What is a Dialler?

A Dialler is a computer based system that Dials lists of customers with the intention of passing answered calls to operators (Agents).

A business will use a Dialler when it has a large number of people to contact and manually dialling numbers from telephones is not productive enough. There tends to be a point where an Outbound Call Centre that is manually dialling telephone numbers becomes large enough that a Dialler becomes a financially viable investment, this point is usually between 4 to 8 agents – depending on the products being sold.

A Dialler system consists of a centralised management server into which phones are connected, operators/agents log into and outbound calls are made from. The Dialler will also have a management interface from which historical and realtime MI can be viewed, new campaigns and dialling lists can be created and call recordings or other additional features can be found. The different providers of Diallers have strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas, which is why you should look at as many systems as you have the time to, before making a purchase.

Do I need a Dialler?

Typical uses for Diallers are B2C (Business to Consumer) & B2B (Business to Business) direct selling of products or services, marketing, surveys, debt recovery. Products range from mobile phone upgrades to financial products such as loans and re-mortgages.

If you have an outbound call centre in which the agents are manually dialling from long lists of numbers or your agents are not spending at least 50% of their time talking to potential customers – then you will almost certainly benefit from a Dialler.

What options do I have?

There are many Dialler implementations available, from enterprise level offerings from the likes of Avaya and Nobel that support hundreds of seats across multiple sites, to single site offerings from Rostrvm, Touchstar, Amcat that are suitable for medium sized sites between 20 and 100 seats. Smaller call centres with 20 seats or less have the greatest problems with choosing a Dialler implementation as larger Dialler systems can be made to work with fewer agents and Hosted Dialler providers can also be used with smaller numbers of agents.

The “B.A. Tech Dialler” solution is ideal for small to medium sized call centres and benefits from being entirely license free, you can add extra agents to your Dialler at any time without having to spend thousands of pounds on licenses. Have a look at our Predictive Dialler here.

What is a Hosted Dialler and how is it different to an Onsite Dialler?

Before you can answer this question, you need to understand how a Dialler works in a more technical way. A Dialler is software driven, and this software needs to be hosted on a server. This server also needs to be able to interface with telephony (ISDN lines typically) in order to place calls. Buying servers and installing ISDN lines is a costly endeavour, a single ISDN30 line can cost £1000 just to have installed (BT install costs), a server and the hardware to interface with the ISDN line can cost upwards of £5000, depending upon the provider you choose (search for HP servers and SIP Media Gateways).

For a 20 seat call centre with 2x ISDN30 lines it could cost £2000 to install the ISDN’s and around £5000 for a Server and ISDN interface. This adds up to a large installation cost just for the Onsite Dialler hardware, before you even add onsite installation costs and training costs (which could be £1000 per day for at least 3 days depending on your chosen provider).

To avoid these large installation costs, you can use a server and lines hosted by somebody else, a Hosted Dialler provider. The call centre will interface with this Hosted Dialler system using the internet. The only real advantage of a Hosted Dialler is the lower installation costs, but there are many disadvantages to using a Hosted Dialler: Call rates will be slightly higher, your data is stored on somebody else’s server, you have no control over hardware security or resilience, you are dependant entirely on your internet connection staying on and your call costs will at least double as when your agents login to the hosted Dialler, the call from the Dialler to your agent is usually charged at a much higher rate than the standard national rate. This is how Hosted Dialler companies make their money and how a Hosted Dialler will cost you more money in the long term.

You will need to look very carefully at the ongoing monthly costs of a Hosted Dialler compared to an Onsite Dialler to see which is most viable in the longer term.

If you are thinking of using a Hosted Dialler because of the reduced installation costs, have a look at the B.A. Tech Predictive Dialler first – as our Dialler Solution is unlicensed and therefore installation costs are greatly reduced compared to other Onsite Dialler providers.