In a recent blog I explored a new approach to outbound calls. By using an intelligence-led analytic approach to outbound calls it should be possible to move the goalposts on what these calls can achieve. Instead of outbound being a sales strategy with a very low likelihood of success, the success rate can be dramatically improved.

And something else happens – customers appreciate the calls.

If you think this sounds unlikely then consider how the customer relationship to brands has altered in just the past few years. With constant access to information thanks to the mobile Internet and social networks, the way people talk to each other has changed. This has also affected how they communicate with brands.

Customer to brand communication used to be strictly post-sale, either a complaint or a comment. That was it. The customer service team was handling questions, queries, and complaints almost exclusively from customers who had already made a purchase.

Now think about how customers behave today. They use price comparison tools. They use review websites to check what other customers think. They ask brands questions about their products online – directly or indirectly – long before a purchase has taken place. In the case of services like hotels, airlines, or retailers, the customer can be asking the brand questions as they are consuming the services of that company.

The relationship continues after a purchase. Customer service today is much more about building a relationship with customers that begins long before they make a purchase and continues long after their first purchase. This ongoing customer engagement builds loyalty to a brand in a way that cards with points struggle to achieve. People don’t generally have an emotional attachment to a loyalty card, yet a brand that talks to them regularly is different.

So if you have a loyalty strategy that involves client engagement, using intelligent, focused, outbound calls can be just one additional part of this strategy. Customers that engage regularly, those that ask questions about products, can be segmented and eventually called to develop that relationship.

If a customer has a relationship with the brand already and the call is related to a product they are interested in then this approach will help to support the interactions on other channels, and to the customer it can feel even more personal that the company called with a special deal designed just for them.

Outbound calls combined with knowledge of what your customers like and when they are happy to be contacted can be an extremely powerful way to engage, building on all those Twitter and Facebook replies, but this time with a specific offer that is likely to lead to an additional purchase.

 What do you think about using outbound calls as part of a wider strategy to encouraging customer loyalty? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn profile.

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