Contact Centre

How Predictive Dialling Can Improve Your Business

One of the most important things for businesses which use a contact centre is making sure that agents are spending time on the phone talking to people, rather than sitting idle waiting for the next potential caller on the line. Predictive dialling is a modern hosted dialler solution that maximises agent time on phones while minimising call abandonment rates. In this article, we explain precisely what predictive dialling is, and how it can benefit your business.

What is Predictive Dialling?

White phone on an offwhite wooden table

Predictive Dialling is a method used to determine when computer-controlled outbound telephone systems ought to dial. The idea is simple: it takes time to dial a new number, so doing it before an agent’s current call ends maximises the time agents spend talking to people. And because lots of calls go unanswered, ringing more than one person at a time maximises the chance of getting your agents through to someone. Based on the time of day and how many agents are free, a good predictive dialler solution can predict how many calls will not have someone on the receiving end pick up. Hence, a predictive dialling system determines how many people to dial and when to dial them based on your agents’ recent activity to maximise their time on calls. 

Since the 1980s, most businesses using call centres – from telemarketers debt collection agencies to fundraisers and post-sales teams – used auto-diallers for connecting live agents to others while logging details about their calls. The industry standard at the time was to begin a new dialling attempt every x seconds (usually three to 10), to maximise agents’ time on phones. This system was blind to how busy agents actually were: in very early mornings and during the workday when people were not answering their phone as often, many agents were left idle, costing businesses money.

During peak times, by contrast, these systems would be forced to abandon calls and annoy the answering party because more people would answer their phone. Between 5 pm and 6 pm, on average more than four times as many people would pick up their phone, but automatic diallers did not account for this. The system swung between far too much idle time and far too many abandoned calls. Agent downtime is expensive, while abandoned calls undermine consumers’ confidence in the company that is trying to contact them.

The best solution was determined to be a system that can calculate in real time how many people are answering their phones, how long each call should take, and how far into a call each agent is, and predict how many people to dial at any given time, given that data, to minimise both agent downtime and call abandonment rate. This is what we call predictive dialling: monitoring agent activities, collecting statistics, and using a computer algorithm to predict future call traffic.

For more information about predictive diallers, read about our hosted dialler solutions here.


Will My Business Benefit from Predictive Dialling?

Blue vector of three people on headsets

Businesses which implement predictive dialling can grow their business faster through increasing your agent productivity. With our hosted dialler solution, we at Hostcomm have seen agent productivity in call centres improve by up to 300% versus manual dialling. Thanks to predictive dialling, agents spend more time talking to real people on the phone instead of waiting idly.

 Predictive dialling is also incredibly simple. Predictive hosted dialler services simply need you to import your data and your business requirements and the software does the rest.

Housing and homelessness charity Shelter, for example, began using our predictive dialling solution as part of its Welcome Calling campaign. Welcome Calling gave supporters the chance to speak directly with the people that their donations help, whilst giving Shelter the opportunity to encourage retention by connecting donors with those who needed support. Using targeted lists and employing simple logic-based scripting, the platform makes compliance, security, and standards easy to manage so that that Shelter could focus on their campaign rather than the technicalities of their hosted dialler. As a result, Shelter’s hosted dialler worked wonderfully and was integral to making Welcome Calling a success. You can read more about our work with Shelter here.

Predictive diallers can also reduce abandonment rate dramatically. Well configured predictive dialling systems can adjust to ensure the abandon call rate does not rise above a preset maximum (previously Ofcom recommended a 3% maximum of connected calls).


Why Your Predictive Dialler Solutions Must be Good at Predicting

Cisco Work Phone on a Mahogany Desk

If your hosted dialler’s predictive capabilities are not intelligent enough, you will end up with a system that either calls too many people or calls too few. In the case of calling too many it will result in the following issues:

  • You would annoy customers who receive abandoned calls, who otherwise would be willing to listen to your agents.
  • You may also have periods when agents many people on hold with whom they should be talking, creating unnecessary stress for your staff.
  • Worst of all, you would very quickly receive a hefty fine from Ofcom for generating an excessive number of abandoned calls.

On the other hand, if your hosted dialler calls too few people, the problem is self-evident: your agents will not be as active as they could be and your call centre will spend less time talking to the people that matter for your business.

Provided that your system operates within the rules, predictive dialling can be an advantageous way of keeping agents active while maintaining low abandon call rates, all through an easy-to-manage hosted dialler system. This can all be provided at a very low price too - try out our interactive hosted dialler pricing system for more information.

For more information about what we offer, take a look at our hosted dialler solutions on our website. And if you have any questions, please get in touch – our team of experts will be happy to provide you with any assistance you need.

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