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Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Call Center Auto Dialer

Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Call Center Auto Dialer

Before you invest in a call center auto dialer, think about what you need. In the comedic masterpiece, This is Spinal Tap, the heavy metal band’s guitarist, Nigel Tufnel, explains the key feature behind his amplifier to the film’s director, Marty:

Nigel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board [he points at the dials on the amp], eleven, eleven, eleven and…
Marty: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel: Exactly.
Marty: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten.

When business owners are shopping for new equipment for their call centers, they sometimes get tripped up by comparing and examining features and benefits that will either have no impact on their operation, or end up hurting it.  Before you go out and purchase a call center auto dialer that “goes to 11,” make sure you’re asking the right questions to ensure it produces the return on investment you’re banking on.

Do you need a call center auto dialer?

Most call center operators will answer this question with a resounding “Yes,” but it’s worth asking—especially if you are just getting started.  Call center auto dialers are beacons of efficiency, connecting your agents to prospective customers at the click of a mouse.  However, if you have a small and relatively inexperienced sales staff, introducing an auto dialer into the workflow may prove to be disruptive, especially if they’re not prepared for the pace.  But if you look out and see them spending more time dialing numbers and looking at their lists rather than talking to leads, an auto dialer is probably the right call.

What kind of auto dialer makes sense for your business?

If you’re unfamiliar with the basic categories of call center auto dialers, you may want to review this helpful breakdown.  Here are four of the main breeds:

  • Power dialers: These are the simplest of the auto dialers. They dial a new number each time an agent receives a busy signal or is disconnected. A good option for those just getting started and looking to reduce idle time.
  • Preview dialers: The agent chooses which number to call and receives contextual information about the customer from the display, ranging from the lead’s name to background information about them. If your business has sufficient depth, in terms of customer information, the preview dialer gives your agents an edge when starting the conversation.
  • Progressive dialer: Progressive dialing systems allow numbers to be arranged in a queue so that it automatically dials the next number on the list once a call is finished. Progressive dialing platforms use the contextual information that preview systems offer, while offering managers more control of lead prioritization.
  • Predictive dialer: Predictive dialing platforms take the progressive concept to another level by dialing multiple numbers simultaneously to increase the chances that an agent will connect with a customer or lead. The systems are powered by algorithms that rely on statistical analysis to boost the chances of agents connecting with an actual person.  If you have rich lead lists and are focused on making sure your agents are consistently selling, predictive dialers are the gold standard.

What features does the call center auto dialer offer?  Which do you need?

Most auto dialers come equipped with a wide variety of features, but it’s important to remember that more is not always better—especially when you are running a call center with a steady infusion of new agents.  If the call center auto dialer’s controls remind you of the cockpit of a 747, you’ll want to keep in mind that you or someone in the company will need to train each new person on how to fly it.

Instead of looking at the feature lists and thinking about what you’ll get, ask yourself what you need:

  • Do I need call recording and monitoring?
  • Do I need fax capabilities?
  • Do I need video or audio conferencing?
  • Do I need text-to-speech?
  • Do I need Caller ID?
  • Do I need call scripting?

How does the auto dialer integrate with your business?

Auto dialers are a key element of most call center operations, but they are not standalone items.  If you are getting a call center off the ground—or preparing to scale up—you need to know that the auto dialer will integrate properly. Your customer relationship management system is the most important.  For example:

  • Does the call center auto dialer integrate with Salesforce? Sugar?  Zoho?  Oracle?

You’ll also want to verify that it will work with your customer service support software.

  • Does it work with Zendesk, or ServiceNow, or Desk.com?

Finally, does it also integrate with your email and cloud storage providers, such as Microsoft, Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, and Box?

If you are still deciding about those other vital business systems, you may want to delay pulling the trigger on a call center auto dialer until you know they’ll all work in harmony.

Hosted, hybrid, or premise?

This is one of the biggest questions that business owners have regarding their call center auto dialer decision.  So big, in fact, we’re going to tackle it in depth in an upcoming post.  Once you’ve answered the questions listed above, you’ll be better prepared to determine which option is right for your business.

Learn more about reliable and scalable predictive dialing solutions that will improve your close rates and help boost your ROI to 11. Contact us today!