From offering products and promotions to responding to customers and conducting surveys, automatic dialers are necessary for businesses and organizations. As the name implies, an auto-dialer is electronic software that dials telephone numbers on a database chronologically. While commonly associated with call center firms, auto dialer software is a must-have for companies handling high-value voice calls, such as customer service, sales, and debt collection.
This article explains what an auto-dialer system is, how it works, and the advantages and downsides of using it for your business.
How does an auto-dialer work?
An auto-dialer system enables your business to make calls automatically via dialer software, streamlining business processes. Companies will have to input a contact database or list to the system to make these high-volume outbound calls. Additionally, the system can perform the following:
- Leave pre-recorded voice messages, also called voice mails or voice broadcasts, so you don’t need to deploy a high number of staff members.
- Use both pre-recorded and actual voices to add a human touch.
- Forward calls to an available agent for efficient call queueing.
- Configure keypads to provide appropriate services per customer’s response to prompts. This is also called outbound interactive voice response.
- Schedule appointments or send custom messages to remind clients about these appointments or urgent alerts and notifications.
Some call centers use a closely related software called predictive dialer. Apart from performing these functions, it can also screen unavailable numbers and advise callers when the next available call center agent can accommodate the call.
Types of auto-dialing technologies
There are four types of auto dialing technologies commonly used by businesses and organizations.
- Preview dialer: This allows agents to check the contact’s information before calling. This makes customization of marketing and customer service deliveries possible. This solution is also better for debt collectors.
- Voice broadcasting: Often called ‘robocalling,’ this technology uses a pre-recorded voice message to communicate with the client. Most survey firms use this to collect data.
- Progressive dialer: This technology, also called power dialers, is capable of making automatic calls. Once a live caller picks up, the system routes it to an agent for further communication. Telemarketing and similar campaigns, including follow-up calls, will benefit from this technology
- Predictive dialer: As the name suggests, this technology senses agent availability and adjusts dialing rates accordingly. This works best if you wish to optimize your dial rate.
Businesses that need auto dialer software
Auto-dialers are helpful for your company if it needs to make a high volume of calls to a broad audience daily. That’s why they’re suited for call centers that handle technical support and other forms of customer service. Automatic dialer software is also a must-have for telemarketers when offering new products, discounts, and promotions to new and existing customers. Debt collection agencies who need to call individuals several times a day also need them to facilitate better payment recovery processes.
Organizations such as charities and non-profits can use auto-dialers in conjunction with sending costly mails to ask for donations. Similarly, political parties and survey firms can use this to contact voters and participants to carry out research activities.
Pros and cons of using an auto dialer software
The businesses and organizations mentioned earlier often receive flak for making unsolicited calls, mainly when used in telemarketing for small businesses. However, digital dialer software provides several functions that offer numerous benefits for your growing business and clients.
Advantages of an Auto Dialer Software
Minimize customer’s waiting times
In today’s world, where everything must be done in an instant, businesses must act swiftly to customer queries, concerns, and complaints. An automatic dialer software notifies customers when a representative can attend to the call. This means they’ll have the option to hold or prefer a callback once an agent is free.
Increase agents’ productivity
An automatic dialer software uses algorithms to predict the best time to dial another number while the agent is almost done with the initial call. That’s because it uses advanced voice detection solutions that provide information on the best time to forward a call to a live operator. The result? Your staff can quickly jump from one call to another, increasing productivity and reducing idle time. Additionally, this application can route calls to any available team, ensuring there are no unanswered calls.
Since an auto dialing software can filter numbers, for instance, fax lines and disconnected phone numbers, it only connects your business and agents to actual persons who can pick up the call and engage with your business.
Real-time performance monitoring and reporting
This software can provide the management with an overview of the operations in real-time. You can compare your key performance indicators (KPIs) with the actual performance of your agent individually or as a group, and check for gaps. In addition to ensuring your agents have enough on their plate, auto-dialer software also enables you to check whether your staff are doing a great job or need some improvement. You can then perform the necessary actions for improvement.
Enhance lead generation efforts
Making high-volume calls can help your business snag potential customers, otherwise known as leads. Besides customer referral programs, businesses can pre-program their auto-dialers to facilitate the collection of customer information, as long as they agree to such activity.
By pressing the keypads of the phone, a customer who seeks your products for the first time can have their information transmitted to you. With the initial customer data already stored in your system, the conversation about your product can continue when a live agent is available.
Helps increase conversion
Conversion refers to the stage where a lead or prospect performs specific actions favorable to the company, such as subscribing to a newsletter or making a purchase. Every business must strive to increase its conversion rates to grow its revenues.
Despite the digital age, the human voice is necessary for providing marketers with meaningful interactions with prospects. Because agents’ talk times are optimized, they can also explain the offer to clients concisely, easing their doubts and questions about the call’s legitimacy.
Tweaking some auto dialer software is possible to provide customized interactions. For instance, a preview dialer, which allows agents access to the lead’s identity, enables personalized sales pitches or customer service and support.
Encourage staff retention
Keeping the staff happy should be a priority for businesses, being that the process of hiring a new employee is a costly undertaking. According to a paper released by the Global Call Center Research Network, the cost of replacing one agent costs 16% of the annual gross income of one call center agent. Additionally, the company spends up to four months’ regular employee’s salary to replace a new staff member.
By making the staff members feel valued and rewarded for their hard work, a business can prevent costly employee turnover. Using an auto-dialing machine not only eases their workload but also increases their productivity, allowing them to earn higher commissions and bonuses.
Improve business operations efficiency
A digital dialing app ensures that calls are made only to working numbers and people who can potentially transact with your business. As such, your staff will no longer waste time calling non-working numbers, phone in use, and voicemails. In addition, an automated dialing app can improve the delivery of services and streamline overall business operations.
Downsides of a digital dialer software
Despite its numerous benefits, using the software has a few downsides that businesses will have to prepare for, like the following:
Can’t solve staff shortage issues
Automatic dialing software uses algorithms to forward a call to the next available live representative. The system initiates another call after detecting that another agent is about to hang up. While this can cut your agents’ idle time and increase productivity with this pre-programmed feature, it won’t solve the lack of workforce.
If your call center is understaffed, customers will still spend a substantial amount of time waiting to be accommodated. This means you still need to hire more agents to run a successful campaign—be it marketing, sales, credit collection, and other activities.
Prone to technical issues
Like other types of software, an automated dialer may and will experience technical glitches, especially the apps that come with less advanced technologies. Being a machine, it may mistake a pre-recorded voicemail message from a caller’s device as an actual voice response. As such, the system will forward the call to a live agent who’ll belatedly discover that the system’s voice recognition technology made a mistake. Newer models, however, have better technologies that eliminate such issues.
Potential algorithm failures
Other than failing to distinguish between a human and a machine greeting, a digital dialing software may experience algorithm issues that negatively impact call queueing. For instance, predictive algorithms can determine when a live agent is about to hang up to optimize agent call times. However, the algorithm isn’t designed to validate if the agent is ready to take the next call or whether the prospect is still on the line. This means the system may inadvertently include a dropped call in the call queueing list.
In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission requires telemarketers to acquire written consent from consumers before contacting them using ‘robocalling’ technology. Additionally, recipients must be allowed to opt out of the call or tell companies that they don’t want to receive such calls.
An automated dialing software can streamline your business operations by increasing productivity and cutting costs. Since there are a few options on the market, an enterprise must consider their customers, resources, campaign type, and the applicable rules—alongside the pros and cons discussed in this article—to make the right choice.