What a cool IT call center should be able to do and what options are there in general

    Five to six years ago, voice authentication in a call center seemed fantastic. No less fantastic was speech recognition in search of keywords to understand what happens before and after pauses longer than 3 seconds. Today it is a fully working solution.

    Ten years ago, the automatic scheduling system was a curiosity. Today, banks simply save on the installation of such a system and a lot of money - on the fact that they encourage the best operators not with premiums, but with convenient schedules.

    Three years ago, few considered paper calls (loan applications, for example), letters, regular calls, twitter messages and Facebook posts as identical entities that simply arrived at the operator’s workstation for an answer.

    A basic call center starts at about 10 jobs. At first, everything is done intuitively, and without special software. Then, up to 50 operators, automation is needed only in a number of bottlenecks, everything else is solved, again, by the forces of a manager or senior shift. That's when the number of operators exceeds 50, it becomes more interesting. Need software or even several software solutions that completely cover the contact center infrastructure and solve many problems.


    There is no call center yet. For example, the Russian representative office of a western company is opening. From my practice, as a rule, this is either a new customer, or a customer to whom we have already deployed a data center, have switched, he already has corporate telephony, mail services. The customer needs a single point of customer service. The situation is relatively simple, because building from scratch is often easier than refactoring.

    There is a CC, it needs to be expanded or solved. Often you need to integrate the auto-information functionality, give supervisors more control functions, put in place a shift distribution system according to a schedule, and compare the performance of different operators. Operators need to quickly identify the client, see their history of calls, forward the identified client further along the chain.

    Automatic telephone exchange

    Before moving on to solutions, I want to note that all the components discussed can be virtualized, that is, solutions are software that can easily be installed on the customer’s server.

    The Automatic Telephone Exchange component is the core of the call center. This is the basic call distribution functionality that is familiar to you from Asterisk class systems. Requirements vary depending on the business. For example, banks require several levels of fault tolerance, that is, N systems (usually 3-5) must fail to prevent telephone service. Scalability is important - there is no need to change the architecture of the solution when expanding the business, you do not need to throw away old modules.

    The call center is a superstructure over the PBX and implies a change in the operation of the PBX logic to the CC logic, namely: the concept of a group of operators or operator skill appears - the combination of operators in the logical group to which the call is distributed; the telephone set, which serves as a means of making and making calls, is assigned the role of an “operator”, an entity, behind which is a living employee, by whom you can look at statistics, assign groups or skills. For business, this means that all the basic functionality is added, which allows you to turn a group of employees with corporate phones into a full-fledged CC or call center.

    1. Multichannel and AWP

    Today, the first question is the question with which the person is addressing, and not the channel of circulation. The client no longer cares how he gets the answer to his request, he can write on Facebook, send mail, sms and more. All these instances come in a single operator interface. For example, he can hang up after a call, and then not pick up the phone again, but reply to SMS in his program, then the client will send him a tweet with a question and so on. Remaining in one application, without leaving the home screen, the operator answers all calls. Such systems are used in large retail, banks, operators, insurance worldwide. You can try to write on Twitter about the problem of your mobile operator - the whole Grossen Troken has constant monitoring. One of the shift operators will try to help you.

    Everything is done automatically, including registration of the reasons for appeals, work with all types of appeals (phone call, web chat, email), receiving messages in the form of a running line. The screenshot below shows the workstation of the operator who processes the incoming call - the client’s card is automatically opened, the phone number from which the call was received is displayed, for further work the employee goes to the caller’s personal account, where all the information on the operations is displayed.

    Call card

    SMS sending example

    2. Workforce Management

    WFM solutions are used for scheduling. Up to 50 people do everything with a tablet in Excel, but even a few compilers can’t do it for a hundred people. More precisely, how - they manage, but far from the most optimal way. According to the law, the work schedule must be prepared and provided to employees in advance.

    Systems of this class allow you to set a number of rules, take into account the level of qualification, additional skills, for example, knowledge of foreign languages, holidays, including educational, as well as specific details, in particular, an individual schedule, and schedule automatically. You can make forecasts - how many operators will be needed if the organization gives advertising, and the flow of calls will increase by 20-30%. WFM is applicable not only to operators who process telephone calls, but also to those who work with any kind of customer requests: through the website, email, mobile application, coming personally to the office and submitting a paper loan application.

    3. Outgoing call system

    Imagine that you need to call 50 customers who have left their orders in the online store at night. You can take turns dialing numbers and occupying the operator, but this is not very rational. If the call center is large, just make sure that you have at least one free operator in the reserve (that is, do not give him calls yet) and start calling.

    Suppose, according to statistics, only 7 out of 10 subscribers respond. The three remaining at this time go to the subway, replenish the balance or speak with someone. So, roughly speaking, for 10 launched calls, we need 7 operators. Further, one operator fulfills 10 calls in 30 minutes. Of these, he listens for about 4 minutes. This means that if you throw out the expectation, you can put 10 calls in 26 minutes. There are companies for which the hit rate is only 20% (2 out of 10 calls), and in such cases the prediction system becomes very useful.

    Outbound dialing systems take these calculations into account and start connections as the operator becomes free. The result of the system is a ready call, where the operator enters upon the connection. That is, minus beeps and minus dialers - optimization.

    We implemented such a system in OTP Bank - there we managed to significantly accelerate the morning detour of those who delayed payment of a loan, for example. Plus, the same system makes repeated calls during the day until it gets through (also automatically). She increased the productivity of employees by increasing 2.5-3 times the number of dialers to customers during the day.

    4. Speech synthesis

    Used for automatic interactive answering machines (IVR). The most common synthesis task is to tell the caller a certain number: the balance of the cell phone, the balance on the bank account, the amount of the next loan payment. It also tells you the office hours, the nearest ATM, the period for obtaining a visa and much, much more. In general, IVR can access the database, take information from it according to certain rules and read it to the client.

    Speech synthesis is also used on outgoing calls. For example, in retail, when ordering through online stores, the robot sometimes calls back and reads the delivery date and time, and then asks to press 1 if everything is correct. You know his robot brother from calls to support - he often asks to evaluate the operator’s work.

    In general, robots have become damn talkative lately.

    In my practice, with the help of dynamic IVR several very interesting problems were solved. One large telecom company has organized unique special offers (service packages, discounts, gift bonuses for loyal customers, etc.). There are a lot of offers, and there are dozens of times more different scenarios for whom a proposal needs to be issued. Thanks to the correct order of offering services in the voice menu, the statistics for connecting additional services showed that everything was done as it should.

    Or an example from the financial industry: a classic task. There are various customer segments (most often they are divided by profitability for organization and activity in financial transactions) with completely different needs for the necessary information. In one voice menu, all the needs simply can not fit, if you do not consider non-ergonomic monsters. Dynamic IVR allow you to rely on business processes and business needs, which is often convenient for customers in the end.

    5. Voice recognition

    From the voice of a person, you can make an imprint on the characteristic distortions of the sound, due to the structure of the pharynx, nose and simply individual features. When calling in similar conditions (from the same phone in the absence of wind or excavator noise in the background), the recognition accuracy of a 6-second passage is about 90-95% depending on the voice.

    This means several things at once:
    1. Not enough for authentication, but as a factor in confirming trust, it completely passes. For example, when you ask for the balance of the phone, the operator no longer needs to do long-term identification by passport. You are calling from the same number, the line parameters are similar, the voice coincided 90%. You can give out non-critical information without inconvenience to you.
    2. When you try to fake your voice, an attacker will most likely be able to completely copy the features of intonation and timbre, but not the physical characteristics of speech. In this regard, recognition works very accurately - until parodists could not deceive the system.
    3. You can conduct a reverse search by comparing your voice with other base voices. In fact, this means that in the background, any call to the bank's call center is immediately compared with the voices of well-known fraudsters.
    4. You can try to find your call from a different number among all the calls. Given the accuracy, you will have to listen to more than a dozen records, but with long segments of speech - it will be hundreds, not tens of thousands of options.

    More information for paranoid people is here about voice prints .

    6. Speech analytics

    The robot knows how to parse words (not all and not always, but often) and brazenly uses it. For example, we often use computing tasks to find outages in banking processes. The call center downloads 40-50 calls, the robot searches for pauses, recognizes everything that was before and after them, builds its opinion about what kind of process it was. And at the exit he says: friends, when a client on Monday morning asks if it is possible to take a loan as a guarantee of packaging, the operator thinks too long. Or sometimes it’s something like the insurance client, in a rare case (a professional athlete, travels to an unpopular country, needs very interesting insurance), can wait a couple of minutes until the operator finds in his interface how to do this. Interface brakes are also sought.

    Of course, word recognition helps to understand which of the operators greets incorrectly, who uses parasitic words, who is the material of the client, and so on. And also - what the client thinks on the call: all sorts of "no, thank you" after offering something, negative-positive reviews and much more. Details for the paranoid here: habrahabr.ru/company/croc/blog/235565

    Plus there is an analysis of the emotional state.Not yet a very accurate system, but still useful. For example, now many large Russian banks are testing such solutions. For the first time in Russia, a speech analytics system was introduced in the National Penalty Service, which serves 83 regions of Russia. If during the dialogue there is a long pause, people begin to interrupt each other or switch to obscene language, this will certainly become known to the supervisor.

    7. Recording system

    Problem: There was a conflict between the operator and the client. The client is right, but the operator sets out his position to the supervisor, using knowledge of the specifics of the work. And convinces him of his innocence. For the lack of a real version, the supervisor believes the operator, as a result, offended, but right, the client refuses services with losses, and the operator continues to successfully use the experience gained with new customers. Recording solves the problem.

    The second problem. The operator is right, however, the client pretends that the CC operators did not provide him with any information, submits to the customer the court, wins the case, the customer incurs losses.

    The third situation. Operator training. A particularly annoying customer called, a mega-polite girl answered him, arranged a “telephone sex” session, as a result of which the customer was satisfied and even bought something. The call was saved as a reference and used to train three generations of operators.

    Also, a screen recording system is used to control not only conversations, but also operator actions.

    8. Customer Feedback

    The Customer Feedback Conversation Evaluation menu allows you to evaluate the work of operators, CC and ask other questions to the client after his conversation with the operator. After that, the supervisor can easily upload sets of ratings for operators, specific issues at any time.

    9. Integration with CRM and reporting

    In banks, customer data is stored in one or more ABSs (automated banking system), most often CRM is used for this purpose. When a call arrives in the CC, the customer’s card from CRM opens on the operator’s screen. The operator sees the information that may be needed - the latest card transactions, current balance, products that can be offered due to the fact that the client took a loan. Online stores show past products, plus recommendations for related purchases. The age and birthdays of the children, if it is, for example, a toy store. The operating system and IT literacy, if this is the support of the provider. Consolidating data is very time-saving and improves efficiency. Here are examples: habrahabr.ru/company/croc/blog/140490

    The most difficult part is, of course, to customize the regular capabilities of CRM and KC solutions for current business processes. Therefore, we need integrators who modify the file very, very much.

    In parallel, analytics is usually done. It can be implemented both within the call center, and separately, at the level of all customer BI-systems. This unified system means there is no need for manual collection and processing of technological data from various subsystems (call management, recording systems, personnel records or operator workstations).

    Avaya and Siebel CRM Integration Module

    10. Monitoring

    There will be problems with hardware and software. When backing up all the components of the CC, with increased and geolocation fault tolerance, in the absence of routine work and conscientious technical support staff of the customer, sooner or later there will be a situation when the components of any subsystem of the CC fail. Then, if the CC was designed correctly, and the fault tolerance was given due attention, the work of the CC will continue due to switching to the backup components, but such work is no longer normal and, if the situation worsens, the service may be denied. The reason that leads to serious malfunctions may be some “minor” trifle, which is not paid attention to for a long time, and then the result is extremely sad. In order not to miss such a trifle, react in time, eliminate the deficiency and prevent big problems, apply monitoring systems. Such systems analyze a huge number of parameters of the KC subsystems, sensitively react to their changes and promptly report this to the technical services through various available channels so that the Armageddler does not happen unexpectedly. Messages from the monitoring system can be automatically recorded in the customer’s accounting systems, distributed according to a specific scheme to employees, management, and the operating organization. Most often they use e-mail to inform, but you can use other channels, for example, SMS or voice message over the phone. they react sensitively to their changes and promptly report this to the technical services through various available channels so that the Armageddian does not happen unexpectedly. Messages from the monitoring system can be automatically recorded in the customer’s accounting systems, distributed according to a specific scheme to employees, management, and the operating organization. Most often they use e-mail to inform, but you can use other channels, for example, SMS or voice message over the phone. they react sensitively to their changes and promptly report this to the technical services through various available channels so that the Armageddian does not happen unexpectedly. Messages from the monitoring system can be automatically recorded in the customer’s accounting systems, distributed according to a specific scheme to employees, management, and the operating organization. Most often they use e-mail to inform, but you can use other channels, for example, SMS or voice message over the phone.

    Call Examples
    Below is a part of the logs of our tests on banks where we called on behalf of a new client. You can see part of the functionality and just offhand compare the work of operators.

    - *** Bank, Victoria, hello!
    - Victoria, good afternoon! I would like to rent a bank cell in your bank. Please tell me, is it possible, do you provide such a service?
    // at this point, the data was enough to compare the voice with the database of frauders
    - Yes, of course, tell me, please, how can I contact you?
    - My name is Galina.
    // the operator sees the city by phone number
    - Galina, very nice. Call from Moscow?
    - Yes.
    // most likely, clicks on the “Cell” item in the workstation, the script suggests setting sizes
    - Galina, tell me, please, the cell sizes, do you know which you need?
    - Yes, I need a cell height of at least 30 centimeters, a width of 15-20 centimeters, well, and a depth, well, centimeters 10.
    - I understand you. Please stay on the line, I’ll clarify now.
    Next - 4 minutes was held on hold, and then the call was reset. At the second call, another authorization was required, they did not do the connection with the previous one, although, theoretically, it is quite simple. They advised me to call immediately to the office of a particular bank branch, and not to the general KC - this process is clearly not integrated, the verification is done by hand or in another system.

    - My name is Galina.
    - Galina. What city are you in?
    // KC does not determine the city by phone
    - In Moscow.
    - Yeah.
    - Expect, please, clarify this information.
    - Yes, fine, thanks.
    - Thanks for the long wait. Galina, please specify in which office it would be convenient for you to rent a safe deposit box?
    - Well, you know, somewhere in the north of Moscow, the area is Otradnoye, Altufevo, Vladykino, in general, a gray line.
    - Expect, please. I will clarify this information.
    - Thanks.
    - Thanks for the long wait. Galina, here we have safe boxes for *** extra power and extra power “***” - this is the closest to you.
    // two delays in the process, it was clearly required either to look for something for a long time, or the operator simply called these offices.

    - What city are you applying from?
    - Moscow.
    - Thank you very much for the wait. That is, there are cells for individual use only in three departments, but at the moment in 2 offices there are only safe cells - this is either the metro station "***" or the metro station "***".
    - Yeah. That is, this is not earlier than Wednesday, I can, yes, do it?
    “Yes, absolutely right.” Yes, it is in these departments. Let’s clarify with you what height you need?
    - 30 centimeters.
    - 30 centimeters?
    - 30, yes. Yeah.
    - Well, at the current moment, that is, only then can you go here in height to the River Station. That is, there are 4 safe deposit boxes, 46 centimeters high, the width and depth are 30 and 40, respectively.
    // obviously there is a good integration with CRM

    - Yeah. Yes, safe deposit boxes are provided for us at some bank branches, but today banks do not work.
    - Yeah. Neither today nor tomorrow?
    - Yes, a day off until November 5th.
    - Yeah. Well, what if on November 5th ... Where can I do, rent?
    - Call us at the contact center of the bank, we will transfer your call to the necessary department. We’ll clarify whether there is a cell that interests you and a number.
    - That is, today I can’t do it? I need only ...
    - Today banks do not work.

    - Banking group "***", my name is Svetlana. Hello.
    - Svetlana, good afternoon. Tell me, please, I would like to rent a bank cell. Can I do this at your bank?
    “Yes, of course, a minute, please wait.”
    - Thanks.
    - Hello.
    “I'm listening to you.”
    - Hello. But they transferred me to you. I would like to rent a bank cell in your bank. I can do it?
    - Just a second.
    - Good afternoon, Hope is listening.
    - Hope, good afternoon. This is my third time switching. I would like to ask about the possibility of renting a bank cell. Can I do this at your bank?
    - And you know, you are now talking with the main office. We are located on *** Lane, this is ***, we do not have free cells now, unfortunately.
    “Ah, that is, they immediately connected me to you.” Ok, I get it. And when they are released, there is no such information either, right?
    - No, there is no such information. No one will say when this something can happen. But, if time suffers, then call, be interested. We have *** extra. office, this is *** metro. If you are geographically satisfied, you can call there to inquire.

    - Ah, that is, today you can’t consult me ​​at all? At the rates there are what documents. Do you have such information?
    - It is necessary to contact the bank branch, specify the information. Correctly. To do this, you will need to contact the 5th.
    - Well, I understand you. That is, and according to the tariffs, even you can orient me at least how much it costs, you can’t?
    - In the bank branch this information.

    ***, the second attempt in the same place
    - So, 3 months. It turns out that tentatively - I can’t tell you exactly whether the amount will be correct - but for 90 days we have a small cell, rent, it is 2400 rubles.
    - Yeah. This is a month, huh?
    “So, as far as I am ... No, this is for all three months.”
    “For all three, huh?”
    - The total amount, yes.
    - Yeah. Good. Or maybe you just give me the phone number of the department? So that I call there myself?
    - Just in Moscow we do not have numbers, we only have internal numbers. Only we can connect you, connect by internal numbers. And there are no such numbers, stationary.
    - Yeah. I understood you well. Well then, let's try to connect again, if it doesn’t work out, then maybe I'll call you back later. Now, maybe lunch.
    - Good. Please stay on the line.
    - Thanks for waiting. Unfortunately, it was not possible to contact the office now.

    - Yes, 78 rubles a day. And, regarding the availability of free, unfortunately, we have not provided information, it is to be specified directly in the bank branch.
    “Ah, that is, I need to go to your departments according to yours, and specify, yes, that is, so we can’t pick up with you now?”
    - So, unfortunately, we do not have information about the availability of free cells in any branch of the bank.

    - That for customers *** it is possible to rent a cell or a safe.
    - Yeah. Good. And how do I become a client ***?
    - You accordingly come to the department, submit an application for opening a card, and there they will tell you further - for ordinary clients, for clients ***. But there you still need to maintain a fairly substantial amount of balance on this card.
    “Ah, well, that is, as it were, so fast I cannot do it.”
    - No, no, no, it won’t work out quickly, I'm afraid.

    - There are at the metro station ***, at ***, ***, ***. Or maybe you will orient me, in which area is it more convenient for you? What metro station?
    - I would have a gray branch in the North. Dmitrovskaya is coming. If there is Otradnoe, Timiryazevskaya. Something like this.
    - We’ll check it now.
    - Vladykino.
    - There is *** - the closest to these stations.
    - Let's see here.
    - Elena, in any case, you will need to go to the bank branch to order this cell. I will check for availability now - height 30 cm., 15-20 cm. Width. Just a moment please. Thanks for waiting. Yes there is. Free cells are available. How long did you want? So that I orient you on tariffs.
    - Two month.
    - For two months. It will be necessary to determine the sizes - with cubic ones. What subject - you can not name?
    - Not.
    - You can not. Let's look at the height. They said in terms of height - 30 cm. Height - 30, width - 15-20, you said. Does length matter?
    - Do you have about 10 centimeters there?
    - They are different, there are many options. Let's say this will be the simplest cell. Suitable - 7 decimeters. 2 months if, will cost 1940 rubles.


    Avaya is a leading global provider of enterprise communications and IP telephony solutions and equipment. Products and services include voice transmission, convergence of voice and data, customer interaction management, multimedia messaging systems, multiservice networks, structured cabling systems. Avaya is the leader in sales of messaging systems and structured cabling systems, call centers and voice communications systems for enterprises.

    Speech Technology Center - Russian developer: recording systems, speech analytics, biometric identification, speech recognition and synthesis. More details on speechpro.ru.

    Nice is a world leader in the field of solutions for recording voice and electronic interactions with the customer (IP, traditional telephony, email), the subsequent extraction of this information and its analysis. Also speech analytics, Quality Monitoring, WFM, Customer Feedback.

    Aspect - the same as Avaya, only plus its own line of WFO (Voice / Screen Recording, QM, WFM, Customer Feedback).

    Verint is a global provider of solutions for collecting, filtering and analyzing information sources such as voice, video and unstructured text.

    Enghouse Interactive - cloud-based CC. Deployed in CROC.

    Zoom is a recording system.

    We work with all these solutions for banks, operators, insurance and large retail. If you need details, specific cases or trial miscalculations - I will always answer by mail DPesotskiy@croc.ru or questions in the comments.

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