IVRs are the backbone for a contact center ACD. They can be pleasantly simple and they can also be quite complicated. I touched on a few of the more complex operations in the second linked post. Now I’m going to write about a few more of the IVR components that the Q-Suite features in its dialplan builder. Continue reading Advanced IVRs in Your Contact Center ACD
A multi-channel ACD does not imply separate queues for queuing different media like voice, email, and social media. As a matter of fact, voice media might have many queues to take advantage of skills-based routing and queue priority. One reason to have exclusive queues for different media type is to simplify skill-set assignment. The more important consideration is to retain the ability to handle the different media calls judiciously with the realization that certain media type requires synchronous real-time communication while others require timely response, not necessarily real-time and synchronous. We know that voice conversations are real-time responses whereas emails require timely response in keeping with good customer service practice. This blog will review multi-channel ACD queue setup for skills based routing and discuss aspects of multi-channel media handling using enhanced features within a call center software.
Queuing and routing within a call center ACD is dictated by skills based routing and queue priority. Queues require specific skills to handle the voice calls, email, chat, or social media. Skills are dictated by the business requirements. For example, ability to conduct a conversation in English, Spanish, or French would each be a skill. Similarly, ability to answer customer inquiries on a specific product can be a skill required for handling calls coming into a specific queue. Writing skills and responding appropriately can be a skill essential for handling emails. Queues also have a priority that differentiates the level of service offered. A higher priority queue means it requires quicker response. Service is usually measured in terms of the average duration a customer waits before a call is handled. Employees who are involved with handling calls in the queue are assigned skill levels for the skills they possess. When an employee is logged into the call center ACD, their skills dictate the media calls they can handle and the skill level dictates the pecking order.
Queue priority is another important factor in the management of the service level within a contact center ACD. A higher priority queue will be handled before a lower one. When an employee becomes available, he or she gets the media from the highest priority queue for which they have the skills. Now let examine how to introduce efficiency in a multi-channel ACD with skills based routing and queue prioritization.
An emails do not require real-time synchronous response and therefore can be in a lower priority queue compared to a voice call. If an agent is offered an email from an email queue by the contact center ACD based on the skills based routing, it indicates that there were no calls waiting in any higher priority queue. When the employee starts working on the email response, a call can come into a voice queue that may require a faster response. With advanced call center software offering powerful ACD features like ability to re-queue media calls into a personal queue and make out of band announcement of calls waiting in higher priority queue, the employee handling an email can quickly re-queue it back into the ACD and be ready to handle the voice call. Here too, it can be re-queued into a personal queue that belongs to the employee so that they continue where they left off when it comes back to them. Such contact center ACD features will contribute to increase in the call center efficiency.
Call routing is a critical function of an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD). Routing strategy is an abstract term indicating the measure of the flexibility available within an ACD governing its call routing capability. The strategy available within a PBX is different from the routing options within a sophisticated ACD. For an incoming call, the destination end point in a PBX is an extension. When deployed with an ACD, it is an ACD agent using the PBX extension. The ACD agents are part of different groups within the setup of a sophisticated call center software. Typically agent groups are trained to handle specific business functions. All incoming calls for these business functions would be part of one or more queues.
Continue reading ACD Routing Strategy