What is a Predictive Dialer?
A predictive dialer is a type of auto dialer designed to automate the dialing process and increase the efficiency of outbound calling campaigns in call centers. The system simultaneously dials multiple phone numbers from the contact list and uses AI technology and statistical algorithms to predict agent availability and dial numbers even before the agent completes their previous call. Auto dialers are mostly used by lead generation and sales teams in outbound call centers.
What is Predictive Dialing Software?
Predictive dialing software, which is often part of advanced contact center solutions, is a type of auto dialer software that helps call center agents optimize the auto dialing process, connect with more leads or customers in less time, and improve their efficiency.
A predictive dialer system dials numbers from a contact list in a way that ensures agents always have callers waiting in the call queue, so they can instantly move on to the next call once the current call is over. This guarantees no time is wasted between calls, reduces agent idle time, and boosts agent productivity.
How Does a Predictive Dialer Work?
A predictive dialer automatically dials multiple numbers, typically 3-4 numbers per agent. Once the call is picked up by a live person on the other end, it immediately routes the call to the available agent. The system is able to filter out busy signals, voicemails, and answering machines – and only connects calls that are answered by an actual human.
The predictive mechanism of this type of auto dialer systems is based on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms. That allows the software to automatically calibrate the dialing rate (increase or decrease the number of simultaneously dialed numbers), taking into account the number of currently available agents, the average waiting time, the average call duration based on past interactions, and other call metrics. Over time, the dialer becomes better at making more accurate predictions on how many numbers per agent to dial at any given time.
Features of Predictive Dialer Software
Based on the call center software vendor, AI Auto Dialer solutions with predictive dialing capabilities can offer a range of different features and functionalities, both basic and advanced. Below are some of the fundamental features predictive dialer software solutions may include but are not limited to:
- A placing algorithm: A placing algorithm of predictive dialing systems uses complex statistical analysis to predict the number of calls that should be placed at any given moment based on agent availability and can adjust the dialing pace over time.
- Answering machine detection: Predictive dialers can determine whether the call has been answered by an actual human or an answering machine and can either connect recipients to the agents or leave pre-recorded messages on answering machines.
- Real-time call monitoring: With call monitoring and advanced speech analytics, call center managers and supervisors can monitor agent calls, provide real-time feedback to agents, and offer assistance whenever needed.
- Real-time analytics and reporting: The software can provide real-time analytics and reporting on key performance indicators and critical call metrics, that managers can use to improve call center operations and the effectiveness of outbound calling campaigns.
- Call recording: The dialer system can automatically record outbound calls and store them in the CRM. The recordings can then be accessed and reviewed by managers or agents for training and agent onboarding purposes.
- CRM integration: Predictive dialers can be integrated with a business’s CRM system, enabling call center agents to access lead or customer information, call recordings, and previous call history.
Some other common features of predictive dialing systems include callback scheduling, voicemail message drop, number reachability scan, filtering DNC/DND (Do Not Call/Do Not Disturb) lists, spam detection, local presence dialing, speech analysis, and others.
What is the Difference Between a Predictive Dialer and an Auto Dialer?
Both predictive dialers and auto dialers are call center tools used to automate and optimize the outbound calling process for agents. However, they operate in a different way. An auto dialer is a basic outbound dialing system that sequentially dials numbers from a pre-set list and directs calls to available agents or plays a pre-recorded message. It requires a manual setup of dialer rate per agent, and it’s mostly suitable for small and medium-sized teams.
A predictive dialer, on the other hand, is a more advanced dialing system that employs AI and statistical algorithms to predict agent availability. Unlike an auto dialer, a predictive dialer dials multiple numbers at once a few seconds before an agent completes the previous call. The system can automatically determine and adjust the dial rate per agent based on the number of available agents and historical call metrics. Predictive dialers are best suited for large teams with high outbound call volumes and fast turnaround times.
Benefits of Predictive Dialers
Using predictive dialers offers call centers a number of advantages and benefits. Predictive dialers automate the dialing process and eliminate the need for manual dialing, which saves agents a significant amount of time and effort.
Since the dialer initiates multiple calls per agent even before the agent becomes available, that ensures there is always a call in the call queue, waiting for the agent to pick up. Once a rep finishes their call, they can move right away to handle the next call, which means zero idle time between calls and more talk time. Predictive dialers are known to increase agent talk times by up to 300%.
Because agents are able to make more outbound calls per hour and engage in more interactions with leads and prospects, that can improve sales conversions and call center efficiency.
Overall, by using predictive dialer tools, businesses can expect the following benefits:
- Increased outbound call volume
- Improved outbound calling strategy
- Boosted conversions and sales
- Reduced agent idle time
- Increased agent talk time
- Enhanced agent efficiency and productivity
- Maximized agent utilization rate
- Reduced total costs of call center operations
Why Get Predictive Dialer Software?
Businesses and organizations that heavily rely on outbound calling campaigns to generate leads, sell their products and services, or proactively connect with a large number of customers can improve their outreach efforts and increase sales conversions by using predictive dialer software tools.
While predictive dialers might not be suited for small businesses that don’t have large outbound call volumes, mid-sized businesses and large-scale organizations can get a competitive edge and improve their outbound calling campaigns through predictive dialing software tools. With the right strategy, predictive dialer solutions can help businesses optimize their operations, improve efficiency, and achieve their sales and marketing goals.
What are the Limitations of Predictive Dialers?
Despite the numerous benefits of predictive dialers and their ability to streamline call center operations, there are still certain limitations and downsides of using predictive dialing solutions that businesses should be aware of. The most common concerns and limitations are:
- Abandoned calls
If the software fails to accurately predict agent availability, that may result in blank calls that leave people hanging on the line when there is no available rep to pick up the call. It may frustrate prospects and lead to abandoned calls, poor experience, and lost sales opportunities.
- Compliance issues
If the software is not used in accordance with specific laws and regulations that may vary from region to region, it can result in compliance risks for call centers and costly legal penalties. E.g., the dialer software may not be able to differentiate the numbers that should not be contacted (such as the numbers from the National Do-Not-Call Registry).
How much does predictive dialing software cost?
The cost of predictive dialing software tools can significantly vary based on whether it’s a hosted dialer or an on-premises software solution and the set of available features. The cost also depends on the number of agents required. Some predictive dialing software vendors may additionally charge for custom integrations, customer support, and training.
Are predictive dialers illegal?
Predictive dialers are legal, but companies and contact centers using predictive dialer tools must comply with the rules and regulations of the particular country or region where they are used. In the United States, for example, the use of automatic dialing systems, including predictive dialers is regulated by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which prohibits companies from calling cell phones without prior written consent from the recipient.
Who should use predictive dialers?
Predictive dialers can be used by outbound call centers and organizations in various industries, including telemarketing, banking and finance, mortgage and insurance, travel and tourism, healthcare, and debt collection agencies. In general, any business that typically makes large volumes of outbound calls to reach out to leads or connect with customers can benefit from using predictive dialing tools.
What is the difference between a predictive and progressive dialer?
While predictive and progressive dialers are both automated dialing systems, the fundamental difference between these types of dialers is that predictive dialers prioritize the number of outbound calls and agent productivity – while progressive dialers put the quality of interactions first. A progressive dialer dials numbers only after an agent becomes available to take the call giving them more time to prepare for each interaction and reducing call abandonment rates.