Different Types of Call Center Dialers

This article gives a glimpse of what a Call Center Dialer is and why it is used in Call Centers, an introduction to various types of Dialers : Manual Dialing, Preview Dialing, Predictive Dialing, Power Dialling and Progressive Dialing including the advantages and dis-advantages of each type.

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 selectively. Well, 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).

Types of Dialer’s:
Predictive Dialer
Preview Dialer
Power Dialer
Progressive Dialer
Manual Dialer

1.Predictive Dialer
A predictive dialer dials a list of telephone numbers and connects answered dials to people making calls, often referred to as agents. Predictive dialers use statistical algorithms to minimize the time that agents spend waiting between conversations, while minimizing the occurrence of someone answering when no agent is available.

When dialing numbers one at a time, there are two sources of delay. First, only some fractions of dials are answered. So, for example, if 1 out of 3 dials are answered, a predictive dialer might dial 3 lines every time an agent becomes available. Second, even dials that are answered take some time before being picked up. If it typically takes 10 seconds for someone to pick up, and conversations typically last 90 seconds, a predictive dialer might start dialing at 80 seconds.

Dialing one number at a time, only when an agent is available, typically keeps agents utilized for 40 minutes per hour (33% idle time). Predictive dialing can increase utilization to 57 minutes per hour (5% idle time).

2.Preview Dialer
Preview dialing enables agents to first view the available information about the customer and decide when to place the call. In addition to the information about the customer, agents may also view all the history of the customer with the contact center. After viewing the information about the customer, the agent requests the system to make the call.
The system delivers preview calls to agents automatically, taking into account the priority of the call and the skills of the agent to handle the call. Preview dialing keeps agents from dialing calls manually.

3.Power Dialer
Power dialing places calls only when an agent is available to handle the call. Automated dialers consider the priority and the skills of the agent to automatically place a call to the agent. In power dialing, an agent is always available to talk to the customer.
Power dialing is suitable for all campaigns, from customer care follow-up calls to telemarketing. For example, power dialing is useful to call predictive dialing contacts that resulted in nuisance to ensure that an agent is available to talk to the customer.

4.Progressive Dialer
Progressive dialing offers similar productivity to predictive dialing 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 dialed immediately. Call progress is monitored by the dialer 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 minimizes agent involvement in the dialing process and improves call-handling efficiency.
Progressive dialing is most often used in campaigns addressed to current customers where the objective is to renew or up-sell a product or service.

5.Manual Dialer
There is a phone, there is a phone line connected to it. So, the agents just pick up the phone and start dialing by themselves! It has been noticed that this is the least efficient way of conducting outbound call campaigns in larger call centres (based on Talk Time per Hour values). But we’ll tell you one thing: This is the most economical way for a very small call centre/ office.

Author: Kaushal Kumar
I am a Server-side Linux & Web Technologies professional. I dedicate my full time working towards the overall success of my client's Businesses. I help my clients with their business communications, CRM & ERP, Internet Marketing etc. Want to work together: I'd love to hear from you.

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