Getting it Right When Some Get it Wrong

There’s a fast-service restaurant near my house that specializes in frozen dairy products. Let’s say it rhymes with Fairy Shmeen. My order is usually something fairly simple. The drive-thru experience is usually pretty quick and painless. Sometimes, however, there’s a problem, and I have to repeat my order several times. Sometimes I have to repeat it after I’ve gotten to the window. Each time there’s a problem, it’s the same girl taking my order. I’m sure she’s an excellent employee. Maybe seniority dictates that she should have the headset. But she can’t seem to get the hang of it. At least not in my case.
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Hot Leads, High Performance

Someone is really interested in your product. They’ve filled out the form on the web site and clicked “Contact Me”. They’re still thinking about you. Now, who do you have call them? It’s a lot like pizza. When it’s hot and fresh at just the right time, it’s a magical experience.
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The Right Agent For the Job

What happens when an agent completely bungles an incoming call at your call center? This may be the caller’s first experience with your business. A well trained sales agent just isn’t going to be as effective if they’re getting calls from your “Tech Support 2” queue. Your techs may flub sales calls. Obviously you can’t just have calls ringing the phone of anybody who connects to the system.

This is the way simple PBX queues often work. Continue reading The Right Agent For the Job

Thousands helping Millions, Helping Your Federated Call Center Deployment

Thousands of volunteer experts have worked on Asterisk since 1999. This has made it into a powerhouse platform for telephony that you can use in your own system. Today it is a proven technology used by millions of users. Call centers and major PBX users are abandoning their legacy proprietary telephone switches to get the benefits offered by this Open-Source system. Continue reading Thousands helping Millions, Helping Your Federated Call Center Deployment

Audio Files in the Call Center ACD

Audio plays an integral part in our lives. It can be a vessel for communication and a source of entertainment, among other things. In a call center ACD, audio is a vital portion of a center’s configuration. Continue reading Audio Files in the Call Center ACD

Inbound Campaign Scheduling in the Call Center ACD

Configuring an inbound IVR that takes advantage of queues and skills-based routing is a great building block in your call center ACD for Asterisk. Even though the flexibility of the Q-Suite’s dialplan builder is high, you may encounter situations where a single IVR just may not handle all of your desired scenarios. Campaign scheduling can help you solve these issues. Continue reading Inbound Campaign Scheduling in the Call Center ACD

Enhanced multi-channel ACD routing to improve call center software efficiency

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.

Building a Basic Inbound Contact Center ACD

Implementing an inbound contact center using Asterisk can be simple or difficult, depending on the needs of the center. This post is going to focus on creating a basic inbound campaign that will incorporate a direct inward dialing (DID) number, an IVR, and a few queues. Continue reading Building a Basic Inbound Contact Center ACD

Localization and Other Benefits of Inbound Call Routing

When handling inbound calls, directing calls to the appropriate destination while balancing resource availability is key to ensuring an optimal experience for the caller.  For many call centers, skills-based routing ACD call center software is all that is needed.  Other centers may have differing demands.  In some cases, calls may be routed in different ways depending on various criteria, such as location, the DID dialed, user input or information pulled from the client record while still in the dialplan.
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Using Agent Skill Priority in Skills-Based Routing

Skill priority is a topic that has been covered before in this blog, in the case where skills are being used and we want to ensure that calls are routed evenly.  However, we have found that some are unclear on the benefits of assigning differing levels of skill to agents.
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