FAQs

  • Getting Started
  • 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 and PDI-Q users who want to connect their PCT dialer account to a PDI or PDI-Q account should share that account information with their account representative at PDI or Catalist.

  • What are the minimum specs for bandwidth and computers to be used on the dialer system?
    For the computers that your phoners will use, we recommend these minimum specs:

    Intel Core i3 processor or better

    At least 2 GB RAM

    Windows 7, 8 or 10 (any version - Home, Professional, etc)

    Internet Explorer version 9 or higher

    Ethernet adapter (not wifi only)
    Headset
    For internet access:
    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.
    We do not recommend running a phonebank using wifi internet - it's just not stable enough to give you a smooth experience.
  • I'm not using PDI or PDI-Q. Can I still use the PCT dialer?

    Yes!  The PCT dialer is a full-featured dialer 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, or do a voice blast (robocall) to turn out voters, using data from another system.  Contact us and we will be happy to talk with you about how our services can make your work more effective.

  • How is the PCT dialer different?

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

    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 dialer.

    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.

  • Setting up your computers
  • Start early!

    Once you have decided to use the predictive dialer 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 dialer 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 dialing - 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 dialing campaign to be ready and loaded into the dialer.  If you are using the PDI/PDI-Q integration, you do not need to wait for your PDI/PDI-Q and dialer accounts to be connected.  As soon as we send you the welcome email with your dialer settings and login information, you can set up and test your computers.

    Do not 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.

    You should already have sent your IP address to PCT for whitelisting, and you'll want to have your welcome email ready, because it has details about your account.

    On any computer that you will use to administer your dialing, go to:

    weblogin.telformance.com/admin

    You can use any browser.  The first time you go to that page, you will see a Settings box.  In both the "Agent Server IP" and "Web Server" boxes, type in the dialer IP address from your welcome email.  Leave the rest of the settings at the defaults and click on Save & Close.

    login_settings

    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 should already have sent your IP address to PCT for whitelisting, and you'll want to have your welcome email ready, because it has details about your account.

    You will need to use Internet Explorer (version 9 or later).

    On each computer, go to:

    weblogin.telformance.com

    The first time you go to that page, you will see a Settings box.  In both the "Agent Server IP" and "Web Server" boxes, type in the dialer IP address from your welcome email.  Leave the rest of the settings at the defaults and click on Save & Close.

    login_settings

    Now log in, using one of the agent usernames in your welcome email.  The first time you log in, you will be asked to install a Zoiper plugin.  Once the plugin is installed, you will be logged in and that computer is ready to be used on the dialer.

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

    The standard way to connect to the dialer 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 login webpage - weblogin.telformance.com - click on the Settings button.

    weblogin_settings

    If you haven't already done so, fill in the dialer IP settings as normal, and then in the middle of the Settings box, click on Use Remote: Yes.  In the Extension box, type outbound/ followed by the ten-digit phone number you want this computer to connect to.  Click on Save & Close.

    dialback_settings

    With these settings, when the agent logs in, the dialer 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.

    *NOTE: Using a dialback connection for your phoning costs an extra two cents per minute, for as long as the call is connected.  This is in addition to all normal dialer charges.

  • 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 dialer admin, make sure that your "manual" campaign has been started.  Now, log in to the phoner computer.

    ManualCallStart

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

    ManualCallDial

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

    Fill in a 10-digit number in the phone box and click on Call & Close.  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.

    ManualCallHangup

    When you are finished with the call, click on the Hangup button.  You will see a box that you need to complete to finish the call.

    ManualCallDispo

    Mark "Manual call" in the upper-left area.  UNCHECK the "Pull the next call" box.  Click on OK.  (If you do not uncheck the box and there is a predictive campaign running, you will be in "READY" status and will start getting calls for that campaign.)

  • 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 dialer, here are some basic troubleshooting tips:

    1. Double check that you have filled in the settings correctly on the login page. Click on the Settings link - the "Agent Server IP" and "Web Server" should have your assigned dialer IP address filled in there.
    2. Make sure that you have allowed the Zoiper plugin to be installed.
    3. Make sure that the computer has the most recent version of Flash installed. You can verify that here: Adobe Flash Player
    4. Check the computer's firewall - try turning it off, if it is on.

    If none of these suggestions resolve the issue, you may also need to look at the settings on your router. If your router has SIP-ALG or QoS enabled, try turning both of those off.

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

  • Basic Admin
  • What does the information on the Performance tab mean?

    performance

    campperf

    The Performance tab in the dialer admin system lets you keep an eye on the progress of your phoning in real time, both at the campaign level and phoner by phoner.

    campperf1

    You will see a list of your campaigns.  Click on one of the campaigns 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.

    DL / LiU - Dial Lines and Lines in Use - this tells you how many lines the dialer is using for this campaign.  DL is the line ratio - the number of lines being used for each available agent.  Lines in Use is the total number of lines currently in use.

    More

    campperf2

    Cn / CnR - how many calls the has dialer connected through to the agents.  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 yes-no-undecided-refused response to the first question as a contact.

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

    campperf3

    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 dialer 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.

    campperf4

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

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

    campperf5

    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 since they logged in most recently.

     

  • How do I start and stop dialer campaigns?

    On the Performance tab of the Admin system, 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, right-click on the campaign name.  You will see a drop-down menu, and Start and Stop are the first two options.  Once you click on start or stop, it may take a few seconds for your screen to update with the new status.

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

    In the dialer admin system, click on the Crcs tab.  (CRC = Call result code)  The Crcs tab gives you three options for viewing today's call results - broken out by agent, by campaign or by list.  The "by Campaign" and "by List" options show all calls made by the dialer, including those that were handled by the dialer without being passed off to an agent.

  • 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 is:

    [your dialer IP address]/reports

    For example, if you are assigned to the dialer at 174.140.253.54, your reports are available at 174.140.253.54/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 for further analysis. The paste function does not work well with Google Docs. To copy and paste directly into Google Docs, you can use your mouse to select the area of the report that you want to paste, and then copy & paste using right-click or Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V.

    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 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 your internet connection - fluctuations in the speed and consistency of your internet. 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:
      windowssound_playwindowssound_rec
    3. Check the settings on Adobe Flash. In the agent screen (in Internet Explorer), right click on the script area and choose "Settings..." (not Global Settings). In the Adobe Flash Player settings screen, check to make sure your headset is listed for the microphone, and then click the little monitor with eyeball icon and make sure the "allow" radio button is selected and remember is checked. Log out of the agent, close Internet Explorer completely and then log back in.
      adobeflashsettings1adobeflashsettings2

    Connection issues:
    Sometimes a computer will lose its connection to the dialer. 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 dialer. 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 dialer.
    connection_indicators
    Close Internet Explorer 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.

  • What does the phoner's screen look like?

    agent_screen_instructions

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

    Answering machine detection is the name for the process that a predictive dialer system uses to decide whether a call that has been answered was answered by a live person, or by an answering machine or voicemail system.  Predictive dialing 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 dialer 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 dialer.

  • Why do you recommend against using answering machine detection?

    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 dialer is detecting answering machines, the dialer 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 dialer 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 dialer detects that a call was answered, the dialer 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 - maybe as much as 35-40% more.

  • 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 dialers?

    The speed advantage that comes with using a predictive dialer doesn't come from excluding answering machines.  Using a dialer, your phoners do not have to dial numbers, listen to ringing and wait for calls to be answered, hang up on unanswered calls, busy signals, and recorded messages about disconnected numbers.  With a dialer they 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 dialer will make up for the time spent on those calls, because the dialer 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.  Campaigns that turned off answering machine detection also reported that once they got used to it, their phoners actually preferred working with detection off, because the pace of the work was faster.

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

    The default setting in the PDI/PDI-Q integration is to turn ON answering machine detection. You can change this setting in the dialer admin system.

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

    In the dialer admin system, on the Performance tab, right-click on the campaign name and choose "Modify Campaign". (You need admin-level access to do this. Contact us if you do not have this access and we can make the change for you.)

    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 & Close". The dialer will ask if you "want to Modify ivr?" - you have to click Yes for the change to take effect.
    amd_onoffconf_ivr

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

    With answering machine detection OFF, you need to dial slower - use a lower line ratio. 5:2 or 3:1 are typically good choices with answering machine detection off.

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

  • PDI - PDI-Q integration
  • How do I add predictive dialer services to my PDI/PDI-Q account?

    Once your dialer 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 dialer, and it will also have your "tenant id" number.

    Contact your PDI/PDI-Q account representative and ask them to connect your dialer account.  They will need your tenant id, and then can add the predictive dialer service to your PDI/PDI-Q account.  When the service has been added to your account, you will be able to access it from the PDI/PDI-Q home page.  It will be an icon in the second row - you may need to click on the right arrow to get to it:

    PDIpreddialicon

    If you do not see the predictive dialer icon, your user account may not have the necessary permissions. In the Add/Edit User Accounts section on the PDI home page (available only to admin-level users), go to your user account and make sure that the Predictive Dialer box is checked. You may then need to log out and back in for the new permissions to take effect.
    pdi_user_permissions

    HINT - you can reorganize the icons on your PDI/PDI-Q home page to make the ones you use most often easier to reach.  Click on the gear symbol in the upper-right corner of the PDI Functions area (see above).

    PDIreorg

    You can now click on an icon that you want to move (#1 above), and then use the arrows (2) to move it.  When you have finished arranging the icons, click on Save (3).

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

    In the Account Configuration section of the PDI/PDI-Q home page, you will need to take two steps to prepare your account to use the dialer.  If you do not have access to the Account Configuration section of your account, you will need to ask a user with that access to do this.

    PDIacctconfig

    Acquisition type - the PDI/PDI-Q 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.

    PDIacqtype

    Non-contact question - the PDI/PDI-Q 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 dialer 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 - see below.  You can add standardized flags by clicking on the Copy ID Flags From Parent, or create new ones by clicking on Create New ID Flag.  Make sure that these flags are associated with one of the "non-contact" categories.

    PDIrespcodes

    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.  See below:

    PDInoncontactq

    Give the question a clear name and description - like "Non-contact - predictive dialer".  Associate the question with Non-Contact, specifically Phone.  Add your answer options and then click on Save - remember, at a minimum your question must include the NH, AMM, BNH, and BNM options (even if you are not going to call mobile numbers).

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

    The predictive dialer uses the PDI/PDI-Q "Printed Survey".

    PDIprintedsurvey

    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".

    Do not use a "response code set" from your PDI/PDI-Q account - you want separate questions for support and non-contact.  If you are not sure about how to do this, contact PDI/PDI-Q support.

    Questions on the dialer 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 dialer, 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 dialer 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 dialer campaign.  Go to the Predictive dialer area of your PDI/PDI-Q account and click on the Create New Campaign button in the lower left.

     

    PDIpreddialhome

    When you create a new dialer 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 dialer admin.

    PDIcreatedialercampaign

    Name the campaign and the first list in steps 1 and 2.  Choose your target universe in step 3.  Step 4 allows you to choose the candidate or ballot measure whose support status will be available to be displayed in the voter information.  In steps 5, 6, and 7 you will choose the survey, non-contact codes, and acquisition type for this campaign.  Step 8 asks you to choose the team of users to be assigned to this campaign.  You can create and manage the teams in your dialer admin.  You can also later assign this campaign to a different team in the dialer admin.  In step 9, 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 dialer. 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?

    Predictive dialer 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 dialed.

    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 dialer 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 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 in the lower left.  Name the list, choose your saved universe, and adjust settings if necessary, then click on Create.  Your new list will be added to the dialer campaign - but not turned on.

    You control when to turn on your new list (and possibly turn off other lists) in the dialer admin.

    You can access the lists in the Performance tab.  Right-click on the campaign and then choose Campaign List.  Lists that are currently turned on will have a green icon; lists that are stopped will have a red icon.

    Click on a list to start or stop it.  Move the Priority slider to 100% (all the way to the right) to start a list; move it to 0% to stop the list.

    Make sure that Order by is set to ATTEMPTS.

    Click on Save & Close to save your changes.

    You can have more than one list active at the same time.  The dialer 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 dialer campaign, a standard set of information and display layout about each voter is sent from PDI/PDI-Q to the dialer.  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/PDI-Q.  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.

    Support status: to display the current support status for each voter, make sure that you choose the appropriate Candidate/Ballot Measure in step 4, and then add the support field to the Display Layout.  The abbreviated support status will be displayed (SS - strong support or yes, LS - lean support, U - undecided, LO - lean opposed, SO - strongly oppose or no, R - refused to state).

    PDIcalldata_support

    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 PAV".PDIcustomfield

    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.

    PDIcalldata_customfield

    When you have finished setting up the information to be displayed, you can complete the dialer 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/PDI-Q system (and was already available when you loaded the list into the dialer), you can modify what is displayed about the voter to show the polling place.

    In the DIALER ADMIN, go to the performance tab and right-click on the campaign.  Choose Modify Campaign, and then click on the Call Data tab.  You will see this:

    calldatastart

    Scroll down the field list on the right until you see the polldesc1, polldesc2, and polladdress1 fields.  You can drag and drop 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:

    calldata_wpollingplace

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

    When you are creating a new dialer campaign in the PDI/PDI-Q 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:

    PDIcalldata_wpollingplace

    When you have finished setting up the information to be displayed, you can complete the dialer 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 dialer lists be updated automatically when the data in my PDI account changes?

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

    If you want to have "fresh" data on the dialer - 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 dialer 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 dialer uses TEAMS to assign phoners to campaigns.  Each campaign has one team assigned to it.  This is found on the "Agent Options" tab of the Campaign settings.

    Users are assigned to teams by clicking on Config, then Teams, and then the "members()" link for the team you want to change.  You can then drag and drop users into or out of the team.

    You should manage users and teams when campaigns are STOPPED.  Making those changes while a campaign is running may work, but can cause phoners not to get the calls you expect them to get.

    NOTE - be careful not to assign the same user to more than one team that will be active at the same time.  This will be confusing to the user, who will get a mixture of calls from more than one campaign, and will make it difficult for the dialer 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?

    Dialer 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 in the Performance tab.  Right-click on the campaign and then choose Campaign List.  Lists that are currently turned on will have a green icon; lists that are stopped will have a red icon.

    Click on a list to start or stop it.  Move the Priority slider to 100% (all the way to the right) to start a list; move it to 0% to stop the list.

    Make sure that Order by is set to ATTEMPTS.

    Click on Save & Close to save your changes.

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

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

    The predictive dialer adjusts its speed automatically, based on how many phoners are on the system and how many calls are being answered.  Sometimes, you will want to adjust the speed of the dialer up or down, especially as a list gets "older" (after a couple of passes).  When you start a phoning session, it is important to wait at least 20 minutes before you starting adjusting performance - you want to give the dialer time to assess the dialing conditions and settle into a rhythm.

    To assess the speed of the dialer, look at the upper area of the Performance tab.  D and %D tell you how many calls the dialer 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 dialer 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 the dialer can't predict when the call will end).  Lists that have already been dialed 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, right-click on the campaign name.  You will see a drop-down menu - choose the Performance option.

    adj_perf

    Adjust the speed by changing the Ratio.  A higher number (going from 3:1 to 4:1, for example) means that the dialer will use more lines - dial 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.