Author: CCa2z

Date: 12th November 2004

Outbound dialling systems are typically used where high volumes of quick turnover outbound calls are required, such as when running outbound telemarketing or credit collection campaigns. However many outbound dialling systems are now also being used for lower volume, proactive customer care campaigns. These systems are also referred to as automatic dialling systems or predictive dialling systems when sophisticated algorithms are used.

Outbound dialling systems can be hardware or software based. The hardware solutions often require dedicated outbound lines as opposed to software solutions, which tend to make use of existing telephony capabilities.

Typically diallers are able to recognise Special Information Tones (SIT), or are run using a telephone system (PBX) that has the capability to enable the dialler to classify calls which are not connected - such as no answers, engaged or unavailable - and avoid connecting these to operators.

Additionally, many diallers are capable of detecting answer machines, although the success rate varies depending on the type of dialler. Where a dialler is able to detect a non-connect it will automatically retry that number later. The complexity of the call back rules is dialler dependant, however the most sophisticated will retry failures, such as engaged numbers, only a short period after the initial call and no answers at varying times of the day - for example alternating between morning, afternoon and evening call-backs.

Outbound dialling systems can be run in three modes:


  • Agent views each record before it is dialled
  • Least efficient, but gives agents the greatest control with no risk of nuisance calls
  • Recommended for low volume, high value campaigns


  • Calls automatically dialled
  • Pacing algorithm waits for available agent before dialling call
  • Call progress detection identifies live customer
  • Balances improved efficiency, with little risk of nuisance calls
  • Recommended for low volume, high value campaigns
  • Business-to-Business campaigns


  • Calls automatically dialled
  • Pacing algorithm predicts agent availability based on numerous statistics (available agents, average talk time, not ready time, controllable parameters such as agent busy factor, over dial rate etc)
  • Call progress detection identifies live customer
  • Maximum efficiency, recommended for high volume campaigns
  • Business to consumer campaigns

Typical Uses and Benefits

The most obvious benefit of outbound dialling systems is an increased through-put of calls and an increase in operator activity time, since they are no longer having to wait for calls to connect or handle call-back setting. This suits applications such as outbound telemarketing; credit collections and proactive customer care campaigns.

Outbound dialling applications offer well-developed ROI models, which are highly effective during economic downturns when businesses are seeking compelling value propositions. Predictive outbound diallers can increase agent talk time from 15% to 25% in a manual dial mode, and to 80% to 90% in predictive mode, achieving up to 50 minutes of talk time per agent hour. (Sabio)

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