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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.

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.

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/

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.

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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.

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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.

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Figure 3: Backup Task for Sunday 3am

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

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Figure 4: Task Schedule List

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/live-outbound-calling/. You can download an Acarda Outbound trial via http://www.acarda.com/outbound-calling-downloads/