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Hosted Contact Center
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RingCentral Contact Center
RingCentral's leading cloud contact center offers skill-based routing, agent management, real-time insights, and more to empower your employees to deliver better customer experiences. With the right tools, your agents can meet you...Read more about RingCentral Contact Center
Auto dialer software helps your contact center become more efficient. These tools offer call scheduling so you can follow up with customers, let you import lists of numbers, and allow your call center agents to skip over voicemail inboxes or answering machines. With auto dialer software, you and your employees can focus on relationship building, rather than dialing.
In this guide, we’ll discuss:
What is auto dialer software?
Auto dialer software is a hardware- or software-based system that dials numbers automatically. Most solutions today are cloud-based offerings known as hosted dialers. Generally, these systems are used by outbound contact centers to streamline the process of contacting existing or potential customers. Many systems offer a number of dialing modes.
While the use of auto dialers was once limited to businesses in the telemarketing, political campaign, and market research industries, dialers have found a new use case with the advent of proactive customer service (reaching out to customers before they have issues) and nonprofit fundraising. 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, and service outage notifications.
Dialing modes: predictive dialer, progressive dialer, and preview
Auto dialers have been on the market for decades. Traditionally, businesses upload lists of phone numbers for outbound campaigns. The tool then dials the numbers in the list automatically.
Over time, dialer capabilities have evolved. Today, most solutions offer at least three major dialing modes: predictive dialer, progressive dialer, and preview dialer.
Predictive dialer software
Predictive dialer dials multiple numbers at the same time, on the assumption that a certain percentage of calls will be either abandoned or unanswered. Live calls are distributed to agents using factors such as availability and wait time.
Predictive dialing systems collect data about the percentage of answered calls, average number of rings before an answer, and average call length. This data is then analyzed using statistical algorithms to forecast when agents will be available. The predictive dialing system uses this forecast to determine the pace at which it dials numbers, maximizing the amount of time agents spend on the phone.
This type of software also screens out busy signals, voicemails, 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
Progressive dialer/power dialer software
Progressive dialer software (aka power dialer software) 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 power dialer runs through calling lists across multiple campaigns and paces itself based on abandonment rates (if rates begin climbing, the system slows its dialing pace dialing).
With a progressive or power dialer, calls are placed automatically. The system screens out certain calls (such as unanswered calls) but in some cases agents will have to determine whether they’re connected to a human or voicemail.
Preview dialer software
Preview dialers call one number at a time and deliver contact records to agents before dialing. 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, and agents can choose whether or not to skip a number.
Other auto dialer software modes
Predictive dialer, progressive dialer, and preview dialer are all standard modes, but there are a few additional advanced modes you should be aware of:
Message lay-down dialing presents a pre-recorded message to recipients 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 (such as 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
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 common, while others are only offered by a handful of vendors:
Track and report on call outcomes.
Record phone conversations for quality assurance purposes.
Answering Machine Detection
Screen and filter calls that are sent to voicemail.
Provide agents with a typical response for common call queries and issues.
Local Caller ID
Set desired caller ID and location to display to contacts when making calls.
Establish marketing tasks/actions to complete specific goals and track performance.
Benefits of auto dialer software
The major benefit of automated dialer software is that it allows for increased agent productivity by enabling your most costly resource—agents—to work more effectively.
The benefits of power dialing, preview dialing, and progressive dialing modes aren’t as dramatic, but they’re still more efficient than manual dialing. Preview dialing, in particular, gives agents a chance to familiarize themselves with leads in advance, which boosts agents’ chance of closing deals.
Key considerations for buyers
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.
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, consider some of the stand-alone systems on the market. Some of these solutions offer full predictive dialing, whereas others only offer preview and progressive dialing.
What type of buyer are you?
Not all buyers have the same needs. Depending on which category you fall into, you’ll need to factor in additional considerations when evaluating software providers:
Buyers in the collections industry will generally need full predictive dialers with vertical dialing capabilities. Certain call center vendors work extensively with companies in the collections industry and offer robust dialer solutions.
Buyers in B2B sales may benefit more from a progressive dialer. If you have a list of highly valuable leads, you may not want to burn through it with predictive dialing.
Buyers planning to integrate dialers with leading customer relationship management systems (CRMs) should evaluate software providers that offer integrations with such systems.
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.