Automated Call Retry

Schedule automated call retries to let the system automatically call people again if they don’t answer the first call attempt. People might not answer because they are busy, their phone is off or the battery died, or their phone is having signal issues.

Adding in automated retries will significantly increases the call pick up rate—and engage more people with your voice call surveys and messages.

call-retry-engageSPARK

There are 4 options from the call retry drop down:

1. No, don’t call again this tells the system that you don’t want us to call the phone number again if they did not pick up on the first call.

2. Yes, use the default with this, we will retry 3 times. The first time we try calling again will be about 15 minutes after the initial attempt, the second will be about 30 minutes after that, the third will be about 1 hour after that.

3. Let me decide this allows you to configure how many times you want us to call the phone number if they keep not picking up the phone. See below for details on when these retries happen.

4. Custom Schedule – gives you complete control over how often and with how much time between them retry calls happen. See below for details.

The “Let me decide” option

“Let me decide” means you’ll be able to say how many retry calls we make, before giving up on reaching that phone number.

Here is the schedule for retry calls:

  • 1st retry: 15 minutes after the first call
  • 2nd retry: 30 minutes after the 1st retry
  • 3rd retry: 1 hour after the previous retry
  • 4th retry: 24 hours after the previous retry
  • all following retries will be schedule 24h after the previous one

Note that retry calls, like normal calls, can be delayed under certain circumstances. See  below for more details.

Example: 5 retries

As an example let’s say you are calling a contact at 9am on Tuesday, and that person never picks up the phone. You configure 5 retries. Here are the calls that will be made:

  • Tuesday, 9 am: first call
  • Tuesday, 9:15 am: first retry
  • Tuesday, 9:45 am: 2nd retry
  • Tuesday, 10:45 am: 3rd retry
  • Wednesday, 10:45 am: 4th retry
  • Thursday, 10:45 am: 5th retry

The “Custom Schedule” option

This option allows you to schedule as many retries as you want, with various delay options. Here are some example scenarios that you could configure:

  • Try after 5 minutes, another 5 minutes, then give up.
  • Try after 5 minutes, 1 hour, and then tomorrow at the same time as the first call.
  • Try for five days, each day once at the same time as the original call.
  • Try after 5 minutes, 1 hour, and then tomorrow at the same time as the previous retry call.
  • Try every 5 minutes, for 20 times.

Note that retry calls, like normal calls, can be delayed under certain circumstances. See below for more details.

Call time windows: controlling when call retries happen

Depending on your configuration, call retries can happen many hours or even days after the first call—which may cause them to happen at inconvenient times, for example at night.

If you don’t want this, you can use call time windows to configure times when it’s okay, and when it’s not okay to call. As the first call, retry calls adhere to these call time windows.

Please see this blog article for more details about call time windows.

Why can retry calls get delayed?

There are a few things that can prevent calls from going out when they’re supposed to. Here are some of them:

  • Call time windows: Every campaign with voice calls allows you to configure when calls can go out and they cannot. See the section below for more details.
  • Vendor limits: some vendors impose rather strict limits on how many calls can be made or started in a given time.
  • Too many calls are ongoing at the same time.

What happens when retry calls get delayed?

When a retry call gets delayed, all following retry calls are usually affected, too. (Except when using “Custom Schedule”. More about that in a minute.)

For example, let’s say you use “Let me decide” with 2 retry calls, and the first retry call gets delayed by 3 minutes. That means, that first retry arrives on the phone 18 minutes after the first attempt. The 2nd retry call is then scheduled for 30 minutes, so in total 48 minutes after the first call. Had the first retry call not been delayed, the second retry call would have gone out 45 minutes after the first call.

This can change when you choose the “Custom Schedule” option.

For example, let’s say that you schedule the first retry after 2 hours and the 2nd retry the next day at the same time as the first call.

The call is scheduled to arrive at 9pm, but is not picked up. The system schedules a retry for 2h later, so 11pm.

Now, let’s say that you have call time windows that prevent night calls: the cut off is 10pm. The 1st retry call cannot go out at 11pm anymore—it will be made when the call windows open again, for example 8am in the morning.

At 8am in the morning, the first retry is finally made, but is not picked up either, so the 2nd retry is scheduled: the next day at the same time as the previous call (which is 11pm). That means, the following day, the 2nd retry call can also not go out as scheduled, and will be made the day after in the morning.

Scheduling retries and call time windows give a lot of flexibility to craft the voice call campaign you want but this can also be a lot to digest—please let us know if you have questions or need help.