Concept of Script Use

Scripting is an automated method for performing selective data entry in fields that may be scattered on various panels in a particular data layout of a contact record. Each script is designed for a specific data layout and can only be used with the data layout for which it is designed. You can use a mix of predefined fields and user entered data values. In versions 6.20 and higher you can add a new contact record using a script. Previously it could only be used to update data in an existing contact record. If the Scripting programs are needed to add a new contact record than the System Administrator will have to do a onetime setup to make that feature accessible in using Scripts.

Scripts are usually created in advance by the System Administrator and saved for the convenient use of all. However, it is not necessary that Scripts be designed by a System Administrator. Any user who has a need to automate a process of completing several steps in a task could benefit from creating a Script, especially if the tasks involve data entry into a particular data layout in a contact record.

Using a Script for the task of conducting a customer satisfaction survey and recording the results of that survey on the customer's contact record is an excellent example to conceptualize a simple Script. Effective Scripts are no more than writing down each individual step in a task. The assumptions for this example are:

The task of performing a customer satisfaction survey would most likely be:

  1. Decide which customer's are to be contacted for the survey: Often such survey's are conducted by geographical area's or by salesperson's territories.

  2. Decide if the survey is to conducted by phone or mail, fax or other such as email or onsite visits: If this is only a phone survey, creating the Script will be the only consideration. If contact is by other means than you will need to design a document to be used by the salespersons or to bed mailed, faxed, emailed. If the survey is in the form of a document only with no follow up by phone than your Script for data entry would be much different than one using phone contact.

  3. Decide what questions are to be asked in the survey: Define your questions so that they can be easily answered in Yes/No questions, as much as possible, so as to minimize the impact to the customer in terms of using their time to accomplish your survey. Arrange the questions in a logical flow, again to minimize any discomfort to the customer in participating with your survey. Make the survey as short as possible.

  4. Ensure that fields are available in the database to receive the results of the data generated by the survey: Your System Administrator will have to setup any fields that might not exist that are specific to your survey. Typically, many of our customers who use Script have set aside a panel specifically for surveys. What they do is create a number of fields with Yes/No (listboxes as well) along with longer fields that can be used to type text responses to various questions. There is often a field that is used to describe what the survey is intended to accomplish along with a field to express the survey date and when it was completed. With these types of fields you can, using Script for data entry, reuse them as surveys are completed and new surveys occur. The resulting reports stand as the record of overall performance to measure customer satisfaction. Once the report is published the fields maybe left with the data until such time as a new survey is ready to start. When that time happens the System Administrator should clear all fields of data in preparation for the next survey.

Using a panel full of fields in this manner also means that you do not have to confine your surveys to one department. Imagine that their are contact records that have a field that designates whether or not the contact is a customer or a prospect and further that you are using a filter to group customers and prospects. One department, customer service has an customer satisfaction survey in progress and another department, sales has a survey in progress to all prospects to see what goods or services they need in the next six months. One panel would serve both departments in their survey needs without conflict to one another.

  1. Create a Script in ActionWare to record the results of the survey on the customer's contact records: Each page of a script is one step in the survey process. The 1st page of the Script might be instructions to the user performing the Script letting them know what is intended by the survey. A subsequent page maybe specific words that are to be used when speaking with the customer such as, "GoodDay, I am calling from ABC Company and would like to update our current data for customer service, would you have two minutes to help me ensure that we have the correct information to help you with our products should you need customer service?" The Script might include a display of the customer's name, address and phone numbers. Part of the survey might be to review these important basic pieces of data to ensure that they are current. If the customer says Yes, the next page is displayed and prompts are available to the user with all of the questions currently in the survey. The answers are typed into the Script and the data is automatically placed in the appropriate fields on the customer's contact record.

If the customer says No, the next page is usually one that expresses the possibility of contact at a later day, such as "Thank you, I am sorry this is not a good time to be calling, is there sometime tomorrow that I might call back for two minutes of your time? or is there perhaps a another individual that I should be contacting for this information? In any event the last page always thanks the customer for their patience and time in responding to the survey.

  1. Once the survey is concluded and the data entry completed, create a report that would provide the overall results of your efforts so that you can determine what level of satisfaction exists with your current customers: Most of our customers use IBM's Query for iSeries (formerly Query/400) for their report writing purposes. We have a direct interface in ActionWare to this product, however, you are welcome to use any report writing product that suits your needs. Your System Administrator can help you with the creation of your report. You might wish to store the report in ActionWare under a contact record established exclusively for surveys. The PID could be CUSTSERV and the SID could be SURVEY. An activity could be created for each survey with an activity note describing what the survey intended to accomplish. Once completed you could not only update the activity as completed but type an additional activity note describing a brief summation of the results plus give the report name and where to find it. If it is a query don't forget to record where it is stored and how it can be accessed in the future. If the results are in a document (WORD or EXCEL) than you can store the document is the CUSTSERV folder and view the report on the screen as needed. You'll have to indicate name of the document (survey report) in the activity note.