Many businesses these days call both current and potential customers for various reasons including to introduce their new product or service, promote a product or service they already have, announce a new deal or discount, and to conduct various market research surveys.
Running and eventually scaling call campaigns without providing your agents with auto dialer software is almost impossible. In this post, we will be taking a look at what are autodialer systems, how do they work and the pros and cons of using them for your business.
What is an auto dialer?
Auto dialers are a type of predictive dialer software. In general, predictive dialer software automatically dials phone numbers in your contact list that are assigned to a particular campaign and then directs them to your agents who are currently available.
Auto dialers come in various forms and do different things. They usually come in handy when you are short on time and cannot focus on dialing or if dialing is impractical or inefficient for an agent to do it. Auto dialer is a tool that can be very useful for many different use cases such as sales, emergencies, hospitality and the healthcare sector.
What are the most common auto dialers?
There are a lot of different types of auto dialers. Here are the three most common ones.
1. Preview dialer
Preview dialers help your agents to either place an outbound call or skip specific telephone numbers. A preview dialer allows your agents to preview different customer information before placing the outbound call to them. Having on-time access to customer data can help your agents to better plan the outbound calling process and further personalize the interaction with the customer.
However, your agents cannot use preview dialers to contact a lot of customers in a short amount of time, as most preview dialers are not designed to be used in that way. Instead, preview dialers are usually used for running outbound marketing campaigns on a smaller scale and to make the outbound calling process more result-oriented. A preview dialer simply makes it easier for agents to handle more complex customer cases.
2. Power/Progressive dialer
While preview dialers allow an agent to decide if they want to place a call or a telephone number, progressive dialers do not do that. allow an agent to decide about placing a call or skipping a telephone number. Instead, the auto dialer software makes the outbound call as soon as an agent has ended their current call. A power dialer is more effective than a preview dialer because it increases the number of connections an agent can make with customers.
Since most auto dialer software allow agents to access key customer information while calling customers, many companies using phone dialer can leverage power dialers to boost their upselling and reselling activities. Power dialers can also minimize the number of silent and abandoned calls.
3. Predictive dialer
Predictive dialers are completely different from preview and power dialers. Predictive dialers can dial multiple telephone numbers at a time, as they also use the pacing algorithm to decide when an agent will be available to handle the next call. The auto dialers make outbound automated calls just before an agent wraps up the current call.
Because of this ability, predictive dialers are the most effective out of all major types of auto dialer software, as they can enhance the connections between your customers and agents.
When using predictive dialers, companies need to deploy enough agents if they want to minimize the number of dropped or abandoned calls. Many of the modern cloud-hosted predictive dialer software come with additional features that can help companies dial the customer contact number at the right time. They can also help managers reduce abandoned calls and control both the dialing rate and speed.
How do auto dialers work?
For an auto dialer to work, there are four elements needed. There must be a computer that is running the auto dialer software, a person that answers the phones, a voice modem, and an active telephone line. Even though the voice modem allows the computer to play recorded audio during a call, when using VoIP, the voice modem becomes obsolete.
As far as your computer is concerned, the more modems you have, the more calls at the same time can you make. The standard desktop computers currently have between two to four internal modem cards.
The auto dialer software then tells the computer which numbers to dial and what to do when the line is busy or if it goes to voicemail or if an actual person picks up the phone. Before the phone can connect, the auto dialing software must decide what number to call and for how long.
Auto dialers today select from the database of leads. Because msot calls are usually picked up by a person in the first 25 seconds (or the time it takes to ring four times), the auto dialer will drop a call if no one answers by 25 seconds. After those 25 seconds, most calls are usually forwarded to voicemail, which is something auto dialer software want to avoid.
Some auto dialers even have voice detection software that are designed to recognize whether or not an actual person is answering the call and not a voice mailbox. After the voice detector has determined who has answered the phone, the auto dialer will either route the call to a recorded message or to a live agent. If there are no live agents available at the moment, the auto dialer software then plays a recorded message and can even put the caller on hold.
Many of the auto caller dialer software can also gather statistics based on how long each call lasts if the phone is answered by a person or a voice mailbox, and so on. With this information in hand, the auto dialer software then uses predictive dialing to make calls before the agent has even ended the previous call they were on. Ideally for the company, as soon as the agent finishes with one caller, they will then immediately connect with another one.
Pros of auto dialer
Now that you know what an auto dialer is and how does it work, let’s see some of the pros of using it.
1. Expedite outbound calling
Without auto dialers, your agents need to put a lot of extra time and effort to manually and sequentially dial each telephone number when they want to make a call. Also, it takes more time and it is somewhat difficult for people to differentiate between a productive and unproductive number. Because of this, auto dialer software can help your company to boost the efficiency of your operations by dialing telephone numbers and doing automatic calling of your agents.
Auto dialers also route only those calls that were answered to live agents. This makes it easier for agents to focus only on making a personalized customer experience and improving customer engagement. Some types of auto dialers can also boost agent productivity by increasing their call connection ratio.
2. Reduce agent idle time
Progressive and preview dialers are a type of auto dialing software that make outbound calls using a one-to-one ratio, while predictive dialers are designed to ensure that the agents are handling more calls in a short amount of time. Most auto dialers use predictive algorithms to decide what is the right time to initiate the outbound call.
Because of this, auto dialers dial the numbers before an agent becomes available to handle the next call. Many companies using auto dialers these days can leverage predictive dialers to increase the talk time of their agents and customers and to reduce agent idle time. The auto dialers can also make agents productive by allowing them the option to only handle connected calls.
3. Boost Sales
Preview dialers allow agents to access up-to-date information about the customer or lead before interacting with them. The information then helps the agent to decide how to personalize the conversation before handling the specific call.
Those personalized interactions between the agent and the customer or leader make it easier for agents to keep the leads engaged and possibly convert them into customers. Many companies use the power of preview dialers to increase their revenue by converting leads of a certain value into customers.
Cons of auto dialers
While an auto dialer can be great, there are also some cons you need to consider. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Predictive algorithm can fail
Most predictive dialers use algorithms to determine when an agent will be available to handle the next outbound call because only then can auto dialer software help ensure that the agent is handling the biggest number of possible leads.
However, the algorithm often makes the dialer make new calls without actually checking agent availability. Sometimes, customers disconnect the call when their calls are still there in the queue, which could be a problem.
2. Additional staff requirements
Auto dialers call customers sequentially and route answered calls to the next available agent. However, since most companies rely on predictive dialers and their algorithms to decide when to initiate the next call, a company needs to have enough agents to actually leverage the power of predictive dialers to its full capacity. Auto dialer software cannot run outbound voice campaigns efficiently with just a few agents.
3. Inability to accurately detect calls
In theory, auto dialers detect answering machines, voicemails and numbers that do not go through by using voice recognition technologies. They use the technology to only route connected calls to the live agents.
However, many auto dialer software just use basic voice recognition technology. This type of technology sometimes does not differentiate between human beings and answering machine calls. It sometimes can route voicemails or answering machines to live agents.
What should you do instead of using an auto dialer?
While auto dialer can be great if you are running a market survey campaign or a call center, for customers, it is always better to work with real people rather than getting automated calls. While Ringblaze does not have an auto dialer, it has all the right features that can help you boost customer service and sales.
Ringblaze, the product we build, is a phone system that supports effective sales and customer support collaboration. With Ringblaze, you can quickly manage all your call activities, assign calls to different people in your team and power up your sales and customer service. Ringblaze is great for SMBs, agencies and real estate firms.
Ringblaze’s key features and advantages
Here is why you should choose Ringblaze instead of an autodialer.
One of the standout features of Ringblaze — which Ringblaze offers for free, unlike a majority of other companies that charge a premium for this feature — is the shared dashboard.
A shared dashboard ensures that all calls to your phone number are stored in one place that can be instantly accessed. It really doesn’t matter where your team is located, Ringblaze ensures that everyone is on the same page. Because each of your calls can have an “owner”, you can easily define the responsibilities of everyone in your team, while also ensuring that the customer’s or lead’s message is shared clearly and effectively to all stakeholders.
Assign, forward, and record calls
Ringblaze allows you to easily assign calls to any of your agents. You can quickly forward each call to more appropriate departments or agents. You can also use Ringblaze to record all your calls and easily improve your training or have the call recordings for accountability.
Unlimited phone numbers from 22 different countries
If your business has offices all over the world, you use Ringblaze’s unlimited phone number feature, take worldwide calls and answer them from one place, as if they were made to the same office phone, which reduces the call cost — both for you and for the customer.
If you use Ringblaze, all your customers, no matter where they are located in the world, can call your company’s toll-free number and get the help they need without having to pay any extra.
How much does Ringblaze cost?
Ringblaze is more affordable than similar tools on the market and auto dialer software. Most other competitors force you to compare features and prices, then do the math, and make that though choose between a bunch of different plans. Ringblaze is available in one plan only, which can be paid monthly or annually. The monthly plan starts at $19 per user per month, while the annual plan is 20% cheaper, and it costs $15 per user per month when billed annually.
It includes all the mentioned features, as well as high-definition voice calls, unlimited minutes to US and Canada, a free US/Canada local number, call history for up to 90 days, call recording, a custom voicemail greeting, call forwarding, call transfer, mute and so much more.
So there you have it. In this post, we have explained what auto dialers are, how they work, why and why you shouldn’t use them and why you should use Ringblaze instead.
At the end of the day, relying solely on algorithms and predictive dialing in your sales and customer support is not a good idea. While they can take the hassle out of managing a certain aspect of your work, your leads and customers are probably not going to be satisfied.
Instead, you should focus on providing great customer service and do sales in a way that will ensure that your prospects are satisfied. One of the best ways to provide proper sales and customer service over the phone is to use Ringblaze.
If you like any or all of the features that Ringblaze offers at such a great price, make sure you sign up for Ringblaze now and start providing better support and making better sales in a manner of minutes!