7 Classic Outbound Dialing Mistakes to Avoid

October 20, 2016 mellis

7 Classic Outbound Dialing Mistakes to Avoid
Kevin McMahon
Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 12:15 Contact Center Outbound Rep

Outbound dialing technology can have a enormous impact on campaign results. But there's more to a good strategy than just technology. We've outlined some pointers below to help you make the most out of your next outbound dialing campaign.

1. Having Insufficient or Poor Quality Data 

As the saying goes “you get out what you put in”, so make sure to encourage attention to detail. Agents should be capturing and recording relevant and accurate information while on customer calls. One simple thing agents can do is to request and record a second telephone number or an email address. This might result in a short term increase in average handling time (AHT), but your data quality will be improved for future campaigns.

2. Using Predictive Dialing Mode When You Should Use Progressive or Preview Dialing

predictive dialer can bring dramatic uplifts in efficiency and productivity, like enabling 45 minutes or more of talk time per hour in predictive mode compared to an average of 12 minutes in the hour for manual dialing. However, that doesn’t mean it works for all campaign types.

Complex case management calls, for example, will require the agent to understand the customer’s history to determine how best to handle calls. Using predictive dialing mode is not going to lend itself to a successful call outcome. Ensure you've got options for preview and progressive dialing and use them when appropriate.

3. Forgetting about Inbound

Call backs are an important part of the outbound process but are often overlooked. This is a big mistake as these customers are far more likely to convert and have a successful call outcome. They’re also far more likely to be receptive to talking as they have called at a time that is convenient to them.

Be sure to make it easy for the customer to call back. Given the number of outbound dialing attempts it can sometimes take just to make a single contact, it's critical that you garner as many call backs as possible.

For international operations, don’t have customers call a premium rate number to contact you. Also consider creating individual CLIs (caller line IDs) for your agents to ensure that they receive their own individual call backs. This will improve the customer experience and ensure the agent with previous history with the customer or the correct skillset can make that connection.

If you fail to offer a call back service as part of your outbound predictive dialing strategy, customers are likely to become frustrated and you're going to miss out on some great opportunities.

4. Presenting Odd or Unfamiliar Numbers to Customers

Make sure you’re also using features such as mobile number presentation or local number presentation with your outbound campaigns. For international operations this means instead of presenting a typical 0845 or 0800 number to the dialed party, you intelligently present a number that is local to the number being dialed. This can also dynamically present a mobile number if calling a mobile number. 

This gives the customer a perception of local presence and increases answer rates by 20% or more. It also more than doubles the rate of call backs received which, as mentioned above, greatly increases the likelihood of a successful outcome. The customer service experience is improved and it ensures the customer is not out of pocket for calling back as these local numbers will usually be included within their calling minutes for mobile or landline plans.

5. Ignoring Compliance Issues

Make sure your dialer system can self-regulate and stops any compliance breaches from ever happening. Whether it's Ofcom, PCI, OFT, FCC or FCA, we guarantee compliance so that our customers can focus on creating better interactions. 

6. Using Poorly Designed Number Strategies

Make sure that your campaign strategies have the most logical rules configured in the background based on the numbers that you have and the type of campaign it is. Flexible dialing rules will help you to increase connect rates. In fact, our predictive dialing system allows you to store up to six numbers per contact (mobile, home, work etc.). 

For example, during Monday-Friday in regular office hours, you could set the system to call the mobile number first and then the work number. Outside office hours you could call the home number first, followed by the mobile, and then the work number. It makes sense not to waste time ringing home numbers when your campaign is targeting people at work (or vice versa). 

7. Dialing Mobiles that are Unavailable

There are many ways to maximize connection rates and improve chances of success in outbound campaigns, though all too often outdated technology can be a hindrance. If you are calling out to high volumes of mobile numbers, then be aware that typically one in three mobiles are either off, roaming or unavailable.

Using mobile number screening to intelligently check the network and establish the status of mobiles before attempting to dial means that you can save a lot of time and increase connect rates to mobiles by up to 40%.  Rather than attempting to dial those numbers that are turned off, unavailable or roaming, simply queue them for calling later on once they do become available. 

Want more tips on outbound dialing? Download our detailed guide outlining the best ways to ensure success for your outbound campaigns. Download the 10 Golden Rules of Outbound Campaigns.

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