When it comes to running an outbound contact center and making large volumes of outbound calls, dropped calls are unavoidable. These unfulfilled connections not only interrupt the smooth flow of operations but may also negatively impact customer relationships. With the right dialer software solutions, such as predictive dialers, contact centers can mitigate their occurrence, leading to more efficient and effective operations.
However, despite their efficiencies, if mismanaged, predictive dialers can also contribute to dropped calls due to their proactive nature. An agent might not be available when a call connects, resulting in the customer experiencing silence, and ultimately, a dropped interaction. Here are some actionable tips you can employ to avoid call drops when using predictive dialer systems.
What are Predictive Dialers?
Predictive dialers are software systems that automatically dial numbers from a list, connecting answered calls to available agents. Unlike other types of auto dialers, predictive dialers initiate multiple dials per agent simultaneously before an agent completes their current interaction. As soon as an agent becomes available, the dialer connects the agent to the prospect, thus minimizing agent’s idle time.
Predictive dialers are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and Machine Learning Algorithms (ML) to automatically adjust and optimize the dialing speed based on real-time and historical metrics to ensure the optimal number of contacts are dialed at the same time. That enables agents to make more outbound calls in less time, engage in more conversations, and drive more sales conversions for a business.
The downside of using predictive dialers in outbound contact centers is that if the dialer is not properly managed, that can actually result in an increased number of call drops. When a prospect picks up but there is no available agent to handle the interaction, they will hear silence on the other end, prompting them to abandon the call, which may also lead to caller frustration, poor experience, as well as compliance issues. That’s why it’s critical for contact centers to proactively address and minimize dropped calls when utilizing predictive dialer software tools.
How to Minimize Dropped Calls with Predictive Dialer Solutions
Tip #1 ─ Optimizing the Dialing Rate
One of the most efficient strategies contact centers can leverage involves optimizing the dialing rate of the predictive dialer. The aim here is to strike a balance between the speed of dialing and agent availability.
Continual monitoring and adjusting of the dialer’s pacing algorithm, taking into account factors like the average handling time and agent occupancy, can help in achieving this balance, reducing the likelihood of dropped calls.
Tip #2 ─ Managing Abandonment Rates
In the context of predictive dialers, call abandonment refers to calls disconnected before an agent can answer. It’s not just detrimental to customer relationships but can also lead to regulatory fines. Therefore, monitoring and managing your abandonment rate, while adhering to regulations, is essential in minimizing dropped calls.
Tip #3 ─ Employing Answering Machine Detection (AMD)
Answering Machine Detection (AMD) is a fundamental technology predictive dialers employ. It helps differentiate between human pick-ups and answering machines, reducing unnecessary agent interactions. However, AMD isn’t flawless and may sometimes result in false positives, leading to dropped calls. Thus, fine-tuning the AMD settings can contribute significantly to avoiding them.
Tip #4 ─ Utilizing Local Presence Dialing
Local Presence Dialing allows the dialer to display a local number on the receiver’s caller ID, increasing the chances of the call being picked up. Research proves that people are more likely to answer unknown numbers if that number is local. Using local presence dialing can lead to fewer unanswered calls, thereby reducing the occurrence of dropped calls.
Tip #5 ─ Implementing Call Progress Analysis
Call Progress Analysis involves using voice detection algorithms to analyze call progress tones, like busy signals or voicemail beeps. By implementing this feature, predictive dialers can better discern call outcomes, thus improving agent efficiency and reducing the likelihood of call drops.
Tip #6 ─ Keeping Accurate Call Records
Maintaining accurate call records aids predictive dialers in adjusting their operations based on historical data. This information can improve future predictions, leading to more efficient call handling and fewer call drops.
Tip #7 ─ Choosing Reliable Network Providers
While the functionality of predictive dialers plays a crucial role, the quality of the underlying network is equally vital. An unreliable network or one with high latency can contribute to dropped calls. Therefore, choosing a reliable network provider forms a crucial part of the strategy to minimize them.
Tip #8 ─ Optimizing Staffing Levels and Agent Availability
There is no use in utilizing predictive dialers if there are not enough agents to handle outbound calls. Make sure to optimize your staffing levels and coordinate agent availability with the dialer’s calling schedule to ensure agents are ready to take calls without delays. This reduces the chances of dropped calls due to agents being unavailable.
Tip #9 ─ Adjusting the Redialing Strategy
Set a reasonable radial frequency to avoid excessive attempts that could only annoy your prospects. If calls to a prospect or customer are consistently dropped, it’s better to avoid immediate redials to the same contact to prevent overwhelming prospects and reduce the likelihood of dropped calls caused by repeated callbacks.
Dropped calls persist as a ubiquitous challenge in the realm of outbound contact center operations. However, by understanding and strategically utilizing predictive dialers, a critical component of dialer software for call centers, you can significantly mitigate this issue.
Implementing the strategies mentioned above – from optimizing dialing rates and employing Answering Machine Detection (AMD) to leveraging Local Presence Dialing and choosing a reliable network provider – can lead to call drops, smoother contact center operations, improved customer relationships, and enhanced agent productivity.
It is crucial to comprehend that call drops are not an inevitable part of outbound contact center operations; with the right dialer software and an array of well-executed strategies, their occurrence can be significantly reduced.