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Tag: ivr

Automated telephone surveys and notifications

Building automated telephone surveys and notifications has never been easier - with VoxImplant you can build even complex scenarios in minutes. Special feature called CallLists should be used for that purpose. Every record in CSV file sent with the CreateCallList request will be processed with VoxEngine scenario, the result can be stored and accessed using GetCallListDetails method of HTTP API.

The process can be divided into a few parts: 1. Creating CSV file with the list of phone numbers and additional data that can be passed to the scenario 2. Creating VoxEngine scenario that will process every line of CSV file, and creating VoxImplant application and rule 3. Making request to HTTP API to start automated calling process

Designing CSV-file structure

First of all you need to design your CSV file that will be sent to HTTP API, its data will be passed to VoxEngine scenario as customData in form of JSON-string, that can be converted into JavaScript object. First line of the file will contain parameter names, let's see the example for sending automated notifications about scheduled appointment:

first_name;last_name;phone_number;appointment_date
John;Snow;16501234567;November 15th
David;Ericsson;16501234568;November 16th

The CSV-file contains name of the callee, his phone number and appointment date, first string describes parameter names.

VoxEngine scenario

Ok, we have our CSV-file design, now we can create VoxEngine scenario that will process every string of the file and make a call and depending on the result report to CallList processor if we can consider this call successful or not. If we report that it wasn't successful CallList processor can try again after some time (that can be set in HTTP request).

require(Modules.CallList); // Enable CallList module
require(Modules.AI);

  let call;
  let first_name;
  let last_name;
  let phone_number;
  let appointment_date;
  let playbackCounter = 0;

// AppEvents.Started dispatched for each CSV record
VoxEngine.addEventListener(AppEvents.Started, function (e) {
  let data = VoxEngine.customData(); // <-- data from CSV string in JSON format
  data = JSON.parse(data);
  first_name = data.first_name;
  last_name = data.last_name;
  phone_number = data.phone_number;
  appointment_date = data.appointment_date;
  Logger.write(`Calling ${first_name} ${last_name} on ${phone_number}`);
  // Make a call
  call = VoxEngine.callPSTN(phone_number);
  // Trying to detect voicemail
  call.addEventListener(CallEvents.AudioStarted, function(){AI.detectVoicemail(call)});
  // Add event listeners
  call.addEventListener(CallEvents.Connected, handleCallConnected);
  call.addEventListener(CallEvents.Failed, handleCallFailed);
  call.addEventListener(CallEvents.Disconnected, handleCallDisconnected);
  call.addEventListener(AI.Events.VoicemailDetected, voicemailDetected);
});

function voicemailDetected(e) {
  // Voicemail?
  if (e.confidence >= 75) {
    VoxEngine.CallList.reportError('Voicemail', VoxEngine.terminate);
  }
}

// Call connected successfully
function handleCallConnected(e) {
  connected = true;
  setTimeout(function () {
    e.call.say(`Hello ${first_name}! Your appointment scheduled for ${appointment_date}`, 
      Language.US_ENGLISH_FEMALE);
  }, 500);
  e.call.addEventListener(CallEvents.PlaybackFinished, handlePlaybackFinished);
}

function handleCallDisconnected(e) {
  // Tell CallList processor about successful call result
  CallList.reportResult({
    result: true,
    duration: e.duration,
    rating: rating,
  }, VoxEngine.terminate);
}

// Playback finished
function handlePlaybackFinished(e) {
  e.call.removeEventListener(CallEvents.PlaybackFinished, handlePlaybackFinished);
  playbackCounter++;
  // If the message was played 4 times - hangup
  if (playbackCounter === 4) {
    e.call.hangup();
  } else {
    // Play one more time
    setTimeout(function () {
      e.call.say(`Your appointment scheduled for ${appointment_date}`, 
        Language.US_ENGLISH_FEMALE);
      e.call.addEventListener(CallEvents.PlaybackFinished, handlePlaybackFinished);
    }, 2000);
  }
}

function handleCallFailed(e) {
  // Tell CallList processor that we couldn't get call connected
  // depending on the request options it will either try to launch the scenario again after some time
  // or will write the result (failed call) into result_data column of the CSV file with results
  CallList.reportError({
    result: false,
    msg: 'Failed',
    code: e.code
  }, VoxEngine.terminate);
}

Save the scenario, create VoxImplant application and application rule that will attach the scenario to the application. No need to change the Pattern field - it's not used when the scenario launched via HTTP request.

Launching automated dialing via HTTP API

API method to launch dialing is described at CreateCallList HTTP API, let's take a look at the parameters: account_name — your VoxImplant account name api_key — your VoxImplant API KEY rule_id — id of the application rule that has the assigned scenario priority — dialing priority, if you have more than one CallList max_simultaneous — maximum number of simultaneously processed records from CSV file num_attempts — number of dialing attempts, new attempt will happen in case of CallList.reportError name — CallList name, useful to differentiate different CallLists from each other file_content — CSV file should be sent in request body interval_seconds — time for the next attempt (in seconds) encoding — CSV file encoding, should be specified if different from UTF-8 delimiter — CSV file columns delimiter, default is ; Let's create the PHP file that will create a CallList:


getCallListDetails request result will look similar to (if call was connected successfully):

"appointment_date";"last_name";"phone_number";"first_name";"__end_execution_time";"__start_execution_time";"result_data";"last_attempt";"attmepts_left";"status_id";status
November 15th;John;16501234567;Snow;;;"{""result"":true,""duration"":27}";"2014-11-24 19:21:39";1;2;Processed
November 16th;David;16501234568;Ericsson;;;"{""result"":true,""duration"":20}";"2014-11-24 19:21:39";1;2;Processed

What about surveys?

Ok, now we know how to make telephone notifications, but what if we need to make a telephone survey? It's rather easy to change the scenario we created before to start collecting data from callee input - we will modify handleCallConnected, handleCallDisconnected and will add a new handleToneReceived fucntion:

function handleCallConnected(e) {
  connected = true;
  e.call.handleTones(true); // <-- enable input processing
  setTimeout(function () {
    e.call.say(`Hello ${first_name}! Thank you for visiting our store, ` +
      `please rate the customer service quality from 1 to 5.`, 
      Language.US_ENGLISH_FEMALE);
  }, 500);
  e.call.addEventListener(CallEvents.PlaybackFinished, handlePlaybackFinished);
  e.call.addEventListener(CallEvents.ToneReceived, handleToneReceived);
}

let rating;

function handleToneReceived(e) {
  e.call.removeEventListener(CallEvents.PlaybackFinished, handlePlaybackFinished);
  e.call.stopPlayback();
  rating = e.tone;
  e.call.say('Thank you for your answer!', Language.US_ENGLISH_FEMALE);
  e.call.addEventListener(CallEvents.PlaybackFinished, function (e) {
    e.call.hangup();
  });
}

function handleCallDisconnected(e) {
  CallList.reportResult({
    result: true,
    duration: e.duration,
    rating: rating,
  }, VoxEngine.terminate);
}

// Playback finished
function handlePlaybackFinished(e) {
  e.call.removeEventListener(CallEvents.PlaybackFinished, handlePlaybackFinished);
  playbackCounter++;
  if (playbackCounter === 4) {
    e.call.hangup();
  } else {
    setTimeout(function () {
      e.call.say('Please rate the customer service quality from 1 to 5.', 
        Language.US_ENGLISH_FEMALE);
      e.call.addEventListener(CallEvents.PlaybackFinished, handlePlaybackFinished);
    }, 2000);
  }
}

And the result:

"last_name";"phone_number";"first_name";"__end_execution_time";"__start_execution_time";"result_data";"last_attempt";"attmepts_left";"status_id";status
John;16501234567;Snow;;;"{""result"":true,""duration"":27,""rating"":""3""}";"2014-11-24 20:17:13";1;2;Processed

You can always use ASR module to let your customers answer using voice or make calls via your SIP infrastructure by changing the callPSTN function to callSIP. Don't forget that you can also make HTTP requests right from the scenario to pass the data to your backend in real-time. Feel free to change the scenarios according your needs.

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Using ACD module for call queuing

ACD

Call queuing is required to process inbound calls to PBX or contact center, callers are put into queue where they wait for a free operator and listening to some music. IVR usually notifies a caller about his position in a queue and about estimate waiting time. Operators have controls to set their availability, because some time is required to put data about previous call before answering the next one. VoxImplant has all capabilities required to build contact center functionality including ACD (Automatic call distributor) that can be controlled using the ACD Module. In this tutorial we will build a simple queue that is being processed by operators with the same skill set.

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IVR module usage example: multi-level menu

Most of IVRs nowadays provide caller with the number of options that can be chosen in a multi-level menu. While this kind of IVR can be built using vanilla VoxEngine javascript code, it's better to use helper module (Modules.IVR) we created to simplify the process. It lets developers build IVR menus in scenarios much faster and write less code for that. Let's build the following IVR using the module:

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Phone number connected to IVR

With VoxImplant you can buy a phone number and connect it to IVR built using VoxEngine scenario in minutes. There are 2 ways of buying a phone number - using VoxImplant Control Panel or using HTTP API. After logging into the Control Panel click on the Phone Numbers menu item, you can buy phone number(s) there. Now we can build our simple IVR scenario that will handle incoming calls to this phone number, say something to the caller and record his message.

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