Predictive Dialing Under Regulation – All Pain, Little Gain

November, 2012

Virtually no predictive dialers were designed to deliver good performance under Ofcom/ FTC rules for abandoned calls. This blog explores the implications for the operators and the industry.

Here’s an uncomfortable truth: in both the UK and the US, outbound operators are getting a raw deal.

The fact is that virtually no predictive dialers were designed to deliver good performance under Ofcom rules/ FTC rules for abandoned calls. In fact, most struggle to deliver predictive dialer performance that is any better than a progressive dialer.

Why? Because virtually all were designed pre-regulation and have never been reworked to cope with the challenge. Limited design leads operators to take control of the dialing rate in an effort to maximise productivity. But the most on-the-ball dialer manager is slow and inaccurate (compared to automatic pacing), squeezing out marginal productivity increases at best. And at the same time, users are gambling on achieving an overall abandoned call rate that does not breach the rules.

What is amazing is that the big brands in the dialer industry have convinced a whole generation of users that this is the way to manage a predictive dialer! All pain, little gain. As we said: a raw deal.

Well, enough is enough. It’s time to disrupt the status quo!

Cast your mind back to when the regulators in the US and the UK brought in their rules for predictive dialers about a decade ago. The rules were tough and were set without any regard as to whether dialers could cope with them and still be productive. (Most can’t!)

Let’s consider how we got into this mess.

In the aftermath of the rules, two things happened:

  1. The outbound industry took a nose-dive, as consumers flocked toward Do Not Call lists (DNC in the US, TPS in the UK)
  2. Prices for dialers dropped precipitously

The impetus for both users and vendors to invest in predictive dialer performance slowed in response. Why bother, especially if most countries don’t care or if regulators in the UK and the US are slow to penalise non-compliance?

How have users of dialer technology responded? Particularly in the UK, where compliance matters a great deal, they remain rooted in old-world thinking, for example:-

  • “Our vendor has given us a statement of compliance that shows us we can work within Ofcom rules/ FTC rules and still get great productivity”
    Compliance? Sure! Great productivity? Baloney! Many users would be shocked at how little predictive advantage they are getting over progressive dialing. The only way to know for sure is to run a predictive gain test.
  • “We rely upon the experience of our dialer managers to control the pacing of our dialers”
    Anyone relying on human control to stay compliant and achieve great predictive performance is simply smoking dope, as they say.

If you don’t know what predictive gain is and your dialer managers are spending their time telling your dialer what to do, then you are underperforming on your outbound campaigns. (You can calculate the predictive gain of any outbound campaign by using Oceanic™, Sytel’s simulation and planning tool.)

Call us for some fresh thinking on predictive dialers. Your finance director will love you.

What We Offer

Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC), offering multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions, for quick and easy deployment by partners offering CCaaS or enterprise users. All Sytel cloud components are secure, resilient and scale seamlessly from 10 agents to 10,000+, whether local, mobile or remote.

  • Flexible Contact Center Platform

    Softdial Contact Center™ – tightly integrated modules, designed to deliver at scale

  • Blended Media Desktop

    Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

  • Work Anywhere

    Browser-based tools, no software installation required

  • Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

    Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

  • Customise, Localise, White Label

    Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

  • Integration Via APIs

    ‘Swap out’ components and integrate with 3rd party apps

  • World Class Development

    Continuous evolution pushing technical boundaries

Capabilities

Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) is designed to be flexible, extensible and scalable, integrating with any legacy equipment, and meeting the most complex of requirements.

  • All Media Types

    Voice, chat, email, social, etc – fully integrated and blended

  • Agent Multi-Tasking

    Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type

  • Dynamic Media Blending

    Automated, ‘best available’ decisions to blend and balance work load across all media types

  • Predictive Dialing

    Best-of-breed performance under compliance

  • Intelligent Routing

    Smart rules and ‘best-available’ decisions to drive great customer service

  • Agent Scripts

    Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

  • Voice and Screen Recording

    See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

  • Analytics and Data Feeds

    Measure and evaluate performance at every level

  • IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

    Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

  • Customer Journey Tracking

    Stored customer contact history, to aid routing and add context to conversations

Modules

A complete suite of tools, with unique flexibility to extend and swap out modules to deliver a tailored contact center solution for any environment

  • Softdial One™

    Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators

  • Softdial Scripter™

    Create complex process flow scripts for agents, IVR, chatbots and other applications

  • Sytel AI Dialer™

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing under any compliance rules

  • Softdial Pathfinder™

    Precise routing rules for ‘best available’ connection

  • Softdial Media Server™

    Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

  • Softdial Reporter™ 5

    Fully customisable performance stats, charts and reports, across all channels

  • Softdial Publisher™

    Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

  • Softdial Recording Monitor™

    Audio and screen recording of agent activity to ensure the highest standards

  • Softdial Campaign Manager™

    Comprehensive configuration and control for outbound campaigns

  • Softdial Repository™

    Central storage and configuration of common resources

  • Sytel Global Compliance™

    Flexible ‘no contact’ rules to protect contact center and consumer

Markets

Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications

  • Customer Service

    Connect quickly to well equipped agents

  • Sales & Telemarketing

    Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

  • Healthcare

    Secure, highly-configurable multichannel communications for excellence in patient care

  • Market Research

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

  • Collections

    Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app