Basic admin

The Projects | Activity page lets you keep an eye on the progress of your phoning in real time, both at the campaign level and phoner by phoner.

You will see a list of your campaigns.  Click on one of the campaign rows (not on the campaign name) to see its agents (phoners) in the bottom area of the screen, once you have started the campaign.

AO / AR – agents online and agents ready – this tells you how many agents are currently logged in to this campaign, and how many of them are ready to take a call right now.

LiU – Lines in Use – this tells you how many lines the dialer is currently using for this campaign.

Cn / CnR – how many calls have been answered (including answering machines and other calls that the system handles).  Cn is the total number and CnR is the percentage of the total number of calls dialed.

C / CR – how many contacts the agents have made – C is the total number and CR is the percentage of all connects that became contacts.  Your account can be configured to specify which call dispositions are counted as contacts; the default setup is to count any response to the first question as a contact.

H – calls on hold.  On outbound calling, not relevant (occasionally shows a small number above zero, as calls are being handed off to agents).

D / %D – dropped calls.  These are calls that were connected to a person on the line, but there were no agents available to take the call, so the system had to hang up the call.  A small number of dropped calls is normal, but these calls are a wasted opportunity and annoying to the people on the receiving end.

Total – this is the total number of calls dialed since the campaign was started for this session.

AW / MW – average wait and maximum wait, measured in seconds.  This calculates the average length of time that your agents are waiting now between calls.  Max wait looks at the agent who has currently been waiting the longest.

See “How can I adjust the speed of my campaign?” for more information about these numbers.

These final numbers indicate how many busy signals, answering machines detected, no answer, and failed calls/operator intercepts the system has called during this session.

The RED and GREEN icons indicated whether the campaign is currently STOPPED or STARTED.

The lower half of the screen allows you to watch agent activity, showing the agents’ current status, how long they have been in that status, and the total number of calls and contacts they have handled today.  You will only see information in the lower half of this screen when you have clicked on the campaign above to select it, and the campaign is started.

On the Projects | Activity page of the calling system admin, you will see a green or red dot at the right-side edge of each campaign listed.  Green campaigns are started; red ones are stopped.

To start or stop, click on the campaign row (but not on the name) to select it.  The row will now be highlighted with a light green/yellow color.  At the top of the page, you will see that the Start-Stop button is now enabled.  Click on it to start or stop the campaign.

You control how many lines the system will try to dial for each phoner.  When you start a phoning session, it is important to wait at least 15-20 minutes before you start adjusting performance – you want to give the phoners a chance to settle into a rhythm.

To assess the speed of the system, look at the upper area of the Projects | Activity page.  D and %D tell you how many calls the system has had to drop.  These are calls that were connected to a person on the line, but there were no agents available to take the call, so the system had to hang up the call.  AW tells you how many seconds your phoners are waiting between calls.

There are no absolute rules on what numbers you should aim for.  %D under 5% is important – you don’t want to waste the opportunity to talk with people by hanging up on them.  Average wait times will depend on a number of factors.  Few phoners on the campaign will mean longer wait times.  Long conversations also mean longer wait times between calls (because it is too variable when the call will end).  Lists that have already been called for days may mean longer wait times.

For standard voter lists, using answering machine detection, a ratio of 4:1 is a good starting point.  If you are not using answering machine detection, 2:1 is a good starting point.

To adjust the performance, click on the campaign row to select it.  Click on the Performance button above.

Adjust the speed by changing the Dial Speed.  A higher number (going from 3:1 to 4:1, for example) means that the system will use more lines – call faster.  Do not change more than one step at a time.  After you have made an adjustment, wait at least 15 minutes before making any further adjustments.

If you have questions about this, feel free to talk with a PCT support person.  We will be happy to work with you to make sure that your phoning is as productive as possible.

In the calling system admin, the Projects | Activity page shows you real-time statistics by campaign and agent as the phoning happens.  You can also see more detailed real-time reports in the Reports section of the admin, as well as detailed reports covering not just today’s calls, but past results, in the Report Generator.

You can access reports that analyze your productivity and results, and report on your billable usage. In the report generator, you can also lookup whether/how often you have called a phone number or person in the past.

The address to access your reports was included in your welcome email, and it is:

[your assigned domain]/reports

For example, if you are assigned to the system using the address, your reports will be available at Supervisor and admin users have access to the reports.

When you have generated a report, you will notice that there is a “Copy All to Clipboard” button. You can click on that button, then paste the results into an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet for further analysis.

If you need information that is not covered in the standard reports, contact us and we can talk about setting up custom report formats for you.

As your phoners make calls, you may be called on to resolve problems. There are two typical categories – sound issues, and connection issues.

Sound Issues:
If your phoners complain of static, echoes, or other sound quality issues, that is most likely a problem with the internet connection – fluctuations in the speed and consistency of your internet or router. Problems like that are often temporary and go away on their own, but if not, contact us to discuss it.

If a phoner’s computer has no sound at all, there are some settings to check:

Some headsets have mute buttons – make sure the headset is not muted.

Check the Windows Sound Control Panel – make sure that the headset is the default device for “recording” and “playback”. On Windows 10, it will look something like this:

Connection issues:

Sometimes a computer will lose its connection to the system. A momentary drop in the internet connection – anywhere along the line from the computer to the router to the modem and then out in the internet – will disconnect you from the system. If things seem to freeze up on the computer, look in the lower-left corner of the screen. If one or both of the indicators are RED, you are disconnected from the system.

Close your browser and try logging in again.

For ongoing connection issues, troubleshoot your internet connection. If you’re using wifi, make sure you have a strong signal.

The dialer system will make up to 5 attempts to reach a number.  After every unsuccessful attempt, the system will wait 4 to 8 hours before attempting that number again.  This happens automatically and is designed to maximize the efficiency of your phone program in most situations.

Sometimes your list may run out of “eligible” records – which means records that can be called RIGHT NOW.  You have records that could be called in the future, but they are blocked by the time delays.  If you want to reset those time delays and make those records eligible to be called right away, follow these steps:

Click on the campaign name in the admin.  You will see the list(s) that are loaded for the campaign.

Click on the row of the list that you want to reset, to select that list.  You will see a Reset button – click on that button.

The Preview list shows the count of records that could be reset in each category.  Choose the categories that you want to reset, and then click on the Reset File button.  If your records have already been attempted 5 times, you can check the Override box to allow a 6th (or more) pass.  Click on the Back button to return to the Dial Table (list of lists).  You will see how many records are now eligible to call.

Be patient – the reset process can take a minute or more to finish processing.  The system will then begin to offer records to be called again.

If you are not getting any calls, make sure that the campaign is started. In the admin, look at the right side of the Projects | Activity page – is the icon green (Started) or red (Stopped)?

Click on the campaign row to select it, then click on “Campaign Readiness Check” (you must be an admin user, not a lead/supervisor, to do this).

Click on the Update button in the lower right of the window to see updated numbers. Look at the 5 indicators at the top. If any of them are red, those are issues that need to be resolved for calls to start.

If everything is green, you have clicked on Update, and calls are still not coming in, try logging out your clicker and at least 2 or 3 phoners and then logging back in. If none of these steps resolve the issue, contact support.