Predictive auto-dialers are a type of auto-dialer that uses predictive statistical analysis to determine if a call should be placed to leads. Compared to “regular” auto-dialers that dials numbers only when an agent is free, predictive dialers dial a number before a sales agent is free to take the call.
The evolution of predictive dialing
Traditional predictive dialing utilized a combination of queuing and call simulation techniques to determine when is the best time for computer-based outbound dialing systems to place a call. Originally used by banks for debt collection, the system maximizes agent utilization (the amount of time spent on meaningful calls) and increases customer engagement.
When auto-dialers were invented, predictive dialing became more sophisticated. On top of detecting how many agents are available, predictive auto-dialers uses real-time call statistics analysis to see the average handling time and answer time for calls. For example, if the system detects that only 50% of calls are answered by leads, sales agents are on-call for 300 seconds, and it takes customers 5 seconds to pick up their phones, the system might “decide” to dial two numbers at the 295-second mark.
Limitations and restrictions
Because predictive auto-dialers cannot be sure that their analysis will hold 100% of the time, it is possible that a call is answered by a live person without any available agents to receive the line. Worse, because predictive auto-dialers often take into consideration the call answer rate, multiple customers might answer the phone with no one to receive them.
For these cases in the USA, the Federal Communications Commission, in their Telemarketing Rules Policy, classifies calls that cannot be received within two (2) seconds of being answered as “abandoned calls”. Additionally, the FCC requires businesses, to quote, to play “a prerecorded identification message that states only the name and telephone number of the business, entity, or individual on whose behalf the call was placed, and that the call was for ‘telemarketing purposes'”.
Predictive auto-dialers are also covered by the National Do Not Call Registry.