Outbound contact remains vital for companies today across teams like sales, service, and support. Engaging people proactively matters. But let’s level: outbound lost peoples’ trust recently through intrusive, impersonal blasting tactics. Customers want more control now. Intelligent, ethical outbound strategies serve them best in 2023 and beyond. This article explores the modern realities and future approaches that help outbound contact add value again.
Outbound contact’s Rocky Past
Cold calling overwhelmed people. Unwanted promotional texts and emails kept coming to inboxes nonstop. Data collection and usage often got creepy without consent. Consumer trust plummeted over growing headaches from intrusive, interrupted moments.
Many marketers fixated on closing transactions or reducing operational costs as the prime directives – not respect, relevance or helpfulness to recipients. But customer sentiments and expectations changed regarding how companies should reach out. Regulations now also protect individuals much more across geographies like the USA, UK, Europe and beyond.
However, brands still trying outdated spray-and-pray methods frustrate and lose consumer trust quickly today.
Smarter Tools Emerging
New technologies help modernise outbound contact, making it more ethical and customer-focused. Platforms with advanced consent management, security protections and cross-channel coordination abilities assist companies in honouring people’s contact preferences consistently.
Integrations with customer service systems also give agents more complete views of individuals to personalise messages better. Automatically updating records based on conversations far surpasses manual approaches prone to human error spread across scattered tools.
Outreach Contact Channels Expanding
Fast forward to today’s mobile-first, always-on world. With people embracing more varied channels daily, the smartest brands adopt outbound strategies to engage audiences across platforms with relevance and transparency. Consumer communication preferences rapidly continue shifting across channels like:
- SMS deliverability exceeding 98% and response rates of 45% within 3 minutes
- Email open rates hovering around 20% with customised content and optimal send times
- Social media enabling targeted ads and seamless messaging at scale
To effectively engage diverse audiences in 2023, holistic outbound strategies must incorporate consent-based SMS, automated email sequencing, social ads and compliant voice calling in harmony. Doing so increases contact rates by meeting consumers on their terms. Meeting known contacts where they individually prefer builds better relationships and trust. One-size-fits all blasts get forgotten in overloaded inboxes or sent to voicemail purgatory. It also provides critical visibility into cross-channel campaign performance.
Yet a 2022 survey found only 32% of brands can optimise spending across channels based on attribution. And 47% lack adequate consent procedures across outbound campaigns.
Clearly omni-channel coordination, analytics and compliance present stubborn barriers. So what exactly should brands prioritise to evolve outbound contact strategies successfully?
Key Focus Areas
Outbound contact works best as an ongoing, two-way dialogue — not a one-way push for sales. To improve customer experiences, companies serious about modernising outbound should prioritise:
Simplify consent management & data security
Record channel choices like email, text, ads and more. Capture frequency and timing preferences to guide communication, and adjust things like email delivery times if required. Make unsubscribing or stopping unwanted contacts easy across channels. Don’t penalise people wanting less outreach volume or frequency. Manage consumer consent, safeguard data and mitigate security risks systematically across geographies and channels. Maintaining visibility and control throughout third-parties is equally vital.
Personalise messages using integrated customer data to demonstrate understanding. Coordinate cross-channel sequencing for continuity based on journeys.
Connecting meaningfully requires understanding customer communication preferences to best deliver value. Armed with consented, secured data, brands must engage audiences when, where and how they wish – not according to internal convenience. Mapping customer attributes and interactions to available outbound channels facilitates relevance.
Stay current on GDPR and Ofcom regulations to avoid legal violations. Check and strengthen data protections continuously too.
Protecting customers and brands from harm by unintentionally violating laws or obligations remains paramount. Purpose-built controls, automation and audit capabilities help embed compliance across systems, workflows and agents to mitigate risk proactively rather than reactively.
Solicit customer feedback on various outreach approaches. Optimising programs based on reactions strengthens positive perceptions and relationships.
Controlling quality, monitoring agent adherence and attributing ROI across voice, digital and emerging channels demands unified engagement data on a single platform. Robust analytics inform optimal spending allocations and performance improvement.
Agile Omni-channel Campaign Orchestration
Synchronising outbound initiatives across specialised sales, service and retention teams while tailoring tactics to consumer consent and regional regulations is extraordinarily intricate. Succeeding with dynamic omni-channel orchestration takes both human and technological precision.
Advanced Tools Aligning Outbound & Inbound
Technology innovations now also help blend smarter proactive outbound and inbound responses more smoothly:
- Cross-channel campaign managers enable coordinated outreach sequencing regardless of team, channel or use case
- Conversational AI guides website visitors, texts subscribers, while freeing up live agents for higher-value discussions
- Integrated analytics provide insights across communication channels to optimise resource allocation
- Universal agent desktops present seamless customer histories via one interface to boost personalisation
- Enterprise-grade security protects sensitive data from external and internal threats across systems
Such holistic solutions simplify coordinating unified customer experiences across both outbound and inbound teams. Shared access to integrated data informs better next actions by any employee. Complete interaction histories also improve individualisation for digital visitors who prefer automated self-service assistance.
Continuously Earning Consumer Trust
Outbound’s past certainly held unfortunate low points. However, dedicated companies today can leverage more advanced technologies to help rebuild confidence and satisfaction. The most successful brands will perfect helpful, considerate outreach through continuously earned permission, relevance and transparency focused completely on customers’ best interests across channels.
Turn to Cirrus for Smarter Omni-channel Outbound Contact
Cirrus provides an award-winning integrated platform covering inbound and outbound customer communications seamlessly. Our blended contact centre solution enables personalisation, automation and compliance capabilities to bridge legacy gaps hindering many companies still today.
With Cirrus, agents handle inbound and outbound tasks flexibly in a single interface. Customers benefit from consistent experiences thanks to complete interaction visibility. Teams access better insights for future optimisation and risk reduction.
To learn more about maximising customer value with Cirrus’s purpose-built omnichannel suite, request a demo from our experts.