If your business operates an outbound call center, you want your agents to be as efficient and effective as possible. One innovative tool that can help improve both efficiency and effectiveness is a predictive phone dialer.
Predictive dialing systems have been shown to dramatically increase productivity and connection rates within call centers.
We will explore what a predictive phone dialer is, how it compares to other types of dialing systems, and what benefits it can offer your organization.
What Is a Predictive Phone Dialer?
A predictive phone dialer is an automatic dialling system, frequently called an autodialer.
A predictive phone dialer makes multiple calls simultaneously using automated technology, so there is a greater potential to connect with a customer every time an agent is available. It is designed to call as many leads as possible to reduce downtime and increase sales significantly.
Whenever the system calls a lead and is not answered, it automatically moves on to the following contact. When a call is answered, it is routed to the next available agent.
A predictive phone dialer system gives your call center more talk time and improves productivity.
Predictive dialers have been used for over 30 years. They were initially used in the banking industry, specifically for debt collection.
Types of Dialer Systems
There are numerous types of automatic dialing systems available for call centers. While some similarities may exist, some key differences set each type apart.
- Predictive dialer: This automated system calls multiple numbers simultaneously, and transfers answered calls to the next available agent.
- Preview dialer: This type of system relies on a call list. It gives the agent a brief preview of the customer’s information. The agent can then decide whether to make the call or not.
- Progressive dialer: Like other types of auto dialers, progressive dialers automatically dial phone numbers for an agent. However, it waits until an agent can dial the next number. This simplified type of auto dialer is best used in business-to-business calling settings. Some progressive dialing systems give agents a pause between calls to review notes before making the next call.
- Power dialer: A power dialer is similar to a progressive dialer. However, it does not include a “pause” time and automatically dials the next number after the previous call has ended.
Comparing a predictive dialer vs. a preview dialer can help you decide which calling system is the best for your business needs.
Calls per agent
Uses algorithms to predict agent availability and makes multiple calls at once.
Agent makes one call at a time and reviews client info before placing call.
Dials a new number when the agent is available. Sometimes there is time to review info between calls.
Typically, one call at a time per agent.
System calls multiple numbers at once and connects answered calls to the next available agent.
Agents choose when they are ready to place the next call.
The system places one call per agent, but only when the agent is free.
The next number is dialed when the previous call is completed. Agents may be able to cancel a call.
Dialer detects the voicemail system and automatically leaves a prerecorded message.
The system can automatically leave a voicemail so the agent can move on to the next call.
Agents can leave a prerecorded voicemail and make another call.
Agents can leave a prerecorded voicemail and make another call.
Calls per hour
Most predictive dialer systems can manage up to 110 calls per hour.
Agents using preview dialing systems typically make between 30 and 50 calls per hour.
Progressive dialers typically manage between 60 and 80 calls per hour.
Many power dialing systems can place between 60-80 calls per hour.
How Does a Predictive Dialer Work?
Predictive dialers use advanced automated technology to predict how many calls will get answered and how many agents will be available at a certain time.
These four factors are the main driving forces in how predictive dialing systems operate.
Predictive Dialers Use Pacing Algorithms
The effectiveness of a predictive dialing system is based on how well it balances the number of outbound calls with the number of available agents. The pacing algorithm is a mathematical formula that predicts how many calls the system should make based on when it expects agents to be free. The pacing algorithm is continually adjusting itself so that if more agents are available, it will dial more numbers, and if fewer agents are available, the dialing will slow down.
Minimizes Abandon Rates
You want your predictive dialing software to call as many numbers as it can. However, you also need it to call the right numbers at the right time. If it calls too quickly before agents are available to take the call, the customer may hear a long silence before an agent connects. When this happens, a customer is more likely to abandon the call. You need a predictive dialing program that can help minimize the abandon rate.
Customized to Campaign and Call Center Size
Predictive dialers work best with large calling campaigns in large call centers. This gives the system a large pool of data to work with so that it can make better call-load predictions. You can customize your calling rules based on your campaign goals, so you are calling the right people at the right time.
With smaller campaigns or smaller call centers, there may be more down time since there are fewer numbers to call.
Relies on Agent Data
Timing is one of the most important factors in predictive dialing. That is why predictive dialers need a significant amount of data on agents, including the average call duration, how many live agents there are, and how many idle agents are available. The predictive dialing algorithm uses agent data that is updated each day. Each agent has a unique algorithm based on their call history with many predictive dialers.
Predictive Dialer Benefits
Predictive dialers have some distinct benefits compared to other types of auto dialers or manually dialing numbers.
1. Optimized Call Assignment
Predictive dialing systems are usually not specific to each agent. In general, all agents are in the same calling pool. The system sends any answered calls to the next available agent. This system helps eliminate bias and improves agent productivity since they are not in charge of when they take calls.
2. Improves Client Management
A predictive dialing system will automatically track all calls placed to each number. The system also adheres to the rules surrounding do-not-call lists. If a client requests to be added to that list, an agent can flag that phone number while wrapping up the call.
3. Works with Blended Campaigns
Call centers that use both inbound and outbound calling can benefit from a predictive auto dialer. The predictive dialer will work with the call distribution system to assign calls where they need to go. If agents are unavailable, the system can record a message so an agent can return their call.
4. Improves Efficiency
With an outbound predictive dialer system, managers and supervisors can easily track data for each call agent. This type of system gives all agents an equal chance for improvement.
If an agent connects with a contact who says they can’t talk at that time, the agent can schedule a callback at a better time. The predictive dialer system will automatically call that contact back at the scheduled time.
5. Call Monitoring
Predictive auto dialing systems also come with call monitoring capabilities. Managers can listen to recorded conversations or live calls without alerting the agent. This offers a chance to score agents without bias in real-time. Some predictive dialing solutions offer features like real-time coaching or suggestions from supervisors. Many systems also offer reporting tools that are available on-demand or through scheduling. This can help management see which agents need more training and support.
6. Reduces Costs
With more productive agents and improved overall efficiency, your business will be more cost-effective. You can do more with the employees you already have. When your agents connect with more customers and have higher success rates, this can lead to better employee satisfaction.
Some predictive dialer software also works with remote workers. This can further cut costs by allowing workers to work from home without paying for office space. Predictive dialers can connect calls to available agents no matter where they are located.
How Does a Predictive Dialer Work in an Outbound Call Center?
The main goal of a predictive dialer in an outbound call center is to increase agent productivity and decrease idle time. Compared to manual dialing, productivity in an outbound call center typically increases 300-350% when using a predictive dialer system.
Even on the first day of using a predictive dialer, outbound call centers can see a massive jump in connection rates ranging from 200% to 400%.
Variety of Uses
While its original use may have been focused primarily on the banking industry, predictive dialers are used across many industries today.
- Sales teams: Your sales team could use a predictive dialing system to increase outbound sales calls depending on the product or service. Many dialing systems integrate with existing CRM applications so that you can access real-time customer data.
- Telemarketers: One of the most common uses of predictive dialing is in the telemarketing industry. The more calls agents make, the better the returns.
- Fundraising efforts: If your business or organization needs to contact a specific demographic to raise funds for your cause, predictive dialing is a great option.
- Political canvassing: When politicians and political groups need to gauge public opinion on certain issues, they frequently rely on predictive dialing to reach as many voters as possible.
- Customer service: While most customer service centers are focused on inbound calling, many centers also have outbound calling agents who follow up with customers who need additional assistance. Predictive dialing can help make that process faster.
- Debt collection: Debt collection agencies have long relied on predictive dialing to reach as many people as possible and improve recovery rates.
- Lead qualification: Outbound call centers can use predictive dialing to screen potential leads before sending qualified leads to the sales department.
In general, any situation requiring a high call rate will be a good candidate for predictive dialing software.
Are Predictive Dialers Legal?
Yes, predictive dialer software is legal. However, it is important that call centers follow all regulations and do not abuse this technology.
There have been times when organizations would call as many numbers as possible without regard to who was on the other line or if they had consented to be called.
Today, that practice is no longer allowed. Outbound call centers are governed by the TCPA, or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Call centers are required to comply with TCPA regulations. This limits call centers with auto dialers and predictive dialing software to only calling customers who have given prior consent. Any numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry should be excluded from the call database.
Many predictive dialers are automatically updated with any numbers on the Do Not Call database.
How Much Does a Predictive Dialer Cost?
When searching for a predictive dialer for sale, the cost will be a top concern. The predictive dialer price will depend on the solution you choose. Predictive dialers are available as standalone products or integrated software systems that work with your current VoIP system.
Some systems work best for massive outbound calling centers, while other are customized for smaller businesses. Many small businesses choose on-premise systems or cloud-based dialers.
- On-premise dialers: On-premise systems may come with a considerable up-front cost of around $5,000 for the hardware and installation. However, you usually save over time without paying a subscription cost. These systems are best for businesses that will always need a calling system and want to control the maintenance in-house.
- Cloud-based dialers: Cloud-based predictive dialers typically have lower up-front predictive dialer costs. However, many come with monthly or annual subscription costs. These systems tend to be more advanced and offer more adaptability than in-house systems.
Some systems may offer a free predictive dialer trial. This lets you try out multiple systems before committing to the one that works best for your business. This usually includes a predictive dialer software free download so you can explore some of the system’s capabilities. Free trials usually come with some restrictions, so you won’t get to use all the full product features.
What Is the Best Predictive Dialer?
The best predictive dialer will be the one that effectively manages the needs of your business. You want a system that improves sales, increases productivity, and enhances the customer experience.
There are a variety of predictive dialer solutions available. To find the best fit for your business, you should compare each system’s features, capabilities, and costs and then speak with a representative to see how their solution will work for your business.
What Is a Silent Call?
Because the system is placing calls before agents are available, there will be times when a customer answers before an agent is ready. When this happens, it is called a silent call. Many predictive dialer systems allow agents to record a message that plays during a silent call. If too many silent calls happen without a set amount of time, the system will slow down its dialing to match the pace of the agents.
Take Full Advantage of Your Auto Dialer Benefits
Adding a predictive auto dialer to your call center is one of the best choices you can make. You understand its benefits. Now learn how to implement those benefits fully.
1. Respond to Leads Quickly
Depending on the type of business you have, your call list may fill up from customer referrals, online requests, or in-store inquiries. Research has shown that contacting a lead within 5 minutes of contact is 100 times more successful than waiting just 30 minutes.
A predictive dialing system can add valuable contact information to your call list to improve your chances of successful contact.
2. Recycle Unreached Contacts
With at least 60% of calls heading to voicemail, you will have primarily unanswered calls. A predictive auto dialer will automatically add those unanswered calls back to the call list and filter them based on contact attempts and optimized call time.
3. Give Agents Contact Data
An excellent predictive dialing system will show agents relevant contact data while connecting them with the call. When your agent knows where the lead came from and what the contact’s relationship is with your business, they will be better prepared to fulfill the purpose of the call.
4. Create Agent Pools
Some call centers benefit from using differentiated agent pools. In this scenario, calls are routed based on the contact’s profile. In some instances, this could mean they are sent to the same agent they previously spoke with or at least an agent with a similar skill set. This type of call assignment leads to better, more nurtured leads. Nurtured leads tend to make purchases 47% larger than non-nurtured leads.
5. Optimize After-Call Processes
When an agent completes a call, certain things should happen. Many of these processes can be automated using a good predictive auto dialer system. For example, if a lead requests to be removed from your system, the agent can just click a button. Or, after a purchase, the system automatically sends an email or SMS to confirm the purchase.
Pipes.ai Can Modernize Your Call Center with Automated Technology
If your call center agents spend more time tracking down leads instead of making sales, Pipes.ai can help. We offer innovative, automated technology and can help increase agent productivity and overall sales. Our optimized call center solutions provide split testing for call scripts, customizable validation filters, instant reporting, and call scheduling.
Want to see how Pipes.ai can work for you? Book a demo with us today to get started.