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Predictive Dialer: New Website Allows Users to Listen Legally to Outbound Voicemail Messages from Any U.S. Cell Phone Number

The predictive dialer industry is sometimes talked about negatively due to unwanted calls being made to prospective customers. A just launched website designed by a Los Angeles private investigator has ignited flames from people who are in fear of their privacy being infringed upon due to the fact that the site gives users the ability to listen to any outgoing voicemail message from any U.S.-based cell phones they desire. 

The website, Spy Dialer, is a completely free service to use, but at what cost to the freedom the American citizens?

"It's a tool to protect the privacy of someone who wants to know who a cell phone number belongs to without having to speak to someone they may not want to," Robert Scott, the creator of the website said in a statement. "For example, a parent may see some texts they don't like on their teenager's phone. They want to know who's sending the texts but they don't want to necessarily talk to the person. Spy Dialer lets them anonymously listen to the outgoing voicemail message of the phone number to hear whose phone it is."

A press release detailed that the just launched site uses direct to voicemail technology and can save and then play back the first 10 seconds of the phone number's outbound voicemail message to allow the user to quickly identify who is leaving the message.

The website is already causing a tremendous amount of controversy, prompting posts on Twitter (News - Alert) and other social networking sites to asking if people think this technology is “cool” or just way too invasive. In addition, the topic was even featured on "The Today Show," when a safe-dating expert relayed that Spy Dialer could be utilized as a tool for single women to check out their dates in advance to which Matt Lauer responded, "Now you're starting to creep me out a little bit!"

"The site is privacy sensitive," Scott added. "People have a real and legitimate need to know who's behind a cell phone number for a variety of reasons. Many people can't afford to go to websites that sell this type of information. We offer them a free way to find out and protect their privacy at the same time. Our goal is for Spy Dialer to give people information about unidentified cell numbers in a legal, free and privacy sensitive way. For published landlines, there's free online directory assistance lookups. Until now, for cell phones, they really hasn't been a true free cell search. Now there is."

Scott commented that his company hopes to see the service begin to be used by cell phone companies as a feature that will helps their customers to stop making unwanted calls. "Hey, if I have a missed call on my cell from a number I don't recognize, I'm playing roulette with my time by calling it. It could be a salesman I don't want to talk to or even a wrong number. It would be great to have a built in app on the phone that automatically spy dials the number and works like a free cell number search."

Only time will tell what the future of Spy Dialer holds, but just like any other new technology that has been introduced to the market including predictive dialers, people are sometimes scared of things they don’t have enough information about. Predictive dialers can bring multiple benefits to any organization including getting a customized message out to a large group of people in small period of time at a reduced cost, so let’s just wait and see what kind of advantages Spy Dialer offers before we judge.

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 Rich Steeves
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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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