A few weeks ago, Sheri taught us all about the benefits and use-cases for automated text messaging. We learned that automated texts can be sent via the auto-dialer feature in our platform. Well, what is an auto-dialer, anyway?
An auto-dialer (or automatic dialer) is a tool that can automate the rapid dialing of phone numbers. They are generally in the form of software, although auto-dialers were once a hardware solution.
Most people think of those annoying robotic spam calls when they think of an auto-dialer. However, there are multiple ways to utilize an automated dialing system to better serve customers, while saving your live agent resources.
Dave Roos with howstuffworks.com puts it best here:
Autodialers aren’t evil. It’s true that some companies use autodialers to power annoying telemarketing campaigns, but they have many other uses as well. A school could use an autodialer to alert parents and students to an unexpected closure. A doctor’s office could set up a system to remind senior citizens when to take their medication. A political candidate could dial out to thousands of residents to participate in a telephone town hall.
Jason Smith, one of our most dedicated experts, has worked extensively with clients who use the auto-dialer feature in some pretty creative ways
First off, what are the basic functions of an auto-dialer?
I can’t speak to other platforms, but I can tell you that our auto-dialer software offers all the functionality that you might expect. The most basic use case involves uploading a list of contacts and distributing calls to available agents in our softphone environment. Our auto-dialer can be configured to be a power dialer or a predictive dialer, depending on your requirements and agent availability.
Here’s what pretty much every auto-dialer should be able to do:
- Automatically dial a long list of phone numbers
- Detect whether a live person answers the phone, and then hand the call over to a human operator
A predictive dialer will dial phone numbers sequentially, without a live agent connected to the line. When it detects that a human has answer the phone, it will connect that call to an agent. It should be able to judge when exactly a live agent is free to handle another call, based on a series of factors like how many calls are picked up by live people, and how long the average call lasts.
A power dialer also dials phone numbers sequentially, but it does so with a live agent already connected. These calls usually have lower abandonment rates, since there is no wait to transfer to a live agent after someone picks up the line.
Here are few additional features included with our auto-dialer tool:
- Call recordings with keyword-smart transcriptions
- Listen live to ongoing calls, with tools for managers like Coach, Whisper and Barge
- Real-time agent dashboard, which gives you a quick, functional overview of your call center pool
Jason, what are some creative ways that you’ve seen clients using the auto-dialer?
Good question! I’ve worked with a ton of enterprise-level clients who rely heavily on the tool, but let me think of a few of my favorite use-cases:
A recruiting company that dials qualified prospects with available job postings, and offers them an option to make a keypress if they are interested. With this system, they only pull in a live recruiter after the prospect indicates they’re interested in the position. Making this switch has saved the recruiting company an incredible amount of money on staff resources.
A pest control company that automatically adds missed calls from after business hours to a auto-dialer that runs for the first hour every morning. This way, they no longer have to worry about manually delegating callbacks, and holding their agents accountable for those calls.
A home service company that links an online “Request for a Quote” tool on their landing pages to an auto-dialer campaign. When a client submits the form requesting a quote, they’re added to an auto-dialer queue, and given a call automatically from the next available agent. Cutting down on the time it takes to engage prospects is giving this client the edge over their competition in a very aggressive market.
Are there any more “niche” configurations for the auto-dialer?
Sure, there really are infinite ways that auto-dialing software can be configured to accommodate your specific objectives for outbound calling.
Some of the more complex capabilities include:
- Give callers an option to exit a queue, and be added to an auto dialer for a call back from the next available agent
- Use Geo-targeting to match your outbound Caller ID number to the phone number dialed, so that your call appears to be coming from a local source
- “Broadcast mode”, which can connect eligible prospects with a pre-recorded message
- Linking online forms to auto-dialer campaigns, to decrease connect times and increase conversions
- Customizable dispositions, scorecards, and agent scripts to be displayed throughout the agent’s interaction with the call
- Automatically add missed calls or after-hours calls to dialer campaigns, so they can be contacted by the next available agent
- Automatically sync call data to your CRM through third-party integrations or flexible API
How does pricing typically work for auto-dialer software?
Well, I know that some companies will charge for the tool, as well as for each agent using it, and their talk time. What’s great about our auto-dialer is that it’s very scalable – our pay-per-use billing model and no per-seat pricing means that you can start out with just a couple of agents. Then, as you find value in the capabilities of the platform, it’s very easy to add additional users.
Everything you need is accessible in a self-service UI, so it’s easy to add and remove agents, create new campaigns, and access, review, and export call data wherever you can get to a browser.
If you want to try out this tool, check out the free 14-day trial of our Contact Center plan, which includes the auto-dialer.