Dialing modes


Outbound campaign users in the UK: See note about recently revised OfCom policies at the end of this article.

Outbound campaigns contact a list of people in a particular way. Every campaign has a dialing mode setting that determines when and how the campaign places calls. The dialing mode lets the agent see information before dialing, or matches an agent to a call after the call connects to a live party. Some dialing modes do not require agents at all. The dialing modes are outlined in the following table.

Dialing mode Description

Preview

Description:

Campaigns typically use Preview mode to reach high value contacts.

The campaign presents information about the contact to the agent before dialing. The agent reviews the customer record before deciding whether to call or skip to the next record. When ready, the agent manually places the call. The agent hears all pre-connect audio, and determines whether the call reached the contact.

You can optionally configure a countdown Preview timer. With this enabled, the system will automatically dial the contact when the timer runs out, if the agent has not yet placed or skipped the call.

Note: If you want specific contacts to be presented to an agent for Preview dial, you can configure a Preview Mode column in the contact list. For details, see Create a contact list.

Summary:

  • Presents contact information to the agent before dialing.
  • The agent starts the call and logs the dial outcome (busy, no answer, etc.).

Benefits:

  • Eliminates  call abandonment.
  • Agents are in full control of interactions.
  • Agents can carefully review customer information and case data in advance.

Drawbacks:

  • Least efficient dialing mode.
  • Risk of excessive agent idle time (if Preview timer is disabled).

Progressive

Description:

With Progressive dialing, the system automatically dials one contact for each available agent. For example, if six agents are available, the system places six calls. In this mode, the system performs call analysis before it matches each call to an agent.

While the risk of call abandonment is lower with Progressive dialing, it is not eliminated entirely. For example, if the system factors a blended agent into the pool of available agents, and that agent takes an inbound call before being connected to the outbound contact, that call becomes abandoned.

Summary:

  • Never dials more contacts than agents available.
  • Waits for agents to become available, then places one call for each agent.
  • The system places the calls and then uses call analysis to determine the pace of dialing.

Benefits:

  • Minimal risk of call abandonment.
  • More efficient than Preview because calls are dialed automatically.

Drawbacks:

  • Increased agent idle time

Power

Description:

Like Progressive, a campaign in Power mode waits to dial until an agent is available to process the call. When an agent is ready, the system places calls to ensure that at least one live person answers. 

When a Power campaign starts, the system dials multiple phone numbers for every idle agent. In its call analysis, if it determines that the risk of call abandonment is low, it speeds up, meaning it increases the number of calls it makes for each available agent. Once it reaches the configured call abandonment threshold, meaning it reaches a point where there aren’t enough agents to answer bridged calls, it slows down.  

Note: Due to the difficulty of calculating average handle time, after-call time, idle time, and contact rate for a small sample size, we recommend using at least 10 concurrent agents in a campaign with this dialing mode.

Summary:

  • Predicts the number of calls to keep agent busy.
  • Places one or multiple calls for each agent once they become available. 
  • Uses call analysis to determine result of dialing attempts.

Benefits:

  • More efficient than Progressive.
  • Reduced agent idle time.

Drawbacks:

  • Higher risk of call abandonment.

 

Predictive

Description:

In the Predictive mode, the outbound dialer uses a patented stage-based algorithm to make predictions about agent availability and places calls based on the output of the algorithm. This algorithm uses input such as average handle time, after-call time, idle time, the stage setting on the agent script, and historical contact rate to improve accuracy.

Unlike the Power mode, this mode predicts when an agent will become idle. It could launch the call before the agent is available, so that by the time a customer answers the call, an agent is just becoming available.

To make an accurate prediction, this mode tracks how long agents spend on calls. The larger the agent pool, the more accurate the predictions can be, minimizing idle time even further than in Power mode and decreasing the likelihood of an abandon.

Note: Due to the difficulty of calculating average handle time, after-call time, idle time, and contact rate for a small sample size, we recommend using at least 15 concurrent agents in a campaign using the predictive dialing mode. Note that if agents are logged into other campaigns, they are not “whole agents” in any one campaign. For example, if 20 agents are logged into both Campaign A and Campaign B, each of these campaigns effectively have only 15 concurrent agents, which is under the recommended minimum for an accurate predictive algorithm.

Summary:

  • Predicts agent availability and number of calls to keep each agent busy.
  • Places one or multiple calls for each agent before they become available. 
  • Uses call analysis to determine result of dialing attempts.

Benefits:

  • Most efficient dialing mode.
  • Low agent idle time.

Drawbacks:

  • Risk of call abandonment.

Agentless

Description:

This dialing mode does not use agents or a script. The system responds to live contacts or answering machines based on settings in the call analysis response set (CARS) assigned to the campaign. For example, an agentless campaign could hang up on answering machines while transferring each live party to an outbound flow.

Note: The call analysis response set assigned to an agentless campaign can transfer a live party to an outbound flow, but not directly to an agent. However, the outbound flow can be configured to transfer the call to a queue for agent assistance.

Summary:

  • Uses call analysis to determine the result of each dialing attempt.
  • Responds to live contacts or answering machines as directed by its call analysis response set.

Benefits:

  • Customers can broadcast messages to consumers without the need to spend resources on agents.
  • Enables you to identify right party contacts before transferring to a flow. This means agents aren’t engaged until the right contacts is on the phone and in the queue.

Drawbacks:

  • If an outbound flow is sending calls to a queue, the campaign must be monitored regularly for call abandonment.

To define a campaign, the high-level steps are:

  1. Decide which dialing mode to use.
  2. Define all resources required by that dialing mode, such a contact list, script, or set of callable times.
  3. From the Campaigns page, add a new campaign and assign resources to it.

Outbound campaign users in the UK: OfCom issued revised policies to address the “persistent misuse of an electronic communications network or service” that took effect on March 1, 2017. When using outbound dialing campaigns that result in terminating calls in the UK, we recommend using only Preview Mode in campaign settings. Any other outbound campaign dialing method may not comply with these standards. For more information, please see OfCom’s official site: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/.