Predictive Dialer Featured Article

Debt Collectors and Other Organizations Claim They Need to Use Predictive Dialers to Contact your Cell Phone



Have you ever been in the situation where after a long, hard day’s work you and your family finally sit down for dinner and your home phone rings? You pick it up and quickly realize it’s a debt collection agency letting you know that you are late on your bill. You slam the phone down, return to the table and regret ever answering the phone. Well, this occurrence could greatly increase if written proposals by the White House and Congress are passed which would allow debt collectors and other companies to harass you through your cell phone using predictive dialer technology.


recent article delved deep into the new proposals, revealing that supporters are alleging that current regulations have not kept up with new, emerging technology and have not taken into account the fact that most people no longer have traditional landlines, instead using their cell phones for all of their communication needs. Consumer advocates, however are afraid to allow telemarketers to contact cell phones because it could allow users to be bombarded with countless calls.

"You give them any opportunity to call cell phones, they not only will do what is allowed but what is not allowed," says Lauren Saunders, managing attorney for the National Consumer Law Center in a statement. "This is one of the most abusive industries in the country."

The Consumer advocates' concerns are validated in the fact that the Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints about debt collectors than any other industry, but a change in the law could potentially yield revamped debt-collection laws that would ensure cell phone users are not continuously harassed.

At this current time, debt collectors and other businesses are by law allowed to call cell phones if they manually dial the number, but a large number of businesses use automated dialing systems just as predictive dialers to get in touch with a large amount of people  in a short period of time. If a consumer opts-in however, a business can use a predictive dialer to contact them via their cell phones.

Howard Waltzman, a lawyer representing several business groups seeking to change the law commented that around 40 percent of consumers use a cell phone as their primary or only phone. That percentage is dramatically higher within the 20-30 age groups. Waltzman added, "You're talking about a generation of people who don't have a landline phone."

Waltzman said that groups such as the American Bankers Association and Air Transport Association want to update the law so companies will be able to complete calls to cell phones that would inform customers right away of crucial issues such as suspected fraud or even canceled flights.

He also noted that the proposed change would still ban telemarketers from calling cell phones and that consumers would still be able to select to opt out of calls, the article revealed. Consumer advocates feel that although this idea sounds ok, it could potentially enable telemarketers to gain access to making too many annoying calls to cell phones.


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 Juliana Kenny
 

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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.

    Example:
    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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