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CXM Guide

Auto Dialer

Learn everything about auto dialers — what they are, how they work, and why contact centers need an auto dialer solution to maximize agent productivity.

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What is an auto dialer?

An auto dialer is an outbound dialer software program that empowers contact center agents to automatically bulk-dial several numbers in the least amount of time — eliminating the manual effort of dialing number after number. Once the customer or any other person answers the phone call, they are connected to a live agent or a pre-recorded message. 

Auto dialers bring call documentation and customer experience to the table. They save time, process call data, and minimize cold transfers and agent idle time — improving contact center ROI and productivity.

Types of auto dialing modes for outbound call centers

There are three main types of auto dialing modes that an outbound call center can leverage to manage the outbound calling process effectively and capture valuable leads.

Predictive dialer

Predictive dialers can anticipate the actual time an agent would end a call and only then dial the next number on the list. By placing calls to the right people at the right time, predictive dialing helps you achieve high call connect rates. For calculating the call wrap-up time, these dialers use an algorithm that factors in peak call traffic, voicemail, busy signals, out-of-service numbers, and unanswered calls. 

Power dialer

A power dialer, also known as a progressive dialer, is a powerful automatic dialer that makes outbound calls to customers only when an agent indicates that they are ready to handle the next call, thereby eliminating the probability of making silent calls to customers. It is suitable for businesses that operate on low-volume and high-value lead lists. While predictive dialers help connect with maximum customers, power dialers ensure that your agents have the bandwidth to talk before placing the next call.

Preview dialer

Preview dialers present agents with a call list containing each caller’s information fetched from the integrated CRM system. The agent can then preview any customer’s record to get a fair idea of what to expect from that call. Whenever the agent is ready, they can trigger the call and lead the conversation in a contextual manner.

Predictive dialers vs. power dialers vs. preview dialers: a quick comparison

Auto-Dialer table

How does an auto dialer work?

Auto dialers need four primary elements to work smoothly and effectively — a computer, a live agent, a voice modem, and VoIP. 

Auto dialer software

An auto-dialing process is implemented via auto dialer software available through an outbound call center solution. The software typically informs the system on which numbers to dial, what to do when the caller meets a busy signal or voicemail, and what to do when a person picks up the call.

Human agents

Some auto-dialing tools have an underlying voice-detection technology that detects if a call is answered by a live person or a voice mailbox. If a person answers the call, the call is routed to a human agent, who then takes over.

Voice modem

A voice modem is used to transmit and receive voice recordings over the phone line. It also helps play pre-recorded messages on calls. The more voice modems you have, the more calls your agents can make concurrently.

Learn more: How Conversational AI helps brands be human@scale

VoIP or landlines

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is useful to connect outbound and inbound calls with auto-dialing software.  When the customer calls a business, the cloud-based phone system accepts the phone call, provides an auto-attendant menu, and transfers the call to an available agent.

New independent study finds customer service organizations can achieve up to 210% ROI with Sprinklr Modern Care

What are the pros and cons of an auto dialer?

There are various benefits as well as disadvantages when it comes to using auto dialers. Let’s take a look at them.

Pros

Reduced agent idle time

Predictive dialers in particular reduce your agents’ idle time by lining up the next call in the queue for them to make, even before they wrap up the current call. 

Learn more: Turn high-performing service agents into a guide for others with smart AI and automation

Less manual effort

An automatic dialer system saves agents from spending a lot of time on manual dialing by bulk-dialing numbers on their caller database automatically and sequentially. When the contact list reaches its threshold during the calling process, the auto dialer software informs the supervisor, who can then plan outbound calling activities accordingly.

Efficient lead conversion 

Preview auto dialers help agents focus on valuable leads as they have all the relevant information about each lead accessible to them beforehand. Agents can leverage this information to engage with customers and personalize each call — converting high-value leads into sales efficiently.

Learn more: What’s preventing you from realizing the dream of unified customer service?

Improved operational efficiency

Automated dialer software minimizes blockers such as long waiting times, misdialing, redirects, and call drops — substantially improving operational efficiency. By detecting busy signals, voicemails, and disconnected numbers, auto dialers ensure only connected live calls are routed to agents — which can help improve your call connect ratio.

Campaign management

Intelligent auto dialers empower businesses to run and manage multiple outbound campaigns simultaneously. Decision-makers can generate reports in real time — for individual campaigns or holistically — and adjust the reporting automatically for specific needs, such as campaign time zones or CRM software integrations.

Learn more: 5 customer care trends that will change the contact center experience in 2022

Cons

Increases agent headcount

Contact centers need to have enough agents that can leverage auto dialers to their full capacity — especially with predictive dialers, as they dial numbers without taking agent availability into consideration.

Learn more: Coaching Your Care Agents: Insights Learned From Global Brand Leaders

Errors in detecting calls accurately

Though auto dialers have the ability to detect answering machines and disconnected phone numbers, they sometimes fail to distinguish between human voices and prerecorded messages on answering machines. As a result, voice mails or answering machines are sometimes routed to live agents — which diminishes their productivity. 

Predictive algorithms can falter

A predictive dialer uses specialized algorithms to determine when the customer will be available to pick up a live call, but it often doesn’t cross-check the agent's availability. When calls are placed by the auto dialer on behalf of agents with clogged queues, the whole exercise of outbound calling becomes unproductive.

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Essential features of a robust auto dialer

Below are the top eight features you should look out for when evaluating auto dialer providers for your business:

Contact list management

With auto dialer systems, you can seamlessly import telephone numbers from databases or spreadsheets by integrating a contact list uploader — and improve your workflow efficiency.

CRM integration

You can seamlessly integrate your existing customer relationship management (CRM) system with cloud-based auto dialers. This way, you can centralize crucial customer data and make it available to callers before and during calls. 

Local presence dialing

Local presence dialing helps to improve call connection rates massively, as it automatically reflects a local phone number as a caller ID based on the area code or country dialed by the contact center agent. Once the call is placed, the system changes the rep’s caller ID and presents the prospect with the local phone number as caller ID on their screen.

Answering machine detection

Answering machine detection is one of the foundational features of auto dialers since it helps distinguish answering machines from live voices. It ensures that the auto-dialer software skips answering machines and only connects agents with real humans.

DND list filtering

DND list filtering enables contact centers to comply with DNC/DND rules, one of which is that contact centers should not make calls to a number appearing on the do-not-call (DNC) or do-not-disturb (DND) list while running outbound calling campaigns.

Interactive voice response (IVR)

IVR technology automates your inbound calls and helps businesses interact with customers through pre-recorded voice messages without speaking to an agent. Callers interact with IVR systems using their voice or their phone's touch-tone pad. An IVR system gathers some essential information, and routes calls to the appropriate agents, only when the caller requires further assistance.

Learn more: Your customers don’t want to call you, and other hard customer care truths

Call transfer, call recording, and call distribution

Auto dialers provide the flexibility to transfer calls from one device to another, such as mobile phones, office phones, and softphones. 

Call recording is helpful for quality monitoring and legal compliance as it enables supervisors to listen to agents’ calls carefully and provide appropriate feedback to the agents. It can also serve as evidence if there is ever any legal interest in a particular conversation.

Call distribution prompts callers to provide details such as the type of service(s) required so that the call can be routed to the appropriate team or agent.

Unproductive number detection

You should opt for auto dialers that enable you to detect no answers, busy signals, disconnected calls, and voicemail accurately. This can improve both your call connect rate and agent productivity, freeing up their time to take on more calls or engage more proactively with customers.

Delight Customers with a Unified Care Experience

Use Sprinklr Modern Care to speed up outbound dialing and improve agent productivity

Auto dialers have revolutionized the way agents reach out to potential leads and convert them into sales. With advanced cloud-hosted auto dialing services — which are an integral part of Sprinklr’s contact center automation solution — your business will no longer require disconnected point solutions to automate dialing, accept calls, and manage outbound campaigns. Sprinklr’s stand-out auto dialer functionalities that can transform your outbound calling strategy include:

  • Predictive, preview, and progressive dialer applications for your outbound calling campaigns

  • Calling list management to keep your customer contact database updated and synced with your CRM or website 

  • Answering machine detection to help your agents deliver a compelling and complete message to contacts 

  • Time zone dialing rules to comply with regulations in different regions and meet compliance requirements

  • Campaign rules to automate operations such as setting priorities and set redial rules

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