Important ThruTalk Changes - 9.30.20
Created by: Daniel Souweine
Modified on: Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 10:11 AM
|Dear ThruTalk Clients,|
We are writing to let you know about some changes we are making to ThruTalk in order to maintain stability and performance in the final month of the election season. If you want to skip ahead to read about these changes, click here.
First, some context: While voter contact always increases during an election season, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, the volume of phone calling this year has surpassed even our most aggressive projections, as campaigns and organizations have shifted huge portions of their voter contact programs from in-person to on-the-phone.
This surge of interest has pushed our team and our technology to its limits, and has at times compromised our responsiveness and reliability. We know how important stability and support are, especially in the final stretch of the election. So we have been working on numerous fronts to make sure we can meet your calling needs.
What we’ve been doing to manage capacity
Additional changes to manage capacity
- In August, we stopped taking individual new clients, which has meant saying no to hundreds of great organizations and campaigns.
- We have staffed up significantly -- tripling the number of people working behind the scenes of ThruTalk (list loading and call pacing) and doubling the number of people responding to chats and tickets. We will continue this hiring push in the coming weeks to ensure we have sufficient capacity for GOTV.
- We also have non-Support staff on the GetThru team pitching in on list management. And we are training our entire team on support roles so that they can be available during GOTV.
- We’re working on several technical improvements to the list-loading process that should significantly reduce list loading times.
- Lastly, we’re continuing to invest in the scalability of our technical infrastructure, to ensure that ThruTalk is a stable and effective tool as we approach election day.
In addition to the above steps, we are also making the following changes, which will be effective immediately:
- No new services -- As of today, we will not accept requests for new calling services. Any outstanding or in process new service requests will still be created, but no additional requests will be accepted. Our third party software provider has limits to the number of services we can create, and staying within those limits will help us maintain stability. We are happy to work with you to rename old services for new purposes, and to otherwise advise how to best manage your calling program within the context of this limitation. You can book time with our client success team here.
- Limiting fields in the top left caller window -- One of the places where our list loading process slows down is managing custom fields displayed in the top left box for your callers. Going forward, we are limiting the display to standard fields only. If you want to display custom fields to your callers, here’s some guidance on how to add that information directly in your script.
- Changes to list loading process -- For stability reasons, we will be shifting more lists to “on-demand” loading. Beginning today, you will see changes to how we schedule lists. Specifically, you will see two options -- I am calling today, or I am calling tomorrow. There will be 3 scenarios for list loading, as described below. NOTE: This change will only affect calling services that are used irregularly, i.e., calling services that do not have outgoing calls every day.
- Your service had active calls today > Your list will automatically play tomorrow with no further action needed on your part.
- No calls today, you want calls tomorrow > Submit the “Call Tomorrow” request. Your list will be playing automatically tomorrow.
- No calls yesterday, you want calls today > Submit the “Call Today” request. Your list will be playing within your chosen timeframe.
- Eliminating “off hours” phone banks -- We will no longer be accepting requests for off-hours (aka non-standard hours) phone banks. However, we do plan to extend our standard Sunday calling hours to begin at 10 am ET starting October 4. We will also be opening for extended hours during GOTV (Oct. 31-Nov.3).
What you can do to help
In parallel to our efforts, there are some things that you can do to help us maximize stability and responsiveness for your calling programs.
- Our current maximum list size is 50,000. Please do not send lists over that size, as it just slows us down. If you need to call more than 50,000 numbers, send in “run after” lists with your additional numbers.
- Please send us detailed calling projections from now until the election to help us balance the calling load across the ThruTalk application. Please use this spreadsheet and send your projections to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you expect to have any major spike of callers, please let us know. Specifically, if you plan to have over 200 concurrent callers, please send an email to email@example.com at least three days in advance of hitting that number, as we need to make adjustments in our systems to account for that volume of callers.
- Please designate one admin for your account interacting with our live chat support at any one time. When multiple admins contact chat at the same time about the same issue, it increases chat delays and causes confusion for our support team.
- Please route your support requests through the appropriate channels.
- Chat should be used for immediate, urgent issues, such as:
- High wait times or pacing issues
- Caller login issues
- How many numbers remain on a list
- Dashboard issues
- Support tickets(which are answered via email) should be used for less time-sensitive requests, such as:
- Script questions
- Sync questions
- Copy script requests
- Caller ID questions
- Reporting issues
- Whether using chat or email, please provide as much information as possible in your initial messages so that our support team can quickly research your issue. This includes the name of your calling service, the title of your list, and any other detail you have that can help us respond more quickly.
We know this was a lengthy email. If you have any questions, our Client Success team is here to help. Please send them a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a time with them here. Thank you for trusting us with your important calls, especially in the incredibly important month to come!
— The ThruTalk Team
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