Whether your call, or contact, center is focused on inbound or outbound calls, it is imperative to ensure an absolute high level of efficiency and productivity. Because most sales are made over the phone, agents must make the best use out of their time to keep the calls rolling and minimize downtime. Reducing this downtime that is required for an agent to make, or receive the next call will allow your agents to keep a steady stream of communication flowing, to ensure the highest level of efficiency.
But each individual agent manually dialing out each call, waiting for a connection, and continuing down the list can lead to an increase in downtime. In order to maintain this high level of efficiency, many contact centers can benefit from adopting an automatic dialing solution. Having an automated system in place to reduce the downtime of your agents simply translates to less wasted calls and time by agents, increased sales, and easier lead management. Usually included in call center software solutions, there are a number of automatic dialers available, and numerous factors can determine which specific solution is right for your contact center.
1) Preview Dialer
When making calls from a predetermined list of leads, preview dialers will quickly display an overview of the current caller’s information, prior to or while placing the call. Agents will see any previous calls, sales, or account information relevant in order to build context around the call. Preview dialers will sequentially dial out form this list to offer the agent appropriate time to review any information available – but agents are generally able to determine if they want to take the current call, or move on to the next. This allows agents to redirect calls to a more suitable agent or department to ensure the most accurate quality of service.
2) Predictive Dialer
Predictive dialers are designed to place the maximum number of calls possible in a short period of time. Predictive dialers live up to their name, by relying on statistical algorithms to determine the necessary information to reduce agent downtime. These systems will collect data such as average call length, the number of agents available, and the average number of calls it takes to successfully connect with a contact. Time that agents would normally spend weeding out answering machines, busy signals, and abandoned or dropped calls before they eventually reach a live person is severely reduced thanks to the automatic nature of these solutions. Predictive dialers are so good because the system knows when and how many numbers to dial to keep a seamless stream of calls for the agent.
3) Power Dialer
Power dialers will only dial out to a new call when an agent has finish their previously call and is available to move on to the next. When placing their calls, power dialers will also consider the priority and skill of all agents, or any alternative departments, available to help determine the efficient match. While power dialers are effective at maintaining a high level of efficiency, they are not as intelligent as predictive dialers, as there is no prediction method to determine the amount of calls to be placed or average call time. In order to maintain a high level of service and ensure the most efficient stream of calls, some power dialers will allow agents to determine whether to take the next call or redirect to a more suitable agent.
4) Progressive Dialer
Progressive dialers bring functionalities of the other solutions together to ensure a constant pace of calling, while allowing agents the proper time to prepare for the call. Like power dialers, progressive dialers will automatically dial out from a list of leads one after the other to help maintain that constant flow of calls and reduce the downtime in between. This removes the burden of dialing a new number after the next from the agent. However, in between each call, progressive dialers will display any CRM details, such as the call information or records that preview dialers supply agents. Progressive dialers generally do not give agents the ability to redirect calls, and will automatically route based on priority and skills. This ensures the constant flow of calls from the power dialer, and the level of service made possibly by preview dialers.
5) Auto Dialers
Autodialers can be used for good, or they can be used for evil. Sometimes known as robocallers, there’s a reason the FCC is looking to enlist wireless carriers to fight the battle against this method of auto dialing. However, these dialers can also be used for specific scenarios to pass along information or reminders – like when used by school districts to send out closing alerts for snow days, or pharmacies reminding patrons their prescriptions are ready to be picked up. Like the others, these systems will automatically dial out numbers from a predetermined list of leads, and play a recorded message whether a connection to a live person or answering machine is made. Auto dialers can also ask questions similar to IVR systems to route connections to appropriate agents.
So Which Auto Dialer is Best for Your Call Center?
To determine which automatic dialing solution will be best for your contact center, you must consider a number of factors. Automatic dialers are widely used in both B2B and B2C selling domains, and each can be applied to a different use case. Whether or not you need the steady stream of calls from a power dialer, or the selective nature of a preview dialer will come down to how your contact center operates.
- Preview dialers are commonly used in B2C markets, as they are ideal for more complex sales that might require additional research or preparation to ensure your agent can provide the highest level of service and increase the chances of success. Properly prepared agents can minimize downtime in attempting to catch up on the history of a client or lead and jump right into the most relevant point. Preview dialers can also beneficial in specific use cases like collection agencies, health care, or even technical support where context of the caller is important. Preview dialers can provide a substantial boost to call centers that make a low volume of calls with high detail clients.
- Predictive dialers are outbound dialers and of course will only be utilized by centers that reach out to leads, clients or customers. As the most intensive solution, predictive dialers may not be the most cost effective to smaller teams and contact centers that do not make a high volume of calls. Predicative dialers work best when they have a large pool of agents to pull from, to fill in any gaps that may exist, and properly predict the time required for another agent to become available. With an increase number of agents, the predictive dialer can make an increased number of calls. Predictive dialers can provide a boost in productivity to small teams, but work best for contact centers that make a high volume of calls, and will increase in efficiency with the growing size of your time.
- Power dialers are powerful, yet simple. They stand as solid introduction to automatic dialers, and can be extremely beneficial and cost effective to small team contact centers that are looking to ensure the highest level of efficiency. With power dialers continuing a steady stream of calls, your agents can spend more time focusing on the calls at hand, and moving on to the next as quickly as they can to stay productive. If a number is busy, disconnect or doesn’t answer, the power dialer will immediately move to the next leave without the need for any input from the agent. Power dialers provide an immediate efficiency gain to help get your center off the ground running.
- Progressive dialers offer a solid middle ground between the benefit gained through predictive dialers, as well as power dialers. Doubling up the display of CRM or any contact information on file, with the constant stream of calls ensures your agents will not only be prepared for every call, but will always have a steady flow to reduce downtime. Because progressive dialers provide the agent information at a quick glance while the call is being placed, progressive dialers allow for a slight edge over the slower preview dialers. Progressive dialers are a good fit for both outbound and inbound sales teams that have rely on a scripted process, so each call will play out in a similar fashion. These scenarios require agents have some background knowledge to keep the calls moving, and not get stuck asking the same questions.
- Auto dialers are best left to specific use cases like the previously mentioned schools or pharmacies, those that need to blast out information, reminders or alerts quickly and efficiently. Because of certain regulations put in place by the FCC in the United States, auto dialers are banned from making sales calls, and most people will just hang up from these calls anyway. These systems can generally play a prerecorded message upon answering then hang up and go to the next call, asks questions to route callers to an agent that would advance the call, or even leave a voicemail if there is no answer at all.
Most Providers Include Dialers In Their Call Center Software
While most providers will offer the standard preview, predictive and progressive dialers, many do not offer the ability to send out prerecorded messages with auto dialers. That functionality can normally be found in specific services, such as Voice2phone and VoiceShot.
In order to determine which automatic dialing solution is best for your contact center, you must have an understanding on the size of your team, how your contact center operates, the volume of calls that are placed, the number of connections that are made, as well as specific goals your center should reach. In order to effectively reduce agent’s downtime and boost productivity, it is important to adopt the proper solution that best fits your contact center’s needs, while remaining cost effective.
It wouldn’t be truly beneficial for a small team that focuses on high value sales to utilize a rapid predictive dialer, nor would it function as efficiently as possible, in that case a business VoIP solution may suffice. Just like it would not prove effective for a massive call center that focuses on high volume to utilize a preview dialer. Here’s a guide to help you understand if it might be time for you implement a call center solution. Each call center software solution will offer its own use case than can help provide the boost your contact center needs to reach its peak productivity and efficiency.