As our connected devices have led us to communicate in ever more diverse ways, it’s become fairly standard for outbound call centers to provide omnichannel solutions that meet consumers wherever they take their business.
So, with the capability to automate text and email as outreach tools for dialing campaigns, contact rates for sales and lead generation teams should be higher than ever, right?
Unfortunately, many omnichannel approaches fail to live up to this promise. What’s more, not all call center managers use the full range of capabilities in their platform’s arsenal.
But if you want to stay competitive (and compliant) in 2021, it’s time to step back and evaluate the best ways to weave multiple channels into your strategy.
To help you do so, here’s what we’ll cover in this post:
- Supporting smart dialing strategies with automation
- Navigating compliance and boosting contact rates
- Meeting customers where they communicate best
- Why not all omnichannel solutions are created equally
Support Smart Dialing Strategies with Automation
Any successful dialing strategy has to consider the best time to call customers. But if you have a large list of data to get through, and you’re calling one by one, you might end up making some of those calls outside of your ideal time slot.
Of course, with a powerful, automated autodialer solution on your side, you can get through these lists at the best time of day, and only deliver to your agents those calls that connect. Chris Cantrell, an agent with US Health Advisors, says that this capability is “how you put time back in your agents’ pockets—and also produce more sales, at the best times.”
From there, it’s easy to see how your gains might snowball. As Cantrell puts it: “You create more revenue, and you create more profit for more leads and even more opportunity.”
Watch VIDEO of Chris talking about saving time and improving sales using multiple channels
Not only that, but this smart dialing strategy can and should serve as the backbone for your automation-driven omnichannel approach.
That time that your agents get back thanks to the efficiency of a powerful autodialing solution? Cantrell says that that’s all time your team can put toward your other channels, like SMS and email. This way, according to Cantrell, “you’re freeing up time to do the things that matter in the downtime, and you’re staying really hot, and really productive, in the hot time.”
With the right omnichannel solutions, though, your SMS and email channels aren’t just being put to use when your agents have downtime—they’re always working in the background, even when your agents are focusing their best efforts elsewhere.
Cantrell says that having these channels—whether it’s your texts or your email drip campaigns— running in the background, pulling in customers digitally rather than over the phone, helps bring the business to you.
This kind of automation of tedious tasks is key to building the next generation call center you need to stay competitive. With streamlined processes and improved efficiencies, you can not only drive growth but support a more successful and satisfying experience for your agents.
Navigating Compliance and Boosting Contact Rates
Meanwhile, though, that dialing strategy that’s the foundation of your omnichannel approach also has to account for compliance. And that means putting outright overdialing behind you. After all, it’s about dialing smarter, not harder.
That’s because, as TCPA regulations tighten, call blocking expands, and consumers become savvier, wild dialing is just no longer an effective, or ultimately profitable, approach to running a lead gen or sales call center. This tactic will just lead to your calls being blocked or marked as spam, potentially without you knowing it.
Learn more about adapting to TCPA compliance trends and staying competitive in 2021
But if you’re dialing less, you may be wondering how you’re supposed to convert leads. The answer circles back to omnichannel and automation.
Smarter, compliant outreach begins with understanding the quality of the leads that you’re dialing. You can’t just take the same blanket outreach approach with both high-intent and low-intent leads.
Low-intent leads call for a little bit of extra caution. Your dialing solution that’s at the heart of your omnichannel approach? It should be able to support dialing that’s responsible—and do so automatically. That means it should utilize tools that automatically rest your leads based on inputs like intent level and prior dispositions, plus offer you to create custom redial/recycle logic. After all, a good way to avoid having your calls blocked is to call less!
For those ever-valuable high-intent leads, you don’t just need automation, you need omnichannel. The newfound efficiencies we discussed above are as crucial as ever: That time saved on the sales floor with smart autodialing can help give your team essential time to fine-tune and strike the right balance between voice, text, and email.
This time, combined with the right system, provides opportunities to develop smarter call cadences for high-intent leads. And these call cadences you develop can be synchronized with automated omnichannel workflows that do much of the work for your team.
Automation based on events
The best omnichannel solutions rely on event-driven workflow automation. Event-driven means that you can configure an outreach action—whether text, email, callback, or smart voicemail drops—to take place when it’s triggered by one or more specific events.
For example, you send an email and that email gets opened. With event-driven workflow automation, you can automate an action based on this event, ensuring a call is placed, say, two minutes after this email is opened.
But the chain reaction doesn’t have to end there. With the right system, you should be able to automate a workflow based on a long list of interlinked events, creating thousands of different outcomes that are tailored to your particular marketing and sales strategy.
In the end, when you automate lead follow-up across voice, text, and email you can dramatically boost contact rates—and, done right, while staying compliant.
Meeting Customers Where They Communicate Best
The reason behind these boosts in contact rates isn’t exactly rocket science. Omnichannel is all about connecting with customers in the way they prefer. Giving customers options and adding a personalized touch—it’s basically Sales 101.
Think about your own preferences as a customer. How do you like to be contacted? Does it depend on who’s reaching out? Or on the time of day? Like you, customers are going to be more easily reached on different communication channels for a variety of reasons.
Speaking about her experience in the solar energy market, industry veteran and call center expert Heather Griffin imparted some words of wisdom for outbound sales teams in all industries: Omnichannel, she says, is critical to dealing with shifting demographics, each of which come with their own biases toward certain channels. As more Millennials and members of Gen Z become eligible customers, it’s on sales teams to adjust, according to Griffin. “Millennials and Gen Z—they don’t like talking on the phone,” Griffin says. “So that’s where SMS and omnichannel come in” and have an important role to play in keeping contact rates up as market demographics change.
Looking for tips to motivate your millennial and Gen-Z workforce? Check out these 7 Surefire Tactics to Motivate Your Millennial Call Center Agents
Regardless of whether you’re trying to bridge generational gaps, though, the key here is to keep the conversation going. That means the prospect’s experience should be easy and consistent across platforms, whether phone, email, or texting.
Agents need to see all the ways a lead has connected with your company and all the relevant information you have on that lead, which requires a system with robust lead management capabilities and actionable data analytics integrations.
Why Not All Omnichannel Solutions Are Created Equally
For many outbound sales teams, omnichannel is apparently easier said than done. Even if some centers think they’re ahead of the curve here, according to Convoso’s Chief Product Officer Bobby Hakimi, “there are centers that don’t have a true omnichannel system.”
Even if they have omnichannel built into their approach, Hakimi says, “many of the channels they use are controlled manually by agents. Or, if it’s automated, they have little to no control over when to automate that channel.”
To deliver higher contact rates and bring success to your sales and lead gen team, omnichannel is the way to go – and, it’s just one of the outbound call center trends for 2021 in our series to help contact centers stay competitive. From driving smarter dialing strategies and maintaining compliance, to reaching customers between multiple devices and across generations, the right omnichannel solutions for 2021 and beyond are backed by automation that saves you and your team time, so that you can do more of what you do best.
Tour Convoso’s omnichannel solution and learn about our automation-driven suite of tools.