The audio experience, both hearing our targets and being heard when speaking to them, is critical to your callers and your program.  Issues with audio can range from user error, to hardware or equipment troubles, to large scale infrastructure causes.  To best deal with this wide range, we offer this summary regarding trouble hearing connected calls when calling in from a landline or cell phone.

Trouble hearing connected calls

This range of issues will fall into one of these categories:

Headset or other Accessory Complications

Phone accessories such as ear buds with built in microphones, full headsets, or airpods, are fantastic for improving the caller experience by keeping hands free and eliminating neck strain and arm fatigue from holding the phone upwards for extended periods of time. We highly recommend using them.

It may seem glaringly obvious, but often times the devices may not be securely, firmly connected. In other instances, the devices may simply have failed since the last time they were used - as many are flimsy, and all are built with intentional product obsolescence and therefore short product life spans.

Try these troubleshooting steps among your very first efforts:

  • Try making a direct person to person call from the phone without any accessories connected
  • Try the call again with the accessory connected.  Can you hear the other person during test calls with and without the accessories?
  • If the device is Bluetooth based, confirm that Bluetooth is active and that the devices are recognizing each other
  • Check all physical connected devices and adapters for firm, solid, connections

Device Settings

At the device level, a few different settings can impact the caller's ability to be hear the people receiving the calls.

  • On android phones is the "Wifi Calling" option turned on? For iphones, is the "Make Calls Using Wifi" option on in the settings menu? Make sure these settings are OFF.
  • Using Bluetooth - is this turned on? Are the devices recognizing each other? Are the correct devices paired - and not accidentally paired to a different device?
  • In call volume - phones maintain two different volume settings, one for media and alerts, and another for in call audio volume.  Has the in call volume level been turned down by accident?  Check device settings for certainty and correct as needed
  • WiFi Calling / Call over WiFi - device makers and providers have begun sending devices out with this setting on by default.  Always turn off WiFi Calling / Call over WiFi as our testing has shown it causes issues with both being heard and hearing recipients while connected to the system.  Additionally, if the available internet bandwidth is low, WiFI calling will eat up critical bandwidth, causing issues with scripts and on-screen interactions

Bad Reception or Inconsistent Phone Service

In the same way that issues hearing contacts can happen when calling person to person, on any device when the reception is low or inconsistent one may experience issues with hearing the recipient.  To better explain, here is an outline of how calls are connected:

  • If calling from a landline, the caller dials in to be connected to our system over that landline.  If calling from a cell phone, the caller is connecting to our system through cellular networks.  In either case, this is known as the "agent leg" of the call
  • The system that callers connect to should be thought of as an operator - a very, very busy operator connecting many, many calls.  Essentially our system functions just like an operator - and your list are the people that operator is connecting your callers to
  • The outbound calls to people on your list are then traveling across actual landlines or actual cellular networks just like the "agent leg" of the call.  Therefore, the recipients of these calls are just as susceptible to bad connections and inconsistent service quality just like the half of the call for the agent to connect to our system

Infrastructure issues, outages and other concerns

With the power of our calling tools, we are often calling ranges of geographies at different times- people living in cities, exurban areas, and in rural communities.  We may be calling entire states in many instances, and therefore be reaching contacts living in any potential type of community at the same time.  Keep in mind that issues at the infrastructure level stand out more at the pace and volume of calling we can produce.  When we are calling from phone to phone directly, we have all at some point experienced a bad connection, a mis-connection where we talk to someone at a number other than the one we dialed, or echoes on the line.  We encounter these in the same percentages of likelihood with our dialer, but they can appear to be more common simply due to the volume of calls - even though those instances are just as rare as calling directly phone to phone.  Here are some further details:

  • It can be worthwhile to take note of calls that connect where it is hard for callers to hear the recipient - whether that is from static on the line, or a bad connection caused by local infrastructure or outages.  Analyzing trends can help soothe caller concerns or help shape strategy for avoiding geographies that consistently produce problematic connections
  • Hearing echoes on a line can be a result of two things: a bad connection due to infrastructure issues, or simply that the other person has hung up prior to speaking with the caller.  It is very common to hear an echo of oneself when one speaks on a dialer line that is no longer connected to the contact
  • Reaching people who report that the number dialed is not the number connected does happen in exceedingly rare cases.  If you are concerned about these instances, note the phone number dialed from the dialer screen (on the left side), as well as the number the contact reported that actually connected, and then visit with our livechat agents for a quick check on what numbers were or were not dialed and precisely when those calls were placed 

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