Sabio ‘s Matt Dyer, Head of Multi-Channel Solutions, discusses that before pursuing a proactive contact strategy, it’s important for organisations to address why they’re really doing it.
Before pursuing a proactive contact strategy, it’s important for organisations to address why they’re really doing it. Traditionally proactive outreach for contact centres has been about deflecting demand, and – while there may often be valid reasons for doing this – simply blanketing customers with SMS messages can often do more harm than good.
For basic transactional interactions – confirmation of when a package is arriving, appointment reminders, utility alerts or upcoming renewals – proactive notifications can work well. It’s essential though for organisations to get the wording and tone of these blanket messages right, thinking clearly about the impact they’re likely to have on recipients. Get it slightly wrong and all the efficiencies you were hoping to achieve with your outreach strategy can easily disappear as confused customers start calling into your contact centre!
When the interaction is more complex, it’s important to introduce more cross-channel flexibility and demonstrate much greater awareness of a customer’s context. Take the debt collection process for example. There may be any number of reasons that a contact doesn’t want to talk directly. Here proactive contact can really help, with an initial SMS offered to remind a customer of payment schedules backed up by the offer of a web chat for further discussions.
This kind of interaction flow works particularly well in situations such as debt consolidation or gambling addiction, where interactions need to be sensitive and contacts prefer the anonymity offered by SMS and text chat. Often these initial text-based interactions can also make it much easier for customers to move on to the next stage of the process by escalating to voice.
SMS engagement also shouldn’t preclude the customer from being offered the opportunity to extend their interactions to two-way communication. Strategically you need to think that SMS might evolve into a web chat, or a web chat should have the option to escalate seamlessly to voice. Again, the customer’s interaction from SMS to chat to voice should of course be immediately available to the agent picking up the voice contact, thus re-inforcing the impact of a more personalised service.
Matt Dyer, Head of Multi-Channel Solutions at Sabio.
Matt would be interested to hear your thoughts – please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Sabio’s Website