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Which type of auto dialer does your contact center need?

Young business asian man working call centre customer service agents. Businessman support operator with computer and headset in office.


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  • Auto dialers are software tools that automatically dial phone numbers from a list and connect people to either a contact center agent or a pre-recorded message.
  • There are four types of auto dialers: progressive, predictive, preview, and manual agent-initiated call. Each has a different function and use cases.
  • Auto dialers are designed to save time and money, making agents more efficient and contact centers more profitable over time.

Everyone wants an efficient contact center, and an auto dialer can help you achieve that goal. It dials a ten-digit string of numbers for you, saving time (and ultimately money).

However, there’s more than one type of auto dialer available for cloud contact centers. Which one is right for your contact center? This post explores the differences between four of them and explains for which task each is suited.

How auto dialers work

An auto dialer is a software tool that automatically dials phone numbers from a list.

Once someone picks up the phone, the auto dialer either connects that person to a contact center agent or to a pre-recorded message.

Why use an auto dialer?

Auto dialers save agents time. Instead of focusing on dialing a string of ten numbers,  agents focus instead on the conversation they’ll have with the person at the other end of the phone.

Moreover, auto dialers don’t make mistakes (unlike humans). They’ll never transpose a number or accidentally hit the wrong button when dialing.

Types of auto dialers

The four types of auto dialers are:

  • Progressive
  • Predictive
  • Preview
  • manual agent-initiated call

Progressive auto dialers and their uses

A progressive auto dialer (also known as a power auto dialer) automatically places another call once the first call is over.

Progressive auto dialers are best for outbound centers focused on obtaining quality leads rather than a high quantity of calls. Every time someone picks up the phone, that person will be connected with a live agent. This boosts the chance of conversion, as a live agent is able to answer questions and hold an in-depth discussion about the product or service.

Predictive auto dialers and their uses

A predictive auto dialer dials multiple numbers at once. It uses a pacing algorithm to determine when an agent will complete the current call, then connects the agent to the next call in the queue when the person finishes the current call.

One of the biggest selling points of a predictive auto dialer is its efficiency. It enables you to connect to more leads more quickly.

Moreover, you don’t have to worry about wasting time dialing the wrong numbers. Because a predictive auto dialer can dial multiple numbers correctly at once, there’s a much higher chance of connecting with a lead.

A predictive auto dialer is a great fit for contact centers that want to improve sales agent contact rates or manage their leads more effectively.

Preview auto dialers and their uses

A preview auto dialer gives an agent the option to place a call immediately or to take a moment to gather information about the call prior to initiating it.

Preview auto dialers are a great fit for contact centers that have high-touch and high-value interactions. The agent has time to prepare for the call and do some research because there’s the option to delay the call.

Call center representative at his desk

We’ll illustrate with an example from the finance industry. An investment firm is offering clients an exciting new opportunity; however, this opportunity isn’t for every client. The firm wants to increase the chances of success, so it uses a preview auto dialer to connect with clients.

The preview auto dialer gives agents the chance to review a client’s profile before connecting. By doing so, the agent may discover that a client wouldn’t be the right fit based on that person’s investment history or assets or that additional work will need to be done to make the offer useful to the client. That research leads to higher success because agents can tailor their messaging for the specific client, who will then likely be more receptive (and more likely to invest).

What is TCPA?

Before addressing the last category of auto dialers on this list, let’s take a moment to explain what the TCPA is.

TCPA stands for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. It was a bill passed in 1991 to address consumer concerns regarding telemarketing. The TCPA limits certain telemarketing devices and practices, including:

  • Pre-recorded messages
  • Robo-messages
  • Auto-dialing systems
  • Text messages
  • Fax machines

Additionally, the TCPA requires that auto-dialing and voice message equipment convey the caller’s contact information. Callers cannot call before 8 AM or after 9 PM, and they can’t contact people who have opted into a do-not-call registry.

TCPA compliance requires vigilance – it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it process. If someone changes their number, they might still want to be in the do-not-call registry. Also, customers can revoke their consent to be contacted at any time.

For these reasons and others, TCPA compliance represents a headache for contact centers. They don’t want to run afoul of the law, though they also don’t always have the resources to attain (and maintain) compliance. What can contact centers do in such a situation?

Reduce TCPA risks with manual agent-initiated calling

To remain TCPA-compliant, contact centers must scrub outbound call lists against the Do Not Disturb Registry and time-of-day enforcement data. Setting up manual agent-initiated calling can help reduce TCPA risks..

RingCentral’s manual agent-initiated call auto dialer maintains compliance in three ways:

  • It uses a combination of risk management, human intervention, and intelligent technology to ensure compliance across all of your contact centers
  • It streamlines processes to improve results, so there’s greater productivity and higher operational efficiency for all of your campaigns
  • It utilizes TCPA compliance resources, so you have full control and awareness of compliance and compliance-adherence tools

RingCentral’s manual agent-initiated call auto dialer is a feature of its cloud-based contact center software. When you choose RingCentral’s contact center solution, you’re getting software that has 99.999% uptime – you don’t have to worry about not reaching customers again.

Manual agent-initiated call auto dialers make sense for anyone who’s calling cell phones. Cell phone users might not automatically opt into a campaign, meaning that there’s a greater risk of TCPA noncompliance.

Find the right auto-dialer for you with RingCentral

RingCentral’s cloud-based contact center software gives you the option of four auto-dialers: progressive, predictive, preview, and manual agent-initiated call, to meet a variety of needs. To learn more about auto-dialers, get a demo.

Originally published Jul 13, 2021, updated Jan 07, 2024

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