With their ability to automate the dialing process and keep phone reps busy, dialers are one of the most efficient tools utilized in call centers today. In the 1980s, the first auto dialers came into use, and since then, two main types of dialers have risen in popularity: power dialers and predictive dialers.
Both the power and predictive dialer can eliminate downtime for customer service and sales reps, connecting agents with more customers every hour.
However, these two dialers exhibit distinct characteristics and offer unique advantages relative to each other. The choice between them ultimately hinges on the priorities of your call center.
The Difference Between Power Dialer Vs. Predictive Dialer
Before we get into which dialer will keep your reps the busiest, it’s important to understand how they work and what sets them apart.
A power dialer works by placing a call one after another, working its way down a fixed list of pre-established numbers.
A predictive dialer also automatically dials numbers, but it relies on AI and statistical data to call several numbers at once. The predictive dialer is able to analyze the likelihood of someone answering the phone so that when an agent becomes available, a call is already connected.
We can dig a bit deeper to better understand the unique offerings of each auto dialer software:
Features of a Power Dialer
- These dialers automatically place a single new call once an agent has disconnected from a previous call.
- They allow for call agents to prepare for the next call and provide a consistent pace.
- There are fewer dropped calls with a power dialer since the system only connects one customer to an agent at a time.
- It can automatically dial, route, and pause when necessary based on pre-set rules.
- Being able to control the call rate means that agents can provide a more personalized experience to each customer.
Features of a Predictive Dialer
- Predictive dialers use a math-based estimation to guess when an agent will be available.
- This advanced software is able to predict the average length and success rate of agent calls.
- This dialer works to connect agents with live customers at all times, making it a faster way to connect with leads.
- If an individual doesn’t answer the phone, the predictive dialer can either hang up or leave a message. It can also connect to your CRM software.
- This option is ideal for scaling campaigns since it can call multiple numbers at once and filter out dead or disconnected lines.
The difference between these two dialers boils down to control and capacity. A power dialer allows you to have more control over the pace of calls and how often agents are speaking with customers, while a predictive dialer aims for maximum efficiency by using AI to predict when an agent will be available.
Ask yourself these questions to determine which dialer option is best for your call center:
- Do you want more control over the pace of calls?
- Are missed calls a big concern for your business?
- Do you need to scale your campaigns quickly?
- Do you have the budget for more advanced technology?
Generally speaking, a power dialer provides straightforward control over your call center if you’re dealing with a specialized industry or have strict legal compliance rules. It’s also a good option for those focusing on the quality of each call over the quantity of calls made.
But if you’re in an industry where speed and efficiency are essential, such as telemarketing or sales, then the predictive dialer is likely a better option because it can handle a larger volume of calls more efficiently.
Using a Power Dialer Effectively
The power dialer, equipped with its ability to make calls at a consistent pace, is best used when you have a precise list of contacts to call. It works best for the following types of teams and call centers:
- Legal firms
- Collection agencies
- Real estate agents
- Health services
- Fundraising departments
- In-depth market research
These organizations would benefit the most because of their need for high-quality calls that prioritize the time and connection made with the receiver.
In these industries, the person that the call targets expects a personalized and knowledgeable conversation from the agent, such as a patient or current service subscriber. So the call agent needs a bit of time to review the client’s information in order to begin the chat with a certain level of background knowledge.
A power dialer is also a great option for those who want to get started with automated dialing at a lower price with a simpler learning curve. Many small to mid-sized teams start with this software before scaling to a more advanced option.
Drawbacks of a Power Dialer
The most obvious limitation with the power dialer is its inability to call several numbers at once. This can mean that there will be more downtime for the agent, who must wait until a successful call is connected.
Companies trying to hit time-sensitive goals or campaigns may find themselves struggling to reach the same volume of calls as predictive dialers can.
The general rule of thumb is to use a power dialer when you have a small or medium-sized team that prioritizes quality and engagement. It provides more control and consistent pacing while still helping keep reps busy. It makes it easier on IT teams, too, as the software is more straightforward to understand and manage in day-to-day operations.
Using a Predictive Dialer Effectively
The following organizations can take advantage of the sophisticated predictive dialer system for achieving call center goals:
- Large call centers
- Telemarketing teams
- Follow-through survey capturing
- Debt-collection agencies
- Outbound sales teams
For these teams, being able to connect with a large number of leads is essential. Even if the predictive dialer slightly compromises the call experience for the recipient, with enough volume, it will still generate more successful connections and opportunities in the long run.
It’s also helpful for more complex business operations since a predictive dialer offers AI technology that can be personalized to maximize call efficiency. For example, it can be customized to automatically leave voicemails or connect calls to specific agents based on the customer’s demographics or needs.
Drawbacks of a Predictive Dialer
The main drawback of a predictive dialer is that there’s a high likelihood of dropped or abandoned calls. This happens because the prediction isn’t always accurate.
For example, the system may predict that an agent will be available in 1 minute and call 3 other numbers at that time, estimating that only one person will pick up. But if 2 people answer their phone, there may not be an agent for the second call, and the recipient is likely to hang up.
This may be a problem for small teams that can’t afford to lose potential connections or those in sensitive industries where a dropped call can be damaging to the company’s reputation.
So, as a general rule, use a predictive dialer when you have a large team and need to reach as many leads as possible in the shortest amount of time and want a smart and efficient way to get the job done.
Power Dialer Vs. Predictive Dialer: The Final Word
If you’re trying to keep your reps as busy as possible, the predictive dialer is the most effective option. Since it’s able to reach many people at once and comes with plenty of customization options for an agent’s workflow, it will save time and increase call volume.
It reduces downtime by taking a more assertive approach than the power dialer and can lead to better productivity with large teams or in high-volume call centers. It pairs nicely with VoIP phone services to further enhance the call experience.
Although it may be trickier to comply with legal standards and take more time to train your agents on this high-velocity system, the cost-benefit analysis often tilts in favor of a predictive dialer for companies looking to scale quickly.
For those with small teams, a power dialer can still offer a huge increase in effectiveness over manual dialing, allowing for an organization to test and grow into automated dialers at a more manageable pace and price.
Ultimately, the efficiency of your call agents is influenced by more than just the type of dialer they use. It’s also based on their communication skills, product knowledge, and ability to handle client objections, among other factors.