Call centers are typically dedicated to one function, whether that’s making outbound calls or receiving inbound calls. However, there are call centers that can do both. This is called call blending.
Call blending allows agents to make or take calls without having to log into separate systems. Agents are placed on calls based on volume. When inbound call volume is low, agents are assigned to make outbound calls to customers. If inbound call volume picks up, then the agents are assigned to take those calls. The agents are moved back and forth as needed. All the agent has to do is talk, which increases productivity.
Call blending eliminates idle time for agents, which makes staffing easier. The call blending system does all the work, making it a seamless experience for the agents.
What Is a Blended Call Center?
A blended call center blends calls, which means it makes outgoing phone calls and takes incoming ones. This is beneficial for smaller call centers that do not have adequate staffing for agents to handle specialized tasks.
A blended call center can handle both inbound and outbound calls through the use of special technology, such as automatic call distribution and predictive dialer:
- Automatic call distribution selects agents to answer incoming calls.
- Predictive dialing places phone calls automatically, even before the agents become available.
This technology allows agents to call as many leads as possible. If a call is unanswered, the system moves on to the next lead.
What Is a Blended Contact Center?
A blended contact center is similar to a blended call center, but it incorporates more types of customer contact. An agent may handle not only inbound and outbound calls, but also:
- Text messages
- Social media
In some cases, they may also handle mail, such as written letters from customers. Training agents to handle multiple tasks keeps agents from having too much downtime, since there is always something to do.
However, for a blended contact center to work efficiently, the right software needs to be in place. There needs to be a seamless way for employees to know which tasks to work on without too much effort on their parts.
Having to constantly log in and out of different systems can be frustrating. Plus, if an employee forgets an action, it could lead to a queue of customer requests. The best call blending software will keep employees productive but not overworked. At the same time, it will increase customer satisfaction.
What Is Agent Blending?
Agent blending refers to the use of an agent to handle multiple forms of customer contact. Agent blending is used to increase efficiency; an agent may be called upon to not only make and take phone calls, but also respond to emails and texts as well as chat with customers. They may also monitor social media activity and respond appropriately.
Blended agents need to have the right skill sets, though. Not everyone is cut out to be a blended agent. The best blended agent is skilled at all forms of communication. They are good at speaking and writing and are technologically savvy.
What Is a Blended Campaign?
A blended campaign allows agents to handle both inbound and outbound marketing calls. This means that incoming calls can be routed to any available agent, not just one who specializes in inbound calls. The right call management setup allows agents to efficiently manage inbound and outbound calls without so much as pressing a button.
While inbound and outbound marketing may be seen as opposing tactics, it’s beneficial for companies to combine them. Instead of limiting your marketing strategies by using one or the other, the trick is to use them both to complement each other. Whether you want to find more leads or follow up on cold leads, call blending in a call center campaign can be a great approach for your company.
Call blending is a great way to keep employees busy and focused on their job while keeping customers happy. It’s a win-win situation, assuming the call center has the right tools in place for optimal productivity and output.