To operate a call center seamlessly, it’s crucial to possess a skill set and a handful of techniques that allow you to boost your productivity and increase your revenue. Call blending is one of those techniques.
In a previous blog post we talked about how predictive dialers revolutionized call centers by significantly boosting productivity and increasing revenue. In this article we’ll discuss how call blending can help you go one step further, and achieve even better results.
What is call blending?
Before we immerse ourselves in the topic, let’s quickly clarify what call blending is. Call blending is a call center technique that supports both outbound and inbound calls. During the process a predictive dialer monitors the volume of incoming calls and availability of agents, and assigns calls to appropriate agents. When inbound calls are low, the system generates outbound calls. On the other hand, when inbound traffic is at its peak, the number of generated outbound calls is reduced.
In practice, in a blended call center, agents can be assigned to handle both outbound and inbound calls. For instance, if due to a low number of incoming calls agents are idle for a certain amount of time, the predictive dialer switches their activity to outbound calling. Similarly, if you run an outbound campaign, it may be important for your agents to receive inbound calls as well, as it’s quite common that customers don’t answer the phone if they are working or otherwise busy. In such cases, they may call you back and your blended agents can handle those incoming calls.
Perhaps the greatest argument in favor of call blending is that it helps you maximize the utilization of your resources. Using call blending, agents are able to maximize their Talk Time while handling multiple projects. As a result, idle time is reduced and your productivity increases.
Boost productivity by maximizing Talk Time!
As our previous blog post on call center efficiency talked about, it’s crucial to measure how much time your agents spend speaking. Therefore, it’s no surprise that increasing Talk Time is one of the most important call center productivity KPIs. And, of course, it also generates revenue: the more time your agents spend talking to your customers, the more revenue they generate (more about that later). But how can you boost your call center productivity by maximizing Talk Time? Well, that’s where call blending comes in.
Using call blending, when your phone lines are quiet, your agents can use this idle time to initiate follow-ups on abandoned calls or reach out to dissatisfied customers. With call blending, you not only utilize the time your agents spend talking to your customers, thus increasing Talk Time, but you also drive your business towards a better customer service by proactively reacting to issues.
Of course, for a successfully-operating blended call center, it is crucial that agents are able to handle both customer-based inbound and sales-based outbound calls in the same project. If you allocate time to properly train your team to deal with blended calls, the chances are good that your call center productivity will increase significantly.
So how do you increase your revenue using call blending?
If you want your business to bring in more money, perhaps this is time to start utilizing call blending. Boosting productivity is clearly important, but what if you take things a step further and use call blending to increase your revenue?
If you’re able to effectively manage telesales campaigns and maximize the time your agents spend talking to customers by using call blending, then it is more than likely they will be able to close more deals. Which, of course, equals more sales for your business. In addition, blending telesales and customer service activities will allow you to up-sell or even cross-sell your products during an incoming call.
Lastly, it is worth knowing that call blending will allow your agents to work in 3-4 different projects at the same time. Since the same operators will be working on different projects simultaneously, agent cost will be better distributed among the projects.
Blend not only your calls, but also your other activities!
Using call blending opens up many other options. As already mentioned, in blended call centers operators can work simultaneously on a number of projects. In other words, they are able to carry out and switch between different activities.
Just imagine: during an incoming call, your agents also conduct a customer satisfaction survey. Or maybe make an upselling during an inbound support call. In addition, regarding support services, agents often face complex issues that require a lot of background investigation. In such cases, instead of having the customer wait on the line, blended call centers can offer a callback, which significantly increases the customer experience and their trust in your organization.
For outbound call centers, call blending means more deals, while for inbound call centers, using blended calls result in an improved and more complete customer service experience.
One major challenge call centers nearly always face is to work out how they can effectively maintain a balance between their call operations, especially when call volumes quickly increase. Finding this balance is the first step on the path to success. With the proper planning and implementation of call blending, great results can be achieved: you can boost your productivity, increase your revenue, and deliver a more holistic customer experience.