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Auto Dialer vs. Predictive Dialer: What Is the Difference?

Auto Dialer vs. Predictive Dialer: What Is the Difference?

Auto and predictive dialers are common technologies used to improve and automate outbound calls in call centers.

They help you know how much time your agents spend not taking calls, which can be quite costly for your pay-per-call campaigns.

However, the two are different in many ways, and what works for one business may not work for another.

Auto dialers automatically call customers or prospective customers without considering the chances of the call being answered.

In contrast, predictive dialers use machine learning algorithms to predict the chances of a call being answered before making it.

Today, we discuss the differences between auto and predictive dialer systems to help you choose the right dialer for your call center.

What Is an Auto Dialer?

An auto dialer connects a customer or prospective customer to an agent by automatically calling a number from a pre-programmed list and playing a recorded message.

Auto dialing software has a basic working mechanism. An agent uploads a list of phone numbers and launches the campaign.

The dialer chronologically calls each number on the list and routes answered calls to available agents.

Auto dialer

If a call goes unanswered, the dialer leaves a recorded message. The agents can also leave a recorded message if the call goes to an answering machine.

The dialer permits agents to take some time before calling the subsequent number. It allows them to fill in any information about the former call and prepare for the next one.

What Is a Predictive Dialer?

A predictive dialer is an automated dialing software that links potential customers with agents using a machine learning algorithm.

The dialer calls a list of phone numbers in chronological order and connects the answered calls to available agents.

It uses different variables such as the number of agents in a call center, call length, and ratio of answered to unanswered calls to determine whether agents are available.

What Are the Key Features of a Good IVR System?

So, the main difference between an auto and predictive dialer is that the auto dialer allows agents to take a break.

In contrast, a predictive dialer places the next call in the queue regardless of whether the agent is available.

Auto vs. Predictive Dialer: Features

Now that you know the main difference between the two, let’s examine the functional differences in the dialing software.

Call ratio

You can configure a 1:1 dial rate ratio when using an auto dialer. That means each agent will have a single number dialer.

You can even configure it for up to 3:1 or three numbers per agent, though this is less common.

Auto Dialer vs. Predictive Dialer: What Is the Difference?

Three is the limit because, per the FCC guidelines, call centers should keep the call abandonment rate lower than three percent. FCC considers a call abandoned if it goes unanswered for over two seconds.

Predictive dialing algorithms establish the call ratio based on several factors. It analyses the factor to determine the ideal pace for call ratio by running an algorithm over the whole call center.

Call connected to an agent

This makes for another key difference between an auto and a predictive dialer.

An auto dialer connects the answered call to an agent. While this lowers the agent’s free time by skipping busy signals, unanswered calls, and answering machines, it does not consider the agent’s availability when making calls.

A predictive dialer determines whether an agent is available and queues calls for them. It only connects an agent once a real person answers the phone.

However, a predictive dialer causes a delay because the dialer calls numbers before an agent finishes their former call. This break leaves the potential customer with an awkward pause or on-hold music.

Dialing mode

A campaign manager determines the auto dialer’s calling rate. It does not calculate or predict the agent’s availability but calls the next number when an agent ends the previous call.

Auto Dialer vs. Predictive Dialer: What Is the Difference?

A predictive dialer predicts the agent’s availability and changes the dial rate accordingly. This dialer is more effective for call centers with large teams and helps you increase productivity.

The presence of additional agents guarantees that no call goes unanswered by the agents.

Auto vs. Predictive Dialer: How to Choose?

All telecommunication software offers various features to help you achieve your business goals. The same applies to auto and predictive dialers.

So, how do you determine which dialer software is better for your business? Here are four things to consider when choosing dialing software.

1. Goal

Auto dialers enable your agents to provide a more individualized interaction. That means auto dialing software is a better choice if the goal of your campaign is to have a meaningful interaction with customers, prospects, donors, etc.

Predictive dialers help run campaigns faster. With multiple calls in progress, your agents can run marketing campaigns or brief surveys.

So, a predictive dialer is a better choice if your goal is to reach a wider audience.

2. Size of the call center

The size of your call center or the number of agents is another primary factor when choosing between an auto dialer and a predictive dialer.

An auto dialer is the most suitable for a small or medium-sized call center. The dialer lets agents concentrate on the conversation instead of worrying about a backlog of outbound calls.

Auto Dialer vs. Predictive Dialer: What Is the Difference?

A predictive dialer would better serve large-scale teams that need to generate leads or perform surveys. An agent can take calls faster and speed up the campaign.

3. Size of the customer base

Agents can see details of the next number thanks to auto dialers like preview dialers. An auto dialer also waits for the agent to hang up, allowing them to speak with the potential customer.

So, an auto dialer might be useful for businesses with a smaller customer base that prioritizes quality communication.

A predictive dialer, in contrast, dials many numbers from the list at once, enabling the system to manage a high outbound call volume.

The predictive dialer might be useful for businesses with a sizable client base as it will enable the business to connect with them quickly.

4. Features

A predictive dialer must evaluate numerous call metrics, which makes it easy for an agent or campaign manager to monitor and analyze calls.

The dialer helps keep track of different call statistics, such as the overall volume, average call duration, ratio of answered to unanswered calls, etc.

IVR Messaging

This allows the call center supervisor to rate the agent’s performance while assisting you in tracking the calls.

Auto dialers offer CRM integration, dashboard reporting, and answering machine detection, among other features.

Auto vs. Predictive Dialer: Use Cases

The last thing we will look at is the ideal use cases for each software.

Auto dialer use case

As mentioned earlier, auto dialer is the best software for small and medium-sized companies.

The dialer lets you control the call’s speed, which enables agents to engage customers and prospective customers in meaningful conversation.

The automation boosts efficiency and makes it possible to customize every interaction. Agents can write and keep notes during breaks in between calls.

Auto Dialer vs. Predictive Dialer: What Is the Difference?

The CRM integration shows the notes to a customer, making it possible to personalize experiences.

  • Mid-sized and small businesses.
  • Personalized interactions with clients, inactive users, contributors, or potential clients.

Predictive dialer use case

From the above comparison, it is clear that a predictive dialer works better for large teams. The dialer lines up many active calls, meaning a call center requires enough agents to manage the number of outbound calls.

A predictive dialer helps increase agents’ efficiency and productivity by relieving them of dialing calls manually.

  • Large companies that make more sales calls
  • Advertising campaigns, voting campaigns, or running surveys
  • Reminder or follow-up calls to members or customers

The Bottom Line

Auto and predictive dialer technologies are invaluable tools that help businesses automate phone calls.

They have unique features and capabilities, so the choice largely depends on a business’s specific goals and requirements.

At PALO, we believe in running profitable pay-per-call campaigns that help businesses scale. Our strategy leverages technology to help businesses reach their full potential.

Contact us today to learn more about our pay-per-call campaigns, the verticals we special in and how we can help you take your business to the next level.