Predictive Dialer Featured Article

Should Analytics Take the Place of Experienced Human Intelligence?



For a number of customer service departments, the use of the predictive dialer helps to make the calling floor much more efficient. The dialer can complete many more calls in any given hour than the live service rep plugging numbers in manually. Plus, the predictive dialer can anticipate when the next agent will be available and will route the call accordingly. This is great for streamlined productivity, but does it set the pace for a heavier reliance on analytics that ignores the industry experts?


A recent post on the Midsize Insider took an interesting look at this phenomenon from a sports perspective. Professionals players with the National Basketball Association (NBA) tend to find life after the game working for their favorite or former teams as talent advisers. They bring considerable experience and knowledge to the organization and it gives them a way to use their talents after their bodies can no longer keep pace with the younger players.

What these professionals do not possess, however, is the ability to statistically determine how well a player will perform. They can look at past performance, athletic stamina and skill set on the court, but they can’t use statistical analysis to make a data-driven recommendation. As a result, a number of teams are turning to young experts who are trained in the art and science of analytics.

As most new ball team owners tend to come from the financial world, they are more comfortable with numbers than the game itself. These owners then put analytic-minded individuals in place to run the organization and they use techniques that are familiar to them, producing a new comfort level that often has no room for the former star of the sport.

A similar trend is happening within the midsize IT department. Executives are more focused on the role of technology investments when examining the return on investment. In the process, they are turning to predictive analytics techniques and analytics experts to get the insight they need to make decisions. For the IT manager, they question whether or not these decisions are sound enough for the business at hand.

But there’s always been a problem with relying on the numbers alone and ignoring the inside experts who can contribute their own unique knowledge. For instance, if you assume that every smartphone owner only wants to be communicated with via text, you’re missing an important opportunity to send an email or deliver a special offer through a favorite app.

The predictive dialer is used to streamline an important process, but the human agent delivers the most value during the interaction. He or she picks up on the nuances of the conversation and makes split decisions on how best to handle the customer’s request, taking into account their level of satisfaction or frustration and responding accordingly.

Analytics is important as it provides valuable information in any setting. But it must be coupled with forethought and experience if it is to deliver actionable intelligence. To that end, sports teams need to start recruiting retired players once again to bring that level of knowledge not found anywhere but on the court. 


Edited by Rory J. Thompson
 

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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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