Call center technologies: Top 10 buzzwords
1. Automatic call distributor
2. Predictive dialer
3. Issue tracking system
4. Knowledge base
5. Text analytics
6. Session initiation protocol
7. Rich presence
8. Email response management software
9. Computer telephony integration
10. Speech analytics
Call center technologies: Top 10 buzzwords
An automatic call distributor (ACD) manages incoming calls to a call center and routes them to the appropriate party based on pre-established handling instructions. Many ACDs feature skill-based routing technology that routes calls to the appropriate call center agent based on skill set.
Learn about various types of call routing.
A predictive dialer automatically calls a list of telephone numbers in sequence, screening out busy signals, no-answers and answering machines while at the same time predicting when a call center agent will be available to handle a call. Predictive dialers are often used in outbound call centers, where they increase call center productivity by reducing the amount of time agents have to spend on each call.
An issue tracking system is commonly used in the call center to record and follow the progress of a customer-related issue. The system captures all pertinent information relating to the issue and allows managers to see who is responsible for resolving it.
See how one bank's employees are utilizing a self-service issue tracking system.
A knowledge base is a centralized repository of dynamic information and an important part of a knowledge management system. Knowledge bases are used in call centers to give call center agents and customers easy access to a wealth of information.
Review the top buzzwords relating to knowledge management in the call center.
Text analytics applications are used to analyze text from customer service interactions. Text analytics applications mine data from text, helping organizations extract value from a large number of text-based customer interactions.
See how one hospitality firm is using text analytics to improve customer service.
A session initiation protocol (SIP) application is often used in call centers in conjunction with Internet Protocol (IP) technology. SIP determines the end system to be used for the session, the communication media and media parameters, and the called party's desire to engage in the communication. Once these are assured, SIP establishes call parameters at either end of the communication, and handles call transfer and termination. SIP allows customers and virtual call center agents to connect with the call center from anywhere in the world.
Rich presence is an application that locates and identifies a computing device regardless of its location as soon as the user connects to the network. It is an enhanced form of presence technology in that it allows users to not only know that another user is connected, but also observe to some extent what they are doing. Rich presence is increasingly being used in call center online chat.
Read Gartner's take on trends like rich presence .
Email response management software automatically handles emails according to user-defined rules. The software is used by many call centers to manage large volumes of email messages and can track and record the status of each message and follow-up message. It is also used to provide automated responses to incoming emails based on similar email responses from the past.
Computer telephony integration (CTI) is the use of computers to manage telephone calls. Call center agents using CTI applications receive a "screen pop" on their computer screen when a customer calls in, providing detailed information about the customer on the line. CTI increases call center agent productivity by eliminating the need for call center agents to look up information when on a call.
Speech analytics applications are used to screen customer interactions for the purpose of identifying customer needs. Speech analytics have the potential to detect cost savings and cost avoidance opportunities, identify ideas for new and improved products, pinpoint cross-sell/up-sell opportunities and determine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Speech analytics can also identify competitive situations and the underlying reasons why customers close their accounts.
Learn the seven things you need to know about speech analytics.
Find out the top 10 call center technology must-haves.
Buzzword definitions provided by WhatIs.com
This was first published in July 2008