Call Center Automation

In the early days of the call center, calls were answered using electro-mechanical devices, client records were stored in notebooks or on 3 x 5 index cards, and caller data was handwritten on message slips and order forms. With each advance in technology came corresponding progress and innovation for the call center.

Today’s modern call centers bear little resemblance to their predecessors of yesteryear, as every aspect has changed and evolved. Increasingly and progressively, computerized technology is being introduced into the call center to supplement, facilitate, and enhance the work of the call center agent. This allows agents to process more calls more effectively and efficiently, to reduce errors, and to give their attention more fully to higher-level calls requiring their direct involvement.

The following premier vendors provide automated call center solutions, which are designed to accommodate the demanding needs of the outsourcing call center. These solutions are also ideal for in-house call centers, especially when multiple, simultaneous campaigns are needed.

Alston Tascom Evolution is a comprehensive communication center built on open architecture, open databases, and off-the-shelf hardware. Key automation features include:

  • Automated Call Distribution routes calls to specific agents or groups based on agent skill or specified rules, such as time of day or day of week.
  • Preview and progressive dialer capabilities allow agents to function in a blended mode, able to be automatically switched between inbound and outbound modes, depending on changes in call traffic.
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) dialogues can “talk” callers through a series of prompts, collect caller data, connect to external databases, play recordings, and trigger software applications. With ANI (Automatic Number Identification), the IVR can automatically personalize its response for individual callers.
  • Unified voicemail offers client notification via pager or email, with optional .wav file attachment.
  • Web chat allows people on the Web to click a button and be directly connected with an agent for a live text chat. Agents can also push Web pages to the person initiating the Web chat session.
  • Web Appointments can automatically pop to the client’s specific appointment calendar from an in-bound phone call to an account in the Tascom agent program.

Contact Alston Tascom at 866-282-7266, 909-548-7300,

Amtelco‘s automated Infinity features save on labor costs, reduce training time, and eliminate errors. They include:

  • Call distribution escalation enables the priority level of waiting calls to change automatically to ensure that calls are answered in a timely manner
  • Dynamic linking automatically delivers directory listings, on-call schedules, Web links, and more, to operators
  • Expiring specials allow operators to enter time-sensitive client information that won’t be displayed to operators beyond its expiration date
  • One number follow-me allows calls to route to clients at different locations or other phones, such as a cellular phone, based on a client’s current status.
  • Intelligent On-call Scheduling streamlines the maintenance of on-call schedules by eliminating the need to manually enter dates, times, and personnel resources
  • Overflow call distribution, used in conjunction with DID Limit, allows calls for accounts that have exceeded their call limits to be routed to other accounts
  • Auto-dial cascade can transmit messages to several pagers or locations in succession
  • Auto-call gateway performs automated callouts at prearranged dates and times
  • Report scheduler runs reports at preselected times and automatically delivers reports to specific destinations
  • Auto-dispatch options such as automated digital page and urgent page automatically send pages to clients

For more information, contact Jim Becker at 800-356-9148, 608-838-8367, or

Professional Teledata: Interfaced to powerful digital switch equipment provided by Eon Corporation, PInnacle agents are guided through the call process using sophisticated, multipage scripting. Based on the PI2000 program, agents can read preprogrammed prompts and enter responses into preformatted data fields. PInnacle assists callers by automatically looking up customer information, zip codes, catalog databases, sales tax tables, shipping tables, dealer locates, and performing credit card validations and authorizations.

Upon completion of calls, unlimited multiple messages can be immediately dispatched automatically via digital and alpha paging, faxing, and emails (including two-way). Dispatch is based upon message content and/or system variables (day-of-week, time-of-day, etc.). Optionally, each dispatch can utilize a customized format. Scheduled dispatches and corresponding message status changes are programmed to occur automatically.

To reach on-call persons, PInnacle’s dispatch contact locator eliminates errors by automatically guiding operators through complex required sequences (with optional override capabilities) using preprogrammed sequence of events, on-call tables, and recall schedules.

PInnacle provides a complete message history, including automated events, for each incoming call with many opportunities for the agent to annotate special occurrences and conditions. The award-winning PInnacle Telemessaging System is the most comprehensive call automation system on the market today.

Contact Isaac Thompson at 800-344-9944 or for more information.

Startel‘s CMC platform offers an array of call center automation features. One key area is Intelligent Dispatch, which automates the entire dispatching process based on each client’s specific needs. Dispatch scripts can be defined for specific days of the week, as well as specific times of the day. In addition, dispatch scripts can be set up on a client basis, as well as on each individual member.

Intelligent Dispatching provides a high level of automation, as multiple steps and multiple functions per steps can be set. This allows countless configurations to be established for each person on each account. Dispatch scripts can include any of the following transport options: alpha pages, digital pages, emails, faxes, phone calls, SMS, and numeric SMS.

The frequency and time interval between each dispatch can be specified, making it easy to handle complex dispatching requests with ease and to clients’ satisfaction.

Intelligent Dispatching keeps track of the form status to initiate each step of the Dispatch Script only if required. The Dispatch Script stops automatically as soon as the form is filed. Startel’s Intelligent Dispatching truly minimizes dispatching errors, eliminating agent frustration and saves valuable agent time allowing them to focus on what truly matters – answering the call!

For more information, call 800-782-7835.

Szeto Technologies offers Call Linx, a turnkey system that operates on the license-free and notably secure Linux operating system. Incoming calls are automatically queued according to priority levels with programmable priority-jump intervals. Direct connect functions include automatic one number transfer, rendezvous call patching, and agent revert. Automatic call distribution is based on agent skill, class, and access levels.

Call answer functions can be accessed by mouse and/or hot-key navigation; call processing can be free-form or scripted. The caller profile feature auto-fills forms with previously stored information, reducing errors and eliminating repetitive typing. Order entry is empowered with scripted processing. All “upsell,” “more-sell,” must-sell,” “multiple-sell,” “cross-sell,” and “replacement-sell” can be scripted, prompting agents on what to say. On-call scheduling is assisted by the conditional branching feature. The on-call person is determined by schedule, by rotation, by specialty, or by other factors.

For message delivery, dispatches are automatically sent according to client setup via phone, pager, fax, email, voicemail, text, or Web retrieval, individually or in batches. Delivery schedules can be within a period, at a designated time, or at intervals. Delivery methods can be chained and schedules can be sequenced. Lastly, auto line check assures that client phone lines are forwarded and stay forwarded.

For more details regarding Szeto Call Linx, email or call 877-697-9368.

Telescan designs hardware and software solutions for the telemessaging industry. From their beginning, over thirty years ago, all Telescan products have been designed to be the best in the business.  Spectrum by Telescan, powered by the patented Spectrum Prism, has all the latest call center features needed to keep up with technological changes including: VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), CTI (Computer Telephony Integration), ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), and IVR (Interactive Voice Response).

Telescan is committed to developing new products for telemessaging companies and call centers, keeping them ahead of the technology demands of their clients. They have continued to introduce a stream of new products that will help improve call center efficiency for faster response call response with less agent hours.

Telescan’s latest innovations include the new Spectrum Information Server with RSS technology, Spectrum Messenger with Remote Visual Desktop Monitoring and Spectrum Visual Scripting technology. Additionally, Spectrum by Telescan gives you:

  • Support of multiple time zones
  •  Remote agent workstations
  • Optional integrated order entry and on-call scheduling
  • Desktop Activity Monitor
  • Standards-based hardware and software with automated backups
  • TCP/IP networking
  • VoIP

To find out more about Spectrum by Telescan, call 800-770-7662.

[From Connection Magazine December 2006]

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