Top 5 Myths Of Outbound Calling

July, 2011

Here are the top 5 misconceptions about how predictive dialers actually work, along with some suggestions for better practice.

In talking to predictive dialer users around the world, we come across many misconceptions about how predictive dialers actually work, and how to get the most from them. Here are the top 5, along with some suggestions for better practice.

  1. The longer I set my Ring No Answer (RNA) time, the greater my productivity will be.
    RNA is the duration an initiated call rings at the destination before being killed as a No Answer. The reality is that 95% of consumers answer the phone within 18 seconds, and setting an RNA longer than that just pushes line costs up and agent productivity down, not up! Not sure why? Just ask us.
  2. Answering machine detection (AMD) must be beneficial because it cuts down the number of non-live calls connected to my agents.
    Yes, it can help, but 85% detection accuracy is as good performance as you are likely to get in most cases, and even then there is a price to be paid. Firstly, you will be hanging up on live callers thinking that they are answering machines, putting you at risk of trouble with the regulators. Secondly, you are likely to be keeping the consumer waiting for 2-3 seconds before putting the call through, which just annoys people and lowers the quality of the call. Any attempt to go above 85% will make these two effects worse. But ask for a copy of our paper on whether to use AMD at all.
  3. To gain the maximum benefit from my calling list, I should pass through it once, then call all the answer machines, no answers and busies again.
    Batching a group of previous non-connects will probably lead to more non-connects, and agent left waiting for a live call. It is better to keep the connect rate steady, firstly by combining fresh list data with smart recycling of individual outcomes (e.g. calling answering machines at a different time the following day), and secondly, by preventing supervisors from cherry-picking data at the expense of overall campaign performance.
  4. Predictive dialers need to be managed according to observation,
    e.g.a. slowing the dialing rate when there are too many abandoned calls
    b. dialing at say the reciprocal of the average connect rate, or according to average talk times, or at ‘x trunks per agent’The problem is that during any campaign, conditions such as connect rate, agent numbers, long/ short talk times, are liable to roller coaster. If the dialing rate is either fixed or under the control of a manager, it can lead to agent thumb-twiddling on one hand, and silent calls on the other. It is better to use a dialer that reacts immediately and automatically to these changing conditions.
  5. Call blending is unproductive and should not be used.
    The problem here is that agents tend to be good at either outbound processes, or inbound, but not both. Deploying agents to work outside their skill area degrades call center performance.The answer is firstly to restrict blending to those (rare) agents with both inbound and outbound skills, and secondly to blend not only voice traffic but multiple media types as well. And where do you find multi-disciplinary agents to deal with email, chat, sms, social media, etc? Anybody with teenage children will see how naturally young people interact with multiple media sources. Your multi-disciplinary staffing issue could be a solution for youth unemployment!

If these myths are familiar to you, you are not alone. We hope the above suggestions will improve your use of existing call center software. If you would like more detail, please ask us (info@sytel.com) for the white papers we have produced on these subjects.

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