Series: Contact center planning

Plan for outbound dialing


Outbound dialing campaigns are integral for many contact center organizations. An automated dialing system can provide efficiency and a view into the business through reporting.

While the preparation prompts below apply to all customers, they are especially important for customers who transition to new dialing technology. Use this opportunity to revisit your outbound campaign strategy, practices, and measurements.

Questions

Discuss the following questions with your team:

  • What is your dialing or outbound strategy?

    With factors such as unique contact lists and rule sets, outbound dialing implementations can vary significantly. Be prepared for customized discovery and implementation by setting the stage for complete collaboration between key members of contact center management.

  • How are outbound campaign agents scheduled, and how are staffing requirements determined? 
  • Do you plan to blend inbound and outbound calling?

    While not considered a best practice, some centers do blend their inbound and outbound calls. A more effective method blends outbound campaign activities with back office or other deferrable workloads like email. Consider the following:

    • Prioritize inbound calls over outbound. An understaffed center with a blended environment likely prevents agents from reaching dialing targets. In this scenario, agents are often pulled and dedicated to outbound calling to get through the list. This effectively creates a non-blended environment with inefficient manual adjustment and intervention.
    • Combined utilization is difficult to report, since many systems track utilization and states differently for inbound vs. outbound.
    • Managing blended outbound and inbound environments presents difficulties from an efficiency standpoint.

Actions

Take the following actions before moving forward in the planning phase:

Preparation Assigned to Complete date

Create an outbound dialing strategy.

  • Direct your legal team to review current regulations involving automated dialing such as TCPA, HIPAA, FCC – and how they apply in your environment.
  • Identify calls that the organization can make without agent involvement.
  • Determine how to manage inbound ACD calls and outbound dialing calls. Options include blending inbound and outbound calls, creating teams dedicated to inbound or outbound calls, or dedicating times of day for agents to alternate.
  • Identify how to call customers.
    • Determine which campaigns to typically call first. Consider revenue potential, urgency, time zones, and so on.
    • What time of day records should be called?
    • Should agents leave voicemail?
If you blend inbound and outbound calls, analyze the trade-off between utilization efficiency and manageability and scheduling efficiency.
Ensure that outbound dialing agent groups are large enough to maximize dialing efficiency. In an automated dialing environment, the larger the group, the better.
Ensure that agents are trained on proper use of scripts and proper call dispositioning. 
Identify and train an outbound administrator who is responsible for the day-to-day management of call campaigns.

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