Loway QueueMetrics: a management tool for call centres built on Asterisk

Overview of QueueMetrics by Dmitry Komov, SoftBCom (http://softbcom.com/)

A monitoring and reporting system is the most important component of any call centre. The fine adjustment and balancing of all internal mechanisms and communications that form the complex ecosystem of a call centre rely on accuracy of numerous measurements and the value of analytical reports. As practice shows, an efficient call centre management that engages feedback and accurate measurements can boost operators’ performance by 50–100% or more, while maintaining the clients’ satisfaction or even improving it.

Monitoring and detailed reporting of call centre performance are the key duties of QueueMetrics, a system first created about a decade ago by the Swiss company Loway.

This system, however, has certain extra features designed for direct management of a call centre (also covered in this review).

The whole functional range of QueueMetrics (QM, http://queuemetrics.com/) can be divided into four main categories:

1. Reports. Collecting detailed data and generating in-depth analytical reports including over 150 metrics. The system displays reports in a convenient tabular and graphical format.

2. Call centre supervisor page. Real-time monitoring of call centre operations and display of the respective data on ‘call centre supervisor page’. This information allows to control the current situation and influence operators’ work.

3. Operator page. Interaction with a call centre operator via the ‘operator page’. It is an operator’s workspace where he or she can track the incoming calls, connect to the assigned queues, disconnect from them for a break, and enter any necessary information regarding the calls using CRM and other applications that would be displayed in the corresponding windows.

4. Quality control — adjustable means for subjective and objective control of operators’ work allowing to automate the assessment of operators’ performance quality and generate detailed reports based on all criteria that contribute to the overall assessment of each call centre employee.

1. Reports

1.1. Completed calls

QM’s reports on completed calls reflect the following data:

  • when did the call come in
  • who did initiate the call, who did process it and in which queue
  • waiting time before the caller was connected with an operator, time that the operator needed to process the call
  • number of attempts that the caller has made before being connected.
  • how (and for what reason) did the call end
  • what number was dialed
  • what entries did the caller submit in the voice menu
  • what was the result of the call
  • for how long was the call on hold after connection with an operator
  • which specialist the call was transferred to.
Figure 1

Besides the abovementioned call data, the QM reports on failed calls include information regarding the reason why an operator didn’t answer a call: timeout for waiting in a queue was reached, or a client quit waiting for the operator’s answer.

With a help of detailed information on calls, QM generates statistical reports on call centre performance for different periods of time containing the following data:

  • amount of successful and failed calls
  • maximum, minimum, average and total waiting time and call processing time, as well as related data on service quality
  • call breakdown by operators
  • call breakdown by dialed numbers
  • breakdown of transferred calls by internal numbers
  • call breakdown by queues
  • call breakdown by direction (incoming or outgoing)
  • call breakdown by position number in a queue
  • call breakdown by choices taken in the voice menu (IVR)
  • statistics of time on hold after connection, by operator

statistics of country and region codes of calling and dialed subscribers.

Figure 2

1.2. Operator sessions

QM also provides detailed information on working sessions of call centre operators:

  • starting and finishing times of an operator’s session, time of entering and leaving the pause mode
  • the reason for a pause.

Based on the detailed information regarding operators’ sessions, QM sums up and displays the following data for different periods of time:

  • working time and pause time of an operator
  • amount of paid and unpaid time of an operator
  • maximum, minimum, average and total time of an operator’s session
  • statistics of operators’ sessions by group and geographic location.
Figure 3

2. Call centre supervisor page

A call centre supervisor can track the following data on queues, calls and operators in real time:

  • queues, number of operators in each of them, as well as the number of available operators
  • the current incoming calls: caller’s phone number, waiting time, conversation time and the engaged operator
  • Number of operators online, a given operator’s status (available, busy, on pause), time of the last connection to a queue, time of the last call and name of the queue, where this operator has processed his or her last call.

There is an option of notifications (visual and/or audible) when exceeding important threshold values: number of calls on hold, number of available operators, waiting time, etc.

A call centre supervisor can use this page interface to:

- add and remove operators from queue

- listen to current conversations of an operator

- send instant messages to the operators

open and view an operator’s desktop via remote access

Figure 4

3. Operator page

A call centre operator’s page contains information regarding all current calls of the operator, including:

  • call starting time
  • waiting time and conversation time
  • the queue, where the call was processed
  • the caller’s number and the internal number where the call was transferred.

For each call, the operator can automatically or manually open a connected interface page (if any) in the local CRM system or other application (contractor’s card, client reference, etc.).

The operator can select a result for each of the calls from an adjustable drop down list. For instance, sale stage information (sold, pending, cancelled), if the operator is a sales manager.

The operator can use the operator’s page to enter and leave a queue, switch to pause mode, select a pause indicator (Lunch, Service Break, etc.), initiate an outgoing call, dial a number using a built-in softphone, as well as view his or her current status.

Figure 5

4. Quality control

Loway QueueMetrics allows for a full-scale automated quality control of operators’ work.

It also allows to make a form containing adjustable control criteria for conduction of a subjective quality control. A call centre employee responsible for quality control listens to the records of operators’ conversations with clients and evaluates each operator based on the criteria:

  • how friendly and polite an operator was with a client
  • how useful, sufficient, etc., the operator’s answers were
  • did the operator follow the corporate standards while processing a client’s call
  • was the client’s problem solved
  • other adjustable criteria.

In addition to the subjective quality control, there is a possibility to configure the objective tracking of operators’ performance. The configuration can include maximum and minimum values corresponding to exceeding of thresholds, as well as the weights for the following criteria of operators’ performance:

  • amount of processed calls
  • duration of processed calls
  • number of missed calls
  • call result
  • other criteria.

Based on subjective and objective assessment of operators’ work quality, the system generates an overall report containing the final evaluation of operators’ performance quality for the stated period of time with a possibility to conduct a detailed study of evaluations based on each criterion for all operators.

Figure 6

***

All the abovementioned features of QueueMetrics allow for turning any Asterisk installation into a full-scale call centre.

According to Loway, QueueMetrics is designed for call centres built on one or more servers and employing up to 500 operators. QueueMetrics can be integrated with almost any Asterisk installation: plain, FreePBX, Elastix etc.

Asterisk has a very wide range of features for implementing a variety of processing logics for incoming calls, especially in the plain installation (management via command prompt). Therefore, this IP PBX can be used for building a call centre with a functionality that would meet any requirements and needs of a customer. Such a call centre may be deployed in just a few days and at a cost that would be dozens or even hundreds of times lower compared to that of traditional corporate-level solutions.

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