The Future of Outbound: It’s Time to Get Rid of One-Size-Fits All

The future of outbound

We are big believers that creating a delightful customer experience is a combination of both proactive and reactive communications with customers. We’ve seen fantastic success for businesses in a variety of industries that have incorporated strategic outbound communications  to improve their customers’ experience.

Even with a good thing, there is always room for improvement. The FTC recently introduced a challenge for businesses: create a solution that would end Robocalls.  Additionally, the FTC hosted a Twitter and Facebook chat with their communities on the subject. To the FTC, Robocalls are defined as calls that deliver a prerecorded message trying to sell consumers something, without the consumers’ written permission (consent) to receive those calls. The conversation around this topic yielded great questions from participants including “How can a solution that blocks calls distinguish between illegal and political?” from Shaun Daukin (@EndTheRoboCalls) and, “Do legal robocallers have to supply caller ID information?” from Anna Maria Parmely.

This discussion makes it is clear there is a lot of confusion around Robocalls and highlights the frustration from businesses that are legitimately using outbound communications to create a more effective and personalized customer experience. The one-size-fits all customer care approach has been on the decline for some time now, but with today’s outbound technology, it’s time to put an end to unnecessarily “spamming” customers. In the coming year, we predict the following business practices will become the cornerstone of any successful outbound technology solution:

  • Predictive analytics – Businesses will better anticipate customer needs and proactively communicate with them via their preferred channel
  • Multi-channel capabilities will be more sophisticated – Organizations will be able to seamlessly interact with a customer from one channel to the next, which helps save the customer’s time  and most efficiently solve their issues
  • Context-aware communication The combination of analytics, location-based services and social media will drive more customized and relevant conversations with customers
  • Mobile features to lead the pack – More and more businesses will turn to interactive mobile applications that will remember customer preferences and act as a one-stop for customers
  • Preference Management – Organizations of every size will employ technology that will allow consumers to provide their consent and set the ground rules for how they want to be communicated with and what they want to hear

Overall, we envision more organizations will develop outbound communication strategies that place personalized and effective customer interactions above pure volume communication blasts. Proactive communication with customers is a critical prong in any customer care strategy; however, its success relies on strategic exchanges that truly put the customers’ needs first. Businesses that focus on engaging their customers in a way that is tailored to their preferences will not only build customer trust, but also improve customer loyalty.

Does your organization use any outbound communication tools? If so, we’d love to hear what has worked for you and your customers!

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About the Author: As the Director Product Marketing, Steve Gass has responsibility for Angel's complete product suite which includes IVR, proactive customer communications, virtual call center and mobile products. He has more than 25 years of experience within the customer engagement industry; most recently in a senior leadership role responsible for product management and development in the telecommunications industry. Additionally, Steve is the author/co-author of five pending patents related to outbound communications and has successfully collaborated with enterprises to affect revenue increases, improved customer satisfaction scores while reducing costs.

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