Unlocking Efficiency: Predictive Dialers Explained

A predictive dialer is an automatic dialing system that re-routes unanswered calls to the next available agent.This allows businesses that rely on making outbound calls, like call centres, to maximise their targets and increase overall productivity.

The best business VoIP providers are designed to help businesses improve their overall efficiency and will typically offer this as part of their phone system package.

In this guide, we’ll explain what a predictive dialer is, how it works, and whether or not it could benefit your business.

What is a Predictive Dialer?

Predictive dialers will automatically dial numbers from a list of contacts until it finds a connection, this is then routed to an available agent. This intuitive piece of software automatically screens out unanswered calls, voicemails, busy tone signals, and disconnected numbers.

The great thing about a predictive dialer is that it helps businesses prevent idle time and wasted resources because agents don’t need to manually type in phone numbers and wait around for a response. Instead, a phone call will come through to them once the call has been answered.

You’ll find there are also a number of features to help streamline outbound calling, including call monitoring, pacing ratio, and CRM integration. Even though predictive dialers will dial out when no agents are available, this doesn’t mean agents will have overlapping calls. Instead, a pacing ratio is set up and increased or decreased based on factors, like the number of agents available.This helps prevent burnout and means possible clients aren’t left waiting for the call to be picked up by an agent.

We like the efficiency of predictive dialers as filters can be set up to only make calls based on factors like location, time zone, and demographic.

Predictive dialers can be found on PBX phone systems as well as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). However, VoIP systems are a popular choice with businesses as they’re more reliable and cost effective due to the system being run over the internet.

If you’re looking to increase efficiency and manage large volumes of calls, you should consider switching to a digital phone system like VoIP. Predictive dialing is only available on cloud software and, with the big switch off coming in January 2027, landlines will no longer be available, so it’s best to stay one step ahead.

▶ Read more: What is VoIP?

Did You Know?

Businesses can save around 50% by switching to VoIP

How do Predictive Dialers Work?

Predictive dialers use algorithms to determine how and when to place a call to ensure an agent is available to take it.

  • Call Pacing ratio:

Based on factors that include agent status and call list quality, a call pacing algorithm will then calculate how often and how many calls to make. The pacing ratio will try to find the balance between call volume and available agents to streamline outbound calls.

It is worth highlighting that the algorithm also prevents busy agents from being overwhelmed with calls as it can slow down or stop calls going through to agents.

  • Call blending:

This feature combines predictive outbound calls with inbound calls and other forms of communication, such as email, social media, or live chat. Call blending optimises agent wait time and can enhance the customer experience by having interactions occur on one system.

Compliance considerations: 

The use of predictive dialers falls under a regulatory framework set out by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator. Using a predictive dialler is more likely to ensure you stay compliant as having to manually check each contact against the registers and calculate your abandonment rate can be hard to keep track of.

Here are the key compliance considerations:

  • Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Corporate TPS (CTPS): The TPS and CTPS are registers that allow individuals and businesses to opt out of receiving unsolicited marketing calls. To stay compliant, you’ll need to screen phone numbers against these registers and avoid calling anyone who can be found on these registers.
  • Abandoned calls: Abandoned calls are where a call is initiated but an agent isn’t available to take it, and Ofcom has guidelines set out to reduce the number of abandoned calls made by organisations. If your business has a high abandonment rate, you could face a fine.

The Benefits of Using Predictive dialers:

You can expect heightened efficiency, increased call volumes, and detailed reporting, below we will list these and other key benefits it will offer your business:

  • Increased agent productivity:

 With predictive dialing, agents don’t have to manually make calls, wait around for an answer, and potentially sit through hours of unanswered calls. Instead, they’ll only receive calls that have been answered so they can use their time and your dime efficiently.

  • Enhanced call centre performance and conversion rates: 

Your business will only deal with answered calls allowing you to effectively follow up on tickets, queries, or leads. If you use call blending, some or all of your agents can take outbound calls from the predictive dialers as well as deal with inbound calls and other forms of communication, like emails. This helps your agents swiftly and easily follow through with customer interactions.

  • Compliance and regulatory adherence:

There are compliance considerations to take into account when outbound calling. Using a predictive dialler means you can easily screen a list of contacts for individuals who have chosen to opt out of receiving unsolicited marketing calls. Without a predictive dialler, your agents would have to manually screen each contact before making a call, which is both time consuming and opens up the possibility for compliance breaches.

  • Integration with CRM systems for streamlined workflows:

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems can be integrated with cloud phone systems that provide predictive dialing. CRM systems help businesses manage customer data and, when integrated with predictive dialing, you can provide contacts with a smooth and efficient service as their information will automatically pull up on the screen during your conversation. Once you’re done with the call, you can easily follow up, make notes, or link a task to the contact. All of this information will be available to the next agent who speaks to them.

Which Industries Could Use a Predictive Dialler?

If your business makes outbound calls, you’ll also benefit from using a predictive dialer. Predictive dialers are typically used in call centres and debt collection companies, but can also be found in the following industries:

  • Telemarketing and sales: Telemarketers and sales agents won’t have to waste time waiting for leads, and can instead devote their energy to answered calls put through to them by the dialler. The time saved can also be spent doing follow-ups, while integrated software (like a CRM system) will make it easier to see a lead all the way through to the sale.
  • Debt collection and financial services: With predictive dialing, agents in these industries can receive calls that have been filtered based on factors that include payment history, debt amount, and potential risks, allowing them to focus on the most important calls.
  • Customer support and contact centres: Agents can focus on resolving customer queries instead of spending time manually calling customers. This way, customers receive an efficient and reliable service as there are enough resources available for their queries to be resolved.
Verdict

Verdict

Businesses looking to improve their outbound calling productivity and efficiency should invest in a VoIP phone system that offers predictive dialing.

Predictive dialing filters through calls based on predetermined criteria and provides agents with high-quality calls to leads, customers, or contacts. Your agents won’t waste time making manual calls and can rather focus on resolving customer queries, following up on sales leads, or other important tasks.

Your business can save money and maximise resources through the use of predictive dialing. However, there are a few disadvantages linked to predictive dialing, and this includes increased burnout as agents may not have enough time in-between each call. The good news is that this can be mitigated by simply amending the call ratio if your agents experience this.

If you’re ready to implement a predictive dialler, you can use our free quote comparison tool. We just need a few brief details about your business and we’ll match you with a VoIP phone system. You’ll then be contacted by trusted suppliers with obligation-free quotes.

FAQs

What is the difference between a predictive dialler and other dialing systems?
Predictive dialing takes away the manual aspect of calling contacts and, when compared to auto dialers, it uses algorithms to predict when an agent is available to take the call, reducing dropped or abandoned calls.
Are predictive dialers suitable for small businesses?
Yes, predictive dialers are suitable for small businesses if you make a large number of outbound calls as it will increase productivity and efficiency. Check out our guide to the best phone systems for small businesses.
How does a predictive dialler help improve agent productivity?
Predictive dialers help improve agent productivity by reducing idle time so agents can focus solely on answering calls and dealing with queries or leads.
What compliance regulations should be considered when using a predictive dialer?
Contacts have to be screened via the TPS and CTPS registers, and you’ll need to make sure that you don’t have a high abandonment rate as this could lead to an OFCOM fine.
Can predictive dialers integrate with CRM systems?
Yes, predictive dialers can integrate with CRM systems so you can easily follow through with customer-related tasks.
Which VoIP provider offers predictive dialler functionality?
VoIP providers that offer predictive dialing include RingCentral, 8×8, and Dialpad.
Written by:
Zara Chechi
Zara is a Payments Expert, specialising in writing about Point of Sale systems. With a Law Degree from City University of London, she has used her legally-honed research and analytical skills to develop expertise in the Business Services world. Featured in FinTech Magazine, she quickly became an expert in payroll, POS systems, and merchant accounts.