Predictive Dialer Featured Article

OPC Marketing Kick Starts the Economy by Bringing Customer Service Back to the U.S.

The offshoring of services and talents seems to have failed miserably --the economic realities of customer service in a company’s business plan should be one of the more important things to focus on-- not an after thought, or a way to find the cheapest solution based purely on cost.

According to OPC Marketing, a manufacturer of the award-winning SPITFIRE brand Predictive Dialer and AutoDialer solutions, companies need to bring their attention back to the U.S. and start their own in-house call center with a predictive dialer instead of thinking offshore.
How many failed banks and insurance firms will close their doors due to partially to offshore customer service practices that turned off the average U.S. customer?
OPC Marketing is familiar with the frustrations of dealing with overseas customer service agents, which for them, has been nothing short of a nightmare. It took the company six months (24 weeks) to resolve an insurance claim with a well-known retailer after countless phone calls and e-mails; offshore customer service had passed the buck. If the well-known retailer did not use offshore customer service agents with little or no authority, the claim might have been solved in less than two weeks. 

OPC Marketing was finally able to file its claim after contacting the well-known retailer’s CEO directly (based in the U.S.), resulting in a 4-day turnaround. How many CEO’s have the time to deal with issues like this? I bet they are not receiving these reports on offshore performance until it’s too late.
This type of customer service practice makes everyone hesitant to do business with the many companies that use offshore agents. Besides the language barrier between the customer and the agent, oftentimes, the agents know little to nothing about the products or service their company offers and how those products impact people’s daily lives. In an effort to avoid a repeat situation, OPC Marketing purchased the replacement product online instead of walking into the well-known retailer’s brick and mortar store.
To gain customer confidence and loyalty, customer service needs to be brought back to the U.S., a place where the trend is gaining momentum.
A recent DialAmerica study found that among 24 major U.S. companies that outsource over $300 million in customer acquisition and customer care, 79 percent of respondents said they were very likely or somewhat likely to change their teleservices outsourcer in the next year. 
Some of the other overwhelming facts the study uncovered included:
-- 94 percent said outsourcers should have business experience in their industry sector.
-- 95 percent said that outsourcers must understand the rules and regulations of their industry.
-- 91 percent said it was important that outsourcers have an impeccable compliance record.
-- 41 percent said they were very dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with the performance of their offshore teleservices vendor.
Customer service is much more complicated than what it has been given credit for in the past. Moreover, cultures outside the U.S. have not "Been on Main Street" so their life experience does not relate to this customer base. In the end, the customer calling inbound looks for a way to relate somehow to the agent on the other end, who will hopefully resolve their issue and will get a beneficial outcome in the end, resulting in customer loyalty.

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart
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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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