Outbound calling, being an unfamiliar concept to many, generally creates a lot of confusion. Well, have you ever received a random call or SMS or an email on your cell phone promoting a product or service provided by a company?
Or maybe the callers were asking for donations or asking you for your opinion on a certain topic? That’s exactly what is outbound calling.
Still, outbound calling, being an unfamiliar concept to many, generally creates a lot of confusion.
In technical terms, the outbound calling process is initiated by an outbound call center agent to a customer on behalf of a call center or client to promote products or services or conduct surveys.
Let’s take a closer look at how to handle outgoing calls. Read on to learn how to create the ideal outbound call plan and learn about the best worldwide practices for increasing the odds of a successful conversion.
Outbound Calling Meaning
Outbound calling is the process of an agent making phone calls to existing and potential consumers. These reps then attempt to pique their contact’s interest in the company’s products or services.
Outbound calls are among the most effective ways of communicating with clients since they provide personal contact information. Agents who make outbound calls have a precisely focused outreach to get fast feedback.
For businesses, outbound dialing is a game-changer, and it has the potential to revolutionize the way you communicate with customers and increase revenue. Only 9% of outbound calls result in a successful conversion. In a word, we must accept that marketing methods such as cold calling will never fail!
Outbound calling is an excellent way to create revenue because of these advantages. Agents who make outbound calls are proactive, and they’re the ones who call leads rather than waiting for them to initiate contact. As a result, outbound callers may quickly determine whether their strategy is working or not.
The main objective of an outbound call is to contact frequent or potential customers to fulfill business objectives such as ordering a product or service, completing surveys, scheduling appointments, promoting a brand, or collecting a debt.
Cold calls are outbound phone calls used to generate leads. To make the dialogue more fruitful, employees now use precise information about each customer. Outbound sales calls are proven to boost a company’s ROI when used as part of a telesales or telemarketing plan.
Types of outbound calls
There are many types of outbound calling that businesses can use to enhance their sales. Here is some detail into the different kinds of outbound calling methods:
Telemarketing, as the name suggests, means telephone marketing. Telemarketing is defined as contacting, qualifying, and canvassing a prospective customer. In telemarketing, a salesperson makes outbound calls to prospective customers to inform them about the product or service provided by the company. He, thereby, tries to convince the customers to buy the product by explaining the benefit and usage.
2. Payment reminder
The credit card companies or companies that sell products on a credit basis generally use outbound calls for payment or installment reminders. They can make these outbound calls before the installment due date or after.
3. Customers service calls
Customer service refers to services provided to customers before, after, or during purchase. From a salesperson’s point of view, customer service greatly impacts a company’s sales and revenue generation. Outbound calling facilities companies try to provide solutions to customer queries and questions. These services not only help in customer retention but also increase customers loyalty. The success of these services depends upon the person making these calls and his customer interaction skills.
Sometimes customers have issues understanding the instructions related to a product or service. In such a situation, an outbound call facility is provided to solve these customer issues and queries and provide them with solutions.
4. Marketing research
To know the trend prevailing in the market, it is important to connect to the public. Outbound calling is the best way to connect to the public, which is the first preference of many of these companies. Receiving calls, SMS, Emails asking for your preference is pretty normal in today’s world. These are conducted by outbound call center agencies trying to collect market preferences.
5. Non-profit or charity funding
Non-profit companies make outbound calls in search of funding from the public at large. They intend to promote the charitable activities done by their companies and thereby look for a prospective contributor. These calls help both the contributors and the person in need of such facilities.
The key to conducting a successful survey is a large sample size obtained by outbound calling. Thus, calls are made to customers to know and gather their opinion on certain topics. These topics vary from product usage, politics, public welfare to customer satisfaction.
7. Post-sales follow-up
A sale process doesn’t complete just by a mere sale process to retain the customer companies need to provide them with better and impressive after-sale services. Thus, outbound calls are made to existing customers to inform them about the after-sale services provided by the company. Sometimes these calls are also made to obtain feedback from the customers about the sold product. This helps understand the customer needs and their expectations from the product, thereby leading to improvement.
Also Read: Outbound Call Center Metrics to Measure Success
Outbound calling process
Each business has a unique approach to implementing its outbound calling strategy. However, there are five steps that every team must follow. The list below explains them simply to give you an idea of what they are.
Before you begin an outbound calling campaign, you must first answer the following questions: Who do you want to reach out to? What types of buyers would you like to speak with? Who are your products or services aimed at?
Your staff won’t be able to interact with the proper people who are interested in your brand if they don’t know the answers to these questions. Finding your market segments allows your team to personalize their approach to your prospects in the most effective method possible.
The practice of piquing a consumer’s interest in your products or services is known as lead generation. Your team would create a call list with the contact details of people you may have a meaningful conversation with about your firm in this step.
You get leads by making a list of people you want to contact and then tracking their contact information. You’ll have a list of folks for your sales staff to call at the end of the process.
This is the point at which your team begins interacting with the leads you’ve gathered. This is generally done by phoning and emailing prospects to gauge their interest in your brand.
Outreach and qualifying are used to determine whether or not a lead may be converted into a customer. They are eliminated from the call list if you cannot persuade them to be interested in your firm. You can move them to the next phase if they are qualified prospects.
The pitching of your items to potential buyers is the final phase in the outbound calling process. It might be as simple as setting up a demo of your products or services or a phone conversation to go through the advantages and functions of what you have to offer.
Depending on your target demographic, the procedure may take some time. Some clients take a long time to make a purchase choice. The more persuasive your agent is over the phone, the faster you can clinch a deal.
Before terminating a call, your agents must be explicit with the customer. Rather than waiting for them to communicate their desire, ask whether they are ready to buy your products. Their response will almost certainly be positive if they find your sales talk convincing and entertaining.
This phase would entail confirming the client’s orders, clarifying the financial transactions, and signing contracts if all goes well. If the customer is uninterested, remain courteous. After all, there are other ways to persuade people to buy from your business.
Outbound Call Example
The following examples of outbound calling methods are sure to give you better insight into the concept and how you can use the types explained above in your business operations:
1. Cold calls
These outbound calls are made to unknown prospective customers, and the caller has no information or personal contact with the receiver. These calls attempt to convince the person to invest or buy the product or service provided.
Recorded voicemails are sent to prospective customers. These are not interactive; thus, they need to be short and direct on point after a brief introduction and a plea to call back if interested.
3. Follow-up calls
These calls are generally made either after cracking the deal to provide further details or to check up on the status of the pending decision.
4. Promotional calls
Outbound calls to promote products and pass information are promotional calls to either future or existing customers.
Outbound Calling Strategy
Applying the different kinds of outbound calling explained above needs to be done strategically, and this can help businesses get the maximum profitability and efficiency in the way they operate. Here are some strategies you can adopt:
- Grab their attention: The very start of a call is of paramount importance. If an agent doesn’t pique the prospect’s interest, the latter won’t lose much if they simply hang up. Call the prospect by their name, show them that you’re interested in them, their situation, and the betterment thereof. Don’t sound cookie-cutter, and don’t make the mistake of centering the conversation around yourself.
- Predictive calling: Predictive dialing system automatically makes outgoing calls, dialing phone numbers and screening out busy signals, voicemail, non-answers, and disconnected numbers, so agents are only on their phones when the call is answered. By making the most of the agent’s time, call centers that use this technology can complete a high volume of outbound calls in a short period.
- Blended agents: Making outbound calls can be draining for call center agents. Managers can keep morale high by assigning call center agents to make outbound calls and also answer inbound calls depending on call volume. Such blended agents may have more success.
- Scripting the calls: Sometimes, customers get annoyed to answer any of these calls due to multiple similar outbound calls. Thus, to stand out and to have a better conversation, a pre-written script is advised. In this way, the purpose of such calls can be fulfilled, and the message is conveyed.
- Training agents: The success of the outbound calling system largely depends upon the person making these calls. A well-trained agent who can handle customers’ cross-questions or adjust to the customer will give a better result. Vocabulary and pronunciation also matter in the outbound call system; a mere difference in pronunciation may sometimes lead to huge misunderstandings. Thus, someone with good communication skills is preferred.
- Do not call lists: Many countries have enacted legislation limiting the number of cold calls businesses, and contact centres can make. For example, in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission maintains a Do Not Call Registry, a list of phone numbers that telemarketers are prohibited from calling in most circumstances. This list was created in 2003 and fundamentally changed the way marketers in call centers do business. Many other companies have a similar list.
- Engaging the customer: A person will not be interested in spending their time giving out feedback or listening to information about a product unless and until it entertains them. Thus, an interactive conversation is essential and advised in such calls.
- Effective feedback loop: Feedback forms help companies improve or evaluate their services. Similarly, after any call, there has to be a feedback system to know about the customer experience and improve if there is a suggestion for change.
Outbound call services are the most effective way of marketing in today’s world. In this new era of technology, the old school methods of advertisement are not that effective. Thus, companies have to adapt modern and more effective ways of promoting their product, services or conducting surveys. A lot of companies generally outsource these services. Thus, companies that primarily provide outbound call services are emerging on a large scale in the market.
However, the success of these services largely depends upon the calling agents, who need to be trained properly. Excellent communication and conversation skills are a must to engage with the customer and promote the product in the best possible way. Thus, people seeking a career in the outbound calling service industry need to focus on these skills.
As people nowadays are stuck to their phones. Outbound calling is one of the most effective ways to reach out to prospective customers or connect to the existing customers for post-sale services. Mobiles being the best connectivity or interactive mode makes outbound one of the most successful ways of marketing.