Predictive dialer software is one way to reach a large pool of potential customers, fast. The best examples of this kind of software require regulatory compliance, AI-like predictive algorithms that can get a customer to an available agent, and variable dialing modes to meet the varying needs that call centers might have. But is this a great fit for your team?
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What Is a Predictive Dialer?
A predictive dialer makes automated calls without call agent input—and can make these calls before agents are even available. The intent is to increase agent performance by enabling the maximum number of outgoing calls, reaching as many leads as possible in the shortest amount of time. As such, current trends indicate these calling methods may be going away soon as regulation increases.
Predictive dialing software automatically routes any answered call to an available agent, with the expectation of increased talk time and improved productivity. In the case of an unanswered call, the system moves on to the following number on the list. The best predictive dialer software can detect calls picked up by answering machines, preventing call agents from wasting time.
Why You Might Want to Avoid Them
Predictive dialing goes by another name: robodialing. While it enables sales teams to save time handling calls that would go unanswered and provides benefits over manual dialing it does come at a cost.
The catch is in the way a predictive dialer makes calls. For example, suppose you have 100 records. In that case, the dialer software will predict the number of people who will answer a call, enabling it to call as many people as possible simultaneously, allowing you to canvass those 100 records with only ten available agents.
The problem arises when outbound dialers reach more people than a limited number of agents can handle in real-time. If 11 people answer, that 11th person will hear a few moments (or more) of silence before an agent can connect. Though the laws regarding this kind of telemarketing aren’t clear, those moments of silence can, in some circumstances, be illegal.
What Is the Difference Between a Predictive Dialer and an Auto Dialer?
An auto-dialer is a tool used by contact center agents to avoid manual dialing. It will dial phone numbers systematically and only connect the agent if someone answers. A predictive dialer is an auto-dialer intended to increase a call center’s capabilities by connecting as many calls as possible by dialing multiple phone numbers simultaneously and transferring any answered calls to available agents.
Predictive Dialers Versus Progressive Dialers
Predictive dialers depend on some aspects of machine learning and statistical algorithms to handle multiple contacts simultaneously. They dial numbers before agents end current calls, eliminating wasted time and maximizing the number of potential customers a call center can process. Predictive dialers typically bundle with other business applications like CRM integrations, call recording, support ticket tools, and more.
Progressive dialers may also help call centers with sales campaign management but function somewhat differently. Sometimes known as a “power dialer,” a progressive dialing system is intended to improve customer engagement and ultimately increase sales conversion. This dialer software eliminates the need for manual dialing by connecting agents to new customers as soon as a call ends.
How Does a Predictive Dialer Work?
Predictive dialers rely on mathematical algorithms to predict the average amount of time an agent takes to handle a call, agent availability, and typical rates of answered to unanswered calls. Some predictive dialers can also analyze unsuccessful calls to determine if these numbers need to be discarded or recycled into the queue.
Are Predictive Dialers Illegal?
Predictive dialers are not technically illegal, but the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (or TCPA) restricts the use of predictive dialers in making unsolicited calls.
How Much Is Auto Dialer Software?
Billing methods may vary between auto dialer software providers, who may bill on an annual or monthly basis, and there are some which have per-call charges. Most services generally have an upfront cost associated with them as well. Fees associated with basic auto dialer software that can handle a single call at a time typically start at around $275 to $300 upfront. More advanced offerings can range anywhere from $500 for a single line up to tens of thousands of dollars for more sophisticated multi-channel capabilities.
When Does It Make Sense to Invest in Predictive Dialer Software?
If you’re trying to make your sales process more efficient by enabling your sales reps to reach as many prospects as possible, you may want to invest in predictive dialing software. Another critical point to consider is the volume of typical sales—the sales of high-ticket items can benefit from predictive dialing strategies. A final determining factor can be how well your organization understands the legal and regulatory issues involved. The last thing you want is to be liable for illegally automated calls.
Do You Really Need Predictive Dialer Software?
We would answer no because there are alternative solutions that can help your team make calls efficiently. Take a look at the list below.
The Best Dialers of 2021
What Is It?
Fastcall is a Salesforce native app that can handle phone calls, send SMS messages and even manage outgoing video calls.
FastCall features include:
- Voicemail drops
- Programmable local area codes to increase caller engagement
Organizations that want to steer clear of potential legal issues by ensuring agents can answer connected calls right away should choose Fastcall.
- Sends pre-recorded voicemails quickly and easily
- Call logs featuring extensive information
- Generally considered the most user-friendly auto-dialer on the market
- Only works in Salesforce
Pricing starts at $24/user/month for “essential” service and $49/user/month for their Pro offering with more advanced features. Discover all pricing options here.
What Is It?
RingCentral is a cloud-based service providing phone, SMS, video, and contact center services.
RingCentral provides capabilities for local, toll-free, and even vanity numbers, multiple extensions, call delegation, call screening, and more.
Businesses needing enterprise-grade services and the ability to handle inbound calls with multiple dialing modes should look into RingCentral.
- Uptime and quality of service are outstanding
- Cloud-based VoIP service eliminates onsite hardware costs
- Quickstart templates fall short of expectations
- Agent crashes
- Poor email responsiveness from the support team
RingCentral offers a free trial for new subscribers, with four paid plan tiers starting at $19.99 and topping out at $49.99. Discover all pricing options here.
What Is It?
Convoso is an omnichannel dialer featuring real-time reporting, multiple dialing modes, lead management, and built-in TCPA compliance.
Dialing modes include power, predictive and preview capabilities, two-way texting, voice broadcast ability, outbound email, and ringless voicemail drops.
Organizations that need a full-featured dialer but want to be sure they’re TCPA compliant.
- Excellent user interface
- Easily managed data
- Good support
- Extra features are pricey
- Customization options are lacking
- Lack of dynamic agent licensing
On the expensive side, at $90.00 per feature, per month. Schedule a demo to find out more.
What Is It?
CallTools combines the features of a predictive dialer with inbound call center management capabilities.
- Automatic voicemail detecting for outbound calls
- Skill-based call routing
- Advanced list management capabilities
Businesses that need to handle a high volume of inbound calls and route calls to specific team members should consider CallTools.
- Reliability and ease-of-use are well rated
- Good CRM component
- Excellent support
- A steep learning curve for some features
- Complicated mute and hold button system.
Not the cheapest on our list, with most quotes coming in at around $99 per user, per month. Fill out the form on their site for a better estimate.
What Is It?
Designed primarily for political, fundraising, and grassroots advocacy campaigns, Callhub.io is a cloud-based voice and text message service.
Scheduled text messaging, peer-to-peer text capabilities, voice broadcast, phonebook analysis, and dynamic caller ID are all included features.
Political or other campaign-centric organizations that need to reach a large number of people.
- Great outreach tools
- Intuitive web-based caller UI
- Good CRM tools
- Not well-suited for sales-based organizations
- Poor customer service
A free trial period is available, with “Essentials” service starting at $199, with call and text credits charged separately and a “Scale” level package that’s $499 a month, also with separate credits for calls and texting. Discover all pricing options here.
What Is It?
Five9 Inc. provides an all-in-one, cloud-based contact and call center solution for both inbound and outbound calls.
Agent call scripting, data importing, call recording and conferencing support, call quality monitoring, and built-in Do Not Call compliance.
Five9 is best for distributed call centers with agents working from multiple locations and organizations that need extensive data handling and call note capability.
- Responsive support
- Flexible account management
- Has problems with inbound spam calls
- No longer integrated with ZenDesk
- Some stability issues
Five9 offers flexible pricing options like month-to-month on-demand pricing, per-minute fees, or annual contracts—but for specific information, they require you to speak to a salesperson. Discover all pricing options here.
What Is It?
A cloud-based system that handles both inbound and outbound calls.
Features include voice, email, SMS, social media capabilities, and a quality monitoring tool.
Great for real estate agents or other businesses dealing in high-ticket items.
- Extensive feature list
- Remote answering capabilities
- No direct CRM integration
- The software has occasional freezing issues
Service starts at $45/month for basic features. Discover all pricing options here.
What Is It?
ReadyMode is a cloud-based, all-in-one predictive calling solution for enterprise-level businesses comparable to Genesys Cloud offerings.
ReadyMode offers a built-in webphone and dialer, inbound and outbound call handling, and compliance with DNC lists.
Enterprise-level organizations with a high call volume.
- Intuitive user interface
- Good built-in CRM
- Comprehensive call and data tracking
- Support has a per-call time limit
- Limited customization options
Though ReadyMode offers flexible pricing plans with monthly, quarterly, and annual billing, they require direct contact with sales staff for custom quotes. Discover all pricing options here.
What Is It?
Primo Dialler is a provider of hosted predictive dialer solutions.
Customer service and event management surveys enable the collection of customer experience ratings.
Primo Dialler suits any organization looking for hosted services without the need for in-house hardware or other infrastructure.
- Good support
- Reliable operation
- Difficult desktop setup
- Limited out-of-box reporting
They offer a “pay as you go” plan for $35/month and $0.0075/call or an inclusive plan with unlimited calls at $80/month. Discover all pricing options here.
What Is It?
XCALLY is a cloud-based, omnichannel call center software currently used in over 60 countries.
Voice, email, webchat, and social media handling are just some of the features provided by this software.
XCALLY is best for organizations with a solid social media presence.
- Highly scalable
- Intuitive GUI
- Good support
- Sub-par graphics
- Few “industry default” features
- No multi-tenant feature
XCALLY is another dialer provider that has flexible plans—but no publicly available pricing information. They require customers to contact them for a direct quote.
Many different dialer solutions are available, with no two being identical in scope, features, or pricing. Determining your organization’s needs before shopping for a provider will enable you to narrow the offerings regarding suitability to your unique needs.
Fastcall is the best contender as a one-size-fits-all solution, and the fact that it’s Salesforce-native is a crucial selling point. Other critical criteria are the features that keep organizations using Fastcall compliant with laws and regulations regarding automated calls. For more information about Fastcall, visit https://fastcall.com.
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