Software Advice helps call centers choose the right predictive dialer software so they can automate outbound dialing and distribute calls to the right agents. How does it work?

Predictive Dialer Software


 
ChaseData Call Center logo
 
ChaseData Call Center software offers web-based, standalone call center functionality with customer service and support built into the software. It’s designed for outbound, inbound, and blended call center teams. Dialing capabilities... Read More
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ChaseData Call Center software offers web-based, standalone call center functionality with customer service and support built into the software. It’s designed for outbound, inbound, and blended call center teams. Dialing capabilities... Read More
 
Convoso Cloud Contact Center logo
 
Convoso Cloud Contact Center is a cloud-based call center solution with a predictive dialer and inbound call support for small and midsize businesses. As a cloud-based solution, Convoso Cloud Contact Center is accessible over... Read More
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Convoso Cloud Contact Center is a cloud-based call center solution with a predictive dialer and inbound call support for small and midsize businesses. As a cloud-based solution, Convoso Cloud Contact Center is accessible over... Read More
 
X5 Cloud Contact Center logo
 
X5 Cloud Contact Center developed by Ytel is used by various SMB call center companies and businesses with dedicated phone support teams. This solution offers an integrated call center suite with features including automated call... Read More
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X5 Cloud Contact Center developed by Ytel is used by various SMB call center companies and businesses with dedicated phone support teams. This solution offers an integrated call center suite with features including automated call... Read More
 
Oracle Contact Center Anywhere logo
 
Oracle Contact Center Anywhere Software provides a call center system with a host of features that include call queuing, call routing, as well as callback requests including email, online chat and web callback. Calls can be routed... Read More
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Oracle Contact Center Anywhere Software provides a call center system with a host of features that include call queuing, call routing, as well as callback requests including email, online chat and web callback. Calls can be routed... Read More
 
Newfies-Dialer logo
 
Newfies-Dialer is a cloud-based voice broadcasting, autodialer and phone survey solution that helps users manage concurrent calls from a centralized location. Newfies-Dialer features live lead transfer which enables users to pull... Read More
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Newfies-Dialer is a cloud-based voice broadcasting, autodialer and phone survey solution that helps users manage concurrent calls from a centralized location. Newfies-Dialer features live lead transfer which enables users to pull... Read More

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Talkdesk Call Center logo
 
Talkdesk is a browser-based call center software solution that helps growing businesses improve customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing customer support costs. No hardware or downloads are required and the system integrates... Read More
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Talkdesk is a browser-based call center software solution that helps growing businesses improve customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing customer support costs. No hardware or downloads are required and the system integrates... Read More
 
Five9 Cloud Contact Center logo
 
Five9 is used by call centers around the world to manage inbound, outbound, blended or multi-channel contact centers.  It offers IVR with speech recognition, multi-channel ACD, predictive dialer and customer relationship management... Read More
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Five9 is used by call centers around the world to manage inbound, outbound, blended or multi-channel contact centers.  It offers IVR with speech recognition, multi-channel ACD, predictive dialer and customer relationship management... Read More
 
NICE inContact Cloud Contact Center logo
 
NICE inContact is a SaaS-based call center software that helps businesses to maximizes the quality of leads and minimizes the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises of many features required to process inbound support requests... Read More
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NICE inContact is a SaaS-based call center software that helps businesses to maximizes the quality of leads and minimizes the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises of many features required to process inbound support requests... Read More
 
RingCentral Contact Center logo
 
Coud communications provider RingCentral has recently expanded into the Call Center space with their Contact Center solution. The suite is powered by inContact and offers Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, CTI,... Read More
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Coud communications provider RingCentral has recently expanded into the Call Center space with their Contact Center solution. The suite is powered by inContact and offers Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, CTI,... Read More
 
Aspect Via Customer Engagement Platform logo
 
Aspect Via Customer Engagement Platform is a web-based contact center suitable for organizations with 100 or more concurrent and named users. The system is a complete set of customer service capabilities including self-service, omnichannel... Read More
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Aspect Via Customer Engagement Platform is a web-based contact center suitable for organizations with 100 or more concurrent and named users. The system is a complete set of customer service capabilities including self-service, omnichannel... Read More

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Augutech Predictive Dialer logo
 
Augutech is a cloud-based predictive dialer solution suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include inbound and outbound calling, automatic dialing, call recording and performance analytics. Augutech Predictive Dialer... Read More
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Augutech is a cloud-based predictive dialer solution suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include inbound and outbound calling, automatic dialing, call recording and performance analytics. Augutech Predictive Dialer... Read More
 
XenCALL Predictive Dialer CRM logo
 
XenCALL is a cloud-based call center solution for companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. Key features include automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, auto dialing, scheduling, performance analytics and... Read More
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XenCALL is a cloud-based call center solution for companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. Key features include automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, auto dialing, scheduling, performance analytics and... Read More
 
CallShaper logo
 
CallShaper is a cloud-based call center management solution suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include lead management, real-time reporting, agent monitoring and tablet support. CallShaper enables users to create... Read More
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CallShaper is a cloud-based call center management solution suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include lead management, real-time reporting, agent monitoring and tablet support. CallShaper enables users to create... Read More
 
Aspect Unified IP logo
 
Aspect Unified IP is a call center management solution suitable for inbound and outbound call centers of any size. Key features include automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony integration... Read More
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Aspect Unified IP is a call center management solution suitable for inbound and outbound call centers of any size. Key features include automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony integration... Read More
 
Noble Enterprise logo
 
Noble Enterprise is a call center management solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. Key features include inbound, outbound and blended contact management, predictive dialing, skills-based call routing, digital recording and... Read More
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Noble Enterprise is a call center management solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. Key features include inbound, outbound and blended contact management, predictive dialing, skills-based call routing, digital recording and... Read More

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PIMS Dialer logo
 
The PIMS Dialer is flexible, scalable and secure. It’s a cloud-based application, and the servers are housed in a state of the art facility that’s operated around the clock, delivering extremely reliable uptime. Companies can... Read More
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The PIMS Dialer is flexible, scalable and secure. It’s a cloud-based application, and the servers are housed in a state of the art facility that’s operated around the clock, delivering extremely reliable uptime. Companies can... Read More
 
SAP Contact Center logo
 
SAP Contact Center is a customer service-oriented contact center management solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers multi-channel contact management, interactive voice response (IVR), voice over IP (VoIP), voicemail... Read More
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SAP Contact Center is a customer service-oriented contact center management solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers multi-channel contact management, interactive voice response (IVR), voice over IP (VoIP), voicemail... Read More
 
Aspect Zipwire logo
 
Aspect Zipwire delivers cloud call center services and its multi-channel inbound and outbound capabilities serve small to enterprise-level organizations. The software functionality includes tools to manage sales, marketing, and customer... Read More
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Aspect Zipwire delivers cloud call center services and its multi-channel inbound and outbound capabilities serve small to enterprise-level organizations. The software functionality includes tools to manage sales, marketing, and customer... Read More
 
Tenfold logo
 
Tenfold is a cloud-based call center management suitable for businesses of all sizes. Tenfold’s solution allows companies to dig deep into their business history and aggregate all data, including sales, service and marketing to... Read More
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Tenfold is a cloud-based call center management suitable for businesses of all sizes. Tenfold’s solution allows companies to dig deep into their business history and aggregate all data, including sales, service and marketing to... Read More
 
CallTools logo
 
CallTools is a predictive dialer and inbound call center management solution that helps businesses manage the productivity of their call center operations. CallTools features list management with list scrubbing, recycling and list... Read More
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CallTools is a predictive dialer and inbound call center management solution that helps businesses manage the productivity of their call center operations. CallTools features list management with list scrubbing, recycling and list... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: December 12, 2017


Predictive dialers: love ‘em or hate ‘em.

Chances are that if you’re familiar with the word, you help to manage a call center and fall into the “love ‘em” camp. Even if that’s the case, however, you may have lost your patience if you’ve ever answered a call during dinner, only to wait five seconds before the agent begins talking.

That five-second delay is actually a hallmark of the predictive dialer, a system which automatically dials numbers, pacing itself according to predictions of when call center agents will become available to answer calls.

By dialing numbers in this way instead of simply placing another call when an agent actually becomes available, predictive dialers ensure that your agents spend more time on the phones and less time chatting with each other about fantasy sports teams.

Predictive dialers are sophisticated, so you need to understand how they work and how they differ from other kinds of auto dialers before you invest in one. We’ve written this guide to help you learn what you need to know to make an informed purchase.

(Click on a link below to jump to that section.)

How Do Predictive Dialers Work?
What Are the Features of Predictive Dialers?
What Are the Major Uses of Predictive Dialers?
What Are the Limits of Predictive Dialers?

How Do Predictive Dialers Work?

The term “predictive dialer” is often used as a synonym for “auto dialer.” In fact, predictive dialers represent a major evolutionary leap forward from auto dialers.

Most people would assume that if an auto dialer just places another call when an agent hangs up, the agent is spending enough time on the phone.

But if you work in an outbound call center, you know that many dialed calls never get answered. Those that do frequently go to voicemail, or the recipient of the call gets annoyed and hangs up.

In the late 1980s, Douglas Samuelson invented the predictive dialer to solve this problem.

Predictive dialers assume that many calls will go unanswered. They forecast when an agent will wrap up a call based on historical call length data, and begin dialing before the agent actually wraps up the call she or he is currently handling.

This is only half of the story, however. Predictive dialers also deliberately overdial.

Instead of simply dialing one call for each available agent, waiting for the call to end and dialing again, they dial more calls than agents could possibly handle if all of those calls actually got answered (which of course never happens).

Predictive dialers then screen out busy signals, answering machines and hangups to ensure that only live calls get distributed to an agent once she or he wraps up the current call.

The “predictive” part of predictive dialing involves feeding data about call center performance (such as the rate of abandoned calls, average call length etc.) into statistical algorithms, which forecast approximately when an agent will wrap up a call. The diagram below gives a simplified overview of a predictive dialer’s operations:

Overview of Predictive Dialing Functionality

Overview of Predictive Dialing Functionality

 

The good thing about these algorithms? You don’t need to understand them. Predictive dialer systems offer simple, rule-based interfaces that hide all the statistical mechanics of the system from users.

While predictive dialers are found in some integrated suites of call center applications, many vendors still offer them as standalone applications. Early dialers were hardware-based solutions, but cloud vendors now offer hosted predictive dialers as well.

What are the Features of Predictive Dialers?

The following features can be found in most predictive dialers:

Upload lists Upload lists of contacts for campaigns, generally in .CSV format.
Manage numbers Manage numbers in the lists you upload. For example, ensure that even if a number appears twice in a list, it only gets dialed once. You can also avoid calling cell phones or numbers in specific area codes.
Do Not Call (DNC) Compliance Track callers’ requests to be placed on the DNC list in real time. Upload your organization’s DNC list to the National Registry and exclude those numbers from your campaigns.
Vertical dialing Upload and dial multiple numbers for each contact (particularly important for collection agencies that need to improve their list penetration rates - i.e., the rate of successful communication attempts out of total communication attempts in an outbound campaign).
Custom caller ID/local presence dialing Control the name and number that appears on outbound caller ID. You can also dial out from a number in the same area code as the contact.
Call scheduling rules Limit the times of day the dialer begins and ends making calls.
Dialing rate Control how many times the dialer rings each contact. Many dialers can adjust the dialing rate according to lead priority for outbound sales calls.
Answering machine detection Screens calls answered by machines from agents. Dialers can also avoid voicemail, busy signals, FAX machines etc.
Agent scripts Customize predefined, branching scripts that help agents to handle calls consistently throughout your contact center.
Pacing algorithms Adjust pacing to meet defined rules. In particular, users can define an acceptable call abandonment rate. If the dialer exceeds this rate, it adjusts pacing by dialing fewer calls until the abandonment rate drops.
CRM integration Dialers can integrate with your CRM system to track your agents’ activities.

What Are the Major Uses of Predictive Dialers?

Predictive dialers aren’t right for all call centers. They’re the most aggressive kind of outbound dialer out there. For some call centers, reaching contacts with a predictive dialer will be like hunting rabbits with a bazooka. However, they’re ideal for the following purposes:

  1. Collections. Predictive dialing was born in the collections industry, and while many contact centers are moving to multi-channel operations, there’s little chance a debtor will respond to a Facebook message or text message. If you’re in collections, look for industry-specific features, such as vertical dialing.
  2. Billing. Predictive dialers can be used to notify your customers that they have unpaid invoices.
  3. Telemarketing. While the DNC Registry places limits on how dialers can be used for telemarketing, they can also be used for this purpose given the high rate of hangups, busy signals etc. when contacts aren’t expecting calls.

Campaign Performance Reporting in PIMS Dialer

Campaign Performance Reporting in PIMS Dialer

What are the Limits of Predictive Dialers?

The delay that we mentioned before is a big hurdle. Have you ever answered a telemarketing call, only to wait for a noticeable length of time before someone responds to your “Hello?” Perhaps you’ve already started speaking when the agent then interrupts you with a script.

This delay is caused by the fact that predictive dialers only connect live calls, so they “listen” for a human voice before sending the call to an agent. Obviously, this can annoy your customers, so you need to make sure that you’re not calling your most valuable leads with a predictive dialer.

Other types of auto dialers don’t have this functionality, and connect calls without any delay. If courtesy to your leads or customers is more in line with your business goals, consider a standard progressive or preview dialer.

The efficiency gains you can achieve with a predictive dialer are also influenced by the size of your call center. If you only have two agents, it doesn’t pay off to invest in a fancy system to forecast when they’re going to wrap up their calls.

You need to have at least 8 to 10 agents to see the benefits of a predictive dialer.

Finally, predictive dialers can vastly increase your chances of annoying the masses. Make sure you’re complying with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act if you’re operating in the U.S., and check local laws and regulations if you’re not. Many countries place severe restrictions on the use of dialers, particularly predictive dialers.

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