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RingCentral Engage Voice is a cloud-based contact center solution designed to help small to large enterprises automate and streamline outbound and blended communications between customers and call centers. It comes with a configur...Read more
Talkdesk is a cloud-based call center solution that helps businesses improve customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing customer support costs. It uses interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD) a...Read more
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 p...Read more
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CallShaper enables users to...Read more
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ReadyMode 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 a...Read more
For quickly growing businesses looking to efficiently scale their support teams, Dialpad provides a cloud-based call center with access to real-time customer insights. Dialpad allows users to onboard quickly and focus on deliverin...Read more
Convoso’s all-in-one contact center platform generates and converts leads faster using multiple communication channels. The cloud-based solution offers multiple dialing modes (predictive/power/preview) along with two-way texting, ...Read more
Bitrix24 is a client management solution that provides a platform for businesses to organize and track interactions with potential or existing clients and partners. The software allows users to log and manage client interactions, ...Read more
Outreach is the largest and fastest-growing sales execution platform provider that helps companies dramatically increase productivity and drive smarter, more insightful engagement with their customers. Outreach is the only solutio...Read more
VICIdial is an open-source, cloud-based contact center solution suitable for small to large call centers in a variety of industries. Key features include inbound and outbound calls, call routing, email integration, online chat and...Read more
CloudTalk is a contact center management solution that enables businesses to streamline communications with teams and customers using virtual call systems. It allows executives to manage inbound/outbound calls, extract interaction...Read more
Lusha is a lead generation platform, which helps sales representatives, recruitment managers and marketers in businesses of all sizes find contact details of prospects to reach out and generate leads. The software allows managers ...Read more
Kixie is a cloud-based interactive voice response (IVR) solution that helps users automate their sales processes. It can also be deployed on-premise. It offers users one-click dialing, call recording, call history, call coaching a...Read more
Cloud communications provider RingCentral has expanded into the Call Center space with their Contact Center solution. The integrated suite powered by inContact offers Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, CTI, A...Read more
ChaseData CCaaS offers cloud-based, standalone call center functionality with customer service and support built into the solution. It’s designed for outbound, inbound and blended call center teams.
Dialing capabilities inclu...Read more
Genesys Cloud CX creates fluid conversations across digital and voice channels in an easy, all-in-one interface. Designed to provide exceptional experiences for your customers and employees, it deploys quickly, is intuitive to use...Read more
Primo Dialler is a cloud-based call center solution that offers a predictive dialer, integrated voice response (IVR) and reporting functionalities. The solution caters to industry segments such as insurance, debt collection, energ...Read more
XCALLY is an on-premise and cloud-based contact center solution that handles multiple channels including voice, chat, SMS, email, fax and others. It caters to inbound, outbound and blended call centers of all sizes. Primary featur...Read more
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...Read more
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.
Predictive dialer software is a type of automatic dialing system that helps call center agents work more efficiently by screening calls and predicting when call agents will be available to answer based on call metrics. It can be used to upload contact lists, dial multiple numbers simultaneously, screen for voicemails or busy signals, and more.
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
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 of contacts for campaigns, generally in .CSV format.
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.
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.
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.
Customize predefined, branching scripts that help agents to handle calls consistently throughout your contact center.
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.
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:
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.
Billing: Predictive dialers can be used to notify your customers that they have unpaid invoices.
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.
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.