Market Research

Predictive Dialing For Market Research

Market Research Resources

An algorithmic approach (based around mathematical formula) is not just wrong for market research, it is wrong for all outbound activity. The only way to achieve reasonable predictive performance and avoid unacceptable nuisance calls is to adopt the simulation approach taken by Sytel.

Did you know?

The Sytel predictive dialer can achieve as much as an extra 15 minutes talk time per hour for each interviewer?

This kind of performance in market research has been unheard of. Before we explain why it is now possible, let’s start by dismissing the idea that market research needs a special kind of dialer design. It simply isn’t true. Let’s add some emphasis to this – it totally isn’t true.

Just as in other outbound markets, there is a widely held view in market research that the right predictive solution is an algorithmic one based on the specific behaviour of interviewers. An algorithmic approach (based around mathematical formula) is not just wrong for market research, it is wrong for all outbound activity. The only way to achieve reasonable predictive performance and avoid unacceptable nuisance calls is to adopt the simulation approach taken by Sytel.

Some readers brought up with other dialers in market research may not necessarily agree with this. A debate on the merits of specific dialers is beyond the scope of this page, but we are very keen that the reader should set aside any bad dialing design ideas they may have picked up. So if you think that market research needs a different approach and the material we provide, here and elsewhere, doesn’t convince you otherwise, then contact us so we can set matters right for you.

Dialers and performance in Market Research

There’s just one reason to buy a predictive dialer and that is to generate predictive gain. This is the extra talk time per agent hour that can be obtained on a predictive campaign, compared with a progressive campaign when only one outside line is dialled each time an agent becomes free.

The way it used to be

Historically the predictive gain on market research campaigns was small. There were several reasons for this. Often the lists were ‘friendly’, as opposed to being based on Random Digit Dialing (RDD) techniques – so consumers were more willing to talk for lengthy periods of time, and in some cases were standing by, waiting for their regular call.

Even though predictive dialers have been widely used in market research for many years the actual predictive gain under conditions such as this have usually been very small – rarely more than a few extra minutes of agent talk time per hour. And that of course shouldn’t be surprising when you consider that some interviews could last 20 minutes or more.

Predictive gain in today’s markets

Today many market research campaigns are little different from telemarketing campaigns in that overall average talk and wrap times are low (often around the 60 second mark) and live call rates are also low, as calls divert to voicemail or go unanswered.

Under these conditions, even with low numbers of interviewers, say under 10, a well-engineered dialer operating under compliance can yield significant benefits, without the dialer causing lots of nuisance calls, for example by abandoning lots of live calls or placing them in hold queues. And as interviewer numbers grow on a campaign to say 20-30, then the predictive benefit with Sytel can be as much as 50%, or in other words an increase in talk time per interviewer hour from say 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

And this kind of performance is achievable under the compliance limits set by bodies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US and Ofcom in the UK.

Putting the Sytel AI Dialer to the test

Sytel is very happy to work with market research users so that they can experience first-hand the power of the Sytel AI Dialer, using your CATI product of choice. We will engage in free trials, which means no charges whatsoever by us, until you are convinced of the predictive gain you can achieve with our dialer. And for those users who want to do a comparison with another dialer, we will help you put together a proper benchmark so you can see the added value Sytel generates.

Predictive gain over progressive dialing
Predictive gain over progressive dialing

What We Offer

Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC) – multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions.

Available by subscription as CCaaS, fully managed and supported by Sytel, or for quick and easy deployment by partners and 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 Software

Softdial Contact Center™ – rich functionality, all-in-one, designed to deliver at scale

  • Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

    CCaaS for subscribers – global service​, with no upfront costs

  • Contact Center Platform – CCaaS Partners

    Build your own CCaaS business using the power and flexibility of Sytel software

  • Contact Center Platform – Enterprise

    High performance platform to drive contact center productivity – cloud, on-premise or hybrid

Blended Media Desktop

Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

Work Anywhere

Browser-based tools, no software installation required

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


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 Channels

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

Agent Multi-Tasking

Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media channel

Dynamic Workforce Management

Optimise agent usage and balance workloads in real-time without human intervention, across all media channels

Predictive Dialing

Best-of-breed performance under compliance

Optimised Inbound 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


Drive operational efficiency, increase customer satisfaction & improve agent performance

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™

Maximum predictive dialing performance, 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™

Automation to optimise any outreach strategy

Softdial Repository™

Central storage and configuration of common resources

Sytel Global Compliance™

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


Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications

By Business Type


A full featured contact center software solution, designed for optimum performance at scale

Small/ Medium Business

Options for SMBs to subscribe to our full-featured cloud service managed and hosted by either one of our partners or by Sytel themselves

By Industry

Customer Service

Connect quickly to well equipped agents

Market Research

Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

Debt Collection

Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app

Sales & Telemarketing

Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing


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