What does a predictive dialer do?
Keeping in touch with clients and leads is a must for any company, regardless of their size.
Indeed, many organizations believe that their customers are the lifeblood of their business operations. Without loyal and frequent buyers, any company would cease to exist.
In a perfect world, businesses would have no problem searching for new customers. But sadly things aren’t quite that easy in the real world. That said, it doesn’t mean that modern organizations need to find it impossible to get in touch with interested buyers.
And one way to achieve that goal is with the help of a predictive dialer.
What is a predictive dialer?
The primary function of a predictive dialer is to automatically dial a phone number from a list. Its purpose might seem straightforward, but this system entails various benefits for various companies.
Predictive dialing systems use call metrics to predict the best number to call for a specific human agent. It eliminates problems, such as wasted time in selecting leads to call and improve employee productivity in the process.
As per Call Cowboy, predictive dialers can deliver the following benefits:
- Streamline all communications into one contact system
- Increase brand awareness among target markets
- Create a local presence
- Extra features, like ringless voicemail for sales and marketing teams
- No contracts
How does a predictive dialer work?
A predictive dialer will use a sophisticated dialing algorithm to simplify the calling process. Many predictive dialing systems use five main components, which are:
- Contact management software (CMS)
- Admin software
- Analytics features
- Number of phone numbers to dial
- Track results through quick reports
The CMS determines the numbers to call and when to contact them. Also, software administrators use the dialing program to manage customer service representatives.
The same software can also track call progress results through analytics features, and compile data for quick viewing. Moreover, the algorithm determines the number of phone numbers to dial in a work shift.
These functions translate to better call-handling and less time wastage in picking phone numbers from a list. Look at the following call center scenario as an example.
A sales and marketing team has a 50% hit rate in the morning, which means that there’s one in two phone numbers that will answer from the other end of the line.
A human operator that transfers phone numbers from a “Call Connected” list to a “Phone Numbers To Call Later” register will feel bombarded and stressed with the amount of contacts coming through the registry.
On the other hand, a predictive dialing system uses artificial intelligence or machine learning to automatically place an unconnected call to the “Phone Numbers To Call Later” list. In turn, the software eliminates the need for extra personnel to handle the collection and organization of phone numbers.
Improve employee efficiency during shifts
As mentioned above, a predictive dialer determines the most efficient number of calls to make in a workday. The system uses its algorithm to determine employee efficiency during shifts. Furthermore, the dialer achieves this particular objective by tracking numerous elements, including:
- Historical contact rate
- Real-time contact rate
- Number of agents currently available
- Average call duration of the agent
For instance, a call center agent takes about 20 minutes to complete a call with a lead. So, that representative should accomplish at least 21 calls per workday.
Without the predictive dialing system, an agent can skip the calls once they achieve the 21-call mark. But, if the dialer is at play, the representative can continue exceeding expectations by calling more interested buyers.
In turn, a predictive dialer promotes increased employee efficiency, leading to improved chances of acquiring additional sales opportunities. Furthermore, the system reduces unnecessary rest time between calls.
For example, an agent takes an extra five minutes per call to take a break from talking. Make no mistake as breaks are still paramount to maintain employee productivity. But, taking several rest sessions in a single shift won’t produce results to benefit the company.
Use a predictive dialer to eliminate these unnecessary breaks between calls. The system will put the next number to call on queue, reducing breaks from minutes to mere seconds.
Uphold the importance of customer satisfaction
Never underestimate the importance of great customer service. To satisfy customers (and leads) means businesses can measure the efficacy of their products and services. Use specific metrics to help provide your sales and marketing team with relevant data to help increase customer satisfaction. A predictive dialing system can help in that regard.
Predictive dialers can use gathered data to indicate the best time to call a specific lead. For instance, an interested buyer has left specific instructions to call in the afternoon. The representative who’s recorded that response can indicate that particular piece of information in the dialing software.
So if an agent receives that phone number from the dialing system, it’ll be on the correct time frame. Thus, a predictive dialer can reduce the risks of calling at the wrong time, which would otherwise lead to annoyed leads and lost sales opportunities.
Predictive dialers can also know if the owner of a phone number is in another time zone. The system won’t attempt to call an individual if they are in a location where the time is unfit for receiving marketing messages. Aim to search for predictive dialers with this feature to improve the chances of converting leads to paying (and loyal) customers.
Note that customer loyalty can increase if a business offers the correct product or service at an opportune moment. This practice shows that your company cares for its customers by respecting their time. In turn, it’ll lead to improved customer experiences and repeat sales, which might even be more important than finding new buyers.
Follow strict regulations
Many call centers fail to follow the regulations set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In turn, organizations cause mishaps, unfortunate consumer engagements, and negative reviews.
The use of a predictive dialing system ensures that your calling team adheres to the rules implemented by both the FCC and TCPA. For example, if a person has a registered number in the Do Not Call (DNC) registry, the predictive dialer won’t pay heed to that phone number even if it’s in the calling list.
Human error in dialing phone numbers can put the company at risk of going against the FCC’s and TCPA’s terms and conditions. Look at the following scenario as an example:
One of your representatives feels the effect of fatigue from not taking any rest days for the past few months. That person fails to check if a phone number is in the DNC registry and proceeds to call that individual.
Once the owner of the phone number realizes that they’re talking to a cold caller, the agent will be the direct receiver of the customer’s anger and frustration. The company also receives a blow if the customer submits a complaint to the government. Your business could end up having to pay fines just from the mistake of one calling agent.
Aside from reducing the risk of calling phone numbers registered in the DNC, predictive dialers can also help organizations reduce the amount of abandoned calls. The FCC states that a company representative should answer a call within two seconds of the person’s greeting. Otherwise, the call will be turned into a recorded message.
If your agents go over the maximum allowable abandonment rate, the business might be in the receiving end of some hefty charges. Reduce this risk by equipping representatives with the right predictive dialing system.
Many modern and reliable predictive dialers allow administrative users to set abandon rate thresholds. Once your calling team reaches this ceiling, you can create actionable solutions to prevent further damage to your company’s reputation.
Improved retry logics
Humans tend to forget, especially when the mind becomes bombarded with several pieces of information at once. So on occasion, your calling agents might forget to give a lead a callback. If this scenario happens, calling the lead at a later time might already be a lost sales opportunity.
Leave it up to a predictive dialer to ensure that your representatives call leads at the right time. So if the contact decides to issue a callback, the algorithm in the system ensures that they will receive that call.
Note that a reliable predictive dialer will know which numbers need callbacks and the time required to wait before redialing. Also, administrative users may set the number of attempts to dial that specific contact before quitting.
Some predictive dialers also have extra features, such as SMS and email integration, to ensure your company keeps its contacts in check. For example, if an agent fails to touch base with a lead, the dialing system sends an email or SMS to that contact, saying that your company attempted to get in touch, but the individual might be busy at that moment.
Consider choosing one of these service providers, as they have fairly robust APIs for integrating SMS services.
Are predictive dealers right for your business?
Predictive dialers use complicated algorithms to streamline the cold calling process. Calling representatives can increase the chances of touching base with their contacts with these systems.
Use reliable predictive dialers, and you should start seeing improvements in your company’s sales and marketing efforts.