Flows are the core of Revere Calling; these are the programmed steps that every call goes through. Each step in a flow is called a capsule; every capsule carries out one piece of the action. We’ll detail those below, but there are a few other parts to a flow worth taking a look at:
Flow Name is self-explanatory. Every flow has to be named something.
Associated phone numbers are all the hotline numbers currently assigned to this flow. See the section on hotline numbers for more.
Dial As is the number that will show up on caller ID when this flow is used in an outbound call. You can set this to any number your account has provisioned; the flow will “spoof” the number into Caller ID.
Flows are built out of capsules; each step that the caller goes through is its own capsule, which can do anything from reading synthesized text to forwarding the caller to their state or federal legislator. Add capsules to a flow by clicking on the capsule’s name in the lower portion of the flow control panel. Click on a capsule in the flow to edit its settings or to remove it if you need to.
If you place a capsule into a flow in a place where it will not work, its will not allow you to save your flow. An error message will give you the reason why the error occurred. Example:
Available capsules include:
This capsule reads plain text in a synthesized voice. We do not recommend using this for long passages of text, because many callers don’t like listening to computerized voices. But for short passages, it’s effective. Type the text you want the system to read and select the default “Man” or “Woman” voice.
This capsule dials another phone number to transfer the caller to. You may enter a prioritized list of phone numbers into this capsule; the system will try to transfer the call to the first one first, and will move down the list to a subsequent number if that call fails (if the line is busy, disconnected, out of service or rings for more than 30 seconds).
This capsule works a lot like Say, but instead of using a synthesized voice, it plays an uploaded .wav or .mp3 file. In the capsule control window, you may upload a file and play back a file once you’ve uploaded it.
This capsule opens up the flow for input from the caller, letting them enter numbers on their dialpad and putting them into the system. In the capsule control window, you may enter the following:
- Number of digits: how many digits the caller is allowed to enter (or “unlimited”).
- Timeout: the number of seconds the system will wait before moving on if the caller doesn’t enter anything.
- Finish on Key: the key the caller should press to tell the system they are done entering numbers.
- Common Name: the numbers the caller enters into the capsule will be stored in a variable with the name you place here.
This capsule hangs up the call. Usually, this happens on its own, but without this capsule, the system will sometimes keep a call connected after the caller hangs up. This can run up the number of minutes your account uses. Put a Hangup capsule in to ensure that the platform hangs up even if the phone company doesn’t make it happen automatically.
This capsule provides the caller with a menu of choices. Once you’ve added the Menu capsule, add however many choices you need by pressing the “Add another choice” button. Then you can add an audio file for each choice to be played back as part of the menu, or select “Say” to have a computerized voice read a prompt.
The calling flow splits into separate branches after this capsule – each option gets its own branch, and you can specify different capsules for each.
Send to SMS
If your account has an SMS kicker configured in Revere Sync (ask your account rep if it does), this capsule sends your SMS kicker message to the caller.
Prompt for Zipcode
This capsule works almost exactly like the Gather capsule (above), except it is configured to collect a five-digit zip code for use with the Ledge Zeppelin capsule (below). The call flow will skip this step if we already have a zip code in the flow for the caller (if they used a click-to-call form, for example).
Ledge Zeppelin is the capsule that matches the caller to a legislative contact, using our Ledge Zeppelin API and attempts to forward the caller to their office. This is one of the more complicated capsules. Your options in the capsule control window are:
- Match Type:
- Match by zip code: Select this option if you would like to have the system try to find a legislator based on the caller’s zip code (the system must already know the zip code from a Prompt for Zipcode capsule or from outside the flow).
- Randomly match to group member: Select this option to randomly match the caller to a legislator found within the callers zip code. The same rules of the system needing to know about the zip code before hand apply. If no zip code is provided or if there are no legislators found in that zip code the fallback number or numbers will be called.
- Exclude legislators: Select this option to not include these records when the callers zip code is looked up. For example if zip code 78704 normally returns 10 records you can exclude legislators that you do not wish to have returned to the caller.
- Select legislators to target: Select this option to target records in the callers zip code. For example: If zip code 78704 normally returns 10 records, you can target specific records to be returned to the caller.
- Legislator Group: select the chamber you would like to match users to here. “Senate” and “House” refer to the upper and lower state chambers, while “US Senate” and “US House” refer to the federal chambers.
- Legislator Order: selecting “order by type” will give you the option of prioritizing a legislator’s Capitol or district numbers over one another. Use this to toggle so that calls can follow the legislator depending on whether the chamber is in session or not. With “order by priority” selected, calls will go to offices in the order they appear on the legislator’s Ledge Zeppelin profile.
- Fallback number: this is the phone number the capsule will forward the caller to if no matches are found for any reason. Typically, you will put a legislative switchboard number here, though other options might be a bill’s author, chamber leadership, or the Governor’s office.
Send to URL
This is one way the platform can handle functions that are not covered by ordinary capsules. This capsule takes in a URL and a method (GET or POST), and sends all data for the call thus far. A webservice at that URL can work with the provided call data. Developers interested in building extensions for Revere Calling should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
This is another way to expand the capabilities of the calling platform beyond the default capsules. This capsule’s control window contains a text field that you can use to enter TwiML, a type of markup language that lets you design call behavior just like a web designer uses HTML. Full documentation on TwiML can be found here: https://www.twilio.com/docs/api/twiml