Predictive Dialer versus Auto Dialer, What's the difference?


A dialer is an application to automate the process of dialing contacts so that contact center agents can maximize a call center outreach. The productivity of the call center largely depends on the number of calls connected per day. However, due to limiting factors, such as missed calls, call waiting, calls not picked up, or the number dialed being out of service or connected to fax machines, can hamper the productivity of the contact center to an alarming degree. In order to combat such issues, outbound dialers are installed, which in turn accelerate performance, measured with key metrics like call connect rate, call coverage and Talk Time per Hour (TTH).

How do predictive dialers work?

Predictive dialing is a means of outbound calling, where the system dials the numbers on the database sequentially, without an agent on the line. The outbound dialer dials several numbers simultaneously and when a live person answers on the other end, it automatically diverts the call to an available agent. This method is referred to as ‘Predictive’ because it can predict the availability of the agent as well as calculate the time in which the live person will answer the call. It comes up with such predictions based on the pattern observed in the previous calls.

A predictive dialer software is ideal for contact centers that have multiple agents to take calls. This will avoid call drop outs, which adds to the abandonment rate. Read our previous blog post on how to eliminate dropped calls with an intelligent outbound dialer to garner more insights.

How Do Basic Auto Dialers Work?

Auto Dialers have come a long way with the evolution in call center technologies and some auto dialers have advanced into Predictive, Preview and Progressive dialer. However a basic auto dialer tops a manual dialer by automating dialing of call lists sequentially or in a simple ascending or descending order.

It is ideal for contact centers that can do without strategic outreach while at the same time have good agent utilization and productivity. A basic auto dialer can save significant time of Agents when doing outbound dial campaigns.

A Comparison of basic Auto Dialer and Predictive Dialer

1. Ease of Use: A Predictive Dialer is a technically advanced auto dialer in terms of setting up and requires a lot of configurations to make it a success. Key parameters of call configurations are Number of agents available, tuning call drop ratio, call pacing ratio and more whereas a simple Auto Dialer is easy to use with simple configurations where calls are equally distributed among call center Agents

        Verdict: Auto Dialer is a clear winner

2. Number of Calls Connected Per Day: A predictive dialing system helps a call center reach maximum call connect rates. However, it is important configure  the number of calls that can be dialed per agent by taking in account the agents available to take the calls, in order to avoid dropped calls. With Auto dialing, its a simple call distribution among agents and with limited configuration so Call connect can go down and call drops increase.

        Verdict: Predictive Dialer wins hands down.

3. Agent Idle Times: With predictive dialers, a call center can optimize its outbound dialing so that Agents have very limited idle time and it maximizes Agent productivity. Although, a basic auto dialers can also reduce idle Agent time but in comparison to a predictive dialer it falls short as it doesn’t take into account agent availability as a metric

        Verdict: Predictive Dialer scores higher in terms of Agent utilization.

Selecting the right auto dialer as per your business requirement can help you devise the smarter contact strategies for your call center.