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Jed Hewson, 1StreamJed Hewson, 1Stream

There are many companies that long for the days where landlines were still the norm, particularly when it comes to debt collecting.

Close to 30 million South Africans regularly use mobile phones, while only five million own landlines. This has left the majority of the population able to not only travel freely, but to identify callers. The average cellular phone number is also anything but permanent, with average users changing their
numbers every nine months or so. Which means that catching call dodgers is much harder.

Smart diallers are equipped with different modes, including predictive dialling. This prevents calls from going through to blocked numbers or voicemails from going to the agent, essentially allowing more calls to be placed because they don’t have to field constant dead ends. Power and preview modes can
respectively display the script and dial the call, or display the script without dialling to allow the agent in question to prepare. Both have been found to improve productivity.

The smart predictive mode is crucial to improving “hit rates” in terms of debt collection and sales. It’s not about simply dialling numbers, but about dialling at a time when the caller is most likely to pick up, such as a preferred call time provided by the customer, or based on historical reports of interactions.

The smart dialler can issue tasks based on the exact interaction needed. Let’s say a company has not received payment on a debt and the payment is only overdue by a few days. There is no need to use your most expensive resource – your agents – to chase that payment up with a phone call when an
agentless message serving as a reminder to the customer will do. Thereafter, if the reminder was not successful, calls can be scheduled accordingly.

The technology, as part of a hosted solution, can be deployed in a matter of days. And as call dodgers become smarter, so should call centers.

About the author: , director, 1Stream