Call centers have evolved immensely over the years. Any call center that focuses on efficiency has invested in a predictive dialer. Here we break down what a predictive dialer is, how it works, and why call centers should be using them.
What is a Predictive Dialer?
Predictive dialers are used by call centers to make sure that agents are connected only to live customers and that their utilization is fully maximized. With a predictive dialer, unsuccessful calls are automatically recycled for another attempt at a more suitable time until they go through. Following this outcome-focused approach helps control dial pacing in real-time, thereby increasing your workforce productivity. It can even triple the number of calls that your agent can make and boost their talk time up to 40-50 minutes per hour.
As a cloud-based outbound engagement strategy, predictive dialing enables your call center to turn one-off interactions into profitable conversations while cutting down operational costs.
How do predictive dialers work?
A predictive dialer combines different processes to ensure that only live customers are connected to your agents. It can:
- Check agents’ availability to determine when new calls can be attempted
- Use call progress detection and analysis, answering machine detection, and liveness detection to identify when a call has reached a person before connecting to an agent
- Track the success rate of dialed calls to adjust its pacing and evaluate the number of dials that can be tried simultaneously to result in one successful call with a person
- Apply rules to recycle failed call attempts based on the actual result of the dialing, such as busy, answering machine, or wrong number
- Ensure compliance by offering customer-friendly options, such as the ability to be removed from the calling list
- Monitor the inbound traffic to assign or release agents to outbound calls and ensure agents are kept busy and incoming calls are handled according to their target service levels
Predictive dialers also help keep the call abandonment rate under 3%, as per US Telephony Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) regulations.
In an ideal scenario, the predictive dialing system should be integrated with key applications such as CRM so that the agents are better equipped with customer-related insights.
Benefits of predictive dialers
- Lower operational costs: The predictive dialer can be integrated into your contact center infrastructure to achieve a high level of network connectivity. It allows your agents to easily be shifted between inbound and outbound activities.
- Cut down idle time: The predictive dialing system doesn’t waste time connecting agents and customers. Your agents don’t have to remain idle and wait for calls to go through.
- Level up agent efficiency: A predictive dialer automatically makes calls so that your agents no longer have to waste time dialing numbers. It can go a long way to save a tremendous number of person-hours.
- Reduce human errors: Predictive dialing enables end-to-end calling automation. It cuts down human errors – without having to supervise the dialer to maintain a high level of calling efficiency.
- Avoid paying hefty fines: Predictive dialers come with built-in checks that prevent you from dialing blocked numbers, calling outside of authorized hours, etc. As a result, they dramatically improve the compliance adherence of your call center’s outbound operations and helps avoid expensive fines.
- Create more business opportunities: A predictive dialer increases the rate of outbound sales conversion by simply better utilizing the agent’s time. While manual dialing often leads to wasted talk time, predictive dialing increases the volume of calls and boosts the overall call center profitability.
Predictive Dialer vs Auto Dialer
There can sometimes be confusion around the differences between an auto dialer and a predictive dialer. An auto dialer is an outbound dialing system that call centers use to dial numbers for their call center agents within a contact list. Auto dialing focuses on improving contact rates and allowing the agent to be better prepared for a customer.
Predictive dialing is a type of dialing mode within an auto dialer.
Who should be using predictive dialers?
The predictive dialing system is best-suited for businesses that are weighed down by lost calls or outdated call information. It is also preferred by those challenged to acquire new customers since their agents will be fully occupied – increasing the chance of sales conversions. Furthermore, businesses that receive a large number of complaints regarding their products, solutions, or services can also benefit from using predictive dialers.
Some of the most popular call center use cases of predictive dialers include sales prospecting, inside sales, debt collection, proactive customer service in most business-to-consumer (B2C) industries like banking, insurance, healthcare, or utilities.
It is also important to note that predictive dialers have to operate within stringent legal boundaries. For instance – according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, if an agent is not available to answer within three seconds of the customer’s acknowledgment, the call should be deemed as “abandoned.”
And as per TCPA, only mobile numbers of callers who have given their Prior Explicit Written Consent (PEWC) can be dialed. These regulations require state-of-the-art predictive dialers also restrict the use of predictive dialing to specific use cases. Other challenges may impact the Customer Experience (CX) and make the use of less automated dialing modes desirable.
How Acqueon can amplify your predictive dialing efficiency
Acqueon is your strategic outbound technology partner for navigating past the challenges of predictive dialing systems and putting you in the driver’s seat. The Acqueon software lets you combine voice outreach with digital channels into omnichannel contact strategies. Our AI-powered predictive dialing solution brings the technology to the next level by leveraging actual predictions of calls going through. Our cutting-edge statistical models also help near-accurately predict the chances of a call getting connected to a suitable contact within the next period increment.
Acqueon also offers a built-in Customer Data Platform (CDP) to make the most of your dataset, including call dispositions and customer segmentation attributes like demographics, time zones, etc. It can uncover patterns and correlation-based insights to improve campaign performance across sales, service, and collections.