What business function can increase sales, proactively communicate with customers, pump up fundraising results, automate collections, and take the pulse of customers? The answer is an outbound call center. Most people associate outbound call centers with telemarketing, but outbound call centers serve multiple purposes that are good for businesses and their customers.
What is an outbound call center?
An outbound call center is a customer service or sales function staffed with agents that make outgoing phone calls to customers and prospects. They differ from inbound call centers because of who initiates the call. The differences also extend to the software tools used and the skills of the agents making the outbound calls. For example, outbound call centers often have software that automates dialing and they might have an outbound IVR that can broadcast personalized messages to large numbers of customers. For their part, outbound agents need to be very good at immediately establishing rapport with customers and comfortable initiating conversations that some consumers may find intrusive.
Outbound call centers are more common in some industries than others. For instance, the collections industry relies heavily on outbound call centers to connect with consumers and arrange payments for overdue bills. But organizations in any industry can have outbound operations to perform functions like surveying customers and proactively notifying customers about things like upcoming appointments.
Outbound call centers facing similar challenges should investigate technology-enabled solutions. While not a silver bullet, they can go a long way towards solving common issues.