Populating Client Information – Part 3: Getting the Data Back Out

Data that can’t be extracted or reported is worth less than data that can be reported. In “Populating Client Information to Agents In Your ACD” Part 1 and Part 2 discussed getting data into the system and to agents. Once the agent has gotten their hands on it, there can be updates, changes or even new data that needs to be reported back. Details about the call usually also falls under the rubric of exportable/reportable data.

If the data was accessed via a web service, database or API in the agent script, then it’s reasonable to anticipate it can be sent back in the same manner. This method suffers from the same limitations as pulling the data in the first place (speed of external server, bandwidth, etc.) but does have the advantage of pushing responsibility for reporting to another server that may already have custom reports built in, or a more direct interface with the call center’s client.

Another method is pushing the data via a web service post at the time the call is dispositioned. At that point, the agent should have completed the wrap-
up phase, and the data will be as up-to-date as it is going to be. It should be possible to submit any of the collected data to the web service, in a customizable manner. The script builder that comes with Q-Suite allows you to rename fields as necessary to match the expectations of the receiving service. Any number of fields can be accommodated, to the limits specified by the HTTP protocols. This has the same advantage of immediacy as the external database method, for those clients who want instant gratification.

The most manual of the extraction methods is a lead or call extract report. It’s important to be able to define the fields, rename and reorder them as necessary, and also be able to define whether the extract will be done on a per-lead or per-contact basis:

  • Per lead: There is only one record per lead. The most recent data is returned
  • Per contact: There is one record per contact (call, usually), and custom fields are reported with the data as saved at the end of the contact.

It should be possible in the call center software to specify multiple templates, for multiple purposes, and have these saved and available whenever a report needs to be generated. This requires a bit of extra work in the beginning, and can easily be updated as needed, but makes extracting the data in a way that’s convenient for the client much more convenient for the person extracting the data.