One of the most powerful features of ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center (ECC) is the built-in Progressive Dialer – giving ECC customers the ability to create and manage outbound dialing campaigns, targeted at customers or prospects.
This powerful feature is included as part of the ECC solution and only requires outbound licenses to utilize. In other words, you do not need another server like most other enterprise contact center solutions on the market today.
Let's start with some definitions.
Predictive Dialer: When most customers think of a "dialer" they are assuming a Predictive Dialer. This term, in my view, is one of the most overused and least understood in the industry. From a definition perspective, a Predictive Dialer calls out to a customer, then once the call is connected, goes into the contact center to find an available agent. If you have ever been called by a telemarketing firm and get two or three seconds of "dead air" where you find yourself repeatedly saying "Hello?" you have just been called by a Predictive Dialer!
Preview Dialer: A Preview Dialer works in the opposite way. It reserves the agent first, before placing the outbound call to the customer. When that customer picks up their phone, the agent and the customer are immediately connected. There is no "dead air," which provides a much richer experience for the customer – who is often being called for a prospective purchase.
A Predictive Dialer can certainly place more calls in an hour than a Preview Dialer. But it is important that you understand your customers’ needs and how they actually make their money with the dialer to make sure you position the proper solution.
Let's say you have two companies in the credit card collection industry. One is paid based on the number of calls they make, while the other is paid based on the amount of money they collect for the credit card companies. Based on the definitions I gave above, which one should use the Progressive Dialer built into ECC?
If you chose the second one you are correct. They are able to provide a better, more personal customer experience, which will give them a greater opportunity to collect funds on that call.
If you do your discovery and determine a customer does need a Predictive Dialer for their ECC solution, you can leverage our Innovation Partner MarkeTel for those needs.
Outbound campaigning is one of the fastest growing areas of contact centers, right up there with email queuing and webchat queuing (which are also included in ECC). Understanding how it works and how it can benefit your customers can increase your sales and allow you to leverage the full power of ECC.
Now let's talk about licensing.
Remember that with ShoreTel ECC we license the system, not individual agents. So if your customer has 50 agents and only wants five of them to do outbound campaigns, they only need to buy five licenses. Plus, any five agents can be assigned to the outbound calls. It doesn't have to be the same five every day. We license this way to give customers the flexibility to manage their business that meets their needs on any given day.
A key thing to remember is that for Abandon Callbacks and Scheduled Callbacks – both of which are again included in ShoreTel ECC – you do not need outbound licenses. You only need the licenses if you are doing campaigns.