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New FCC Telemarketing Rules Will Dramatically Affect How Predictive Dialers are Used

Those who use predictive dialers, a computer-based dialing system that has the ability to quickly make multiple outbound calls, must already adhere to multiple rules and regulations and on Feb. 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) added some new rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which will combine the FCC’s regulations for prerecorded telemarketing with rules the Federal Trade Commission (FTC (News - Alert)) released some years ago.

Now mandating that prior written signed consent be in place for prerecorded telemarketing, automated opt-outs are easy to access and text messages are included within the prerecorded telemarketing requirements, the FCC is also making the same prior written signed consent be required for auto or predictive-dialed live agent calls to cell phones, as well as an automated opt-out for “abandoned” live-agent auto/predictive-dialed telemarketing calls to residential lines and cell phones required, according to a recent article.

 In years earlier, the FTC allowed banks and other financial companies to place prerecorded telemarketing calls, however now with these much stricter FCC rules all companies must meet these rigorous standards. One thing to note: the new FCC rules do not affect non-telemarketing calls including political messaging, informational and customer care calls, debt collection, etc.

Becoming effective in March or April 2013, the FCC is enforcing that a consumer consent in writing to receive prerecorded telemarketing calls. The consent must serve as proof that the consumer received “clear and conspicuous” disclosure of the consequences of providing the requested consent, or in layman’s terms that the consumer is allowing prerecorded calls by or on behalf of a seller to be made to them in the future; they are in full agreement that they can receive these type of calls at the number provided. In addition, the consent must not have anything to do with buying a good or service, as they must be distinctly separate.

The new FCC rules will definitely impact the predictive dialer industry, as these systems are blocked from completing these calls without “prior express consent” from the intended party being received. For residential lines however, although the TCPA and FCC rules limit the use of a prerecorded voice solution, it doesn’t encompass auto/predictive dialer equipment.

Companies that use auto/predictive dialers to place live-agent sales calls and that allow their equipment to abandon some calls (up to three percent) will have to alter their systems so the recorded message that plays includes an automated opt-out. This must start to take place within 90 days of the rules taking effect.

Predictive dialers boast a variety of capabilities including setting times to call back a potential customer, offering reminders, delivering emails and transferring calls. How will these new rules affect the frequency in which they are used when these mandates officially kick off? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin
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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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