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  • How to Use the Outlook Autodialer

    If you find that multitasking is a way of life, autodialers can help keep everything under control. In the Microsoft Outlook environment, autodialers become another set of mouse clicks you make as you work through multiple projects simultaneously. In many respects, the question is not how to use an autodialer, but how it can be better used.

    The Basics

    The entire autodialer process works from your contacts list. Just go to the contacts list and select the contact number that you would like to call. On the toolbar you will see a little phone. This is the autodial function. Select this option. When the New Call window appears, select the phone number you would like to call and click on the Start Call option on the window. When the window indicates the call is ready, click Begin Call and lift the phone receiver to begin your call. When the phone conversation is complete, click the End Call option and replace the phone receiver in its cradle.

    Other Autodialer Options

    Autodialers are far more versatile than just making single phone calls. Their main use is for responding to large numbers of inquiries or contacting large groups with a common link. Perhaps the most common use of autodialers that the public is aware of is credit collection. These programs are mostly designed to verify that the person being contacted is home so that a real person can speak with them. The calls are generally recognized from there not being a response to your "hello" for a brief period after the receiver is picked up. These autodialer calls are a bit different from the standard autodialer call because they are regulated by the federal government and, in many cases, by state governments.

    Sales Calls

    The autodialer is a good way to keep your sales calls moving forward. A software package can tailor the way you would like to approach the issue, but generally these programs are designed to send the call to a sales rep if there is a pickup, play a recorded message if there is an answering machine pickup, and show scripts or notes from a previous conversation as the call is being made. The efficiency comes from having all the information in one place and, more importantly, having the next call ready when the sales representative finishes the current call.


    An emerging use of autodialers is as a notification tool during emergencies or mass information notification situations. Too many tragic events at educational institutions have made the ability to contact the entire school population quickly and efficiently critical to saving lives and keeping people informed. Autodialers have this capacity and are increasingly being used by school systems across the country.

    Double-Edged Sword

    The unfortunate truth about autodialers is that they are just a piece of technology. They are both efficient and annoying. Their correct use is an issue for government and administrators to consider carefully.

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