Desktop User Guides > Professional > Interview scripting > Sample management > Sample management facilities > Standard scripts > Scripts in the CATI folder > Call blending: Supporting inbound and outbound calls
Call blending: Supporting inbound and outbound calls
Call blending supports both inbound and outbound calls where the dialer being used supports inbound calling. An example where inbound calling might be used is an interviewer leaving a message for a candidate participant and then the candidate returning the call to take an interview.
How it works
When the dialer receives an inbound call, the dialing provider calls GetSampleRec with the new IsInboundCall InterviewProperty set to True. GetSampleRec tries to find the phone number, and then returns a record with the “InOut” sample field set as follows:
InOut = 0 – Outbound.
InOut = 1 – Existing record returned.
InOut = 2 – Number could not be matched, a new sample record is created.
InOut = 3 – Number was withheld, a new sample record is created.
To display different text based on the value of InOut, use the conditional substitution feature (see Substitutions in emails and phone participants introductory text). This feature enables the interviewer to use different scripts for incoming calls and outbound calls.
The interviewer goes through the interview as usual, and the record is returned as usual, except if the interviewer chooses the InboundLookup call outcome: if they do this, the existing record is returned without the dialer hanging up. This call outcome is used when the record retrieved is not the correct record for this call. The interviewer can then search for the correct record.
Inbound calls are prioritized over outbound. The next available interviewer that matches the requirements for the record will be connected to the call.
Setting up a project for inbound calls
DPM properties
Default properties are set in the DefaultCatiProjectProperties collection. They can be set by using DPM Explorer. The DefaultCatiProjectProperties collection is copied into the project properties at initial activation, so use it only if all or most phone projects are configured similarly.
These DPM properties can be set directly on the project if only some projects are configured for call blending or some properties need to be set separately. You can do this by using DPM Explorer or the Edit project feature in Interviewer – Server Admin (see Working with project properties).
Default properties are stored in DPM under: Site\Properties\DefaultCatiProjectProperties.
Project specific properties are stored in DPM under: Site\Servers\<Server>\Projects\<Project>\mrInterview.
Properties that are specific to call blending
Used by the dialing provider. Calls for this project arrive on this number.
Mandatory property; it has no default value.
Compare the inbound phone number against this list of fields in addition to the required PhoneNumber field. UNICOM Intelligence first searches in the PhoneNumber field, and then searches the fields that are in this list.
Specify a list of fields to search in for the phone number. Separate them by using commas. For example: TEL1,TEL2,TEL3
If using multi-number dialing, it might make sense to use the same set of numbers for inbound.
Default value: PhoneNumber
The number of right-most digits to use when comparing an inbound phone number with the phone number in the sample record.
This is useful if some numbers have international dial codes or other prefixes.
Default value: 10
True deletes records returned as InboundLookup if the previous queue was INBOUND_NEW, that is, they were added by the call to GetSampleRec.
The InboundLookup code is used when the interviewer believes the record returned by the inbound call processing is not correct. The interviewer returns the record by using InboundLookup, and then uses the Phone Participants user interface to search for the correct record.
The InboundDeleteUnusedNewRecords option keeps unused inbound records out of the participants table.
Default value: True
Participant fields
The following participant fields are recommended, but not required. Add these empty columns to the participant file when uploading during Activate or from Participants in Interviewer – Server Admin:
InOut – Long
Outbound = 0
Inbound known = 1
Inbound unknown = 2
Inbound withheld = 3
InboundCallCount – Long
If all or most phone projects are configured to use inbound, you might want to set these participant fields as required fields: to do this, add the field names to the CATISMFieldsReqd DPM property under Site\Properties. Set up a collection for each field in the Site\Properties\DefaultSampleManagementFields collection, so you can define the FieldType as Long.
Interviewing options
To set the introduction text to give a different script to the interviewers for inbound calls, use the Interviewing Options activity in Interviewer – Server Admin. Inbound introduction texts can be defined separately to outbound by using the conditional substitution feature (see Substitutions in emails and phone participants introductory text).
For inbound calls, you must select Allow Interviewer to start an interview without a dialer connection to a respondent (which is under Interview Settings > Phone Interview Settings). If most projects are setup to allow inbound, you can set the CanStartSurvey property to True in the catifields_default.mdd file (which is in the FMRoot\Shared\Cati folder). For more information, see Changing the default settings.
In some cases, a respondent is requested to return a call that was dialed by the autodialer. Many autodialers can be set up to leave a message; that message might request a call back. In these cases, it is recommended to send caller identification that matches the expected inbound number. You can set this information can be in the Dialing | Autodialer section of Interviewing Options. If most projects require this setting, you can set it can be setup in the DefaultCatiProjectProperties as CallerID. Set to the number to be used.
Receiving an inbound call
From an interviewer’s perspective, receiving an inbound call is the same as connecting to an outbound call, except that the Inbound Lookup call outcome is available. Choose this call outcome if you get some information during the pre-interview discussion that enables you to find a better record for the participant. Maybe the interviewer requests a particular piece of information that can be used in the Get Specific Contact dialog. If this is the case, the interviewer can choose the Inbound Lookup call outcome. This releases the current record, but does not hang up the call. The interviewer can retrieve the correct record by using the Get Specific Contact dialog.
See also
Scripts in the CATI folder