There’s one obvious and significant benefit to using predictive/automatic dialers in call centers—but also a host of less recognized advantages. The big reason and obvious reason, of course, is agent efficiency.
“Some owners/managers don't realize this number is so high, but it takes about 30 seconds to manually dial a phone number and let it ring four times,” according to the website for applications service provider, Promero. “Most centers will see a 100 percent increase in sales but the absolute minimum is usually a 50 percent increase in talk time.”
Predictive dialing systems can increase productivity by up to 70 percent, according to a blog post by Sulemana Braimah at Suite101. This comes from having the system do the dialing, matching calls with available agents, scheduling callbacks and handling the administrative tasks such as list management and compliance that come with both inbound and outbound calls.
Perhaps less recognized, however, is the usefulness of predictive dialers for keeping data fresh. Call leads generally need to be called quickly to stay fresh, and a predictive/automatic dialer handles the administrative end and keeps leads warm. Further, it automates the process of recycling voicemails and busy numbers, ensuring that a large percentage of call leads actually are converted.
The same goes for compliance: Automation makes a big difference. There are heavy fines for call campaigns that do not conform to regulatory requirements, and predictive dialers handle this onerous but crucial set of details. Handling timezones so leads are not called at too late an hour, for instance, is a simple but highly useful feature of predictive/automated dialing software.
Real-time visibility is another relatively unsung benefit of such software.
“An auto dialer provides statistics in swathes that can be viewed in real time,” noted the Callcentre Helper blog. “One of the main benefits of this is when monitoring agent performance. Statistics such as number of calls, average call time, number of sales, time taken in dispositioning, log in/log out times can all be seen via a Web browser in real time.”
Also unsung is the role that predictive/automated dialing plays in presenting a consistent brand image, the Callcentre Helper blog pointed out.
“Individual agents and supervisors have differing levels of capability, motivation and experience,” the blog noted. “Differing levels of performance can lead to inconsistent service and bad feeling within the agent team, and can increase staff churn. The auto dialer smoothes out these inconsistencies and forces discipline onto the team by automating dialing.”
Finally, and perhaps most important to the agents who actually interact with the technology on an hourly basis, predictive/automated dialers can keep things fresh and boost agent morale.
That’s because, for starters, predictive/automated dialers allow for a blend of inbound and outbound calls during the course of a day. Auto dialers can regulate the pace and call flow using features such as call queuing and variable dial ratios. Multitasking makes it more interesting.
“Despite popular thought, dialers generally improve agent morale. This is because they help agents become more successful, whether the objective is closing sales or collecting debt,” concluded the CallCentre Helper blog. “Furthermore, the dialer strips away mundane, repetitive tasks. Once agents get used to predictive dialing, it actually is something most appreciate.”
And as a former call center agent, I can vouch for that from firsthand experience.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey