10 Ways to Control Time in the Call Center ACD

Shocking fact: Your callers don’t enjoy waiting to speak to an agent.

Sometimes it’s not the actual amount of time waiting, though. It’s the perception of time.

Everyone’s experienced the perception of time issue. You’re sitting in a meeting, and you look at the clock. After what seems like hours, you see it’s only been a few minutes. You get home from work. You finally have a chance to that thing you wanted to do. You start doing it, then after 10 minutes you look at the clock and an hour has passed. Continue reading 10 Ways to Control Time in the Call Center ACD

Why is no one answering? A few reasons why outbound dialing can be frustrating

We tend to get this type of question more that we should. To an inexperienced user, this symptom seems like a system issue, where more often than not, it’s a simple misunderstanding of the system’s capability. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common reasons why people aren’t answering your outbound contact center calls.

Continue reading Why is no one answering? A few reasons why outbound dialing can be frustrating

Introducing our new API

Still Life of an Electrical Wall Outlet Overloaded with Wires and Cables

As you may have seen already, we’re about to release a major new version of our call centre software. One of the major changes we have made is that we have completely replaced the API for 2nd and 3rd party developers.

As Q-Suite is over 16 years old, technology has evolved along with it. Looking back on old call centre technologies can make us feel nostalgic, but we shouldn’t be feeling nostalgic when looking at our current API set. This is why we decided to replace our multiple API sets with a single one that can be accessed over different technologies.

Our 6.0 API can be accessed over a websocket, REST, or STOMP connection with the same command set. These will replace our .NET libraries, XML over HTTP, and proprietary binary protocol APIs.

As an example, let’s take a look at the API call that’s used to log in. We send the command with the username and password and a unique token for the request.

{
 "api": "authenticate",
 "version": "1",
 "token": "71c0ac12-9b3a-11e4-9898-74d435e8439b",
 "hostname": "127.0.0.1",
 "username": "test",
 "password": "test"
 }

The server then returns the response:

{
 "api": "authenticate",
 "version": 1,
 "timestamp": "2015-05-20T17:33:10.812Z",
 "microseconds": 90000,
 "token": "71c0ac12-9b3a-11e4-9898-74d435e8439b",
 "success": true,
 "data": {
     "userId": 11,
     "authKey": "19407819-be9b-4fec-9339-d97845019b33"
     }
 }

While we’ll still be supporting our old APIs on our 5.X platform for the time being, we believe the transition to the new one will worthwhile as it will open up many new features and provide a much more consistent way of interfacing with our software.

Large and In Charge: Tips for Call Center Capacity Planning

You have a successful contact center in operation and things are going well. The site isn’t having any issues with call quality, database latency, or agent portal usage. It’s a wonderful thing. You have a new client coming on board and all of a sudden, you need four times the capacity and throughput that your site currently handles and handles well. While the new business is certainly welcomed, how can you expand, efficiently and effectively, to meet these new requirements for your contact center? Continue reading Large and In Charge: Tips for Call Center Capacity Planning

Hold it steady! Hold it steady! It’s good! How to use Hold in your Call Center

Another year and another Super Bowl has passed us by. With all the hoopla that comes from the two weeks between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl itself, talking about quarterbacks-this and defences-that, it’s not really surprising that the guys responsible for holding the footballs in place for their kickers get next to no attention. Even though this role is highly overlooked, it can be amazingly crucial to the outcome of a game. Good or even great holds that result in points for the team are par for the course. However, a botched hold can ultimately end a team’s season and perhaps even their chance to take home the Vince Lombardi trophy. We’ve seen these before with Tony Romo in real-life and with Ray Finkle in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective for a hilariously fictional take on the situation. The bottom line here is that holding is very important and let’s have a look at how this can be done in a proper manner.

Continue reading Hold it steady! Hold it steady! It’s good! How to use Hold in your Call Center

Super Bowl 50 is Coming! Effectively Handling Volume Spikes in your Contact Center ACD

 It’s that time of year again. Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend. Regardless of which teams happen to be playing in the big game, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers in this case, it is must-see TV. People watch for various reasons. They want to watch the game itself, they just care about the commercials and the halftime show, or they just want an excuse to hang out with friends on a Sunday night. Whatever your reasoning for watching the Super Bowl, the bottom line is that millions and millions of people tune in who normally would not be tuning in if it were any given Sunday. With the most-watched sporting event worldwide looming on the horizon, let’s have a look at how you can handle volume spikes in your contact center ACD.

Continue reading Super Bowl 50 is Coming! Effectively Handling Volume Spikes in your Contact Center ACD

Are the Kardashians Hurting Your Business?

You have a bunch of agents you’d like to keep busy, but call volumes are low. You can’t send anyone home, because it might get busy later. You’ll go broke if your agents spend most of their time discussing their favorite Kardashian.

Do you have to wait for people to call in? Continue reading Are the Kardashians Hurting Your Business?

If You Can’t Give Up When Your Caller Does

Sometimes your callers really mess things up for you.

You’ve spent hours building and tweaking and testing your Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Music on hold. Audio prompts. Web services to tie the call together with a contact in your CRM.

The visual IVR builder gives you plenty of options for collecting data, sending data, and routing calls. The drag-and-drop interface lets you get your IVR built fast so you can test and perfect it.

The built-in features are fantastic for collecting data about calls and updating your CRM. Or even letting your agents know a call came in. But, sometimes you need to guarantee that the information goes into your CRM.

Then the caller hangs up before that can happen.

Why?!

Continue reading If You Can’t Give Up When Your Caller Does

Calling Web Services in Your Asterisk IVR

Web services in Asterisk dialplans

CRM or data integration aren’t things that you often associate with your inbound IVR.  That usually happens at the agent screen level. Sometimes, it’s handy to be able to pull data from an external data source and redirect the call based on the result. Continue reading Calling Web Services in Your Asterisk IVR