Setting Up Inbound Contact Center With ACD on Asterisk

Setting up a sophisticated inbound contact center with ACD and skills based routing on Asterisk

With the tremendous advancement in contact center technology, significantly cheaper server hardware and VoIP have brought down the cost of setting up a contact center. An effective contact center will require the right technology platform, depending on the purpose and the intent of the call center. Most unified contact centers will be required to handle other communication channels like chats, e-mail and fax as well. These are a few steps in the planning of a call center deployment.

  • Identify the size and nature of the call center operation
  • Select a suitable call center software
  • Identify and select a suitable telecom termination
  • Plan and implement the hardware and infrastructure

Features to look for in an Inbound call center software

Automatic call distribution (ACD)

Automatic call distributor often referred to as ACD, is the heart beat of a call center. When calls come in, they get processed and handled based the business requirements of your contact center. It is important to identify a software which is flexible enough to provide all the advantages of technology. ACD collectively refers to IVR, call handling and routing, queues, agents, skills based routing, queue prioritization and handling calls during exceptions like unplanned call volume. Asterisk comes with a very sophisticated call management application called 'Dialplan' and a good contact center ACD has to work tightly with Asterisk. Indosoft Q-Suite provides a very sophisticated ACD to provide a unified call routing, agent management and queue management to handle all the incoming calls and to route them to the most appropriate agent in the correct queue based on skill level and prioritization.

Effective Call handling based on Queue priority and Skills based routing

A simple queue represents a single skill or function. In more sophisticated call center setup, a queue would represent multiple skills or functions. A good queue management should be able to achieve call routing based on the priority for the various queues setup within the inbound call center. Often referred to as the "Skills based routing", it is an indicator of the ability of a call center software to route calls to the available agents assigned to a specific queue with the highest priority. Agents will be assigned to multiple queues with different priority levels. At any given instance, either agents are waiting for a call or calls are waiting for an available agent. A good call center software with ACD should be able to deliver the calls to the agent with the highest skills, waiting the longest. A balanced queue setup will handle the calls in the queues with equal priority based on the wait time.

Screen pop

It is an essential for the inbound contact center and provides the agent with details like the "DNIS", "Caller-ID" and "Queue/Skills" information.

Call recording and Live call monitoring tools

Call recording and Live call monitoring tools: Call recording and live monitoring are essential for quality control and verification purposes. Storage formats and web access to play recordings are important considerations. In modern IP-PBX like Asterisk, voice recording as well as snoop, barge and whisper are intrinsic to the PBX. It is important to keep in mind the enormous storage requirements for voice recordings.