Auto Diallers Explained: What Are They Used For?

Dialling with a business telephone system

An auto dialler is a type of software that can automatically dial a list of phone numbers, enabling your business to place more calls in less time. Auto diallers are essential tools if you have a call centre phone system, but they can also be great for improving the productivity of a small sales or customer service team.

In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about auto diallers, including their key features and how they work, so you can decide if this software is right for your business.

What Is an Auto Dialler?

An auto dialler is a type of software that integrates with your VoIP phone system. It takes a list of phone numbers and calls them one by one. This saves your team time they would otherwise spend dialling numbers, plus it eliminates dialling errors.

Auto diallers are used in a wide range of industries, including sales, hospitality, customer service, education, and healthcare. For example, in the education system, auto diallers can automatically call parents to let them know schools will be closed for the day due to weather.

How Does Auto Dialler Software Work?

To use an auto dialler, you’ll need a list of phone numbers. In many cases, this is a list of phone numbers for customers or sales leads.

The auto dialler will begin by calling the first number on the list. If the call recipient picks up, the auto dialler will connect them to a live agent or an interactive voice response, which is a type of pre-recorded message that allows people to share information without speaking to an agent.

When the call ends, the auto dialler will automatically resume and dial the next number on the list. If a call goes to voicemail or returns a busy signal, the auto dialler will automatically hang up and dial the next number. This will continue until the auto dialler reaches the end of the list or it’s turned off.

Types of Auto Diallers

Several types of auto diallers work slightly differently in how and when they place calls.

  • Progresssive dialler: This basic type of auto dialler only initiates a call to the next number when an agent is available to get on the line. Progressive diallers are commonly used by small sales and customer service teams.
  • Predictive diallers: An advanced type of auto dialler frequently used by call centres. They use algorithms to gauge when call centre agents will be available, and initiate calls proactively to reduce the amount of downtime agents have between calls. Predictive diallers can sometimes call multiple numbers simultaneously.
  • Preview diallers: These give agents a chance to review a customer’s information before the auto dialler initiates a call. For instance, the agent can decide to skip a number after reviewing a customer record. Preview diallers are often used in sales because they enable agents to have more personalised conversations.

6 Key Auto Dialler Features

Here are some of the key features to look for when considering auto dialling software.

CRM Integration

Using CRM and auto dialling software together is a powerful combination. Your CRM software can help you segment customers into calling lists, and then export those lists to your auto dialler so your agents can start making calls.
In addition, if your auto dialler is connected to your CRM, it can automatically fetch a customer’s record from your CRM to display to your agent. This is an essential feature of preview diallers, but it’s also important for progressive and predictive diallers since agents have more information about who they’re speaking with.

Answering Machine Detection

Auto diallers should be able to automatically detect when the voice on the other end of the line is a recorded answering machine message rather than a live person. Your agents should be able to configure the auto dialler so that when it detects an answering machine, it either hangs up immediately or transfers the call to the agent to leave a message.

Time Zone Management

Time zone management is a basic, but crucial feature that ensures your agents aren’t accidentally calling leads around the world in the middle of the night. Your auto dialler will automatically calculate what time it is in the recipient’s time zone, and skip over their number if it’s outside the acceptable calling hours you set.

Callback Scheduling

Not every contact will pick up on your first call. Your auto dialler can automatically add numbers that didn’t pick up to a callback list, which it will call at a time you schedule in the future.

Unproductive Number Detection

Unproductive number detection is a useful feature that allows you to weed out bad phone numbers from your contacts list. Unproductive numbers could be phone numbers that are disconnected, that go to a fax machine, or that simply never pick up after repeated calls.

Most auto diallers let you set custom rules for when a phone number should be considered unproductive and removed from your lists.

Analytics Dashboard

Good auto diallers should provide detailed insights into your calling activity, including how many calls your team is making per hour and what percentage of calls are being answered. This data can help you determine whether your lead generation tactics are resulting in high-quality contacts. It can also help you find the best times to call your customers or leads.

How Auto Dialler Software Could Benefit Your Company

Auto diallers can dramatically enhance the throughput of your call centre or sales team and help you stay in touch with your customers. Let’s take a closer look at the most important benefits of using an auto dialler:

  • Increased productivity: Auto diallers eliminate the need for your agents to dial numbers manually and reduce downtime between calls. This means your team can make more calls every hour without the need to hire more agents and make call centre management easier.
  • More sales: The more calls your sales team makes, the more leads they can reach and the more likely they are to speak with leads who are interested in buying from your business.
  • Better customer engagement: An auto dialler makes it easier to reach your customers by phone and helps your agents have more personalised conversations, which is great for keeping customers engaged with your business and boosting repeat sales.
  • Insights into your leads: Call analytics data can help you decide the best time to contact your leads and help determine if they’re high-quality.
  • Automated data collection: If you use an auto dialler to share an interactive voice response message, you can collect data from leads and customers without involving live agents at all. This is especially helpful for conducting customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Regulatory compliance: Auto dialling software can be configured to ensure you comply with Ofcom rules (these govern how businesses must manage automated calls in the UK).

Auto Dialler Considerations

There are a few points to keep in mind when using an auto dialler.

Ensure Agents Are Available

There’s nothing more frustrating for a lead than receiving a call from your business and being put on hold until an agent becomes available. This can happen if you use predictive dialling software since its predictions about when agents will be available aren’t always perfectly accurate.
However, you’ll never face this problem if you use progressive or preview diallers since these diallers require agents to be available before a call is placed.

Voice Recognition Isn’t Perfect

Auto diallers use voice recognition technology to determine when an answering machine has picked up a call. Sometimes, the software can be tricked into thinking an answering machine message is a live person, and it will pass the call onto an agent. Although this wastes a little time, it typically won’t have a major impact on your team’s productivity.

Avoid Calling Customers Repeatedly

If a lead or customer is on multiple dialling lists your company uses, they could receive multiple auto dialler calls. It’s a good idea to cross-reference your dialling lists to ensure customers aren’t inundated with calls from your business.


Auto dialling software can help your sales and customer service teams be more productive. It’s a great way to connect with more leads or engage your customers. Auto dialling software is easy to use and offers a wide range of features to give you complete control over your calls.

Many of the best business VoIP providers in the UK offer auto dialling software, as do some sales CRM platforms. Contact your VoIP or CRM provider today to start using auto diallers at your business.


Are auto diallers legal?
Auto diallers are legal in the UK, but businesses must follow certain rules set by Ofcom. This includes a rule that if a call is abandoned more than two seconds after the recipient picks up, your auto dialler must play a message identifying your business before hanging up.
How much does auto dialler software cost?
Auto dialler software prices vary widely, but expect to pay around £25 to £100 per agent per month. Some VoIP providers have call centre plans with discounted pricing for a large number of agents.
What do I need to use an auto dialler?
To use an auto dialler, your business will need a list of phone numbers and a VoIP phone system. It can be very helpful to integrate your auto dialler with a CRM platform so that agents can get more information about the people they’re calling.
Written by:
Eamonn is an experienced B2B writer and content manager, having managed and grown several B2B business blogs in the fitness and hospitality space.