Decision-makers for outbound contact 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 2023. 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 2023 the best year yet for your outbound call center.
Here are ten top contact center trends for 2023 that will help you be more competitive and better support compliance.
The Top 10 Call Center Trends in 2023 & the Future
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 best outbound call center managers and owners also keep an eye out for current and future contract center 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. Contact Centers Continue to Increase Their Reliance on SMS Marketing
Changing consumer habits and regulatory uncertainty, along with call flagging and blocking issues, continue to affect dialing strategies. As a result, call centers are shifting their approach and relying more heavily on the SMS channel.
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, outbound 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 2023.
Read the full trend post: Contact Centers Increase Reliance on SMS Marketing
2. State-Level Action Adds to TCPA Compliance Complexity
The past couple years in the world of TCPA compliance have been fast-paced and full of surprises. Expect call center regulations in 2023 to be no different.
Following the lead of Florida’s 2021 mini-TCPA, a number of states have drafted and passed their own similar laws, with even more potentially on the way in 2023. Add to that a growing number of state-level privacy regulations, headline-making lawsuits that are shaking up lead gen practices, and the continued fallout from the Supreme Court’s landmark Facebook v. Duguid ruling—and there will be plenty to keep an eye on this year. (Not to mention plenty of TCPA best practices to incorporate.)
Read the full trend post: TCPA & Call Center Compliance Trends: What Outbound Contact Centers Need to Know
3. Omnichannel Strategies and Speed to Lead Deliver Improved 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 2023 that it bears repeating. Because even beyond text messages, if you’re not reaching out to your leads over multiple channels, including email, you’re missing out on an essential tool to stay competitive. 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.
But in 2023, it’s now just how you reach out to leads that will make or break your sales—it’s how fast. To complement omnichannel capabilities and truly drive contact rate improvements, your dialer software needs to deliver unmatched speed to lead. Without a powerful dialer to reach leads as soon as they raise their hand—across channels and at scale—your business will lose out on growth and risk lagging behind the competition. In the new year, it’s one trend that contact centers can’t afford to miss out on.
Read the full trend post: Omnichannel Strategies and Speed to Lead Will Improve Call Center Contact Rates
4. More Businesses Leverage Call Center AI Technology
Artificial Intelligence technology has been available to call centers for a while now. In 2023, however, AI is no longer a nice-to-have technology—it’s 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. An Intelligent Virtual Agent, or IVA. can save agents time by pre-qualifying leads and setting appointments with either voice or SMS. 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: Businesses Will Leverage Call Center AI Technology
5. The Battle with Call Blocking and Flagging Continues
Robocall rates remain high, consumers are still frustrated, and carriers continue to take aggressive action trying to address the issue of unwanted calls (and texts). In fact, this ongoing activity is actually what’s driving some of the other call center trends we’ve listed here!
Avoiding call blocking with the right strategies, best practices, and caller ID reputation management solution will continue to separate the best performing call centers from the rest of the pack in 2023.
Read the full trend post: Strategies to Continue Combatting Call Blocking and Flagging
6. Call Center Analytics Drives 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: Data Analytics and Real-Time Reporting for Outbound Call Centers
7. Increased Call Center Automation Unlocks 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 2023 and beyond.
Read the full trend post: The 6 Call Center Automation Tools Shaping the Industry
8. Teams Lean on Sales QA Software for Performance and Compliance
Many of the call center trends for the year ahead are about the changing ways that contact centers get in touch with their customers. But outbound call centers also need to track and optimize their operations, including 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, including the ability to improve outbound call scripts and more.
Read the full trend post: Teams Lean on Sales QA Software for Performance and Compliance
9. A Renewed Focus on Call Center Agent Engagement and Support
Spurred on by the pandemic and continuing through much of 2022, the so-called Great Resignation is forcing many employers—including call centers—to undergo a rethink in their employee engagement and retention strategies.
With call center agent burnout already posing a longstanding pressure on turnover rates, call center managers will need to come to the table with innovative (and necessary) solutions to assuage their employees’ concerns. Because in the year ahead, it’s not just their employee head counts but their overall business performance that’s at stake.
In light of this ongoing call center trend, many call centers are placing their work environments as well as benefits and compensation strategies under the microscope. And with a renewed focus on agent well-being, satisfaction, and overall engagement, some are hoping that they’ll see their teams’ performance hit new heights in 2023.
Read the full trend post: Renewing the Focus on Call Center Agent Engagement
10. Managers Continue to Navigate the Virtual (and Hybrid) Contact Center Environment
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 as 90% of millennial and Gen-Z workers have no interest in returning to full-time office work after the COVID-19 pandemic—though some remain skeptical that fully remote work is here to stay.
Still, whether it’s fully virtual or hybrid, the 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: Starting & Maintaining a Productive and Profitable Virtual Call Center
We hope these tips and call center trends will inspire your business to greater success throughout 2023 and keep your business both competitive and thriving. Subscribe to our blog below to get the latest strategies to help your sales and lead generation team stay on-trend, competitive, and improving productivity throughout the year. Delivered to your inbox in a monthly blog roundup.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this page and related links is provided for general education purposes only and is not legal advice. Convoso does not guarantee the accuracy or appropriateness of this information to your situation. You are solely responsible for using Convoso’s services in a legally compliant way and should consult your legal counsel for compliance advice. Any quotes are solely the views of the quoted person and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Convoso.