A call into an organization or business can spark frustration in customers as they are often greeted with a laundry list of menu options to choose from, and are tossed between IVR and agents unable to solve their problems.
However, a quality and efficient auto attendant, or automatic call distribution platform, can play a valuable role in seamlessly routing callers to the appropriate agent. Many of the latest solutions on the market are able to evenly distribute calls among contact center representatives, based on caller priority, the agent’s skill level and idle time, and the agent that last helped them.
According to Hannes van der Merwe, Mitel (News - Alert) product manager at Itec, companies should strive for balance between decreasing costs and offering best practices in customer service. Therefore, the most up-to-date auto attendants and automatic call distribution solutions should go above and beyond the basic.
“Since your contact center is one of your primary interfaces with your customers, it will shape what they think about your brand. If you provide excellent service – quick resolution of calls and minimal time wasted getting to the right agent – it will enhance your customer relationships,” said van der Merwe. “With the right technology you can streamline your costs while providing the service your customers demand.”
In addition to even distribution of incoming calls, the next-generation of auto attendants should grant clients the ability to dial an account number or select from a menu that directs them to the appropriate representative. Newer software should also be able to dole out calls to those working from home or on a remote phone. For example, if one contact center is struggling to handle its call load or experiences a service outage, calls can be rerouted to agents in another location.
Meanwhile, the ability to reconnect a person that’s been disconnected can go a long way for customer satisfaction. Instead, he or she can pick up where the conversation left off and avoid the possibility of having to start over the interaction with a new agent. Or, an advanced call queuing system can “bump” particular customers ahead in the call queue or route calls directly to an agent who boasts a particular skill to resolve a customer’s issue.
Lastly, many auto attendant companies are going beyond the telephone and extending into the Web, e-mail, text, and chat functions. This, in turn, provides customers more flexibility in choosing the medium they wish to engage in.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell