Both auto and predictive dialers are popular with call centers and telemarketers, who use them to dial multiple parties at the same time.
The technologies have similar functionalities but there are important differences that could factor into which one an organization chooses.
Auto Dialer vs. Predictive Dialer
Before the days of automatic dialing, businesses were required to pay employees to spend hours on the phone, dialing numbers, until someone answered.
Auto dialing can be used to refer to robocalls, where a pre-recorded voicemail message is played to a large number of phone numbers. Its primary use, however, is to initiate a call and ask the person on the other end to press a number to speak to a live agent.
As auto-dialing technology has evolved, firms have found more effective ways to reach customers. With predictive dialing, when the system sees that someone has answered, a representative is alerted and takes the call.
Benefits of Auto and Predictive Dialers
For businesses, there are several benefits to automatic dialing software. The most obvious benefit is that staff members become less reliant on manual dialing. Since the majority of cold calls go to voicemail, automatic dialers can reach a large number of customers at once. This increases efficiency and reduces the number of staff that need to be hired.
Other benefits include:
- With these systems, agents are only alerted when someone is on the line. This either happens as soon as the customer answers or when they press one of the keys on their phone (depending on whether auto or predictive dialers are used). This allows companies to staff highly-skilled sales professionals who spend their valuable time speaking with customers, rather than dialing numbers on a list.
- Sophisticated predictive dialers often connect to data sources, which automates repeat calls to lines that were previously not answered.
- Finding talented marketing professionals can be difficult for call centers. As call systems have evolved, the most sophisticated agents have been able to work in environments that use them. Many of those agents steer clear of organizations that don't use automatic dialers.
- One clear benefit of predictive dialers over auto dialers is that they automatically connect customers to live representatives. A request that the caller press a number to deal with a customer service representative will often result in a hang up. However, if a representative doesn't pick up right away with predictive dialing, the customer could answer the phone to an unexplained silence, which may also prompt the customer to hang up.
There are many software providers offering auto-dialing and predictive-dialing services. Here are a few of the most notable:
- VanillaSoft - VanillaSoft offers various types of dialers that work with VoIP phone lines or legacy phone systems.
- CallFire - This scalable solution can be integrated to work with one agent or thousands, charged at a simple hourly rate.
- Voicent - Voicent's BroadcastByPhone automatically scrubs lists to ensure compliance with the FTC's Do Not Call Complaint list.
- Five9 - Various automatic dialing solutions are available to meet a business's needs.
Automatic Dialing and the Law
There are many consumer protection laws related to sales, including requirements specific to automatic dialing software. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) restricts this software from calling certain types of numbers and devices, including cell phones.
Whether you're making calls manually or using an automatic dialer, you'll be required to comply with restrictions on calling hours and representative identification, as well as avoiding calls to any number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Stiff penalties exist for non-compliance.
To learn more about automatic dialing laws in the US see the following FCC resources:
If your business is considering an automatic or predictive dialing solution, it's important to learn more about the many features and benefits available to ensure you choose the right service.
By staying within the law as it applies to phone solicitations, you'll protect your business while also enjoying the convenience this technology will bring to your call center.