What is a predictive dialer, and how can it benefit your business?

Everything you need to know about predictive dialers

As contact center software continues to proliferate across customer-facing departments within organizations of every size and industry, many capabilities are now available to supercharge customer service operations for enhanced productivity and customer experience. 

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For instance, delivering personalized messages is one of the few ways to provide a unique customer experience. Other high-tech capabilities include conversational AI, which can automate otherwise regular customer interactions and generate sentimental insights about your customers. 

Here, we discuss predictive dialing - and how it fits into modern contact center platforms. Also utilizing AI and machine learning, predictive dialers are key components for contact centers, as they can significantly streamline call volumes, ease burgeoning workloads and maximize agent productivity.

What is a predictive dialer?

Predictive dialers are a special type of program that allow contact centers to maximize the talk time of their employees. They perform all the necessary dialing duties and use a complex statistical algorithm to determine how frequently the system should attempt to connect to outside lines. They also tend to be very easy for a company to operate and maintain. 

As contact centers play an important role in creating good customer experience, utilizing contact center features that are backed by AI and machine learning can make all the difference for your business - and help you stand out from your competitors.

How predictive dialing works

The predictive dialer calls multiple phone numbers at once and connects employees to live calls. The system then starts dialing a new phone number after a certain amount of time has passed, so the employee will have a new person to talk to once the phone call is ended. This tends to increase the agent utilization rate, by reducing idle time as well as the time it takes to manually dial numbers.

The predictive AI-powered algorithm takes into account such factors as the average number of rings it takes for a person to answer the phone, the standard length of most phone calls, and the average percentage of unanswered calls. The algorithm also considers the number of employees talking on the phone and the number of phone lines that are currently available within the system. 

Benefits of predictive dialing

There are several potential benefits to using this type of system. A predictive dialer can substantially lessen the amount of time that employees spend dialing phone numbers and listening to the phone ring. They connect most phone calls in less than a second, and pace the phone calls in an appropriate manner to make sure that employees have sufficient time to speak on the phone. They also provide the ability to manage call lists and switch between predictive and manual campaigns.

Furthermore, most predictive dialers are highly customizable and can be quickly scaled up or down by a company as needed. There can be separate dialing parameters for multiple sales campaigns going on at the same time. The software also tends to have the ability to automatically detect answering machines and choose to ignore them in some cases, while connecting employees to them with others. Other common features include dynamic preview dialing, GUI-based home system integration, and campaign-level metrics to assist with marketing campaigns.

Difference between auto dialing and predictive dialing

Auto dialers call numbers in a sequence, at an agent’s availability. Predictive dialing, on the other hand, calls several numbers simultaneously, a short while prior to the agent completing their current call. Auto dialers are a simple form of automation, while their predictive counterparts are based on an algorithm that calculates when a call is about to end, which numbers are bound to answer and many other such factors. In essence, predictive dialing is a form of auto dialing - but not all auto dialing is predictive dialing.

Difference between progressive dialing and predictive dialing

While predictive dialers simultaneously dial multiple numbers based on an algorithm, progressive dialing only dials a single number at a time, without an algorithm - and only when an agent deems themselves as available. Depending on the customer experience strategy of your business, feel free to toggle between progressive and predictive dialing - based on seasonality, campaign, agent availability and any other factor that will influence call volumes in your business.

How to select the best predictive dialer for your business

To know whether predictive dialers are included with the applications that leading contact center vendors provide, it’s best to do an online contact center software comparison to confirm. If not, predictive dialers can generally be included for an additional cost. The decision on whether to add one is normally based on the specific focus of the contact center. If the contact center is primarily being used for customer support, there may not be sufficient need for the system. If the contact center is being mainly utilized by the sales department, however, the employees can often make great use of this feature.

Knowing what to look for when purchasing contact center software can substantially help you and your team narrow down on the best options that are available in the market. By assessing your business’s unique needs and speaking to the right vendors, you will be on the right path to obtain software that isn’t just adapted to your present needs, but can conveniently scale up or down in the future.