Choosing the dialing strategy
The first thing to consider is the choice of an outbound dialing strategy, which should be determined by the two factors ‒ your outbound contact list and the type of dialing technology to use for the campaign.
In an outbound calling campaign, all your efforts will depend on the size of your contact list, which will determine:
- how many agents you need to involve,
- what technology you will use,
- what data you’ll need to accommodate for the agents,
- how much time you should dedicate to the campaign.
You will also have to make sure that the chosen dialing strategy actually helps you to achieve your business goals, whether it is able to secure the level of agent productivity that you want to achieve, etc.
Dealing with the management concerns
There are also some management considerations you shouldn’t ignore. Before the start of the campaign, it’s important to make sure there are no procedural issues that might stand in the way. Namely, you should attend to the following outbound campaign management needs:
- database administration and data management (making sure that resources necessary for a campaign are fully optimized);
- management information (a detailed analysis of the campaign intelligence, such as the data use, dialer performance in relation to the campaign results, etc. This information will be used as a direction for ongoing campaign management and strategy alignment);
- dialer management (making sure that the dialer technology is fully optimized to ensure the highest agent productivity and the best campaign results);
- legal compliance (checking in with the legal requirements and making sure that the dialer technology is set up in accordance with telemarketing laws and regulations of the particular region).
Choosing the dialing logic
Generally, there are four types of dialing logic you can choose for the campaign ‒ power dialing, predictive dialing, preview dialing, auto-dialing. The final decision will depend upon your resources, your budget, the goals of your campaign and data availability.
This is the dialing technology that estimates the agent’s talking time for each conversation and starts dialing the next number when the agent is about to end the call. This significantly reduces the time between calls and increases agents’ productivity since they instantly jump on the subsequent call without waiting for the next person to connect.
Things to consider: If you decide to go for predictive dialing, you’ll have to pay special attention to abandoned calls rate and provide a sufficient number of agents / ensure an optimal wait time for the connection of calls to agents.
Power dialer dials phone numbers one by one and passes the live calls to available agents. Yet, power dialer calls the next number only after the agent has finished the previous call. It is often favored by the organizations that are planning an outbound campaign for the first time, needs to dial the list of existing customers (where the probability of an answer is very high) or don’t want to implement predictive dialing yet.
Things to consider: This mode dials the next number after the agent becomes free, so the contact list won’t be processed as fast as it would with predictive dialing. Also, power dialers without answering machine detection transition all calls are to agents, which can have a negative influence on agents’ productivity.
This dialing mode is a bit different from the previous two. It shows agents the relevant information about each callee before the call and lets them decide whether to dial. Preview dialing is useful for outbound campaigns, during which an agent needs to know exactly who they are about to call to prepare for the conversation.
Things to consider: Preview dialing gives an agent some extra time to get to know who they will be talking to. However, the talking time per hour will inevitably be shorter compared to the power and predictive dialer. That’s why it might not be suitable for the campaigns, the goal of which is to contact as many people as possible over a short period.
This is the pre-configured automated dialing of the contact list, during which the contacts are connected either with the agent or with the answering machine that plays a pre-recorded message. Auto-dialing doesn’t require any special planning.
Things to consider: There are many legal restrictions imposed on robodialing, so you need to make sure that the campaign follows all the local rules and telemarketing laws.
The best dialing logic for your outbound campaign
To determine the most suitable dialing logic, you need to set your business goals first. Outbound campaigns can be used for the following purposes:
Outbound campaigns are great for providing information to existing customers. This includes upsales, cross-sales, informing about new services and special offers, etc. They are also used for building brand awareness and generating leads.
Audience research and surveys
Whereas outbound campaigns are often used in sales, it’s not their sole application. Organizations can reach out to customers for doing audience research, conducting customer satisfaction surveys, etc.
In some cases, it’s necessary to reach out to the customers to provide proactive support. These situations include warnings about the temporary unavailability of the service, payment reminders, providing support in cases when the problem was reported by the customer earlier, etc. Outbound campaigns are also used for debt collection.
What dialing mode to use?
Each case has its specifics. For example, when it comes to the lead generation and debt collection (working with the cold base, when there is a low probability of reaching the contact), it’s better to use predictive dialer. It will enable agents to use their time more effectively. Such conversations can be pretty short, and the contact rate might be very low.
Say, in the case of the debt collection, collectors often work with a very old base, so the contact rate can be as low as 6%.
Meanwhile, upsell and cross-sell, as well as proactive customer support often require preliminary work as the agent should prepare for such conversations. In this case, it is better to use preview or power dialer (power is suitable when there is a long list of clients, who should receive a standardized offer). Such conversations can last longer as the agent should lead a prospect through the sales funnel (get their attention, engage them in a conversation, qualify them, and sometimes transfer them to the sales rep who will close the sale). The agent should be qualified enough to answer all the prospect’s questions without putting the person on hold too often.
Surveys are often standardized. The agent usually works with a prepared script and the duration of the conversation depends upon the average length of the questionnaire or survey. For such campaigns, autodialer could be a suitable option, especially if the IVR is involved.
Choosing the right benchmarks
There is no universal view as to the optimal productivity of an outbound campaign as the efficiency of agents will depend upon many aspects, which in turn will influence the number of calls. That being said, you should remember that quantity does not automatically presume quality. Therefore, before the campaign starts, pay attention to the following factors.
- Quality of the contact list
The contact list with outdated or wrong contacts will inevitably affect the outcomes of the campaign. The call volumes might be higher, but the call duration will be much shorter.
- Dialing logic
The dialing logic will influence the amount of time your agents will spend talking and waiting for a call. Likewise, the features and settings of the dialer will influence agents’ productivity.
- Average talk time
Talk time will differ for each type of campaign (sales, survey, or service). Knowing the talk time with non-decision makers and decision-makers will help you to get more accurate campaign statistics.
- Calling environment
If the environment is noisy, the call duration may be longer as the agents will have to speak louder and slower. Also, the quality of agents’ work will decrease if they will have to deal with more calls that they can physically handle.
Keep in mind all those factors while determining the call center KPIs and campaign benchmarks. This will help you obtain the objective stats and achieve the desired results. It is also recommended to test the accuracy and relevance of chosen metrics so that you could identify tendencies and make adjustments.
The importance of the right software
You can thoroughly plan your strategy and have your agents prepared for each call, but all the efforts will be in vain if you don’t have the right software in place. Our Voiptime Cloud call center solution was designed to get the most of your outbound campaign. It combines the efficient dialing, tracking of the most important metrics, following legal compliance, and more.
Contact us to see how Voiptime Cloud can improve your business!