Predictive Dialer Featured Article

Win-Win in Politics Starts with Predictive Dialers



If predictive dialers can go after delinquent utilities customers, warn people of impending natural disaster and entice pro basketball fans to buy tickets for home games, why can't they woo undecided voters?
 
According to reporter Nick Paranjape, Memphis Light Gas and Water is "stepping up its efforts to collect more than $5 million from customers who haven't paid their bills in more than 90 days."
 
A utility official involved with the collection told Paranjape that "We expect our customers to contact us by telephone and then we will also use our predictive dialer to make customer contact to request payments."
 
And in the face of looming disasters such as hurricanes, predictive dialers, as TMC's (News - Alert) own Stefania Viscusi wrote last summer, "provide an effective way to communicate quickly to phones and cell phones to warn residents of the dangers they face."
 
With a predictive dialer or a HYBRID dialer, Viscusi wrote, "alerts to first responders, government officials and those critical in these situations are possible. Pre-recorded notifications such as detailed directions about where to go or not to go, how to get medical help, shelter and other safety instructions are all vital in these situations."
 
And officials of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA franchise were looking for ways to put more rears in seats in their snazzy new $250 million FedExForum, which has, according to Dennis O’Connor, Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service for the Memphis Grizzlies, "over 18,000 seats to sell for each game. We need to be creative to entice fans to fill up the arena."
 
So the team had rookie forward Rudy Gay record an audio message inviting fans to games with special promotions. The message was delivered to a database of 6,000 fans that had purchased single-game tickets over the past year. The team sold 1,500 tickets, resulting in $33,000 in sales with that one call campaign, which cost $650 to make, more than enough to purchase a dialer system.
 
Predictive dialers make sure someone's answering before they have the agent pick up the call and can be targeted to specific calling criteria -- has led some to think they would help a politician contact registered voters. The success of such predictive dialing efforts – are one of the new tactics used by today’s savvy politicians.
 
Outbound phone commercials -- be sure to check the numbers against the Do Not Call list, all eager beavers out there -- can assist election campaigns by helping increase voter turnout, enhance fundraising and implement opinion polls; such applications are available in a good political broadcasting package. How many times has any Politician called you to ask for your support? I bet most of the time you received political junk mail but no phone call follow-up.
 
A politician can create a hotline to take a poll or talk to voters, and a smart database decision can be tweaked to contact only registered voters living in certain districts. As politicians are borrowing more and more of the useful practices from sales and advertising in getting their message across to voters, using predictive dialing techniques is a natural step in improving the control and efficiency of their phone efforts. It actually maybe more cost effective than any other medium, saving the funds in the political war chest and helping last minute voters make up their mind on how to vote in close races.
 
As one political campaign expert said, predictive dialing helps in placing your message with a voter who actually votes and researching which precincts have the highest voter turnout -- "don't waste your campaign dollars in areas that have little or zero voter turn out." Politicians can use their time and money to sway undecided voters and encourage their supporters to actually get off the couch and go vote for a common cause.
 
Christa Heibel of CH Consulting LLC wrote on TMC last November that politicians are taking advantage of the technology: "Targeted lists and traditional predictive dialing technology are still used to conduct live telemarketing, but now these strategies are augmented by auto calls. Pre-recorded messaging is a cost effective way to reach a large audience in a short period of time increasing voter awareness and improving get out the vote efforts."
 
And there can even be some creativity:
 
"Friends, this is Mitt Romney, and when's the last time Massachusetts has had a president? You know, I can't remember either, probably somebody like John Adams, but hey, how about a Republican from Massachusetts? Neh-vuh! That's why I'm running for…"
 
You, uh, get the idea. John Adams used word of mouth, maybe the next president will use a Predictive dialer to get elected, and then use it to get feed back from “WE THE PEOPLE”.
 
David Sims is contributing editor for TMCnet. For more articles please visit David Sims’ columnist page.
 
 

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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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