What auto dialer options are available to small businesses?
Auto dialers make it easy to call a list of leads and can also give you some cool marketing features.
In this guide, we compare ten of the top auto dialers based on their features and price.
Can You Play a Pre-Recorded Message?
Preview Dialing, Progressive Dialing, Predictive Dialing
|No||Email tools for customer service agents||$185/user/month|
|Preview Dialing||Lead Management Tools, Auto-Texting||$100/user/month|
|Progressive Dialing||Yes||Mass Texting||Pay as you go: 5 cents/minute|
|Preview Dialing||No||Special Real Estate Tools||$89/user/month|
|Preview Dialing, Predictive Dialing||No||Mass Texting, Display local number to prospects||$125/user/month|
|Preview Dialing, Progressive Dialing||No||Display local number to prospects||$68/month + $40 per additional user|
|Progressive Dialing||No||"Team Dialer": Agents can make calls for you and transfer when they reach a decision maker||$99/user/month|
|Preview Dialing, Progressive Dialing, Predictive Dialing||Yes||Live Call Monitoring for Supervisors, Can make calls from anywhere in the world, Offers cloud, premise and hybrid call center solutions||Starts at $70 per agent|
|None||Yes||Desktop software available: $299 one-time cost||50 calls free, 400 calls for $65/month|
How Auto-Dialers Work
There are two general ways that businesses use auto-dialers:
- Call a list of clients and leave them a pre-recorded message. As a method of advertising, this is largely banned. However, it can be used in other ways, like telling existing clients about an exclusive sale, sending appointment confirmations or notifying church members about an upcoming event.
- Dial a list of numbers in succession so you can talk with leads or clients more efficiently. This is especially helpful if you have a team of agents since an auto-dialer can distribute between everyone evenly. Usually, they can also pull client information from a CRM, so you get some basic facts before the call. Once you finish speaking, you can write notes about the interaction and they’ll be saved directly to your CRM.
If you’re interested in the first option, this next section won’t apply to you. But if you’re interested in successively dialing clients, you’ll want to pay close attention ahead:
Preview vs. Progressive vs. Predictive Dialing
Auto dialers differ a lot in how they go through a list of numbers. There are three main dialing methods (also known as dial patterns) that make a big difference in how your team handles calls:
- Preview Dialing gives agents the most control. How it works is the system shows you the phone number and client details first, and then you can choose to call or pass onto the next number.
- Progressive Dialing is like preview dialing except the phone will ring automatically after a preset amount of time. You still get 20 seconds or so to view client information.
- Predictive Dialing saves you the most time. The system goes down the list, dialing each number and only notifies you when somebody picks up. This frees up all that time spent dialing leads that don’t answer. The downside is you go into the call blind since you don’t get to preview contact information. Also, you run the risk of missing calls if somebody answers but all of your agents are busy.
Predictive dialing is best for large teams who have a high volume of leads - especially if those leads are of not-so-great quality, and you anticipate a lot of no-answers and dead numbers. Five9, Insidesales, SpitFire and Impact Dialing all offer predictive dialing.
Progressive dialing is a step down from predictive in that agents have to sit through the ringing, even if a lead doesn’t pick up. This gives agents the chance to leave a voicemail message, however – which can usually be pre-recorded and played with a single click. It also gives agents time to read notes and prepare for the call, although the fact that the phone will dial automatically after so many seconds still keeps things moving faster than a preview dialer. Five9, CallFire, InsideSales, Vanillasoft, Connectleader, SpitFire and Impact Dialing all offer progressive dialing.
Preview dialing is the most flexible since agents decide when they want to start the call and usually get the option of skipping calls they don’t find worthwhile. This makes preview dialing ideal when you’re speaking with existing clients and have a lot of notes to read up on, or just if you have high-quality leads and want to make sure you’re extra prepared for the conversation. You can find preview dialers from Five9, Velocify, Mojo Dialer, Insidesales, Vanillasoft, SpitFire and Impact Dialing.
Auto Dialing with a Pre-Recorded Message
If you’re not actually looking to speak over the phone, but rather you want to leave a pre-recorded message, you’ll find this feature from the following services: CallFire, SpitFire, Impact Dialing and Voice2Phone.
Most auto dialers let you play a pre-recorded message, so that when you reach a voicemail box you can just play a message rather than recite it over and over again. What these services won’t do, however, is let you run an automated campaign where the system dials each number and plays the message automatically. Instead, you’d have to wait for each call then click “play” when somebody answers.
With CallFire, SpitFire, Impact Dialing and Voice2Phone, however, you actually can run an automated campaign. Just provide a list of numbers and a voice recording or script and the system will take care of everything else. With CallFire, your recipients can even respond with keypad interaction. For example, if you’re sending appointment reminders, callers could press 1 to call back and reschedule.
In a similar vein, there’s also mass texting offered by Callfire, Insidesales and SpitFire. With mass texting, your clients can sign up for SMS alerts, which you can send out for promotions, updates or reminders.
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Auto Dialers that include VoIP Phone Service
Since an auto dialer rings your phone for you, it has to be connected to your phone in some way. Service providers do this in one of two ways:
- The auto dialer links with your current phone provider. When you click to begin calling from the online dashboard, your phone will ring, whether that’s a cell phone, a landline or a VoIP office phone). On the other end is the auto dialer making an outgoing call to your client.
- The auto dialer provides phone service. Typically in the form of a desktop softphone, or an in-browser softphone, you can hook up a headset and talk straight from your computer. The benefit here is you don’t need to pay separately for phone service: It’s all included on one bill. The only auto dialers we found that provide phone service are Five9 and CallFire.
The Bottom Line
There are many different types of auto-dialers out there. To make sure you’re getting what you want, it’s important to look closely at what’s offered. For an in-depth overview of the leading auto-dialers, check out this guide to the Leading Auto Dialers.