What is a Dialer?
Dialer is an application used in call centres to automate the process of dialing to external phone numbers so that the agents can attend to certain calls.
A dialer (American English) or dialler (British English) is an electronic device that is connected to a telephone line to monitor the dialed numbers and alter them to seamlessly provide services that otherwise require lengthy National or International access codes to be dialed.
A dialer could be programmed to use one service provider for international calls and another for cellular calls.
Since call centres want to increase the productivity per agent they have employed, they monitor the time which is spent by an agent to talk to a prospective customer. So, when the agents are provided with a data base and asked to call to various prospects, it is noticed that the effective time spent in talking to the customers is very low as many calls are not picked up, answered by fax machines, busy etc. So, the agents spend more time dialling numbers than actually talking. That is why many outbound call centres employ dialers that automatically dials the phone numbers on behalf of the agents, to increase their efficiency, which is sometimes measured in Talk Time per Hour (TTH).
In Call Centers there are several dialling modes depending on how the call is placed. ‘Manual Dialing’ refers to calls that are placed manually by an agent.
There are 4 different dialing modes depending on how software dialers selects the contacts that are going to be called and starts making the calls. The dialing modes are defined according to the campaign and type of business.
Types of Dialer’s:
Once an agent has indicated that they are ready for a call, information about the call is presented to them. The number is then automatically dialled after a pre-defined period; the agent is given time to preview the customer details before the call is launched.
Preview dialling is used most often in campaigns where each customer case is complex – for example collection of late debt where the agent needs to be aware of a complex case history before making the call.
Progressive dialling offers similar productivity to predictive dialling whilst removing the risk of abandoned/silent calls
Once an agent has indicated that they are ready for a call, information about the call is presented to them, and the number is then dialled immediately. Call progress is monitored by the dialler technology.
Calls that do not result in ‘ringing’ are automatically and immediately disconnected, whilst ‘no answers’ are disconnected after a pre-defined number of seconds. Software call control minimises agent involvement in the dialling process and improves call-handling efficiency.
Progressive dialling is most often used in campaigns addressed to current customers where the objective is to renew or up-sell a product or service.
Predictive dialling is the most productive form of dialling automation. A predictive dialler launches calls at a rate such that the system connects to ‘live’ callers as soon as an agent completes the previous transaction.
The dialling rate for each campaign is controlled by a pacing algorithm, which automatically monitors activity, and calculates when the next contact(s) should be dialled. The dialling rate is automatically adjusted to maintain a contact rate that is synchronised with operator availability.
However, it should be recognised that predictive dialling inevitably results in a small percentage of ‘abandoned calls’ – customers may receive calls when no agents are actually available. This area is highly regulated; you should be familiar with the current rules and ensure that your chosen dialler supports conformance.
Predictive dialling is most effective in campaigns that are fairly straightforward such as commodity product sales.
Power dialling (or power dialler) is probably the dialling term that causes most confusion. Depending on who you talk to, power dialler can be used as an innocent catch-all term to cover all forms of automated dialling; but it can also apply to specific technology originally introduced in the late 1980s that simply makes large numbers of calls with little or no control.
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