Contact centre technologies – Issue one

Hello, from Aculab call central.

My name is Joeb Logger and in this post, the first of a few, I’ll be looking at the technology used in contact centres. If you’ve got a question, you’re welcome to post it below, in the comments section.

Nothing new

Multi-channel contact centres are not a new concept. They have been around for years and are a vital business tool for many organisations. Contact centres play a central part in developing customer relationships and revenues.

In the early days, when we used to refer to them as call centres, the majority were intended to handle inbound call traffic. These days, there are as many outbound contact centres as there are inbound.

Usage strategies

Many businesses incorporate proactive notification strategies in their operations. Some companies make voice and/or fax broadcasting their business, sending out information as diverse as weather alerts or ‘snow day’ warnings for schools and colleges, and political messages, which go out during election campaigns. In the healthcare sector, broadcast fax is used extensively in the management of appointments to improve things like ‘did not attend’ performance. And of course, debt and subscription collections make extensive use of predictive dialler systems.

The technologies

The technologies used are often referred to as interactive voice messaging (IVM) or ‘outbound IVR’ or predictive dialling. However, those technologies rely on other functionalities, such as call progress analysis (CPA) and answering machine detection (AMD).

The functionalities

I’ll cover CPA and AMD in more detail in future blog posts, but at this stage:

  • CPA takes place during the pre- and post-connect phases of an outbound call attempt. Its purpose is to guarantee contacts by screening or filtering no-answers, busy signals and disconnects, in order to present only live speakers to contact centre agents.
  • AMD is a function of CPA and is used to distinguish whether a call is being answered by a human or an answering machine, or if a voicemail greeting is being presented on the line.
The ultimate test

The ultimate test of these enabling technologies is how quickly and accurately their analysis can differentiate between the various line tones, ‘PIN numbers’, a human “Hello?” or an answering machine, before connecting the call to your agent.

Next post due soon – don’t miss it

Check back next week for more, when I’ll be taking a closer look at where such functionalities are used.

Bye for now!

Joeb Logger Avatar
  - Joeb Logger

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