Companies today bank on telephony technology for cold-calling, inside sales, and customer support delivery. But how many organizations implement the right technology for their calling purposes? The count is surprising low. Many settle for manual dialing machines, where a representative has to literally punch in the numbers to call. Most of the calls land up in the answering machine, a few are engaged and a few numbers are unavailable/dead. After all the struggle the rep/agent goes through in dialing the right digits (assuming that (s)he always does), how many productive calls do you think s(he) can make in a single day?
But what if I tell you, there is one dialer technology that can solve all these problems and more. Predictive Dialers. Predictive dialers have been in the market for quite a few years, but only a handful of companies employ this new-gen technology for powering their calling process.
What is a Predictive Dialer?
A predictive dialer is an intelligent outbound call processing and managing system. It employs computer algorithms, based on complex probabilistic and statistical modeling, to make calls to telephone numbers fed to its database and assign live calls to available agents. This is a continuous process, so there is zero wait time for each call. It starts dialing numbers a few seconds before an agent has finished a call so that the agent can immediately be on the next call, without any downtime.
The biggest advantage of this software is that it employs efficient algorithms to predict how long an agent will be on a call and when exactly it should make the next call. It also analyzes how many calls it should make, factoring in the call drop ratio for that particular campaign and analyze other data derived through statistical methods. Based on preset parameters like the number of agents available, the number of lines operational and average time an agent spends on a call, it can change the frequency of calls or the dial ratio.
This software has revolutionized the customer interaction sector by increasing the efficiency of agents. They can now spend anywhere between 40 to 50 minutes per hour handling calls, which is an exponential increase of more than 300- 350% compared to manual dialing. An agent can now make two calls in the same span it would have otherwise taken him, if he had to make the call manually, considering it takes a minimum of 30 seconds to connect.
Now the agents don’t need to deal with endless wait while the call is connected, listen to different caller tunes all day long, finding answering machines at the other end, getting no answers or busy tones. The screening is carried out by the predictive dialer and this cuts down on the unproductive time expended during operations. The dialer not only detects the call results but also places the records under different categorized lists in the server database. Not only this, the predictive dialing system can also learn from these call patterns and incorporate changes in its call structure. It does all these without human intervention.
The agent can spend more minutes on a live call and serve the caller/receiver more diligently because this lead could be a valuable prospective customer. The additional time also gives the telemarketer more time to make a convincing sales pitch and convert the lead. Increased productivity leads to increased sales, leading to increased turnover and ultimately more profit.
Let us now look at some of the other important advantages of using a predictive dialer for your business.
• It can intelligently assign calls to available agents. It never waits for one particular agent to be available. All agents on the team are expected to be equally competent professionally to handle any call. That means the agent doesn’t get to choose which call to take or ignore. There is almost no chance of bias.
• A predictive dialer helps to organize and manage the client database and maintain all relevant records systematically. That means the manager or clients don’t have to scribble down notes and fear misplacing them. It can rework the call structure based on the record of previous calls. You get a separate list of numbers which were busy or had received no answers and call these. A local do-not-disturb log is also maintained so that the manager knows who doesn’t want to be called again. An agent can dispose a call manually, on request, after wrapping up the call. It will also sieve out the other numbers which don’t have any potential of generating sales.
• This technology can help to blend calls in a call center which deals with both outbound sales and inbound customer service. A predictive dialer and an automated call distribution system can work in tandem to assign calls to available agents. The combined system can also keep callers on the queue if agents are not available and also take a message from him. An agent can then call the customer back and provide him the requested service.
• It helps to improve the efficiency of each agent working in a team. It gives all of them an equal chance to improve and makes the work challenging. This improves agent morale and makes it easier for them to fulfill sales targets.
• Improves the professional relationship between the administration and the workforce because no one can allege prejudice as the workload is assigned by an automated system.
• A dialer helps to always keep the database updated. Separate call-back lists are maintained with the time of preferred calling. When the time comes, the system will automatically place the call, put an agent on the call and support him on a real-time basis with the relevant information about the customer and past call history.
• Managers can also monitor the performance of agents through the integrated call monitoring and recording interfaces. Adequate training can be provided later or on a real-time basis to improve the agent’s customer handling skills. These systems also have in-built reporting tools that allow the managers to extract the performance reports of each agent.
• Cost reduction is another major advantage. You won’t need an expensive PBX setup or an operator who manually maintains the call log or routes calls to agents.
Still thinking whether you should get a predictive dialer or not? Stop delaying and install one immediately. We guarantee a very high return on your investment as you would see better customer retention and higher sales. As for the investment itself, the cost will easily be recovered within the next three months.