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A quick analysis of auto dialers and an alternative dialer software

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Auto dialers, and dialers in general, are not all created equal. In fact, each has a specialized set of features, uses, advantages and disadvantages – depending on their intended use. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right dialer for your business.

Auto dialer solution explained

An auto dialer, or autodialer, is a device or software that automatically dials phone numbers and waits for a live answer. When a live answer occurs, an auto dialer will do one of two things – play a recorded message or transfer the call to a live agent.

Plays a recorded message

Also known as voice broadcasting or robo dialer. If the person who answers can press a button to interact with the system – ie. to answer a survey question, confirm an appointment, or request an agent - it is known as IVR (interactive voice response).

Transfers the call to a live agent

Because the phone calls can only be routed after the software determines the call was answered live, there is an audible delay between when a contact says “hello” and when an agent comes on the line. If no agent is available the call is dropped.

Who uses an auto dialer software?

Automatic dialers are ideal for blasting or broadcasting messages and reminders, and for soliciting responses to surveys and appointments. They can reach a high volume of numbers with significantly lower (or no) employees needed.

Schools and religious institutions, for example, can make good use of auto dialing for announcements. Doctors' offices can safe dial to remind patients of appointments. Political organizations can use them to conduct polls, calling campaigns and research.

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Why auto dialing software may not be right for you

The distinguishing feature of an autodialer is that the device determines whether a human answers the phone calls or not. Agents are not actually present when they answer. The resulting connection delay tips off the contact that software is being used to call them.

For this reason, an autodialer is not ideal when the goal of a phone call is a productive live conversation - as in sales and fundraising, for example.

A power dialer is much better suited to these kinds of situations.

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Auto dialers and compliance

Autodialer laws, which are enforced by the FCC under the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) are continually evolving. That makes it important for users to stay informed about compliance. Laws pertaining to automatic dialers apply specifically to devices that dial telephone numbers without human intervention – that is, without an agent initiating the start of each call.

Compliance is multi-faceted and includes limits to the percentages of dropped calls, the ability to call and text cellular phones without consent, as well as adherence to general telemarketing laws such as acceptable call times, and do-not-call regulations. Because of potentially heavy fines, organizations using auto dialers are wise to fully understand compliance, and to consult an attorney prior to use.

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An effective alternative that helps companies fully comply with the TCPA

PhoneBurner’s easy to use power dialing solution is a popular and highly effective auto dialer alternative, especially for organizations, businesses, and call centers who rely on live conversations with contacts.

Because an agent initiates each call and is on the line when someone answers - conversations are 100% natural, and risk of TCPA fines for dropped calls is eliminated.

Productivity increases of 300%-400% are common, due to the software’s ability to eliminate manual dialing, drop voicemails (without waiting for the beep), sending one-click emails, and fully automating post-call workflows.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

An auto dialer is a kind of cloud based phone dialing software that automatically dials through lists of numbers until a call is answered. At that time the software either transfers the call to an available agent, or it plays a pre-recorded message.

First, a contact list is selected. Typically, an auto dialer is a multi-line dialer capable of calling several contacts at a time and transferring answered calls to live agents. If no agent is available the call is dropped. Otherwise, the call is transferred to an agent who is then able to see the contact’s record on their screen to initiate the conversation.

In order to perform its function, an autodialer must determine whether a real person has answered. Only then can it play a recording or transfer the call to an available agent. Consequently, there is a delay between the “hello” and when an agent is one line and able to respond.

Every software is different but most auto dialers are cloud-based. Contact data is stored in the system so contacts can be selected and dialed. Agents can sign in and accept calls as they are answered according to custom rules. When being used as a robo dialer, no agent is needed and stored recordings can simply be played as contacts answer.

If your goal is productive live conversations, PhoneBurner’s power dialer is an ideal alternative. Power dialers do not have the awkward “telemarketer’s delay” that results in increased hangups and lower quality conversations. Auto dialers are more useful for disseminating recorded information, or for especially high-volume calling needs.