Call centers play an ever-increasing role in the way a modern business operates. Companies that want to keep up with the fast-developing world of informational technology need to stay relevant. Just as the Internet has changed the way we search for information and stay in touch with family and loved ones, it affects the means of contact with businesses. Solutions like VICIdial are a clear reflection of that fact.

What Is VICIdial?

VICIdial is an open-source contact center solution. It caters to the needs of small businesses and large enterprises alike. Its cloud-based technology and intuitive interface allow for a range of activities:

  • Inbound calls
  • Outbound calls
  • Call routing
  • Integration for inbound email and outbound email
  • Customer website chat
  • Call recording

VICIdial is the go-to contact center software for businesses aiming at providing customers with the optimal client support experience. The integration of inbound and outbound phone calls with email capabilities is its strongest suit. Each user can reliably send their queries and count on them reaching the most suitable agent. Advanced features like queue optimization and skill-based routing ensure that happens ninety-nine percent of the time.

Agents, on the other hand, find VICIdial’s core features useful as well:

  • Switching between calls
  • Previewing leads
  • Recording and listening to calls
  • Rerouting dropped calls to available agents
  • Voicemail
  • Hold time estimation
  • Remote-agent calling

VICIdial supports multiple languages. The software has outstanding support itself, both via online chat and email. 

US Companies Benefit from VICIdial

There’s no escape from the digital world. VoIP and online contacts rule the scene. VICIdial helps companies that want to stay relevant for a fraction of the price they’d pay otherwise. The software package helps manage thousands of daily calls and emails. It eliminates potential confusion and helps customer support do their job up to all expectations. Your agents’ calls become more effective and helpful to customers. Moreover, VICIdial makes compliance with the strict FCC rules easy. For companies looking to improve their paying customers’ experiences, there is no better option.

How Much Does It Cost?

VICIdial is open-source, meaning you won’t have to pay anything for it. The costs of running it in your call center come from hosting services. Different prices for VICIhost apply in different situations. Your budget depends on the specific requirements of your situation. The traffic volume you require determines the sum you have to part with. Average hosting expenses look like this:

  • Initial VICIdial server provision + a month of free hosting – $1000;
  • Additional VICIdial services – $500 per server;
  • Monthly hosting fee per server – $400; 
  • Costs of minutes;

SMS Gorilla can help you find the best hosting plan and exclusive discounts. VICIdial itself helps you to optimize call center expenses. We show you how to save even more money. 

VICIdial is open-source, meaning you won’t have to pay anything for it. The costs of running it in your call center come from hosting services. Different prices for VICIhost apply in different situations. Your budget depends on the specific requirements of your situation. The traffic volume you require determines the sum you have to part with. Average hosting expenses look like this:

  • Initial VICIdial server provision + a month of free hosting – $1000
  • Additional VICIdial services – $500 per server
  • Monthly hosting fee per server – $400
  • Costs of minutes

SMSGorilla can help you find the best hosting plan and exclusive discounts. VICIdial itself helps you to optimize call center expenses. We show you how to save even more money.

How Do You Use VICIdial?

To run the VICIdial server, you need the following components:

To run the VICIdial server, you need the following components:

  • Proper installation of an Asterisk Server. All versions after Asterisk Server 1.6 do the trick
  • ZAP, IAX, and SIP trunks and phones
  • Local and remote Apache and PHP 4.0 or greater
  • MySQL 4.0 or greater database server
  • Perl with a Net::Telnet
  • Time::HiRes
  • Net::MySQL modules
  • astGUIclient and a running ACQS
  • PBX and V-tiger integration recommended
  • A web browser that can display modern web pages

Need assistance setting-up VICIdial? SMSGorilla’s experts are ready to answer your call. We have the technical ability and experience. Our pros can help your call center optimize its operation.

The software’s open-source nature does more than slashing licensing fees to zero. It also allows you to introduce new features to the system. That’s why VICIdial is the preferred call center software for companies across the US.

To run the VICIdial server, you need the following components:

  • Proper installation of an Asterisk Server. All versions after Asterisk Server 1.6 do the trick;
  • ZAP, IAX, and SIP trunks and phones; 
  • Local and remote Apache and PHP 4.0 or greater;
  • MySQL 4.0 or greater database server;
  • Perl with a Net::Telnet;
  • Time::HiRes;
  • Net::MySQL modules;
  • astGUIclient and a running ACQS;
  • PBX and V-tiger integration recommended;
  • A web browser that can display modern web pages; 

Need assistance setting-up VICIdial? SMS Gorilla’s experts are ready to answer your call. We have the technical ability and experience. Our pros can help your call center optimize its operation. 

The software’s open-source nature does more than slashing licensing fees to zero. It also allows you to introduce new features to the system. That’s why VICIdial is the preferred call center software for companies across the US. 

Get What You Want From VICIdial

VICIdial is a diverse software package that leaves room for tweaking your campaign. The various features you can access allow you to make your calling efforts efficient and cost-effective. There isn’t a precise formula for that. You’ll need to consider the factors and peculiarities of your product and customer base. VICIdial allows you to demonstrate creativity like few other call center software solutions. Getting the job done comes naturally.

VICIdial as a Vehicle for CRM

Customer relationship management, or CRM, is the umbrella term. It covers all actions a company takes to regulate contacts with:

  • Current customers
  • Past customers
  • Potential customers

The approach allows the business to collect and analyze data about their interactions with clients. The analysis gives a precise impression of the successes and failures of a marketing effort. VICIdial is a powerful CRM tool. Its main pro is making talking to customers easily. You can also use it to make sales pitches, provided they follow the TCPA guidelines. You can utilize its top-notch calling power to conduct surveys. It can help you receive reviews about your products and services directly from your customers. Customer support messages can improve the user experience, and the system can help you tailor and then distribute them. These come naturally to the VICIdial system as well.

Interactive Voice Response via VICIdial

IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, is another technology to look for. It allows people to interact with automated phone systems. Customers use the hotkeys to tell the host system which services they need. Voice recognition finds a niche in that feature as well. The technology finds application in a range of areas. Banking, mobile shopping, utilities, travel information are a few. Call centers rely on IVR in their day-to-day activities as well. The algorithm accommodates various activities:

  • Call dispositions
  • Call handling
  • Call logging
  • Call transfer
  • Conferencing

IVR in VICIdial lets customers tell the system if they want to drop the call. It enables them to contact an available agent when they express a wish to do so.

Is VICIdial a Predictive Dialer?

The software comes with powerful predictive dialer efficiency. It seriously enhances companies’ calling abilities. A predictive dialer is a next level auto-dialer. This outbound calling system makes phone calls to a list of telephone numbers. It’s unique because it uses call metrics and data analysis. With those, it predicts when human agents are available. They can detect when there is a connection. Afterward, they pass the call to a live operator. VICIdial’s predictive dialer can detect:

  • Busy signal
  • No-answer
  • Answering machine

Thus, they run all calls in parallel with the vacancy of calling agents. It’s the best way to utilize your call center efficiently. Your company saves time, resources, and money in the long run as a result.

Is Predictive Dialing Legal?

Federal law requires careful navigation from companies. Non-compliance leads to fines and avoidable legal trouble. The business and its customers suffer without a need. As for predictive dialers, they aren’t illegal. Enterprises using VICIdial have to adhere to some rules. The FCC regulations guarantee the rights of single customers. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulates auto-dialers. The three categories of businesses which need to adhere to it are:

  • Advertisers
  • Marketers
  • Customer support in the retail and service sectors

Prior express consent is mandatory for placing automated phone calls. Auto-dial calls coming from VICIdial are deemed illegal. They may result in fines of up to $500 per violation. The FCC always looks for prior written permission from customers. Make sure you have such before you make auto-dial calls. It’s the best protection against non-compliance claims.

How to Make Legal Predictive Calls

Using predictive dialing isn’t illegal in itself. You just have to follow the rules. Avoiding troubles with the FCC happens when you make sure the calls:

  • Are purely informative or for non-commercial reasons
  • Emergencies
  • Don’t contain hidden ads or marketing messages
  • Don’t contain prerecorded voice

For a predictive call to be legal, it should happen during standard business hours. Those are between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm, Monday to Friday. Companies have to be careful about the time zone of the recipients. Placing a call at the weekend predictably puts the company at the risk of lawsuits.

The TCPA rules mean you can utilize VICIdial for client support purposes without the risk of penalties. Reach your customers to inform them about:

  • Product and service delivery
  • Scheduling changes
  • Information about products and services they have purchased from you

You can even call with sales pitches. Before you do, though, you need to receive written permission from the person. Include an opt-out option in text messages and on your website to further guarantee compliance. Complaints about the restrictive nature of the TCPA exist. The rules protect the rights of customers.

Studies show that compliant businesses rate higher in customer satisfaction. There isn’t doubt this is crucial for your company. Happy clients translate to more sales and a higher profit margin. The predictive call function of VICIdial helps you maximize the benefits. You can grow your business beyond any conservative expectation.

VICIdial as an Automatic Call Distributor

Automatic Call Distributors, or ACDs, handle incoming calls to specific agents or parts of the business. They are the backbone of every call center. VICIdial has excellent ACD power that does everything you can expect from a top-shelf ACD system.

Routing Inbound Calls to Specific Agents

VICIdial allows fast, precise routing of incoming calls to agents. It can direct calls to departments within the company as well. You don’t have to doubt the happiness of your customers. They always talk to the agent qualified to meet their demands. You define the criteria for the call distribution. Based on your customer base, you can choose between:

  • Language
  • Area code
  • The phone number the customer dials

 Let’s say they call the numbers for customer support on your web page. The system redirects them to the customer support department.

ID and Rapid Response

VIPs enjoy special treatment thanks to the ACD system. The software identifies their numbers. It connects the client to the agent in charge of their care in an instant. There come times the said agent isn’t available. The VIP client occupies the first place in the waiting queue. Mark your VIP clients with a tag in your database. VICIdial’s ACD system does the rest.

Integration with CTI 

CTI, skills-based routing, and ACD all help agents. They get as much information about the caller as possible. They receive the info in their web browser before they answer the call. VICIdial can integrate ACD with data from:

  • CRM
  • Customer website chat
  • Social media
  • SFA
  • Helpdesk

Call centers use the integration to get a complete history of their interaction with the caller. Both sales and support processes benefit from it.

Data Acquisition in VICIdial

Through ACD, companies get their hands on a range of useful data about calls:

  • Phone numbers
  • How much time an agent spends with a caller
  • Total number of inbound and outbound calls
  • Waiting time

You can feed the data into a data analysis platform. The insights you receive help you evaluate the system’s efficiency. You can make necessary adjustments in time. They save you money and workforce resources.

Manual Calls and VICIdial

VICIdial’s functions allow both auto and manual dialing. Callbacks are on the table as well. The whole process is simple to access, with the agent screen of the platform doing the job. Look for the Manual Dial Override option. When regular phones are used in place of softphones, adjustments in the campaign settings are necessary. Look for the “external_dial” function in the agent API. VICIdial.com contains detailed instructions for working with the API. They enable end-users and developers to grasp the purpose of the VICIdial features better. The insight helps them to create a user-experience few rivaling platforms manage.

The VDAD Function Makes Prerecorded Messages Better

VDAD is one of VICIdial’s core features. The purpose of the extension is to play prerecorded voice messages to recipients. The caller can set a number connecting the customer to an available agent. They only have to press the button. Agents and managers alike cherish the VDAD extension because it reduces the workload of both. The customer has to demonstrate an interest in talking to an agent. Upon manifesting such interest, the system connects them to one. That leads to reduced costs due to the allocation of resources to places they are needed.

Upload Leads Directly into the Database

VICIdial has an ease of use that comes in handy to call center managers. Uploading leads is a quick process. It requires a lead list and little technical knowledge. A basic idea of PHP would help. PHP is the programming language databases use. What makes PHP stand out from other programming languages is that it takes little time to learn. It’s among the top of the software’s features. List uploading is expressly precious because it’s an automated process. Even mid-size operations have to update their call lists twice a day. Doing that manually is a mistake-prone task and a waste of resources. The VICIdial group developers have made sure campaign managers don’t drudge through this cumbersome task. The VICIdial Asterisk database needs access to:

  1. vicidial_phone_codes
  2. vicidial_list

Given the asterisk database is in order, you shouldn’t expect any hiccups. However, the two tables do contain a few tricky parts that can make the algorithm fail from time to time. One is in the vicidial_list table under the name Gmt_offset_now. It deals with the time zone and local time in which the lead is. If the column is empty, VICIdial can make a call to the lead at any time. That includes the periods which lead to TCPA violations and problems with the FTC and FCC. Database managers should consult with the vicidial_phone_codes table. It has all GMT data about every area code in the US. If you’re using VICIdial to make calls outside the country, don’t worry. The database contains the GMT info of other countries as well. This leads to another excellent feature of the software – its multi-language versions. The most popular VICIdial languages as of 2020 are:

  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • Dutch

Tricks to Efficiently Increase Call Flow in VICIdial

Load balancing and call flow are crucial to achieving the results you set out to achieve. Factors that affect the call flow in VICIdial vary. It comes from the quality of the carrier service. Other times the number of agents your call center employs counts. Tricks to improve the call flow fall into two categories:

  • The technical side
  • The nature of the calls

Technical Tweaks to Improve Call Flow

The quality of the leads affects the flow the most. Count consistently dropped calls in, and you can’t hope for a decent pickup rate. Call center managers avoid it by calibrating the call quality leads. Thus, they ensure there’s someone to pick up the phone at any time. Companies selling quality leads are a viable option as well.  Adjusting the way call prioritization works within a campaign is a fool-proof way to run things smoothly.

The traffic the carrier can handle is also a common issue. Many carriers can’t handle the traffic predictive dialing requires. Want to tackle the issue? There’s a direct way. It’s to not go for the first carrier which gives you low minute costs. Check what traffic they promise to handle for you. The Carrier Stats Log is your friend. Check it when you suspect your current carrier doesn’t perform well enough. The table contains call-logging for received and dropped calls. It has a Congestion tab as well. If the congestion makes up more than 5% of your logs, you need to address the issue. Consult your current carrier about improving the service. If you can’t reach an agreement, start looking for a new one.

Read More On SIP Trunking.

What Marketing Messages Make for Good Call Flow?

Factors of the campaign that determine the call flow’s success include:

  • The type of calls
  • The type of sales pitch
  • The length of the message

Capable marketing specialists can tailor the strategy and content of the messages. They know the approaches that maximize success rates. In turn, that will lead to a reduction in the number of dropped calls and the pressure on available agents. Why is the latter so crucial for optimal call flow? Let’s say you wait 10 to 30 seconds between calls. An agent then runs into a string of viable leads while doing their job. The worst-case scenario is when this happens once too often, you end up with no agents available to pick up the next caller. Customers willing to talk to your reps aren’t naturally ready to stay on hold for long. Thus, the rate of dropped calls increases. Missed marketing chances like that act as the stone that turns the cart for many campaigns.

VICIdial allows you to regulate the time between calls so that you don’t suffer the fallout of that mistake. SMSGorilla is here for you. We’ll assist you in tailoring your messages. Catch the customers’ attention to get the most profit.

Find Out What MMS Messaging is.

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