Predictive Dialers started replacing the technically much less sophisticated Power Dialer (see the Power Dialer Glossary entry for more information) in the 1990ies.
A Predictive Dialer, just like a Power Dialer, is usually implemented in the attempt to unburden agents from manually dialing customer phone numbers to make outbound calls. For the most part, the type of outbound call is irrelevant, predictive dialers are used in customer service, sales, telemarketing, collections and any other call center that needs to quickly process large numbers of outbound calls and does not want to saddle their agents with the actual dialing.
However, predictive dialing differs from power dialing in that it actually uses call center data to determine how many outbound calls are executed for each available agent. The predictive dialer assumes, just like the power dialer, that not all calls will actually result in a successful connection with the customer. Calls may go unanswered, or go to voicemail (in which case, with a sophisticated system, they could be handled using automated message laydown, so that no live agent is required for handling the call).
Instead of using a static calls-to-agent ratio, a predictive dialer constantly monitors statistics such as success rate for calls as well as average talk time and required minimum rest time for agents; it then uses algorithms to determine the appropriate number of calls to make to achieve maximum agent productivity, while complying with pertaining legislation. For telemarketing, for example, there are federal regulations that limit the number of abandoned calls to no more than 3% of answered calls, which helps ensuring a positive customer experience. Abandoned calls will usually also be part of the monitored data and influence the call-to-agent ratio. The downside to predictive dialers is the decision period after the call is answered and the routing of the call to an agent; it creates a noticeable pause which the customer uses to hang up before the call can be acknowledged by the agent.
NICE inContact CXone Personal Connection goes one step further. This proactive outbound solution has the ability to place several calls at a time per agent. Success rates and number of agents available determine the dialing aggressiveness. It then constantly monitors system status to ensure maximum agent productivity. And Personal Connection uses a patented delivery method that ensures that every caller is immediately greeted by an agent when they first pick up the phone.
For more information on Personal Connection and the positive impact on the customer experience, increased agent satisfaction, as well as higher first attempt connect rates, please click here.