Service excellence doesn’t just happen. You can’t just say your call center provides excellent customer service – you must show it. If you don’t, you’ll lose customers. It’s just that simple. In fact, businesses that respond first win 78% of sales opportunities. Ensuring your team is readily available is the first all-important step to service excellence.
A proactive customer service team means choosing between an auto-dialer and a predictive dialer. You want software that limits agent idle time and continues to dial phone numbers, so agents are always engaging customers.
Does your company currently use an auto-dialer or predictive dialer? Do you use a progressive dialer that dials phone numbers even when your agents are on the line? If you’ve answered “no” to both these questions, read on.
Importance of Call Center Efficiency
Maximizing customer talk time, limiting unsuccessful calls, and reducing your average time to answer are three critical call center metrics. Unfortunately, far too often, calls go unanswered, leaving customers waiting aimlessly for help. When your team doesn’t answer, the customer becomes upset and abandons the call.
It’s common for call centers to experience many abandoned calls simply because of agent idle time. This often occurs when the call center doesn’t have the system to distribute calls properly or, worse, has no system to determine agent availability.
Unanswered customer calls impact revenue and customer retention. Answering a customer’s call means that only 1% of those customers will go to your competition, compared to 15% when that call is missed.
It’s easy to gloss over or outright dismiss the impact of a missed call. However, your customers think otherwise, and they alone decide whether to return or leave. The potential of losing upwards of 15% of your customers should be incentive enough to reduce your number of missed calls. After all, your call center team is also an important lead generator and a great source of new opportunities.
So, what is an auto-dialer, and how does it differ from a predictive dialer?
What is an Auto-Dialer?
Think of an auto-dialer as the perfect tool for keeping in constant contact with your customers. The goal of the auto-dialer is to ensure your sales agents are always on the line, helping customers and resolving problems.
While auto-dialers still work from a predetermined list of contacts, today’s systems have several features and benefits. Today’s systems increase talk time while consistently feeding your team with new calls. Their main purpose is to eliminate abandoned calls from customers waiting for a sales, customer service, or call center agent.
The auto-dialer ultimately improves agent productivity and efficiency. It does this by eliminating the need for manual dialing. The auto-dialer will automatically dial phone numbers and connect a call to the first available agent. The auto-dialer essentially ensures your call center team rarely encounters idle time.
The system works by avoiding busy signals, ignoring answering machines, and moving on from unanswered calls by scheduling other calls. You, of course, have the option of choosing how long the system waits before dialing new phone numbers.
Today’s auto-dialers also allow you to provide answered calls with a quick pre-recorded message before the call is distributed to one of your agents. You can also leave a pre-recorded message for customers who don’t answer the call. That message can include information about your products and services and how best to reach you.
The Advantages of Cloud-Based Auto-Dialers
Cloud-based auto-dialers are the ideal solution. There is no hardware to purchase or expensive software to upload. They adhere to the “telephone consumer protection act” requirements, which means you’ll never be non-compliant with this critical legislation.
Your IT department won’t need to spend time troubleshooting problems or resolving software-related issues. This means a cloud-based auto-dialer has no setup costs, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get up and running. No waiting. No expensive on-site visit or installation. Just access the cloud, get set up and get started.
- No hardware to purchase.
- No need to purchase or upload expensive software.
- Cloud-based solutions don’t require IT troubleshooting or maintenance.
- Today’s auto-dialers adhere to the “telephone consumer protection act”.
- No setup costs.
What are Some of an Auto-Dialer’s Features?
Today’s auto-dialers include automatic dialing, call waiting, message recording, routing of calls to the first available call center agent, and call monitoring and reporting. Auto-dialers empower your call center team to immediately answer incoming calls while the system proactively schedules outbound calls.
Live Monitoring and Reporting Supervisors and managers can listen in on calls in real-time and provide guidance and feedback to agents. Reports include call metrics such as the number of outbound calls made, the number of phone numbers reached, the number of calls answered, and the average wait time. These reports empower your call center managers to improve agent productivity.
- Seamless CRM Integration
Auto-dialers can easily be integrated into many of today’s customer relationship management (CRM) software. This makes an auto-dialer a fantastic tool for market research. All your leads and customer data can immediately be loaded into your CRM. Your sales reps can then use that customer data to prioritize leads for prospecting and appointment-setting.
- Call Recording and Rescheduling
You can record phone calls for debriefing sessions with sales agents while also determining the frequency of calls that go unanswered. Your call center agents can then reschedule these follow-up phone calls at different times.
- Leverage Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
You can provide engaging messages on calls before they’re passed to your agents or generate customized messages for the calls that go answered.
- Real-Time Filtering
Today’s systems also filter out missed calls, which saves your call center team valuable time trying to reach a customer that isn’t available. These systems bypass answering machines and busy signals by simply moving on to dialing other phone numbers.
What Businesses Benefit from Auto-Dialers?
Auto-dialers are best suited for smaller call centers looking to increase their connectivity with customers. These cloud-based systems provide access for agents working remotely so your entire team can benefit in real-time. The ability to integrate with CRMs means smaller teams can retain critical customer data, allowing them to schedule follow-ups and enact action plans.
What is a Predictive Dialer?
A predictive dialer is a system that generates a high volume of calls even while call center agents are on the line. This automated dialer employs multiple dialing modes alongside automatic call distribution. Much like the auto-dialer, the predictive dialing system will bypass unsuccessful phone calls and immediately call other phone numbers.
While the auto-dialer is ideal for small-to-medium-sized (SME) businesses, the predictive dialing system is typically used by larger call centers. This makes the predictive dialer the preferred choice of large enterprises such as those found in the banking, insurance, and finance industries. These industries need predictive dialing software to handle high volumes of incoming and outgoing calls.
How is a Predictive Dialer Different?
Predictive dialers work similarly to auto-dialers. However, the predictive dialer generates a high volume of phone calls simultaneously. This simplifies the dialing process by eliminating manual dialing. The predictive dialer has a much higher dialing rate and uses a call distribution platform that immediately directs phone calls to the next available live agent.
The goal of a predictive dialing system is to perform as many outbound calls and get as many customers on the line as possible. The predictive dialer software benefits from machine learning via an algorithm. That algorithm tracks calls and captures all the call data in real-time. This means the predictive dialing software is constantly refreshing its algorithm based on real-time feedback.
At the end of each call, the predictive dialer system will analyze the call data to improve upon its real-time modeling. This means the algorithm combines the number of answered calls, and the length of those calls, with historical call data to improve its continuously-learning modeling system. It then uses all that information to calculate how many calls need to be made to ensure no agent is sitting idle. This predictive dialing mode is critical to maximizing agent performance.
The predictive dialing system’s ability to track the agents’ average call time – relative to the number of agents – means the system can make multiple calls while agents are still on the line. Predictive dialing systems do this to ensure that a call is ready to be answered once an agent becomes available. Critical machine learning means that an agent’s time is maximized with almost zero abandoned calls.
The Benefits of Predictive Dialers
With predictive dialing, agents are only connected to customers once the outbound call is answered. However, those calls are being made long before the agent gets off his/her current call. Supervisors and managers can then manage the pace of call campaigns with pacing ratios.
Given that predictive dialers are often relied upon by larger teams, it simply stands to reason that these systems would easily integrate with other software. This means predictive dialers allow companies to benefit from the collaborative efforts of multiple teams within their organization.
Not only can predictive dialers integrate with CRMs, but they can also be integrated with material requirements planning (MRP) and manufacturing resource planning (MRP II) software. Predictive dialing systems can also be configured with IT support tickets. This is extremely useful given the size of the call centers that rely upon predictive dialing software.
What Type of Company Benefits from Predictive Dialing?
Companies with large call centers, customer service, or sales teams are ideal for predictive dialing. The predictive dialer is the ultimate outbound calling system. The algorithm of the predictive dialer mathematically estimates which agent is next in line to be available. This improves the sales process by helping your team prioritize leads. Predictive dialing is ideal for managing large outbound campaigns with large volumes of calls.
In many ways, it’s less about the size of your company and more about the number of calls your agents should handle. If you are running a large call campaign, and want to ensure that all your agents are engaging customers, then the predictive dialer is the ideal software for dialing and distributing those calls.
Use a Cloud-Based Predictive Dialer
The best predictive dialer software should be available in the cloud. As such, cloud-based predictive dialers provide several immediate benefits. Much like auto-dialers, cloud-based predictive dialing software requires no installation or expensive software. Once again, this means no setup costs and little time wasted having to purchase and install predictive dialing software. It frees up valuable IT resources while making it easy to get started.
Any user with an internet connection can easily access the predictive dialer software. This makes it an ideal solution for those agents or salespeople working remotely from home. Your team can log in from anywhere and immediately initiate a sales or outbound marketing campaign.
Complete Call Center Solutions with Ozonetel
Ozonetel is a proactive and customer-centric call center solutions provider. Every day we help companies in all industries increase their engagement with their customer base. Our solutions ensure that your team is always willing and ready to make your customers happy.
Ozonetel packs all the tools you could ever need to improve service levels within an affordable, easy to integrate, quick to set up call center solution. Contact us to learn more.