Outbound contact center managers face an array of challenges. Managing everything from employees and call solutions, strategies and processes. Today’s managers have become multidisciplinary, always on the lookout for new formulas and best industry practices and golden rules of various outbound contact centers, from the telemarketing and collection perspective. The most common question that an outbound call center manager’s faces is “ How do I optimize the soliciting activities” The general challenges being segmentation strategies, dialer productivity optimization, resource management and tools. These terms mentioned above are more synonymous with utomatic dialers! these dialers increase contact center efficiency because they eliminate the possibility of reaching bad numbers, save time and make contact center agents more productive. "y automatically dialing and screening for busy numbers, no answers and answering machines, dialers ensure that agent time is not wasted in non value added routine tasks, Only when the dialer reaches a live contact will it transfer the call to the ne#t available agent, with a delay that should not take more than a few seconds according to the pacing desired by the Operations managers. There are si# modes for the outbound dialing$ %redictive, progressive, %review, database, speed dial and manual. &ach has the screening capabilities mentioned above as well as common management tools and processes for reporting and list creation, but that is where the similarity ends, for this reason, the dialing mode to apply to any given

0hen properly used. the busy rate for the . these are$ • -all length • . Therefore. the dialer can start dialing to reach the ne#t available and connect this live contact as soon as or shortly after an agent becomes available. the most productive for agents. a dynamic rule can be constructed according to three closely linked criteria! in order of importance. the dialer will know e#actly how many dialing attempts and how much time required to reach a live contact as well as e#actly how many dialing attempts and how much time is required to reach a live contact. 'ince the predictive algorithm analyses a number of factors. predictive dialing can have a dramatic effect in the contact center.g. etc) it becomes impossible to establish a so called * magic+ rule to determine the number of agents required for the planning algorithms pf the predictive mode to select the perfect rhythm.owever. 1ormally. agents and the probability of a call not being completed (e. Thus based on past trends. since each available dialing mode has advantages and disadvantages of its own as well as cost and efficiency considerations. no answer. including the number of available telephone line. .ength of after call/wrap up commonly known as wrap time • The number of gents for one campaign and its sub lists.campaigns must be carefully selected. busy signal. %redictive dialers use historical statistics and sophisticated algorithms to calculate agent availability. Predictive dialing mode This is the most commonly used dialing mode$ %redictive dialing this mode is widely used because it is. as well as e#actly when an agent will become available to take the ne#t outbound call. without doubt.

Thus. Obviously. because their calls are too . since the predictive algorithm will be at its best when all calls from a specific agent group have a very similar talk time. a number of best contact centers are using the predictive dialing mode for some of their outbound campaigns with as few as 5 or 8 agents and with an average abandon rate of 24 to 64.agents between manual and predictive modes increases by 234 to 534 The golden r le !or "redictive dialing i# ni!ormit$ 0hether there are 6 or 76 agents. do not even achieve a good rhythm in predictive mode. because calls are short and very homogeneous. 1ew agents should therefore belong to a separate group until their productivity becomes more aligned with other groups! they can then be paired with other more efficient agent groups. 9t is thus optimal to create groups of agents with the same e#perience and skills. while other contact centers with three times as many agents. some contact centers use the predictive mode even with as few as five agents and maintain normal abandon rate. Thus. 0ith governments in various countries imposing restrictions on the number of abandoned calls as well as attempts made intelligent use of a predictive dialer is not a choice :it’s a necessity. and not ready time. so that there is constancy to the events for the predictive algorithm. the more this consistency of one call to another can be respected. 9n predictive dialer terms. the shorter the calls are. after call work time. the important thing is that all agents have an average talk time and after call wrap up time that varies from one agent to another. an abandoned call is often one where the dialer releases the line after a person answers the call because there is no agent available to take the call. Obviously. the abandon rate will be directly linked to the productivity criteria.

On the other hand ad=usting this parameter too frequently can destabilize the dialing algorithm by increasing the abandon rate or the wait time between the calls. &ven though a call is not automatically ready when an agent becomes available. 9n fact. 9t works in a similar manner to the %redictive mode. . e#pect that dialing only begins once an agent becomes available.lengthy and lack uniformity in talk time. the more abandoned calls will occur. and not ready time. 9t is also recommended to optimize management of dialing rates in predictive mode by adapting the percentage of agent busy rate. . This is due to customers hanging up before the dialer can transfer the call to an agent once a live answer is detected. and can have a very positive effect on abandon rates and wait time between calls. This parameter enables a level of uniformity between telephone performance to be achieved. 9t is thus important to remember that the faster the pace.overnment requirements and <M (<irect Marketing ssociation) recommendations are usually (less than 64). Progre##ive Dialing& nother widely used dialing mode is the progressive mode. because the dialer quickly handles all the call screening. this dialing mode still has good advantages and will greatly optimize agent productivity. The dialers will automatically ad=ust the call initiation rates the abandoned threshold approaches or recedes. but too slow a pace can affect profit potential. which of course will almost completely eliminate abandon calls. after call work. The cam"aign "ace i# the %e$ Many dialers allow contact center administrators to set an acceptable abandon call rate. studies show that the busy rate for the agents should increase by >64 to 234 using this mode.

and on the success or failure of their promotions. This dialing mode still offers good benefits. the return on investment remains very interesting.ING/ <ialer users capture statistics on lists and campaigns.Previe' dialing Obviously certain sales strategies cannot be implemented in either %redictive or %rogressive mode. ?eal : time campaign monitoring and historical reporting are also key benefits of any dialing solution. only then will the dialer screen for a live contact. 9f a live contact cannot be reached. %review dialing can be the best choice. despite the . the agent can still add notes to the client file. it allows agents to carefully study a contact before any dialing occurs! the agent gives the dialing command to the dialer. there is significant increase in agent productivity and sales. "ecause a higher number of calls can be handled. where contacts are limited. However. gent productivity is also a desired outcome. but the value of each is great.LTS ARE-NT AMA. 9n these cases. predictive dialers can produce impressive results. RES. "y doing so. particularly if the agent must study the customer details before making the call. because you can only manage what you can measure! ()NDERING (*+ +). when used as part of a well : planned campaign and with respect for regulations concerning abandoned call rates and Do Not Call requirements. &fficient dialing and screening for machine responses reduce operating costs. %review dialing mode is therefore used for "usiness/t o: business sales. decide whether to reschedule this call and move on. and where opportunity. preparation. and strategy are key elements. 9n conclusion. on agent telephone data. especially for outbound campaign management and monitoring and since the acquisition and costs deployment costs of this mode tend to significantly lower than for other modes. This dialing mode shifts the dialing control from the dialer to the agents.

Why and How to measure The first step is to determine e#actly what should be measured to produce meaningful statistics that can be measured to give a true picture of contact center activity. because there is no unified view of the statistics collected. both real-time and historical. and the criteria that determine success or failure. as well as the call timing used for a specific campaign. 9tems should include$ Signals Invalid signal/No signal/Fax Busy No Answer oice !ail "ox A"andoned call Contact center average 2% 8% 10% #1% #% . Dialing results The main metrics to measure and some ob=ectives to target$ • Non0tran#!erred call#$ These are very good indicators of the contacts quality o a given calling list. There are four areas that should be measured$ The performance of the dialer and its calling lists. In managing outbound call activities. some information remains difficult to access because it is scattered among different reports. Even wore. What. evaluation and conclusions reached may vary from one group to another. agent productivity. the perception. and how to measure it. Knowledge is power! This is why a good contact center solution must include adequate measurement units. the profitability of the activity. it is important to know what to measure. why you are measure it. and why good contact center management must refer to best practices when using metrics and creating reporting templates.information gathered.

contact centers tend to leave messages in highly targeted campaigns or promotions. like renewals. 9f messages are left. since they do not know or have a relation ship with respective contact center. the list. two important actions must be taken. and delay before callback. they need to capture statistics regarding the number of messages left. and role of the contact within the household. 'ince this will vary significantly depending on the type of the contact strategy. 'econd. on the measuring side. the ratio of returned calls. 'ince outbound dialing is often a numbers game. leaving messages is often an obstacle to agent productivity and sales activities. 9tem measured should include$ • 0rong numbers • ?ight party connect 9t is very hard to give an ob=ective for right or wrong party connect. 9n some "7" situations. however. • 'cheduled call back to complete the offer • -ompleted offers • Messages left. 9f part of the calling strategy 0hether to leave messages depends entirely on the contacts. messages should not be left for prospects. the contact center must identify when to leave a message. and where the work of the agent begins. on the dialing strategy side. after how many attempts. and the nature of the promotion. e#isting customers versus prospects. These cases.• An#'ered call#& These are the targeted outcome of a list. and how long should they wait before dialing this contact again. a more significant number of messages tend to returned. messages will be left. for e#isting customers. @irst. the campaign. in order to improve their approach the ne#t time around. 9deally. . as well as on the age gender.

They have also been used in inbound contact centers since the introduction of the -<. or more attempts. they do not indicate the quality of the response or the relevance of the sales approach. because they can easily be collected manually. even if a dialer is not used. the quality aspects of the monitoring activities are taken into consideration when evaluating global agent performance.9f a message is left. the contact center should also a devise a strategy for answering the calls returned calls. List penetration rates n important indicator to measure when it comes to dialing results is list penetration. n agent who shows a higher sales ratio often represents higher profitability. its preferable to route returned calls to the agents of the inbound contact center. The agent who left the message will most likely be online with another customer when the prospect returns the call. 'ince the very nature of the contact centers is to rapidly route a call to the ne#t qualified and available agent. lthough useful. good penetration ob=ective is around 864. third. The penetration rate of a list must always be measured because it represents the total number of records or contacts completed. and most of these are second. %enetration of less than 834 indicates a less profitable list. @or this reason. as well as sales results. Agent productivity tatistics Telephone statistics are the most commonly used indicators of agent productivity. . since it is more difficult to reach contacts. gent %roductivity statistics are measured to show the telephone productivity of the agent and to benchmark them to the group or past results. while more than A34 significantly reduces dialing algorithm productivity.

since these statistics vary significantly according to sales strategies. lists. the e#ercise is useless. lmost all contact centers use these codes. lso. (-ontacts per hour) '%. This method also avoids over/use of *other+. less is more! the list of call termination codes should therefore never contain more than 73 choices. agent skills. 0hen coding calls. including sale code and removal from calling list. with out doubt. it is necessary for the agents to take the time to code each of their calls properly. Termination codes can be rich source of information for customer response analysis and the subsequent ad=ustment of offers. 9f calls are not coded appropriately. agent skills.ogin Time 9dle time 9t would be very difficult and pointless to present industry averages. ('ales per hour) -loseBconversion rate or '%. %referably. 9deally if an . . and e#pertise.owever. calling lists and promotions. in order get the correct information. Call termination codes One source of information used to better understand why sales offers or solicitations fail is. and promotions.The most commonly measured call statistics are$ • • • • • • • -%. the choices must be sufficiently clear and varied so tat each choice can be revealing enough to use as a basis for the improvement of sales arguments. but incorrect coding is a ma=or problem in many contact centers. the call termination codes. >3 would be more efficient.('ales per -ontact) 0rap time Talk Time . campaigns.

the results will clearly indicate what you are doing right and where your strategies or processes need improvement. The target ob=ective should be not more than 74 to 24 of calls coded as *other+. @or e. *A1E ALL T*E STATISTICS23 N)( (*AT/ 0e have discussed what. and to require that a code be selected before he agent can complete the file and close it. The number of busy signals and voice mailbo#es reached by the system (dialer) becomes the direct responsibility of the contact center campaign management team. heBshe should be required to enter a brief e#planation to improve the code choice menu or the understanding of the codes. dialer results depend mainly on the quality of calling lists used. . To improve the success rate of code use.agent selects the *other+ choice. +). why and how to measure/but what do you do with all this informationC 0hether you look at the raw data or create reports based on the statistics you have collected. it is important to offer a scrolling menu that displays all possible choices. -alling lists are usually the responsibilities of clients or the marketing department of the contact center.g. The results can often have an effect beyond the immediate realm of the contact center. with the fewest possible wrong numbers is e#tremely important.ood detail reports from the contact center will help to improve accuracy of these lists. "ecause some of the data collected depends on input from other departments within your organization. . The number of busy signals and voice mailbo#es received also has an important effect on agent performance. for this reason list accuracy with valid contacts and their telephone numbers. The e#planation could be simply two or three words that clarify what *other+ means to the particular call.

To optimize calling lists and campaign productivity the recommended strategy for dealing with voice mailbo#es and busy signals is D/6 attempts in a week (sub=ect to client requirements. @or busy signals we recommend a tighter call back strategy. abandon rate.g. following a busy signal the strategy would be to call back >3 minutes and then >6 minutes later and then the following day. t the end of the campaign. the analysis done should be re/used when creating sub/lists or campaigns for future purposes.) @inally if the data are not in line with the established ob=ectives. On the daily campaign management side setting the dialer call back strategy and call rescheduling when reaching the third/party connect become key elements for cost efficiency and good agent productivity. number of attempts per lead. @or voice mailbo#es. There is a direct correlation between the number of times the system dials before reaching a contact and t he agent *wait time+ between calls. for e. different contributors will have to analyze the situation diagnose the problem and then find the solution.t the list creation stage knowing who to call and when to call are key elements in the campaign timing and contact center hours of operations. it is worth using the best calling hours according to the geographic zone. new leads attempts on a regular basis to maintain uniformity of performance. 0ith planned strategies with limited number of callback tries at different times. -ontact centers often use a . <uring the calling period we should consider list penetration. limited number of tries should also be planned. SEGMENTING LISTS0 “(*+ BIGGER IS N)T AL(A+S BETTER” 9t is a well/known fact that the calling list can either make or break an outbound campaign.

area code wise etc.333 leads. These campaigns can then be assigned to agent groups with the appropriate or specialized skills to handle them. ccording to the circumstances contact centers create campaigns and sub/lists. while clientBmarketing team’s segmentation can optimize the campaigns success.single bulky calling list. The first segmentation done by the clientBmarketing team is based primarily on demographic factors and past purchasing behavior. -reate campaigns time zone wise. . . This list is usually divided or segmented into several campaigns. which enables some elements to be divided and measured precisely and thus feed statistics back to the clientBmarketing team. 'tudies show that the size of the calling list within a given campaign can vary from >333 to >63. -hoosing the best time and matching the best offer to the most likely customers is an art and an important contributing factor in acceleration the profitability of a contact center. The feedback gives clientBmarketing team the opportunity to analyze and better segment future campaign lists.g. contact center list segmentation allows the proper allocation the proper allocation of agent groups and sub/lists. -alling lists segmentation is done at two levels$ -lient or the marketing team and at the contact center itself.iven the money invested in telemarketing and the very limited number of times customers can be targeted. motivation for contact center agents. -lient or the marketing tea is responsible for creating the master list of e#isting customer or prospects. and promotions. The second segmentation done at the contact center level divides each promotion into distinct campaigns and sub/lists based on various criteria like language. no *strikes+ are allowed. well/segmented list can produce e#cellent results improve relationships with customers and provide both. @or e. geography.

Making it impossible and undesirable to prescribe a rigid set of rules or behaviors that guarantee successful campaigns. purpose. sap their motivation and significantly reduce productivity because of longer wait time between calls. @urther more towards the end of the call list. the more these unproductive periods can be avoided. 9n the collection environment. On the other hand the lifespan of a list should not e#tend beyond 2/D weeks because customers called towards the end of the campaign would have been attempted before and were reschedules. 9t is thus vital to avoid over segmenting your campaign. The lists must either be the appropriate size to cover one day of outbound collection calls or if a bigger list is chosen. There are however . Eery long lists can limit the ability of contact center to be proactive because it is difficult for them to measure the relevance and quality of contacts on the list before it is completed. business type.LIST AND CAMPAIGN LI4EC+CLE0(*+ IT IS ALL AB). and technological tools. Timing (how long the lead list can be used) the length of the campaign is crucial. G)LDEN5 N)T MAGICAL R. calling lists must be even shorter to take into account the daily payments made by the customers without the intervention of outbound collection calls. The shorter the list. it must be refreshed everyday.T TIMING3” Once the segmentation is over. knowing how to use the list is essential. To optimize the predictive aspect of calling strategies. the quality of remaining contacts and productivity deteriorate. which can affect agent focus. the average length of the campaign should never be less than 7/2 hours.LES3 -ontact centers differ in size. Thus if the list is very large the period near the end of it can e#tend over several hours.

9t is important to have a central calling list large enough to allow segmentation into sublists.certain guidelines which result from commonsense and in/ depth e#perience. The size of a list must be calculated according to the number of agents. . braham .incoln once said. 7. call length and calling hours and not =ust according to the number of contacts. There are no magical rules that can guarantee success but by keeping the best practices and golden rules in mind when creating and segmenting lists and when creating and assigning agent groups for these lists will ensure that managersBsupervisors can track the progress of their campaigns and will go a long way towards ensuring that resources are motivated and satisfied. 0hen it comes to solicitation *less is more+. @or e#isting customers it is preferable not to solicit by telephone more than D times per year. but not large enough to stretch over several weeks of calls. 2. these are$ >. *I! I had #i6 ho r# to cho" do'n a tree I-d #"end the !ir#t !o r #har"ening the a6e” creating and segmenting your list is were you need to invest your time so you can reap all the benefits of the outbound campaign. while for all direct marketing communications an organization should not be solicitating more than A times per year. which can be recommended as golden rules.