Predictive dialers are a type of call center software and they share basic functionality with similar auto dialers. Contact centers use them to dial phone numbers as part of marketing campaigns, and ad execs and customer support use the power of auto-dialers. Improved call metrics are the goal of each contact center. Predictive dialing is the way to achieve them.
The predictive dialer assesses agents’ vacancy. The accuracy they show may surprise you. It connects agents to the next call in real-time. Managers want more calls to result in real leads. The algorithm makes precise estimates to achieve this end-goal. The predictive dialer skips answering machines. They recognize voicemail from live voice. The dialer can even optimize workflow at the same time. The method is great at detecting:
- No answers
- Busy signals
- Disconnected numbers
- Answering machines
The result is a total boost for contact centers. Firms register lower rates of abandoned calls along with a drop in overall downtime as well. Agent capacity and call volume skyrocket as well. It isn’t far-fetched to say predictive dialers bring call centers to a new level.
How Do Outbound Predictive Dialers Work?
Predictive dialers dial a number for an agent who will soon be free. The high-end algorithm estimates the number of leads per agent. They use the estimate to optimize their workflow. Sales teams achieve higher efficiency levels using the method. The process has four distinct steps:
- The contact center dialer predicts which agent will be available next. It then dials an entry from the contact list.
- The auto dialer filters IVR, answering machines, and voicemails. It creates only human-to-human connections.
- The dialer uses AI and data analysis of previous calls. It estimates the approximate duration of the call. That way, it predicts when to dial the next number.
- The predictive dialer uses call metrics. It counts lost calls to estimate how many entries to redial.
Modern predictive dialers are cloud-based. They utilize high-tech asterisks like AI and data analytics. They can deliver fast, optimal results to call centers through them. These dialers work well in small businesses and large enterprises alike. Agents and contact managers employ the so-called “push strategy.” It is a new concept that gains praise by the day. The system allows better results. At the same time, it wastes fewer resources. It works best for mid-to-large size businesses. Smaller operations can benefit from it as well.
Automation and Manual Dialing Mode in Predictive Dialers
Hardware-based predictive dialers used to be the norm. Recently, contact center solutions include software that does the same job. On-site hardware is becoming obsolete by the minute, thanks to high tech. The world is going digital and it’s no wonder call centers follow suit. Digital auto-dialers save time and human resources. They cost companies less money and enable them to earn more.
Predictive systems dial telephone numbers in various ways. Full automation and manual dialing modes exist. There is no doubt in the utility of both.
Automatic Dialers to Optimize Efficiency
With these, the dialing system calculates the dialing ratio. The software takes the total number of dialed calls and active agents. The algorithm decides how many new leads to follow. Let’s say that one in four calls connects to a viable lead. That means one agent will be free soon. The predictive dialer is smart enough to adjust the ratio. It does it in real-time. Stats from previous calls and the number of abandoned calls come into play.
Manual Dialing for Fine Tuning
Supervisors determine the call ratio in manual mode. They tell the system how many leads to connect to live agents. The approach helps when the call center has a high total call volume. Skilled call center managers can help the system avoid mistakes.
Both the automated and manual modes find an application in CMR. CMR integration ensures smooth sailing for telemarketing, and customer support teams benefit from it on many fronts too. Predictive dialing systems operate better than ever when they work hand in hand with other CMR methods.
The Positive Sides of Predictive Dialing
Call centers adopt predictive dialing for several good reasons:
- Increased work time
- More overall call volume for outbound calls
- Increased contact rate
- Decreased expenses
Agents don’t have to dial phone numbers by hand. Outbound calling happens without delays from dial and ringing tones. They allocate the saved time to actual talks with customers. Free agents spend all their energy on live calls. The predictive dialer eliminates all other work as machines can handle it with ease. Estimates suggest that agents spend 3x more time talking to people. Another contributing factor is that predictive dialers skip:
- Fake numbers
- Busy lines
- Answering machines
The predictive dialer has positive effects on agents’ focus. Their capacity for work increases up to three times. The main reason is that unplanned call flow disturbances are non-existent. Contact centers enjoy higher call turnout and get more work done in less time. As a result, the crucial profit margin expands.
The Drawbacks of Predictive Dialers
All technology has its pros and cons. Predictive dialing systems are no exception to the rule. Before adopting this approach to automatic dialing, consider that:
- You need to make sure your call center can legally use predictive dialers. Read the TCPA to learn how and when you can utilize the technology.
- Possible delays in marketing calls can hamper accurate predictions
- The technology suffers from being very fast. You need to have many free live agents at any time to reap its benefits.
- They don’t work well when an agent requires info about the caller in advance. Adequate call scripts are necessary in such cases.
In some cases, the positives outweigh the negatives and vice-versa. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at SMSGorilla. We can tell you if a predictive dialer fits your business. When that’s not the case, our experts will point you to an alternative.
Predictive Dialer Vs. Auto Dialer
The original auto dialing system dials numbers from a call list. It plays a recorded message after the other side picks up. Or, it can redirect the call to a live agent. Auto dialing finds applications in:
- Outbound sales
Firms like Salesforce have excellent auto dialing solutions. They also offer predictive dialers such as the VICIdial predictive dialer, a powerful tool worth your time.
There is one problem with the classic auto dialer. It encourages long idle periods, which means the call center yield suffers as a consequence. Predictive dialers manage to eliminate that problem.
Predictive Dialer Vs. Power Dialer
The power dialer is an ACD that dials instantly after a call ends. Its other fitting name is the rapid dialer. Hang-ups and busy signals lead to an instant move to the next number. The dialer goes through the entire contact list, leaving no room for wasting time. Real-time updates and estimates happen with ease. The agent accesses information about the contact in real-time. Power dialers work best when you run an enormous operation. Call volume matters more in those than call quality. They can be overwhelming for agents. This is why they require an even bigger team to run.
Other Automated Dialers
Outbound call centers use other auto dialers as well. Preview dialers and progressive dialers are common. Similar to other dialers, they work for different business goals. SMSGorilla’s experts can consult you on the best type of outbound dialer for your business. Note that legislation differs on how you can use each type of dialer. Some have time zone restrictions only. Others can land you in trouble with the FCC if you use them to make sales calls. The way they manage call routing can violate compliance as well. Make sure you follow compliance to the letter in each case.
Several details you need to check regarding the technology you can use include:
- Your company’s overall call volume
- The nature of the calls you make
- Whether the law prohibits auto-dialing in your industry
- If you can obtain written permission from clients
Stay up-to-date with the developments in the law. Consumer protection is a hot topic across the US.
How Much Does a Predictive Dialer Cost?
The pricing depends on factors such as:
- The size of your contact center
- How you’re going to use the predictive dialer
- Whether you want on-site hardware or would opt for a cloud-based solution
Hardware-based predictive dialing solutions can set you back between $3,000 and $200,000. That’s the cost of installation and does not include utilities, maintenance, and upgrades. That option works for large corporations, though the investment is often too steep for small and mid-size businesses. Cloud-based predictive dialers are a viable solution for those. The service costs between $15 and $250 a month per agent.
Predictive dialers do an excellent job. They present a flexible solution for a range of enterprises:
- Call centers with large call volumes
- Sales campaigns
- Insurance campaigns
- Debt collection
- Political campaigns
- HR departments
They can improve the operation of your call center. Planning and preparation to train your agents will pay off. They bring increased efficiency and higher profits. SMSGorilla will help you figure out the details, so give us a call.