Dialer software technology is the engine that can potentially drive productivity, efficiency, and growth for sales and lead generation teams. But how do you know if you’re getting a strong return of investment?
We spoke to industry expert and veteran, Nima Hakimi, CEO & Co-Founder of Convoso, who shared guidance on driving maximum call center ROI. In this article, we cover:
- The difference between call center software price and value
- How to calculate call center ROI—and what the ROI equation leaves out
- 3 key things to look for in a dialer to maximize the return on your call center’s investment
Call Center Software Price vs. Value
Along with payroll, leads, and compliance, dialer technology is one of the biggest costs for call centers.
However, it would be a mistake—one that many call centers make—to select a dialer solely based on a call center software’s price. Because, just as a dialer can propel your performance to new heights, it can also stand in your business’s way.
That’s why it’s crucial to consider not just price but value when choosing your dialer software.
As one of the most critical call center investments you can make, your dialer needs to deliver more than equal value in return. It needs to be able to propel you to greater profitability—not just cut your upfront costs.
So, how do you determine the value of your dialer software? One way is to calculate your call center ROI.
Do You Know Your Call Center’s Return on Investment?
Call center return on investment, or ROI, is an essential metric that helps managers and decision-makers understand the success of their strategies and their call center’s investments, including in their dialer software.
On the one hand, calculating your call center ROI is as simple as following this formula:
Call Center ROI Percentage = [(Total Revenue – Total Expenses)/Total Call Center Investment] x 100
Knowing the answer to this equation at any given time is important to guide decision-making and improving your organization’s bottom line.
“If you’re a startup, you may want to go for the most affordable dialer. That may seem like the right call to make on paper,” says Convoso CEO and Co-Founder Nima Hakimi.
“But you have to ask yourself how much you’re spending on your leads, and how much you’re spending on your agents to understand what’s really happening and understand what it’s really going to cost by going with the most affordable solution.”
This last point can’t be emphasized enough. Because while monitoring your ROI is important, there’s something just as important that this particular call center cost analysis leaves out: the opportunity cost of opting for the wrong technology solution.
For all too many call centers that opt for the lowest priced dialer, rather than the one that provides the highest value, this opportunity cost can be huge—and so can the amount of call center ROI left on the table. That’s why users of many low-cost or “free” dialers, like VICIdial, should consider the hidden costs.
“If you’re spending multiple dollars per lead, and you’re paying your agents 15 to 20 dollars per hour, you have to understand that if your dialer is not efficient and making every single call go through, then you’re wasting leads that you spent a lot of money on and you’re wasting your agents’ time. They’re just sitting there waiting for calls to come through [while you’re paying for it].”
What to Look for in a Dialer That Maximizes Call Center ROI
How can you ensure that your dialer will deliver the best return on investment and profitability? Below we review three must-have offerings to look for in your contact center solution and technology partner:
- Maximum contact rate
- TCPA compliance support
- Comprehensive customer support and customization
Why Contact Rate is Key to Call Center ROI
For outbound call centers, reaching as many leads as possible, as fast as possible, is key to generating quality leads and closing sales. A high contact rate is essential for improving conversions per lead, and lowering cost per acquisition.
Which makes delivering a high contact rate one of the most important factors in maintaining a high ROI, and therefore one of the key results one should expect from their call center technology.
“At the most basic level, a dialer helps sales and lead generation teams get through to their customers,” says Hakimi. “You have a lot of leads, and you want to get them on the phone. How do you do that in the most efficient way possible?”
The answer is with a dialer that has the power and throughput to actually call all of your leads, that helps avoid call blocking and flagging, and that equips you with the reporting you need to make better decisions about leads lists and sources in real time.
Understanding Dialer Throughput and Dropped Calls
Many dialers might describe their software as “powerful” or “effective,” but as Hakimi explains, the devil is really in the details. Here’s how to ensure that you’re getting a dialer that can support the productivity your business needs to succeed.
Dialer Throughput Tailored to Your Needs
“A lot of dialers out there will help you make a lot of calls. They’ll give you 10 lines and say, ‘We’ll help you make all the calls you need,’” says Hakimi.
However, the problem is that these dialers often lack the ability to tailor call volume to your call center’s precise headcount and agent availability—and the results can be disastrous for call center ROI.
“You’ll end up burning through your leads and because you’ll be making too many calls and you won’t have enough agents. As a result, you’re going to be dropping calls.”
Instead, you need a powerful predictive dialer that offers the right balance of volume and efficiency. “You want a dialer that makes the right number of calls while lowering the wait time between one call and the next, so that agents’ time is maximized, with them having as many live conversations as possible.”
Transparency About Call Outcomes
Your call center software provider should offer transparency on the results of calls. If calls aren’t going through, you need to know.
Too often, Hakimi says, dialers don’t actually successfully put calls through—the technology is simply not equipped with the throughput to handle them all.
“A lot of dialers out there say that their calls go through but they don’t—and they don’t give you the visibility [you need] to understand what happened.”
And when you’re making thousands, or even tens of thousands of calls, every dropped call adds up. Not only that, but you need a way to verify the outcome of calls in order to continually improve results.
To get to the bottom of this, Hakimi says to be straightforward with your provider: Ask your current dialer for visibility into the outcome of every single call that was placed to see what those dispositions were. Was it a high number of no-answers? Answering machines? Anything that looks strange? Because ultimately every call attempt that was placed should go through.
Speed to Lead at Scale
Lastly, your dialer’s power and throughput needs to offer top-notch speed to lead, and do so at scale.
In today’s highly competitive environment, call centers need to be able to strike while the iron is hot, dialing leads just as soon as they enter the sales pipeline.
Put this question to your current provider:
“How quickly can your dialer get to leads after they’ve filled out a form? How do you do that when you have thousands or even hundreds of thousands of leads?”
Without the right list management software to prioritize hot leads as they come in, and without smart routing capabilities to get those leads to your best agents, are you really making the smartest call center technology investment?
The Importance of Caller ID Reputation Management
Even if your dialer is built to handle maximum capacity calling and make the most of your agents’ time, it’s all for nothing if your caller IDs are getting blocked and flagged.
These days, trying to get a handle on skyrocketing spam calls from fraudsters, major carriers are taking matters into their own hands—and legitimate businesses are unfortunately getting penalized in the process.
That’s why it’s more important than ever that your dialer possess a robust set of caller ID reputation management solutions. Without these tools, you risk running campaigns with dismal contact rates and burning through leads as your caller ID shows up with the dreaded “Spam Likely” label.
Once again, transparency is key. If your current dialer isn’t able to tell you which of your caller IDs are getting blocked and by whom, then you’re missing out on value, ROI, and profits. Without this info, it’s impossible to swap out flagged DIDs for clean ones before you feel the effects on your bottom line.
At the same time, your dialer should offer a range of ways to avoid call blocking and flagging in the first place. For instance, do you know how many calls you’re making from each of your phone numbers?
Invest in call center technology that makes it easy to spread your call volume across enough phone numbers to limit the risk of flagging.
How Granular is Your Contact Center Reporting?
Ultimately, this sort of visibility is empowering. But it doesn’t have to be limited to your caller IDs’ health. To unlock maximum ROI, your call center reporting and analytics should give you this level of granular insight across your entire operation.
Dialer managers should be able to break down performance on an hourly basis, by agent or disposition, at the campaign or list level—as deep as you want. “Having that visibility allows you to make better decisions,” says Hakimi.
Of course, that’s not all you should ask of your dialer’s reporting, he says. “You need to be able to make those decisions in real time—changing course in just minutes, whereas other dialers might take you all day to equip you with the same information.”
This is one of the major pitfalls of many low-cost dialers.
Most dialers offer reporting capabilities. But they can be either inaccurate or they can’t give you the updates you need at the speed you need them.
As anyone who’s spent time in lead generation and sales knows, things can change in a heartbeat. Your reporting tools should have the speed to match. You simply can’t afford for it to be otherwise.
The Value of TCPA Compliance Support
Among the many changes built into call center life, the most fluctuating [and maddening] are the rules and regulations that govern how businesses operate.
Still, many dialer providers skimp on providing ongoing TCPA compliance support—or just skip it entirely. This may seem okay…until it isn’t.
“[Many dialers] don’t care about compliance. But at the end of the day, this is a short-term strategy that is going to backfire,” he says. “They will gladly take your business at a lower price, but how are they helping you stay compliant?”
Before long, this lack of compliance support will catch up to you—in the form of performance drops, reputation damage, and worse, costly legal action.
Your dialer of choice should have their ear to the ground and their finger on the pulse of the compliance landscape. They should provide not just consistent updates to their technology, but supporting TCPA best practices with regular guidance and thought leadership.
So, ask your current dialer provider what they’re doing to protect your business in the fast-changing world of call center compliance in 2022.
Invest in a Partner, Not Just Software
The importance of receiving compliance support with your software investment underscores a critical point about how to choose your dialer: In the end, you should choose to invest in a partner, not just software and technology.
With many dialers, that’s pretty much what you get: just the dialer software itself.
However, for a dialer to deliver the highest value and ROI for your business, you should invest in a partner that’s just as interested in your success as you are – not simply software.
Finding this value starts with thorough onboarding that prepares every member of your team to successfully operate your new technology.
Once onboarding is complete, your team will need sustained support to get the most out of your software investment.
Your dialer provider should set you up with dedicated product experts, or Customer Success Managers, that help you customize and optimize the solution to boost efficiency in daily operations to meet business goals.
And readily available technical support is nonnegotiable if you are to efficiently run a successful contact center.
Hakimi says that this is the approach that Convoso takes with each of its customers.
“We want to understand what challenges you’re having so that we can customize the dialer and find solutions for you.”
Hakimi says the company is continually innovating. “We’re constantly releasing new features that will help you stay successful because in the performance marketing and lead generation space that we’re in, things are always changing.
“With us, you get to partner with a company that has your success at heart, and we make your goal our goal by really paying attention to what you need to be successful.”
How to Increase Call Center ROI? By Prioritizing Value Over Price
When it comes down to it, you often get what you pay for with call center technology.
That’s why, when you want to boost ROI in a way that can help scale your call center operation, it’s essential to make your decision on value, not just price.
According to Hakimi, Convoso won’t ever be the cheapest call center software solution around. However, he says,
“Convoso is intended for anyone who wants to scale their call center, and isn’t interested in staying small. If you’re looking to grow, and really take your organization to the next level, then you need a solution like Convoso.”
Understand just how Convoso can help your organization grow, and get a preview of the results it can deliver for your business when you schedule a free demo.