What is a Predictive Dialer?
Predictive dialer software is a useful productivity tool in outbound call centres to make outbound calls to your prospects and to ensure that all agents are occupied on calls the maximum amount of time.
When an agent has to manually dial each prospect, wait for someone to answer, if they do, listen to an answering machine message, the amount of time that an agent can be productive actually talking to a prospect is estimated to be only 15 minutes in the hour.
Predictive dialer software will make multiple calls simultaneously on the principle that not everyone will answer the call, then detect whether the number is ringing out, whether it is voicemail, or whether a human, and only connect prospects to agents when they answer the call.
The “Predictive” part of a Predictive Dialer is to be able to vary the number of calls made depending on the number of agents available, so that prospects do not get calls where there are no agents to take the call, or worse, leaving the prospect you have called on hold in a queue.
It is estimated that predictive dialer software will enable agents to speak to prospects for upwards of 45 minutes in the hour compared to 15 minutes in the hour manual dialing, which has the same effect as having 3 times the number of agents for the same staffing costs.
Challenges of Predictive Dialing
The challenge of predictive dialling software is to keep all agents talking to prospects for the maximum possible time without wasting leads by calling prospects when there are no agents to take calls and at the same time.
At the same time, predictive dialing software needs to take into account wrap-up time, this is the amount of time that an agent has at the end of a call to a prospect to do any admin tasks.
Advanced predictive dialer software may not only take the number of agents available to determine the rate of calling, but also take into account historical statistics based on successful calls so the rate of calling may change depending on the quality of the list and the time of day.
The call has to be transferred to the agent in a timely manner with little delay, so it appears to the contact that the agent has called them directly. In the majority of circumstances, the call to the agent is directed to a call centre or the agent is registered directly to the predictive dialer, and the agent’s phone is set to auto answer to minimise delay. In some cases, the agents line is open, and then hears notification that there is a customer on the line.
Legal Considerations for Predictive Dialing
In many jurisdictions around the world, there are large penalties for getting predictive dialing wrong, offences may include:
- Calling people who have requested not to be called; many countries have a list that has to be checked before calls can be made.
- Not getting permission to call your contacts; depending on the type of calling you are doing, it may be necessary to get permission before calling.
- Silent calls; if an agent is unavailable, then a pre-recorded message may have to be played rather than leaving the call as silent or simply hanging up.
- Not setting a sufficient duration of the ringing time; generally speaking, you have to let the contact’s phone ring for a minimum period of time to give the contact time to answer the call.
- Retrying calls inside of minimum time limit; in some jurisdictions, there are rules as to how long before you can call a customer back a second time.
- Not displaying a valid caller ID, usually the contact needs to know who called them
- Inaccurate answering machine detection.
It is important to take the laws of your country into account, and ensure who is responsible for compliance, as well as ensure that you can comply with the law. In the UK, it’s the company selling the products may be liable whereas in the USA, the company actually making the calls may be regarded as at fault.
Statistics and Reporting for Predictive Dialer
Predictive Dialer Software should have detailed statistics, not only for commercial reasons to measure the performance of your systems, but also for compliance.
From a commercial standpoint, statistics are required to ensure that there are the right number of agents at the right time of day to maximise the results of your lead list. From a legal perspective, in some countries there are limits on the number of abandoned calls or silent calls as well as the accuracy of the answering machine detection.
Please contact us for more information about Dialer.ai, and how it can help your sales organisation.