Outbound IVRs and dr. Strangelove

A Dr. Strangelove just called, saying he needs your help for an automated appointment reminder system. Dr. Strangelove is tired of patients forgetting appointments, so he needs a way to call them the day before and making sure they will be there at the right time. Also, as he specializes in every possible thing, he needs to know what the appointment will be about so he can either have an operating room ready to remove your appendix or his psych couch cleaned and stocked with a large supply of paper towels. Do you think you can help? After calling him, you understand that he wants a system that will not only connect to a list of numbers and handle common issues (busy calls, non-answers, etc) but also a system that is able to detect whether the callee actually confirms receipt of the message. If they do, that’s okay; if they don’t, a new call is placed after a while.

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WombatDialer a social media dialer

As we are getting started with WombatDialer, we present an initial fictional scenario that shows a number of interesting features. Let’s imagine that we work for ACME Social, a company that specializes in tracking the success of its clients on social networks like Facebook or Google+. So, every time someone befriends one of their clients, we want WombatDialer to call the client telling them their current number of friends. The call would say something like “Hello ! Customer 1234 has 127 friends. Goodbye!” This example shows a couple of features that are not trivial to implement on most dialers, notably:

  • The message will be customized with a number of parameters, so that each client receives a personalized version and not just a pre-recorded note
  • The dialer starts calling on-demand when something happens and handles reschedules internally


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