A predictive dialer is a telephone control system that automatically calls a list of telephone numbers in sequence, screening out no-answers, busy signals, answering machines and disconnected numbers while predicting at what point a human caller will be able to handle the next call. Predictive dialers are commonly used for telemarketing, surveys, appointment confirmation, payment collection and service follow-ups. Sellers of predictive dialer systems claim that they greatly increase caller productivity. The phone calls you receive from "no one there" are often predictive dialer calls in which a manual caller isn't ready yet.
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Not to be confused with an automatic dialer, a predictive dialer is programmed to predict when a human caller is available to pick up a call. Predictive dialers can also measure the number of available agents, available lines,average handle time and other factors to adjust outbound calls accordingly. This measurement delivers a high level of mathematically efficientcy to use in call centers. A related system is a lead generator, which dials a list of telephone numbers and, when a live voice answers, delivers a recorded message.