A Predictive Dialer Software is a computer-based dialing system that has the ability to fast make multiple outbound calls. Predictive dialing is a system of outbound calling that dials without the agent on the line. The system dials the phone, listens and when a live "hello" or short greeting is detected, automatically transfers the call to an available agent. The dialer places numerous calls simultaneously, checking each number for a live "hello" or for another call disposition. If the call is busy, no answer, not working, etc., the dialer either discards or reschedules the call, then dials another number. The dialer is predictive because it anticipates when the next agent will become available, and when the next "hello" will be detected.
Most predictive phone dialers automatically adjust to calling patterns, the number of agents, and the average call length. If calls are short, a dialer should dial more lines. If fewer agents are available, a dialer should dial less frequently. If calling patterns change, the dialer should change with them. It should also be able to handle multiple projects, and multiple calling lists, seamlessly switching between them. Finally, one should be able to modify the frequency with which the dialer "abandons" a call. An abandoned call occurs when a live person picks up the phone, but there are no available agents to take the call. When the person hangs up the phone before the dialer switches the call to an agent, the call is "abandoned". A high quality dialer will automatically adjust the calling rate to minimize abandoned calls and maximize agent talk time.
Predictive dialing is generally used for business-to-consumer calling, where the individual identity of the consumer is not completely relevant to the call. Using predictive dialing, the agent has no time to preview the call before the connection. Additionally, it is assumed that abandoned calls to anonymous consumers do not harm the call centers business. However, because businesses answer their calls with a business greeting and require individual advance preparation, predictive dialing is generally not used to call business customers.