Every business owner is trying to find the best business strategy to compete with their competitors, and applying recent technological innovations is one way to optimize your business strategy.
The communications department, for instance, has become the main focus of many businesses because they bear the brunt of the business-customer relationship. One of the recent innovative ideas for this particular department is the predictive dialer system. Replacing manual dialers with this technology has proven to be very crucial to the success of many businesses. With many organizations venturing into this market, you may be wondering how a predictive dialer works and what makes it beneficial to you.
What is a Predictive Dialer?
With its growing popularity, you’ve likely come across this term at least once. This system is designed to automatically dial a number from a given list then pass the call to an available agent once a connection is established. It’s programmed to screen out voicemails, no-answers, busy signals, and disconnected numbers in order to promote more productive output for your agents.
People often confuse predictive dial systems with auto-dialers. What sets these two apart is the fact that predictive dialers utilize call metrics to regulate their dialing rate. For example, if the system predicts that all agents will be busy for the next ten minutes, the predictive dialers will wait for that time before making another call. Auto dialers, on the other hand, don’t have the same capability.
How it works?
The main objective of a predictive dialer is to minimize the time wasted by agents between calls while also ensuring that all customers calling in are served with utmost professionalism. It uses a mathematical algorithm to determine the success rate of a given number of dials. For instance, if only one number is answered for every three contacts, then the dialer will automatically pick three dials at a time. This way, there’s a lot of time saved as compared to when the three contacts are dialed separately.
Consider, for example, that one dial will take about 10 seconds before the system realizes that there is no one on the other end. As such, for every three trials – in which only one is successful – there’re 20 seconds wasted. This might not seem like a lot of time, but in the grand scheme of things, it could be the difference between success and failure.
Therefore, the system is programmed to work out the probability of one call being picked in a given set. The result of this calculation will then determine the number of contacts dialed at the same time.
As previously stated, the aim of this system is to ensure that there is very little time wasted by agents between one call and the next. As such, a predictive dialer is designed to predict when an agent will be available before it starts dialing the next call. So, how does it determine this?
Well, it’s all about mathematical algorithms and estimations. Although there might be small variations, every call center has an average amount of talk time. Generally, it can take up to 90 seconds to talk to a client, depending on the type of discussion. So, if your agents are usually on a call for this amount of time, you can either input this figure manually or let the system learn by itself.
Once that’s determined, the predictive dialer will then take into account the amount of time it takes before a call is answered – for example, let’s say 10 seconds. As such, the system will pick numbers from a given contact list, then dial them at the 80th second so that they’ll be picked as soon as the agent is free.
A predictive dialer isn’t only designed to improve the productivity of the agents, but also to benefit the customers. For one, it prevents calls from coming through when all the agents are busy. As such, the client won’t be forced to wait in line for several minutes.
In fact, some of these systems feature a pre-recorded message that plays when a customer calls and all the agents are busy, not to mention the option of customer self-care.
How much does a Predictive Dialer cost?
Due to healthy competition predictive dialer are not expensive and businesses can get it under $100 for month. Some services may offer you free version for a month to try out their features.
Elements of a good Predictive Dialer.
If you’re planning to set up a small business, then a predictive dialer should be one of the main tools to consider integrating into your strategy. However, not all strategies that integrate this system are always successful. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not including some features which would have increased your productivity. So, what elements should a good predictive dialer include? Let’s have a look:
Local presence caller ID.
By now you already know the kind of magic a brand name can do to your business. Caller ID serves a similar purpose and should be prioritized when selecting the ideal predictive dialer. One thing you should note is that people are more likely to pick a call if it’s coming from a known caller.
But since you’re trying to connect with new customers, who most probably don’t have your contacts saved in their phones, it would be better to get a local number.
Prospects are highly likely to pick up unknown local-number calls rather than ones with area codes from other regions. Therefore, your predictive dialer should be able to adjust according to the geographical location of the customer and use a corresponding line to call them.
Adaptive to time zone restrictions.
Are you running a business that covers different countries or continents? Then there are high chances that you’re dealing with consumers from different time zones. As such, your predictive dialer should be able to automatically adjust to these restrictions. This system works properly if you associate each area code of your customers with their respective geographic locations.
In doing so, the predictive dialer should be able to accurately calculate the correct time zones of your customers so that it will correctly determine the appropriate time that your customers can be contacted without being intrusive. This ensures that your business can effectively accommodate customers from different continents or those who frequently travel across time zones.
To make it even more beneficial for your company, a good service provider should be able to set up a system that can automatically assign call-backs to the right extensions based on the geographical location of your customers. Of course, there are cheaper systems that allow the clients to choose these extensions manually, but they’ve proven to be an ineffective way of connecting with consumers.
Pro-active connect enhancer (in short PACE).
A proactive connect enhancer is a kind of software that helps to increase the productivity of telemarketers by managing their phone calls and identifying the best time to make sales. It works with predictive dialers so that you don’t have to manually call each client. Once your lead is added to your database, your software will do the follow-up by contacting them by email or by phone. This will help in saving lots of time and may even help generate more leads.
With artificial intelligence taking the world by storm, it’s imperative that you include similar innovations in your business. PACE offers you a great opportunity to do so because it’s designed to decide the best time to call clients. For example, once the customer information has been fed to the system, it’ll check the time zone to avoid intrusion during calls. A predictive dialer that features this ability does its job with extreme accuracy, which is a good thing for any business.
Email and SMS integration.
Integrating your call system with SMS and email is a great way to increase your company’s efficiency. Your predictive dialer should be able to provide you with a template to send to your clients. It should also have the ability to send these emails automatically when required. Other dialers, however, alert you with a preview of the message prior to sending it. As such, you can make the necessary corrections to optimize your marketing strategy.
Compliant to consumer protection act.
Telemarketing is a practice that has flourished over the past few decades and continues to grow due to the constant advancement in technology. However, this industry has recently become synonymous with unsolicited phone calls and messages. While most companies would like to use this avenue to grow their customer base, it’s an act that can easily land your business in legal trouble.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that every phone holder is protected by the TCPA (Telecommunication Consumer Protection Act of 1991). The TCPA acts as a statute that prohibits deceptive, spam, or other unsolicited communication to phone consumers. In other words, it prevents illegal practices by telemarketers when promoting their products or services. Your predictive dialer, therefore, should be able to conform to the legal standards set by the relevant authorities within whose jurisdiction you’re operating.
For instance, some consumers have subscribed to the “Do Not Call” database, which means they’re not ready to receive any marketing calls or messages. Modern dialers are able to detect these restrictions and remove any related phone number from your database to avoid unnecessary problems.
Can detect an answering machine.
Another important element of a predictive dialer is the ability to detect a connection after dialing a number and knowing who or what answered on the other end.
Most people have integrated an answering machine into their call system. As such, if an agent makes the call manually, they will know that the target recipient isn’t reachable at the time of the call.
However, that can be time-consuming on the part of the call center representative, especially if many consecutive calls are received by the answering machine. To get rid of this problem and increase the efficiency of the call center agents, the predictive dialer you plan to invest in should have the ability to detect who’s on the other end of the call. If it’s an answering machine, it should drop the call and move to the next phone number. All these processes are done in the background, and the next call should be ready as soon as the next representative is free. Of course, not all predictive dialers have this feature; therefore, you should be very careful while choosing the best brand to purchase.
Advantages of a Predictive Dialer.
The fact that you’re reading about predictive dialers means you’ve probably already experienced some issues with your current calling system. So, how does the operation of these dialers vary from their manual counterparts? What are the benefits you should expect as a business once you invest in this technology? Read on to see the brighter side of this incredible innovation in the world of communication!
1. High agent efficiency and productivity.
Usually, agent efficiency is measured by looking at their final output vis-à-vis the amount of time taken to complete a given number of tasks. Of course, as a company, you’d want your agents to make as many calls as possible within one day, but also deliver high-quality service at the same time. Predictive dialers make this dream a reality by ensuring that your agents concentrate more on their area of specialty – which is lead conversion – rather than searching through thousands of files to find a given phone number.
2. Accelerated sales.
With manual dialers, it’s always about guesswork, which reduces your chances of meeting the right customers. However, predictive dialers feature a unique technology that uses metrics such as call logs, call-backs, and call recordings to automate the process of lead generation. As such, the agents have enough time to analyze all the available leads and pursue the stronger ones. As such, the company is guaranteed a high lead conversion rate, which means more sales can be made within a short time.
Are Predictive Dialer legal?
Predictive dialers are totally legal. However, the TCPA restricts businesses like advertisers and marketers using an autodialer, including predictive dialer from placing uninvited calls. Calls placed from auto-dialers without achieving prior express consent from the call recipient is completely illegal.
Most businesses are currently working towards digitization, and advanced communication systems are a great way of progressing in that direction. Predictive call dialers have become synonymous with most modern call centers, and no one can deny their importance. These calling systems automate the lead generation process by calling numbers from a predefined list of contacts, then forwarding the call to the next available agent once it detects a connection. The ability to differentiate between a human and an answering machine is very vital in the success of its performance. If you haven’t invested in this technology, then this is your chance to add an extra percentage to your current consumer base.