A number of studies suggest that the worldwide auto dialer software market has been growing consistently. More and more contact centers have been switching from manual dialers to on-premise and cloud-based auto dialer software to place outbound telephone calls automatically, efficiently, and rapidly. In addition to expedite the outbound calls, the auto dialer also detects disconnected lines, busy tones, answering machines, and voicemails, intelligently.
They play a pre-recorded message or transfer the call to a live agent only when the outbound call is answered by a real person. A contact center has the option to choose from different types of outbound dialers including progressive dialers and predictive dialers.
Both progressive and predictive dialers initiate outbound calls from a contact list automatically and sequentially. Also, they transfer only answered calls to live agents.
But progressive dialers initiate outbound calls only after the agent indicates that he/she is ready to handle the next call. When the agent is ready to handle the next call, the progressive dialer initiates the outbound call after presenting information about the call. On the other hand, predictive dialers initiate outbound calls automatically based on a pre-defined dialing ratio. The dialing ratio is determined using predictive statistical algorithms.
Hence, the auto dialers initiate outbound calls before an agent is free to handle the next call. The cloud-based predictive dialers come with sophisticated features to facilitate marketing campaigns customization, monitoring, and management.
Most contact centers switch between progressive dialers and predictive dialers according to the nature and needs of individual marketing campaigns. The decision makers still need to keep in the major differences between predictive and progressive dialers.
Outbound Dialing Mode
As the name indicates, a progressive dialer is a type of auto dialer software that supports progressive dialing mode. The progressive dialing mode requires the auto dialer to place only one outbound call for each available agent. Hence, the dialer initiates the outbound call only when an agent is available to handle the next call. On the other hand, a predictive dialer supports predictive dialing mode. The dialing mode predicts agent availability using an algorithm. Hence, the auto dialer initiates outbound calls before an agent becomes free to handle the next call.
A progressive dialer places a single outbound call for each available agent. On the other hand, a predictive dialer places multiple outbound calls for each available agent. Hence, predictive dialers are more effective than progressive dialers in keeping dialing and connecting rate constant.
The increase in call frequency helps contact centers to curtail agent idle time significantly. However, progressive dialers help contact centers to reduce call abandon rate by increasing agent availability.
As mentioned earlier, a predictive dialer determines agent availability using statistical algorithms. The predictive algorithm determines what percentage of customers will answer the outbound calls from the contact list and how much time the agents will require to handle the answered calls. The predictive dialer decides about initiating outbound calls at a faster pace or a slower pace based on the algorithm.
It further places outbound calls before an agent is available to handle the next call. The progressive dialers, unlike predictive dialers, do not place outbound calls based on any algorithms. They initiate the calls only when an agent is available in real-time to handle the next call.
The progressive dialers initiate a single outbound call for each available agent. Hence, the contact center needs to deploy additional agents to handle the increase in outbound calls. The contact centers cannot manage large-scale marketing campaigns without deploying additional outbound agents.
On the other hand, predictive dialers help contact centers to manage large-scale outbound marketing campaigns without deploying extra agents. As the auto dialer initiates multiple calls for each available agent, it becomes easier for businesses to communicate with more customers and leads by reducing the time between two outbound calls.
The predictive dialers help agents to handle more outbound calls in a short amount of time. But the agents often find it challenging to make customer interaction personalized and productive while using these auto dialers.
On the other hand, the progressive dialers help agents to personalize customer interaction by accessing and understanding relevant customer information before handling the call. They even allow agents to take additional time to gather the information required to personalize customer interaction and increase sales conversion. Hence, predictive dialers seem more impersonal than progressive dialers.
Unlike predictive dialers, progressive dialers do not help contact centers to initiate more outbound calls in a short amount of time. But they help contact centers to reduce call abandonment rate by ensuring that an agent is available to handle each outgoing calls. On the other hand, predictive dialers initiate multiple outbound calls simultaneously without checking real-time agent availability.
Hence, the chances of agent being unavailable to handle outbound calls answered by customer increases. However, the new age predictive dialers predict agent availability accurately by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms.
Ideal Use Cases
Both progressive dialers and predictive dialers help contact centers to manage marketing campaign efficiently. But each of these two auto dialers has its own pros and cons. Unlike progressive dialers, predictive dialers help agents to interact with more customers and leads in a short amount of time.
But the predictive dialers do not help agents to make the outbound calls personalized and productive. The progressive dialers help agents to improve customer engagement and increase sales conversion. Hence, the contact centers need to compare quality of calls and quality of calls while comparing these auto dialers.
Both progressive dialers and predictive dialers help contact centers to automate and expedite outbound calls. They further transfer only answered outbound calls to agents. A predictive dialer initiates outbound calls based on a preset dialing ratio before the agent is free to handle the next call. On the other hand, a progressive dialer places outbound calls only after the agent indicating his/her availability to handle the next call.
Hence, contact centers must keep in mind the precise needs of every marketing campaign while comparing progressive dialers and predictive dialers.