A predictive dialer is an automated telephone dialing solution that streamlines and accelerates the initiation of outbound calls. Predictive dialers are usually found in high-volume call centers trying to reach as many people in the shortest possible time.
Telephone calls are dialed at either a pre-defined rate, or at a rate based on variables such as agent availability or past call duration. After dialing the call, the predictive dialer then “listens” for an answer, and presents the call to an agent only when a live person has answered. This listening ability allows the dialer to screen out calls that receive a busy signal or are answered by fax machines, voice mail systems or answering machines. By presenting only live calls to agents, predictive dialers are able to vastly improve agent productivity and call center efficiency.
When a predictive dialer places a call, it doesn’t just dial a single number, it dials two, three, four or even more numbers. Of these multiple telephone calls, typically only one connects to a live person, while the others are screened-out, because a fax machine or voice mail system answered. By dialing multiple numbers at once, the dialer increases the odds of connecting to a live person every time. And because multiple lines are dialed at once, predictive dialer systems typically assign three or four lines to each agent.
Predictive dialers dynamically adjust their dialing rate to continually maximize the number of live connects that they make. They use algorithms that take into account the typical call duration, past success rate of the dialing list, the amount of time it takes for a call to be answered, and other factors. Over time, as more and more calls are placed, the dialer gets better at predicting when to dial and how many numbers to dial.
Benefits of Predictive Dialers
Improve agent productivity
By dynamically detecting when a live contact has been reached, predictive dialers ensure that representatives don’t waste time with busy signals, voice mail messages, or incorrect numbers.
Boost call volumes
Companies can reach out to more people in a shorter period of time, by calling numbers in succession from a database, and dialing multiple numbers for each contact.
Increase interaction effectiveness
Agents have the ability to initiate three-way conference calls, or transfer calls to other representatives (such as closers or product specialists).
Ensure customer satisfaction
Avoid the risk of annoying or offending existing or potential clients by restricting dialing based on day, time zone, or other variables, and allowing agents to schedule call-backs at a time that is more convenient for the customer.
Improve campaign tracking accuracy
Representatives have the ability to mark the outcome of each interaction (i.e. hung up, sale, not interested, etc.).
Improve Do Not Call (DNC) Compliance
Modern predictive dialers integrate DNC compliance into their operation, replacing error-prone manual activities such as merging or purging spreadsheets or removing DNC numbers from a database one-by-one. These outdated manual DNC list management practices can leave businesses vulnerable to fines or penalties.
Types of Predictive Dialers
Hardware-based or on-premise dialing solutions, typically require a huge initial investment in the servers, routers, load balancers and other hardware that must be purchased. Additionally, they require long and complex implementations, and are often difficult to expand. Call centers usually have to devote significant IT resources to the ongoing administration of the system as well.
Hosted, on-demand, or cloud-based, systems offer much greater value over their on-premise counterparts because they require no upfront costs, are fast and easy to deploy, and all the support and maintenance of the dialer, such as upgrades and enhancements are performed by the service provider. Cloud-based dialers are also highly flexible, and can be immediately expanded to support new campaigns, new users, and new capabilities at any time.
Using a cloud-based predictive dialer allows the call center focus on its core business, instead of maintaining the underlying technology. Call centers that adopt predictive dialers typically realize substantial cost savings, as well as productivity improvements.
Predictive Dialer Trends
Modern call centers are increasingly moving to cloud-based predictive dialers that unify their call center operations on a common platform to support blended environments, allowing outbound agents to also support inbound calls as needed. These innovative new solutions integrate campaigns and activity tracking, providing forward-thinking call center managers with the latest tools to improve performance and financial results.