In this article, we’ll look at what call blending is and the advantages/disadvantages, then review how to find the best blended dialer solution for your inbound and outbound marketing blended operation.
What is Call Blending?
Call blending is a term used to describe a call center’s capability to both receive inbound calls and to place outbound calls using one contact center software system.
Call centers can specialize in outbound calling, while others may focus on taking inbound calls, such as customer care contact centers. However, call blending enables call center agents to both receive inbound calls and dial outbound calls, without needing to rely on separate call center software solutions.
Done right, and with the right dialer, call blending can unlock new efficiencies, reduce agent idle time, and boost productivity and morale.
Now that you know what call blending is, it’s time to explore how your call center can make the most of it. In this guide to the blended call center, we’ll cover:
- What is a blended dialer?
- The advantages and disadvantages of call blending
- How to find the best blended dialer solution
- A blended dialer success story
What Is a Blended Dialer?
For call centers looking to optimize both inbound and outbound contact operations, the blended dialer is the solution that makes it all possible. Using intelligent technology, a blended dialer automatically connects call center agents with inbound and outbound calls.
For instance, automatic call distribution (ACD) technology may work to route inbound calls. Meanwhile, predictive dialing optimizes agent wait time and drop rates, dials outbound calls automatically, and connects agents to live prospects.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Call Blending
First things first: what 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 dialer 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’s little not to like about call blending. The primary drawback of operating a blended call center is an increase in training requirements. Rather than training up agents in one specialty, they need to be equipped to handle both inbound and outbound calls.
Finding the Best Blended Dialer Solution
While the positives of call blending obviously outweigh the negatives, that fact comes with a clear caveat: It only holds true if you’re using the right blended call center software.
Not all solutions are created equally, and many solutions simply don’t live up to their billing. And without the right dialer on your side, you’ll be leaving customer satisfaction and sales on the table.
So, what should you look for in a blended dialer? For starters, your dialer of choice should have 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.)
When it comes to outbound features, 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: Stay ahead of call blocking and flagging before you feel it on your bottom line.
- Omnichannel outreach tools: Without omnichannel solutions, your contact center is missing out on opportunities to connect with potential customers. Get in touch using email and SMS features that sync up seamlessly with your dialing campaigns.
- 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.
How a Medicare Call Center Found Blended Success
Of course, if you’re looking to really understand the power of having robust inbound and outbound capabilities at your call center, the proof is always in the pudding.
GetHealth-e made the move from inbound-only to blended. However, with their initial dialer choices (first Five9, then VICIdial) they were having trouble reaching leads. After making the switch to Convoso’s blended call center software, things started looking up—way up.
Not only were they able to boost customer satisfaction with a customized IVR, but they also got to experience the importance of robust outbound functionality. The incredible results rolled in virtually overnight, as GetHealth-e quadrupled their contact rate and cut their lead costs by 40%. Plus, managers saved time, and agents’ morale improved.
Maximize Your Conversion Rates with Convoso’s Blended Dialer
Looking to step up your blended services? Learn how you can dramatically improve contact rates, conversions, and compliance—while supporting customer care—using Convoso’s state-of-the-art dialer software.
Request a demo to improve your tech stack and outbound campaign performance with Convoso’s outbound dialer.