Say ‘customer service’ and most people will think of a purely inbound contact center. When the customer has a problem, your agents are there to solve it.
But have you ever thought about using your auto dialer to pre-empt those problems, and giving customers a real gold standard service?
Your auto dialer is more powerful than you know
Question: What do firefighters do most days?
I hope you didn’t say ‘they fight fires’. Firefighters actually fight fewer and fewer fires every year.
Why? Because they spend so much more of their time proactively preventing fires. They install smoke alarms, teach best practice and inspect buildings.
Fire fighters are a great example of how to go from ‘problem solver’ to ‘problem preventer’.
There’s a parallel with inbound customer services. Your contact center is ready and waiting for customers to bring you their problems. They forget passwords, their deliveries get lost, they can’t activate their accounts. They’re the burning buildings your crews rush to.
Even worse are the customers who don’t bring you their problems. They just cancel their orders. They’re the unknown fire hazards that cause value to go up in smoke.
And you can prevent those fires, just by getting creative with your auto dialer.
But how can you know who needs help?
The first objection you might come up with is simple: ‘we don’t know who needs help if they haven’t called us’. But I disagree.
Your customers – especially the loyal ones – want you to go above and beyond. About half of them expect special treatment in return for their loyalty.
There are plenty of signs that someone might benefit from some extra attention. You know when customers are most at risk of churning. You know when a customer is routinely late with payments. You know when a customer commits to a big purchase.
In other words, you have plenty of data on who to call. The real problem is ‘how’. How can you put that data into a call list for your auto dialer?
Who feeds the auto dialer?
The auto dialer’s job is simple. It dials numbers and connects agents.
The benefit is the automation of a lot of time-consuming dialling. But there’s still a lot of time-consuming work involved with creating calls lists.
So wouldn’t it be more helpful to have a dialer that was integrated with your data? It’s totally possible to connect your auto dialer to data from your CRM, your Helpdesk, order management or any other source.
That lets your systems ‘talk’ about customers who are a churn risk, or falling into arrears, or who might be good candidates for feedback. Then, they can automatically schedule calls to those people and save a lot of trouble down the line.
That takes some thankless work off of someone’s plate. More to the point, it creates an exceptional customer service that saves (and makes) money.#
Does an integrated auto dialer really make sense?
Before we look at some use cases, let’s answer an important question. Is it really practical to integrate your auto dialer with other systems?
The answer is a firm ‘yes’.
A lot of industry leaders have realised that data gets siloed in various systems – it can’t pass from one to another. Your CRM is full of useful data, as is your ERP and your Helpdesk. But all that links them up is an agent, who has to piece it together manually.
That’s why integration platforms like babelforce exist; to unite data from any source.
Integrating across APIs allows data to move freely and inform processes across each system. Once you’ve integrated your auto dialer with, say, your CRM, you can set any automatic trigger you like to schedule outbound calls.
Let’s look at how that works in practice.
Auto dialer use case: retention
You’ve probably seen this finding from Bain&Company’s 2015 report: a 5% increase in customer retention boosts profits from between 25-95%.
On top of that, research from Adobe shows that seasoned customers dramatically outspend newcomers.
All of which makes customer retention a very attractive place to focus your attention. So – how do you retain?
Your business’s approach might include competitive pricing or big marketing campaigns. But what contribution can the contact center make? Well, possibly the biggest contribution of all. A staggering 96% of people say that customer service plays a key role in their choice of and loyalty to a brand.
So take a look at what you know about your customers. When do they typically leave? What are the specific problems you can address? Treat those findings as triggers for outbound calls – you’ll see that even a short conversation with an agent can solidify your relationship.
Auto dialer use case: customer feedback
Do you know what your customers think of you? You should.
It’s likely that your business gathers feedback through web and email forms. So why do it over the phone too?
One reason is the quality of information you can get. If I give you two out of ten smiley faces, you know that I probably won’t recommend you to a friend. But do you know why? Do you know how that will change my next purchase decision? Of course not.
Research from Microsoft shows that across every country and every age group, consumers prefer brands that ask for feedback. Just doing the survey itself is seen as positive. All you need to decide is what should trigger a feedback call.
There are some things which can only come out of a conversation. We’ve already talked about retention at the individual level. But what can you actually change about how you do business?
Only your customers know – and most of them won’t say anything unless you ask.
Auto dialer use case: zero waiting
Your integrated auto dialer can tackle the single biggest customer pain point; waiting on hold.
Whatever you do to improve the call queue – better music, less annoying messages – you’ll never make it a great experience. A queue is a queue, and nobody likes waiting.
So you should just get rid of the queue.
It’s not difficult. In fact, once you’ve integrated your auto dialer with other systems, it’s one of the easiest processes to set up.
Here’s how it works.
A customer calls you, but there are no agents available. Your IVR offers the caller a choice: join the queue and wait for the first available agent. Or, join the virtual queue and have that agent call you back.
Most customers will choose the callback option. Your IVR shares the call details with your auto dialer. Your auto dialer schedules an outbound call based on agent availability and any other rules you want.
It’s simple because you only need to set up the automation; there are no new processes for agents to learn. From their perspective, it’s not any different from an inbound service call.
But from the customers’ perspective it’s the gold standard they’ve been waiting for.
babelforce specializes in exactly two things: integration and automation. We focus on those because they’re really all you need to provide great service.
Once you’ve started feeding your auto dialer data from integrated systems, and you’ve created the simple automated triggers that schedule calls, you’re away. Your contact center can continue at any scale, providing the gold standard of customer service.