Why service-obsessed contact centers are using outbound communications to ensure customers get the message
The contact center manager and the marketing manager – they do separate jobs in separate worlds, right?
One simply oversees transactional interactions with customers; the other delivers separate customer engagement strategies designed to drive revenue?
Well, that may have been the case in the past but, like many other aspects of organisations’ service and communication workflows, things are changing fast.
Today, those two crucial but historically-disconnected roles are conflating.
Thanks to innovative, ever-evolving capabilities and analytics, contact center managers are closer to the customer than ever before and are positioned to drive business outcomes through superior customer engagement and loyalty.
They know their customer behaviours and their preferences; they know how and when best to engage; and, most importantly of all, they have the right tools to both respond effectively when customers reach out to them and to proactively reach out to customers.
It’s the latest iteration of proactive outreach – and it is making our lives better by providing us with important information such as appointment reminders, subscription renewals, marketing promotions and deliveries.
“Smart functionality is blurring the lines between contact center and marketing in ways which are massively increasing the ability for organisations to drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty,” says Ryan Braastad, Head of Product Marketing for Amazon Connect, AWS’ ominichannel cloud contact center.
Notifications and proactive messaging can be automatically delivered via strategically-selected channels in ways and at times that align directly with customer preferences and use cases; making their lives easier to lead.
From simple text reminders and advisory emails to more sophisticated outreach campaigns requiring escalation across mobile, web and phone calls, proactive outreach simultaneously delivers on multiple fronts: communicating with customers via their chosen channel; automating the process resulting in agent efficiencies; and ultimately optimising campaign costs.
“Reaching customers via the relevant channel, at the right time is so important when it comes to driving conversion, loyalty and regulation compliance,” says Anjan Mukherjee, Product Manager at AWS.
“Customers are engaged before they have a question or an issue. That not only provides better customer service, it also decreases the burden on organisations’ contact centers.”
Proactive outreach can be used to issue general announcements, reminders, outage updates, newsletters, customer surveys or sales messages using calls, text or email, or a combination of all three.
Deploying easy-to-use drag-and-drop user interfaces – and with the latest cloud-based, ML-powered tools – contact center managers can review customer data and design and execute outbound campaigns in just a few clicks.
Machine learning-powered solutions can recognise answering machines, and predictive dialling components are proven to increase agent efficiency by 200% as they are connected only when a live customer is on the line. No more agent frustration connecting to a voicemail; and happy agents result in superior customer service.
Improved customer engagement and satisfaction, along with better use of valuable agent time, ensures companies see a stronger ROI.
“Listening to customers and understanding their behaviours and preferences is key to being able to make fast, innovative improvements,” says Braastad.
“Proactive outreach is a huge part of that overall approach to service delivery and is capable of delivering significant gains in contact center efficiency and customer satisfaction,” adds Mukherjee.
So, the contact center really can contribute much more to an organisation than simply responding to customer issues or processing the routine daily discourse.
Just don’t tell the folks over in marketing…