Why is There a Need for Power Dialing?
Predictive dialing is not a answer for all outbound calling factors. Whereas on the surface, it appears to be an ideal answer, it is has its share of problems.
Predictive dialing options are generally very expensive and only make financial sense when there are large numbers of calls to make. So, predictive dialing is price prohibitive for smaller businesses and/or divisions of larger corporations where the call volume does not support it.
Predictive dialers only join agents with “live” called parties; they are delivered instantly with little or no warning to the receiving agent. Calls are delivered to mainly unprepared agents who do not generally have time to learn anything about the called party prior to call delivery—even if a screen pop of some type is provided. Often times, this aspect of predictive dialing leads to a lower quality contact.
Due to the “predictive” nature of predictive dialing, predictive dialers occasionally “get ahead” of agents ability to handle calls. Calls are sometimes placed and answered by called parties before there is an agent available to handle the call. When this occurs, called parties answer the call only to receive several moments of dead air before a “live” individual is added to the call.
One of the leading problems with predictive dialing has nothing to do with the technologies. It has to do with legislation. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) newly amended the legislation that deals with automated outbound marketing. In an attempt to severely limit the use of predictive dialers—due in large part to the incredible number of abandoned calls and “hang ups”—the Commission placed restrictions on calls to residential customers, with large fines for failure to comply, on the number of abandoned calls allowed, length of time a call must ring before classifying the call as a “no answer”, and call handling rules when the “gets ahead” of agent availability. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on the telemarketing industry. However, first indications are that it will change ROI calculations and render smaller systems financially untenable.
While power dialing does not automate the entire dialing process, it automates a substantial portion of the process—the physical list administration and dialing. Power dialing still provides significant productivity increases—up to 30% improvement—over simple manual dialing.
So, power dialing, while not as efficient as predictive dialing, still provides a meaningful increase in productivity. And, it does so at a fraction of the cost of predictive dialing—generating a very solid ROI—even for small outbound dialing operations.
Power dialers never “get ahead”—resulting in no called party side abandons and elimination of the annoyance factor and negative feelings toward the business making those calls that is typically associated with those abandoned calls.
Power dialing puts the agent/caller in control of the process—resulting in higher quality calls and much higher morale.