How do I route calls so my customers aren’t kept waiting?
One of the top reasons for a business to invest in a new communications system is to improve how well they respond to their customers, to make doing business with them enjoyable and to build customer loyalty through superior service.
The MiVoice Office provides businesses with the capability of having customer calls routed to a group of people so that the customer can then be served by any available member in the group. Calls can be routed and even handled with different priorities based on the number the customer dialled or the number the customer is calling from. For example, people calling in via an 800 number or long distance can be given a higher priority than local callers. VIP customers can be given preferential treatment by giving them a different number to call in on or by recognising their telephone number when they call in. Another example might be routing calls based on the originating area code to reach the right group responsible for those geographic locations.
These groups are called Hunt Groups and the MiVoice Office allows for up to 300 Hunt Groups to be programmed within its database. There are a few different types of hunt groups than can be setup depending on how you want to distribute the calls and we will cover each type.
On top of the standard Hunt Group function to distribute calls, the MiVoice Office provides the ability to create Hunt Groups for queuing inbound callers when all members of the group are busy, they are:
1) Uniform Call Distribution Hunt Groups - which are part of the core system software
2) Automatic Call Distribution Hunt Groups - which require the ACD license to be activated
All-Ring Hunt Groups
The ALL-RING group is the simplest type of hunt group.
As the name implies, an incoming call will be presented to all the members of the group at the same time, and one the picks up first will get the call.
If this is a group of sales reps handling customers calling in for sales enquiries then the group members will probably be real quick to answer a call before one of the other reps gets it, but a group handling service calls might be slower to pick up hoping the next guy will handle it so this type of group isn't always the right answer.
Linear Hunt Groups
This LINEAR Hunt Group directs the call to ring the members in the same pre-determined order each time a call comes in.
This can work well for a group in which you want the most experienced people to get the chance to answer the call first so you set the hunt up in order of their experience.
A member of the group at the end of the list may not get many calls, but they may be more there for times when its busy and you don't want to send calls to voicemail.
Distributed Hunt Groups
A DISTRIBUTED Hunt Group directs each new call to ring the next phone in the configured order immediately after the phone that answered the last call.
It is a simple way to distribute calls more evenly, which might make sense for a group taking sales calls that you want to ensure all members get an equal amount of calls.
A distributed group is a round robin so when the last member in the list has been tried it starts over again with the first member.
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) Hunt Groups
Automatic Call distribution allows a smaller business to up their game when it comes to serving their customers and likely to be a big benefit to them when moving up to the MiVoice Office. This is something you should talk to all your small business prospects about and with MiVoice Office it is a very low cost option to add. You might even want to just include it and use it as a differentiator.
The ACD functions allows a business to easily balance workloads and eliminate overtime when covering multiple time zones. You can route calls based on longest idle agent or balance calls so every agent gets about the same number of calls each day. You have the ability to enhance customer service with smart prompts to let customers know their place in queue and about how long the wait will be.
Supervisors can be given additional privileges to silent monitor agents, use the built in record a call, barge in to assist and or steal the call to take over. For more advanced agent coaching capabilities you can even add Mitel Call recording to record agent audio and screen content.
Best of all, ACD is a system option that is inexpensive to add and doesn’t have any per agent or per queue costs.
ACD Longest Idle
As mentioned there are additional call routing options available for ACD hunt groups
When you setup a hunt group for ACD, it will route calls based on the longest-idle agent as a default.
Calls that an agent receives that are not routed through the ACD hunt group such as a direct call or transfer from another extension are not counted as an ACD call.
ACD Balanced Call Count
Balanced Call count is another way that calls can be distributed in an ACD hunt group.
In the case of a group of sales people handling incoming sales calls, it might make sense to distribute the calls evenly without taking into account how long they are on the phone. If someone is real good at getting orders he may be longer on the phone per call than someone who doesn't close as many. His count may be lower but his batting average real high so when he hangs up you don't want him waiting long for his next call.
When an agent logs in, or comes out of Do Not Disturb into this type of ACD hunt group, the system checks the average call count for that ACD hunt group and assigns that average count to the endpoint logging in.
This prevents the agent who just logged-in from receiving all of the incoming calls until his call count catches up with the rest of the group.
ACD Caller Priority
Besides call routing you can also assign priorities to ACD hunt groups queues. Priority can be based on who is calling, whether or not its an 800 call you are paying for, or maybe a new promotion you have with a specific number to call
Each type of call can be routed to a different hunt group queue and the queues can have different priorities. The same group of sales agents may be serving all the queues but the calls queued in higher priority hunt groups are presented to the agents first.
ACD Routing Announcements
Another key part of a comprehensive ACD configuration are the Call Routing Announcements the callers hear while waiting in the queue. You don't want people to be waiting too long without getting updates.
MiVoice Office provides the resources to create these "recorded announcements" internally - thus saving the cost of an external system to do this.
Important information can be given to the caller, and the system can let them know their position in queue or their expected waiting time. These are high end features without the high end cost.
You can create up to 500 custom recordings that be used by the system in many different ways.
The recording you create are very flexible and can be used in conjunction with auto-attendant functions or scheduled time-based announcements. or announcements with hunt group queues, or simply announcements to play to callers when they are being rerouted in any way.
You simply determine when, where and which ones to play.
You can even link several announcements together if need be.
If you need further help on Mitel phone system features and programming please contact us on 0330 333 7323.