From the time I was small, I can remember hearing, “Nothing is free.” You have heard it too and more often than not, in all walks of life, it’s the truth. Free is not free and we don’t always invest the time to discover the real cost.

In business, we have to choose how to allocate our budgets.  Often there are more demands than dollars, increasing the importance of determining value when considering price. What is the most expensive part of your business?  Is it the predictive dialer?  The media?  The sales agents?

Estimates indicate that for most businesses, at least 50% of their cost is media, and 40% is labor. Less than 10% is spent on technology and phone dialer software is a fraction of that investment. Is skimping on your dialer expense a wise choice? Is a FREE dialer really free?

Answer these questions to help determine if your objectives are being met and then decide…is good enough, good enough?

Does your dialer help you maximize your contact rate so you can reach as many prospects as possible?

A predictive dialer or automatic dialer should allow you to set the calling strategy by number of and time between attempts. It should be programmable to rotate the time of day leads are called to improve the likelihood that you will reach the prospect.

Does your dialer allow you to prioritize certain leads so you can call the best leads first?

Ideally leads are placed in buckets and the phone dialer software is programmed to call according to priority. Your strategy determines the priority. You can choose to manage leads by penetrating the hotter leads first, or mix them in with the harder leads to maintain a stable performance.

Does your dialer allow you to route your best leads to your best agents?

Each call has a cost and value associated with it.  If your goal is for value to exceed cost, you will want your best agent handling high value calls. Routing allows you to determine which calls go to specific agents to help maximize the response rate on your most expensive leads. It also allows less experienced reps to develop their skills in a controlled environment.

Does your dialer keep your reps productive?

The dialer increases efficiency. Following best practice, reps should be talking on the phones with potential customers 55-75% of their logged-in time depending on the media employed.  If agents are talking 40% of the time, there is significant opportunity to increase efficiency, convert prospects, and gain revenue. Idle agents = lost potential.

Do you have the outbound call tracking you need to manage your business?

Your dialer is a valuable data source. It can validate performance and expose risk. Having accurate real time reporting on a weekly and monthly basis helps support data driven decisions.  Your dialer should allow you to look at variances in dispositions and contact rates by source. Monitoring and tracking the outliers on performance allow you to make adjustments to optimize performance and outcomes.

Is your dialer compliant with State and Federal regulations?

Saving money on a dialer can ultimately cost thousands in fines if it does not incorporate TCPA requirements.  Your dialer should control time zone calling at the state level because different states have different rules.  Also, it should control holiday calling restrictions set at the state level.  It should not be able to exceed the 3% abandonment requirement and should play the required abandonment messaging.  It should display the correct information for your Caller ID and finally, it should systematically handle DNC scrubbing and express-written-consent exemptions on a real time basis.

It’s true, free is not always free.  Does your dialer support your organizational strategy, maximize investment, increase productivity, and is it in compliance with regulatory rules? Anything less diminishes value and amplifies risk. In fact, if you’re unsure of your call center’s compliancy, read our blog post about why TCPA compliance is so important in 2018.