Case Study: Nielsen Sees 30% Improvement in Agent Wait Times

Digital collage wall of TV screens


Nielsen has developed a global reputation by being the most accurate source of information for TV ratings and consequently the advertising revenue associated with watching habits in the US.

Nielsen is the source of information for the multi-billion dollar TV advertising industry in the US. It has developed this reputation as a result of its rigor and consistency when compiling TV viewing figures.

Nielsen measures and monitors what consumers watch, both programming and advertising, and what consumers buy based on categories, brands and products on both a global and local basis.

The company has a presence in approximately 100 countries spread across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East, North America, South America and Russia.

Two Nielsen sites with in excess of 500 agents located in Tampa and Texas were the subject sites for this case study.

At these sites the main activities are: contacting respondents to remind them to send back their diaries in which they have logged their TV viewing details and also contacting potential new respondents and recruiting them to become TV viewing diarists.


As an organization with a tremendous reputation to protect, Nielsen must ensure that any changes it makes to its processes have no unintended side-effects to its information gathering.

This implies that whilst always looking for additional competitive advantage, it must be careful to protect its existing product and reputation.

Nielsen had been using a dialer that was approaching end of support. Therefore, they were very keen to upgrade to a system that would replace this whilst still integrating with their Dimensions CATI software.

Added to this was the need to ensure that 24/7 support was available along with a failover solution that would automatically take effect in the event of a system failure. Moving to a new dialler also raised expectations for performance improvements.

Nielsen chose Sytel’s dialer – the world’s most efficient predictive dialer, knowing this would maximize productivity whilst maintaining compliance with US legislation.


Sytel’s Softdial Contact Center” (SCC) is able to integrate with the existing Nielsen structure, PSTN connections, PBX, SIP and ISDN. The Sytel implementation is modular with the components capable of being monitored individually.

Compared to Nielsen’s previous system, which utilized a mixture of hardware and communication protocols, the new Sytel installation used SIP with standard codecs and consequently the call quality was greatly improved.

Additionally, the communication between Nielsen and Sytel’s implementation teams meant that any changes and issues were dealt with in a fluid way.

“The introduction of the Sytel dialer in two of our sites has opened our eyes to the efficiencies that can be achieved.

“However, not only is there quantifiable evidence of improvements but the general atmosphere has lifted because agents are no longer struggling with poor quality calls with respondents which can be mentally wearing.” Steve Houghton, Director at Nielsen

The Results

This improved call quality was immediately noticed by the Nielsen contact centre agents and call recordings were much easier for supervisors to listen to and therefore provide more effective feedback and appropriate training for agents.

The ratio of connected calls to completed interviews also increased. Nielsen’s Technical and Project Management teams expressed positive reviews. The modular approach immediately lends itself to easier maintenance with the ability to scale quickly.

Sytel’s custom reporting tool provided information required by Nielsen’s Analytics Team. Nielsen was particularly impressed with the predictive dialing performance under compliance.

Nielsen found the Sytel system delivered:

  • projects completed in less time
  • up to 30% improvement in agent wait times
  • excellent Answer Machine Detection with false positives as low as 2%
  • compliance; meeting Nielsen’s stringent limit of abandon rate being less than 1.5%
Author: Guest Author

Published On: 24th Jul 2023 - Last modified: 25th Jul 2023
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