Gokul Blog — A conversation on VoIP, IMS, Cisco and Just about Anything

Deeper analysis of VoIP

Can I talk to the same guy,please?

Posted by tggokul on March 6, 2007

Visualize these scenarios.

1) You have called into a Call Center and have laboriously explained your problem to one agent.
2) The agent puts you on hold to find out further details.
3) The wait time gets annoyingly long. The agent is utterly clueless to handle your case and has put you in on hold. (If you are not aware of this, now would be a good time. Agents put you on hold for a long time so that you get bored and disconnect the call, and the next time you call in, it would go to another agent and it would be the latter’s headache from then onwards).
4) You hang up the phone and call in again ( Mind you, the problem you are having is something you want to resolve immediately).
5) You get another agent to whom you need to explain the whole thing all over again and the chances are you might face the same problem as specified from point 2 onwards.
6) Sometimes the phone call disconnects and you have to repeat yourself the next time.
7) You have asked for some information and the agent responds that you can call in the next day to the contact center to get the required information. The next day you call, you end up repeating the whole transaction to another agent.

How many of you have faced the problems mentioned above? I have faced them a million times. Haven’t you ever wondered, wouldn’t it be nice if I can somehow talk to the same guy I talked to the last time around?  Atleast even if he is clueless,he knows my problem and I can coax him into putting me to his/her supervisor?

This would be a good feature to have in your contact center solution. A flag to remember who was the last agent you talked to (routing based on agent-id) would make life simpler for the customer calling into the contact center. This actually would be as simple as adding another column in your database, but it is surprising that lot of solutions DON’T maintain this in the customer-related tables.  Maybe it it time they start doing that. They anyway use this information for administrative purposes ( Records are maintained as to who attended what call). So just use them for improving customer interaction as well. Simple thing, but not done. pretty weird,right?

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4 Responses to “Can I talk to the same guy,please?”

  1. Madhu said

    Hi,

    That happens a loooooooot of times..and it’s really frustrating.

    It’s even more frustrating when the IVR systems don’t give you an option to talk to an agent at all – it just keeps repeating the same messages. But that’s more to do with the configuration and less with the technology, rt?

  2. tggokul said

    Hi madhu,

    Its just not configuration. It is poor design of the IVR that usually leads to the problems you are talking about.

    Gokul

  3. anonymous said

    Agent level routing can be done with existing products in the Industry. Notably – Cisco Unified ICM and Genesys.

    However, here are the problems

    Existing products make it very difficult to configure this.
    You would literally need a skillgroup per agent
    You would need prioritization rule to pull the agent out of other queues (if they are in other queues) and send the caller the assigned agent.
    ANI based routing is another method to accomplish this.

    In smaller call centers (25 agents), I have seen this working. Example a distributor call center. You call in to ask about an auto-part and the same Mike picks your call up (since your account belongs to him and he gets commissions based on anything you buy from him)

    In larger call centers (300 agents and above), the rules get so complicated with existing products that call centers usually end up not implementing it. Besides larger call centers tend to be multi-shift – imagine the caller calling the center in the middle of the night – there is no way Agent Mike would be present in the call center to take this call.

    What would be nice is –

    1. IVR accepts caller query.
    2. IVR issues a request to find the best available Knowledge Agent. If Agent Mike is working during those hours queue for agent mike and service the caller’s request.
    3. Agent Mike is the best but not in the call center
    4. check agent mike’s presence information (cell phone, home phone, chat status etc.)
    5. If agent mike can interact with the caller using a different mode, service the caller
    6. If not send it to the next best knowledge agent or ask the caller if they would like a prioritized callback.

    Very few contact centers do the above.

    You know who “anonymous” is.

  4. tggokul said

    Hi Anonymous,

    I would have identified you just based on the content and the insights you provide 🙂

    Gokul

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