Predictive dialers used to be and still remain among the best tools that a call center has at their disposal. They could dial multiple phone numbers, and direct the calls that actually resulted in a response to the next line that is available to take them. They help companies save tremendous amounts of time- instead of having a representative sit there and physically dial each number until they found one willing to pick up, a predictive dialer could dial multiple numbers in a short period of time, and connect the good ones to whichever representative was free. Simple, right? The thing is, there are some positives and negatives to using a predictive dialer, and some definite Dos and Don’ts that businesses should follow.
First, understand that there are different types of predictive dialing systems. Some may be integrated into your pbx system while others can operate independently. Choosing the right predictive dialer could be challenging and requires thorough knowledge of your call process and business and regulatory requirements. Your job is to make sure that you’re getting the right features and the legal compliance you need. Predictive dialers have been associated with a lot of “spam phonecalls,” so there are laws in place to limit what they can and cannot do. These laws had evolved over the last decade trying to keep up with the latest challenges presented by rapidly evolving communication technology.
Next, do not confuse real predictive dialers with automated dialers or message broadcast systems. Automated dialers and message broadcast systems are in essence capable of dialing calls automatically often coupled with voice mail detection, while full predictive dialer actually performs calculations based on the number of lines available, the odds of connecting to a live person, and how long it generally takes a representative to take and complete a call. Most VoIP service providers offering this service also allow you to cross-reference call lists with the national Do Not Call registry, to help businesses stay in compliance with Do Not Call laws.
Then, do limit the number of abandoned calls that result from a predictive dialer. An abandoned call happens when a predictive dialer connects to a person, and there is no representative available to take the call. Needless to say, the person isn’t going to stay on the line, so they hang up. Under federal regulations, companies are not allowed to have more than three percent of their predictive dialer calls result in abandoned calls. Nonetheless, that three percent is a pretty big number, and businesses should always strive for as few abandoned calls as possible. Each abandoned call is a potentially alienated customer.
Lastly, do not rely on a predictive dialer to call a valuable lead. Things like that should absolutely always be handled by an actual representative. Predictive and automated dialers have been in use for so long, most people are conditioned to detect them (usually by a click, or a pause, or a recording asking them to wait for the next available representative) and then just hang up. Don’t run the risk of alienating a key lead- no matter how good your dialer is, have a live person call them.
Predictive dialers have an important place in any call center. Good ones can drastically cut down on the amount of time that representatives spend dialing the phone only to be hung up on, can automate call logs, and can predict how and when certain calls will end. They’re certainly worth using, as long as businesses know what they’re getting into.