The Ultimate Outbound Dialing Glossary

Jul 31, 2020 11:39:24 AM

In the contact center world there are various ways for agents and customers to interact, including via phone, email, instant messaging, social media, SMS, and more. In all cases, it’s either the customer reaching out to the service agent (an inbound communication) or the agent reaching out to the customer (an outbound communication). This glossary is dedicated to all things OUTBOUND. 

Agent

The person working at the contact center who directly interacts with customers to help create an exceptional customer experience. Agents are on the front line of brand and customer engagement and are responsible for managing inbound and outbound calls and communications. Agents are also referred to as customer service representatives.

Answer Machine Detection (AMD)

Functionality that allows an outbound dialer to determine if a human or an answering machine has answered the call, subsequently allowing the agent to leave a message or not.

Blended Call/Contact Center

A call/contact center that has the capability to interact with customers via a variety of mediums, including inbound and outbound calls, emails, instant chatting, text messages, and/or social media.

Call Blending

Rather than limiting agents to either inbound or outbound interactions, a call blending approach manages distribution of the inbound/outbound flow of calls, as well as emails, chats and other interactions, to agents. This maximizes agent utilization; for example,  when the volume of inbound calls ebb,  agents who typically handle inbound calls can transition to handling outbound calls. Should a peak of inbound calls arise, the agents transition from outbound back to inbound queues.

Campaign

An outbound calling campaign involves tasking agents or outbound dialers  to place calls with the intention of making sales, generating leads, marketing a brand, or performing research.

Click-to-call Dialing

Agents click on a phone number within Edify or another integrated CRM and the outbound call is then automatically placed, increasing efficiency and speed.

Collections

A business process which utilizes outbound dialing to collect money owed from clients.

Contact Center

The new title for the Call Center as the industry has evolved beyond telephone communications. The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) defines a contact center as a coordinated system of people, processes, technologies and strategies that provide access to information, resources and expertise, through appropriate channels of communication, enabling interactions that create value for the customer and organization. Edify views the contact center as the place where employees and customers intersect.

Customer Care

Customer care is the level of care a customer experiences while interacting with a brand or agent. Customer care is a critical component of the customer experience.

Do Not Call List

A nation-wide registry of phone numbers that telemarketers, or any organization generating automated or live calls that are not deemed an emergency, may not contact. Individuals opt out of receiving these calls.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

As related to outbound dialing, metrics that track and assess the success of an outbound  campaign.

Manual Dialing

Agents choose who to call, when to call them, and on what number, using a physical  phone or softphone.

Outbound Communications

An outbound communication can include calls, emails and texts. 

Outbound Agent

An outbound contact center agent isn’t receiving inquiries from customers, but is proactively reaching out to targets and likely has sales, collections,  or other targets to achieve. 

Outbound Dialer

Technology used in contact centers to make outgoing calls and then connect an agent with an answered call. 

Pacing

A pacing algorithm is a calculation that determines the timing and number of outbound calls, using real-time statistics to estimate when each agent will finish their current call. The calculation analyzes a number of factors including average talk time, number of agents staffed, available agents, and abandon rate. 

Power Dialing

The platform automatically selects each agent’s next call, gains their acceptance, and then initiates the interaction out to the customer.

Predictive Dialer

Technology used to automate the way outbound calls are made, pacing calls to ensure an agent is connected to a call only  when a customer or prospect answers, thereby maximizing agent utilization.

Preview Dialing

Preview mode allows agents to access and review customer information before placing an outbound call or scheduling the call initiation, which enables additional personalization.

Proactive Customer Care

A business process that utilizes an outbound dialer to contact customers to offer information, support, or otherwise, preempting the need for customers to place inbound calls, emails, chats or texts  to the contact center.

Progressive Dialer

This dialer type makes a call on behalf of an available agent, increasing agent efficiency by eliminating the time and effort it would take for an agent to dial a call manually.  It is considered to be more efficient than a preview dialer but less than a predictive dialer.

Telemarketing

A technique using outbound telephone calls to market products, sales, or promotions. These calls are typically placed by outbound dialers.