Key Highlights

  • Importance of Outbound Dialer (OBD)
  • Capabilities of OBD
  • Use Cases
  • Features of OBD and their application
  • Intangible & Tangible benefits

Outbound Dialer (OBD) is an automated phone call that essentially relays a pre-recorded voice message to the customer. It can be sent to an end number of users at any given point of time in the language of choice. However, how automated calls can work for most businesses? Can they do more than just delivering automated outbound calls and messages?

Outbound dialer calls are versatile and can be used for call blasts, scheduling appointments, client outreach, integrated call campaigns, surveys, product marketing, reminders, follow-ups, feedback, event-based calls, political campaigns, event registration, OTP through Voice Call, etc.
A single-level OBD deals with plain voice messages whereas a multi-level OBD takes input from the listener and tries to create a conversation with the user. Single-level OBD with voice messages is more popular for product promotions, important announcements, voice OTP, and transaction confirmation whereas multi-level OBD is the most opted for payment reminders with an option to make payments, take product/service feedback, and collect votes.

Although one way and two-way communication is available in SMS campaigns, the response needs to be typed in a text which can be time consuming and inconvenient. Besides, the response rates and reach of outbound dialers are higher than SMS as even semi-literate customers can respond to a call but are incapable of reading and responding to an SMS, which makes it an especially popular channel of communication for brands in rural areas. OBD can convey a lot more information as compared to an SMS campaign in one message as SMS has a character limit. It is more cost-effective and gives a more exhaustive reporting than an SMS which provides only open rates. This can be instrumental in determining the changes in the messaging of the OBD campaign.

However, when SMS is combined with OBD, the campaign can be even more impactful as the limitations of SMS are overcome and the audience on each channel is captured effectively. This is especially true when catering to a large audience.

Important Announcements:

Important and urgent alerts, such as flight delays, gate change, failed booking transactions, refunds and much more can be conveyed with ease and on time. OBD is more successful and has a higher engagement rate as compared to SMS and email, as users are alerted directly and proactively to provide timely information to end-users.

India’s leading platform to book flight and train tickets wanted to reduce their support tickets for failed bookings. They wanted to timely inform their customers about the refund process before they raise a support ticket. They implemented OBD calls to inform users on time about failed bookings, which proved to be five times more effective as compared to email and proved to be even more impactful than SMS. It enabled the company to reach the maximum number of users, has good pick up rates and reduced the number of people raising support tickets from 80% to 25%. This increased the productivity of their support team and lowered costs considerably.

Feedback/Registration with DTMF input

Feedbacks are an important aspect in any customer journey and OBD performs this function while making it look exceptionally effortless. For example, if any event company needs feedback about their event, they can get feedback by sending an OBD to all attendees with a single level DTMF input. The user can press 1 if they liked the event or 2 if they disliked the event.

Personalized Calls:

OBD’s versatile nature can be utilised to send personalized calls to a large number of bases. Eg. – for payment reminders, such as loan payments, mobile bill payment due dates, etc. Financial companies find it costly to use their customer service agents to call customers for their EMI payment. Also, they are not able to touch base with all their customers on time. OBD assists these institutions in touching base with all the customers with personalised information about the EMI date and amount. Hence, in a single campaign all the users with different amount and due date can get a call with their respective amount. This way the financial institutions can use their agents more strategically for other interactive activities and cross-selling other bank products.

Lead Generation & Call Patching:

Call patching enables a brand or enterprise to link its callers or prospective leads in real-time with suitable customer care agents or Sales Expert via a CPaaS/cloud communication provider. A financial company sends a call to potential users that they are eligible for a personal loan of 5 Lakh. If interested, the end-user can press one and as soon the customer presses one, the call is patched to the agent immediately.

The capability of an OBD to enable businesses to reach millions of their customers simultaneously through SMS or voice call campaigns makes it an ideal channel for large campaigns. It can increase touchpoints, which equates to more leads than before, which in turn increases the number of conversions.

Product Promotion:

Usually, the OBD feature is used to promote a product and then encourage users to know more about it by connecting to an agent by pressing the necessary keypad inputs.

An e-commerce giant’s seller platform gives access to sellers to list and sell their products on the website. Few sellers were struggling to sell their products. The e-commerce website wanted to assist sellers in improving their impact listing thereby improving their sales. The e-commerce giant came up with third-party services that help sellers sell their products effectively like choosing the right category for the product or presenting with the right kind of images.

The e-commerce giant promoted these services with the help of OBD system coupled with an IVR. The e-commerce executed these outbound campaigns on sellers phone numbers, the sellers hear the pitch and interact with the service using the IVR. The seller can provide their interest in any of the services by just pressing a key in their mobile.

It helped then e-commerce giant cross-sell their product/services to the seller and hence creating an additional revenue stream for themselves. The seller gets benefited by these specialized services in terms of better visibility of the product, proper accounting management, quick selling and generating revenue. It also gets benefited by the appropriate listing of products, increasing sales from their portal and hence increasing their revenue in turn.

Some of the other things that can ensure a successful OBD campaign would be to conduct detailed research on whom the target audience is and personalizing as well as localising the message accordingly. It is important to have a clear intent and give specific messaging instructions for the pre-recorded message and keeping the message short, up to 1-2 minutes. Enterprises should find the right time to make calls, set automatic retries if the customers do not answer and carry out a thorough analysis of feedback received and making appropriate modifications.