Automatic Dialers 101: Which auto-dialers are available and what are the benefits of each?

Posted by Valerie Stokes on 2/26/18 12:22 PM
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Automatic Dialers are used to improve agent efficiency in outbound or blended contact centers. If your Sales or Customer Service team has hundreds - or thousands - of numbers to dial, automatic dialing maximizes productivity and saves hours of valuable agent time. With the extra time savings, agents are able to focus on what they do best: speaking to prospects and customers.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the various types of automatic dialing options so you can make an informed decision on what’s best for your contact center.

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What is an Automatic Dialer (Auto Dialer)?

An Automatic Dialer (Auto Dialer) is a piece of technology or software that automatically dials a list of phone numbers so agents don’t have to dial manually. Depending on the type of dialer you use and what your goals are, an Auto Dialer will automatically broadcast a message, or connect the line to a live agent. There are several types of Auto Dialers including: Preview Dialer, Progressive Dialer and Predictive Dialer.

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What is a Preview Dialer?

A Preview Dialer is an Auto Dialer that allows agents to “preview” or view information about the contact before dialing. With a Preview Dialer, calls in the campaign list will be offered to agents and only dialed if the agent confirms the dialing (or “accepts” the call).

The benefit of a Preview Dialer campaign is that it gives more power and control to agents, and helps ensure they are fully prepared before speaking to the contact. This approach typically leads to more personalized conversations. If this is the solution for you, we’d recommend choosing a contact center solution that integrates with your CRM so you can screen pop the contact’s information and keep track of post-call activities directly within the CRM.

If you’re looking for an even quicker way to connect with customers, Predictive or Progressive dialing might be worth exploring.

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What is a Predictive Dialer?

A Predictive Dialer is an Auto Dialer that dials several contact numbers simultaneously if it predicts there will be enough agents to handle them. Once a call is answered, the Predictive Dialer will automatically connect the contact to a live agent.

Unlike the Preview Dialer where the agent has control over the dialing, the Predictive Dialer places more calls than available agents as it predicts that some of the calls won’t be answered due to invalid numbers, or busy lines. In this mode, the contact center administrator or team supervisor can choose to speed up or slow down the dialer to control the number of parallel calls it attempts per agent.

The benefit of a Predictive Dialer is that it places many calls at once, making it faster for you to get in touch with a live contact. However, when using a Predictive Dialer keep in mind that it could lead to a poor user experience if there are no agents available to handle the call after the contact answered - also known as a Call Abandon. To prevent companies from taking advantage of customers, several countries have passed Abandon Rate regulations. For example, the United States has a 3% abandon rate threshold, and considers a call abandoned if the contact isn’t connected within 2.6 seconds of answering the call. To avoid any issues, we recommend starting on the conservative side and increasing the dialer speed after reviewing performance.

If this is the solution for you, we’d recommend choosing a contact center solution that allows you to control the speed of dialing, and provides reporting that shows your abandon rates at all times. To start, we find it’s best to set the dialer at 2 calls per agent and adjusting based on performance.

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What is Voice Broadcasting?

Voice Broadcasting, used in conjunction with Predictive campaigns, allows you to automatically transmit a message to contacts who answer the phone instead of connecting them to a live agent right away.

A Voice Broadcast can be a simple greeting, promotional message, or a complex series of questions and actions where the final result would determine whether the call should be routed to a live agent, or disconnected. At Contivio, many of our clients use Voice Broadcasting to send alerts or notifications to customers, or survey customers on how their last call went.

Though this is a less personal approach, Voice Broadcasting is a powerful tool that allows you to reach many customers with minimal effort.

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What is a Progressive Dialer?

A Progressive Dialer is similar to a Predictive Dialer, but only dials when there is an agent available, thereby eliminating some of the risks associated with Predictive Dialing. After the contact answers the call, the Progressive Dialer automatically connects the contact to an agent and the agent does not have the option of rejecting the call.

The benefit of a Progressive Dialer is that it ensures you’ll always have an agent on hand before dialing a contact, which keeps your organization ahead of abandon rate regulations and helps provide better experiences for customers. The downside of Progressive Dialing is that unlike Preview Dialing, your agents won’t be able to read up on their contacts before speaking to them, and you won’t be dialing as many contacts as you would if you used Predictive Dialing.

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The Bottom Line

Now that you’ve learned about each type of Auto-Dialer, your next step is to search for the right software that can support your needs.

Regardless of your Dialer choice, we recommend that you choose a solution that integrates with your CRM to:

  • Automatically log activities, dispositions and notes
  • Screen pop customer information for your agents as they handle their calls
  • Tie calls and connection rates directly to client revenue and opportunities

Additionally, if you’re placing a lot of cold calls and connection rates are important to you, we recommend that your contact center solution enables you to have local presence, which dynamically uses an outbound caller ID that matches your customers’ area codes.

From a management perspective, you will profit from an abundance of benefits brought forth by a contact center software. Not only will you increase efficiency, but your overall customer satisfaction rates will steadily improve. Your sales and marketing teams will also be adequately equipped to reach target prospects, convert those quicker to opportunities, and close more deals in the process. The technology of today is unlike anything ever developed, so it is your turn to select a solution quickly to deploy - Chances are your competitors already are, and have been profiting off the functionality for years.

At Contivio, we recognize the value in Auto Dialing, therefore we bundle our dialer with our standard contact center product offering at no additional cost. We also provide advanced CRM integration, so your agents will be able to build their dialer campaigns from within the CRM and benefit from screen popping, and post-call activity logging (dispositions, notes, call duration, call recording etc.). Here’s a video that shows how our Preview Dialer works with NetSuite: 

To learn more, feel free to contact us at 800-282-8105 or book a demo with one of our Customer Success Managers.

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Topics: Demos & Videos, Contact Center Features, Sales & Outbound

Written by Valerie Stokes

Valerie Stokes
Valerie Stokes is Contivio's Director of Marketing, who also specializes in Sales & Account Management. She started her career managing Performance Marketing campaigns on behalf of top tier clients, and then shifted to Content Marketing as an Outbrain Customer Success Manager for 5 years. In her spare time, you can find Valerie at the beach with her Alaskan Klee Kai puppy, or traveling to and from her hometown, NYC.