INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE ( IVR )

INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE ( IVR ) Interactive Voice Response ( IVR ) is the work-horse application in the telephony world. By leveraging the power and intelligence of the computer, sophisticated automated telephone applications can easily be designed and implemented at EHS. The vertical application potentials are practically endless. An Interactive Voice Response System can be used to automate a wide range of services and data requests. By combining the input of the caller with menu driven scripts Clients, potential clients, and employees can call into your organization or to a remote IVR call center, using a touch-tone telephone and interact with the system in real time in a host of applications.

  • EHS IVR has built-in speech recognition capabilities.
  • Allowing callers to speak their important information to the IVR rather than press keys on their telephone keypad.
  • EHS IVR can interact with callers in a clear, natural dialog and return information based upon what the caller says.
  • EHS IVR also has the ability to send faxes and email to employees or clients based upon telephone interactions between callers and the IVR system.

ACD

AUTOMATIC CALL DISTRIBUTOR (ACD) In telephony, an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) is a device that distributes incoming calls to a specific group of terminals that agents use. It is often part of a computer telephony integration system.

ACD systems are quite often found in companies who handle a lot of incoming phone calls and where the caller has no specific need to talk to a certain person, but wants to talk to a person who is able to talk to him at the earliest opportunity.

Routing incoming calls is the task of the ACD system. The system consists of hardware for the terminals and switches, phonelines, and software for the routing strategy. The routing strategy is a rule based set of instructions that tells the ACD how calls are handled inside the system. Most of the time this will be a set that determines the best available employee for a certain incoming call. To help make this match, extra variables are taken into account, most often to find out the reason why the customer is calling. Sometimes the caller's caller ID or ANI is used, more often a simple IVR is used to just ask for the reason. ACD servers can cost anywhere between a few thousand dollars to close to millions of dollars for a very large call center handling thousands of calls per day.

Originally, the ACD function used to be internal to the PBX of the company. However, due to the closed nature of these systems, they lacked flexibility. A system was then designed to enable common computing devices, such as server PC's, to take the routing decisions. For this, generally the PBX would issue information about incoming calls to this external system and receive a direction of the call in response.

An additional function for these external routing applications is to enable CTI. This allows improved efficiency for call center agents because they are offered phone calls with relevant data at the same time on their PC.

A common protocol to achieve this is CSTA, however, almost each PBX vendor has its own taste of CSTA, and CSTA is quite hard to program because of its complex nature. Various vendors have developed intermediate software that hide these complexities and offer programmers a short time to market for their application.

Also, these protocols enable call centers consisting of PBX'es from multiple vendors to be treated as one virtual contact center. All real-time and historical statistical information can then be shared amongst call center sites

Voice Mail

Voicemail (or voice mail, vmail or VMS, sometimes called messagebank) is a centralized system of managing telephone messages for a large group of people. In its simplest form it mimics the functions of an answering machine, uses a standard telephone handset for the user interface, and uses a centralized, computerized system rather than equipment at the individual telephone. Voicemail systems are much more sophisticated than answering machines in that they can:

  • Answer many phones at the same time.
  • Store incoming voice messages in personalized mailboxes associated with the user's phone number.
  • Enable users to forward received messages to another voice mailbox.
  • Send messages to one or more other user voice mailboxes.
  • Add a voice introduction to a forwarded message.
  • Store voice messages for future delivery.
  • Make calls to a telephone or paging service to notify the user a message has arrived in his/her mailbox.
  • Transfer callers to another phone number for personal assistance.
  • Play different message greetings to different callers.

SoftPhone

SOFT PHONE

A softphone is a piece of software for making telephone calls over the Internet using a general purpose computer, rather than using dedicated hardware. Often a softphone is designed to behave like a traditional telephone, sometimes appearing as an image of a phone, with a display panel and buttons with which the user can interact. A softphone is usually used with a headset connected to the sound card of the PC, or with a USB phone.

Soft Phone Applications

A typical application of a softphone is to make calls via an Internet telephony service provider to other softphone or to fixed or cell phone. Service provide may offer PC2PC calls for free, but PC2phone and phone2PC calls usually are not free. Other type of softphone connects to a private branch exchange through a Local Area Network and is used to control and dial through an existing hardware phone. This is often used in a call center environment to make calls from a central customer directory, and to "pop-up" information on the screen about which customer is calling, instantly providing the operator with details of the relationship between the caller and the company using the call center.

Communication Protocols

To communicate, both end-points must have the same communication protocol and at least one common audio codec. Most service providers use communication protocol called SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) by IETF

Softphone Features

A typical softphone has all standard telephony features (DND, Mute, DTMF, Flash, Hold, Transfer etc) and a lot of new ones like Presence, Video, Wideband Audio and more. The minimum codecs set is G.711, GSM and iLBC. Softphone vendors may offer more codecs and different feature set.

Softphone Requirements

To make voice calls over Internet, you should have -

  • Any modern PC with microphone and speaker, or with headset, or with USBphone.
  • Reliable Internet connectivity like DSL, WiFi, cable or LAN. 28.8 dialup modem is good too if you use codec compressing speech to this bandwidth.
  • Account with an Internet telephony service provider.

SOFT SWITCH

A softswitch is a central device in a telephone network which connects calls from one phone line to another, entirely by means of software running on a computer system. This work was formerly carried out by hardware, with physical switchboards to route the calls.

A softswitch is typically used to control connections at the junction point between circuit and packet networks. A single device containing both the switching logic and the switching fabric can be used for this purpose; however, modern technology has led to a preference for decomposing this device into a Call Agent and a Media Gateway.

The Call Agent takes care of functions like billing, call routing, signalling, call services and so on and is the 'brains' of the outfit. A Call Agent may control several different Media Gateways in geographically dispersed areas over a TCP/IP link.

The Media Gateway connects different types of digital media stream together to create an end-to-end path for the media (voice and data) in the call. It may have interfaces to connect to traditional PSTN networks like DS1 or DS3 ports (E1 or STM1 in the case of non-US networks), it may have interfaces to connect to ATM and IP networks and in the modern system will have Ethernet interfaces to connect VoIP calls. The call agent will instruct the media gateway to connect media streams between these interfaces to connect the call - all transparently to the end-users.

So where does this switch sit in the network? The softswitch generally resides in a building owned by the telephone company called a central office. The central office will have one or more telephone trunks to carry calls to other offices owned by the telephone company and to other telephone companies (aka the Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN).

Looking towards the end users from the switch, the Media Gateway may be connected to several access devices. These access devices can range from small Analog Telephone Adaptors (ATA) which provide just one RJ11 telephone jack socket to an Integrated Access Device (IAD) or PBX which may provide several hundred telephone connections.

Typically the larger access devices will be located in a building owned by the telephone company near to the customers they serve. Each end user can be connected to the IAD by a simple pair of copper wires.

The medium sized devices and PBXs will typically be used in a business premises and the single line devices would probably be found in residential premises.

AUTO DIALER

An autodialer is an electronic device that can automatically dial telephone numbers to communicate between any two points in the telephone, mobile phone and pager networks. Once the call has been established (through the telephone exchange) the autodialer will announce verbal messages or transmit digital data (like SMS messages) to the called party.

A regular PC, desktop or laptop, can be turned into an autodialer. In order to connect a PC with a telephone line, a telephony board is needed.

Traditionally there are major advantages to using telephony cards over simple modems, including detecting touchtones and transferring calls directly through to the caller.

Web Server

VOICE LOGGER

  • SmartLogger is a multi-operational system that provides a highly reliable, secure call logging with unconditional and controlled log support.
  • A unified solution supporting analog and digital tapping. SmartLogger offers efficient archiving and retrieval of audio and unlimited hours of audio archived on DAT Drives and DVDs.
  • Smart Logger also features capabilities to enable addition of CTI functions to your system.
  • SmartLogger provides, live monitoring and on the spot playback as part of an extensive administrative application.

PREVIEW DIALER

Preview Dialer is an application that enables outbound "preview" or "progressive" dialing through the agent desktop. The source of outbound contacts can be an existing CRM system or other external system, database, or flat file. Preview dialing gives agents the opportunity to review information about the contact and allows agents to choose when to dial the outbound call. Progressive dialing gives the agent a set amount of time to review information about the contact before automatically dialing the outbound call.

Preview Dialer is ideal for bill collection, following up on support tickets, marketing campaigns, and customer satisfaction surveys. Preview Dialer gives agents the opportunity to review contact information to know whom they are calling and the purpose of the call before dialing the outbound call. During the preview time, agents may also lookup additional information about the contact in external applications using the contact data displayed (e.g. account number). This process can be automated with the optional addition of a screen-pop integration.

Preview contacts are delivered to agents using standard routing so agents can alternately receive inbound and preview contacts depending on their skills. Blending inbound, preview contacts, and other contact types can improve contact center efficiency significantly. During slow times for inbound calls, agents can service preview contacts

CTI APPLICATION

EHS approaches Computer Telephony Integration solutions by analytically considering a client's overall contact center needs, not simply focusing on a segment of the call flow. With ROI and customer satisfaction as the driving goals, the majority of our solutions include not only Computer Telephony Integration, but also IVR, reporting, and other contact center technologies. By selectively integrating these technologies, EHS offers more than mechanical CTI solutions. we provide high performance Call Completion Strategies that work as promised.

Work with us, and we will help you improve your call completion and customer satisfaction, while bringing you measurable return on investment (ROI).

Common Computer Telephony Integration Solutions

EHS provides several industry-standard solutions in the Computer Telephony Integration space, including:

  • bullet CTI empowers large or small businesses to increase both productivity and profits with an 'easy to use' communication technology.
  • CTI frees staff for more income-generating tasks by handling routine phone traffic efficiently, effectively and with a personal touch.
  • CTI gives business professionals the power to target their crucial communications to groups of virtually any size, automatically.
  • CTI offers the flexibility to personalize voice messages, easily, whenever and however you choose.
  • CTI is affordable and can be integrated with your current organizational systems.
  • CTI offers quantifiable benefits in increased efficiency, more kept appointments, and enhanced service.
  • CTI stimulates opportunities and interaction between you and your contacts.

PREDICTIVE DIALER

GALAXY? Predictive Dialer is a comprehensive outbound customer contact solution that improves your contact centers effectiveness while seamlessly integrating with your existing voice and data systems. It offers campaign development tools, call table filters, predictive dialing, call blending, a browser-based agent desktop, real-time statistics and historical and custom reporting.

Work with us, and we will help you improve your call completion and customer satisfaction, while bringing you measurable return on investment (ROI).

Features :
  • Preview Dialing - present agents with a customer's record for review prior to the call being placed.
  • Precision Dialing - virtually eliminate nuisance calls due to no agent availability.
  • Predictive Dialing - initiate outbound calls based on anticipated agent availability.
  • Call Analysis - detect non-contact outcomes - such as busy signals, no answers and fax tones - with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Call Blending - optimize the assignment of agents between inbound and outbound call handling.
  • IP Connectivity - reduce telephony costs by providing Voice over IP (VoIP) connectivity over an existing data network to local or remote agent stations.
  • Web Callback - enhance customer service by providing integrated web and telephony functionality via your website.
  • Campaign Flow - automatically and seamlessly transition agents from the existing campaign to the next predefined campaign.
  • List Flow - link call tables within a single campaign ensuring a constant flow for maintaining agent productivity.
  • Exclusion List Management - exclude select call records from being dialed.
  • Filters - prioritize contacts by defining specific criteria to target records within a call table for inclusion in a campaign, or to create new call lists based on filter output.
  • Alert Manager - enable managers to set performance criteria and thresholds for monitoring and be notified immediately if these are in danger of being compromised.
  • Recall Management - manage both agent and system scheduled recall requirements.
  • Skills-based Routing - match appropriately skilled agents with specific customer call records.
  • Specific Agent Recall - enable your agents to specify that they wish to "own" a specific callback.
  • bullet Time Zone Management - establish time zone criteria via the North America Numbering Plan (NANP),including the necessary area code/exchange to time zone conversion requirements for dialing purposes.
  • Comprehensive Reporting - gain a clear, concise view of how your contact center is performing with comprehensive reports.

ODBC CONNECTIVITY

In computing, Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) provides a standard software API method for using database management systems (DBMS). The designer of ODBC at EHS aimed to make it independent of programming language, database system and operating system.

At EHS we connect SQL database to our CTI, the database interacts with the identified numbers to further have numerous utilities viz. the database will connect to the autodialer directly or thru the IVR in medium and a customer will respond to it. And in other simplified cases the database will connect to the dialer and ACD server will throw connected call to the accessible ports.