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Outbound Calling
Doesn’t Work, Here’s What Does

The death of the call centers has been foretold for years, but the ongoing labor shortage, wage inflation, and regulatory risks may be the final nails in the coffin of this once sure-fire business tactic. And don’t expect consumers to be shedding any tears—their shift to digital-first communications and self-serve online services makes call centers even more antiquated for 2022.
Frame
Speech-Bubbles

But don’t say a final farewell to the call
center completely just yet.

First, let’s look at the difference between outbound calling and inbound servicing

OUTBOUND

Call center agents dial out directly to consumers

VS.

INBOUND

Call center agents answer incoming calls made by customers

Effectiveness of phone calls in collecting debts due more than 30 days, percentage of total respondents by last-contact channel
Source: Everest Group (2020); McKinsey & Co

The outlook for outbound calling is quite dim, especially when we look at outbound calling to collect on delinquent accounts (see pie chart)

It’s not all doom and gloom. There is a light at the end of the outbound tunnel – inbound servicing and digital communications can turn recovery operations around (and we’ll show you how).

It’s not all doom and gloom. There is a light at the end of the outbound tunnel – inbound servicing and digital communications can turn recovery operations around (and we’ll show you how).

Nails in the Outbound Calling Coffin

So what ARE the nails in the coffin for this classic business tactic in 2022?

Ready to skip ahead & see how?

Labor Shortage &
Wage Inflation

Let’s start with today’s labor market…

Technology isn’t pushing people out. People don’t want outbound calling jobs.

In the wake of the Great Resignation, it’s never been harder or more expensive to hire—and hang onto—outbound call center employees.

Growth of average number of job openings in call, contact and customer care centers advertised on ZipRecruiter.com

30-40%

Average US call centers turnover rate

40%

of those who quit take at least one coworker with them

$5,000 - $7,000

Typical cost to hire and onboard one new employee

While there’s no miracle cure for the labor shortage, digital solutions help offset the empty chairs and make the occupied chairs more productive, too.


But speaking of costly things contributing to the death of outbound calling
as we know it…

Call center wages have increased by 15%+ since the pandemic began, an astounding spike even when every industry is riding the wave of wage inflation.

But tackling the labor shortage and wage inflation are easier than you might expect…

Ready to skip ahead & see how?

Shifting from outbound calling to an inbound strategy leveraging digital communication methods to reach consumers resolves many of these current issues.


Outbound calling agents have a higher attrition rate on average compared to inbound agents

Cut down on the time billed for making repeated outbound calls that are never answered or returned

 

Inbound agents can handle more accounts because their time is concentrated with consumers who want to talk

 

Digital collection practices can reduce seasonal hiring and training of outbound call center staff

Numbers don’t lie: integrating inbound solutions lets agents handle
more accounts for less total cost.

Regulations & Customer Expectations

Now let’s look at regulatory compliance and consumer behavior…

Again, technology isn’t the downfall of outbound call-and-collect, but instead human nature itself.

The list of rules and regulations for outbound calling grows every year, especially for debt recovery and collection.

Outbound dialers must know and follow all these rules before they can start talking about recovering delinquent accounts …that is if anyone even answers their call.

Now let’s look at regulatory compliance and consumer behavior…

Again, technology isn’t the downfall of outbound call-and-collect, but instead human nature itself.

The list of rules and regulations for outbound calling grows every year, especially for debt recovery and collection.

Outbound dialers must know and follow all these rules before they can start talking about recovering delinquent accounts …that is if anyone even answers their call.

What are all the debt recovery & collection regulations?

After more than two decades of claiming technology will be the death of the call center, those old headlines did get a few things right:
consumer behavior has changed

What Customers Expect

54%

personalized customer support

52%

creative approaches to customer service

46%

reachable through preferred channels

Do a quick Google search on how to stop debt collection calls and an endless amount of articles will pop up. But overall, consumers have found an even simpler solution: don’t answer the phone.

So how can you actually connect with your customers? Luckily, that’s actually quite simple too.
Microsite-PhoneCall

Ready to skip ahead & get started?

What’s Next
for Call Centers?

Outbound to Inbound: A Second Chance for Call Centers

While old predictions said technology would be the death of the call center, in reality it is the human factors like labor shortage, wage inflation, regulation compliance, and consumer behavior we covered above.

Integrating technology reduces the strain on hiring the right people and makes it easy to communicate with consumers in their preferred ways—turning the outbound calling strategy into a more engaged inbound contact model.

Earlier, we looked at the dismal effectiveness rate for phone calls collecting debts due for more than 30 days, but take a look at an integrated inbound approach using multiple channels to interact with consumers.

Effectiveness of different channels in collecting debts due for more than 30 days, percentage of total respondents by last-contact channel;
Source: Everest Group (2020); McKinsey & Co (2020)

3 Ways an Inbound Call Center Breathes Life into Recovery & Collection Strategies

Instead of dialing, let your agents start answering phones, so they can speak to customers who are ready to talk.

So you see, call centers aren’t dying, they’re evolving. Partners like TrueAccord can help humanize the debt recovery process without adding more humans into the equation.

Get Started.