Predictive Dialer Featured Article

Is Dialer Technology to Blame in Recent Caribbean Cruise Line Case?

Both predictive and auto dialers are commonly used in campaigns looking to contact a large amount of people in a very short period of time. While these technological innovations can slash costs while simultaneously drive efficiency, there are numerous laws governing the use of these products that must be adhered to at all times. In certain cases, companies disregard these strict mandates only to find themselves facing harsh fines or even worse, having to deal with a lawsuit.

It looks like this is exactly what happened recently when the Caribbean Cruise Line as well as the Economic Strategy Group were brought to court, facing allegations that claimed “the defendants made or caused unsolicited calls on their cellular phones using auto-dialing technology or artificial or prerecorded voices, in violation of TCPA,” according to a recent article featured on Lexology. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has continued to evolve with the times, and just last year, it was revised to encompass laws to protect consumers against receiving an overwhelming amount of robocalls on their cell phones.

In the suit, proponents alleged that they received multiple calls that were said to be made in regards to a political survey, when really, the “survey” was nothing more than a ruse to get people to book a cruise. Defendants are now denying these viscous accusations, attempting in three ways to get this case dismissed.

The article added, “First, defendants argued that plaintiffs failed to distinguish the role played by each defendant in the alleged calls. The claim that the companies ‘acted in concert’ was sufficient to dismiss this concern, according to the court. Second, defendants claimed that liability under TCPA can only attach to the party that actually placed the call. On the contrary, the court stated that Congress would not intend to allow a seller of a product or service to insulate itself from liability by hiring a third party to make calls in violation of TCPA. Third, defendants argued that the FCC (News - Alert) has exempted political surveys from coverage under TCPA.”

 When looking more closely at the third notion, a federal judge referred to this item as a "non-starter," basically meaning that it was unlawful for the supposed survey to be conducted using a dialer that powers any type of prerecorded voice.

While it is still too early to see who will ultimately win this likely expensive and time-intensive lawsuit, it is key that businesses remain informed and up-to-date on what constitutes compliance with the TCPA.

One company that sees this as a priority is SpitFire, a Texas-based team that always remains at the forefront of highly flexible and easy to use call center products. In fact, its Enterprise Predictive Dialer powers algorithms that can automatically ramp up and slow down the number of calls made in a set period of time based on variables such as the number of available agents, number of available lines, the campaign's average call time and other statistical information. Campaign settings can be personalized in order to adhere to regulations according to each state in addition to federal.

“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,” company officials added.

Although selecting the best dialer for your individual needs is crucial to the future success of your firm, ensuring that you are following the rules within this space is just as important if not more so. Hey, even with the best product in hand, if you are constantly being sued and forking over fines, it is likely you won’t remain in business for very long.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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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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