Archive for outbound calling

How to import Do Not Call lists

This blog gives step-by-step instructions on how to import Do Not Call lists into Acarda Outbound. These instructions apply to both the Team and Solo Editions of Acarda Outbound. For Acarda Outbound Team: In Acarda Outbound Manager click on the Manage tab then in the Import group of icons, click on the Do Not Call icon. For Acarda Outbound Solo: Click on the Administration tab (rather than the Agent View tab) and then the Manage tab, then in the Import group of icons, click on the Do Not Call icon.

The import Do Not Call file must be a text file such as a csv file. If there is more than one column of data then only the first column will be imported. Formatting of the telephone numbers will be removed during import.

Take the following steps to import the Do Not Cal list:

  1. Select the Import File.
  2. Modify the defaulted “Comment” if you want to. Note the “Source Tag” cannot be changed. This is used to identify the import file source is useful for managing your Do Not Call lists.
  3. Click the Import button.

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Figure 1: The Import Do Not Call Tab.

Once you have imported a file, the Import and Cancel buttons will be disabled to prevent you accidently re-importing the same data. After selecting a new source file name, these buttons will be enabled again.

To view the imported Do Not Call list data you need to open the Do Not Call directory. For Acarda Outbound Team: In Acarda Outbound Manager click on the Manage tab then in the Directories group of icons, click on the Do Not Call icon. For Acarda Outbound Solo: Click on the Administration tab (rather than the Agent View tab) and then the Manage tab, then in the Directories group of icons, click on the Do Not Call icon.

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Figure 2: The Do Not Call directory.

In the grid list on the left side is a list of import sources, the date of import, comment and a count of the number of records imported. As these lists could have millions of numbers in them we do not show the actual list of numbers unless you use the Display All icon at top of the right side panel called Source List Numbers. Usually you would enter in a telephone number to check in the “Search Telephone” box at the top of the gird. You can also delete an individual telephone number from this source’s list by clicking on the Delete icon.

Take care above the left hand side list is a Delete Source icon. Only use that if you want to delete the entire list! If you upload Do Not Call numbers each month then use the Source to identify the imported list. It is helpful to include the Month and Year in the Source tag. e.g. 702 Jan 2016. Then when you come to import a more recent list you can delete the old list by using the Source Delete. If your Do Not Call lists have millions of numbers then you may need to delete the older list prior to importing the replacement list.

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How to dial out with 3CXPhone for Windows

The method for Acarda Outbound to dial out with a v14 3CX phone system requires that the softphone 3CXPhone for Windows is installed. If this is not installed please contact your 3CX integrator for instructions. These instructions apply to both the Team and Solo Editions of Acarda Outbound v7.2.0.2304 and above. To get Acarda Outbound to dial out with a v14 3CX phone system you can take the following steps:

Installing 3CX Plug-in Files

When Acarda Outbound Agent or Solo is installed a folder is created as “C:\Program Files\Acarda\Acarda Outbound\3CX Support Files” (or “C:\Program Files (x86)\…” on 64bit installs) which will contain the two plug-in files “Innovasoft.XDMessaging.dll” & “Innovasoft.S3CX.dll”. Copy the two files to the install folder of the 3CXPhone (3CXWin8Phone.exe) which by default is “C:\ProgramData\3CXPhone for Windows\PhoneApp”.

To activate the plug-in locate the file C:\ProgramData\3CXPhone for Windows\PhoneApp\

3CXWin8Phone.exe.user.config", open and edit adding the reference to "Innovasoft.S3CX" for the key="CRMPlugin", use a comma to separate multiple entries or add the key & value if required.

e.g.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<appSettings>
<add key="version" value="3.0.0" />
<add key="ClientSettingsProvider.ServiceUri" value="" />
<add key="CRMPlugin" value="CallTriggerCmdPlugin,Innovasoft.S3CX"/>
<add key="MakeCallTimeout" value="10000" />
<add key="MakeCallTimeoutCTIUnsupported" value="200000" />
<add key="EnableVCELogging" value="true" />
<add key="MaxLogFileSizeMb" value="5" />
<add key="RequestTimeout" value="60" />
<add key="MaxUploadSizeKb" value="2048" />
</appSettings>

When the 3CXPhone is started the plug-in will now automatically be loaded enabling the dial functionality to be activated from Acarda Outbound.

Connecting Acarda Outbound to the 3CXPhone for Windows Softphone

To set the correct dialing device for Acarda Outbound Team: In Acarda Outbound Agent click on the Tools menu up the top right side of the screen and select the Dialing Device submenu. For Acarda Outbound Solo: Click on the Agent View tab and in the top right, click the Tools menu and select the Dialing Device submenu.

To dial out via the 3CXPhone, the softphone must be installed, running and logged in before continuing. In the Acarda Outbound Dialing Device select “3CXPhone for Windows” from the drop down. Click Save to select this option.

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Figure 1: The 3CXPhone for Windows dialing device selection.

When you select the 3CXPhone for the dialing device and you have Acarda Outbound administrator rights you have the option to test dial a number. Click the Test button in the lower left of the window. This will open the Test Dial Settings window.

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Figure 2: The Test Dial Settings window.

Enter a number to dial, click the Dial button to test the dialing via the 3CXPhone. A log will also be shown to indicate success or error in the dial attempt. Click the Hang Up button to end the call.

Once successful close the Test Dial Settings and Dialing Device windows to return to the Agent or Solo dialing screens. The 3CXPhone will now be set as your default dialing device and be used to dial and hang up calls from Acarda Outbound.

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How to setup campaigns based on post codes

In some situations you may wish to take a telephone list and assign those numbers with certain post codes to specific agents to work on. This blog will explain how to take a full dialing list and split it up into individual campaigns based on the post code.

In Acarda Outbound a campaign has an associated calling list and the agents are assigned to teams which work on the designated calling list. To split the lists based on post code first import the calling data into a campaign e.g. Master List. Then make up the other campaigns using the post code number for easy identification e.g. Code 10001, Code 10012, Code 10016. Campaigns are set up under menu Setup then Campaigns. Note, when you import you must import the post code to the DialList field called PostCode.

Postcode campaigns

Figure 1: Campaign Name Setup

Once the Master List has had the calling list imported then you can use the List Management tools to shift data from that campaign to another one using the post code as the criteria. To do this, take the following steps.

  1. Open the Modify Campaign List Management Tool.
    1. In Acarda Outbound Team: open Acarda Outbound Manager click on the Manage tab then in the List Management group of icons, click on the Modify Campaign icon.
    2. In Acarda Outbound Solo: click on the Administration tab (rather than the Agent View tab) and click on the Manage tab, then in the List Management group of icons, click on the Modify Campaign icon.
  2. On the left-side, click on the master list campaign you imported the calling list to.
  3. On the right-side, in the Filter Criteria panel, enter the Post Code for the calling list records you wish to move to a specific campaign. You can leave the original records in the master list if you want to and just copy the selected records into the new campaign. Do this by checking the “Retain original records” box.
  4. Now click the Modify button.

Modify campaign

Figure 2: Modify Campaign

You can view the records in the campaign the usual way by clicking View in the Campaign group of icons under Manage. For more information on how to import calling lists please contact us.

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How to dial out with 3CXPhone using 3CX CallTriggerCmd

Acarda Outbound can make use of the 3CX CallTriggerCmd application to dial out with the 3CXPhone for Windows. To begin with open the file:

“C:\ProgramData\3CXPhone for Windows\PhoneApp\3CXWin8Phone.user.config”

in a text editor such as Notepad and check that the “CallTriggerCmdPlugin” dll is referred to in the “CRMPlugin” key:

<add key=”CRMPlugin” value=”CallTriggerCmdPlugin “/>

If you already had the 3CXPhone open please Exit and start it again. Note that the 3CXPhone must remain open if you want to dial out with it. It will not open automatically on dial.

These instructions apply to both the Team and Solo Editions of Acarda Outbound. For Acarda Outbound Team: In Acarda Outbound Agent click on the Tools menu up the top right side of the screen and select the Dialing Device submenu. For Acarda Outbound Solo: Click on the Agent View tab and in the top right, click the Tools menu and select the Dialing Device submenu.

Dialing Device Softphone App

Figure 1: The dialing device configuration.

Once you have selected the dialing device menu from the drop-down, you will be presented with the dialog above. You can then select the “Softphone Application” from the current dialing device drop-down to use this dialing method.

With the 3CXPhone using CallTriggerCmdPlugin only the Dial command can be used and not Hang Up. You need to use the 3CXPhone to hang up the call. Future integrations will allow this feature.

Dial Device Call Trigger

Figure 2: The Software Application configuration.

You can test your setup first using Cmd. Paste the MakeCall command and click enter with an appropriate extension:

“C:\ProgramData\3CXPhone for Windows\PhoneApp\CallTriggerCmd.exe” -cmd makecall:102

Once that works then go into the agent screen and add a test number e.g. click on the Action button then “Add Dial Card”, enter the test extension or number e.g. 102. Click the Next Dial button and it should dial out via the 3CXPhone which will start to ring the number.

To read up more on 3CX’s integration with CallTriggerCmdPlugin please refer to their blog at http://www.3cx.com/blog/docs/3cxphone-for-windows-api/

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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.

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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).

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Figure 2: Toolbar with Response and Call Back buttons.

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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.

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Figure 4: The Support Tables screen.

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How to add new numbers to your dial list

This blog explains how to add a new, one-off, telephone number to your dial list to call. It applies to the team edition of Acarda Outbound and the solo edition when you set the Agent View screen to Card View. In solo the Agent View is set on a per user basis in Administration under the Setup tab then Users.

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Figure 1: Users Settings for Agent View.

When you set up an outbound calling campaign, usually, in Acarda Outbound Manager, you would import a csv file list of numbers and contact details that you intend to make the calls to. This calling data is referred to as a Dial List because it is a list of numbers to dial for a campaign. When the agents whose team is assigned to the campaign log in they would be sent the numbers to call, one at a time and the number with associated data are displayed in the Acarda Outbound Agent screen in an area referred to as the Dial Card. It is called this because it is like a business card view of one record from the Dial List.

In some cases, however, you may not have a calling list to import into Acarda Outbound. There are situations where the agent is building up the calling list on the fly, for example, they could be working through the telephone book to find numbers to call. Acarda Outbound Agent provides the ability for agents to add a new number to your Dial List for the campaign they are working on. Take the following steps to do this:

1. Finish of any Dial Card record displayed currently in the Dial Card panel by clicking the Call End button.

2. Once you have a blank empty screen click on the Action button and select Add Dial Card.

3. An input box will pop up for you to enter the telephone number you wish to add. Enter the number and then click the OK button. After the Acarda Outbound Server checks the Do not Call list database it will add the telephone number and it will be displayed.

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Figure 2: Agent Screen with blank Dial Card and Action Menu open.

For more details on Acarda Outbound please see http://www.acarda.com/telemarketing-software-team.html. You can download an Acarda Outbound trial via http://www.acarda.com/downloads.html

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How to change the Agent View in Acarda Outbound

In the solo edition of Acarda Outbound there are two ways of viewing the data, one is “List View” which shows a list of numbers to call, the other is “Card View” which is one record at a time and how it is in the team edition. This blog I will explain how to switch between the views. Please remember this is only for Acarda Outbound Solo as in the team edition the agent always operates in the “Card View” mode.

Figure 1 shows the main screen in Acarda Outbound Solo with the agent displayed in “List View”. “List View” works slightly different to the team edition and presents the agent with a list of all the records in the Dial List in two groups. The lower group shows those not yet called and the top group shows the call backs (which includes redials for busy and no answer). On the left side is displayed a Dial Card for the selected record.

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Figure 1: Solo edition in List View.

The “Card View” layout, shown in figure 2, shows just one lead at a time. This means that the agent of more focused and doesn’t need to think about call backs as the best lead for them to call for that time is displayed in the Dial Card area when the agent clicks Next Dial. The “Card View” is the only mode in the team edition.

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Figure 2: Solo edition in Card View.

These settings are changed under the User Setup (in Setup Tab). See figure 3 and 4. In Acarda Outbound Solo take the following steps:

  1. Click on the Administration tab (rather than the Agent View tab).
  2. Click on the Setup tab, then in the Setup group of icons, click on the Users icon.
  3. On the right side once you select the user you will see “Agent View” setting.
  4. Select either “List View” or “Card View” from the drop down list then click the Enter key. Now when you return to the agent screen you should see the selected layout type.

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Figure 3: User Setup.

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Figure 4: Agent View Setting.

For more details on Acarda Outbound please see http://www.acarda.com/telemarketing-software-team.html  or for the solo edition, http://www.acarda.com/telemarketing-software-solo.html,   You can download an Acarda Outbound trial via http://www.acarda.com/downloads.html

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How to get call backs from other campaigns

In Acarda Outbound there are different types of call backs including Busy re-attempts, No Answer re-attempts, Voice Mail re-attempts and Requested call backs. The Requested call backs are the most important because a prospect or customer has asked the agent to call back at a set date and time. These take priority over all other types of call backs.

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Figure 1: The Call Back Menu Dialog.

Call backs are usually confined to the campaign in which they are set in, so if you change to another campaign you will not receive the Requested call backs unless you enable this feature. To do this, take the following steps.

1. Go to the Call Back Settings screen.

a. In Acarda Outbound Team: open Acarda Outbound Manager click on the Setup tab then in the Setup group of icons, click on the Settings icon.

b. In Acarda Outbound Solo: click on the Administration tab (rather than the Agent View tab) and then the Setup tab, then in the Setup group of icons, click on the Settings icon.

2. Now in the left sidebar you will see the Agent Display branch and also a Call Options branch. Under Call Options click on Call Backs and you will see the Call Back Screen like figure 2. In the second panel, “Call Back Settings”, check the “Enable Global Requested Call Backs” to turn on this feature.

3. In the team edition, in order to have Call Back Options change you need to restart Acarda Outbound Service. This is not necessary in the solo edition. In Acarda Outbound Team: open Acarda Outbound Server Administrator click on Stop then wait, once stopped then click on Start.

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Figure 2: The Call Back Screen.

For more details on Acarda Outbound please see http://www.acarda.com/telemarketing-software-team.html. You can download an Acarda Outbound trial via http://www.acarda.com/downloads.html

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How to set call backs quickly in Acarda Outbound

One of the great features in Acarda Outbound is that you can pre-set the time between call backs of different types. So you can have re-attempts for Busy Call Backs say at 30 minutes whereas No Answer Call Back re-attempts could be three hours. In Acarda Outbound Agent you can set a Call Back (during a call) by clicking on the Call Back button then selecting one of the call back type from the Call Back dialog. A quicker way however is to press the F5 key on your keyboard then the short-cut key for the call back type then press Enter.

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Figure 1: The Call Back Menu Dialog.

The short-cut keys are “N” for No Answer, “B” for Busy, “V” for Voice Mail, “R” for Requested, “A” for Any Agent and “T” for Requested Team. You can see these when you pop up the Call Back Menu Dialog by pressing the Alt key once. Using short-cut keys makes selection much faster without using the mouse. For example, to set a Busy Call Back just press F5, then “B” then Enter.

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Figure 2: More Short-Cuts

Other short-cut keys are noted above the Status bar at the bottom of the screen (see Figure 2). These include F3 to open up the Response Menu Dialog, F6 for Next Dial, F7 for Hang Up, F8 for End Dial. There are more hidden under the “more …” link, see figure 2.

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Figure 3: Acarda Outbound Agent screen.

For more details on Acarda Outbound please see http://www.acarda.com/telemarketing-software-team.html. You can download an Acarda Outbound trial via http://www.acarda.com/downloads.html

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How to prevent too many call backs

Acarda Outbound manages your campaign leads and works out which lead to send out to each agent and when to send them. Leads are sent out in an order of priority which starts with those call backs where the agent was requested to call back at a set date or time. After the requested call backs it sends the agent those leads which were previously busy, or not answered, or voice mail and have a call back time which is less than or equal to the current time. These are re-attempts to reach the contact. It is only after all the due call backs are done that never-been-called-before leads are sent to the agent to call. This is intentional to manage the leads in the most effective way. There are a number of settings that affect how the call backs are managed. This blog will touch on a few of these and look at how to prevent too many call backs clogging up the system.

The main call back setting screen is located in the Manager software:

  1. Open Acarda Outbound Manager, click Setup Tab
  2. Click Settings icon
  3. Select Call Backs under Call Options in the left side tree (see Figure 1)

call-backs-settings

Figure 1: The Call Backs setting screen.

In this setting screen you can set the number of re-attempts and the time interval between attempts. If you are getting too many call backs then you should consider reducing the number of re-attempts down. Once the limit has been reached then the lead will be set as a Failed Call Back status. At a later time you can reset the Failed Call Back leads and attempt them again. This is done via the List Management area.

You can also set whether or not Requested Call Backs from other campaigns can be given out to an agent while they are working on a different campaign. If you don’t want your agents to be distracted with other campaign Requested Call Backs then you should uncheck the setting “Enable Global Requested Call Backs”. Once this setting has been changed you need to stop/start the Acarda Outbound Server and get everyone to log in again.

It is also possible to set a Team (of Agents) to only get new leads (non-call backs) rather than call backs. Usually you would only do this if you had two Teams working the same campaign and then you would have the best agents doing the non-call backs (never called yet) and the less experienced doing the call backs (and then new leads if there were no call backs). This is setup under Teams. Click on The Team icon, then in the Setup Tab, then change then the Call Type drop down list.

teams-non-call-backs

Figure 2: Setting Call Type under Team Setup.

For more details on Acarda Outbound please see http://www.acarda.com/telemarketing-software-team.html. You can download an Acarda Outbound trial via http://www.acarda.com/downloads.html

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