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Red Cross Increases Donor Relationships with CRM System that Includes Predictive Dialer

The Biomedical Services division of the American Red Cross has almost completed a multimillion-dollar initiative in which new CRM systems will be used, internal business processes have been altered, and upgrades have been made to the call center technology, which includes the addition of predictive dialer technology. In addition, 26 call centers throughout the U.S. have been consolidated into three huge centers.

Implementing these new CRM systems into daily operations of the division was no easy task, reports The project has been ongoing for five years now and covers various departments. Ultimately, the systems will forever change the way the Red Cross contacts potential blood donors.

A primary focus remained in the forefront of the Red Cross’ priorities throughout the duration of this project -- how to contact volunteers who continuously donate blood, without pestering them.

“We call them more than we would like to,” said Natasha Roberts, executive director of the customer relationship management unit in a statement. “One of the primary drivers is to minimize how many times we reach out and to make it more meaningful.”

Roberts stated that the Red Cross donor marketing program has been run in the past simito a telemarketing operation, with some donors being called too often. “We are trying to encourage them to get stuck with a needle and then we may call them too many times after that,” Roberts said. “That’s what we are trying to improve.”

According to the article, completely rearranging the way the organization attracts potential donors called for surveys from customers about the blood donation process but also thorough analysis of marketing experience data that occurred prior to the donation. With all of this research compiled, the Red Cross was then easily able to pinpoint exactly what the donors like and do not like about the process.

As the Red Cross contemplated new ways to get in touch with donors, multiple call center-related technology issues continued to appear, Roberts stated. 

First, there were over two dozen call centers located across the country that were not integrated on one platform. After looking at multiple options, the company decided to choose Oracle's (News - Alert) Siebel CRM marketing software as a solution to this problem.

“Siebel was the best fit, particularly with what we wanted to do from an integrated call center perspective,” Roberts said.

Second, the call centers needed a huge technology facelift in addition. The article stated that the organization ultimately consolidated 26 centers into three larger centers that all operate on one technology platform. The Red Cross chose Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) to implement a new telephony platform and predictive dialer and hired Systems Integration to help with the deployment process.

In conclusion, Roberts added “Donors will see more subtle changes over time,” stating she hopes volunteers will say, “Hey, I don’t have to call to complain that they are calling me too much. You know what? This is just a really good experience.’ ”

The group has plans to launch several of the Siebel applications this summer, with an estimated completion date of mid-2012.

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf
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What Are Related Definitions You Should Know?

Related definitions that you should know as you increase your understanding of predictive dialers include:

Dialer: generic term for any computer-driven device that places outbound calls and connects the answered calls to an agent or operator.

Agent: telephone professional to whom a predictive dialer sends the ready call.

Predictive Dialer: Predictive dialing was introduced for the purpose of increasing efficiency within calling centers. They are computer based system that automatically dial groups of telephone numbers, and then passes live calls to available agents. The SpitFire Enterprise dialer utilizes sophisticated algorithms to speed up and slow down the call rate based on, number of available agents, number of available lines, the campaign’s average call time and other statistical information.

Quick Connect: Quick Connect allows your agents to log in one-to-one with a phone line. This option is great for B2B purposes, especially when your agent needs to be on the phone line through the entire call.

Fixed Dialing: Fixed Dialing gives your call center manager the power to manually set the volume of calls. The software will then automatically dial a predetermined number of lines per agent. Fixed dialing is ideal for political campaigns, charity campaigns, and other situations drop call ratios are not a factor.

Auto dialer: makes thousands of calls screening for busy signals, no answers, fax machines while detecting answering machines/voicemail and delivers pre-recorded messages. SpitFireX Auto Dialer is a low cost solution for voice broadcasting.

How Do Predictive Dialers Work?

Predictive dialers use complex mathematical algorithms that calculate, in real time:

  1. the number of available agents
  2. the number of phone lines available
  3. the probability of reaching a human being at a specific number
  4. the time between calls required for optimum agent efficiency
  5. the length of typical agent/customer or
    debtor conversations
  6. the average length of time agents require to wrap up after a call

SpitFire Enterprise Predictive SEP is a fully blended call center solution that supports unlimited lines, agents, and campaigns. Its greatest strength is in its flexibility: multiple campaigns can be set up, viewed, and changed with the click of a button. With easy options for customization, data and dispositions can be catered to each campaign. In addition to our user-friendly interface, SEPhighlights full customer data and combines multiple campaigns on one screen. All the information your agents need is accessible at a glance, freeing their energy to focus on what matters: the calls.

Keep It Simple with SpitFire Fully Integrated Call Center Software

Our greatest priority is making your call center run smoothly, and we do that by developing software that is intuitive and easily integrated with your current systems. SEP works seamlessly with most CRM applications and long distance carriers, making it the simplest and most cost-effective solution for your call center.

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Benefits of Using a Predictive Dialer

  1. Manages the process of dialing tens of thousands of calls or tens of millions of calls in its lifetime.
  2. Detects the result of the call, as an example: no answer, busy, fax, bad number, answering machine without any presence of human expertise. Consequently saving time by only transferring calls which are voice connects to the agents locally or remotely.
  3. Using predictive dialer increases the productivity of the company by drastically increasing the time agents spend on the phone talking to actual customers or prospective clients.
  4. Predictive dialer users get the ability to organize and better manage the client information, no lost notes scribbled on pieces of paper. The database used by the dialer organizes the calling structure.
  5. The most significant task done by the predictive dialer is to predict, which means always making an effort to get a live call to the available agent with the shortest amount of wait time. This is achieved by self learning algorithms within the predictive dialer to increase or decrease the dial ratio per agent, logged into the system.
  6. Inbound call can be better dealt with by allowing the customers to wait on hold in an IVR system, or a way to leave a message they'd like a callback while the agent is busy talking with other customers.
  7. Most important benefit of a predictive dialer is it reduces expenses for your company over a period of time since you do not need to buy and deploy a complex and sometimes extremely expensive PBX system. Your company will experience return of investment (ROI) in a period of six to twelve months.
  8. A predictive dialing system can effortlessly fit into your companies existing infrastructure since it is software controlled.
  9. The call routing logic and the contact management is all included in one software package. Your call routing logic implemented as per your specifications. Since it is a software package it can easily be upgraded even if you are located remotely with the help of internet.
  10. Provides an added cost effective method of managing the client database by giving the user of the predictive system ability to rework your database on previous call results.

    1. only redial records which were busy, no answers and answering machines
    2. Delete records which are bad numbers, disconnected numbers or operator intercepts
  11. Do a real time look up against the do not call database saving the predictive dialer user from accidentally calling people who have enrolled in the do National not call registry. This saves the company from lawsuits and others risks conforming to all legal statutes and FCC complaints.
  12. Provides progressive dialing capabilities like call blending which means handling inbound and outbound call at the same time.
  13. Provides ability to integrate call recording devices and call monitoring interfaces which helps call center supervisors to train agents and users and improve their customer support skills.
  14. Easy to setup and learn the predictive dialer logic and software tools.

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