A predictive dialer is a call center dialer that works on a computerized system. Its goal is to automatically dial as many telephone number as possible at once, thereby reducing the burden of manual dialing, and at the same time increasing the productivity. The reason why most call centers today are shifting towards the predictive dialer is because of the productivity and cost effectiveness, on an average a call center agent spends around talking to a live person is only 15 to 20 minutes per hour. Whereas with the help of predictive dialer an agent can have up to 40 to 57 minutes of productive call time per hour. Most importantly, it also screens and eradicates the unwanted calls such as voice mails, fax tones, no answers, etc., and only connects to a live person, ultimately saving a huge amount of time, and increasing productivity to its maximum level.

Advantages

Call centers are generally meant for providing customer support, tech support, etc. however, these are in-bound call centers, wherein the agents receive calls from the customers. Most call centers working around the world are mainly into outbound calls centers business, wherein they make calls to the customer in order to sell or provide services and products. So when a call center employee uses a predictive dialer for outbound calls, the system automatically screens and eliminates unproductive calls such as the answering machines, busy signals, fax machines, no answers, etc. and only connects the caller to the live person. This ultimately reduces the time wasted around unproductive calls, and increases the overall call center productivity by up to 72%.

How it works?

The predictive dialer works on automatic computerized algorithms, and dials many numbers at once, and only the calls that are answered by a live person go through the call center agent. When the call goes through, the agent is able to view the information of the customer on a computer screen. This information includes details such as customer name, address, past call history, and so on.

The predictive dialer allows the agent to “disposition,” or categorize, the calls based on the situation. For instance, if the customer / person who was called is not interested and does not wants to be called again, the agent disposes the call as such that the person will not be called again. Similarly, if the concern person or the decision maker is not available, the agent can dispose the call stating that the concern person is not available, and schedule the callback accordingly. Finally, for a successful call where the person wants to take action, the agent dispositions the call according to the directions for the particular project or campaign.

Disadvantages

Generally there are no as such disadvantages with predictive dialing. Yet there is one flaw, which can be harmful at certain time for both the agents and the person being called, which is call dropped. The reason behind this is because of the fact that predictive dialer dials several phone numbers at once, chances are that if more than one person answers, and only one agent or less number of agents (as compare to that of calls answered) are available, someone is going to get a dropped call. This could be annoying if you are a customer / person being called, and you answer the phone, yet there is no one on the other end. The disadvantage towards the agent is that when an agent dials via manual dialing, the agent can hear the first hello, and can plan his / her pitch accordingly, whereas in predictive dialing the agent cannot hear the first hello, as the call is transferred to the agent only when the person on the other line answers the call. The agent must immediately begin talking without ever hearing a greeting.

Consumer Action

Now when most phones have call ID installed, you can complain about the company making the outbound calls to you if you found it annoying. There are government laws in place that help prevent nuisance calls. You can also register at the Do Not Call Registry, and file a complaint.