Contact centre technologies – Issue four

Hello, from Aculab call central.

In this post, the fourth of a few more, I’ll continue delving into the technology used in contact centres. If you’ve got a question, you’re welcome to post it below, in the comments section.

Managing calls

Last time around, I offered a closer look at call progress analysis (CPA) and answering machine detection (AMD) in contact centres.

This time, I’ll take a brief look at what happens next and what the implications that I alluded to are.

Managing the call depends on the results of CPA. For example, if it detects a network condition based on a triple tone, it will abort the action and attempt another call. On the other hand, in the case of interactive voice messaging (IVM), the call will be connected to some form of automated message playback. Only if a call is answered by a human will it be transferred to an available agent.

Rules and regulations

Strict rules about the nature of any automated message playback are enforced by the appropriate regulatory authorities. That has differing implications in different jurisdictions.

In some countries, the use of outbound dialling for IVM is considered as potential misuse. In others, the conclusion has been that the use of IVM does not intrinsically constitute misuse. Indeed, when used for non-marketing purposes, it has received little adverse customer reaction and can be of widespread public benefit.

In the United States, for example, outbound voice broadcast is widely used in electioneering campaigns associated with party presidential candidature. Interestingly, in contrast, one of the United Kingdom political parties fell foul of regulations in the past by conducting a similar campaign, which was branded a nuisance and led to the threat of prosecution.

The potential for nuisance can be mitigated by the use of technology.

Mitigation

If CPA determines that the call was answered by voicemail, a pre-recorded or text-to-speech (TTS) synthesised message can be played, although this is not required by legislation and, typically, is not done. Nevertheless, it might be considered good practice to inform the customer of the nature of the call or provide a call-back number. After all, not leaving a voice message when a call is answered by an answering machine can be a cause of anxiety to the called party just as much as a silent call.

Abandoned calls

On the other hand, if the call is likely to be abandoned i.e., there’s no agent available to take a call answered by a person, a brief information message giving details about the call should be played. Note that such steps to reduce the impact of abandoned calls are often a regulatory requirement and that a call is classed as abandoned, even if a message is played.

Next time, I’ll focus on the scourge of abandoned calls in more detail. Catch you then; bye!

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  - Joeb Logger

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