How well is your current outbound calling software serving your center? If yours is like most in operation today, you might answer that things are going just fine with your dialer - but is fine really good enough?
If excellence is what you’re after, it might be time to think about overhauling your outbound calling software and switching to a new type of dialer to help you meet your goals. Not sure which type of dialer is best for your center? Read on to learn more about each - and find the one that fits your needs!
Types of Outbound Calling Software
There are several types of outbound calling software, each of which brings its own merits to the table. The most commonly utilized types of dialers include:
- Preview dialers
- Progressive dialers
- Predictive dialers
- Power dialers
While there is still a small portion of the overall population of call center management members that don’t employ an outbound calling software solution in their centers today, that number has dropped significantly. In most cases, the software being used to make outbound calls involves one or more of the solutions mentioned above. Next, we will examine each in greater detail.
We begin with this category of dialers because there is some debate about what this description really means. For some people, the term “power dialer” calls to mind the aggressive telemarketing and outbound calling techniques of the 1980s and 90s. Those dialers were responsible for making massive amounts of calls - but they gave agents little to no control over the calls being made or the connections that came from those calls.
However, power dialers in that sense are not longer permissible by law. After the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, mass calling without regard to the National Do Not Call Registry or a company’s own DNC list is not legal. Therefore, it is important to note that the term no longer holds the same meaning.
These days, a power dialer is simply any dialer that automates the process of dialing. Since this is a sort of catch-all term, other automated dialer descriptions are generally used to accurately describe the software being used.
The predictive dialer is so named because it predicts the amount of time that an agent will be actively engaged in a phone call. Why? Because as soon as an agent is wrapping up a call, they are connected to their next. This is extremely effective in situations such as debt collections or campaign-style product sales.
The way these dialers work is by using call monitoring and a variety of call metrics to accurately predict the length of time that agents will need to handle each conversation. Adjustments are made along the way since call length does vary for numerous reasons. These adjustments are made automatically and result in a consistent flow of calls for the agent.
The primary drawback of this type of dialer is that there will almost always be a small number of abandoned calls. This results from consumers being connected to an agent that the system perceives as being available and ready to connect when they really aren’t. Consumers get upset when they pick up the phone only to hear a dial tone or complete silence and promptly hang up. By the time the agent actually connects to the call, the consumer is gone - and so is the chance to close a sale.
Progressive dialing is similar to predictive dialing in its effectiveness and the way it boosts productivity. They are named because call progress is monitored throughout the length of the call, making the prediction of readiness on the part of the software far more accurate.
Just as with predictive dialers, progressive dialing connects agents to calls when the system believes them to be ready. However, agents have more control over progressive dialing. In many systems that fall into this category, connection does not occur until agents indicate that they are prepared to field the call. Calls that are not answered are also automatically disconnected and agents are moved to the next call, making this method more effective and efficient that predictive dialing.
Another feature of progressive dialing that makes it more effective for applications that require a deeper knowledge of the consumer being contacted is that this type of dialer offers the agent information up front. This helps the agent to better prepare for their interaction with the consumer and to do it in a way that doesn’t detract from the call once the connection has been made.
When you have complex customer information that is relevant to the connection you’re making - such as medical contacting and other more complicated fields - preview dialers are an excellent choice. These dialers offer the most control and the most information for agents upfront, preparing them to handle whatever challenges the call may present.
Unlike other methods, the speed of calling is not the only focus with preview dialers. Instead, call quality and the level of preparedness that agents come into each call with are the primary focus. For this reason, agents are given time to preview the information that they are presented regarding each consumer, resulting in the name of the dialer technology.
It is important to note that for each of these increasingly powerful and efficient types of dialers, there is also a notable increase in cost. If this is not a concern for your center, selecting the most capable dialer may be your natural choice. However, many smaller operations do have to factor budget into their considerations, making this an important part of planning for your best option.
For all the information you need to make an informed decision about outbound calling software, talk to the industry experts at ChaseData. As a leading provider of outbound calling solutions, dialers, and more, our team can help yours make the most of every call that leaves your center - and bring in better returns or results from each one, as well.
Don’t keep accepting “good enough”. Strive for excellence. Strive for the best outbound call software and solutions available. Give us a call today to learn more about how!