The Default Starting Question


The starting question in a script typically prompts the caller to identify themselves, their organization, and ask a contact if they're talking to the correct person. If the contact can't speak to the caller, the caller can select a reason why.

Syncing the Starting Question

The default starting question has pre-set canvass result codes, as pictured below, that allow it to sync with VAN automatically. The default starting question can be found in the Example Scripts or in the Question Templates.

All answers, other than "Talking to Correct Person", "Other Language", and "Hangup" are already pre-set to sync with your VAN canvass results with no further setup required. For the "Talking to Correct Person" result to sync with VAN, a Survey question or Activist Code must be used and the caller must select the "NEXT CALL - Talked to Correct Person" Call Result, or Term Code.

If you choose to use the Starting Question Template as is - without edits - the syncing system will provide you with outcomes appropriate to all scenarios your callers will encounter. 


Some programs may want more granular results or may find the existing sync behaviors for "canvass" codes built into the Starting Question Template to operate counter to their preferences.  You may customize the Starting Question Template in these manners:

  • Delete a selection. For example, the "Deliverability Error" option is meant to signify a three-tone bad number, i.e. a number that is no longer valid and should not be attempted again. New callers should be trained that "Deliverability Error" means a bad number and is NOT a selection they should use for a call that ends with the recipient hanging up quickly or if the connection to the recipient is lost.

  • Add a selection. For example, we have not included other language options. You can add new options such as "Spanish Speaker" or "Other language" but these new options you add will not sync as "canvass" codes. You will need to map these new selections you add to either an activist code you create to track this data or a survey + response pair you designate for accounting these other language type responses and direct callers to pick "Talked to Correct Person" call result to sync these options.

  • Replace a syncing selection. You can replace the syncing selection by removing or replacing the canvass result code in the Value section within the script editor. If you remove the canvass result code, this edited option will not sync as a canvass code and will require mapping to either an activist code or a survey + response pairing to account for this option in your results. To sync a survey question, your callers will need to choose the "Talked to Correct Person" call result.


Matching Script Selections to Term Codes

To ensure accuracy in your sync activity, your callers will need to always match their choice of Starting Question Template selection to the appropriate call result selection from the "Term Codes" options at the bottom left side of the caller's screen.


Additionally, correct matching of their Starting Question Template selection to the correct "Term codes" options at the bottom left of the caller's screen will ensure proper list functioning so that you do not call someone again who should not be called again on your current list.

The correct matches that ensure both sync activity and list behaviors should never be deviated and are as follows:


Starting Question Selection
(#) = Present Canvass Result Code
Correct Call Result Selection
Syncing Result
Talking to Correct PersonNEXT CALL - Talked to Correct PersonSurvey Questions or Activist Codes Only
HangupNEXT CALL - No ContactNot Home

Not home (1)

NEXT CALL - No ContactNot Home

Deceased (4)

NEXT CALL - Remove Number - Do Not CallDeceased
Deliverability Error (212)
NEXT CALL - Remove Number - Do Not Call
Deliverability Error

Moved (5)

NEXT CALL - Remove Number - Do Not CallMoved
Refused (2)NEXT CALL - Remove Number - Do Not CallRefused
Wrong Number (20)NEXT CALL - Remove Number - Do Not CallWrong Number


NOTE: For your script question data to sync for any questions after the Starting Question Template, the Talking to Correct Person script selection MUST be matched with the NEXT CALL - Talked to Correct Person call result.  Any conversation that starts with Talking to Correct Person but is not matched with NEXT CALL - Talked to Correct Person will NOT have the script data synced for any question after the Starting Question Template.  This combination ensures that your callers do not write sync data into individuals in your VAN who were not the person you intended to reach.


If you choose to add additional options to the Starting Question Template, you will need to guide your callers to the correct "Term Codes" based on these guidelines:


  • Next Call - Talked to Correct Person should ONLY be used when the correct person was reached, and that correct person was identified for your script purposes and you'd like to sync a survey question or activist code. This should be used for added starting question options of "Other Language" if an activist code or survey question is mapped.

  • Next Call - No Contact should be used for any instance where your caller is not sure what the outcome of the call was, any conversation that did not include a completed identification, or any conversation where the connection was lost. The Next Call - No Contact call result will allow that contact to be called again in subsequent attempts of the current list or in future lists generated from the results of your current list. 
    • If the list is a multiple attempt list, then the contact's number will be included in subsequent attempts of the current list. This option will sync "not home" by default unless an overriding starting question canvass option is picked.
    • If the list is a single attempt list, then the contact's number will not be reattempted on the current list, but can be included in a future list after the current list's results are cleaned.

  • Next Call - Remove Number - Do Not Call should be used for any instance such as "Moved", "Hostile", or other options that you add to the "Starting Question Template" that indicate the person should not be attempted againThis option will sync "refused" by default unless an overriding starting question canvass option is picked. 


Call ResultSyncing Behavior
Talked to Correct PersonSurvey Questions or Activist Codes Only
No ContactCanvass Results Only: Not home by default or what is picked in the default starting question
Remove NumberCanvass Results Only: Refused by default or what is picked in the default starting question, such as Moved, Deceased, Deliverability error, etc. 


Set up ending panels that direct your callers to pick the correct ending call result based on the results you are looking to sync. You can use our example scripts which are already set up with matching call result instructions.