Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Essential Features for ACD Queues

ACD Queues are vital to efficient call distribution in today's multi-channel contact center operations. It is also important to provide the customer with a good experience while waiting in the Queue. There are a number of essential features for ACD queues that increase productivity and improve customer experience.

1. Queue Priority
In a skills based routing driven ACD, Agents get calls from any of the Queues for which they have the required Skills. Queue priority will allow the ACD to distribute calls from higher priority Queues ahead of lower priority Queues.  If priorities are identical, the longer waiting calls are distributed. Queue priority differentiates Queues especially when the skill requirements are identical. This can be used to offer different service levels.

2. Queue Overflow
Management of Service Level is important for Contact Centers. Service Level is dictated by the wait time for calls in a Queue. Overflow methods are built-in alerts that indicate potential bottlenecks for which pre-determined routing and call handling plans can be designed. Typically a caller might be waiting beyond what is considered acceptable for the Queue or there may be too many callers waiting in a particular Queue. The Call Center ACD should allow a time based overflow trigger that automatically moves calls to higher priority Queues once the wait time exceeds the acceptable threshold. Similarly, if the number of callers waiting in a particular Queue exceeds the threshold, additional calls can be moved elsewhere or to a different Queue.

3. Queue Callback
The ability to callback abandoned call by design is a great way to enhance customer experience. ACD queues needs the ability to callback a caller who hangs up waiting in the Queue(after being told that the caller has the option of being called back). The caller should also be able to provide alternate number for the callback. ACD queues from Q-Suite for Asterisk provide the ability to retain the caller in the same Queue or move them to a different Queue, there by providing control over the priority of the callback.

4. Queue Position and Average Wait-time
Making periodic Queue position announcement is  a simple way to allow the caller to decide if they want to receive a callback instead of waiting. Announcing average wait-time based on past calls may not be a good indicator of the present wait-time for a call and can result in customer dissatisfaction.