A dialler is a dialler. True? Not quite. Outbound, or proactive customer contact has evolved considerably over the last few years. Following a sustained period of adverse publicity, ever-tightening regulatory constraints and diminishing returns from the more ruthless practices of aggressive cold calling, there has been a decline in the use of predictive diallers for such purposes.
This has led however to a quest for more sophisticated tools aimed at legitimate outbound customer contact that can deliver the efficiencies associated with predictive dialling yet dissociate these activities from the less scrupulous operators in this industry. There is a clear need for technologies that can enable legitimate users to proactively contact their customers without causing annoyance to the very people they wish to talk to.
The Noetica outbound technology is precisely this kind of tool.
To achieve this, without compromising on dialler performance, we have developed a set of new and original technologies, under the SmartBound™ banner, which challenge the orthodoxies that have dominated the dialler industry for too long. SmartBound™ allows users to enjoy all the benefits of predictive dialling (including Answer Machine Detection or AMD) without any of the associated risks which have been accepted as unavoidable for many years.
Technologies within the SmartBound™ initiative
Ask any expert and they will invariably tell you that the third absolute and inevitable certainty after death & taxes is that predictive diallers will generate abandoned calls. Indeed, they will explain that the very nature of the probabilistic algorithms which form the foundation of any predictive dialler is such that it cannot guarantee a free agent to always be available whenever a dialled call is answered, and for this reason calls will sometimes need to be abandoned.
As this is unarguably true, it is unsurprising that Noetica’s recent announcement of a new technology claiming to deliver high performance genuine predictive dialling with virtually zero abandoned (dropped) calls has been met with some scepticism. However, in Galileo’s immortal words: “E pur si muove” (And yet, it moves).
The SNoDrop™ technology from Noetica, launched in March 2017 to coincide with the latest Ofcom policy statement on the persistent misuse of telecommunication networks, claims to achieve the hitherto impossible: a high performance, red blooded, predictive dialler that does not drop any calls. None. Zero. Zilch.
Ofcom themselves have confirmed at a recent DMA event that they have seen it at first hand in action at ResQ Outsourcing Ltd and it does indeed deliver the seemingly impossible. Indeed ResQ have achieved a world first and on the 4th May 2017 became the first contact centre to dial predictively at scale and not abandon a single customer call across their entire estate of hundreds of agents as this graph illustrates:
This picture displays on the top chart every abandoned call per day ResQ produced from 1st January 2017 through to 9th May 2017 across every outbound programme. On the bottom chart is displayed every outbound dial attempt made over the same time period. Even though the volume of outbound dialling has actually gone up overall, the number of abandoned calls has steadily reduced to 0 as the full solution has been rolled out programme by programme.
SNoDrop™ has been deployed in live production since 2016 for hundreds of call centre agent positions at ResQ who have been fundamental in shaping SNoDrop™ within the context of their broader initiative, Responsible Telemarketing, to ensure zero abandoned calls without any loss of productivity can be achieved. Having carefully scrutinised the results over many months it was categorically demonstrated that the predictive dialler’s equivalent of the philosopher’s stone had indeed been found.
ResQ roll out of SNoDrop™ across our entire estate through Jan – May 2017 showing customer harm being eliminated despite sustained dialling. To illustrate this the following chart demonstrates the effect on productivity after implementing SNoDrop™ as part of the Responsible Telemarketing solution at ResQ.
This picture displays on the top chart every abandoned call per day ResQ produced from 1st January 2017 through to 9th May 2017 on a single major B2C outbound campaign. On the bottom chart is displayed the average wait time (AWT) on this campaign in the same time period. After implementing and then refining SNoDrop™ in the context of Responsible Telemarketing, the number of abandoned calls drops to zero. At the same time the AWT actually falls from an average of 28 seconds to an average of 18 seconds.
SABRE™ (Skills & Ability Based Routing Engine) is a technological innovation boosting the performance of contact centres. Skills Based Routing is a mature technology that has been in widespread use over several decades. SABRE™ is a recent innovation building on the old concept of Skills Based Routing, by adding a dynamic dimension to it. In SABRE™, a call centre agent’s skills and ability levels are not fixed but can fluctuate in real time depending on their most recent performance.
When using SABRE™, each outbound campaign or inbound queue is assigned a “skill condition” which designates a particular skill as the most important for that campaign or queue. Each agent has a set of skills and an ability score (0-100) for each skill. When a new call is ready to be delivered to an agent (either inbound or outbound via a dialler), SABRE™ will choose one with the highest ability level for the skill required by the campaign or queue. The main innovation is in the way agents’ individual skill ability levels are adjusted automatically in real time by the system through a microservices set of APIs responding to the agent’s recent performance in relation to each skill the agent possesses.
15-25% increase in direct revenues when using SABRE™ with no added costs resulting in large overall profitability gains
Live Person Detection (LPD™) is an invention recently patented internationally, delivering safe and accurate recognition of human respondents of outbound telephone calls. It uses Artificial Intelligence to monitor the first few seconds of an outbound telephone call by interacting with the recipient robotically in the actual voice of the agent that is the intended handler of the call. The call recipient would therefore be unaware of the seamless transition between the robotic and live agent thus creating the perfect intermeshing of artificial and human intelligence. This invention solves the perennial problem of automatic detection of answering machines of all kinds, including voicemail and network answering services. It does so in a manner that is guaranteed not to generate any silent calls whatsoever.
It successfully replaces the now discredited and largely disused older Answer Machine Detection (AMD) technologies which have proven not only to be ineffective but also harmful to the public and the contact centre industry. The LPD™ technology also eliminates some other malign side effects of earlier detection techniques such as the 2-3 second pause associated with AMD, which used to cause untold annoyance to the public and dramatically reduce outbound connection rates as most people grew wise to it. It also raises outbound call centre staff morale by eliminating repetitive call introductions and shielding from abrupt or abusive disconnections. The technology has been proven in live contact centre operations since 2014. A patent for the technology was granted by the US Patent Office at the beginning of 2019.
The same number of agents can handle 40% more work or alternatively, the same amount of work can be completed with 29% fewer agents.
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