Decision-makers for outbound call centers look ahead to sharpen their competitive edge so they can thrive and grow. We’ve put together this summary of the most important industry trends that will impact outbound contact centers in 2022.
We took stock of the past year, talked to industry experts, and even looked into our crystal ball to see what the year will hold. Use these trends and the practical tips for sales and lead generation teams to make 2022 the best year yet for your outbound call center.
Here are nine top outbound contact center trends for 2022 that will help you be more competitive and better support compliance.
9 Trends for Outbound Call Centers in 2022
Life in an outbound call center moves at an electric pace. Agents try to get customers on the line and hook them with a well-tailored pitch, while managers wrangle data, juggle lists, and do so much more to optimize their operation and drive ROI.
But the most successful outbound call center managers and owners also keep an eye out for current and future trends. They’re looking for new ways to improve the efficiency and profitability of their businesses, staying on top of everything from impending changes in compliance regulations to the cutting-edge technologies and expert-endorsed best practices that help them solve issues and meet goals.
1. Combatting Call Blocking and Flagging
While they may have slowed down at the beginning of the pandemic, robocalls are once again soaring. In response, carriers have gotten more and more aggressive trying to address the issue. AT&T, for example, reported that they were on track to block or flag double the amount of calls in 2021 that they did in 2020.
As Convoso CEO Nima Hakimi put it on a recent podcast, “The bad actors out there have really ruined everything for legitimate businesses. Telco carriers have taken matters into their own hands and are deciding which calls should go through or not—or be blocked.” In 2022, carriers will remain aggressive. And it will continue to cause headaches for the legitimate outbound call centers trying to reach their customers.
This outbound call center trend will be top-of-mind for managers everywhere in 2022. And so should the strategies and best practices required to avoid call blocking.
Read the full trend post: Strategies to Combat Call Blocking and Flagging
2. Increased Reliance on the SMS Channel
As call blocking and flagging continue to affect dialing strategies, outbound call centers will need to rely on other channels to reach leads. SMS is one particular channel that will play a critical role in driving conversions and call center growth in 2022.
Building triggered text messages into an automated outbound workflow is a great way for call centers to reach as many customers as possible. After all, research shows that text message open rates are as high as 98%. That means texts can reach leads even when outbound calls can’t.
Plus, not only can text messages be very effective, they can also help support compliance. According to TCPA expert and attorney Eric J. Troutman, SMS might be the safest means of outreach in the current regulatory environment. Effective and compliant? That sounds like a win-win for outbound call centers in 2022.
Read the full trend post: Growth and Complexity in the SMS Channel
3. A Fast-Changing TCPA Compliance Landscape
Speaking of compliance: As always, TCPA-related issues and state-level regulations will continue to be a top trend this year. As Troutman himself put it during a LeadsCon 2021 panel, “As you move into the future, with things coming at you from different angles every day, the need for expertise is more prevalent than ever before.”
In 2021, the Supreme Court handed down its Facebook v. Duguid ruling. Although this should have opened the door for outbound call centers to more freely dial potential customers, the truth is that the case’s implications are still being fought over in the courts—and that will continue into (and probably even after) 2022. Likewise, state-specific regulations, like Florida’s mini-TCPA, will continue to spring up and change how contact centers can act. And that means that implementing TCPA best practices and working with a dialer partner that proactively supports compliance will be as important as ever in 2022.
Read the full trend post:TCPA Compliance Trends 2022: What Outbound Call Centers Need to Know and Do
4. Integrating Call Center AI Technology
Artificial Intelligence technology has been available to call centers for a while now. In 2022, however, AI will not be a nice-to-have technology—it will be essential for outbound call centers to drive growth.
As AI continues to develop, its ability to add quality and efficiency to your outbound operation should not be overlooked. Tools like an AI virtual agent can save agents time by pre-qualifying leads. Meanwhile, advances in chatbots and SMS AI will support conversations and conversions for outbound, inbound, and blended call center businesses. With a range of AI-powered tools available to them, outbound call centers see an improvement in efficiency and profitability with the adoption of AI tools.
Read the full trend post: AI for Outbound Call Centers: 2022 Trends for Lead Generation and Sales
5. Leveraging Call Center Analytics for Personalization and Optimization
Reliable data is critical to efficiency, so managers need a dialer that offers flexible real-time and historical reporting that can be customized with the metrics most critical to their business. Tracking the right call center KPIs with detailed reports gives dialer managers insights to optimize the efficiency of lead and agent performance to improve ROI.
Plus, as call centers strive for more conversions and sales, a personalized sales experience can help immensely. After all, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. Data insights and a dialer that equips agents with lead info can deliver on the promise of personalization.
Read the full trend post: Outbound Call Center Data Analytics: 2022 Trends for Lead Generation and Sales
6. Managing Productive Virtual Call Centers
Working from home has become the new normal. Many virtual contact centers have discovered new efficiencies and opportunities in remote operations with cloud-based dialers, and are not going back. In fact, many may be forced to offer remote-work options in response to workforce preferences: As many as90% of millennial and Gen-Z workershave no interest in returning to full-time office work after the COVID-19 pandemic.
This new normal requires new management strategies to keep agents positive, productive, and engaged. It also requires the most effective cloud-based dialer software to boost agent and manager productivity for remote call centers.
Beyond software, remote and hybrid teams will also need tools that provide easy internal communication and collaboration. Assets like a broadcast chat tool can increase the sense of connection within teams, while real time reporting capabilities can keep teams accountable and efficient. Meanwhile, engagement and retention strategies should be updated and adapted to this new work environment. Using compensation and incentives, plus games and fun virtual events, call centers can help keep employee satisfaction high.
Read the full trend post: Productive Virtual Call Centers
7. Improving Performance (and Supporting Compliance) with Call Center QA
Many of our 2022 call center trends concern how businesses will get more leads on the phone. But outbound call centers also need to track and optimize everything that happens once potential customers are on the line. Doing so is critical for boosting growth and maintaining compliance.
Call center quality assurance tools and software can do the work of an entire dedicated QA team, freeing up more agents to focus on making successful sales. Rather than having to check calls manually, QA software can evaluate every call to identify issues and help prioritize action. Best of all, these tools are often third-party integrations that can work within your existing dialer software.
As call center expert Heather Griffin put it: “It used to take me 30 QA people to QA my 1000-seat call center. And now a system is doing it. Within the call center world AI is fantastic.” Though many companies are hesitant to pay for QA, it is a short-term cost with long-term benefits.
Read the full trend post: QA for Outbound Call Centers
8. Omnichannel Solutions Improve Call Center Contact Rates
We’ve already mentioned the rising trend of SMS outreach capabilities. But having an overarching omnichannel outreach strategy will be so important in 2022 that it bears repeating. If you’re not reaching out to your leads over multiple channels, you’re missing out on an essential tool to stay competitive.
In addition to text messages, your dialer software needs to support email integration and smart dialing strategies that support your consent-based marketing efforts. With well-written opt-ins, SMS and email offer strong ways to build engagement and convert leads. And again, this has only become more important as call blocking and compliance regulations have reached new heights. With an omnichannel contact center solution, your contact rates can potentially see dramatic improvements.
Read the full trend post: Omnichannel Solutions Improve Call Center Contact Rates
9. Call Center Automation Drives Greater Efficiency
When your call center’s biggest cost is payroll, every second counts—efficiency is the name of the game. That’s why using contact center automation tools is so important. For instance, powerful autodialer software can help you make the most of every second with streamlined calling and workflows.
But these days, automation has the ability to transform the way business gets done across the outbound call center. By taking tedious or time-consuming tasks out of the hands of employees, automation can deliver greater performance in the three most important areas, driving agent efficiency, manager efficiency, and lead efficiency. From smart recycle/redial logic and smart routing to dynamic scripting and intelligent IVR, call center automation can unlock savings and boost ROI in 2022 and beyond.
Read the full trend post: The 6 Call Center Automation Tools Shaping the Industry
We hope these tips and trends will inspire your outbound call center to greater success throughout 2022 and keep your business both competitive and thriving.