Call blending allows contact center agents to handle both incoming and outgoing calls so agents remain productive when inbound call volume is low. Some businesses have concerns that blended dialing won't work for them because agents are not adequately skilled to handle outbound calls or multichannel communications. Others worry about prioritization of inbound versus outbound.
Blended Dialing for a Marketing-integrated Contact Center Approach
Blending allows you to swap agents between the inbound and outbound queues depending upon the quantity of calls being received at the time. Cloud Contact Pro prioritizes inbound calls so you don't keep customers waiting. There's nothing that agents or supervisors have to do manually - it simply happens automatically.
Some staff members will have a natural preference to deal with inbound calls and “warmer” inquiries. Not all people will feel comfortable on outbound calling campaigns at the outset, particularly if this wasn't a clearly defined part of their role when they were hired. While it may be challenging in the short-term to move these team members into a blended environment, if you're able to overcome this (with the proper training and motivation) then the rewards can be significant. And agents who are given a greater variety of tasks in their daily lives are often happier and more satisfied in their role.
In addition to automatically moving your agents between inbound and outbound calls, you can use a cloud contact center software platform to move seamlessly between calls, web chat, email and SMS text. Again, it's key to ensure the right mix of staff that are skilled across these channels.
The marketing department and the contact center can sometimes collide, but the blended dialing approach is great for bringing both together as it gives you the agility needed to scale resources and meet the demands of both the business and the customer.
Say, for instance, you have a big marketing communication going out about an offer that suddenly drives up inbound calls and web inquiries. With a blended contact center, inbound calls are automatically prioritized to meet that new demand, capitalizing on the effectiveness of the marketing activity.
Rise of the Call Center Super-Agent
Call blending seems like a no-brainer and certainly this approach is increasing. So what about the agent skill-set issue? It seems we are heading the way of “super-agents” due largely to the fact that call center agents are expected to deal with ever increasing complexity.
As customers are now more likely now to choose self-service options for simple queries, agents are increasingly expected to have greater product knowledge and a more detailed understanding of all issues.
The choice of channels that are available to the customer is also a driving factor and again points to the need for a wider agent skill-set. Throwing a combination of inbound and outbound skills into the mix should surely be a walk in the park for the new super-agent!
We've just touched upon the importance of integrating the contact center and marketing in one scenario. If you'd like to further understand the five rules for merging marketing and the contact center in a truly customer-centric organization, then please download the free guide: