We have included the functionality of Outbound IVR in OneContact for some time now. This, in itself, is not spectacular. In fact, it is a fairly standard feature for a contact center solution. What is new and innovative is the combination of this feature with our predictive algorithm and the use of agents! Outbound IVR with a twist!
What if the contact center used the IVR as a filter, to only deliver to the agents, calls with a high business success rate (calls from interested customers) instead of all the connected calls?
That proved to be, on some business models used by our customers, extremely cost effective, increasing their business success.
Outbound IVR – in an outbound IVR the system generates outbound calls that are handled by the IVR channel, following a programmable script (similar to their inbound counterparts).
Predictive Dialing Algorithm – the predictive dialing algorithm is used to minimize the agent’s idle time. The system dynamically determines how many contacts it has to dial and their timing, to keep the agents busy. The algorithm is statistically based and accounts with variables such as the success rate, average call setup, average talk time, etc.
How does it work?
So, how does this mashup between the outbound IVR and predictive services works? It’s indeed quite simple – after we thought about it, at least. We changed some of the inputs of our standard predictive algorithm. Instead of the connected calls rate, the algorithm now uses the rate of queued calls. To the call setup time, we added the time spent on the IVR until it’s queued. With those two changes, the predictive algorithm now generates enough calls to keep the agents behind IVR busy, knowing that only a small percentage of calls reaches them.
This requires a lot of fire power! In most cases, the predictive dialer needs to go like a machine gun to keep the agents busy.
Business use cases
Our clients using the outbound predictive with IVR filter dialing mode reported 10x more sales per agent. That’s an awesome figure! If you have just a few agents, something valuable to offer and a lot of contacts to fire, that’s the way to go.
You need to be aware that this model doesn’t adapt to every situation. Sometimes you want to have your agents talking directly with all answering clients using their persuasion skills. On other situations, your offer isn’t all that attractive, like in a collections service (“press 1 to pay your debt” – it’s not going to work). For these cases you have other alternatives: predictive, power or preview dialing modes.
All in all, this predictive dialing mode with IVR filter (or outbound IVR with a twist!) is just one more tool for the trade. A great tool if you are looking high agent productivity!