This blog will show you how to get started dialing with Acarda Outbound. It’s written from the point of view of the outbound calling staff, the people making the calls so doesn’t look at management tasks like setting up a campaign or importing calling lists.
First, once you have logged into Acarda Outbound Agent you should see a screen like the following:
The left of the screen, called the Dial Card panel, will be blank until you have a lead on the screen. The right side will like something like the above image however it will depend on how your Acarda Outbound system has been set up and what edition you have. It could show just a Script panel or a Script panel with an Objection Handler panel if you have the Advanced Edition. Alternatively, you may find that entire panel is turned off so you just have an entirely blank screen above the toolbar.
The toolbar which resides along the lower part of the screen is where you control retrieving a lead, dialing and saving the lead at the end of the call. The most common configuring for these buttons is Next, Next Dial, Hang Up, End Dial, Call End, DNC, Action, Response, and Call Back. Notice that some of these buttons are not enabled unless you are on a call.
Let’s look at each of these buttons:
The next button gets the next lead on the screen displaying it the Dial Card panel. It does not dial it so it allows you to preview the record first. When a lead is displayed or active on the screen, the Next button changes to become the Cancel button. Clicking Cancel will reset the lead and return it to the calling queue.
The Next Dial button gets the next lead on the screen displaying it the Dial Card panel and then it will dial it through the selecting Dialing Device. If the next lead is already displayed on the screen clicking the Next Dial button will only dial the current lead. This button doubles up as the Dial button allowing you to have the Next and Dial buttons separately in the toolbar.
Depending on the dialing device the Hang Up button can be used to hang up the voice conversation. This can be used with some softphones and with modems if you are not using the auto-hang up feature.
Once on a call you can click on the End Dial button to end the call, saving the current Dial Card lead, retrieving the next lead and dialing it through the Dialing Device in on click. This button also doubles up as the End Next where it saves the current Dial Card lead and displays the next lead but does not dial it.
The Call End button saves the current Dial Card lead however it does not retrieve the next lead. Use this button at the end of a calling session.
The DNC button will add the current leads telephone number to your in-house Do Not Call list.
The Action button gives you access to extended functions such as the ability to add a new lead from the agent, retrieving previously called records and checking numbers on the Do Not Call list.
The Response button is a quick way to set a call disposition. You can click on this button and select the disposition then move on to the next call without needing to move up into the Dial card panel. If you need to add other notes then you can still use this button or you can use the Response drop down list in the Dial Card. You should always set a response when you have finished with this lead and made you final call to the recipient.
The Call Back button is where you set call backs for busy, no answer, voice mail or when someone requests that you call back at a later time. You should use the Call Back button rather than having a response for a call back because call backs are treated in special way. If it’s the final outcome of the lead then set a Response whereas if you need to call again then use the Call Back button.
The behavior of the toolbar buttons is determined by way the Acarda Outbound is set up. These settings are configured in the Acarda Outbound Manager.
Now that we have covered the buttons let’s put it all together. To get started dialing click the Next Dial button and this will ask the server to send you the next lead and it will then be displayed on the screen. Note there are two timers on the lower right of the screen, one is the called the On Screen Duration and the other is the On Call Duration. The On Screen Duration is the time the lead is displayed in the Dial Card on the screen whereas the On Call Duration is the duration of the call itself which starts timing with the dial out and stops timing when you click the hang up button.
Once dialed out you will hear the ringing tone until the person either answers the call or you will have the busy signal as you normal do when you make a call. If no one answers or it is busy you then simply click on the Call Back button and select the appropriate call back reason.
In the case you reach someone but they ask you to call back select Requested Call Back and set the date and time for the return call. When that future time arrives and you click on the Next Dial button the server will make that lead a priority and send it to you ahead of any other call backs or new leads. The server works out when to send other calls backs such as busy or no answer based on rules set up in the Acarda Outbound Manager.
Alternatively if you reach someone then you use the Response button. These dispositions are setup in the Acarda Outbound Manager and every call should be set with a final outcome based on these dispositions. Please note that you should usually only set a Response when you are at the final outcome of the call. If you need to call them back or it is busy or no answer, set a call back rather than a Response that says “Busy” or “No Answer”.
When you have finished that call click on the End Dial button to have that lead saved back to the server and a new lead brought to you and displayed on screen. If you do not wish to carry on making further calls then click the Call End button.