Automated Phone Call System: Everything You Need to Know
It is totally clear that the best way of contact is a personalized way, but it is not always possible and needed to provide such contact. What’s more, some automated systems of communication may easily replace personal contact in some cases.
On the one hand, such a statement denies the generally accepted doctrine of providing personalized service. Contrastively, people adore the ability to get faster and less effortful service.
So what is the right choice if we talk about automated calls? Are they a good solution or not? What is the right strategy for implementing the automated calling system? What is the definition of it? How does the automated calling software work?
Our today’s goal is to provide you with all existing information about automated calls. Make yourself comfortable and prepare - we start!
What is an Automated Phone Calling System?
We can bet that you could guess what is hidden under the name of an automated call. As it is called, its essence lies in sending pre-recorded voice messages to a client. The topics of the automated call may be various: remember messages, special offers, invitations, or asking for a service evaluation. It may be a personal call or the entire campaign to cover the list of contacts. It can also be scheduled by operating the options of an automated voice message system.
Many people confuse automated outbound calls with Auto Dialer software. Auto Dialer solution is a universal solution for outbound calls performing, and they have three different modes of work - Power Dialer, Predictive Dialer, and Preview Dialers. Even though auto dialers sometimes include an option to perform automated outgoing calls, they have totally dissimilar goals of use. A predictive Dialer is utilized to pass through substantial lead bases and avoid invalid leads, such as busy signals or unanswered ones, while Power Dialer is used for completing unedited and mixed lists. If you are interested in discovering more about these solutions, check out this article.
Now it is time to come back to our topic. As we have mentioned above, auto dialers may send automated messages or make phone calls. But for a sample, no one purchases a Power Dialer for this purpose. To cover this need, automated phone systems exist.
How does the automated voice message system work?
In most cases and this relates to various software providers, the automated voice message system has similar algorithms for operating.
Firstly, you purchase software (yes, we can’t avoid this obvious step), and create an account to be all set.
Secondly, you import the whole contact list (even if it contains thousands of contacts) you want to process and check if all necessary phone numbers are recognized by the software
Thirdly, you do another check to avoid calling people who have already restricted this opportunity.
Fourthly, you have to create a message that will be sent. Actually, it is just a voice recording or a text message voiced by the Text-to-Speech feature.
Fifthly, set the requirements of when the message ought to be delivered. For a sample, it may be a reminder of the shipping has come or it is an issue with an order.
Finally, set the time for a campaign and wait. When the task is over, you may check the insights such as how many prospects answered the call. Based on what you’ve received, the next campaign may be set up and started.
In short, that is the whole calling process divided into stages. As you can see, there is nothing difficult in it, so now the next step is to discover what functions are offered and benefits are proposed by using automated calls.
Main features of the automated phone systems
As you have already found out, automated calls are the easiest way to automate some of the elementary interactions of the clients, and it looks like a great solution on the way to maximal automation of the processes.
As it is a software solution, such a calling service should have a specified pack of features you pay for. To ease the topic, we completed them into a list. Here we go:
- Cheaper than anything else to set up: no hardware, no rentals, no huge investments - nothing is required to start using the calling service. In comparison with such competitors as increasing the number of living call center agents or using outsourced contact centers, the final costs differ a few times.
- Select time to call: as we have briefly stated earlier, the time for the campaigns may be set up before they begin - scheduling is a powerful option for creating campaign plans.
- Multiple campaigns: use one digit or a set of phone numbers for several campaigns at the same time! As for business owners, starting numerous campaigns and getting their insights and detailed reports in real-time mode is an advantageous opportunity.
- Real-time reports: the phone number calling system tracks all interactions, such as answered calls or feedback received, in up-to-minute mode. All results are shown on the special panels, so you can control everything during the process.
- Cheaper in use: you thought that all savings end at the setup stage? They are not! As there is no manual effort needed for the calling system to progress, you save money both on salaries and a cheap solution.
- CRM integration: such an integration proposes an opportunity to send all received data into CRM directly, without time losses and effort! The results of the campaign will be available for use in the next marketing strategies.
Types of Automated Phone Call Systems
Inbound Automated calling systems
An inbound automated calling system can handle incoming customer calls via the IVR software menu - customers will hear pre-recorded messages as menu sections and can navigate through them using their phone buttons or voice recognition technology. An Inbound automated calling system is a great tool to reduce call volumes, smartly route calls to agents and manage call queues to improve customer satisfaction as it can choose the most appropriate agent to be linked to an inbound call, as well as deal with thousands of calls and mass text messages from customers.
Outbound Automated calling systems
The outbound automated call system used in both blended and outbound call centers can send pre-recorded messages as simultaneous calls to all contacts from your pre-uploaded contact list (as a CSV file or whatever). These automated voice messages can be used for many purposes, including feedback collection, reminding customers, sending important information, status updates, payment details, verification purposes, and so on. This automated phone system works great for any business and any niche as it offers personalized touch with customers without any labor costs or huge investment.
What are automated outbound calls used for?
Even though automated calls have already taken place as one of the most comfortable, accessible, and preferred paths for clients to receive information or perform confirmations, many firms still use SMS as the main instrument for automated contact. To say the truth, this solution has more disadvantages than advantages.
The first and the most obvious advantage is that automated outbound calling offers way higher reply rates than SMS or texting in mobile apps, just because it is more difficult to miss the call than the message. Another benefit is that SMS can’t contain as much information as the call can. To say more, automated calls are cheaper, more empowering, and provide you with live stats, while SMS marketing can propose nothing to beat these pros.
But let’s move to the areas where the telephone announcement system may serve your business the best. Such a calling system may be operated for various purposes, so we have compiled a list of such reasons to make it easier for you to get into the topic.
Announcements and personalized offers
Personalization is the fundamental part of any customer service strategy, and automated calls are ideal for this purpose. People love to hear news and new offers personally because they get such an approach as the manifestation of the company’s attention and respect for them as individuals.
Imagine, how much would it cost if every calling campaign would be organized by real agents. New hires, new calls, new salaries - awful spending. But you may avoid this by using the automated voice message system and sending pre-recorded messages, voicemail messages, and voice broadcasts for a low price with a high impact.
Most verification codes are still sent via SMS, while voice verification is used mostly across the financial or insurance industry. But have you ever thought about how clients compare the security quality between messages and incoming calls? The answer is clear: audio messages are considered to be way more secure, and clients would appreciate such service as it shows the firm’s awareness of clients’ money and personal data safety.
Another vital option offered by automated calls is feedback gathering - no matter the purpose of it. You may collect data for upgrading customer service, providing better assistance during service calls, and making changes in customer support department performance, marketing strategies development, and so on. But the fact is that automated calls have no competitors as the tool to gather reviews.
Firstly, you don’t need to make operators call people and try to get the feedback as it would take more time, and effort and bring no outcome in the end.
Secondly, you just do almost nothing to get the feedback - only start the campaign, record the message and wait a bit.
Finally, this feedback-providing method requires no effort from clients - they just press a button on the phone to evaluate the service, so it takes a few seconds to be completed.
Automate the surveys too
And what if feedback-gathering options of the automated outbound calling service don’t end only in providing incoming calls with one question? Surveys are irreplaceable and have no competitors if you need to have a deeper comprehension of the target audience for further steps in the business growth strategy.
Such surveys may be designed as a series of queries with proposed answers, each of them is linked to a button on the client’s phone. As a sample, the question “How often do you make purchases online?” may have nine variants on a response where every one of them is connected to buttons 1 to 9. When the client uses a button, he is moved to the next query.
What if we say that message reminders of future fees are ineffective? People miss them, and when it comes to inbound calls, they may have no mood to talk with an operator. Automated calling service deals with both troubles - people no longer have to worry about those invisible SMS and operators will not disturb them, while a short reminder would be provided automatically.
You’re on the right track -schedule a call to learn more!
Benefits of automated phone call systems
As a solution created for decreasing costs and optimizing follow-ups and connections with current customers, automated phone calling system bears numerous advantages, including:
- Lowered operational costs - you don’t need to pay agents for calling thousands of leads per day;
- Personalized touch - you can reach out to all your customers with a voice communication channel for a price you would have paid for SMS mailing campaign;
- Higher response rate - it is absolutely clear that mobile phone calls sent via automated call system will get response much more often than in case of SMS or messages in WhatsApp where customer has to open the link and so on - calls are less effortful;
- Security and customer care - sharing data via calls sent by Automated Calling Software is much more secure than if you send verification code in SMS. Also, it shows that you care about customer data - and that’s what makes you exclusive;
- Real-time reports and statistics - to analyze your campaigns and their results, you have to gather data. But what if Automated Phone Call Systems does it for you without any effort?;
- Increase agent productivity and agent efficiency - boost agent performance by allowing them to deal with really important tasks instead of doing foolish manual dialing.
How to choose the right automated phone calling software?
It’s quite easy and we can explain this process in a few simple steps.
First of all, you have to create your business requirements checklist - what is your target audience, what do you want your future software tool to include in its feature list, what capabilities do you need to process your contact lists, etc.
Secondly, you need to look at offers on the market - check real user reviews, YouTube reviews, compare key features and capabilities. Create a list of offers you like to have enough options to choose from.
Thirdly, ask for demo versions or quotes, and exclude some less affordable offers from your list until you won’t have a list with 2-3 best offers in it. Then make a final decision.
Nonetheless, there is a way to avoid doing all these steps and save time. Just check our ultimate automated calling solution.
<h2id="samples">How to use automated calls for your business
To make it simpler to comprehend the benefits of automated calling service, we have completed a guide of its operating samples in various niches. As you will discover below, this toll has something to propose for almost every big industry, and the opportunities that open with automated calls are as wide as you could ever imagine before.
Cargo and logistics
This industry requires a client to track all activities, as every shipping contains many elements and needs client interactions all over the process. Automation is the most adorable solution for logistics, as it eases the process, takes less time, and makes a client satisfied. With such an unlimited calling service, the person may be acknowledged of everything that happens with the order and can make any actions in a few clicks, while the firm may provide the buyer with all needed information without any delays or huge effort.
Samples of where to use:
- Status updates
- Reminding the date of shipping
- Verification codes
- Pays reminders
- Emergency messages
Even considering that the banking sphere requires more hands-on service, automated calling services may play a role of strong support for operators. While really complicated and essential requests will be handled by advisors, some routine tasks may be dealt with the assistance of automated phone calls. As a result, you achieve better operators’ productivity, satisfied customers, and fewer costs.
Samples of operating:
- Reminding of fees or breakdowns
- Special offers
The more unobtrusive the e-commerce service is, the more satisfied customers will be. This axiom proves why automated calls are significant for this industry. Use them to offer such services as:
- Delivery updates
- Feedback collection
- Sales or personalized offers providing
For such industries as educational, medical, state services or insurance automated calls also may serve as an easy solution to keep prospects acknowledged of changes, future offers, vital interactions such as payments or visitations, and so on. Keep in mind that all these options are proposed for a price that can’t be compared to the costs required for using a living workforce that also need training, control, and equipment.
Yes, there is no path to avoid hiring live operators, but it is vital to avoid using real professionals to do tasks that must be automated. Automation is a double-edged sword, where both edges are beneficial - you spend less while the outcome is better.
5* Proven Tips to Improve Your Automated Calling Strategy in 2023
To achieve the best outcomes of your automated calling campaigns, you should follow some instructions and recommendations that are focused on improving the overall performance, customer experience, and satisfaction of your automated calls strategy. All of the tactics that are described below were checked, tested, and designed after numerous campaigns performed by many different firms that are keen on automated calls technique. To say the truth, if you want to achieve the highest impact rates and avoid customer dissatisfaction as well as misunderstandings during using this strategy, these recommendations will greatly help you.
Segment the target audience according to its preferences and wishes
Your target audience may contain people of distinct ages, interests, preferences, and social statuses, as well as the language they speak, may vary. No one but you know who your buyer is, and before reaching him with a message you should wisely design it to meet expectations and avoid disappointment.
Communicate in details
Make the message as clear as possible so people will comprehend your notification without any buts. This is even more vital for such messages as payment notifications or legal notices, which are often sent to insurance or financial customers. It is better to spend ten additional seconds providing a clear explanation than to deal with consequences that might take place because of the misunderstanding.
Select the right terms
This concerns both calling time and call duration. Every call longer than a minute and a half will be disappointing and there are a few people who are going to spend their time listening to such long messages. Calling time is also crucial - provide a little research before starting a campaign because various audiences prefer dissimilar contact times.
Improve the strategy regularly
You collect feedback from clients not just because we toldsaid you to do so. What they say is what they expect to get in the service, so ignoring clients’ recommendations may cost you customer loyalty as well as overall outcomes.
Another tip is to set up the recall rules if some clients haven’t answered the first call. But if this repeats, think of the reasons for such behavior. Maybe there is something wrong with the Caller ID, or it is time to delete the inactive lead?
Never be afraid of trying again
As a call center executive, you have to understand that not every customer will respond to you from the first try. Even though automated calling is mostly used to reach out to your current customers, who have already interacted with your company, it doesn’t mean that one single call can make them come and purchase again. If you don’t get the response rate you want to get, do what we have said earlier: try to change audience segmentation, change your sales pitches or even the approach to each group of customers - add personalization, change time of calling them, offer a little prize for responding to you. SOme customers can answer you on the tenth attempt, your goal is to keep trying.
Everything you may ask about the automated calling system
What number is displayed in Caller ID when using VoipTime Cloud?
You will receive a set of virtual phone numbers with your VoipTime Cloud Contact Center. You can choose the phone number you want to be displayed during the calling campaigns, and you can also use dynamic Local Caller ID, so depending on the location of your prospect the Caller ID will be local for that region.
What happens if a call isn’t answered by a prospect?
If a call isn’t answered by a person, the automated call systems will recognize that and place this phone number into the queue for redialing. So, the system will automatically move to the next lead, while all unanswered calls will be redialed in accordance with pre-set redialing rules - so you can also choose the time and setting for redialing.
What is the essence of automated calls?
Well, in short, it is a prerecorded voice message sent via a specified software platform and works as a regular call when a person takes the phone. It may be both a single message or a kind of IVR (Interactive Voice Response System) - when a receiver may perform interaction using the buttons to pass through various questions. Automated calling isn’t robocalling, because it is based on real messages recorded by real people. Thus, it isn’t also an auto phone dialer as it doesn’t have a purpose to connect the call to an agent.
How does automated calling software work?
You need to do only four things to be all set. Log in to the account on a platform, select needed settings, import lead base, import the message or upload it from an existing file, and submit all.
Legal issues (it is a vital part!)
In short, automated calling isn’t illegal as it is often considered to be. But here are some nuances: you must receive permission from a client, offer the unsubscription option (and it should be always included in the message), and never let the campaigns become spam to avoid complaints. To discover specified rules for some industries, look for government resources.
Can I send messages to just part of my group?
Yes, you can. You can stop calling or edit the calling list at any moment you need it. Basically, you are absolutely free to do everything you want with the contact list during automated calling campaigns to achieve the highest outcomes and get the best results.
How can I track if my campaigns are successful?
The system provides you with real-time dashboards with detailed info about your campaign - how many calls have been successful, what percentage of them has been answered, how many customers have hung up the call and so on. All this data is vital to improve your performance.
Automated calling is a great solution to reduce costs, provide more adorable service and remind clients of some important things. Use automated calls to send reminders, verification messages (for credit card operations or whatever), special offers, feedback collecting calls, and surveys - in all industries, from real estate to healthcare. To do so, you need special software. You may see such offers as “24/7 free recorded message systems”, but it doesn’t work. To meet all legal requirements and customer expectations, you need a complex and well-designed system with all advanced features, such as CRM integration and voice broadcasting, and to be honest, if you want to achieve all benefits of automated calling, you have to use something more than just a prerecorded message sender. We have an interesting offering - ultimate call center software for outgoing calls, both automated and direct, so to discover more about it, use this link and describe even more enjoyable and beneficial features than we have described above!
Contact us to discuss your needs and see Voiptime Contact Center in action!