What are autodialers?
Autodialers, their functions, and their role in the lead generation space will be explained in this introductory article. Read on!
Auto Dialer – Definition
An autodialer is an electronic device or, more commonly, software that dials out on a list of phone numbers. Call centers are typically the ones to use this type of technology.
While there is a clear limit to human productivity and speed, autodialers have a reach that is far faster and more efficient than what manual dialing by live agents or salespeople can reasonably achieve.
Since autodialers can dial out on numerous numbers at the same time without human interference, it can reach significantly more people than conventional methods.
Types of Dialers
There are different types of dialers:
Each different type of dialer has its own unique features and approach.
Preview dialers allow companies to make outbound calls with key information before placing the call. With this method, agents can get valuable insights prior to the call.
This increases the chances of offering a better experience when they’re talking to the customer.
In a sales environment, they’re able to provide relevant information to the sales agent to increase the chances of closing a sale.
Predictive dialers are outbound platforms that work more efficiently with a large database of leads or phone numbers.
Using an algorithm, they can “predict” the best moment for a customer to answer the phone and connect the call right away with a live agent.
Predictive dialers also take into consideration factors like average handling time (time an agent spends in a call) and waiting time between calls in order to minimize agent idle time.
These dialers can be incredibly effective with the proper outbound configuration.
Power dialers are automated dialers that dial out once an agent finishes with a call and is ready for the next one.
These types of dialers are used when each phone call counts and the center has a small team. In other cases, it’s utilized when the call center is looking to minimize agent idle time.
While progressive dialers are very much like Preview dialers, the main difference between them is that progressive dialers show more information about the customer and have a slower pace.
An example of a business that can use a progressive dialer is a call center that deals with customer service. The operator can check all the details regarding accounts and issues and can plan accordingly on how to handle the phone call in advance.
Progressive dialers are also used in sales environments, where the sales agent can take more time in each call and doesn’t have to handle an elevated amount of calls in a set amount of time.
How Do Autodialers Work?
Once an autodialer starts calling phone numbers it may do several actions depending on the subsequent paths of action.
With technological advancements, an autodialer can determine if the call is answered by a live person or not.
Depending on the auto-dialer software configuration, it can perform several actions.
If it’s not able to reach the prospect, it can do one of the following actions:
- Call again immediately
- Call later on that same day
- Reschedule the call for another date and time that the system may consider that has a higher chance of contact
- Disable the phone number from being called again
- It could leave a voice message on the voicemail inbox
The autodialer’s course of action would be pre-set by the user in advance according to what makes sense for their business.
In the case that the dialer is able to contact the prospect, the results can be the following:
- Play a recorded message without any special features
- Play a recorded message with the ability for the person answering the phone to press a button on the phone keypad (IVR). This could be used to conduct polls, customer satisfaction surveys or to follow up on customer service or tech issues.
- Transfer the call to a live agent for a sales promotion or a customer service issue.
Advantages of Autodialers
Using an autodialer can have very clear advantages to the company or call center.
- It can dial a high volume of phone numbers at once, configurable to the specific needs of each company.
An autodialer can be a valuable addition to a small or tightly stretched call center that would otherwise be overwhelmed by a large number of calls to make or leave customers that answered the initial call on hold.
- Autodialers are agnostic systems that can be tailored to fit changing needs
For example, if you hire more live agents, an auto-dialer can be easily configured to make more phone calls in accordance and vice versa.
- Autodialers with robust features can provide useful insights and data about the phone numbers being dialed.
More insights equal more data that can be used in order to tailor calls to specific customers. Used correctly, this can help boost conversion and connect rates.
For example, insights from an autodialer with more advanced reporting features can reflect that most customers are available at a specific time of day. Or that you may need to call them at least 2 or 5 times to get in contact with them.
You can also find out if your calls are reaching voicemail or you’re dialing a high number of invalid numbers.
Autodialers – Disadvantages
There’s often a tradeoff to everything, and autodialers aren’t perfect for everyone. The wrong autodialer – or using an autodialer incorrectly – can actually pose some disadvantages.
- It can burn a lot of leads if not handled properly. Dialers that aren’t configured properly may generate more phone calls than the center can handle, or improperly route leads. This can result in poor customer service experience, low conversion rates, and low connect rates.
- It can be spammy. It can be tempting to set an autodialer to repeatedly call prospects in the hopes of reaching them on the nth try.
Since dialers are software programmed to get in contact with a person, an autodialer will continue to try until they succeed. In the case that a phone number isn’t able to answer, it can continue to call depending on the configurations.
If an autodialer isn’t managed correctly, a lead can continue to be contacted even after having spoken to a live agent. Not only will this anger your list of prospects and look poorly on you, you also risk venturing into potentially risky compliance issues.
- A non-TCPA approved dialer, or a dialer with weak TCPA safeguards, comes with compliance risks.
All marketers must adhere to federal law that protects consumers against spam marketing practices. This applies to outbound calls and messages, autodialing systems, and pre-recorded messages.
Noncompliance costs a business anywhere between $500-$1500 per violation; in practice, this means violators typically end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
With TCPA litigation on the rise, using an autodialer incorrectly, or using a dialer with poor compliance firewalls can potentially lead to accidental compliance violations leading to exorbitant legal bills.
Pipes.ai and You
To support your call center, the use of an autodialer can be a no-brainer. Indeed, autodialers have been helping marketers and their call centers lower cost per acquisition (CPA), increase efficiencies, and have boosted the number of leads contacted tremendously over the last number of years.
However, as we outlined above, an autodialer isn’t a foolproof be-all-end-all system for lead generation. Due to individual software limitations, human error, and ever-changing compliance guidelines, autodialers do have their pitfalls.
Pipes.ai is an outbound engagement platform designed to stack on top of your autodialer. Where dialers have limitations, Pipes.ai has solutions. From industry-leading data validation to automatic compliance safeguards, intelligent AI-backed dialing patterns, and campaign script A/B split-testing, Pipes.ai is the ultimate platform to maximize your lead conversion potential.