For organizations that make a lot of outbound calls, it’s critical they have the right technology to support them. Scripts are important to keep internal sales teams or call center agents on the message and on schedule. Lead management and CRM software help arm the caller with information prior to the call, so that he or she can target the message more directly. What’s most critical, however, is the dialing technology that actually makes the outbound calls and connects a live customer to a live agent.
Depending on how they’re used, outbound dialers can improve productivity from between 35 and 100 percent. They can allow agents to make many more calls per hour than they would manually dialing, and they can eliminate errors from manual processes.
Predictive dialers can carry the benefits further, using complex algorithms that help the solution “learn” and dial in a way that increases the likelihood that someone is home, and that a live connection can be made. While many outbound telemarketing interests have learned the benefits of a predictive dialer, many of them have demonstrated that they’re not capable of handling the challenges they create, which is a problem.
Because the predictive dialer places multiple outbound calls at the same time in an effort to make a live connection, there is always a risk that there will be no agent available when a prospect picks up the phone. This can lead to a dropped or “abandoned” call.
According to a recent blog post on International Business News, while the rewards of proper use of predictive dialers are great, companies must first master the challenge of properly configuring it for accurate predictions and adjustment of dialing speed.
“Not dialing sufficient number of calls would increase agent idle (non-talk) time while making too many calls, when agents are not available, would result in dropped calls that could violate regulatory requirements,” wrote the blogger. “A good predictive dialer will adjust its dialing strategy based on connections and drop-call ratios.”
Dropped calls are more than an annoyance for customers. Too many of them (more than three percent in the U.S.) can lead to violations of telemarketing regulations and cause companies to incur fines. It’s therefore critical to vet predictive dialer solutions providers before you buy. There are a number of considerations, not only regarding safety mechanisms to prevent too many dropped calls, but premise versus cloud, traditional telephony versus voice over IP (VoIP) and whether your organization requires the other features that may be available with a new dialer: call recording capabilities, for example, or integration with the automatic call distributor (ACD) or customer relationship management (CRM) you use.
For all these reasons, it’s critical that companies go into a dialer purchase with their eyes wide open. They should first understand their needs, and make contact with a vendor who can answer their questions and provide them with the best possible solution to meet those needs.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson