A Guide to Preview, Progressive and Predictive Dialling


Through three distinct dialler modes – preview dialling, progressive dialling and predictive dialling - organisations can choose the type of calling that makes sense to them. There are many misconceptions about diallers, but in most cases these can be overcome by selecting a more appropriate dialling mode. Use our guide to the three different dialler modes to determine which style is best for your contact centre.

Preview Dialling


Preview dialling – or ‘click to dial’ – is a great way to increase your efficiency without any risk of misconduct.

How it works

● Agents preview contact records before clicking a button to dial the relevant number.
● Agents remain in control of the pace of calling.
● Dispositions can be set with a click following each call.
● Call backs and other follow-up activity can be automated.


● Impossible to drop a call, removing the risk of regulatory issues.
● Agents spend more time talking and less time finding records, inputting numbers, and arranging follow-up.
● Customer service increases with useful contact information displayed on-screen – particularly when your dialler is integrated with your customer relationship management (CRM) software.


● While faster than manual dialling, preview dialling is the slowest dialler mode.

Ideal for: 

● Small sales teams and call centres making targeted calls.

Progressive Dialling


Progressive dialling automates the process of making outbound calls, allowing call centre administrators to control the pace of calling. All agents need to do is be ready to talk on connected calls.

How it works

● Dispositions can be set with a click following each call.
● Call backs and other follow-up can be automated.
● Call centre administrators set a ratio for outbound calls per available agent (usually 2:1, but sometimes 4:1).
● When an agent is available, the dialler automatically attempts the relevant number of calls (in a 2:1 ratio, two calls).
● When one of these calls connects, it is passed to the agent, and relevant contact information appears on-screen.
● If both calls connect, the one that is not passed to an agent is ‘dropped’. This can mean playing an automated message.


● Agents only deal with connected calls, not busy tones and disconnected numbers.
● Agent talk time is increased to as much as 40 minutes in the hour.
● The pace of dialling can be evenly spread between your agents, allowing you to take control of performance and productivity.
● Commission-based sales staff can work faster, focusing on selling – not administration.


● A small number of dropped calls become inevitable – these must be monitored in conjunction with your service provider.

Ideal for:

● Larger sales teams and call centres looking to increase efficiency and agent talk time.

Predictive Dialling


In predictive dialling mode, a dialler doesn’t just automate the process of outbound calling – it intelligently predicts when agents will become available and starts connecting calls in advance. This guarantees the maximum agent talk time and a steady stream of connected calls.

How it works

● Agents log onto the system and mark themselves as available.
● The dialler begins making outbound calls and connecting them to agents.
● As an agent reaches the end of a call, the dialler begins dialling the next number. How many calls it makes and when it starts to dial will depend on the number of agents available, the probability that a call will be picked up and average call length data.
● The result is that the moments after the agent finishes a call the next one is ready to begin. 
● Dispositions can be set with a click following each call.
● Call backs and other follow-up can be automated.


● Agent talk time is significantly increased to as much as 50 minutes in the hour.
● List penetration is at its deepest, ideal for poor or stale data.
● Call centre administrators can maximise agent performance and minimise downtime, making targets more likely to be reached.


● Incorrect predictions and simultaneous dialling leads to dropped calls. However, administrators can set a drop limit which prevents issues with Ofcom and other regulatory compliance.

Ideal for:

● Groups of more than 8 agents working from large data lists that vary in quality.

Hostcomm’s Hosted Predictive Dialler offers a dialler solution which can maximise efficiency and productivity, helping to optimise agent talk time, thus increasing revenue! If you would like to find out more about the benefits of predictive diallers, get in touch today!

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