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VanillaSoft Pro

VanillaSoft is a powerful sales management software designed for inside sales teams. This solution combines important features for CRM, lead management and telemarketing in an easy-to-use, simple solution that can be accessed from... Read More
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ChaseData Call Center

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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Five9 Cloud Contact Center

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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NICE inContact Cloud Contact Center

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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ContactWorld for Sales by NewVoiceMedia

ContactWorld for Sales is a Web-based contact center solution for organizations of all sizes and industries. The software provides integration with Salesforce, which enables agents to directly work in the Salesforce user interface.... Read More
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PureCloud by Genesys is a call center solution for businesses of any size and in any industry. Among its modules are Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, Computer Telephony Integration, Auto Dialer, a mobile call... Read More
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X5 Cloud Contact Center

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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RingCentral Contact Center

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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Aspect Via Customer Engagement Platform

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

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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XenCALL Predictive Dialer CRM

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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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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Aspect Unified IP

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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Noble Enterprise

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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Convoso Cloud Contact Center

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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Oracle Contact Center Anywhere

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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PIMS Dialer

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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SAP Contact Center

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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storm CONTACT is a cloud based multi-channel CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) solution that is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It provides outbound and inbound interactions, including iACD (Intelligent Automated Contact Distribution),... Read More
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3CLogic Cloud Contact Center

3CLogic's Cloud Contact Center is a customizable, web-based contact center solution. The solution offers a virtual contact center, lead management and response, customer relationship management (CRM) integration, comprehensive reporting... Read More
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Virtual Contact Center by 8x8

For small to midsized call centers seeking a comprehensive hosted solution, 8x8 Virtual Contact Center offers an agile contact center system. In addition to call center functionality, this solution also supports other popular interaction... Read More
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AireContact is a cloud-based Contact Center solution that provides call center interaction and management tools that support multiple channels of communication for all sizes of organizations in nearly any vertical. Users are able to... Read More
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Bright Pattern Contact Center

Bright Pattern is a cloud-based contact center software solution which helps businesses manage multichannel service including inbound and outbound voice, email, chat, and social media. Bright Pattern scales from 5 to 10,000 concurrent... Read More
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Talkdesk Call Center

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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Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides integrated solutions that allow businesses to better track leads, automate field service, drive sales, and improve operations using mobile, enterprise-ready business apps from the cloud. The system’s... Read More
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Enghouse Interactive Contact Center

Enghouse Interactive is a contact center solution designed for midsize and large companies. It offers multi-channel contact management, an operator attendant console, interactive voice response (IVR), call recording and quality assessment... Read More
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OmniTouch Call Center

Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch is a contact center solution for businesses of all sizes that rely primarily on voice interactions. It caters to various industries including healthcare, education, hospitality, manufacturing and retail. This... Read More
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Univerge Business ConneCT

Univerge Business ConneCT is a unified communication and collaboration solution that caters to various industries, including education, finance, government, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing and retail. The software is deployed... Read More
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MiContact Call Center

Mitel MiContact Call Center is a contact center solution for businesses of all sizes. It caters to various industries, including hospitality, healthcare, government, education and service providers. The software offers Microsoft Lync-based... Read More
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Connect First Call Center

Connect First is a Web-based contact center solution designed for companies of all sizes. It delivers multi-channel contact management, automated call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony integration... Read More
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Cisco Call Center

Cisco Call Center software is designed for midsize and large companies. This software provides a combination of multichannel contact management, intelligent routing and network-to-desktop CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) capabilities... Read More
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Genesys Contact Centre

Genesys Contact Centre is an omni-channel contact centre solution designed for midsize and large companies. It offers multi-channel contact management, automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR) and computer... Read More
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OfficeConnect by UniVoip is a cloud based phone system that delivers many features including auto-attendant, call paging, conferencing, email integration, one-touch speed dial, and call recording. The platform is targeted towards medium... Read More
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Cincom Synchrony

Cincom Synchrony is a contact center management solution designed for small and midsize companies that offers multi-channel interaction management, automated dialer, unified agent desktop and performance monitoring within a suite. Available... Read More
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CrazyCall is a cloud-based call center software solution. Key features include live analytics reporting, an agent panel, workforce management and a dialer that matches agents with leads. CrazyCall’s agent panel automates dialing... Read More
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Dialer360 is a cloud-based call center solution that offers predictive dialing, agent status boards, billing, call recording, local caller ID, internet chat and voice broadcasting features. Dialer360 uses voices with British and American... Read More
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Humach Interaction Engine

Humach, founded on the idea of merging the best of humans and machines, is a cloud-based call center solution that integrates with businesses. The Humach Interaction Engine requires no hardware installation, no per-port license limits,... Read More
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FieldWorkMobility is a cloud-based mobile field sales solution that aids users with customer outreach and serves as a mobile customer relationship management (CRM) suite. The platform is suitable for sales team of any size and businesses... Read More
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Aceyus Call Center

Aceyus is a call center intelligence software suite that provides real-time reporting and analytics for midsize and enterprise level contact centers in any industry. It is available for either on-premise or cloud-based deployment. Reporting... Read More
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PhoneBurner is an outbound call center solution that allows users to log in from their computer and make calls from the connected phone, using imported or admin-provided lead lists. The system offers functionalities that include power... Read More
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Voxco IVR

Voxco IVR is a cloud-based interactive voice response (IVR) messaging and survey solution. It allows users to design self-completion surveys and send automated voice messages to a broad audience. Voxco IVR’s survey module sends... 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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Tenfold Sales Dialer

Tenfold Sales Dialer is a cloud-based predictive dialer solution that helps businesses improve their call center operations. Tenfold Sales Dialer automatically logs calls from customer relationship management (CRM) and lead management... 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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CC-One is a cloud-based PBX solution that helps midsized to enterprise call centers manage their operations. CC-One offers an integrated contact system that offers ACD and Performance Analytics as stand-alone applications. In addition,... Read More
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Innitel Predictive Dialer

Predictive Dialer by Innitel is a cloud-based call processing solution that caters to call centers of varying sizes. The solution integrates  with lead generation tools such as landing pages, CRM applications, affiliate sites and... Read More
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3CLogic Cloud Predictive Dialer

3CLogic's Cloud Predictive Dialer is a cloud-based predictive dialer solution that helps businesses filter out unproductive calls and automatically connect marketers with leads. The solution caters to various industries like customer... Read More
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FrontSpin Sales Dialer

FrontSpin is a cloud-based sales and leads management solution which provides businesses tools to manage sales and service communication with their clients. FrontSpin helps businesses to manage call targets according to the number... Read More
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QwikDial is a cloud-based predictive dialing solution designed for accounts receivable operations. It offers call monitoring, call transfer, contact management and call recording within a suite. QwikDial features a graphic call designer,... Read More
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OXON is a cloud-based contact center suite suitable for businesses of all sizes. It allows users to manage inbound support calls, outbound sales calls, email, chat and business management functions with a single platform. Agents can... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

“Attention! This is not a sales call!” The battle cry of the telemarketer has now made itself heard in nearly every household with phone service, thanks to a humble technology known as the auto dialer.

While their most familiar use is in telemarketing, dialers have several other important use cases. This type of software also offers a dizzying array of complex capabilities. We’ve written this guide to help you better evaluate your options.

In particular, we’ll discuss:

What Is an Auto Dialer?
Dialing Modes: Predictive, Progressive and Preview
Important Functionality
Benefits of Auto Dialing
Key Considerations for Buyers
What Type of Buyer Are You?

What Is an Auto Dialer?

Auto dialers are hardware- or software-based systems that dial numbers automatically. Most solutions today are cloud-based software offerings known as “hosted dialers.” Generally, these systems are used by outbound contact centers to streamline the process of contacting actual or potential customers. Many systems offer a number of dialing modes.

While the use of auto dialers was once limited to telemarketing, political campaigns, market research and so on, dialers have found a new use case with the advent of proactive customer service (i.e., reaching out to customers before they have issues). Many businesses now use dialers to contact existing customers instead of cold-calling potential customers. Auto dialer software can be used to broadcast messages such as late payment reminders, appointment reminders, service outage notifications and more for current customers.

Dialing Modes: Predictive, Progressive and Preview

Auto dialers have been on the market for a number of decades. With most contemporary systems, businesses upload lists of phone numbers for outbound campaigns to the dialer (typically in an Excel format, such as .CSV or .XLS). The dialer then dials the number in the list automatically.

Over time, the capabilities of dialers have evolved. Today, most solutions offer at least three major dialing modes for working through lists: predictive, progressive and preview dialing.

Basic Auto Dialer Modes

Basic Auto Dialer Modes

Predictive dialer software is the most sophisticated of the three. The purpose of this software is to “over-dial” numbers. In other words, the system dials multiple numbers at the same time, on the assumption that a percentage of calls will either be abandoned or go unanswered. Live calls are distributed to agents on the basis of factors such as availability and wait time between calls.

The system collects data about the percentage of answered calls, average number of rings before an answer, average length of call etc. This data is then analyzed using statistical algorithms to forecast when agents will become available. The system then uses this forecast to determine the pace at which it dials numbers, dialing multiple numbers at once. This maximizes the amount of time agents spend on the phone.

This type of software also screens out busy signals, answering machines, unanswered calls and more, and automatically avoids numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry. These capabilities ensure that agents only handle live calls.

Programming a dialer for an outbound campaign in PIMS Dialer

In progressive dialing, also known as power dialing, the system dials one call at a time for each available agent. You can establish calls-to-agent ratios, meaning the system will automatically dial a fixed number of lines for a given agent. The dialer runs through calling lists across multiple campaigns and paces itself based on abandonment rates (if these rates begin climbing, the system slows down the pace at which it’s dialing).

With a progressive or power dialer, calls are placed automatically, without agents’ control. The system screens out certain calls (e.g., unanswered calls), but in some cases, agents will have to decide whether they’re dealing with a human or an answering machine.

Preview dialers also just dial one number at a time—but what distinguishes them from progressive dialers is that they deliver contact records to agents before dialing a number. This gives agents an opportunity to review contact details before the call. Users can set the length of time agents are allowed to review records. What’s more, with a preview dialer, agents can choose whether or not to skip a number.

Predictive, progressive and preview dialing are all standard dialer modes, but there are a few more advanced dialer modes that you should also be aware of:

  • Message lay-down dialing presents a pre-recorded message to recipients of outbound calls for agentless campaigns.
  • Outbound interactive voice response (IVR) presents recipients of outbound calls with a message, along with an IVR menu that allows them to respond to it (e.g., a late payment reminder and an IVR menu allowing for self-service payment). The call can be transferred to an agent if the IVR can’t meet the contact’s needs.

Important Auto Dialer Software Functionality

In addition to the dialing modes we’ve examined, auto dialer software offers a number of features that control how the dialer manages lists, initiates calls and reports data. Some of these features are more common, while others are only offered by a handful of vendors:

Multi-number dialing Allows you to enter multiple phone numbers for a given contact. You can set the best day of the week and time of day to call for different numbers listed for a contact (home, work, mobile etc.), and specify the number of rings per call.
Vertical dialing Dials multiple numbers associated with the contact (e.g., home, work and cell) and then prioritizes live connections. This is used most heavily in the collections industry. Can also be configured to skip alternate numbers to achieve better list penetration.
Local presence dialing Allows you to manage outbound caller ID information to display the same area code as that of the contact’s phone number, in order to make the incoming call appear “local.”
List prioritization/stacking Allows multiple dialing lists to be used for a single campaign. Users can assign different levels of priority to various lists.
Disposition codes Allows you to set up codes for different call outcomes. You can configure how your dialer records disposition codes as it works through a list, then use the recorded codes to recycle leads. (E.g., in an outbound sales campaign, you can configure the system only to redial numbers that weren’t answered or were busy the first time around.) Some solutions allow you to time the length between multiple calls to the same number based on disposition codes.
SLA-based inbound/outbound blending Agents will be automatically moved to inbound calls when there aren’t enough agents to meet inbound service-level goals. When inbound service-level goals are met, agents will be automatically moved to outbound campaigns. The service-level goals that control this process are established by service-level agreements (SLAs).
Abandonment-rate pacing Allows control over the algorithms that adjust the dialer’s pacing with respect to high or low abandonment rates.
Automated messaging The system can automatically send emails, text messages etc. to contacts. This can be synchronized with the activity of the dialer so messages are sent out as soon as an agent wraps up a call. Users can also choose to leave prerecorded messages as voicemails to move on to the next call more quickly.
Callback scheduling Agents can schedule times and dates for callbacks, or callback rules can be set for campaigns as a whole.
Text-to-speech Used to broadcast automated messages, such as appointment reminders.

Benefits of Auto Dialer Software

The major benefit of automated dialer software is easy enough to understand. Auto dialers allow you to more effectively utilize your most costly resource: agents.

Douglas Samuelson, the inventor of predictive methods, reports that his initial experiments with the technology resulted in agent talk times of 50 to 55 minutes per hour, versus an average of 40 minutes per hour with other dialing methods.

The benefits of power, preview and progressive dialing modes aren’t as dramatic, but they’re still obviously more efficient than manual dialing. Preview dialing, in particular, gives agents a chance to familiarize themselves with the leads they’ll be speaking with, which boosts agents’ chances of closing deals.

Key Considerations for Buyers

It may seem that predictive software is the obvious choice for your contact center, given the significant efficiency gains it offers. However, there are a few potential issues you should consider:

  • Because predictive dialers forecast agent availability, industry experts say you need at least eight to 10 agents in your contact center to see benefits. The more agents you have, the more significant the benefits will be.
  • Because these systems only deliver live calls, they “listen” for an answer before connecting the call to an agent. This results in a noticeable delay for the call recipient.
  • Depending on your business model, your agents may want to be able to control whether or not the system makes calls to certain leads. If this is the case, you’ll need a system with preview dialing capabilities.
  • Hosted dialers with all three dialing modes are often found in contact center suites. Because these suites offer advanced applications, such as IVR and automatic call distribution (ACD), they can come with fairly steep per-agent prices.
  • If you’re only in need of a dialer, you should consider some of the stand-alone systems on the market. Some of these solutions offer full predictive, whereas others only offer preview and progressive dialing.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Not all buyers have the same needs. If you fall into one of these categories, you’ll need to factor in additional considerations when evaluating vendors:

  • Buyers in the collections industry will generally need full predictive dialers with vertical dialing capabilities. Certain call center vendors, such as Five9 and Pimsware, work extensively with companies in the collections industry and offer robust dialer solutions.
  • Buyers in B2B sales may be able to benefit more from a progressive dialer. In other words, if you have a list of highly valuable leads, you may not want to burn through it with predictive, which is more appropriate for less valuable leads.
  • Buyers planning to integrate dialers with leading customer relationship management systems, such as Salesforce, should evaluate vendors that offer pre-built integrations with these systems, such as VanillaSoft and Vocalcom.
  • Buyers who need dialers for proactive customer service should evaluate options with automated messaging features for multi-channel notifications as well as inbound/outbound blending to support outbound functionality in call centers.