When choosing an outsource call center their telephony technology is very important. The efficiency of a telemarketing company will play a large part in determining overall cost.
Using a predictive dialer for outbound calls
If your marketing campaign is an outbound campaign which uses in-house or rented telemarketing lists where a high volume of calls are required, then the call center you select must use a predictive dialer.
Because a large percentage of telephone numbers, in your calling lists, will be busy signals, no answers, disconnected numbers, fax numbers, answering machines or other electronic devices, manually dialing would represent a high percentage of non-productive time. In order to overcome these characteristics of telephone calling data the outsource call center would use a predictive dialer.
A predictive dialer is a software and hardware bundle that dials, directs calls to agents and monitors calling data. The dialer can detect invalid responses such as busy signals, answering machines, disconnects and no answers without sending the calls to the agents. This vastly improves contact rates and talk times with is critical to efficient outbound dialing.
The dialer is called “predictive” because it learns how long agents stay on the phone and how many dials are needed to obtain a connection and then, based on this history, directs calls to agents when there is a very high probability that they will be available (not necessarily if they are available). This can maximize the agent talk time but also can create dropped calls. A dropped call occurs when the prospect answers the phone and there is no available agent so the prospect hangs up after saying hello with no response.
Therefore, the challenge of using a predictive dialer is properly configuring it for accurate predictions and adjustment of dialing speed. Not dialing sufficient number of calls would increase agent idle time while making too many calls, when agents are not available, would result in dropped calls that could violate regulatory requirements. A good predictive dialer will adjust its dialing strategy based on connections and drop call ratios.
In addition, predictive dialers have a variety of features and it is necessary to make the telemarketing partner you select can provide the service and reporting you need. The dialer can be land line or VoIP, be on site or virtual. Many dialers have features like automated call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), call recording capabilities, CRM integration, etc.
Review these features with your telemarketing outsource and make sure you receive the service and reporting that is consistent with your internal needs.
Along with efficient dialing, the predictive dialer can also provide very useful information about the calling lists such as number of dials, hang-ups, busy signals, answering machines, disconnects, etc. Plus, when the agent actually speaks to a prospect they can dispose the call as uninterested, Do Not Call, call back, sale, etc. and make it very easy to determine which of the test lists are performing the best by enabling the calculation of sales or leads per hour per agent.
When considering an outbound domestic or off shore telemarketing company its technology is an important factor that determines quality, performance and price.