• Getting Started
  • Can my volunteers phone from home?

    In 2020, everything is different.  You may wonder if the PCT/CallEvo system will work under these challenging conditions.

    YES.  Anyone with a computer or tablet and an internet connection can phone with our system.  It doesn't matter if they're in the next room, or miles away.  Phoners will operate as a team - even as they work from home.

    With chat features built in to the system, staying in touch with your team is easy.  And the real-time monitoring that you can do in the admin page will help you to make your team's work as successful as possible.

  • I hear that you offer "compliance calling" services. What does that mean?

    With increasing numbers of people having only mobile phones, and legal concerns about using predictive dialer systems to call mobile numbers, PCT now offers compliance calling – a new, entirely separately calling platform that allows you to call mobile numbers in compliance with legal requirements, quickly and efficiently.

    The compliance calling system ensures that all calls are manually initiated - you are not "power dialing" or "preview dialing" on an automated dialer.  Our Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliant calling platform simplifies mobile number calling strategy and protects you against regulatory challenges and legal action. With our evolutionary Rapid Manual Initiation (RMI), we offer the fastest manual calling solution in the industry.

    Contact us for more information about how this tool can work for your campaign.

  • How do I sign up for your services?

    Contact us.  We will be happy to give you a walk-through of our system and talk about how we can help make your work more effective.  If you decide to go ahead with our services, we will send you a welcome email with your account information.  PDI users who want to connect their PCT calling system account to a PDI account should share that account information with their account representative at PDI.

  • What are the minimum specs for bandwidth and computers to be used on the PCT calling system?

    For your phoners, you will need computers (Windows, Chromebooks, or Macs) or tablets - as long as they can run a current version of software and have the Chrome browser installed, it should be fine.

    For one or two phoners at a single location, any modern internet connection should have enough bandwidth.  A stable connection is the most important factor.

    If you are setting up a phonebank at a central location, each computer will need approximately 125 kb of bandwidth, both upload and download.  This means that each megabyte of bandwidth is enough for 8 phoners.

    For the people in charge of running the phonebank, you will need at least one Windows-based computer.

  • Can I use wifi? Tablets? Chromebooks?


    WiFi - For one or two people phoning on the system from their home, wifi is fine.  You will want to be sure you're not sitting in a "dead spot" and pay attention to how many household members are also using the internet for streaming video, gaming, etc., but wifi will work.

    If you are setting up a phonebank at a central location with a number computers in an office, we recommend the use of wired (ethernet) networks. They are more stable, period.  That said, a well set up and managed wifi network can be used.  You will need to test it out and see if it provides a good phoning experience for your campaign.

    Tablets - as long as your phoners are comfortable with the size of the screen, and your wifi is good, tablets can be used on the system.

    Chromebooks - YES!

  • What does the phoner's screen look like?

  • I'm not using PDI. Can I still use the PCT calling system?

    Yes!  The PCT calling system is a full-featured system that can be used for a variety of phoning projects.  You can load your membership list to call them about an upcoming meeting, make patch-through calls as part of a legislative campaign, using data from another system, etc.  Contact us and we will be happy to talk with you about how our services can make your work more effective.

  • How is PCT different?

    There are a lot of companies offering calling services.  PCT stands out from the rest for several reasons -

    Groundbreaking compliance calling system - are you scrubbing your lists for cell phones and then hand-dialing the cell phones?  You know how frustrating and unproductive that is.  With our compliance calling system, you can call all of your target voters quickly and efficiently - while still staying in compliance with the TCPA.

    Easy to use, reliable, and fast - You have more important work to do; you don't want to spend a lot of time learning to use a complicated system.  You also don't want to waste time on a slow or unreliable calling system.

    Low cost - PCT's pricing is very competitive.  You don't need to pay high prices or sign a long-term commitment to get top-quality dialing services.

    Tailored to the needs of your work - PCT was created specifically to meet the needs of progressive political campaigns, labor organizations, and community organizations.  We know that you don't work M-F, 9-5, and neither do we!  We also have years of experience in using technology to advance progressive work, and it is part of our mission to work closely with you throughout your campaign to make sure that you are able to use the tools effectively.

    Integrated with the PDI Online Campaign Center - for campaigns using PDI, the integration between PDI and PCT is seamless.  You set up your universe and survey in PDI, load them to the calling system, and then as your phoners are talking with the voters, the results of the calls are copied back to your PDI account automatically within minutes.  It is that simple.

  • Setting up your computers
  • Start early!

    Once you have decided to use the PCT calling system for your campaign, be sure to start early, setting up your network and computers, and testing things out.  Most people find the setup process pretty straightforward and quick.

    There are, however, a LOT of variables here - internet providers, modems, firewalls, other software installed on computers, etc. - and in the complicated cases, it can take a while to sort things out.

    Sometimes there are problems that are related to how many computers you are connecting to the system at the same time.  Your internet connection or router may be fine when you connect one or two computers, but problems may come up when you try to log in all ten or twenty of your computers.  For this reason, it is very important to test your setup by logging in all of the computers that you plan to use for calling - at the same time.  With all of the computers logged in, you can then make manual test calls from the computers to be sure that headsets and sound settings are ok.

    You do not need to wait for your real calling campaign to be ready and loaded into the system.  If you are using the PDI integration, you do not need to wait for your PDI and PCT accounts to be connected.  As soon as we send you the welcome email with your calling system settings and login information, you can set up and test your computers.

    Don't wait until you have phoners coming in later the same day!  Do the configuring and testing well in advance of your first day of phoning.  That way you will be ready for your first phonebank, confident that things will run smoothly.

  • How do I set up a computer to administer the dialing?

    Do this first, before you set up the computers that your phoners will use. That way, as you are setting up the phoners' computers, you will be able to look at the admin screen to verify that your phoner computers are being logged in correctly.

    Your welcome email will include a link to the login page for the admin system.  Go to your browser (any browser will work).  Click on the link in your welcome email - or type the address into the browser.  Bookmark the login page.

    You can now log in with your admin or supervisor username and password.

  • How do I configure the computers that the phoners will use?

    You will need to use Chrome or any other browser that supports the WebRTC protocol (we recommend Chrome)

    On each computer, go to the agent login page that was in your welcome email.  Bookmark the login page.

    The first time you log in to the system, the browser will ask if you want to allow access to your microphone. Click on Allow and you are ready to go.

  • How to connect to the system using a telephone instead of the computer's headset

    The standard way to connect to the calling system is to use the computer for the data - the voter information on the screen and the responses you mark after the call - and the audio, using VOIP.  In some situations, however, you may not be able to use the computer for the audio - particularly if your internet bandwidth is limited or your internet provider blocks the VOIP connection.

    You can use a telephone for the audio.  It can be a cellphone, a landline, or an internet phone, as long as the phone has a ten-digit phone number and can receive calls at that number.  To use a telephone for the audio, you will need to change a couple of settings.

    At the agent login webpage, click on the Settings button.

    Click on Use Dialback: Yes.  In the Dialback box, type the ten-digit phone number you want this computer to connect to.  Click on Save & Close.

    With these settings, when the agent logs in, the system will call the ten-digit phone number as part of the login process.  Remember not to hang up the phone in between calls!  If you hang up, you will need to log in again.

  • Manual calls to test your computers

    Once you have configured the computers that you will be using, you can make manual test calls to be sure that everything is working correctly. Manual calls are also useful to troubleshoot problems with headsets, volume settings, etc.

    In the calling system's admin area, make sure that your "manual" campaign has been started.  Now, log in to the phoner computer.

    Leave the status as "NOT READY" and click on the Manual Call icon.

    NOTE:  If there is nothing in the Campaign dropdown, that means that the manual campaign has not been started.

    Fill in a 10-digit number in the phone number box and click on Dial.  The dialer will call that number.  Be patient - the call can sometimes take up to one minute before it reaches the number you're dialing.

    When you are finished with the call, follow the prompts on the screen.  You will be able to choose between staying in "Not Ready" status, or going "Ready" and starting to take live calls.

  • Basic troubleshooting as you set up your computers

    When you are setting up computers to be used by the phoners, if you are unable to connect to the system, here are some basic troubleshooting tips:

    1. Make sure you are using the Chrome browser.
    2. Make sure that you have allowed access to the microphone.
    3. Try running Chrome in Incognito mode.
    4. Check if the individual computer has a firewall on - try turning it off, if it is on.
    5. Try rebooting the computer.

    If you are still unable to connect to the system, contact us and we will work with you to find a solution.

  • Basic Admin
  • What does the information on the Projects | Activity page mean?

    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.

    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.


  • How do I start and stop calling campaigns?

    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.

  • How do I adjust the calling system's performance (speed)?

    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.

  • Can I see real-time statistics while phoning is going on?

    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.

  • How do I run reports on my phoning?

    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 callevo5.callevo.com address, your reports will be available at https://callevo5.callevo.com/reports. 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.

  • Basic troubleshooting of the computers as you make calls

    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:

    1. Some headsets have mute buttons - make sure the headset is not muted.
    2. Check the Windows Sound settings - 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.

    If you have recurring connection issues, talk with us and we will work with you to try to diagnose the problem further.

  • ***Troubleshooting -

    If your phoners are not getting any calls at all:

    • Is the campaign started?  In the calling system admin, look at the right side of the Projects | Activity page - is the icon green (Started) or red (Stopped)?
    • Are there agents logged in and in "Ready" status?  In the admin, click on the campaign row to select it.  You will see the agents in the lower half of the screen.  In the upper half you should also see how many agents are logged (AO) and how many are ready (AR).  If AR is zero, there will be no calls made.
    • Is there a clicker logged in and ready?  You should see the clicker listed along with the agents in the lower half of the screen.  If you are not sure that the clicker is working, on the clicker app, click on Not Ready, then Disconnect, Connect, and then Ready.  If you still do not get any calls, close the clicker app completely and trying logging back in from the beginning.
    • Are the list(s) started?  Are they "exhausted"?  Click on the campaign name in the admin.  You will see the list(s) that are loaded for the campaign.  Are the lists started (green icon)?  What number do you see in the ELIGIBLE column?  If it is zero, that means that there are no phone numbers available to dial right now.  The calling system will make multiple passes through your lists, but delays calling numbers back for at least a few hours.  This can mean that you run out of "eligible" numbers, even though there are still plenty of voters you haven't talked with yet.

    If you still don't have the answer, feel free to contact us for assistance.

  • ***How do I reset a list to make another pass right away?

    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:

    1. Click on the campaign name in the admin.  You will see the list(s) that are loaded for the campaign.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
  • PDI integration
  • How do I add calling services to my PDI account?

    Once your calling system account has been set up, you will receive a welcome email from us.  That email will have information about how to set up your computers to use the system, and it will also have your "tenant id" number.

    Contact your PDI account representative or PDI Support and ask them to connect your calling system account to your PDI account.  They will need your tenant id and the name of your PDI account, and then can add the calling service to your PDI account.  When the service has been added to your account, you will be able to access it from the Outreach | Phone Canvassing | Click to Dial Team Calling menu in the PDI system.

    If you get an error when you choose Click to Dial Team Calling, your user account may not have been connected to your calling system account.  Contact PDI Support for assistance with this.

  • What other steps should I take to get ready to use the PDI integrated connection to the dialer?

    In the Admin | Surveys & Data Configuration section of the PDI Admin menu, you will need to take two steps to prepare your account to use the dialer.  If you do not have access to the Admin | Surveys & Data Configuration section of your account, you will need to ask a user with that access to do this.

    Acquisition type - the PDI system uses the acquisition type to help you track how you contacted voters, whether it was in a door-to-door canvass, by email, or on the phones.  If you do not already have an acquisition type set up for your phonebank contacts, you should create one - see below.  Make sure that you associate it with PHONE.

    Non-contact question - the PDI system uses non-contact questions to set up codes to indicate what happened in conversations that did not result in a contact with the voter you were looking for.  This can include wrong numbers, language barriers, voters who have moved, etc.

    The calling system requires that your non-contact question have at least 4 specific responses:

    • NH - Not home
    • AMM - Answering machine
    • BNH - Bad number, home
    • BNM - Bad number, mobile

    You can add any other codes you choose.  Some common options are Moved, Deceased, Language barrier, and Refused to participate.  The responses in your PDI account can be seen on the ID Flags tab.


    Once you have verified that your account has all of the response codes that you need, you are ready to create the non-contact question.  In the Survey Questions section, create a question as shown below:

    Give the question a clear name and description - like "Non-contact - dialer".  Associate the question with Non-Contact - Predictive Dialer.  Choose from the default responses and/or add your own options and then click on Save - remember, at a minimum your question must include the NH, AMM, BNH, and BNM options.

  • How do I set up the survey for the dialer?

    The calling system uses the PDI "Printed Survey".

    Typical campaigns will use a survey with a support question - "Can we count on your support for our candidate? Y-N-U".  There may also be separate follow-up questions like "Would you like a lawnsign? LS" or "Would you like to volunteer? VOL".

    Questions on the calling system screen only allow one response to be chosen per question.  If you want to allow phoners to mark multiple responses - for example, "What are the top issues that concern you?" - you will need to have a separate question for each of the options.  Each of the options will then appear on the phoner's screen as a check box.

    On the calling system, phoners will be required to mark a response to the first question, so make sure to place the most important question in the #1 position if you have more than one question in the survey.

  • How do I create a calling campaign?

    Once you have prepared your PDI account, set up your survey, and created a universe of people that you want to phone, you are ready to create a calling campaign.  Go to the Click to Dial Team Calling area of your PDI account and click on the Create New Caller Campaign button in the lower left.

    When you create a new calling campaign, you will also load a list of target voters into that campaign.  Later, if you want to, you will be able load additional lists of voters into that same campaign, using the same settings and script.  Those new lists can be in addition to the first list, or instead of the first list.  You will control this in the calling system's admin area.

    Choose your calling system account in step 1.  Name the campaign.  Choose your target universe and the survey.  The next step allows you to choose the candidate or ballot measure whose support status will be available to be displayed in the voter information.  Next you will choose the non-contact codes, acquisition type, and team of users to be assigned to this campaign.  You can create and manage the teams in your calling system's admin area.  You can also later assign this campaign to a different team in the calling system's admin area.  Specify the 10-digit phone number that you want voters to see on their caller ID when you call them.

    You can now click on the Save button to create the campaign and load the voters' information into the calling system. This process may take a minute or two.

    Information about the additional settings and how to customize the information that is displayed on-screen about each voter is provided in separate sections of this FAQ.

  • How do I add a new list to an existing campaign?

    Calling system campaigns can hold a single list of targets, or there can be multiple lists loaded into a campaign. As long as you are using the same survey, you can keep using the same campaign and just add new lists to it.

    There are different reasons that you might want to do this.  For example, if you have several tiers of priority targets, and want to work one list first, while having the next list ready to go instantly, you can load the two lists into the campaign, and turn on the second tier list as soon as the first list has been called.

    Also, if you have voter contact happening at the doors and through other efforts, you may want to turn off the current list in your calling campaign and replace it with a fresh list that includes only those people who still have not been contacted.

    To add a list to an existing campaign, on the Compliance Call/Predictive Dialer Home screen, click on the View link on the right side of the list of campaigns for the campaign that you want to add to.  This will take you to an information screen about that campaign.

    Click on the Add New List button at the bottom.  Name the list, choose your saved universe, and adjust settings if necessary, then click on Create.  Your new list will be added to the calling campaign - but not turned on.

    You control when to turn on your new list (and possibly turn off other lists) in the calling system's admin area.

    You can access the lists on the Projects | Activity page.  Click on the campaign name.  This will take you to a page that shows all of the lists that you have loaded into the calling campaign.  Lists that are currently turned on will have a green icon; lists that are stopped will have a red icon.

    Click on a list row to select the list, and then click on the button above to start or stop it.

    You can have more than one list active at the same time.  The system will pull leads from all active lists.  You can turn lists on and off without interrupting the phoners.

  • How do I customize the information that is displayed about the voters?

    When you create a new calling campaign, a standard set of information and display layout about each voter is sent from PDI to the calling system.  The default information is the voter's full name, party, sex, age, and permanent vote-by-mail status.  The information will be displayed in the upper-left area of the phoners' screens.

    You can modify that information when you create the campaign in the PDI.  To make the changes, look at the bottom area of the campaign creation screen.  You see the default setup, and a list of fields that you can add to the display, along with labels.

    To add a text label or a field on the next line down, click on the PDInewline new line icon next to the label or field name.  To add a label or field to the right of the last item, click on the PDIsameline same line icon.

    Geographic or district information: you can display the city, congressional, state senate, and other district information by selecting the appropriate field from the list.

    Custom fields: you can configure up to 20 custom fields, based on Saved Universes.  (Accounts that have custom data fields can also display the contents of those fields.)

    To set up a custom field, click on the Custom Fields tab.  Choose the Saved Universe from the dropdown list, and then type in the text that you want to display for all voters in that saved universe.  In the example below, all voters in the "PVBM maybe early" saved universe will be marked with the text "Early VBM".

    Once you have set up and saved the custom fields that you want to use, you can create the campaign.  In the display information area, you will now see your saved custom field(s) at the bottom of the list of fields, and you can add them to the display layout for the campaign.


    When you have finished setting up the information to be displayed, you can complete the calling campaign creation as usual.

  • ***I already created the campaign - how do I display polling place information for each voter?

    If you want to keep using the same survey and campaign settings, and you know that polling place information is available in the PDI system (and was already available when you loaded the list into the calling system), you can modify what is displayed about the voter to show the polling place.

    In the calling system's admin area, go to the Projects | Activity page and click on the campaign row to select it.  Click on the green Edit button above, and then click on the Call Data tab.  You will see this:

    Scroll down the field list on the right until you see the polldesc1, polldesc2, and polladdress1 fields.  You can click on them to move them into the window on the left, or you can type the field names directly.  If you type them directly, the field names are CASE-SENSITIVE (lower-case letters) and are enclosed in { } - curly brackets.  You can type labels (like "Polling place:"), and adjust the font size, bold, italics, etc. using the controls in the lower-left.  This is an example of how you may want to set it up:

    Click SAVE, and then Yes to "regenerate IVR" - your changes will appear on phoners' screens as soon as they get their next calls.

  • ***I am creating a new campaign - how do I display polling place information for each voter?

    When you are creating a new calling campaign in the PDI integration, you can modify the information that will be displayed for each voter when you create the campaign.  You will see the standard layout at the bottom of the screen:PDIcalldata

    To add a text label or a field on the next line down, click on the PDInewline new line icon next to the label or field name.  To add a label or field to the right of the last item, click on the PDIsamelinesame line icon.

    This is an example of how you may want to display the polling place information:


    When you have finished setting up the information to be displayed, you can complete the calling campaign creation as usual.

  • New campaign? New list? Which do I want?

    Any time you need to change the script that your phoners are using - to add a question or change the response options, for example - you will need to create a new campaign.

    In all other cases, you can just add new lists to your existing campaign.

  • Will my calling system lists be updated automatically when the data in my PDI account changes?

    No. When you load a list into the calling system, that list is static. That means that it will not change until you change it.

    If you want to have "fresh" data in the calling system - to take out voters who have returned their ballots or who have been contacted in another part of your campaign, for example - turn off the existing list in the calling campaign, and load a fresh list into the campaign, using your target universe.

  • Advanced Admin
  • How do I manage and assign users to multiple campaigns?

    The PCT calling system uses TEAMS to assign phoners to campaigns.  Each campaign has one team assigned to it.  This is found on the "Agent Options" tab when you are editing Campaign settings.

    You can manage which users are assigned to which teams in the Administration | Teams section of the calling system's admin area.

    To adjust the team(s) that a specific user is assigned to, go to Administration | Users.  Click on the user's row, then on the Edit button.  You can then add or remove team assignments for the user, and click Save.

    To adjust the users that are assigned to a team, go to Administration | Teams.  Click on the team's row, then on the Edit button.  You can then add or remove users, and click Save.

    Be sure that each team has at least one clicker user, and for best performance, don't have the same clicker supporting more than one team at the same time.

    NOTE - be careful about assigning the same user to more than one team that will be active at the same time.  This can be confusing to the user, who will get a mixture of calls from more than one campaign, and can make it difficult for the calling system to maintain appropriate pacing for the campaigns.

  • I have more than one list loaded in my campaign. How do I turn them on and off?

    Calling campaigns can hold a single list of targets, or there can be multiple lists loaded into a campaign.  This can be helpful when you have several tiers of priority, and want to work one list first, while having the next list ready to go instantly.

    You can access the lists on the Projects | Activity page.  Click on the campaign name.  This will take you to a page that shows all of the lists that you have loaded into the calling campaign.  Lists that are currently turned on will have a green icon; lists that are stopped will have a red icon.

    Click on a list row (not on the list name) to select the list, and then click on the button above to start or stop it.

    You can have more than one list active at the same time.  The system will pull leads from all active lists.  You can turn lists on and off without interrupting the phoners.

  • How do I change the Caller ID number that voters see?

    When you create the calling campaign in PDI, you will fill in a phone number that you want voters to see when you call them.  If you want to change that number, in the calling system's admin area, on the Projects | Activity page, click on the row of the campaign to select it and then click on the green "Edit" button above.

    In the campaign settings screen, enter the new 10-digit phone number in the "Project CallerID" box, and then click on "Save" in the upper right.

  • About Answering Machine Detection
  • What is answering machine detection?

    Answering machine detection is the name for the process that a calling system uses to decide whether a call was answered by a live person or by an answering machine or voicemail system.  Calling campaigns often hang up on calls that are detected as answering machines, and only pass the "live" calls out to the phoners.

    Answering machine detection is not an exact science.  The system listens to the sounds as the call is answered and analyzes things like the amount and type of background noise and the sound qualities of the voice on the other end, to make a judgment on what type of answered call it is.  This means that when you use answering machine detection, there will always be some answering machines that are passed through to the agents, and some live calls that are hung up on by the system.

  • Why do you recommend turning off answering machine detection for some of your phoning?

    The biggest challenge facing campaigns that are phoning voters today is that fewer and fewer people are willing to answer the phone, especially when they do not recognize the name or number that is calling them.

    When the calling system is detecting answering machines, the system itself listens to the first couple of seconds of the call before passing the call to a phoner.  By now, most people hear complete silence (the system listening), followed by background noise (the call has been passed to a phoner) and realize that this is a call coming from some kind of call center.  At that point, many people just hang up.

    Without answering machine detection, as soon as the system detects that a call was answered, the system passes the call to a phoner.  The silent pause at the beginning does not happen, and for the person you are calling, the call feels like a normal phone call.

    We have analyzed the results of thousands of campaign calls, those using answering machine detection and those without it.  The results are clear.  Campaigns that do NOT use answering machine detection are able to contact a significantly higher percentage of the list.

    One good option is to start with answering machine detection OFF, for the first part of working your list, and then turn it ON after you have made at least one full pass through the list.  This can help you reach more people, without requiring that your phoners handle all answering machines, all the time.

  • But wait - won't that mean that our contacts per hour will be much lower?

    Many people wonder if turning off answering machine detection will hurt their productivity numbers.  After all, isn't screening out answering machines the reason why we use calling systems?

    The speed advantage that comes with using a calling system doesn't just come from excluding answering machines.  Using a calling system, your phoners do not have to dial numbers, listen to ringing and wait for calls to be answered, hang up on unanswered calls, or listen to busy signals and recorded messages about disconnected numbers.  With a calling system the phoners handle only the answered calls, and that is true even when you turn off answering machine detection.

    Yes, they will handle significantly more calls when you turn off answering machine detection.  Those calls will be very short - a second or two to hear that it was a machine, a click on the "Answering Machine" button on the screen, and back into the queue to handle another call.  The system will make up for the time spent on those calls, because the system is able to go significantly faster - shorter wait times between calls - when there are a lot of very short calls.

    We have analyzed the productivity results of campaigns that tried phoning with answering machine detection both off and on, and the productivity numbers were basically the same over time.  Campaigns that turned off answering machine detection also reported that once they got used to it, many of their phoners actually preferred working with detection off, because the pace of the work was faster.

  • I'm using PDI. What is the default setting for answering machine detection?

    The default setting in the PDI integration is to turn ON answering machine detection. You can change this setting in the "More Settings" area of the calling campaign creation in PDI.  You can also change it after you create a campaign, in the calling system's admin area.

  • How do I turn answering machine detection on or off in an existing campaign?

    In the calling system's admin area, on the Projects | Monitor page, click on the row of the campaign to select it and then click on the green "Edit" button above.

    In the lower-right corner of the campaign settings screen, choose the setting you want in the "Detect Mchn" section, and then click on "Save" in the upper right.  The system will ask if you "want to regenerate the ivr?" - you have to click Yes for the change to take effect.


    Important - when you change the answering machine detection setting, you also need to change the speed of your calling. See the "How do I adjust the system's performance (speed)?" section, under Advanced Admin.

    With answering machine detection OFF, you need to call more slowly - use a lower line ratio. 2:1 or 5:2 are typically good choices with answering machine detection off.

    If you turn answering machine detection ON, you will want to speed the system up. 4:1 is a good starting point.

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