What is a Call Center Dialer?

A call center dialer is an application that automates outbound calls. It comes in different types – all configurable and usually integrated with your CRM system.

A call center dialer is one of the best tools to have when you make a lot of outbound calls. It is not just a dialer for call centers. It can potentially improve the productivity of your agent or salesperson. If you’re a start-up with only a handful of employees or a big operation, you can benefit from using a call center dialer.

The key is to choose the best type of dialer for your needs.

Types of Call Center Dialer

Manual Dialer: This is the most basic dialer. These days, a manual dialer is hardly used in a call center set-up as it is the least efficient way of doing outbound call campaigns. All you need here is the keypad (on your phone or monitor) and your fingers. Look up the phone number you want to reach and start dialing. The manual dialer is best for very small operations that deal with low volumes of calls.

Preview Dialer or Power Dialer: The term ‘power dialer’ has actually been used loosely to refer to all types of call center dialers. Technically though, the power dialer is the preview dialer, the first tier in automated dialing.

A preview dialer is a click-to-call dialer that lets you preview details about the contact prior to dialing. You initiate dialing with a click, saving you the time it takes to punch out individual phone numbers.

You have the option to preselect leads and queue your outbound calls. This feature is perfect when you use lead scoring, and need to prioritize the best leads to call.

A preview dialer also allows you to prepare for your calls, which is ideal when making B2B sales calls or if you’re dealing with important accounts. Pause and take time to learn about your prospects. This way, your approach is information-driven and personalized.

Predictive Dialer: The predictive dialer is the best dialer for massive outbound call campaigns, and is typically used in call centers. Think of a telco agent, calling to see if you’d switch to them. They need to go through a long list of phone users; and the predictive dialer is the best way to do it.

The predictive dialer dials automatically from a selected database and uses algorithm to predict agent availability. It takes into account the number of agents, average call length, nature of calls, time of day and the algorithm in order to determine the number of calls to initiate at the same time. Once a live person responds on the other line, the predictive dialer transfers the call to an available agent. This minimizes downtime but risks call abandonment due to delays in call transfer.

Just imagine being the person on the other line and no one answers when you say ‘hello.’ You will cut the call, right? This is a risk in predictive dialers that can be prevented when you use accurate and representative data.

Progressive Dialer: When your clients are B2Bs or if you have quality leads, the better way of going through a long list of leads is the progressive dialer. Like its predictive counterpart, the progressive dialer dials automatically from your database. However, it does so only when you indicate your availability. It then filters calls that got busy signals, modem signals and no answers. The agent has to be the one to determine between a live person and an answering machine. Once the call status has been updated, the dialer moves on to the next number on the database.

While it is not as efficient as the predictive dialer, the progressive dialer gives more leeway to personalized quality calls. It is less about an agent’s talk time per hour; and more about minimizing downtime between quality calls.

Which Call Center Dialer is Best For You

When it’s time to step up into the world of automated dialing, pause a bit and step back. What works best for one business may not be the right fit for yours. Take a look at your operations and assess the best-fit call center dialer for your needs.

Are you making outbound calls en masse? This is typical for special offers on consumer items, such as cable subscriptions. Then, you might benefit from a predictive dialer. Just make sure you have collected enough data first. This ensures effective call distribution and less abandoned calls.

If your calls are often to warm leads and you end up closing the deal, then use a dialer that gives enough room for quality interactions. The progressive and preview dialers are good options. Or, you can actually choose a mix of dialers through a platform that allows multiple dialer types.

Making the most out of automated dialing starts when you assess your needs and resources.


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Patrick Hogan

Patrick Hogan

Patrick is a Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Tenfold.

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