While inbound and outbound have traditionally been viewed as separate entities, technology and software have enabled contact centers to blend the two. In this blog, we'll reveal how connecting inbound and outbound in the same software can make a difference in daily contact center operations.
Traditionally, agents and contact centers have tended to concentrate either on inbound or outbound. Differences in mindset, software and training have led to a divide between customer service and selling.
Compare that with a blended contact center, where agents handle both inbound and outbound contacts and calls. Depending on the priority of the contact, the agents can flexibly switch from customer service tickets to sales.
The emergence of blended contact center software, combining the features of both inbound and outbound operations, has recently made blending an even more viable option for contact centers.
Staffing is one of the most persistent issues at contact centers.
During peak hours, the on-hold times are high and customer experience suffers. On the other hand, when fewer calls and messages are coming in, the agents are idle. This is not optimal for agent productivity.
Finding the balance in staffing is easier if the software in use allows switching flexibly between inbound and outbound. Depending on the volume of inbound contacts, a quality omnichannel software can direct a designated group of agents to make outbound calls or help the inbound team during peak hours.
The result is the potential for more revenue for the call center, incentives for the agents and short hold times for the customers.
Blended contact centers can use their customer data to provide more proactive customer service.
When the inbound call volume is low, customer service agents can contact existing customers and ask if their recent purchase or subscription has been satisfactory. Providing customers with the possibility to express their feelings helps them feel valued.
Imagine loyal customers whose technology is about to become outdated because of a new national standard. Switching to outbound and providing them with an easy way to update their equipment before problems arise can be an effective in further improving the customer relationship.
Including both the inbound and outbound operations in the same software saves blended contact centers training hours and money.
Contact centers typically have a high agent churn rate, which means that centers are constantly training new agents.
Instead of training the agents in two completely different pieces of software for inbound and outbound, blended contact centers should use a quality blended contact center software that is easy to learn quickly.
This way the agents will spend their time with customers instead of going through training for all the different software needed for blending.
Finally, having two separate software in use results in two separate reports that are time-consuming to compile and hard to integrate.
A blended software enables blended contact centers to generate automated reports that provide a general overview of contact center performance as well as specific reports for inbound and outbound.
To summarize, the benefits of blended inbound and outbound are: