In recent years, proactive communications for customer service have been one of the most in-demand contact center solutions. While basic dialer-based technologies which simply connect agents to callers have been around for years, new proactive communications solutions and applications provide a greater level of complexity and personalization capabilities. They therefore offer more benefits in terms of enterprise RoI and potential increases in customer satisfaction. The hosted deployment model offers swift software updates, faster deployments, and faster time-to-RoI; it is more competitively priced than on-premise configurations.

From a technological standpoint, vendors are offering tools that enable enterprises to introduce business intelligence and rules into each outbound notification. As the North American customer base diversifies in terms of demographics and technological proficiency, the intelligence and interactivity of a proactive notifications suite have become and will continue to be major points of differentiation.

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Table Of Contents :

Executive summary
In a nutshell
Ovum view
Market developments
Introduction
Defining proactive communications
Increasing customer touchpoints increases demand for proactive communications
Providers of inbound solutions developing outbound solutions
Emergence of advanced tools and features
Campaign management
Preference management
Analytics and reporting
Evolving channels
Voice moving from predictive dialers to outbound IVR
Interactive short message service (SMS)
Customer impact
Key drivers for investment: cost savings while maintaining or improving customer satisfaction
Push for customer retention
Personalized outreach
Enterprise savings by being proactive
Multi-channel solutions to accommodate new endpoints
Voice still dominates
Enterprise compliance within new regulatory environments
Lack of enterprise capital and resources remains an issue
Recommendations
Enterprises should use hosted proactive communications to personalize customer service without having to justify excessive capital expenditures
Vendors need to concentrate on their analytics capabilities and the ability to provide interactive dialogs across multiple channels

List of Tables
Table 1: Rankings of top channels in order of current importance in 2009

List of Figures
Figure 1: Proactive communications stack
Figure 2: Shifting customer demographics

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