With all the bright and shiny ads touting predictive dialer software, you would think it could be the answer to all your problems – instead it might become a bigger problem than you can imagine. There are some hidden costs to using dialers, no matter which one you elect to use. In today’s blog we are going to take a look at one of the biggest hidden costs - your leads. One of the reasons your leads costing you money – instead of helping you rake it in – is the failure to scrub your call lists or to secure high quality leads.
Keeping Your Leads Healthy
Managing your customer list for best value means that you need to have a number of vetting practices. Your predictive dialer is only as good as the contacts that you load into it. In the early days of computing, the concept was called G.I.G.O – standing for the concept of when you put garbage in to a program, then you get garbage out. High quality leads will generally give you current phone numbers, a minimal number of invalid numbers, but you will still reach the occasional fax machine or be screened to voicemail by the person that you’re calling.
Each and every one of these calls is costing you money, even if you do not appear to reach a live person. One of the largest benefits of a dialer is to remove all the answering machines, busies, disconnects, and no pick ups from your agent’s workflow thus optimizing staff. An outbound call uses telecom minutes, whether these minutes are broken down into increments between six seconds and 30 seconds, or charged the whole minute, depends on the telephony company. While many plans bundle together a given number of minutes, it is up to you to use those minutes wisely since any overage minutes are charged at a much higher rate. It is also up to you to calculate how many minutes each one of your call-center agents will use per month. Unfortunately, given the number of industries that use outbound sales calling it is very difficult to set a benchmark for lead quality. This makes it hard to anticipate a contact rate on your leads which is necessary to gauge to determine how many minutes you may need. Not to mention when you do encounter a poor batch of leads your contact rates will dip but if you continue calling on that data your minutes will be consumed. Running a call center is no easy task to say the least. You will have to do quality control, and be the best judge of whether a batch of leads or lead source is worth your money or your agents’ time.
A predictive dialer makes outbound calls, and it can place a large number of them every minute. In a lot of ways this is a good thing it leaves agents free to perform other tasks instead of dealing with voicemail, busy signals, reaching fax lines, disconnected numbers, and other fruitless outcomes. When the dialer hits a live answer, it immediately sends the call to an open agent and also reduces pause time between calls. The best software allows you to control how many calls to make per minute – but there is a caveat. Making your dialing goals overly aggressive means that the dialer may reach a number of live calls, but no agent is free to take them. This means that you’re going to get dropped calls, and possibly irate customers not able to talk to an agent.
The Big No-No
You also need to scrub against the National Do Not Call List or face a number of hefty fines. To do this you will have to sign up with the registry, and subscribe to different area codes in order to scrub your lists. Just in case you’re thinking about doing without this extra bit of red tape, the FTC takes a very aggressive actions against reports of violations of the Do Not Call Registry. A predictive dialer can increase your profitability and sales, but only if it is used in the right way, maintained, and those lists kept healthy and scrubbed.