Call Centers

Topics: Computer telephony integration, Automatic call distributor, Call centre Pages: 6 (1757 words) Published: May 24, 2012
Call Centers

Roshni N. Makwana

A call centre is a centralised office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone. A call centre is operated by a company to administer incoming product support or information inquiries from consumers. Outgoing calls for telemarketing, clientele, product services, and debt collection are also made. In addition to a call centre, collective handling of letters, faxes, live chat, and e-mails at one location is known as a contact centre. A call centre is often operated through an extensive open workspace for call centre agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a telephone set/headset connected to a telecom switch, and one or more supervisor stations. It can be independently operated or networked with additional centres, often linked to a corporate computer network, including mainframes, microcomputers and LANs. Increasingly, the voice and data pathways into the centre are linked through a set of new technologies called computer telephony integration (CTI) A contact centre, also known as customer interaction centre is a central point of any organization from which all customer contacts are managed. Through contact centres, valuable information about company are routed to appropriate people, contacts to be tracked and data to be gathered. It is generally a part of company’s customer relationship management (CRM). Today, customers contact companies by calling, emailing, chatting online, visiting websites, faxing, and even instant messaging.

Features of a call centre
The business phone systems technology used to support a call center is based on a phone system switch and the servers that power the call center applications. A wide variety of vendors, products and configurations could be used – the best configuration ultimately depends on the current and planned needs of your business or organization, as well as existing phone equipment and infrastructure. Call Distribution

Call distribution features handle the routing and disposition of incoming calls to a call center. A customer’s first impression begins with how well they are distributed through the calling queue and how soon they find the information they need or are transferred to a live agent. Listed below are a few different call routing features. 1. ACD – Automatic Call Distribution

This feature handles large volumes of incoming calls from callers, routing calls to agents, IVR functions, voice mail or other destinations based on criteria such as the source of the call, matching the caller's phone number to a database, country or area code of the caller, time of day, and many other factors that may apply. The most common call distribution function is to queue calls to a pool of call center reps or agents. If no agents are available at that time they may hear a recorded message the call then kept in a holding queue until the next available agent is available. You will decide what options will be available to your customers such as what information will be relayed on the message whether or not they are advised of their hold times and so forth. 2. UCD – Uniform Call Distributor

UCD is similar to ACD, but is simpler in that it mainly handles just queuing and distribution of calls to agents. 3. IVR – Interactive Voice Response
IVR (also known as Voice Response Unit, or VRU) is a phone system technology that allows a computer application to handle a customer call, and to interact with the customer via voice commands and touch tone during the call. The IVR system can respond to pre-recorded generated audio to further direct callers on how to proceed. For large call centers this feature has proven to be very successful. For example, many customers are just looking for basic information such as an address or fax number which they can access through the...
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