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Browse Prior Art Database

Dynamic Menu for Call Center

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000126180D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jul-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jul-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 139K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Call center becomes popular to many companies and now they are providing more and more services to customers through it. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology is often used in telephone based call center to let customer make self-service to save cost of the call center. Because the number of keys of phone is limited, normally the phone only has 0, 1, 2...9,* and # these 12 keys for the customer to press to make different choices. Normally, the customers have to listen to the IVR to speak all services/functions that they can choose in current stage of menu and sometimes the customer will be confused about the overly complex menus. It will be a time wasting work and it will cause vexation to them. For customers, they prefer to click fewer keys to access the service that they really want. It will be better if they do not need to listen all of the greetings and key-function explaining words. However the current call center menu systems can not meet these requirements. The main idea of this invention is providing dynamic menu for call center to offer phone services. If the customer has customized his/her own menu, the call center can insert customized menu into the dynamic menus when this customer calls in. If no customized menu is defended, the system can automatically create dynamic one for him/her. The dynamic menu is the one that integrated the general menu and the personal menu which come from the previous services he/she had done before. The dynamic menu is a self-adaptable one that it will allow the customer press fewer keys to access their high frequency services through dynamic menu and avoid confusions on the complex menus. They can save their time and the call center can also serve more customers.

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Dynamic Menu for Call Center

A call center constitutes a set of resources (typically personnel, computers and telecommunication equipment), which enable the delivery of services via the telephone . The working environment of a large call center could be envisioned as an endless room with numerous open-space cubicles, in which people with earphones sit in front of computer terminals, providing telephone -services to unseen customers. Now companies of every size and type are beginning to realize that investing in state -of-the-art call center capabilities can be their single best competitive differentiator . It has become essential to the survival of a growing number of businesses . A well-designed call center can enable the organization to:
a.Improve customer intimacy and retention
b.Increase competitiveness by taking advantage of emerging technologies
c.Increase revenue through broader opportunities to sell
d.Increase employee productivity by streamlining business processes

The main cost driver in the operation of call centers is the cost of agents . To reduce the cost, most call centers also support Interactive Voice Response (IVR) units, which are the industrial versions of answering machines, including the possibilities of interactions. The IVR saves agent time whenever a caller completes a task successfully in the IVR that otherwise would have to be performed by an agent . Tasks that can be automated include caller identification, call routing, information requests, and other transactions. IVR is really performing, in terms of both saving costs and delivering customer service.

But IVR still has the key usability problem . When the call centers provide more and more services to the customer, many services in complex IVRs are often underused because customers get confused early in the call . When one customer calls in, the IVR will play the recorded speech to guide him/her to press keys on the telephone and make him /her access to the different menus that he/she wants. But the number of the keys of normal telephone is limited. Generally, the phone based call center systems left * and # as the special function keys and let the numerical keys (from key 0 to 9) as the service choosing keys. So the system has to arrange multi-stage menus for customers in order to provide all services. But it will cause discommodiousness to customers : Under each stage of menu, the customers always have to wait the system to finish all of the greetings and key-function explaining words before choosing service; Multi -stage menu sometimes makes the customers confused of how to enter the correct services that they really want . When the customers press some keys to enter the next stage or come back to the previous menu, it's difficult for them to remember which menu that they are under currently . These inconveniences will make the customers do not like to use the automatic phone services and come back to ask for agents'help again. So it will be useful if...