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What do you do once you�ve selected a Predictive Dialer Manufacturer? Track Vital Statistics

TMCnews Featured Article

June 14, 2006

What do you do once you�ve selected a Predictive Dialer Manufacturer? Track Vital Statistics

By Special Guest
C. Sorensn, Marketing Manager, OPC-Marketing

The Really Easy Way to Begin Tracking Your Call Center's DATA

If you're privileged, and your call center has a department with a predictive dialer system, you will have access to information concerning the type and length of calls made on a daily basis.

But most businesses that acquire and use these data capture facilities are the exceptions rather than the rule.
Maybe you have never tried to capture data and have relied on word of mouth instead.
If you're installing your first dialer and do not have this data, you will need to have your work team manually track this information.
To help get you started, we have designed the following page for you to download and use. Download our free [Campaign Tracking Sheet]
*You may need it to follow along with the examples below. First, a download window like this will pop-up. Save it to disc and then right-click on the Text Link above.
These blank Campaign Tracking Sheets are in Adobe PDF format and will print in landscape mode to any black and white or color Laser or Inkjet printer. It will also open in Photoshop in case you would like to put your own logo in place of OPC’s logo. If you don’t currently have the Adobe reader to view the Campaign Tracking Sheet, it is [available here]. The downloadable document shows a shift from 08:00 to 08:00—(12 possible hours on 4 pages.) You will also need to use a program like WinZip to open the archive. These sheets are free to use and distribute.
This type of tracking will provide your predictive dialer vendor with an accurate picture of your call center's calling goal in terms of involvedness and time requirements.
The vendor also requires this information so that they can determine the station requirements. The station requirement model is an assessment that gives your agents the number of dialer stations necessary to carry out your calling goals. It will also help you when you prepare your cost justification. This station requirement does not need to be absolutely accurate, but requires quality information to function properly.
The first piece of information you need to capture is talk times.
Obtaining talk time information is simple and doesn't have to disrupt daily work activity. Use a tracking sheet similar to the one shown in the PDF, and have your work team note in the proper category the total time duration of each connect.
Also list the number of non-connects (e.g., "No Answers," and "Busy").
Your goal is to determine the types of calls your agents are making and the average conversation time per hour. You may want to track the time in total seconds. When you divide total seconds by 60, you will have your results in minutes and tenths of minutes.
Most call centers today have ACD systems that capture some of this information. Compare your tracking numbers to the ACD report to validate and develop an accurate snapshot of the process and hit rate of your current method.
Table 1. Sample Tracking Sheet
I have filled out some example numbers just to show you what you can write on these sheets.
Try to compile several days, even a whole week worth of information to assure a broad characterization of numbers and examples. Use a more seasoned campaign, or wait a couple of days before logging on a brand new campaign.
When you add the time recorded by category of calls and then divide by the number of those calls recorded, (basic common sense math) you will have your average talk time for sales or debt collection.
The downloadable .PDF tracking form above is segmented by the hour of day. With some hours background changed to make sure you are calling within the law. Check out OPC Marketing’s State Statute Law Page to make sure you’re within the law and you’re not calling outside a well defined telemarketing time period.
This is intended to show at what hours of the day you are getting the most "right-party" connects. This information should lead to more sales or promises once your dialer is installed because it will help you know where to zero in your efforts and when to increase or decrease staff levels, and lines devoted to the dialer both inbound and outbound.
If you have a website and your server logs your website traffic or hits, you may be able to see that its increase in traffic during the week will run hand in hand when your telemarketing campaigns are selling the most. It usually defines when people have some free time and they use that free time to research and explore your product offerings. The best time to call them is during their free time.
Determine Daily Workload
Your next job is to establish the daily workload for your call center. Recognizing first what range or type of accounts you wish to contact.
Using a Predictive Dialer in debt collections, may mean a range or age of delinquency; in telemarketing it may be a campaign goal.
When predictive dialers were first introduced and on some of todays less sophisticated dialing platforms, it was common to work only early stage delinquent accounts. With higher-end systems, your options are greater.
Many large banking call centers are now working accounts to the "charge off" stage, and even more are utilizing predictive dialers for their recovery areas.
Keep in mind that your goal is not speed, but accuracy, accuracy in placing a connected call to your agents. Allow them to take the time to do what they do best--handle your customer's needs!
Once you've decided what accounts your dialer will be working, it's a good time to look for hidden opportunities.
Would your marketing department benefit from the predictive dialer technology in conducting customer surveys?
Could telemarketing benefit?
How about credit policy and fraud avoidance?... Activation?... Utilization?
The list of people you can add to your work team can get long very quickly. But don't become concerned if these other areas use different application systems; most of the higher quality systems will be able to interface with them. Also, keep in mind that if initiatives can be done manually by phone, it is likely that they can also be done by your dialer.
Once you have gotten the big picture together for your daily workload, you will want to track this information over the course of a few weeks or even one month.
As you track, divide out by the number of days tracked; this calculation will produce the daily average.
Once your dialer is installed, you'll be in a better position to build staffing models that match the needs of your portfolios or tasks on hand.

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