SmartDial® FAQs | IAT SmartDial® Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of IAT’s most Frequently Asked Questions. If you would like to know more about any of the subjects below, please call our Customer Services Department at 800-646-5227 or contact our National Sales Manager, Ray Fowler, at 800-574-8801 ext 203.

How do the various dialing modes differ?

Predictive mode is the most aggressive dialing mode. In predictive mode, CT Center begins dialing for a new live contact prior to the agents completing the calls they are currently on. The intent is to have a new call for the agent within seconds of the completion of the last call. The dialer determines how long an agent will be on a call and how long it will take to secure another live contact.

CT Center uses sophisticated dialing algorithms to provide maximum performance for each agent on your system. Pacing is provided for each list or campaign as well. This pacing by agent and campaign ensures that someone who is new or has a longer talk time on the dialer does not degrade the performance for the rest of the agents on the dialer. CT Center performs optimally for each agent.

Power mode allows the agent to complete a call, including note wrap-up time, and then it begins to dial for the next contact. Power mode is typically used to train new agents. It also is useful for specific types of accounts, such as medical or legal, where the average talk time may vary from 30 seconds to several minutes.

Preview mode allows agents to review the account, decide to accept or reject it, and then have the system dial the call for them. It is the least productive mode, but it has list and agent management advantages over manually working accounts. The system feeds accounts to agents in a specific order and reports on agent activity.

Passive mode is an overflow mode. Agents log on to CT Center in Passive mode. Then if no other agents are available, CT Center delivers those overflow calls to the Passive group of agents on the dialer. The calls may be inbound or outbound calls. This can be very helpful during peak contact and high inbound calling periods.

CT Center supports all four dialing modes simultaneously. This means that agents can be logged into the same calling list, some in Predictive, and others in Power, Preview or Passive, without slowing down the system.

What do PD and IC stand for?
PD = Predictive Dialing; IC = Interactive Communications (IVR outbound messaging) 
What is the difference between PD and IC?

PD (the CT Center Predictive Dialer module) makes outbound calls or accepts inbound calls and transfers live calls to live agents. Agents on PD may be outbound, inbound or blended. IC (Interactive Communications) is CT Center’s unattended messaging/IVR module that utilizes professionally or customer recorded dialogues/messages. These dialogues may be a very simple message to call back or a very detailed interactive dialogue that can make a demand for payment with Mini-Miranda, deliver payment reminders, accept payments by check or credit card and more. IC makes outbound and accepts inbound calls. PD and IC can work together to ensure maximum performance and recovery.

How many PD seats or IC ports should I start with?

That depends upon a number of variables such as: total number of accounts to be worked, number of agents, hours on the dialer per day/per agent, average talk time, etc. Your Regional Sales Manager and our Sales Engineer will work closely with you to ensure that your system is properly sized for your immediate and long-term needs.

How can I invest in CT Center?

You may invest in CT Center via a direct purchase or through our third-party leasing partner, CTC Capital. Please consult with your Regional Sales Manager for complete details.

In what languages are pre-recorded dialogues available?

CT Center currently provides professionally recorded dialogues in English and Spanish. Alternate languages may be added. This could be accomplished by using someone on your staff with the desired language skill or by contracting with a professional voice talent through IAT.

What training courses does IAT offer?

IAT offers the following training opportunities:

  • On-site initial training during installation process.
  • Custom on-site training.
  • Windows context sensitive help screens.
  • Support desk available to help weekdays 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • MST Regional Training Seminars (approx four a year, one in each region).
  • IAT Academy (available every Friday in Salt Lake at IAT).
  • Annual User’s Conference
Why should I attend regional training or user conference?

By attending a Regional Training and the Annual User Conference, you learn ways to enhance your productivity and increase your ROI in your CT Center system. You learn the latest and greatest about CT Center features and best practices in implementing PD or IC, have networking opportunities with other like-minded organizations, can meet with key IAT vendor partners and more!

Does CT Center support other hardware, or must it be DELL?

IAT typically provides CT Center as a turn-key solution, wherein we supply and support all hardware and software. We have standardized and contracted with DELL for purchase and support of our servers. That being said, our software is Windows 2000® based and will run on similarly specified servers. IAT is willing to work with you to certify that the server you prefer will perform. However, under these conditions, you—the customer—would be responsible for the purchase and support of the hardware.

What is Remote Agent Access?

CT Center supports remote agents, whether in a separate branch location or home office. This requires two things:

  • A high speed data connection (WAN) to CT Center and the host data system.
  • Telephone connectivity to CT Center. This typically means that the agent can access CT Center via a TIE line (or equivalent) to your PBX.
Is there a results/status file that can be uploaded back to the host?

CT Center will provide an upload file with results on calls placed. It is important to note that upload records for calls transferred to agents are optional and are not required. The agents will enter results and notes directly into the host software. Upload records are required to update the host on attempts to call that result in Busy, No Answer, and SIT tones. Upload records are also required to update the host on activity for automated messages left.

How does the download processwork?

A Data Exchange is a process that copies data into or out of CT Center. Pulling data in is often called an import or download, while the act of pushing data out is called an export or upload. Data Exchanges are commonly used to import records of accounts to be called. Data Exchanges are also used to export calling results or survey responses for reporting purposes.

The host vendor or a third-party provides the host side of the data exchange. This data exchange is accomplished by one of two methods, real-time integration or batch processing.

Real-time host integration (optional and vendor specific)

CT Center provides a data exchange from host to CT Center and back in real-time. It downloads accounts and dials on demand. It also sends updates to the host immediately. This eliminates the need for nightly batch processes. For more details on what is needed to develop real-time integration between your host data source and CT Center, please request a copy of the IAT Host SDK and CTC Gateway SDK documentation.

Batch processing

Batch processing or an upload/download, as it is sometimes called, is an automated and typically nightly process. In the early evening, CT Center uploads a daily call results file to your host system. The host processes this information and produces a calling list file for the next day. CT Center then downloads and processes the new calling list in the early hours of the morning. Contact your host vendor to acquire the host side of this interface.

Transfer Methods

CT Center can transfer import or export files across networks to or from remote systems. CT Center’s transfer methods incorporate industry standard protocols, file systems, and clients. Some clients are included with the CT Center system. Others must be purchased. CT Center resides on a Windows 2000 server; typically Windows network mapping for file copy or FTP to non-windows environments is used. IAT will work with your host vendor to decide which method will function best with your system.