2021 webinar on call center technology.
It’s a thought that neatly sums up why call center automation trends are so important in 2022: Because without automating their operations, businesses in lead gen and outbound sales will struggle to deliver the scale and growth they need to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.
Hakimi went on to say that implementing technology isn’t always easy. “But once it’s implemented and you get the hang of it, you can take things to the next level.” And that’s what this article is all about—helping you take your contact center to the next level.
Below, in this guide to contact center automation trends in 2022, we analyze 6 of top automation solutions that are helping to deliver maximum efficiency at today’s top outbound call centers.
6 Top Outbound Contact Center Automation Tools and Technologies
Autodialer software is the foundation of automated, efficient call center operations. This software automatically places calls using an operation’s database of contacts, with the goal of connecting agents with more prospects or customers.
However, while automatic dialing is the key function of an autodialer, it is the multiple supporting features available that will help manage call center performance and improve ROI. And as we’ll see below, many of these features can introduce further degrees of automation—and even greater efficiency—at your call center.
AI-Powered Quality Assurance (QA) Tools
QA—the process of auditing operations and services to ensure they meet company standards—is crucial to running an outbound call center. From dialing tactics and dispositions, to agent conversations and compliance, a high-volume call center is a mind-bogglingly complex operation to keep track of. So much so that keeping tabs on it all can be quite tedious for the teams involved in QA. Even worse, it might just be impossible for some call centers to actually keep track of it all.
That is, until now.
Luckily for today’s call centers, automation is revolutionizing how QA is done—and how much of the call center it covers. Speaking during a webinar on the 2.0 Lead Generation Call Center, Digital Market Media’s Director of Operations, Kyle Andersson sang the praises of AI for QA:
“When you talk about quality assurance—listening to calls, scoring calls, and making sure that they’re compliant, they’re quality, they’re getting through the qualification questions that you need from your clients—this is all streamlined with AI because it’s not a person or managers listening to calls, it’s the system listening to every call.”
AI-powered software can work in tandem with QA teams or, as Andersson points out, free up agents to focus on other tasks. AI can help call centers develop QA scorecards and then actually score agent performance automatically by listening in on calls automatically. Meanwhile, real-time guidance tools like Balto, an integration available with Convoso, can give agents their own checklist of things they need to say to support compliance and convert customers.
Even with the help of these QA tools, there are certain scenarios where a human must intervene. Whether it’s a customer issue that gets elevated to a manager, or for the sake of coaching both new and seasoned agents, real-time automatic transcription provides an important tool.
With access to transcripts of live calls on a previously impossible scale, managers and agents can both review call content in their complete context to identify errors and opportunities for improvement.
However, with real-time transcription always working behind the scenes, the applications of call center transcripts now extend beyond one-on-one coaching sessions and individual customer care. In addition, managers can now search through huge numbers of conversations to better understand customer behavior and desires—and identify greater trends in their teams’ behavior.
Intelligent, Skills-Based Routing
Every outbound call center manager knows that each of their agents has different skills. However, many dialers don’t let them play to these different strengths. Intelligent, skills-based routing capabilities change that.
Managers can define agent skills, like language proficiency or specific product knowledge. Then, using information from their CRM record, the dialer will automatically route leads to the agent best qualified to handle the interaction.
Heather Griffin, a call center expert and owner, says this capability can really move the needle for lead gen and outbound sales teams. ““Putting the right leads in front of the right people at the right time is really important,” she says. Not only that, but by teeing up agents with more of the customers they handle best, managers can help keep agents in rhythm, keep them engaged, and even boost their morale.
Meanwhile, for businesses whose agents are dialing into multiple states, smart routing can ensure that customers are only routed to agents who have the licensure they need to remain compliant.
In outbound sales, timing is everything. If you’re dialing a high volume of leads manually, though, there’s no efficient way to make sure you’re only dialing the right leads at the right time. After all, agents have a lot on their plate. With workflow automation software, you can develop a customized approach to lead follow-up and have your dialer do most of the dirty work.
Workflow automation can be set up to incorporate a custom cadence of calls, texts, emails, voicemail drops, and more that work in tandem to increase the chances of contact and conversion. Best of all, with behavior-based rules, the automated schedule can respond whenever customers take further action as they move through the sales funnel.
According to Nima Hakimi, a dialer with workflow automation can make all the difference, offering the ability to tailor different approaches to leads from different quality sources. “With high-intent leads vs. low-intent leads, you’re going to have different strategies around them,” he says. “Your dialer should have the capability to automate that process.”
Reporting and Analytics
“In an environment like a call center, you have to make decisions quickly,” says Nima Hakimi. “If you don’t, any extra minutes or seconds can cost you thousands and thousands of dollars.”
Advances in reporting and call center analytics mean that call center decision-makers can get the information that they need to make the most of every second, right at their fingertips and in real time. With automated reporting, gone are the days of sifting through seemingly endless spreadsheets and making manual calculations—only to find out that negative impacts to ROI have been made.
Instead, in 2022, top-performing call centers are using the power of automation to gain insights into their entire sales floor—even if they’ve shifted to a virtual call center model.
What Call Center Automation Can Deliver to Your Business
We began this guide to contact center automation in 2022 with one crucial word: scale.
Each of the technologies we’ve discussed above has the potential to deliver increased scale to your call center. At the heart of this potential, however, is improved efficiency. More precisely, efficiency in three key areas: for your leads, agents, and managers.
“When world-class call centers do things well, it’s when they’re efficient in all three of these areas,” says Hakimi.
In 2022, look for a dialer software that delivers the automation you need to match the efficiency of these world-class call centers.
“Convoso does a lot of things for us automatically to save us time and money.” – Douglas Salmaso, Sales Success Manager at Solarna