If you’re running a business that requires a lot of calls to customers, it’s worthwhile to invest in a predictive dialer. These software systems automatically dial a set amount of numbers off a list and connect answered calls to the phones of available agents.
Therefore, they eliminate the time workers would otherwise spend dialing phone numbers and waiting for someone to answer.
Predictive dialers fall into two main categories: hosted and on-site. You can expect to pay a one time cost between $3,000 and $200,000 for an on-site predictive dialer and between $15 to $250 per agent per month for a hosted predictive dialer.
Cost of Predictive Dialer: Covering the Basics
You can purchase predictive dialers as stand-alone software or as a component of a complete communication software package.
While predictive dialers are a type of autodialer, they differ from other autodialers in their ability to predict when an agent will become available to take a call.
This software works by utilizing call history data such as the average call length and percentage of calls answered. By feeding this data into an algorithm, the dialer places calls so that a new call becomes available just as an agent finishes a call.
What are the Benefits of a Predictive Dialer?
Predictive dialers make automated calls, so agents don’t have to spend time dialing and waiting for someone to answer. They also filter out answering machines, disconnected numbers, and bounced calls.
By using a predicted dialer, you can increase your agents’ talk time by 300 to 500%. This can help you save a lot of time and money.
By automating the dialing process, you also eliminate misdials caused by human error.
Furthermore, some predictive dialers contain features that allow you to collect data about customers. You can look at this data to determine when receivers are most likely to answer.
Rules on Predictive Dialers
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has established rules regarding predictive dialers. If you use this software system, you must make sure no more than 3% of calls are abandoned (source).
Fortunately, predictive dialers can tell when agents will become available and adjust call rates accordingly. This prevents customers from answering the phone when no agents are available.
Also, it’s important to know about rules regarding automated dialing systems, including predictive dialers. For example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) states that’s it unlawful to use automated dialing systems to call mobile phones.
Types of Predictive Dialers
When you’re looking at buying a predictive dialer, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want a hosted or on-site dialer.
Hosted Predictive Dialers
These dialers are run via a cloud platform. Some popular providers include RingCentral, PhoneBurner, Five9, and Noble Enterprise.
Since you don’t have to hire any on-site staff, the upfront costs are lower. There is still an installation fee, but it’s not much. Expect to pay between $350 and $500 in setup fees for each agent.
While installation fees are low, companies that provide hosted predictive dialers charge a monthly fee per agent. This fee ranges from $15-$300 per agent per month.
Along with the install and monthly fees, these companies will also charge you for long-distance calls. Expect to pay between $0.02 and $0.10 per minute of long-distance.
While most companies charge by the agent, some companies charge by the talk minute.
For example, Strategic Consulting Group charges $0.19 per minute for the first 1,000 hours and then $0.15 for each extra minute with a $2500 minimum.
It’s important to note that companies that charge by the minute only charge for the hours you use. Therefore, they can be a good option if your agents only work a few hours a week – just remember to check the minimum cost.
On-Site Predictive Dialers
These predictive dialers utilize software that is installed on computers that are on-site. Since this software is installed on your computers, troubleshooting is handled by onsite IT professionals rather than remote workers.
Since the system has to be integrated with your existing equipment, installation costs are higher than those associated with hosted predictive dialers.
Prices start at $5,000 and can go upwards of $250,000. While these costs are high, there aren’t any ongoing fees with on-site software besides the cost of IT staff.
What Impacts the Cost of a Predictive Dialer?
As you’ve seen above, the cost of a predictive dialer can vary quite a bit. The cost is based on a number of items.
Number of Agents
As your number of agents increases, so does the cost for a predictive dialer. Even if you’re paying for an on-site dialer that doesn’t charge per agent, costs will increase with more agents.
Number of Lines
Some software can only dial 10 lines at a time while others can dial 300. If you have a higher number of agents, you’ll need a system that can dial more numbers at a time.
Monthly Minute Limits
Some companies set limits on the number of call minutes each agent can use per month. If your agents go above this number, you’ll have to pay more, based on a per-minute cost.
Different predictive dialer providers offer various features. As you might expect, extra features come with extra costs.
Some common features include:
- Call recording
- Customer relationship management (CRM) integration
- Customized voicemail messages
- Integration with point of sale technology
- Marketplace analytics
- Customer caller ID: allows you to customize outbound name and number
- DNC integration: allows callers to be placed on do not call lists in real-time
- TCPA compliance: follows laws set by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Purchasing a Predictive Dialer
Before you purchase a predictive dialer software, it’s a good idea to determine factors such as the number of agents that will be using the software and any features you’ll need. After doing so, you can decide on a predictive dialer that can suit your needs and budget.
Remember, you can choose to pay for the high up-front cost of on-site software or the higher monthly fees associated with hosted software.