Predictive Dialer Featured Article

Predictive Dialers Help Outbound Sales Organizations Reduce Cost per Call Metrics

If you engage in outbound marketing via telephone, you’re a member of a brave and elite group. While the pitfalls of outbound telemarketing are many – regulation and fear of fines have driven off many outbound telephone marketers – the rewards are high, as many organizations have known for some time.

While nearly every call center engages in measuring metrics, outbound call/sales centers have some different metrics to keep track of: cost per call, and cost per sale. Essentially, it’s a way to determine, based on the cost of your campaign and the number of sales it produces, how much each call cost you as well as how much each sale cost you.

According to a recent TMCnet article, cost per call is determined by dividing the agent’s hourly pay rate by the number of calls an agent handles per hour. For example, if the agent handles 15 calls in one hour, and she makes $12 an hour, her resulting cost per call for that hour is $0.80. Cost per sale involves applying the same general formula to how much an agent sells in that hour.

The best way to improve your cost per call and cost per sale figures is to connect your inside sales personnel or call center agents with customers as quickly as possible. Manual dialing from lists or databases slows the process down – waiting for the call to ring and then hanging up when an answering machine picks up or there is no answer -- and becomes a drag on cost per call and cost per sale metrics. Many sales organizations choose to boost productivity using dialer technology.

While it was a very different creature decades ago, a dialer today is simply software programmed to call a predetermined group of numbers. When a customer picks up a call, the dialer connects the live agent or sales person to the customer. Essentially, a dialer can ensure that all of a sales person or call center agent’s time is spent speaking with customers.

The term “predictive dialer” is used for a more sophisticated type of dialer that uses complex algorithms to determine when an agent or salesperson will be available and how many calls it might take to get a live customer on the line. The goal is to further reduce downtime and match customers with available agents with a minimum of time lost, and a minimum of number of “abandoned calls,” or calls on which a customer has answered the phone, but no agent is available to help him or her.

Predictive dialer solutions, such as the SpitFire Enterprise Predictive (SEP) from OPC Marketing, quickly and automatically place outbound calls and connect the answered calls to available agents or sales personnel. SEP, which can connect to a call center or sales organization’s CRM solution, monitors the call center’s volume and time per call, intelligently adjusting its dial rate to minimize the time agents spend waiting between conversations as well as the hold time for callers.

Sophisticated algorithms will speed up or slow down the call rate based on a number of factors, including the number of available agents, number of available lines, the campaign's average call time and other statistical information.

With a predictive dialer, not only can companies boost the productivity of their outbound campaigns, but they can ensure they are remaining compliant with state and federal regulations and avoid fines, raising the value of outbound telemarketing.

Edited by Blaise McNamee
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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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