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Providing options for callers to you contact center after normal business hours is always a good practice. Our standard “after hours call handler” makes use of several options:

  • Send Caller to Voice Mail or Message Center
  • Send a Text Alert to an on call team member
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The text notification step requires some additional AWS services including PinPoint, SNS and Lambda functions. For this option to work, you will need to setup an SNS topic and make use of PinPoint to get a phone number to associate with the call block.

In the above call flow block, we invoke the lambda function when the caller selects that they want a call back from the on call team member.

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Making the caller “comfortable” while waiting in queue for the next available agent is the primary role of a “customer queue flow”. Our standard practice is to provide a range of options that can be turned on or off as desirable for a specific CSQ. The main greeting contact flow discussed in Part 1 will attempt to hand the caller off to an available agent, but if none are available, the caller is moved to the customer queue flow.

The “customer queue flow” we typically provide does some initial setup and status checking:

  • Set Loop Prompts (Music and messages and time)
  • Check Queue Status
  • Check Call Back hours of Operation
  • Play EWT prompt
  • The Offer the Caller options (Wait, Voice mail and Call Back)

In our standard queue hold we check the queue status for “time in queue” of 3 minutes.

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Every Call Center is in fact unique, but the all share a common theme that can be encoded for recreating deployments quickly. Generally we divide Contact flows up into manageable contact flows that compartmentalize call handling. For example we generally create a MainGreeting, QueueHandling and After hours Call Handling call flow and these three basic contact flow blocks provide some very powerful options!

Generally, we attach the incoming phone number to the MainGreeting Contact flow.

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One of the most challenging implementation tasks for an implementation engineer or application developer is getting the client stake holders to agree on customer audio prompts! Having implemented hundreds of call center solutions, having to wait for the client to get their IVR scripts together is the “black hole” of project management. So many other parts of the enterprise have their finger prints on the content of a customer voice prompt. From the call center managers to the legal department, everyone wants to comment on this implementation detail.

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One of the most challenging implementation tasks for an implementation engineer or application developer is getting the client stake holders to agree on customer audio prompts! Having implemented hundreds of call center solutions, having to wait for the client to get their IVR scripts together is the “black hole” of project management. So many other parts of the enterprise have their finger prints on the content of a customer voice prompt. From the call center managers to the legal department, everyone wants to comment on this implementation detail.

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#AWSConnect Custom Integration tools!

February 4th, 2019

If you have taken the time to experiment with AWS Connect and the creation of a cloud call center instance, you know that the basic setup is achievable by a business analyst and no implementation engineer is required. This is good news for very simple, inbound call centers but if you are planning to connect with the rest of the enterprise, you will need some folks skilled in full stake web service development.

No Call Center is an Island!

Call Center as a business process and customer experience management, require that the call center be able to communicate with other information resources throughout the enterprise. The interface between the AWS Connect call center instance and the rest of your organization will must certainly require both middleware and API’s that make use of advanced software development tools within AWS!

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AWS Connect CCP

Building out call centers on AWS, you learn a lot about opportunities for productivity enhancements!   One of the first issues that we noted was that the standard Contact Control Panel or CCP, which is basically a WebRTC soft phone client, though very useful has many opportunities for improving the Agent experience.   The list of request features is growing and as a result, we have taken on the development of  a customizable AWS Connect Agent Dashboard!

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January 14th, 2019
CallBackFlow-3-1024x508 #AWSConnect Arrange a Call Back from Queue?

Setting up options for Callers waiting in Queue for “the next available representative” often include offering a call back option. Generally, it is a best practice to not offer this option immediately but queue the caller for some time before offering this option. They have already called in and you have answered the call, so let them wait a few minutes before offering bail out options. 

Common Call Flow Errors!

One of the most common errors in call center call flow planning is allowing a customer caller to queue for an Agent when no agents are logged in!

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AWS Deployment Check list!

January 28, 2019 1:56 PM

Why Consider AWS Connect?

Considering the build out of an AWS Connect Call Center?   You should be!  This cloud based, self service solution has significant competitive advantages over the existing mountain of virtual call center providers.   Some of these advantages are clear an unambiguous:

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The Cloud Call Center Problem Statement!

A very common call center requirement is the ability to route a call based on the DNIS number dialed.  This is simple enough when you have only a few DNIS numbers to manage, but consider this application:   Consider a central call center that provides centralized appointment scheduling for some 600+ medical offices.    The call center agents are required to answer an inbound call with a custom answer greeting that is based on the medical office that cares for that patient.   The solution in place today requires the cloud platform to have a unique DNIS for each of 600 medical offices. 

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AWS Connect – A Game Changer!

It has been almost a year since we first took a look at the AWS Connect Call Center service and what a year it has been.   Since it’s pubic release, AWS is most likely the fastest growing Call Center solution in the global market.   The reasons for this are clear and unmistakeable.   We think AWS Connect is a game changer!  

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How we first used EC2!

As a long time Contact Center custom software integration and scripting consultants, we long ago learned to use AWS if we want to get our projects completed on schedule and get paid!  Most scripting work in ShoreTel or CISCO Call Centers will typically involve using an external database.  During the requirements discovery we would highlight that we needed a SQL server,  OBDC connector, Active Directory Credentials and database testing maintenance windows.   The IT folks would then go into the vaudeville act of outlining the procurement and setup process and all the other project killing goodies that were housed across the server team, security and of the growing backlog in other projects.  

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AWS used to Build ShoreTel Connect

February 2, 2017 3:29 PM

Placing your ShoreTel HQ in the “cloud”?

Moving the ShoreTel HQ server to a data center with ShoreTel Support to increase system resiliency, reduce or eliminate down time and increasing overall recovery times has always been high on the check list for business continuity and disaster preparedness.    Our preferred “data center” however is Amazon Web Services, or AWS for short!   We have been deploying ShoreTel in AWS as a “private” cloud solution for some time and have several blogs on the subject. read more on Build ShoreTel Connect inside your own private Cloud using AWS!

ShoreTel (SHOR) Goes Private?

December 9, 2016 11:30 AM

“ShoreTel  (SHOR) is in final stages of rolling out ShoreTel Connect”. Who cares? Technology issues aside, ShoreTel remains dog meat in the financial markets. Since the company’s public offering in 2007, the stock has never sustained a price above the first day closing of $12.50, itself a modest premium over the offering price of $9.50 a share.

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Why use Shifts at all?

Most call centers have “on hours” and “off hours” that route callers to different options based on time of day and day of week.  ShoreTel ECC has a concept entitled SHIFTS.   Shifts have day types:  Weekday, Weekend and Holiday.    You  go to System Parameters in the Contact Center Director, then Schedules and the create a Shift.  

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