The function of Step Labels and Field Names
NOTE: As of Spring 2020, some internal and user-facing SAS systems have been updated to better suit the needs of our customers. Because of these updates, your online portal view may look different than the pictures shown below. If your portal looks different, please refer to this article for updated instructions.
The Call Script Builder gives you on-demand access to making real-time changes to your answering service script. While you are in there playing around, you'll notice that most of these steps have two input areas called Step Labels and Field Names. In this tutorial, you'll learn a bit about both:
- What are step labels and field names: An explanation of each variable type.
- Field name best practices: Learn how to appropriately label a field name.
- Anatomy of step labels: Learn how to see your step labels at once to help keep your script tidy.
- Common field names: Learn which Script Steps don't have field names and how to retrieve that information.
- Ways to use field names: Explore some ways field names are used throughout the SAS system.
What are Step Labels and Field Names
Each script step has 2 variables:
- Step Labels: This is your own personal identification system for the steps inside the script you are creating. You'll use these to keep your script neat and tidy. For example, you may be creating a script path for Support. When adding steps to this path, you would most likely name them with a 'Support' suffix. Something like FirstNameSupport, EmailSupport, etc. This will help you identify these steps for later use.
- Field Name: Field names are how we store the data that is collected in the script step. These field name variables are used all over the Specialty Answering Service portal, from sending specific information collected after a phone call via SMS to displaying collected information later on in a script. A great example of this is asking a person for their name, then in a subsequent step, inserting the name variable when you ask them the next question - "Thank you [FirstName]! I'm happy to help you."
In the example below, we've labeled the step Regarding2 (remember, the 2 suffix differentiates this step from other paths), and added the field name Regarding.
Field Name Best Practices
The field names are the variables that capture data inside of your answering service script. They're petty important, so you'll need to follow some rules when naming them:
- No spaces: We love spaces too, just not here. If you need to space, use an _ character.
- No special characters: Any character where you need to hold down a shift key to use is a no-no, except the _ character.
- Keep them short but descriptive: You'll see these variables everywhere from inside your profile data, to our outbound dialing app, to running reports in your portal. Keeping them short and descriptive will help you identify where you used them and what type of data they are capturing.
Anatomy of Step Labels
Naming your step labels according to the path they represent is essential to keeping your script easy to navigate and change. To review the step labels in the Script Builder, just click the + next to each path to expand the path. There you'll see what you named each of the steps.
If you are adding a new step, be sure and make a note of the suffix of the step label – in other words, the numbers or text that come after the type of information you are collecting. For example, in FirstNameOther, FirstName would be the type of information, and Other is the suffix. When changes are made in a script, whether adding or removing a step, the suffix should identify the path.
For example, let's say you had 2 paths, one for sales and one for service. In the sales path, you may label your first step FirstNameSales while in your service path, it may be FirstNameService.
As with Field Names, you want to be sure that each of your Step Labels have unique names. This will prevent any overlapping or problems with your call script. For more information, please see our in-depth article about how to label a script step.
Common Field Names
When you are adding script steps, you'll notice that with some types, you don't have the option to adjust the field names. These are designated as common script step types and they include First Name, Last Name, Phone Number, etc. Below is a list of static variables.
- [Address1], [Address2], [City], [State], [ZipCode]
NOTE: Although you can customize the Company Name and Regarding step labels, the field names must be written as "CompanyName" and "Regarding" with no suffixes in order to be used as default fields.
Ways to Use Field Names
Field names are used everywhere. They are how our software stores data and are available for use throughout our web portal. Following are some places where you might see Field Names in use:
- Query strings: When transferring data from the SAS system to your online web form, you may use variables inside the URL string. For more information on query strings, please read Populating Your Web Form with SAS Script Variables.
- Building SMS messages: If you are receiving text messages after a phone call, you are able to drag and drop variables to build a custom text message.
- Inside your script: Any field names in your script can be used later in your script as part of the conversation the call center operators have with your callers. For example, if we ask a caller for their first name, we can then insert the [FirstName] variable later in the script to personalize the conversation.