One of the many technologies available to call centers is the predictive dialer. A predictive dialer is a system that automatically dials numbers, detects if there is a live person answering at the other end, and then transfers the call to an agent. When chosen carefully and used intelligently, a predictive dialer can help boost the effectiveness of outbound campaigns.
Traditionally, predictive dialer solutions were primarily used in the debt collection industry. But, the power and sophistication of modern predictive dialer technology is now being applied in all industries that conduct outbound campaigns using call center resources.
The usefulness of a predictive dialer solution lies largely in how efficiently it detects live callers and transfers those calls to agents. This process must occur very quickly or it can lead to frustration by both the call recipient and the agent. Sophisticated predictive dialer technology performs its task very quickly, maximizing both customer satisfaction and agent efficiency.
When choosing a predictive dialer solution, the call center should first test it to make sure the speed and effectiveness of the software is excellent. A predictive dialer should include algorithms powerful enough to correctly distinguish between a live caller and an answering machine in order to minimize dropped calls.
Before choosing a predictive dialer, the call center should prepare needs assessment to determine for which campaigns the technology will be used. When matched correctly to appropriate campaigns, a predictive dialer pays for itself quickly. Picking the best predictive dialer for the call center’s specific needs is important. So is implementing the predictive dialer in a manner that maximizes its benefit.
The predictive dialer implementation process usually involved some changes in management principles. There changes are necessary to ensure that all agents “buy in” to the benefits of the predictive dialer. Agents should be education about the predictive dialer and its functions.
For the call center as a whole, utilizing reports generated by the predictive dialer is another important step to realizing ROI. A before and after statistics snapshot should be taken to determine how effective the predictive dialer actually is. This benchmarking process lets the call center see how its resources are maximized by adding a predictive dialer.
It should be noted that although primarily used to maximize agent time by connecting them with live calls, a predictive dialer also can be used to leave messages on answering machines. Recorded messages also can be played to call recipients, who can then request connection to an agent if interested in the offer. This is another way predictive dialers boost outbound campaign effectiveness.
When combined with screen pops and other call center tools, a predictive dialer is a highly useful tool for optimizing outbound campaigns
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Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page.