CompuTools Business Communication Solutions

Teleplex in Inbound Call Center Applications

Good inbound call handling is all about promptly getting your customer connected to the right person, and with a minimum of fuss for everybody. This page discusses some of the basic features of Teleplex and techniques used to help you improve your customer service.

Teleplex Inbound Call Center ImageYour Customers. You might already have a Web site or IVR application for customer self-service, but often times the human touch is required. Inbound Call Centers are used for all kinds of situations such as order processing, insurance policy handling, product technical support, reservations, and others.

Your Staff. A typical Center Center has a number of agents—your sales or support people—who handle the calls. Additionally, there may be supervisors who for train and manage the agents.

Automatically Direct Calls by Product or Service. The Call Center typically has one call queue per product or service. (The queue is known as an "ACD", or "Automatic Call Distribution" unit.  A traditional ACD is large black box, whereas in Teleplex it is a software module.) A customer entering a queue is greeted with your corporate greeting. Next you might play announcements about new products, and perhaps ask for the customer's account number. Then, you probably play some music or news while the caller waits for an agent. There are no limits on what you can do here—its all up to how you want to present your service organization.

Connect Quickly to the Right Person. As agents become available, the call is immediately transferred based on the criteria for that particular queue such as Caller ID, customer priority, customer input, date/time, or by trunk line. The call can even be transferred to the customer's preferred agent. You can announce the expected wait time if desired, and when you are extremely busy you might want to give the caller an option so that you can call them back later.

(There are other possible variations to the contact pattern.  For example, you can have an "Automated Attendant" where the caller is prompted for the desired department or extension to contact. You decide how to present your Call Center based on your requirements, but this discussion focuses on using ACD queues.)

Agents always login to at least one queue. However, agents who are familiar with multiple products can login to any number of queues. "Skills-based routing" is applied to each agent in each queue, which means that your best sales or support people will handle the majority of calls, but when you are extremely busy, junior staff can assist, too.  In many other systems, the agent has to logout and login again, or be moved by a supervisor in order to handle a different class of call. This is both time-consuming and awkward.

So that those multi-skilled agents can distinguish between different kinds of calls, Teleplex can play a message such as "This call about widgets."), display such information in a "screen pop", or both.

Speed Up the Contact Process.  Basic call information such as the Caller ID and Caller Name, as well as other detailed customer "pop-up" data appropriate to your business can also be displayed instantly on the agent's desktop screen.  This might include, for example, the caller's purchase history, policy information, or recent support issues.  Therefore, the agent can immediately get to work on helping the customer.

We Measure, You Manage. At the end of a call, Teleplex stores standard call results including an outcome code (such as "Problem solved" or "Sale made"), and perhaps a follow-up comment entered by the agent. This information is important in determining if you are providing good first call resolution, or whether you might need to improve your call handling process.  And, your own custom result data can be stored such as a reservation or an order. Storing the data can then automatically trigger follow-up processes.

Additionally, Teleplex collects detailed call and agent statistics that can be viewed in real-time by supervisors, managers, and IT staff to gauge call and agent activity, and the boss can just look at the wallboard screen to see today's sales level. The same data can be used later in historical reports to help identify trends, determine staffing requirements, and to evaluate individual, team, and overall agent performance.

Help for the Agents. Agents sometimes need assistance handling a troublesome caller, or perhaps for answering a tough question. With Teleplex, supervisors can either coach the agent (known to the caller), or monitor the call in listen-only mode. Agents can also record a call, "escalate" (transfer) the call, or establish a conference with a more knowledgeable staff member. When a call is transferred, all of the data collected so far is transferred with the call, so there is no time wasted asking the customer the same questions again.

Flexibility. Agents can be connected directly to Teleplex, through a legacy PBX, or remotely via the Internet or a private network from home or a branch office. System settings can be changed at any time using intuitive, easy-to-use configuration and management screens as your needs change and your business grows.

Finally, not all applications require a PC, so all queue features (except "screen pop") can be used with just an ordinary telephone. This is a a great way to set up an ad hoc emergency center, or a simple Help Desk system.

Sleeping IT Staff imageIT Staff. We forgot to mention this. Many Call Center systems are difficult to manage, and require constant attention by IT specialists. The IT Staff member shown here is not overworked—he is bored stiff—because Teleplex is an easy-to-use, mature, and stable product. You should find something more challenging for him to do, or go play golf together with some of those happy customers.