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 smart dialer feature in our platform. Well, what is a smart dialer, anyway?
A smart dialer is a tool that can automate the rapid dialing of phone numbers. They are generally in the form of software, although smart dialer were once a hardware solution.
Most people think of those annoying robotic spam calls when they think of an smart 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:
Smart dialers aren’t evil. It’s true that some companies use smart dialers to power annoying telemarketing campaigns, but they have many other uses as well. A school could use an smart dialer 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 smart dialer feature in some pretty creative ways
First off, what are the basic functions of an smart dialer?
I can’t speak to other platforms, but I can tell you that our smart 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.
Here’s what pretty much every smart 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 smart 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 smart 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 smart 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 smart 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 a smart dialer campaign. When a client submits the form requesting a quote, they’re added to a smart 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 smart dialer?
Sure, there really are infinite ways that smart 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 a smart 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 smart 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 smart 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 smart 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 smart dialer.