Overview • The need for automation. • Automated call distributors (ACDs). • Interactive voice response (IVR). • Computer telephony integration (CTI).
The Need for Automation • Help desks began to use automated telephone systems to manage and route the large volume of incoming calls. • Private branch exchange (PBX) and Centrex systems are automated telephone systems.
The Need for Automation Private branch exchange (PBX): • A PBX is an internal telephone network. • Users share a certain number of lines for making telephone calls outside the company. • A PBX system allows calls to come in to the company from external telephone lines. • A PBX is less expensive than connecting an external telephone line to every telephone in an organization.
The Need for Automation A diagram of a PBX network
The Need for Automation Centrex (central exchange services) system: • In a Centrex system, a pool of telephone lines is leased at the phone company’s central office. • In this system, the telephone company owns and houses the equipment at their location. • The number of employees who may request an outside line at any given moment is not restricted.
The Need for Automation Centrex (central exchange services) system (continued): • This service is easy to set up, can easily be upgraded, and is highly reliable. • The hiring company lacks control over the system. It has little control over the quality of service provided. • It has fewer features than many PBX systems. • It costs more to lease equipment than to purchase a system over the long term.
Automated Call Distributors (ACDs) • ACDs are telephone systems that route calls, prioritize calls, and play recorded messages. • They record the number of calls in the system, the number of dropped calls, and the average hold time. • ACD systems offer many features and hence are in widespread use. • The most important functions of an ACD system are call routing and data collection.
Automated Call Distributors (ACDs) • Call routing. • Methods for routing calls. • Data collection.
Call Routing • Call routing forwards a call to the appropriate help desk analyst without the need for human intervention. • Routing systems are also used to ensure that calls are answered within an acceptable period of time. • ACD systems allow calls to be routed on the basis of the resources available and the needs of users. • Routing software is dynamic.
Call Routing Call routing with an ACD system
Methods for Routing Calls • Skill-based routing (SBR) is a popular method of routing calls. • SBR forwards the call to the agent who can best handle the request. • The objective of SBR is to ﬁnd the routing arrangement that provides maximum efficiency, productivity, and user satisfaction.
Methods for Routing Calls The most common types of SBR are: • Skills-based routing with multiple agent groups. • Skills-based routing with user-defined rules. • Complex skills-based routing.
Data Collection • ACDs collect and store data about each call. • Using the data, the ACD creates management reports that are used to monitor and evaluate help desk efficiency. • Managers can determine the number of calls abandoned, the average hold time of calls, and other statistics.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) • IVR networks are telephone-based systems that allow individuals to interact with a telephone using the keypad. • They provide automated help to users, collect caller information, and route calls to the appropriate help desk agents.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) • IVR systems allow a user to initiate an action. • If integrated with other help desk technology, users can report problems, make requests, or check request status via IVR prompts.
Interactive Voice Response • Voice applications. • Voice over Internet protocol (voIP). • Speech recognition and speech-to-text conversion. • Collection of caller information and assistance for people with motor skill impairments. • Obtain status of most recent open request and authenticate callers.
Voice Applications • In voice application, users can interact with the help desk by speaking their requests. • This technology is used for the voice-dialing feature in wireless telephones. • Advantages of voice applications is that it is time saving.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) • VoIP (or Internet Protocol telephony) is a technology that allows voice calls to be routed over the Internet or a corporate intranet. • Internet telephony allows computer users to speak to one another via the Internet. • The advantage of VoIP is the elimination of almost all long-distance billing charges.
Speech Recognition and Speech to Text Conversion • Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is computer software that recognizes human speech. • It translates human speech into instructions that computer programs can process. • Speech-to-text technology has a 90 to 95 percent accuracy rate. • Drawback of speech-to-text technology is the amount of time required to set up the software.
Collection Of Caller Information and Assistance for People with Motor Skill Impairments • Speech technology enables the collection of information from a caller, such as user ID, user name, and type of problem. • It saves time since an analyst receives background information on the caller before picking up a call. • Rather than using a keyboard to input data about a problem, the analyst speaks commands that control the cursor.
Obtain Status of Most Recent Open Request and Authenticate Callers • Speech recognition technology enables users to track their open requests in the problem management system. • The use of speech recognition technology saves time for the user and for the help desk. • A speech authenticator is a biometrics-based system that provides secure access to a company’s telephone and computer resources.
Computer Telephony Integration(CTI) • Integration of the telephone and computer-based systems is known as computer telephony integration (CTI). • CTI is made possible by middleware applications. • Middleware application is software that connects two or more separate applications across a computer network.
Computer Telephony Integration(CTI) • Widespread availability. • Features and benefits. • Advantages of CTI.
Widespread Availability • Help desks use servers instead of mainframe computers to process and store information. • In a Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI) environment, the physical connection between a computer and the telephone system is made at desktop level. • In Telephony Services Application Programming Interface (TSAPI) environment, the telephone is connected to the server on a network, which is connected to a user’s PC.
Features and Benefits • Automatic display of caller and call details. • Routing of voice, fax, e-mail, text messaging, and live chat into a unified queue. • Retrieval of voice, fax, and e-mail from a single location. • Delivery of automated responses. • Data analysis and reporting functions.
Automatic Display of Caller and Call Details • Screen pop is a screen that displays information about the user. • It also shows hardware and software conﬁguration, recent upgrades, and prior problems. • By linking information in computer databases with incoming call information, the user and the agent save their time.
Routing of Voice, Fax, E-mail, Text Messaging, and Live Chat Into a Unified Queue • A unified queue is a system through which all incoming requests pass. • All user inquiries, whether in the form of e-mail, live chat, or telephone, enter the same system. • A set of rules established by the help desk determines the priority of a call and where it will be routed. • Unified routing and queuing provides valuable data to the help desk manager, including real-time queue data.
Retrieval of Voice, Fax, and E-mail From a Single Location • Unified messaging enables agents to access all messages and requests in a single location. • It helps save time and increases productivity.
Retrieval of Voice, Fax, and E-mail From a Single Location Unified messaging capabilities in a help desk environment: • Listening to voice, e-mail, and fax messages on a telephone. • Listening to voice messages on a PC. • Sending voice messages via e-mail. • Sending e-mail via fax. • Listening to voice, e-mail, and fax messages via wireless phone. • Distributing a message to several recipients.
Delivery of Automated Responses • An auto attendant is a phone system that answers calls with a recorded message and provides prerecorded solutions. • CTI can provide real-time information on the status of the entire telephone system. • It provides real-time data on every agent, every user, and every outstanding request. • Reports can be created from within the CTI programs.
Advantages of CTI • Provision of services such as caller identification, call routing, and automated response. • Integration of different user access methods. • Efﬁcient use of available help desk resources. • Integration of technology systems.
Summary • Private branch exchange (PBX) and Centrex systems are automated telephone systems. • The types of skill-based routing are multiple agent groups, with user defined rules, and complex. • IVR networks are telephone-based systems that allow individuals to interact with a telephone using the keypad. • Integration of telephone and computer-based systems is known as computer telephony integration (CTI).