The definition of predictive dialers refers to an outbound calling system that automatically dials from a list of telephone numbers. Predictive dialing systems utilize call metrics to predict the moment when a human agent will be free to take the next call. Predictive dialers then dial multiple leads to ensure a maximum agent utilization. They are often cloud-based (known as hosted dialers) and can sometimes integrate with CRM tools such as Salesforce.
Predictive dialers were first used around 30 years ago by the banking industry, primarily for debt collections. Since then, predictive dialers have evolved. When auto-dialers were invented, predictive dialing became more sophisticated. On top of detecting how many agents are available, predictive auto-dialers use real-time call statistics analysis to see the average handling time and answer time for calls. For example, if the system detects that only 50% of calls are answered by leads, sales agents are on-call for 300 seconds, and it takes customers 5 seconds to pick up their phones, the system might “decide” to dial two numbers at the 295-second mark.