A Predictive Dialer is an automated, computerized system (hardware and software) that dials batches of telephone numbers and then, once the called person has answered, transmits the calls to a live operator assigned to sales or other campaigns.
Applications of Predictive Dialing
Predictive dialers are widely used in call centers for:
- Telemarketing (BtoC and BtoB sales, appointment scheduling, lead generation);
- Market research;
- Public Relations and collections;
- Customer Service: Follow-up;
- Mass notifications.
Predictive dialers can considerably increase the number of human voice contacts that an agent can make in a working day.
How does a predictive dialer function?
A predictive dialer performs many tasks. At the basis of a predictive dialer system there is a list manager that organizes phone lists into demographically related groups and transfers these phone numbers to the actual dialer.
In order to achieve its objectives a predictive dialer performs the following actions:
- it dials numbers associated with a target database or list;
- it filters the calls where the contact with a live human voice is not achieved;
- it detects answering machines and leaves automatic messages on voice mails;
- it calls back on missed calls automatically;
- it monitors the availability of call center agents to take calls;
- it turns the calls over to agents based on their accessibility and other factors like skill, experience, knowledge and so on;
- it manages outbound calls recording;
- it monitors and reports on agent call handling metrics.
The call is typically dropped if there are too many calls made and there are not enough agents to handle them. On the other hand agents will sit idle if not enough calls are made ahead.
A predictive dialer uses a complex mathematical formula which tries to “predict” when to dial a phone call. It takes into account many different factors in determining how many phone numbers should be dialed to keep a certain number of agents busy, and avoiding calling too many numbers. These factors are:
- the average phone call length;
- average number of rings before a customer picks up the phone;
- percentage of dialed phone calls that are answered;
- average length of talk time on each phone call;
- number of agents using the system and desired abandonment rate.