Speed and efficiency are important for call centers engaged in outbound campaigns. Their operations are based on call center software with an automatic dialer at the core. At one time agents would be handed lists and they would dial out manually. Software evolved, paving the way for more sophisticated dialing systems. Today’s software features configurable auto-dialers, preview dialer, progressive dialers, and Robo dialers differing from each other in the way they can be configured and operated depending on the situation.
Click to call
By today’s standards this type of dialer is primitive and has fallen by the wayside. It did reduce the agent’s burden by one click dialing of a selected number from a list no sooner the agent completed one call.
Situation where used: This type of dialer may still be used in small operations with relatively light work load such as a small business entrusting the task of calling to a single employee. You do need to have CRM connected to the contact center software.
Power dialer is the next step up. It automates the task of calling by initiating the dialing process no sooner an agent has terminated a call. The drawback is that agents have to wait till a call connects and then wait some more if the call is not answered or goes into an answering machine and the next number is dialed.
Situations where used: Legacy call center software may feature power dialer and can work provided you wish to go beyond manual calling or click to call.
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The preview dialer is quite an improvement over standard auto dialers. An agent may be nearing the end of one call. The preview dialer may be programmed to dial out another number or it may start dialing after the call terminates. In any case, before the call goes through the call center software, linked to the CRM, displays called party details. This helps the agent to be informed and better prepared to handle the call.
Situations where used: The preview dialer works best when you are handling leads and agents must have context and basis to discuss the topic. It is fine when you are serving existing customers and wish to deliver a better customer experience by handling complaints or by following up payments with data to back you up. It is of little use for cold calling.
Perhaps the predictive dialer is the smartest of the lot of auto dialers in use. It uses sophisticated algorithms to track agent performance and keep tabs on agent availability. It will dial out a number of calls simultaneously, detect if the response is from a human or answering machine and it will connect the call, if it is picked up by a human, to an agent who is free. This is like assembly line calling with agents getting no rest between calls. The algorithm also monitors agent’s calling patterns and estimates when he will be free to handle another call. Several key metrics come into play such as call drop ratio, pacing ratio, wait time and variance factor in one type of predictive dialer known as the static predictive dialer. The adaptive dialer keeps track of ongoing calls and uses more parameters to decide about initiating calls, thereby leading to reduction of abandoned calls.
Situation where used: Call centers that must handle high numbers of outbound calls and show results in a short time are likely to use predictive dialers.
Intelligent Robo Dialers
Advanced call center software solutions feature what is known as Robo dialer. You do not need to keep agents engaged in dialing with the robo dialer. It is an automated dialer linked to the IVR and call list drawn from the CRM. You record a voice message that goes into the IVR with response options. The dialer and IVR work together to dial numbers. If an answering machine responds then the dialer sends out a voice mail message. If a human picks up the phone then the recording plays giving the called party options to get a call back or connect to a live agent. In case of the former, the call is recorded and the lead goes to the CRM for an agent to follow up. In case of the latter, an agent takes over and handles the target customer.
Situation where used: This type of dialer is perfect for all types of operations such as cold calling, following up leads, customer interactions and surveys. Your agents are not stressed out and talk only when there is a positive response with higher chances of conversions. The robo dialer may be programmed to link with automatic skill mapping and call distribution to improve efficiency.
As can be seen, if you want to reduce cost, improve agent efficiency and achieve results in your call center operations, pick call center software that also offers the robo dialer option, which is what Hodusoft offers.