Utilising predictive dialling as part of your outbound campaigns can bring huge benefits to your contact centre; it can improve agent productivity and drive up talk time - which will have a positive effect your key outbound KPIs - according to David Ford, managing director for Magnetic North, who here examines five key ways to strengthen your outbound contact strategy. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The right technology is essential in achieving these effects, but as ever it is not the silver bullet. It must be accompanied with an effective overall strategy that takes into account processes and human elements.

Magnetic North recently launched a guide (click here) outlining ten golden rules of outbound campaigns, explaining exactly what to do (and what not to do) in your outbound dialling strategy, including these five useful tips on how to leverage predictive dialling more effectively:

  1. Maximise your connection rates
    When you're making calls, the likelihood of the recipient picking up is not entirely down to chance. Not when you're using the right technology, anyway. Using mobile number presentation, for instance, can drive your connection rates up by 40% as customers are much more likely to pick up a call from a mobile. Local number presentation can have a similar effect, and as an added bonus, both hugely increase the number of call-backs you're likely to receive.
  2. Combine different channels and contact strategies
    The 'spray and pray' approach to outbound dialling can be much improved upon by thinking about other contact strategies. Make your strategy adaptable and incorporate other channels, such as email or SMS. An SMS ahead of an outbound call can 'warm up' a customer, making them more likely to pick up and more inclined to listen. Offer a personalised approach by tweaking your strategy according to any prior contact with the customer.
  3. Adhere to regulation and avoid silent calls
    I've written before about the issue of silent calls and need for self-regulation. This can arise from the use of automated diallers and has to be avoided. It's easier than you might think to stay compliant and avoid these problems.. The right technology solution will put you right when it comes to regulation and compliance.
  4. Watch for the law of diminishing returns
    Statistically over 80% of your successful calls (e.g. those that result in a sale, appointment or whatever your agents are targeting) will occur in the first five contact attempts. Which means there is an inevitable law of diminishing returns on any contact list, no matter how good the data was to start with. Keep a continuous track on connection rates to monitor this, and look at ways to refresh the campaign like utilising the other channels we've mentioned here (email, SMS), automated dialling campaigns or moving on to new dial lists.
  5. Don't forget about inbound!
    It might seem a strange thing to point out in a post about outbound strategies, but forgetting about inbound is a common mistake. You need to make the most of customers who may have missed a call from your contact centre and call back. We have found they are much more likely to have a successful call outcome.

The complete 'Ten Golden Rules of Outbound Campaigns' guide has been made available for free download from Magnetic North's web site - click here (free registration required).