What Is a Progressive Dialer?

What Is a Progressive Dialer?

March 6, 2024 | Convoso

Call centers these days rely on automation to remain competitive. Manual dialing has faded as an effective method for outbound sales and lead generation, and businesses can now choose between a variety of more automated dialer options that drive improve efficiency—so long as they’re implemented alongside TCPA compliant practices

In this guide we distinguish progressive dialer systems from the rest of the crowd, reviewing info such as:

  • What is a progressive dialer?
  • How does a progressive dialer work?
  • What’s the difference between predictive, preview, and progressive dialing?
  • How do you compare power vs. progressive dialers?
  • Selecting the right dialer software for your business



What is a Progressive Dialer?

What is progressive dialing? A progressive dialer leverages autodialer software to help call center agents maintain a consistent pace of dialing. Rather than manually select a customer, input their number, and initiate the call, an autodialer automatically presents agents with the next customer in a company’s list. Typically, the call to this next customer will automatically be initiated after a set period of time. Progressive dialing is a common use of call center automation that can increase agent productivity and efficiency by shortening the amount of time between calls, as well as the amount of repetitive, manual input required to dial customers.


How Does a Progressive Dialer Work?

Progressive dialer software dials customer phone numbers at a ratio of one call per agent. That means that each time an agent finishes a call, the next lead will be automatically dialed or queued up for the agent to initiate the call. Most progressive dialers allow managers to customize the length and nature of this interval between calls; calls can be initiated by agents with a manual click or completed automatically after a predetermined amount of time. In either case, progressive dialing gives agents time to review each customer record before dialing. 



Comparing Predictive Dialer vs Progressive Dialer vs Preview Dialer

Predictive dialing is one of a number of dialing modes and techniques available to today’s outbound contact centers. Leading cloud-based contact center software typically offers a range of flexible options to suit a business’s needs as they evolve. Three of the most common options are predictive, preview, and progressive dialing.


What is a Preview Dialer?

Preview dialing is the simplest of these three dialing methods. In the preview dialing mode, the automatic dialing system will select a customer from a lead list and show their CRM data to an available agent. The agent is then able to review the customer’s information and determine whether to proceed with the call. If they choose to do so, they will then manually click to call the lead. Once that call is finished, the agent will be served with another potential customer to call. 


The Difference Between Preview and Progressive Calling

Progressive dialing, as described above, is quite similar to preview dialing. Agents are served with customers automatically and calls are placed at a 1:1 ratio of agents to customers. However, there’s a crucial difference between progressive and preview dialing: While preview dialing requires the agent to initiate the call, typically progressive dialing gives agents only a fixed amount of time to review customer records before automatically initiating the call. This automated limit on review helps call centers continue to dial leads at a higher rate.


Full Automation: The Predictive Dialer vs. Progressive Dialer

Predictive dialing steps the automation up yet another notch (or several, really). Rather than limit the number of initiated calls to the number of available agents, a predictive dialer automatically makes multiple calls per agent and uses artificial intelligence to “predict” when an agent will be available. Agents will only be connected to a call when a live person answers the call. 

When combined with highly accurate answering machine detection and omnichannel workflow automation, a powerful predictive dialer can maximize efficiency and agent talk time. However, when comparing predictive vs. progressive dialing, the former introduces a greater risk of dropped calls, given that an agent sometimes may not be available when the dialer connects with a customer. Additionally, call center agents using predictive dialing may struggle to provide highly personal customer experiences due to the lack of available time to preview customer records offered by preview and progressive dialing modes.


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Predictive Dialing vs Power Dialing – Which one should you choose?


Power Dialer vs. Progressive Dialer

There is one more option that businesses often compare with progressive dialing: the power dialing mode. If progressive dialing exists on a spectrum between preview dialing and predictive dialing, then the power dialer can be described as falling between progressive and predictive dialing.

Like progressive dialing, power dialing automatically initiates a new call when an agent has finished a previous one. However, similar to predictive dialing, the ratio of outgoing calls is not necessarily limited to one per agent. Still, while a power dialer places multiple calls simultaneously and connects agents with only live customers, it only initiates new calls once an agent finishes a call and is unable to automatically adjust dialing levels according to intelligent, predictive algorithms.


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Choosing the Right Dialing Mode (and Dialer Software)

Selecting a dialing mode from the options above will ultimately depend on the nature of a business’s leads and strategy. For instance, progressive dialer software may work best for contact centers with a lower number of high-intent leads who require a highly personal sales pitch. In this case, progressive dialing gives agents an opportunity to review customer information while still promoting efficient dialing rates. Meanwhile, larger, high-volume call center businesses might be a better fit for predictive dialing, which can deliver greater efficiency for more complex operations.

No matter which mode seems like the right choice, it still might only be the right choice for right now. That’s why it’s critical to choose a powerful, state-of-the-art dialer software that offers the flexibility of multiple dialing modes alongside a suite of other essential call center features and tools

Convoso’s cloud-based contact center software does just that. See for yourself the difference it can make for contact rates and conversions when you

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