Home » Call Center, Featured, Issues, Steve Cramer, Volume 5

MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDERS: CALL CENTER – DEATH OF THE PREDICTIVE DIALER

15 June 2010 7,971 views 13 Comments

In today’s global marketplace, businesses must increase productivity, improve efficiency, enhance quality, and out perform the competition. Effective communication tools enable client service teams to focus on their core competencies while improving operational effectiveness and customer satisfaction.

Progressive Dialers vs. Predictive Dialers offer client service teams an effective and quality enhancing dialing Platform. Progressive

Dialing Platforms dial successive calls, but are more advanced and customized then old Predictive Dialer configurations.

Progressive Dialers are able to rapidly contact thousands of contacts in minutes, provide a customized message by contact, filter contacts by multiple data points, enable detailed reporting on each call, and enable the contact to return calls receiving the same message or information provided on the outbound campaign. Progressive Dialers provide the cutting edge functionality and features not available to a restrictive and inefficient Predictive Dialer systems.

Progressive Dialers are so successful in their contact rates and functions, Predictive Dialers are unable to compete. Predictive Dialer systems have become a challenge in recent years due to their inability to effectively make contacts without the negative client experience. This challenge is a direct result of the “predictive nature” of the system design.

Call Centers or Telemarketing operations that utilize Predictive Dialers hope to support a cost effective contact rate within their agent centers; this is far from accurate. What is achieved is an easier manner for the administrator is to facilitate the systems they are responsible to control.  The predictive dialing efficiency occurs when the predictive dialer dials ahead of the agents becoming available or when the predictive dialer matches a forecast number of available agents with a forecast number of available called parties. As a result, the system is most suitable for low quality lists and large numbers of agents since an unexpectedly high contact rate can overwhelm the system leading to negative call abandonment rates.

In most cases, the system will get more live parties on call attempts than there are agents available to take those calls. Consequently, the dialer will disconnect or delay distribution of calls that cannot be distributed to an agent. This is known as a Silent Call or a nuisance call. The called party hears only silence when the predictive dialer does not at least play a recorded message. The experience for those who receive a predictive dialer call can be less than satisfactory.

Progressive Dialers enable contacts to review a message interact with the system, route to a voicemail system, route to an external number, OR enable Return Call Functionality. Progressive Dialer Platforms provide the perfect client experience with the highest levels of contact satisfaction rates.

To summarize,

Predictive Dialers:

  • Tend to “over dial” due to their predictive nature resulting in low contact satisfaction rates
  • Create high abandonment rates in the early connection hours and are “corrected” in later connection periods.
  • Low efficiency connect rates creating higher than necessary agent “wait times” and costing the operation
  • Only benefit “low quality” contact lists.

Progressive Dialers:

  • Enable Return Call Features and Functionality
  • Enables Managed dialing to ensure effective contact rates and high contact satisfaction results
  • Provide the ability to rapidly contact thousands of contacts in minutes
  • Can provide a customized message by contact
  • Filter contacts by multiple data points
  • Auto Schedule campaigns
  • Enable the contact to return calls receiving the same message or information provided on the outbound campaign
  • Enables customized Greeting, prompting, routing and messaging not possible with predictive systems

The choice is really between utilizing old technology or stepping up to the customizable Progressive Dialer Platforms. How effective does your organization need to be and what client satisfaction rate is expected?

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Author: Steven Cramer (6 Articles)

  • Tyrone Wilson

    Nice article. The contrast that you draw out between Predictive Dialers vs. Progressive Dialers is amazing. Infact, the Title name is perfect; Death of Predictive Dialer is coming to a Call Center near you. Great Info!

  • Rparker1147

    The author of this article obviously has never worked in a outbound Contact Center and has an extremely narrow view particular in the collections applications. In collections this is never going away it creates 200- 300 percent increase in productivity that relates to 3-4 month paybacks no other technology can do that. Sorry to say same for Telemarketers.

    • Ccguru

      It doesn't even appear you read the article before commenting. The author is not suggesting that we do away with predictive dialers. What he is suggesting is that there is better technology available now that is more efficient and functional than traditional predictive dialers. Great article!

  • 30 Years In The Biz

    This is nothing more than propaganda to sell his product. Many good predictive dialing platforms do EXACTLY what his progressive dialer purports to do. Those that do not are simply cheap imitations created with little forethought or call center knowledge involved. With over 30 years call center and dialer technology experience, this allegation is easy to disprove.

  • LLoyd

    This article provides a basic overveiw taking place in the Dialer market. Dialer technology is blending multiple dialer “feature profiles” to create flexible products that are hosted and managed.
    Lower costs, hosted, IT management, flexibility, and robust…sounds like a good thing for the client support environments.

  • Steven

    As the author, I am somewhat shocked at the harsh response to this article. The opportunity to provide diverse technology products that enhance customer interaction should be considered a positive.
    I have over 25 years experience in the industry dealing with the best platforms in the business. Most of these platforms are not user friendly, overpriced, and usually inflexible. Most systems require intense training classes. I would think that industry experts truly interested in providing the best service and products to their teams would be open minded about technology offerings. Just my 2 cents.

    • Jennifer

      I have to agree Steven, great response. Not really sure “what” in this article there is to deny, demote, or create controversy over. But hey, I guess they help draw attention to it!!! So maybe we should thank them! Hah!

  • Herb

    I really like the features the describes in his article, but it's no quantum leap forward. This is another, inevitable step forward in the evolution of outbound dialing efficiency. Good stuff and it definitely pushed the technology forward .

    • jmlight@alianzasur.com

      Agreed, most of the current generation outbound solutions offer a matrix or variety of methodologies to make a connection and/or deliver a message with options… the Administrator selects which method is best for any given campaign…

  • Stephen Coates

    Steven Cramer has completely confused predictive and progressive diallers. Rather than being a newer alternative to predictive diallers, a progressive dialler is either a dialler without a predictive capability or with its predictive capability turned off. A progressive dialler is a predictive dialler with training wheels.

    As he recognised, a predictive dialler attempts to dial contacts in advance of agents completing their current calls. A progressive dialler waits for an agent to complete the current call before attempting to dial the next contact. As a result, it is not the predictive dialler that suffers, “higher than necessary agent ‘wait times’ and costing the operation” as the article claims. Due to its predictive nature, there will inherently be less idle agent time with a predictive dialler. Mr Cramer has this aspect of the two technologies back to front.

    Progressive diallers have their place, primarily in call centres making calls to businesses where the answer rate will be close to 100%. However, when the target base is residential in which answering rates range from 20 to 30% for all lists, unless the call centre is quite small, a predictive dialler is the technology of choice.

    Mr. Cramer did make one valid point, concerning dialler management. Diallers can overdial leading to abandoned calls. However, that is not an inherent attribute of predictive diallers, it results from such diallers not being properly configured and managed, and from their use with too few agents.

    Reading the article a second time, it becomes apparent that Mr. Cramer isn’t so much talking about progressive diallers per se, but about outbound IVR. With IVR ports costing a fraction of a live agent, the advantage of predictive over progressive diallers evaporates when callers are connected to an IVR. The article could explicitly acknowledge this focus and be better titled “Progressive diallers better choice for outbound IVR”.

  • Steven

    As the author, I am somewhat shocked at the harsh response to this article. The opportunity to provide diverse technology products that enhance customer interaction should be considered a positive.
    I have over 25 years experience in the industry dealing with the best platforms in the business. Most of these platforms are not user friendly, overpriced, and usually inflexible. Most systems require intense training classes. I would think that industry experts truly interested in providing the best service and products to their teams would be open minded about technology offerings. Just my 2 cents.

  • Steven

    As the author, I am somewhat shocked at the harsh response to this article. The opportunity to provide diverse technology products that enhance customer interaction should be considered a positive.
    I have over 25 years experience in the industry dealing with the best platforms in the business. Most of these platforms are not user friendly, overpriced, and usually inflexible. Most systems require intense training classes. I would think that industry experts truly interested in providing the best service and products to their teams would be open minded about technology offerings. Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.contaque.com/ Predictive Dialer

    Its a good service through the predictive dialer software.hope it would be more beneficial for the customers.
    Predictive Dialer