Well, this article does not want to suggest that all the call centre functionalities can be provided by an IP PBX. But if you are a small call centre or if call centre is a small part of your business, an amazing number of call centre features can come built in to your IP PBX itself and hence save a lot of money. We will discuss some such features here, and if your business requires only those functionalities – IP PBX might just suffice for you.
Incoming call rules:
This is not quite your ACD (Automatic call distributor) which can distribute calls based on location of arrival or agent skill set (like language proficiency) etc, but certain basic rules can be set by the IP PBX based on the incoming call. Well, an IP PBX can transfer the call based on the in-coming number, incoming number range, service provider, channel group etc. This is done based on the incoming call rules which can be set up in the IP PBX. You could also set up the time range (like 8 AM to 6 PM) that this rule can be applicable. Either one single number can be transferred to a single extension based on the type of number or a group of numbers can be transferred to an extension.
A call queue extension can be set up in an IP PBX which lets you to route calls to a group of extensions so that any one of them can pick up the calls. This is useful in a situation like if there are 5 customer service executives and a lot of calls are coming in to the customer service number, then all of them could be put in a single queue and attend to the calls. This helps the clients to reach the required customer service executive faster and improves the efficiency of the executives too. This is very useful if the number of such calls are huge at some given point of time. The members can be assigned to such queues (there can be multiple queues) via a centralized administrator panel.
Call Ringing in a Queue: You can set up the system so that all the numbers in the queue ring simultaneously or take turns ringing each queue number or rings the most idle member (based on time) or ring in a random manner among the members of the queue. You can also set the number of seconds to ring to each member in the queue before going to the next member. While the ringing is going on and the caller is waiting for his turn, you could play music to the caller or announce position/time remaining in queue or play ringing tone to them.
Agent Log-In/Log-out: IP PBX do support agent log-in via an virtual extension that can be a part of a queue. This is used to get the agent in to a queue by himself (rather than the administrator) setting it up. The agent can Log in using a password for that queue, if required. The agents can also log out of a queue in the same way.
Queue Statistics: The administrators/ agents can view a comprehensive set of call statistics in a queue in real time. They can see the current calls waiting per queue, completed abandoned calls, re-directed calls, average and longest waiting times, average talk times, agent status (logged in or logged out) and individual agent statistics like number of calls attended to in a day, average time for each call etc.
Queue Reports: Call reports/ call logs for each queue can be generated based on date/ date range, based on extention(s), Caller ID or Incoming DID etc.
Click here to read about the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and MOH features supported by IP PBX.
Click here to read about the Call Recording features supported by IP PBX.
This is by no means a replacement to professional call centre solutions, but if the requirement is limited, these features might just be sufficient for certain smaller call centres or big companies with smaller call centre functionalities (like help desk etc). This helps save a lot of cost for organizations as they are paying only for the IP PBX and not for the call centre applications.
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