The Auto-Dialer feature is Exotel's equivalent of OBD or outbound dialer. Auto-Dialer is typically found in call-center & telemarketing software. As the name suggests, you can conduct an automated outbound call campaign, connecting a group of available agents to a list of customers, saving the agents from the hassle of dialing out numbers and managing the list at their end.
Placing manual outbound calls for a large number of customers is time-consuming. An automatic outbound dialer ensures a streamlined and scalable outbound calling process. When an agent in the group starts the campaign, the system will first call the agent, and then will start calling numbers from the list that haven't been called yet. Using Auto-Dialer, you can enhance the agent’s productivity and reduce the time taken to call a lot of numbers significantly.
An active Exotel Account with Campaigns (Auto-Dialer) feature enabled
A valid Exophone
A list of customers/numbers created in ‘Addressbook’
A group of agents created in ‘Co-workers and Groups’
If prepaid account, enough credits to run the campaign
How Does It Work
Click on the "Campaigns" tab in the left panel and the "Dialer" button on the right to create an Auto-Dialer Campaign. You will see a form like this:
All entries are mandatory. You will need to fill:
Campaign Name - The unique name to identify the Auto-Dialer or OBD Campaign
List - Select a list of numbers (customers) to dial out in the campaign. You should have created the list before starting the campaign.
Group - Select a group of agents or employees, who are going to talk to the numbers in the list. You should have created a group before creating the campaign.
Caller ID - Is the phone number using which the call needs to be placed to your customer. Let's say your customer does not pick up the call he got because of your campaign, it will typically show up as a missed call on his phone. Many of them will now call the number back to find out who called them in the first place. This is now an incoming call and the system will connect the call based on the incoming call-flow that is configured on the number. For example, a call flow with Connect applet configured to Dial the same Auto-Dialer Agent group will connect the customer to any of the free agents in that group.
Call Type - Currently, only transactional calls are possible. In due course, Exotel will introduce promotional calling as well. Read more about who all you can call using the transactional call type.
On clicking the "Add" button, you will now be taken to the campaign details page. If you are part of the "Auto-Dialer Group" with which the campaign has been created, you will also see a "Start” button on the top right.
Each agent can now go to their respective Auto-Dialer Campaign page under the Campaigns tab and start the campaign by clicking the “Start” button.
An agent can stop their respective campaigns by disconnecting the call, and resume by clicking on the “Start” button again. If any numbers are remaining in the list to be dialed out, the agent will get connected.
An Agent can click on the ‘Get Details’ button to fetch the customer details which is being dialled out as part of the dialer campaign. The callee details will be populated as per the details saved in the Addressbook.
Auto-Dialer Campaign Statistics
New - The numbers that are yet to be called out in the campaign
DND - Numbers that cannot be called because they are in the NDNC registry and also not whitelisted in your account
Retry - If on the first attempt, the caller did not pick up the call (or disconnected it), this number will be added to the "Retry" list. Once all the numbers in the list are finished, the campaigner will begin to pick up numbers from the "retry" list and start calling them. If the person does not pick up in this attempt as well, the call will be added to the "Failed" list and will not be re-tried again.
In-Progress - Numbers to whom your agents are currently talking to
Retrying - "Retry" Numbers to whom your agents are currently talking to
Completed - Numbers that we have successfully connected and one of your agents talked to
Failed - Numbers that failed because the number is invalid, unreachable, etc.
Unknown - Numbers in other unknown states (that is, we don't know what happened to that call)
Ending the Auto-Dialer Campaign
An Admin can delete an ongoing campaign any time from the Campaigns tab - there’s a ‘Delete’ button against each Auto-Dialer campaign.
If an admin deletes an ongoing campaign, any in-progress call for an agent will go uninterrupted. However, there will be no further call made and the agent’s call will get disconnected.
If there is no New or Retry numbers, then the campaign is deemed complete and hence, there is no action to be taken.
The agent can stop the campaign simply by hanging up the call on his phone.
He can click the "Start" button anytime and the campaign will start from the next available number in the list.
Auto-Dialer Campaign Reports
Once the Dialer Campaign is over and status marked as ‘Completed’, individual campaign reports will be available to download in the ‘Campaigns’ section against each campaign.
It might take a minimum of 15 minutes for a report to be available for download, once it has been marked as Completed.
Only available for Completed campaigns. For ‘In Progress’ or ‘Deleted’ Campaigns, the reports will not be available.
Minimum wait time for the download button to show up is 15 minutes. It might take even more, depending upon the size of the campaigns (total number of calls).
Auto-Dialer Campaign Limitations
Allowed Timeframe: As per TRAI regulations, the campaign call is allowed only between 9 AM to 9 PM of a day.
Maximum Duration: An Auto-Dialer Campaign will run maximum for two more days, excluding the day of campaign creation. For example, a Campaign created on 15th May anytime will run maximum till 17th May, 9 PM. Post the maximum duration, the campaign will go in ‘Completed’ state and the remaining numbers in the list will not be dialed out.
Default Greeting: On clicking the ‘Start’ button, an Agent receiving the call will hear "Please wait, while we connect this call to the phone numbers in your campaign".
Retry: Retry is restricted to only one attempt. Post which, the call will go to ‘Failed’ status, if not answered.
Inbox: One line item will appear in your Inbox per call initiated by an Agent. Individual calls to customers are second leg calls and hence will not be visible under Inbox. However, they will be shown in the Campaign Report.
List Restriction: Once the Auto-Dialer Campaign has been started, any change in the list (changing, adding, or deleting numbers) will not be reflected in the ongoing campaign. A copy of your list is taken at the time of creating the campaign. Hence, any change in the list is not reflected in the ongoing campaign.
Group Flexibility: On the other hand, you can add or delete agents from the group which you have selected at the time of creating the campaign, even after the campaign has started.
Supervisor Created Campaigns: A supervisor can create a Dialer Campaign, but will not be able to track or manage the created campaign. As a workaround, if the Supervisor wants visibility in the created Campaign, they need to add themselves as an agent and get to see the status of the OBD. However, report download option will appear ONLY for Admins.
Disconnect by Agents: An agent need to stay on the call until the call has been disconnected by the customer. If an agent disconnects the call while the customer is still on the call, the OBD will not be marked as 'Completed' and reports will not be available. As a workaround, such reports will be provided by our Support team on request.