IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system can do many things and one of the most common task it performs is “Call Transfer”. Both inbound and outbound IVR may transfer the active call to some other telephone number or human agent once the IVR user chooses.
Though in a call center environment, human agent may get information about the caller in a POP UP window in its desktop PC, but when call is transferred to any telephone number, this kind of POP UP window with caller information may not be available! But, IVR may surely do a “Value Added Call Transfer” by announcing caller details in voice! It may even offer the transferee the option reject or divert to voice mail, transfer to another telephone number! In PBX terminology, it is called Call Whisper or Call Screening and when IVR implements it, we may surely call it “Value Added Call Transfer”.
How to Implement Value Added Call Transfer :
Implementing value added call transfer with IVR is quite, may be simple extension of any existing call transfer. It can be implemented using both analog and digital CTI card. While implementing value added call transfer, “bridged call transfer” would be employed using two channels.
in Analog CTI :
1. Put active call “ON HOLD” by implementing flash key ( ON HOOK for certain duration, 200ms or so, depending of PBX used).
2. Dial out the transferee number. Play the previous incoming call details as soon as call is picked. Wait for DTMF key from the transferee if required.
3. ON HOOK the call. The previous incoming call which was ON HOLD would be connected now. This feature may be PBX dependent.
in Digital CTI Card:
1. Play call waiting message or music for the incoming call, say on CH1.
2. Use CH2 to make outgoing call to the transferee and when the call is picked, play call details which is active on CH1. CH1 may play message about the status of CH2 call.
3. When transferee on CH2 chooses to pick the incoming call, bridge CH1 with CH2.
4. When transferee chooses Voice Mail, CH1 will stop call waiting message, asks caller to record his voice mail as the transferee had chosen to get message in voice mail, and disconnect CH2.
5. When transferee chooses to transfer to anther call, disconnect CH2, use it to dial the new transferee number and repeat #2 through #5.
This is not PBX dependent as it uses two separate channels.
Call whisper has many benefits. It offers the called party knowing who is calling, not only his caller ID, but other useful information like if he is an existing customer, new customer, name, services used by him. All these information, prior to answering his call not only increases efficiency of customer service, but also reduce cost for the organisation.
Value Added Call Transfer may allow intelligent routing of calls on “informed decision” as transferee may transfer the call again after knowing the caller details besides caller id.
Advantages of implementing using IVR
While some PBX systems offer Call Whispering facility, but implementing it with IVR software has many advantages. IVR software can compute, present more information about the caller.
Changing voice prompts, use of dynamic information using TTS, ASR are possible with IVR software.
So, value added call transfer in IVR system may increase better and faster customer service. Click to Call service combined with value added call transfer would be a ‘killer application’ which would surely benefit website owners to convert their website visitor to customer!