We were considering today exactly how much time an agent takes to dial an international number on a standard IP Phone.
Our team tested a sampling of numbers formatted like Country Code + number like 33 XXXXXXXXX amongst our support staff. Our findings, were multi-faceted and we then extended the tests to determine maximum leads per minute on standard finger dialing.
What we found is that if the agent knows the number off hand.. like calling your own cell phone number, the agent was able to place the call in 9.0 seconds on average. However, contact numbers displayed in the CRM are unknown and not recalled by memory, thus the agent is forced to glance, dial, glance, dial.
A paper published in 1956 called The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information place, argued that the number of objects an average human can hold in working memory is 7 plus or minus 2. Well that places most international numbers just on the barrier of our workable memory.
This limitation will force the agent glance at least twice at the screen while dialing on his key pad. These glances increase the dial time from 9 seconds to almost 20seconds! ( take into consideration agent has to relocate the number on the screen and if the GUI is poor, will take longer to get their bearings).
Now, once the agent dials the number he waits for a tone to determine if the call is going through, the busy, unavailable or ring tone usually takes nearly 2-4 seconds (PDD) from the time the calls is made. 24 seconds has elapsed prior to the agent knowing if he has to wait for the lead to answer the call.
Lets say the agent’s tolerance for ringing is 10 seconds before he gives up and tries another number. 34 seconds has now elapsed before the agent can even attempt another lead. At this point, the agent advances his CRM screen to the next lead and repeats the process.
It would not be difficult to argue that an agent’s maximum performance to simply engage a lead would be nearly 1 lead per minute given misdials and other such interruptions.
This data brings into play two Innitel products that cut this time dramatically. Click2Dial, allows the agent to simply click on the number on the screen and Innitel will scrub the number ensuring proper international format, and then dial that number and the agent ext. and connect the calls. Average time 2 seconds, leaving 4 seconds for tone to determine status of the call. if we apply the same logic as above.. this product cuts 20 seconds from each attempt, and 3.75 leads per min minute if we include ring time allowances. The increase of efficiency by simply installing our Click2Call, is extraordinary.
Now, if we use our Predictive dialer, the system is discarding all tones and only passing “Hellos” from the lead to the agent, the total time can be as short as 3 seconds between calls, as opposed to nearly a minute if the agent dialed by hand. The 57 second difference is an extraordinary amount of time for a call center to consider. After many raw fingers, and one broken nail, we determined that the time to dial and determine if the human answered is Finger dial: 34 seconds Click2Call: 16 seconds Predictive Dial: 3 seconds, and The Borg based telepathy: 0 seconds.
The days of finger dialing may and should fall the way of rotary phone.
- Miller, G. A. (1956). “The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information”. Psychological Review 63 (2): 81–97.doi:10.1037/h0043158. PMID 13310704.