April 3, 2020
Stay in the Know
Noble Systems has been providing outbound dialer software and solutions for more than 30 years. Our founder and CEO, Jim Noble, utilized early predictive dialing software in the operation of his own call centers. Realizing the benefits of automating the calling process, Jim began to focus on ways to improve the technologies. Seeking a balance between functionality, flexibility and affordability, he assembled a team of experienced call center professionals. Their working knowledge of the industry was the force behind the creation of an innovative system, with the first Noble® Outbound solution in 1985.
Over three decades later, Noble Systems continues to develop patented new technologies that help companies work smarter. That’s why Frost & Sullivan has named Noble as the Outbound Dialer Solution Market Leader for seven consecutive years, with solutions including both an on-premise predictive dialer and a cloud predictive dialer.
But, what is a predictive dialer, how does it differ from other dialing tools, and how can it give your business an operational advantage?
What is a Predictive Dialer?
A predictive dialer “calls” a list of telephone numbers and connects answered dials to people making calls. They are most commonly used to drive traffic for agents or representatives in a call center or team environment to increase list penetration and make more contacts. Predictive dialers use statistical algorithms to balance the fine line between too-long wait times between calls and making calls when no one is available to answer. Ultimately, predictive dialing can help improve your outbound call volume, get more right-party contacts, and increase agent productivity.
How is a Predictive Dialer System Different from a Power Dialer or other types of Dialer?
Predictive dialers differ from other automatic dialers (or autodialers, robodialers) in their ability to utilize call metrics to predict the moment when human agents will be available to make the next call. They can also dial multiple numbers simultaneously, rather than just one at a time. However, most predictive outbound dialers can operate in other dialing modes, as well, including Preview, Demand, Progressive (Power) or Dial Now (On Demand).
In Predictive dialing mode, the dialer will select the telephone number from the list and dial it automatically, sending it to an agent for handling when the called party answers the phone. While in Predictive mode, different targets can be assigned for pacing the system. Pacing is the speed at which the dialing algorithm places the next call(s). This may vary depending on whether your targets are based on a desired Wait Time Between Calls, desired Hold Times, or desired Abandonment Rate. A “blast” pacing mode may also be used, which is primarily intended for unattended campaigns where the goal is to leave an automated message, regardless of whether the contact is a live person or a voicemail – although different messaging may be utilized for each.
In Preview mode, the dialer will select the number from the list and send the record to the agent before dialing. Some systems support multiple preview options, such as Delay Preview Dialing (the system will begin dialing after a pre-set time interval, allowing the agent to review the record) or Demand Preview Dialing (the agent prompts the system to dial the number at the touch of a button).
For the Progressive Dialer or Power Dialer mode, dialing does not begin until an agent is available to take the call. When used in the Dial Now or On-Demand mode, an agent may select a number and have the dialer call the number at the touch of a button.
In environments where compliance is a large concern – especially in regard to dialing to wireless or cell phone numbers, manual dialing is becoming more prevalent. In these cases, the dialer may provide the next number to be called; however, if the customer has not consented to be called, the agent may place the call manually – often accomplished via an integrated softphone. (But wireless dialing compliance is a topic for another discussion.)
Why use Dialer Software?
When dialing numbers manually, one at a time, there are several factors that may impact production. First, the agent or person making calls must look up a number, select it, and then physically dial it. Next, only a fraction of dials are answered; perhaps only one out of every three or four attempts may result in a connection with a live person, and the rest are busy signals, no answers, voicemail, or disconnected numbers.
Predictive dialer software will “predict” when agents will be available to take the next call and dial numbers on the agent’s behalf in anticipation of that availability. When configured correctly for the business’s specific needs, predictive dialers can supply agents with a steady stream of calls with little-to-no downtime.
The predictive dialer software uses Call Progress Analysis (CPA), also called Call Progress Detection (CPD) to determine the outcome of a call – ie, was the call answered by a person or a machine, or was the line busy or disconnected? The dialer can “screen” or treat the call based on the result. For example, if the call is unanswered or busy, it can be “dispositioned” or coded by the system, so that the agent never receives the call. If a live answer is received, the call is passed on to an agent. If the call is answered by a voicemail system, the dialer platform may have the ability to automatically leave a message.
How does a Predictive Dialer improve efficiency and performance?
Average statistics show that dialing one number at a time, only when an agent is available, typically keeps agents utilized for up to 40 minutes per hour (67%). Depending on the environment, predictive dialing can increase utilization to 55 minutes per hour (92%+), eliminating idle time by 25%. Overall, the uptick in talk time and reduction in wait time can improve agent productivity by 200-300%.
What benefits does the Cloud bring to predictive dialing?
Cloud predictive dialers give call centers more flexibility, while helping to reduce costs. The ability to host customer calling information on the cloud and access it anytime and anywhere via the web is a powerful advantage for cloud predictive dialers. It provides the ability to support a mobile and changing workforce and is extremely easy to scale upwards and downwards. Since the system is hosted on the cloud, new changes take place immediately and any problems arising can be dealt with promptly. The cloud can also provide continuity of service in the event of natural calamities or disasters on a particular call center, since the data can be accessed from another location. From a budgetary standpoint, hosted predictive dialers typically offer flexible pricing, with a lower cost of entry and a monthly usage fee, rather than the large upfront investment more common with premise environments.
The Noble Predictive Dialer
Noble’s Outbound contact solution automates, organizes, and manages your calling and multichannel campaigns and resources, enabling you to build productivity. The Noble Predictive Dialer is a full-featured outbound contact solution delivering call management, list control and workflow management, with an integrated database. Our industry-leading call pacing options and per call treatments provide maximum dialing control, so agents can achieve more right party contacts. The award-winning outbound contact center management tools provide more features than any other vendor, enabling users to create campaigns based on their business rules and goals, while managing compliance. Our call management software also provides complete reporting, monitoring and supervision controls that help you manage your operations more effectively.