Shifting from outbound calling toward prior agreement for dialogue

The big dilemma of outbound call campaigns

All brands want to engage in conversation and anticipate the needs of their customers to win their loyalty. They seek to replace reactivity with proactivity, with a market segmentation in order to adapt their offers to shifting customer goals. According to Gartner, more than 50% of contacts will be outbound in 2025.

On their end, customers want less stress and more respect for their privacy. They no longer wish to receive intrusive and unwanted calls. They want meaningful interactions that meet their needs according to their goals at the time.

At the same time, laws are restricting and limiting call campaign practices, considered too often intrusive.

Faced with this complex situation, it’s time to stop these blind campaigns in order to restore proactive engagement which has been plagued by misuse. Brands must rethink their proactive engagement strategies. Therefore, the focus is no longer on overdialing to reach customers, but targeting and identifying the right time to contact them and using the best channel to do so.

A new approach has gained a foothold: How can a company substitute intrusion with agreement? With which solutions? What are the impacts and the consequences for brand strategies?

Data as a cornerstone for serving this new ambition

Using data in a relevant way has become a crux for companies. The analysis of interactions generated during digital journeys (chat, instant messaging, SMS, email) and human interactions fuel targeted proactive engagement. The analysis of omnichannel interactions enrich customer behavior knowledge and generates a large quantity of data.

It has therefore become necessary for brands to rely on artificial intelligence to analyze this volume of data and on CRM tools to orchestrate the data.

“Customers have taken back their power, and brands must offer more channels to their customers in order to win their loyalty. The secondary effect of the omnichannel strategy may be the fragmentation of the customer view. More than ever, the challenge of customer service is to reconcile the information for journey management,”

Karine Palacios

Chief Product Officer at Vocalcom

A winning combination of channels: the new brand strategy

The challenge for brands that wish to engage in conversation with their customers proactively is to use the right channel at the right time according to the profile and the objectives of the customer. Therefore, the challenge for brands and outsourcers is to obtain the customer’s agreement for dialogue. The 7 ingredients for winning customer service (according to Karine Palacios, CPO at Vocalcom):

  1. Customers have taken back power! They wish to use their preferred channels when talking to brands. An omnichannel strategy has become a must—it is the only way to create and maintain a connection, especially for outbound campaigns.
  2. Look for the preferred channel to engage in dialogue and obtain agreement. Companies must identify the most relevant channel according to the history of the conversations and define the best time to contact a person for a specific reason.
  3. Do not be too intrusive! A blind outbound call campaign on first contact is seldom a good way to obtain agreement. Calls are often more efficient when a face-to-face meeting or a digital conversation has already taken place.
  4. It is crucial to identify what is the “role” or the “cap” of the customer at the time when they are contacted and what goals they are pursuing. A customer may prefer one channel over another depending on the subject. For example, young parents prefer Instagram groups for talking about child nutrition, while in the professional world, these same people will prefer a Linkedin message for business event notifications.
  5. Reserve digital automation for simple interactions. The use of chatbots or voicebots on digital channels offers a quick response to a simple question. It also allows you to limit legal constraints from the start and use unregulated channels (depending on the country) to obtain the contact’s permission. However, it must be noted that 82% of customers state that they have trouble carrying out simple tasks, such as making purchases online, modifying orders, choosing delivery times, or even making payments. The simplicity of the journey is currently considered more important than cost.
  6. Use voice in certain contexts: to alleviate the complexity of digital journeys, to manage complex cases, or to offer empathy and emotion at a given time. At the end of the customer journey, the voice channel also allows a company to come to an agreement and thank the customer in a personalized manner. When used at the right time, voice remains a safe bet: at the end of a journey, customers prefer phone calls with an agent rather than navigating an automated phone menu.
  7. Adopt new hybrid communication methods for a new generation of customers. Digital platforms may be enriched with video and voice content and combined with text for a more human interaction. The appearance of vocal or video messaging in asynchronous mode in customer service mimics the habits of a young consumer audience eager for simplicity. Real-time video chat allows a company to humanize an interaction without noise disturbance.

Human contact has become the differentiating factor of the customer journey. Asynchronous or real-time voice contact therefore maintains its prestige! All of these practices combined together will result in a map adapted at every moment to the customer’s life. These practices represent a lever for contact center performance but above all for customer and agent satisfaction, as these practices generate desired and expected discussions: the recipe for a fruitful conversation.

To meet these challenges, Vocalcom (a contact center solution leader) has signed a partnership with Infobip (a global cloud communication platform and leader in omnichannel engagement) in order to offer the best of two worlds: a complete solution for proactive engagement based on prior agreement.

“Today more than ever, people expect rich, contextual, and personalized engagement on their preferred channels. Our partnership with Vocalcom allows us to offer an intelligent, optimized, and differentiated approach to outbound call management combining automation and personalization in the context of new regulations,” states Eric Leboeuf, Director of Strategic Channel Partnerships at Infobip.

« The integration of Infobip with the Hermes platform will allow our customers, among others, to evolve their proactive engagement strategy toward a non-intrusive and more profitable model, based on the agreement for contact by the user through digital channels, in addition to voice calls,” concludes Karine Palacios.

Expand to better innovate…an ambitious path but now fully mapped out for 2022.

To read the article in PDF format : The big dilemna of outbound campaigns

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