IVR Maintenance & Programming Part 2

OK, here we are with Part 2 of my blog regarding IVR maintenance and programming. So after giving much thought to all of the different types of IVR and ACD systems out there, I could go on and on regarding coding, streamlining and documentation and never even touch the tip of the iceberg on all of the knowledge it takes to be able to do even the smallest of tasks within a system. Therefore, I want to focus on the following word and go from there;

H E A T

What does that stand for you ask? Well, those four letters just may be the most important part of your IVR programming and regardless of what you think might happen. I would definitely include all four of these in your flows;

H – Holiday Table

E – Emergency Situation

A – Agents Staffed

T – Time of Day

Lets address these one at a time in a little bit more detail.

H – Each call flow path should have its own Holiday Table that is named so that it is identifiable within the switch. I suggest programming out your holiday table for an entire year and then only going back to make changes if they happen. This can be time consuming but will help to cut down on accidentally having a queue open on a day it should be closed if someone forgets to submit a change request for that particular holiday.

E – As stated before, no matter what you think will happen, you need to be prepared for the worst case scenario. The Emergency Situation should be programmed just for such an event (emergency). What should your switch do if you have a bomb threat and the building has to be evacuated or if there is a fire? You don’t want to be running around trying to figure that out in the middle of an emergency. This should be programmed so it is easily set but only by management or safety representative.

A – So, I know this has never happened at your call center but what happens to calls if there are no Agents Staffed on a particular queue and it is during operational hours? Do you want your customers to just sit in queue and wait? Or would you rather play a nice message explaining that they will need to call back or some other designated message?

T – Of course everyone has thought of this in their call flow programming but is it part of the call flow or is it in its own table (vector/dnis)? I suggest to put this out there on its own, that way the Time of Day can be set without going into the main call flow to make the changes. And of course you already know to name this so it is easily identifiable and related to the call flow that is goes with right?

Well, for now that is all the sage advice I have for you on IVR programming and maintenance. If you have any comments, feedback or questions even, feel free to leave them below.

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