Archive for September, 2015

How to setup database backup in Acarda Outbound

You should back up your outbound calling database with your calling lists and telemarketing results. This blog explains how to back up your Acarda Outbound calling data. In the team edition of Acarda Outbound the database backup settings are accessed through the Acarda Outbound Server Administrator. Once logged in click on the left sidebar tree item “Database Settings” then “Maintenance” and the screen shown in Figure 1 will be displayed.

The default location for the backup folder is “C:\ProgramData\Acarda\Acarda Outbound\Data\Backup” however you can select another folder for the location if you wish to. It is usually a good idea to have the backup saved on to another physical harddisk to the main one where the original database files are located.

image

Figure 1: Database Maintenance Screen

To avoid filling your harddrive with backups you can set a maximum size, e.g. 30GB, for the backup folder and when this limit is reach Acarda Outbound will automatically delete the oldest backup files. You can also have the Acarda Outbound delete backups that are older than a certain number of days by ticking the “Automatically delete database backups” check box and setting the number of days.

In addition to these settings you also must have the Database Task set “Backup Databases (excl. DoNotCall)” and “Backup DoNotCall” if you want that one backed up.

A Database Task is set up by clicking on the “+” symbol to add a new task for the selected task name.

image

Figure 2: Add Schedule Task

Next check the “Enable Task” and set up a schedule. For example, figure 3 shows a database back up scheduled for each Sunday at 3am. Be sure to select a time when the computer will be operating. Once set then click OK.

image

Figure 3: Backup Task for Sunday 3am

Once a task is set you will see it in the right-hand Task Schedule list.

image

Figure 4: Task Schedule List

Comments off

How are called records managed in Acarda Outbound?

Unlike paper-based manual dialing processes where you need to keep track of what leads have been called, and which ones need to be called back, Acarda Outbound looks after all this for you automatically. For example, if you had a small campaign of 1,000 leads for California and the first day ten of your sales people only contacted 400 of those leads, what happens the next day when they start calling; do they have to worry about getting some of the already called leads again? The called leads already have been attempted or dealt with yielding results that could be: not interested, sale made, already called, wrong number, call back again, etc.

The good news is that you do not need to worry about the 400 called leads from the day before. Acarda Outbound takes care of it for you. Each lead, or list record, has a Status. The status starts at “Not Called”, usually moves to “Call Back” and then on to “Called”. When a lead is out at an agent it is “In Progress”. When too many call back attempts are made then it changes to “Failed xxx” where xxx is the call back type whose limit was reached e.g. “Failed Busy” or “Failed No Answer”.

All the leads in the campaign start as “Not Called” but once they go to the agent they will usually come back as either “Called” (if they are finished with and you have a final disposition/response) or “Call Back” (if they were busy, no answer or a requested call back was set). If the person reached told the agent not to call them again then the agent clicks the “Do Not Call” button (Figure 1) and the status of “Do Not Call” is set and the number is added to the Do Not call list.

image

Figure 1: Toolbar with Response options.

The following day you just carry on with the campaign and Acarda Outbound will first send the agents requested call backs that are due to be called, then reattempts for busy or no answer, and then, if there are no call backs due, it will send a new lead. Once the agent gets hold of someone then they select a disposition (also referred to as a Response), via the Response button (Figure 1) e.g. you could have a response for “Interested”, “Not Interested”, “Appointment Made”, “Send Information”, “Sold To Previously”, “Called Already”, “Incorrect Number”, “Invalid Number”, “Try Next Year” etc. If the agent does not reach anyone they would select a call back type via the Call Back button (See Figure 2 and Figure 3).

image

Figure 2: Toolbar with Response and Call Back buttons.

image

Figure 3: The Call Back Type.

The dispositions, also referred to as Responses, are set up under Support Tables as follows:

  1. Go to the Setup screen:
    • In Acarda Outbound Team: open Acarda Outbound Manager and click on the Setup tab.
    • In Acarda Outbound Solo: click on the Administration tab (rather than the Agent View tab) and then the Setup tab.
  2. Click on the Support Tables icon in the Setup group of icons.
  3. The Support Tables panel should open up with the Responses table selected in the top row of the list on the left side (Figure 4). On the right side is where you add a new response or edit an existing one.

When you add a disposition to the Response table you can select a Layout and a List Order. If you are not using any specific layout for your agent screens then you are using the [Default] layout and that should also be selected as the Layout that the response belongs to. The List Order determines the order the Reponses will be listed in when you click on the Response button in Acarda Outbound Agent, also the order the response is listed in in the Dial Card drop down list. Note you do not need to have a disposition for the call backs as call backs must be set via the Call Back button, not the Response button. Also do not have a disposition for “Do Not Call” as you must use the Do Not Call button instead.

image

Figure 4: The Support Tables screen.

Comments off