ACD, aka Automatic Call Distribution, is a telephony software tool that automates incoming call distribution amongst your staff. A business can define rules for how this distribution takes place, based on their needs. Generally, an ACD works with your call routing parameters to connect callers to the right department; and then follows another set of rules to determine how these calls are distributed amongst your workforce. First, Understand Call Routing There are two steps to distributing your calls perfectly amongst your workforce. The first step is call routing. Call Routing is a set of rules that determine which agent, or group of agents, should answer your call, at which time. This could be based on agent skills, timings, or customer priority. Suppose, your customer needs to speak with someone who has a particular expertise; this system will route their call to this expert agent. Or, if someone needs a person who speaks their language, the call routing system helps them connect with the apt person. (Also Read: Skill Routing.) You can even ensure that a customer is routed to the same agent every single time. Apart from this, you have multiple ways to route calls as per customer priority or customer category. (Also Read: How to make your customer feel like a VIP) Second, Decode ACD At Ozonetel, we consider ACD or Automatic Call Distribution, as the second feature that comes into play when routing calls. Let’s say your call has routed to the correct department, based on your routing rules. Now, how do you distribute these calls amongst all the agents qualified to take the call? That’s where you use your ACD, or automatic call distributor, to take care of things. Here are the two different ways in which you can set up your ACD: Idle Agent First In this kind of call distribution, the system sends the call to the agent who has handled the least duration of calls so far. How does your system calculate this? Simple. Every agent logs in to receive calls, so the system keeps track of both talk time and idle times for each agent. Based on this, it sends calls to the agent with the maximum idle time. This means that, suppose Agent 1 has answered three calls so far, totaling 20 minutes; and Agent 2 has answered two calls totaling 30 minutes, the call goes to Agent 1. In other words, work is not distributed based on the number of calls, but on total call duration. Result: Total talk time is evenly distributed amongst your workforce. Round Robin The other way to distribute calls is via Round Robin. In this system, we have a fixed sequence for distributing calls. Let’s say you have assigned a sequence: Agent 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. When a call comes in, if Agent 1 does not answer, it passes on to Agent 2, and so on, until the call is finally answered. Let’s say Agent 3 answers this call. Then the next call [...]
About Rampradeep KumarRam is a Technical Solution Consultant at Ozonetel. He delves deep into the minutiae of how each cloud telephony feature can be used to improve contact center performance.
To create a productive work environment, it is essential to have a ‘complete’ support system in place. And sooner or later, that means a well-managed phone support system. Because sooner or later, your live chat, emails or messaging won't cut it—your customer will want to speak to a trained, knowledgeable company representative. And when they do, they’ll expect the call to connect fast. And when it connects, they’ll expect your agent to recognize them, know their problem, and sort it out immediately. That’s why just having phone support isn't enough. You need a well-managed system for automatically logging calls, recognizing customers, connecting to idle agents from the correct department and monitoring call quality. In short, a complete contact center from within Zendesk. Luckily for Zendesk users, installing KOOKOO Is now a one-step process. This blog revisits the advantages of this integration. Goodbye Complex Roll-out The KOOKOO CloudAgent widget is an easy to install, web browser-based application that requires zero installation effort. Being a VoIP system, there are zero upfront costs with respect to equipment and training of agents thanks to our intuitive design. (For countries where VOIP calling is allowed, this means slashed phone bills too). Zendesk Talk users just need to click to install KOOKOO. PSTN connectivity is available too. (All users who need PSTN connectivity on-premise or via cloud, may contact us here.) Unified View with Advanced Agent Controls Adding phone support should not mean unnecessary work for your agents. KOOKOO CloudAgent integrates with your Zendesk account to give agents a unified view. The call dashboard opens within Zendesk, and existing caller tickets automatically displays for all incoming calls. The dashboard offers advanced call control features such as call mute, hold, start/stop recording, tripartite or multi-party conference right from the Zendesk interface. Agents can also use the warm transfer tools to pass the call to managers/3rd party based on the requirement. The Click2Call function lets agents dial numbers directly from the contact/lead page of Zendesk. Empowered Agents, Informed Managers Having a screen pop-up of customer profile and ticketing history for every incoming or outgoing call ensures that callers needn’t repeat their case details every single time. It also ensures that agents don’t have to jump screens to scrape for contextual information. KOOKOO CloudAgent makes it easier to manage your agents too. Managers can select from 70+reports to analyze your agent performance, recognize customer call patterns, abandoned calls or call recordings. The call barge-in feature enables managers to monitor calls in real-time too. Managers can listen to a call without interrupting, talk to the agent while the customer goes on hold or mediate to resolve bottlenecks through this feature. Advanced features like Speech Analytics can help managers predefine performance points based on skill/process for enhanced supervision. Customized IVR Workflows and Campaigns KOOKOO supports many advanced IVR features. This includes drag-and-drop IVR creation through which lets you design complex IVRs without breaking a sweat. The flexible IVR options include creating customized text-to-audio or pre-recorded voice prompts to guide your customers [...]
- You might have a contact center with 500 agents. But if you do not recognize their skills and put them to good use, you wont make the most of your workforce. All your agents are making and receiving calls — some more than the others, some better than the others. Your contact center’s efficiency depends substantially on whether the right agents are on the right calls. How do you ensure this? You set up a system that directs these calls to agents based on certain parameters. This is where you set up your skill-based, time-based, priority-based or campaign-based call routing. Route calls based on agent capabilities The skill-based method of call routing involves identifying an agent’s skills and assigning calls from a particular group to him or her based on those skills. For example, if you have an agent that speaks fluent German in addition to English, you route calls from German-speaking callers to this agent. So, just like you sort your callers into categories such as VIPs, complainants, first-time callers, you also group your agents based on their areas of specialization and map them to the right group. One agent might be exceptionally patient and able to handle a frustrated caller while the other might be an old hand and knows how to keep your VIP callers happy. How this helps: Superior customer satisfaction: When you connect callers to the right agent in the first attempt and resolve issues faster, everybody is happy. Your caller is the happiest because s/he hasn’t spent several minutes getting transferred from one agent to another. Helps with your metrics: Skill-based call routing is a logical step towards ensuring your metrics such as Average Speed of Answer and Average Handle Time are at their optimum. Agents can get to calls faster, queue time is short and calls resolve faster. Better workforce management: You can map callers to agents based on what they are good at. There is little scope for under or over-utilization of manpower. Clued-in agents: Since agents know what calls they will handle beforehand, they are better prepared and are not left fumbling for answers. High FCR rate: We have seen that skill-based routing results increase the chances of first call resolutions Place the most skilled agent first Create skill groups: Calls get routed only to agents who have been mapped to a particular skill. The first step is to identify the skill of an agent and to map them to a particular group. For example, sales or support. You can map agents to two skills. For example, Nina is mapped to the “German” skill group and to “sales” skill group. Use your IVR: The IVR will give the caller options that have been listed according to skill groups: for sales queries, dial 1, for complaints, dial 2…and so on. For example, if you are in the hospitality business, you can give callers options such as ‘Reservations and Cancellations’, ‘Accounts’, ‘Memberships’ and so on. If a caller selects the first option [...]
Interactive Voice Response systems or IVR are the core of your contact center solution. They greet customers, collect caller intent and channel calls to the right department. But this isn’t all. You can use Outbound IVR or IVR blasts to proactively connect with your customers. This article tells you exactly how. WHAT ARE OUTBOUND IVR CAMPAIGNS? Outbound IVR Campaigns can be used to send automated but personalized messages to all your customers. You can use it to: Collect customer feedback at the end of a call. Conduct automated customer surveys. Remind customers about appointments, due dates, last dates, bill payments. Notify customers about promotional offers. or send them seasonal greetings. HOW CAN YOU PERSONALISE YOUR OUTBOUND IVR CAMPAIGNS? You can personalize your outbound IVR campaigns in much the same way as you personalize your mass emails. For example, if you are sending a due date reminder: You simply add a field for customer name, bill amount, due date. The IVR will collect this information via API integration with your CRM and send each customer a personalized reminder. WHAT FEATURES SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR IN AN OUTBOUND IVR PROVIDER? Same IVR provider for outbound and inbound IVR. Outbound IVRs are not standalone systems. The same IVR that you use for Inbound IVR can be used for your Outbound IVR campaigns. Personalization Options. It’s a cardinal rule: nobody, absolutely nobody, sends generic messages anymore. Personalizing with a name is absolutely essential. If you are sending a payment or subscription reminder, you may need to add details of your customer plans/program details and dues. It’s easy to add these fields to your IVR message. And your IVR will draw the data automatically from your database to send personalized messages. Deep Integration with CRM system. Whether you have Salesforce, Zoho, Zendesk or even a custom CRM solution —your IVR should easily be able to draw data from here. So ensure your provider can manage a deep and seamless integration. Flexibility and Complete control. When you get a new IVR solution, there is a catch. Every time you need to change the message, create new promotions or campaigns you need to contact (and pay) your IVR Provider to design it for you. This can be very limiting. Ozonetel offers an intuitive drag &drop IVR Designer that lets you create and change your campaign anytime you want. IVR is different from Robo-calling because it allows you to collect responses and personalize every call. Ozonetel has been providing inbound and outbound IVR solutions for over a decade. If you are curious to know how it works, do Contact us here for a demo.
Call listening not only helps train agents but also translates into customer satisfaction. How should you keep track of your customer support quality? Or the quality of your sales calls? The answer is simple: you listen. Sure, there are a lot of metrics that can help you figure out customer satisfaction and agent performance. But once you have the metrics, listening is how you begin improving those conversations. So what are the telephony tools that can help you? Your cloud contact center offers a lot of call monitoring and call listening tools and features. This article uncovers a few. What is call monitoring? Call monitoring involves listening in on a call between your contact center agents and customers/prospects to check the quality of the conversation. What’s the need for call monitoring? Call monitoring is one of the most potent quality assurance tools. It is almost like conducting a survey about how satisfied your customer is but doing it real-time instead of in retrospect. When you listen to an agent talking to your customer as it happens, you understand the customer’s experience and your agents convincing skills. Call monitoring serves several purposes: Analyze the real reason behind your metrics Your metrics such as AHT, FCR and CSAT can give you a good measure of call center performance. But to investigate what's behind the metrics, you need to use call monitoring and call listening tools. For example, If an agent’s AHT(Average Handle Time) is higher, you can investigate why the agent took longer to close a call. Figure when your metrics don't give you an accurate picture. Call monitoring can also tell when you need to be less rigid with your metrics. For example, a call that lasted longer than your AHT does not necessarily mean it wasn’t effective. It could mean the agent went the extra mile to resolve a customer’s query. Similarly, you may find an agent has deviated from the script only to ensure a customer is satisfied with the response or a solution. This way, call monitoring can also tell you when it is time for introspection. Better customer service: Whenever customer satisfaction scores are dropping, call monitoring lets you take instant steps to arrest the fall. Agent training: You can use recordings of well-handled and poorly-tackled calls as case studies when training contact center agents. You can also intervene during a call if you think it is not going in a positive direction and offer the agent constructive solutions. First call resolution: When an agent is aware that the call is being listened to, he or she will do their best to ensure the caller’s issue is resolved in the first call itself. This instills the kind of confidence in a customer that no paper warranty can. Timely intervention: When a manager is listening in on a call and notices that the agent is unable to solve a problem, he or she can intervene right then and advise the agent on what to do next. This saves [...]