There is always a lot of consternation in the industry over auto dialing and all its variations. We’re going to try and help you figure out what is what and whether you need to use them. The goal is to help you make better decisions on what software to use and how to really maximize your campaigns.
No Dialer: As the name implies. The actual dialing is performed manually by the caller. This is probably the slowest way to make calls… but as you will read in the when to use section, it can still be an okay method in certain scenarios.
Click 2 Call or Preview Dialing: This method waits for the caller to click on a dial button, and will then automatically dial the call for the caller. Depending on the type of the dialer it will also record results such as the number was busy or disconnected. This allows the caller to do a little bit of homework on the prospect they are dialing before calling them.
Power Dialer: The caller will login and let the system know that he/she is available to start receiving calls. The system will dial calls based on which call list or campaign the manager has assigned them to. As soon as the system detects that someone has picked up the phone on the other end they will connect the caller to them. This can create a time lag.
Predictive Dialer: A type of an auto-dialer where the system is trying to minimize the time a caller is waiting to be connected to the next call.
Auto or Robo Dialer: Is used when you want to leave a prerecorded message to your list of prospects. There is no human interaction other than the prospect gets to hear what you had to tell them. This method of dialing can be paired with an IVR system that will let the prospect select further options to get more information or to try and talk to a human being.
When to use it
When you’re running a calling campaign your most expensive resource is your agent. Some managers feel that if the agent is not speaking to someone they are not doing their job. In real life there are practical limitations to this and if you try and keep an agent 100% occupied you may find that you will be turning over talent much faster than you want to, which will not save you money, but in fact will cost you more in the long run. Generally speaking you can however categorize your agent’s time as follows:
Speak time: The amount of time they are speaking with someone
Wait time: The time they are spending when they are not speaking with someone
Dial time: The amount of time they are spending on dialing (part of wait time)
If you are calling on a campaign and you find that you are calling businesses then you will generally be having people answer your call. Most businesses are loathe to let a call go to an answering machine. You will at the very least be talking to a gatekeeper while trying to reach the decision maker of the department that you are targeting. In this scenario let’s say you spend 1 minute talking at the minimum and you spend 5 seconds dialing (if you’re slow). Ideally you should also have a little bit of information about whom you’re trying to get to. In this scenario there is no advantage to having a power or predictive dialer as there is very little to gain in saving time dialing.
B2C Clean – If you are calling consumers from lists of existing customers and know that your list is pretty clean, then you will be getting real phone numbers. However, most people may or may not be able to take a call when you call them. So you will get a lot of no answers, voicemails and hang-ups. In this scenario a power dialer is what you need as your callers will generally be talking to someone most of the time. And trust us – If they do end up having a little bit of wait time it’s ok…much better than burning them out quickly.
B2C Dirty – If your list has a lot of random numbers and your agent ends up having to dial 10 numbers before speaking to someone, and that person too has no interest in what you’re pitching…use a predictive dialer…if you are doing this….why?
There are many laws on Auto, Robo or Predictive Dialing. These are in place as you know that these types can become very irritating to the receiver. Be careful to not run afoul of your local laws when selecting one of these methods.
2 more terms
Dial Disposition: What happened with the dial – Bad Number, Machine, Out of Service, Answered etc.
Call Result: What happened after your agent has spoken to a person. Eg. Sale, Lead, Not Interested, Not Qualified, Registered etc.
At the end of the day, regardless of what is used for dialing the result of what happened and any follow that is required must be captured in the system that you are using to make the calls. Make sure that the system not only captures this, but also ensures that it makes sure that you action that item.