VoIP – Running a Call Center

Call center features, or even the concept of a call center are usually well out of the range of a small medium business (SMB) when considering a tradition PBX. Call center features traditionally come with PSTN PBX, at a large price and with a prohibitive license fee per seat. However, with VoIP solution it doesn’t have to be that way in fact it can be very affordable.


An Affordable VoIP Call Center

So what makes VoIP so suitable for an affordable Call center whether that be a local or a remote union of home workers?

Well, VoIP can handle automatic call redistribution, through either administered hunt groups, or availability searches. There is also the feature whereby an administrator can configure skill based routing, in this scenario customer calls are delivered to the best person suited to answer the call. In a busy Call center, more calls will be delivered to the highly experienced agents and less to those undergoing training.


So What are the Features?

Hunt Group

A hunt group in telephony is when an administrator assigns agents (extensions) to a specific group. The VoIP PBX will handle every incoming call by directing it too, and ringing each available extension in turn.

Blast Group

An administrator typically configures a blast group for emergency numbers whereby all members of the group’s extensions will ring simultaneously. This is to ensure that an agent will pick up the incoming call with the minimum delay.

Skill Based Routing

When skill based routing is configured its goal is to assign each agent with a skill rating with respect to each product or technology. The goal of course is for the IVR to accurately pass the customer’s call to the most suitable agent to handle the query. Skill based routing is achieved by the administrator assigning a weighting per skill to each agent. The PBX when receiving the customer’s call, will dependent on their topic selection, then assign a call, against a look up table for most appropriate skilled agent.


Call ID Recognition

A VoIP service can recognize the incoming telephone number and then check it against a list of known numbers such as in Outlook or a CRM database and display on screen for the agent’s benefit the caller’s history.


CRM & Outlook Integration

The ability of the PBX to identify an incoming call via caller recognition (CDI) is only a small part of CRM and eMail customer integration. By being able to identify the incoming call the system can trigger a CRM client look up that will show on the agents screen the clients history and call records. This provides on screen to the agent the client’s personal details and their history of dealings with the company.

It is also handy to deliver calls to the correct department by diverting and queuing calls to the correct department or specialist.

In addition, manager’s can monitor and supervise calls by listening in, this allows them to assist on problem calls or just mentor a trainee for call quality. They can also record and interrupt if needed.

Call Board

The vast amount of statistics and logs that are obtained through each call and that are stored in standard databases, allows for VoIP systems to pull that information and present it in call board graphics and reports that allow a supervisor/manager to see instantly the performance of each agent within the team.

Instant Messaging

The fact that VoIP is carried over UDP/IP  allows inter-exchange with other IP packages and reporting systems. It also facilitates the sending of SIP based messages across the network from one agent to another whilst being transparent to the client. This of course presents employee presence which is important when a Call center’s agents are spread around the country or working from home.

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