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Predictive Dialing for Outbound Telephone Call Centers

Douglas A. Samuelson
Interfaces
Vol. 29, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1999), pp. 66-81
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25062520
Page Count: 16
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Predictive Dialing for Outbound Telephone Call Centers
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Abstract

In the late 1980s, I used queuing and simulation to invent predictive dialing, a method to determine when computer-directed outbound telephone dialing systems should dial. I included a real-time estimation updating feature that was highly robust against sudden changes in the system's operating environment; thorough validation to ensure that the models tracked all important features of the real systems; and a modular software design that allowed "plug-in" replacement of the control software, eliminating debugging of field upgrades. The improved systems kept operators busier and drastically reduced the number of calls the systems abandoned because no operator was available to talk to the answering party. This invention was critical to the success, in the late 1980s, of International Telesystems Corporation (ITC), a small company founded in 1984, which a competitor, EIS International, bought in 1993 for approximately $12 million.

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