Smart entrepreneurs know the value of their customer list. They go to great lengths to live up to this list and may even use legitimate telemarketing methods to acquire new customers. In an ideal world, when it comes to contacting your customers with hot deals and promotions, you simply assign your telemarketing team (or do it yourself if it’s a small business) one task to get them all to call In reality, however, your agents hear busy signals, annoying answering machine messages or, worse, wrong number warnings up to three quarters of the time. Do you call that productivity now? This is where predictive dialers come into play.
Predictive dialers are telemarketing software products that can turn a simple PC into a powerful calling machine. It follows your lead database entries and calls all numbers one by one. Predictive Autodialer means it can predict what will happen next – it can tell an answering machine from a human voice. Every time your telemarketing software hits an answering machine, it plays a pre-recorded message; if the line is busy, the number will be marked as pending to be called again later automatically; If the call ends in error, the contact will be removed from your database or flagged for attention. However, if it detects a human voice, it gives the agent a buzz so he/she can start speaking.
I’ll try to compare the market leaders and prove to you that predictive dialers can increase agent productivity (in other words, make you more money) and boost your call center operations.
The most popular telemarketing software products are Voicent Agent Dialer and Predictive Dialer by Tctecno and CCC Inc. Voicent costs $499, but you can get a fully-functional, ad-supported trial for free. Tctecno costs $390 and Call Canter Consulting Inc costs $595. Prices are correct at the time of publication of this article (February 2009). The reason CCC is so expensive is that they also give you access to their leads database. It can be useful for new businesses, but established entrepreneurs usually use their own list.
All major predictive dialers are pretty similar when it comes to features. It’s much better to have a free trial to get a feel for each software and decide which product suits your business. There are some very important features that must be included in every product:
- Compliance with Do Not Call laws, which is usually a function of “scrubbing” a list against a DNC list;
- a facility for users to log out of your system using their phone’s keypad;
- Ability to transfer the call to another agent or office;
- answering machine and fax machine detection;
- Database (Access, Excel and MySQL) import function;
- VoIP protocol support; *Planning campaigns and broadcasts;
- a way to pre-record a voice message for normal voice transmission or to provide for answering machines;
- a way to collect and view statistics for each telemarketing campaign.
The Voicent system is unique in its ability to integrate. The command line is easily accessible for your internal software developer. This convenience allows him to integrate the Voicent Predictive Dialer into your current telemarketing system. Plus, it’s fully integrated with free Skype VoIP software, which means that if you have good broadband quality, you can run your telemarketing business for a ridiculously low cost, or even free in some cases. Other major software products also offer the VoIP protocol, but it’s Skype that makes life a lot easier.
While a predictive dialer can be your nice little earner, it’s a pretty expensive piece of software. The best buying tip would be to check the feature list and download a trial version before making a decision.