Time is money. In today’s highly competitive market, sales teams can’t afford to waste their precious time dialing numbers and waiting on unanswered calls, hang-ups, and invalid numbers. Outbound dialing bypasses wasted hold time, freeing agents to connect with real leads.
But what exactly is an outbound dialer, and how does it work? This guide provides a complete breakdown of the types of outbound dialers, how they work, dialing modes for outbound calls, and more.
With this knowledge, companies can choose the right tools and methods to boost their outbound dialing strategy for maximum efficiency.
Outbound Dialing Meaning: What is Outbound Dialing?
Today’s dialers are automated systems that call customers from an outbound call center. Early auto dialers were electronic devices, and while some of those devices are still in use, most modern dialers are software integrated into a contact center’s processes.
The benefits of outbound dialers include:
- Reduce the cost per call: Call centers are labor-intensive businesses, which means most operating costs go to paying agent salaries and benefits. If you’re paying an agent for their time, the employee should be talking to as many leads as possible, not dialing numbers and sitting on hold.
- Improve efficiency: Workflow management has a direct impact on call-center profitability. Outbound dialers eliminate inefficient systems to maximize each agent’s time on the phone.
- Eliminate error-prone, repetitive tasks: Manual dialing is not only an unnecessary and time-consuming task, but also a practice that inevitably results in human errors. When outbound dialing is automated, the software calls the right number every time.
- Turn hold time into call time: Depending on the type of outbound dialing method your company uses, the software can screen leads and filter out low-quality prospects. Your agents aren’t wasting time on voicemails, “do not call” telephone numbers, disconnected lines, hang-ups, wrong numbers, or busy signals. Instead, they’re talking to real customers.
How Does an Outbound Dialer Work for Call Centers?
Many people associate dialers with cold calling, but in today’s omnichannel marketing world, dialers serve a variety of business processes. Some of the most common uses for outbound dialers include:
- Customer callback requests
- Automated outbound marketing
- Telemarketing cold calls
- Account reactivation
- Debt collection
- Fraud alerts
- Customer retention
- Customer care
- After-call follow-up
- Appointment reminders
Integrated dialers typically work with other systems and channels in one of two ways. The first approach is an outbound dialer that features a set of pre-built tools. This type of auto dialer is best suited for small teams.
The second approach optimizes a dialer’s components to integrate with other systems, including customer relationship management (CRM) tools. This type offers customizable solutions but is more complex to set up. Many of these integrated outbound dialers rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to create a smart integration that learns how to optimize based on usage.
For example, a person who was on the call list may reach out to a contact center via email or phone call before the automated dialing system calls them. The outbound dialer must be smart enough to register the incoming contact and remove the scheduled call.
Once the dialing system is configured, the outbound route can perform several different actions based on the company’s needs. If no one answers, the dialer may:
- Call back immediately
- Leave a message in the voicemail inbox
- Disable the phone number from the system so no future calls will be made to that number
- Schedule a callback for later in the day
- Reschedule a call for an optimized date and time that has a higher chance of contact
If a recipient answers, the dialer can:
- Transfer the call to an agent for live support
- Play a recorded message
- Play an interactive message that prompts the listener to answer questions by pressing a button (for example, press 1 for yes or 2 for no)
How Many Types of Dialing Modes Does Outbound Dialing Have?
There are five different types of automated dialers, each with unique features, pros, and cons.
1. Preview Dialer
Preview dialing displays information about the caller so the agent has access to valuable insights before placing the call.
This method of outbound dialing gives contact center agents the tools they need to connect with customers, deliver better service, and increase the chances of closing a sale. For example, a preview dialer will often show the lead’s name, age, and other relevant information like their state of residence and hobbies.
2. Predictive Dialer
Predictive dialers call multiple numbers simultaneously using an algorithm to predict agent availability and the likelihood of connecting to the intended recipient.
A predictive dialer factors in other considerations like the average handling time an agent spends on a call and how many agents are available on the line. The ultimate goal is to make more phone calls while reducing wait time.
On average, it takes eight cold call attempts to reach a prospect. A predictive dialer works with a large database of leads to try and predict the best calling times for contacts to minimize the number of attempts.
3. Progressive Dialer
A progressive dialer operates in a similar way to a preview dialer, but it’s more thorough. Progressive dialers display more details and information about the prospect.
This model is beneficial for customer service and sales agents who need to plan their calls in advance or see a detailed history of account activities, issues, and customer data. However, due to the amount of information a progressive dialer pulls, it works at a slower pace than a preview dialer system.
The progressive system dials only one call at a time when an agent is free to talk. Predictive dialers, in comparison, make more calls for the best bet to connect. These two types of dialers serve different goals, depending on the business needs.
4. Power Dialer
A power dialer is a simple solution for making calls and reducing agent idle time. When the power dialer registers that an agent is no longer on the phone, the system is programmed to immediately dial the next number.
If the power dialer encounters busy signals, dropped calls, abandoned calls, or voicemail, the automated dialing system calls the next number.
5. True Auto Dialer
A true auto dialer sends a prerecorded message to all numbers on a calling list without any agent interaction. This dialer is also known as a robocall, and while it’s gotten a bad reputation over the years, it can still be an effective tool.
The recorded message typically provides information such as the company name, services offered, and business hours with the expectation that the recipient will respond by calling the contact center to connect with an agent.
A true auto dialer doesn’t just automate the initial dial – it automates the entire message, bypassing the outbound agent and setting up opportunities for inbound calls instead. This dialer can also send text messages to cell phones, depending on service providers.
How to Improve Outbound Dialing Strategies for Contact Centers
Which type of dialer is the best solution for your call center?
Would your agents perform better with the rapid-fire power dialer or the more intuitive predictive dialer? How much access do they need to customer data when they’re speaking to callers?
For example, if the most important KPI is the number of calls answered, a predictive dialer would work well since it can dial multiple numbers at once. But if your goal is to provide exceptional customer service, the progressive model would suit your team better since agents have more information and control over a customer’s account details.
Once you know which dialer type is the best for your business, use these tips to maximize the impact:
- A good outbound dialer needs a good CRM. Agents are only as effective as their tools and training allow them to be. Likewise, a great dialer paired with a poor CRM will impact performance. If you want your outbound dialer to operate at its best, you need to pair it with an intuitive CRM system.
- Loosen the reins on your script. Whether the pitch is coming from the internet or a salesperson’s voice over the phone, people are more likely to be receptive if the message isn’t a dry, word-for-word script. Give your agents key phrases and guidelines, but let them use their own words so they can customize the delivery.
- Incentivize your agents. Friendly competition among team members can drive powerful results. Offer rewards for good performance and highlight at least one person each month.
- Be respectful of your prospects’ time. Outbound calling has earned a bad rap in the public’s eye because many companies have abused it. When contact centers call a person directly, they are encroaching on the recipient’s time. Remind your agents to be mindful of that and deliver their pitch using concise words.
- Personalize the pitch. Train your agents to use the lead’s name during the introduction. Depending on the outbound dialer your company uses, they may have access to plenty of personal information so they can use appropriate word choices and adopt the right tone of voice.
- Set realistic KPIs. The purpose of a KPI is to measure progress and set team goals. However, those goals should be attainable. Setting KPIs too high creates a tense work environment and lowers the team’s morale if they can’t meet those goals no matter how hard they try.
Add Pipes Ai to Your Dialing Strategy
Cold calling isn’t dead. More than two-thirds of buyers accept cold calls, which means the opportunity is there for contact centers that know how to prospect effectively using an outbound dialer.
- Lead validation to filter out low-quality prospects
- Outbound dialer options
- AI-learning technology to determine the best dial-out times and the optimal number of follow-up contacts
- Pre- and post-call SMS and inbound call scheduling
- A/B script and IVR testing features
- Intelligent automation
- Fully customizable validations
- Comprehensive real-time reporting
- Seamless integrations for cross-channel DNC compliance
- Fast, friendly support
Pipes Ai is designed to improve your workflow and deliver all of the tools your call center needs to succeed. We work with you and create a customized outbound dialer solution to fit your business’s goals and challenges.
Learn more about Pipes.ai and book a demo to find out how we can improve your call center’s outbound dialing strategy.