Call centers handle lots of inbound and outbound calls on a regular basis, and productivity largely depends on how fast agents can cycle through these calls without a loss in quality of service provided. To aid this, several technologies have been developed to help cut down on wasted time. One example of this technology is predictive dialers.
A predictive dialer is a type of call center software designed to process outbound calls in a way that maximizes time and efficiency. It does this by utilizing machine learning algorithms to predict agents’ talk time, how many outbound calls get answered, and how many calls are answered by machines. And it uses these predictions to largely minimize — if not eliminate — lag time between calls. You can read more details about the software below.
How does it work?
The aim of predictive dialers is to reach as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Predictive dialers use machine learning algorithms to measure and learn important elements of call center operations, like how many outbound calls are answered by customers on an average, the average talk time, the average ring time, etc.
The dialer then dials several numbers simultaneously. The contacts dialed are taken from a list or any CRM system the dialer is connected to. The number of contacts dialed depends on the average pick-up rate and the average talk time. All this is done automatically without the need for an agent present. When a call is answered, the dialer then connects the call to an available agent.
The point of this is to cut down on time wasted by dialing, waiting for customers to pick up, unanswered calls, or calls sent to voicemail. This ultimately increases the number of minutes-per-hour an agent spends talking to customers.
Why predictive dialers?
Predictive dialers pose various advantages over other automated dialers in the market. One advantage is its ability to handle a high volume of calls using minimal staff. Predictive dialers measure the average talk time of each agent and also predict how many calls are likely to get answered.
It then uses these statistics to optimize efficiency by dialing several numbers selected mathematically — screening out unanswered calls and calls sent to voicemail — to increase the chances of a call being answered when an agent is free. In essence, predictive dialers not only dial several numbers at once to save time; they also perform calculations to get answered calls when agents are available.
This facilitates seamless transition from one call to another. Predictive dialers can also be integrated with CRM systems. They can be used to take down notes, monitor productivity, and they have built-in tools to extract performance reports.
Predictive dialers vs. power dialers
Predictive dialers have several advantages over other automatic dialers in the call center space. One major advantage is its predictive capability, which makes it suitable for teams whose aim is to process large volumes of calls per day.
Power dialers, on the other hand, are more suitable for teams whose primary aim is to provide a personalized customer experience at the expense of speed.
Predictive dialers, while efficient at predicting, are not 100 percent accurate and can sometimes get their calculations wrong. There can also be situations where a call gets answered, but there are no available agents to attend to it. But these occurrences are few and far between.
Also, prediction algorithms often times require a certain number of available agents to achieve optimal results. Anything less may result in an unavailability of agents to attend to answered calls.