A dialer is an electronic device that is used to monitor the numbers dialed from a telephone, and alter them to provide services that would otherwise require long international and national access codes. It is typically connected to a telephone line. The telephone numbers are inserted and modified automatically by the dialer depending on the country, the time of the day, or the area code dialed.
For instance, a dialer could be programmed to use the service of one service provider for cellular calls, and another for international calls. Most of the call center software is integrated with a dialer which is a computer program. There are a number of dialing modes, and these are programmed in a contact center depending on how the call is placed.
A dialer automates the process of dialing in a contact center. It dials the phone numbers on behalf of the agents. This helps to increase the productivity of the agents.
- Manual Dialer
The contact center industry started with this dialer. Normal telephone lines are used to make the phone calls to customers. As the name suggests, a manual dialer lets the contact center agents place the calls manually. The agents have total control in this type of dialing. The main disadvantage of manual dialing is that at times a lot of time. The agents will have to scour the paper records or the computer screen to select the person to be called, find his/her number, dial the number, listen to the rings, and proceed once the call is picked up. If the call goes unanswered, they will have to remember to call that particular customer later. All of this affects the productivity of agents.
- Automatic Dialer/Auto Dialer
The auto dialer dials a series of phone numbers that are already uploaded to the database, automatically. Technically, this is VoIP-based dialing. Once the phone number of a particular customer is dialed by the auto dialer, the agent will be able to see the information about that customer on his/her computer screen. The phone numbers are usually stored in the database in Excel sheets or in .CSV format. Once the call is answered by the customer, the auto dialer will either play a recorded message (this is often termed as robocalling or voice broadcasting), or connects the call to an agent. Auto-dialing helps to increase the productivity of agents.
- Preview Dialer
A preview dialer first shows all the available information to the agent about the customer that it is going to call. Agents decide when to place the call. Just like manual dialing, the agents can be well prepared to deal with the customer with preview dialing as well, but without the hassles of placing the call manually. For example, if the agent is calling a customer about debt collection, then he/she will be able to define a strategy before actually speaking to the customer. If the agent reaches an answering machine or a fax machine, then he/she can disconnect the call manually.
- Predictive Dialer
A predictive dialer is an advanced dialer that can be used to call a large number of customers within a short period of time. It frees the agents from dialing calls and reduces the ideal time between connected calls. The dialer places several calls when an agent is about to become idle. In a situation when the call is ready and there are no available agents, the predictive dialer will automatically terminate the call. A predictive dialer is programmed to distinguish between a live person and an answering machine, based on the duration of the greeting. For example, if the dialer is met with a short ‘hello’, that means it is a live person. If the greeting is longer, it is probably an answering machine. A predictive dialer is also called as a hosted predictive dialer. It basically works on an algorithm. The effectiveness of the dialer works on a number of factors, including, the number of contact center agents, average call length, time, job type, and so on. The application gathers statistics concerning how often the calls are answered, the duration it takes for the calls to be answered, and the total duration of the call. The system updates the predictive dialing probabilities continuously. A predictive dialer is ideal for large contact centers.
- Progressive/Power Dialer
This dialer will place a call only when an agent is available to handle the call. In progressive dialing, a contact center agent will always be available to interact with a customer. It is ideal for call centers engaged in telemarketing. It is in fact, suitable for all campaigns.
You can select a dialer that is most suitable for your contact center, one that can provide you with maximum productivity.