What is the difference between Power, Preview, Progressive & Predictive Dialling?

We explain the difference between the different methods of outbound dialling, and help you choose the correct dialling mode for your business.

Date: 27th June 2019


How do you choose the best dialling mode for your business? This comes down to several key factors, but first let us explain the difference between the different dialling modes used in outbound dialling systems.


Manual Dialling

Let’s start with manual dialling. This is where the system doesn’t initiate any calling automatically, and the user manually choses who they wish to dial and then clicks a Dial button.


Preview Dialling

The first step on our automated dialling is preview dialling. This is where a supervisor would load a list of numbers they wish to contact, and the system would present the details to the user. This gives the user time to read the notes and chose whether to proceed with the dial or cancel it.


Power Dialling

Next up is Power Dialling - this removes the preview - so when a user sets their status as waiting for a call, the system will start dialling the next record in the list. If there are five users waiting, it will dial five numbers at the same time. If a call doesn’t connect, it will start dialling the next number in the list, however it will never dial more numbers than users waiting.


Progressive Dialling / Ratio Dialling

This is the same as power dialling, however instead of trying one number for each user, it will try multiple numbers at the same time. So for example if 50% of the numbers you dial don’t answer, you can set your dialling ratio to two and it will dial two calls per user waiting.

Sounds great doesn’t it - faster calls for your users - but what happens if you dial two numbers and both connect? This is called an abandoned or dropped call, and there are strict limits on how many calls you can abandon in this manner. At QContact we do not offer Progressive Dialling as for our customers in the UK or USA, using this method of dialling is illegal.

So is there a way to dial faster whilst remaining compliant?


Predictive Dialling

There is a way to ensure compliance whilst speeding up your dialling - predictive dialling. The job of a predictive dialling system is to “predict” when a user will need another call and automatically initiate the dialling. Each predictive dialling system is different in how it operates, but the aim is to be as fast as possible whilst adapting itself automatically, keeping any abandoned calls under the legal limits. QContact’s predictive dialling algorithms for example make thousands of calculations every second to maximise the performance of your outbound dialling.


So is Predictive Dialling always the right choice?

Not at all. This may surprise people that we don’t automatically recommend the fastest dialling method, but there are other factors to consider when choosing a dialling method.


  • Business to Business - when you are calling businesses, most businesses answer the phone promptly - so there is little benefit of using anything other than Preview or Power dial for these data lists.

  • Small amounts of data - if your list is small, we don't recommend using anything other than Preview or Power dialling. Predictive Dialling requires large amounts of data as it runs so fast.

  • Small number of users - if you only have a handful of people on a campaign we don't recommend Predictive Dialling. As with any prediction, it can sometimes be right and sometimes be wrong. Unless you have enough call volume, the incorrect predictions can be very hard to recover from and ensure you remain within legal limits of abandoned calls


However if you’re dialling large lists of consumer data with large numbers of users, you can significantly increase your productivity by using predictive dialling over power dialling - especially on campaigns where your contacts are hard to reach.

So if you are looking for an outbound dialling solution - QContact can help. We provide manual, preview, power and predictive dialling out-of-the-box - no additional license fees or paid options.


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