A recent study conducted by International Data Corporation found that 25 percent of smartphone users couldn’t recall a time when their phone wasn’t in the same room with them. 79 percent of users confessed to having their phones with them for all but two hours of their working day. The connected dependence of consumers and their always-on, always connected mentality has dramatically altered what Forrester Research refers to as the “always-addressable customer.”

So with the growth of this “always-on” attitude, it’s critical for companies to also be on 24/7 in order to anticipate and meet the needs of their hyper-connected customers. Outbound proactive and omni-channel communications can allow companies to do just that. When brands make the effort to proactively reach out, consumers feel as if their needs are being tended to before they’re even aware there’s an issue.

Here are three concrete ways to get ahead of the curve and explore outbound and omni-channel engagement strategies that can help companies provide better and more consistent service to their customers.

Customer surveys

Customers who feel that they’re being heard by brands are more likely to remain loyal. Surveys are a great way to engage with customers, through the channel of their choice, on their own time, to discern sentiment, identify promoters and detractors, and influence future interactions with customers. A robust survey application should include personalized content, adapting to each customer’s individual needs and concerns; support open-ended feedback capture through audio recordings; offer customers the option of speaking to customer support in real-time and allow opt-outs to ensure compliance.


Another way to step up proactive engagement with customers is through outbound messages regarding upcoming payments and past due accounts. Through an automated bi-directional communication channel, customers can submit payments immediately anytime, from anywhere, which increases collection rates and improves business efficiency. Collection tools should: use a local telephone number to encourage connection; support compliant and secure collection of payment details over the phone; facilitate the use of best practices in collections for all types of financial products and industries, and provide a consistent message across all channels.

Reminders and Notifications

Finally, companies can create their own custom proactive engagement applications that allow you to contact customers with outbound communications specifically tailored to your businesses needs. If you know something that the customer should know as well, notify them. If you know something that the customer already knows but might have forgotten, remind them. For example, outbound notifications on email, SMS, or the voice channel can be used for order status messages, appointment and prescription reminders as well as service outage notifications, depending on business needs. Ideally, proactive engagement solutions should: speak on the channel of the customer’s choice, allow you to be up and running in hours instead of weeks; operate safely and securely through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployment in the cloud, provide easy-to-use reporting on results and KPIs and include a campaign manager and scheduler to drive outbound campaigns.

When designed properly, outbound communications provide customers with the information they need, when they need it and even before they need it. This means not only remaining flexible enough to go beyond voice and allowing customers to respond in the channel of their choice, but also giving them power to decide when they want to communicate with you as part of one seamless conversation. It also sends a message to your customers that just like them, you’re always on and plugged into their needs.

This article originally appeared on Aspect’s Blog and has been republished with permission.