Predictive dialing software is a useful tool for helping customer service agents and sales reps speak with as many customers or leads as possible, with minimal downtime. It helps mitigate many of the hassles of cold calling, like getting a busy signal, reaching a subscriber’s voicemail or dealing with phone numbers that just ring endlessly, with no answer. 

Predictive dialing is suitable for businesses in a variety of industries and can help improve contact rates, reduce agent frustration and maximize the ROI of outbound campaigns. Learn more about how predictive dialing works and the benefits of deploying it to help your voice agents have more live conversations, more consistently.

What is predictive dialing?

Predictive dialing is a feature of outbound dialing software, which helps companies automate the process of making outbound calls. As its name suggests, predictive dialing intelligently predicts the ideal time to place a call based on when the next agent will become available.

Predictive dialing software begins automatically making calls while agents are still busy, knowing that a certain proportion of those calls won’t be answered. After an unanswered call, reaching a voicemail box or getting a busy signal, the system automatically dials the next number in the queue. By the time one of the calls reaches a live person, that recipient can be routed to an agent with as little waiting time as possible for both parties.

Predictive dialing is designed to boost productivity by helping agents connect with as many leads as possible, without waiting to reach the next person to talk to or experiencing idle time between different calls.

By analyzing the outcome of each call, predictive dialers get “smarter” over time, becoming able to anticipate call times with ever-improving accuracy. This intelligence allows organizations to get more of their calls answered and achieve their business objectives more efficiently.

The benefits of predictive dialing software

Maximize Efficiency

Because predictive dialing software presents agents with a steady stream of calls, they spend more time having live conversations and less time dialing, switching between apps on their workstation or becoming distracted between interactions. This maximizes their productivity and leads to more conversions, subscriptions and collections.

Minimize Frustration

A predictive dialer has the ability to screen calls, weeding out those that go to an answering machine or result in a busy signal. Intelligent call routing ensures that those calls never make it through to an agent, which reduces their frustration. Happier agents are able to focus their full attention on the interaction at hand, providing better service. 

Control Contact Attempts

Predictive dialing software offers built-in contact attempt controls so you can stay within the bounds of the legal requirements for your industry, like those pertaining to how many times you can make contact and during what hours of the day. 

Reduce Costs

When your business depends on agents reaching as many people as possible as quickly as possible, predictive dialing software is an optimal solution. More contacts in a shorter amount of time means a lower cost per contact. 

Highly Configurable

One of the main concerns with predictive dialing is that an agent won’t be available by the time a live human is reached, which can result in an abandoned call. So, precision is key for using predictive dialing effectively. Predictive dialing software offers settings that can be customized based on your business and needs to improve KPIs. Its predictive algorithm recalibrates over time based on metrics like your average handle time, which reduces the likelihood of call recipients having to wait on hold for an agent.

Utilizing predictive dialing software

In addition to predicting the right time to place calls, predictive dialing software comes with a number of other features that are beneficial to businesses. 

Here are a few of the main ones: 

  • Auto-dialing. Save agents the time of manually punching in a ten-digital number or pressing a key to initiate a call by automatically dialing the next number. 
  • Voicemail detection. Some predictive dialing software can discern between a live human and an answering message, and leave a message if it’s the latter. 
  • Call routing. Begin with an interactive voice response system to gather information from call recipients, then direct them to the most appropriate agent or resource based on their answers. 
  • Customer insights. Outbound calls placed via predictive dial contain a wealth of insights about your customers, like the ideal contact time and average number of attempts to make contact.

Outbound sales might be the first use case that comes to mind when discussing predictive dialing software, but that’s far from its only purpose. 

It can also be useful for:

  • Telemarketing. Inform your existing customers about new products or upcoming promotions to increase revenue. 
  • Customer service follow-ups. Circle back after tech support requests or gather additional information.
  • Collecting feedback. Place outbound calls to request that customers share their input by taking part in a survey. 
  • Conducting market research. Interface with key audience groups to learn more about customer needs and preferences. 
  • Distributing information. Disseminate important or time-sensitive messaging fast.
  • Boosting collections. Help collections agents reach more live people to address past-due balances.
  • Campaigning. Have live conversations surrounding political issues, candidates and other campaigns.

NICE’s predictive dialing software

NICE is an integrated outbound contact center platform that gives organizations maximum flexibility in how they communicate with customers while keeping compliance at the forefront. NICE’s predictive dialing capabilities are ideal for high-volume situations where agent efficiency is paramount. 

With four different outbound dialing modes to choose from, NICE helps companies achieve the right level of productivity with a minimal level of risk. It makes risk mitigation painless, with comprehensive but easy-to-use controls that simplify how you comply with regulations like TCPA, FDCPA and other industry standards. 

Predictive dialing is just one of NICE’s outbound calling capabilities. The full suite also includes human call initiation, in which agents can launch a call with the touch of a button, preview all, which presents agents with need-to-know information ahead of each call, and manual dialing, which gives agents maximum control over how and when they reach customers. Together, these ‘four clouds’ of outbound calling can successfully address nearly any business need or use case. With the addition of another feature, Phone Dial Attempt Supervisor (PDAS), organizations can configure advanced contact attempt control setups at the account and phone number level across all outbound operations.

Frequently asked questions

What is predictive dialer software?

Predictive dialer software is an outbound calling tool that places calls on behalf of customer service and sales agents. It uses an algorithm to determine the timing of calls, with the goal of lining up a call for the precise time the next agent becomes available. In this way, teams can use it to maximize productivity and minimize idle time. 

Is a predictive dialer illegal?

A predictive dialer is not illegal if it is part of a system that complies with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA. TCPA outlaws autodialers that can do two things: 1) store or produce phone numbers to be called using a random or sequential number generator, and 2) automatically dial such numbers. 

What is a predictive dialer call?

A predictive dialer call is an outbound call that’s automatically placed using predictive dialing software. The call is made while customer service agents are busy so that by the time they become available, a live recipient is ready on the other end of the line to speak with.