Call Next Dashlet extension allows for easier phone banking

2020-07-03 10:43
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As part of a wider range of improvements funded by the Libertarian Party, the call next dashlet (CND) is now public. The CND extension was created to get volunteers calling people immediately, with little to no training. It doesn't require assigning the call to anyone either. For volunteer organizations, a constant challenge is assigned the 'right' number of calls to a volunteer. It is hard to know. Well, CND removes this restriction. Adding a phone call with a custom status of 'awaiting response' adds people to the queue. You can use the Activity Type ACL extension to limit who has the capability to add phone call activities.

CND is available on the CiviCRM dashboard. The 'subject' will tell you the purpose of the call (e.g. Volunteer Engagement).

Simply click on their name and you'll go their contact summary page to log the call. You will see call log block (configured via the Contact layout Editor) which contains the subject, call notes box, engagement index (if CiviCampaign is enabled) and the call status. If the status is saved to anything other than 'awaiting response', it is removed from the queue.

Key points on dashlet

  • Calls are ordered by oldest date first
  • Calls assigned to one person will show at the top of the order for that user
  • Once a contact is clicked it locks the phone call to that person (via it being assigned upon that action), to avoid double calling.

The log call block can be used by itself when on a contact's summary screen - it is just a shortcut and simplified version of going to actions > phone call.

CND is version 1.0 and we are hoping others take a look and try to extend it. As we wanted to start with a dashlet that was generic enough for any organization to use, we made it flexible on how someone can be put into CND. Moving forward, it could be specialized. Many a times, non-administrators find it hard to know what action items are needing to be done. An idea is that you could make the call next dashlet query specific segments of your database such as lapsed members. Then your volunteers will have a clear direction to call those lapsed members.

We preferred this approach over CallHub  integration so we could provide a unified system that contains the complete data set to our users and permission it accordingly (see associated membership, activity history, custom data fields, etc).