WO1998025387A2 - Call center integration with operator services databases - Google Patents

Call center integration with operator services databases Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1998025387A2
WO1998025387A2 PCT/CA1997/000891 CA9700891W WO9825387A2 WO 1998025387 A2 WO1998025387 A2 WO 1998025387A2 CA 9700891 W CA9700891 W CA 9700891W WO 9825387 A2 WO9825387 A2 WO 9825387A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
customer
call
information
service
agent
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/CA1997/000891
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO1998025387A3 (en
Inventor
Robert W. Petrunka
Joseph Bosco
Original Assignee
Northern Telecom Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US76011196A priority Critical
Priority to US08/760,111 priority
Priority to US08/833,997 priority
Priority to US08/833,990 priority patent/US5987115A/en
Application filed by Northern Telecom Limited filed Critical Northern Telecom Limited
Publication of WO1998025387A2 publication Critical patent/WO1998025387A2/en
Publication of WO1998025387A3 publication Critical patent/WO1998025387A3/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q11/00Selecting arrangements for multiplex systems
    • H04Q11/04Selecting arrangements for multiplex systems for time-division multiplexing
    • H04Q11/0428Integrated services digital network, i.e. systems for transmission of different types of digitised signals, e.g. speech, data, telecentral, television signals
    • H04Q11/0435Details
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/50Centralised arrangements for answering calls; Centralised arrangements for recording messages for absent or busy subscribers ; Centralised arrangements for recording messages
    • H04M3/51Centralised call answering arrangements requiring operator intervention, e.g. call or contact centers for telemarketing
    • H04M3/5125Centralised call answering arrangements requiring operator intervention, e.g. call or contact centers for telemarketing with remote located operators
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/50Centralised arrangements for answering calls; Centralised arrangements for recording messages for absent or busy subscribers ; Centralised arrangements for recording messages
    • H04M3/51Centralised call answering arrangements requiring operator intervention, e.g. call or contact centers for telemarketing
    • H04M3/523Centralised call answering arrangements requiring operator intervention, e.g. call or contact centers for telemarketing with call distribution or queueing
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q3/00Selecting arrangements
    • H04Q3/64Distributing or queueing
    • H04Q3/66Traffic distributors
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/4228Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers in networks
    • H04M3/42297Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers in networks with number portability
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/487Arrangements for providing information services, e.g. recorded voice services, time announcements
    • H04M3/493Interactive information services, e.g. directory enquiries ; Arrangements therefor, e.g. interactive voice response [IVR] systems or voice portals
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/487Arrangements for providing information services, e.g. recorded voice services, time announcements
    • H04M3/493Interactive information services, e.g. directory enquiries ; Arrangements therefor, e.g. interactive voice response [IVR] systems or voice portals
    • H04M3/4931Directory assistance systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13034A/D conversion, code compression/expansion
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13072Sequence circuits for call signaling, ACD systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13091CLI, identification of calling line
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13095PIN / Access code, authentication
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13097Numbering, addressing
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13102Common translator
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13103Memory
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13141Hunting for free outlet, circuit or channel
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/1322PBX
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13224Off-net subscriber, dial in to/out from network, teleworking
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/1328Call transfer, e.g. in PBX
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13282Call forward, follow-me, call diversion
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13349Network management
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13377Recorded announcement
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q2213/00Indexing scheme relating to selecting arrangements in general and for multiplex systems
    • H04Q2213/13389LAN, internet

Abstract

A call servicing system allows service agents to service calls from customers (1200). The system includes local customer switches (1220), local agent switches (1320), and a customer database connected to a network call center. The local customer switches direct calls to and from the customers and the local agent switches direct calls to and from the service agents (1300). The customer database (1140, 1150) stores information regarding the customers sending the calls. The network call center receives a call from a first one of the customers, queries the customer database to retrieve customer information corresponding to the first customer, and concurrently routes the customer call and the corresponding customer information to one of the service agents.

Description

CALL CENTER INTEGRATION WITH OPERATOR SERVICES DATABASES

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to call management and more

particularly to call center technology that permits agents to provide quick and

informed customer service.

Many businesses use agents or operators to service customers by telephone.

These businesses often employ several agents connected to an Automatic Call

Distribution (ACD) system, such as a Meridian® ACD manufactured by Northern

Telecom, Ltd., to handle multiple calls simultaneously. The call center technology

distributes the calls (usually dialed with an 800 number) to the agents.

There are three principal types of call center technology: standalone ACDs,

ACDs integrated with a Private Branch Exchange (PBX), and central office based

ACDs. The most commonly used type is the ACD integrated with a PBX.

Conventional call centers require agents to ask customers for information,

such as the customer's name and address. The customer may also request service in a

language other than English. Conventional call centers typically require agents to

collect this information through verbal dialogue with the customer. Telephone companies store callers' names and addresses in databases for

access by telephone company operators responding to directory assistance requests

from callers. The databases are typically regional databases, updated on a daily basis

to maintain current and accurate information. Operators seeking caller information

usually access the databases using the caller's name or address.

Telephone companies also maintain a second set of regional databases

accessed by calling telephone number or Directory Number (DN). These databases

are called Line Information Databases (LIDB). LIDBs contain numerous data

segments, including, for example, information regarding the kind of calling telephone

(e.g., coin, coinless, etc.), the language preference of the DN owner, and the desire of

the DN owner for automated telephone services.

Conventional call centers, however, have no access to the telephone

companies' databases. Therefore, agents must obtain this information on their own

through verbal interaction with customers. The collection of the information in this

manner is time consuming for both the customer and the agent, and therefore costly.

Additionally, the verbally collected information commonly contains errors due to

mistakes made by the agents in collecting the information.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention addresses this problem by collecting customer

information beforehand so as to present the information to the agent before or at

substantially the same time as the agent receives the customer's call requesting

service. In accordance with the purpose of the invention as embodied and broadly

described herein, the call servicing system according to the principles of the present

invention allows service agents to service calls from customers. The system includes

local customer switches, local agent switches, and a customer database connected to a

network call center.

The local customer switches direct calls to and from the customers and the

local agent switches direct calls to and from the service agents. The customer

database stores information regarding the customers sending the calls. The network

call center receives a call from a first one of the customers, queries the customer

database to retrieve customer information corresponding to the first customer, and

concurrently routes the customer call and the corresponding customer information to

one of the service agents.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of

this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the invention and, together with the

description, explain the objects, advantages and principles of the invention. In the

drawings,

Fig. 1 is a diagram of a communications network consistent with the principles of the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a diagram of the components comprising the ACD Server of Fig. 1 ;

and

Figs. 3 A and 3B contain a flowchart of the call flow activity consistent with

the principles of the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following detailed description of the invention refers to the accompanying

drawings that illustrate preferred embodiments consistent with this invention. Other

embodiments are possible and changes may be made to the embodiments without

departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The following detailed

description does not limit the invention. Instead, the scope of the invention is defined

only by the appended claims.

Systems and methods consistent with the principles of the present invention

facilitate agent servicing by presenting an agent with customer information before or

at substantially the same time as the agent receives the customer's call.

I. Network Elements.

Fig. 1 is a block diagram of a communications network consistent with the

principles of the present invention. Network Call Center (NCC) 1100 connects

customer 1200 to agent 1300 of a virtual team of agents. A single customer and a

single agent have been shown for simplicity only. The present invention does not

depend on a specific number of customers and agents, but encompasses any number of

customers and agents connected to any switch in the network.

Customer 1200 uses a conventional telephone 1210 to communicate with an

agent of the virtual agent team through NCC 1100 via the public network, such as the

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Switch 1220 is a standard PBX or

Class 5 telephone switch, and connects customer 1200 to NCC 1100 over a standard

telephone line.

Multiple types of connections exist for connecting an agent of the virtual agent

team to NCC 1100: (1) via a local switch having no ACD functionality; and (2) via a local switch having ACD functionality. Business considerations and the physical

locations of the agents play a role in deciding the best type of connection. The

communications network of Fig. 1 shows agent 1300 connected through a local switch

having no ACD functionality (switch 1320).

Agent 1300 may use a number of different telephone line terminals to service

customer calls. The telephone line terminals may include a standard telephone (not

shown) or computer 1310 with a telephony card installed. Agent computer 1310

connects to NCC 1100 via switch 1320 and the PSTN. Switch 1320 is a standard

PBX or Class 5 switch without ACD functionality.

The specific type of connection between agent computer 1310 and switch 1320

depends on business considerations and the physical location of the agent. The

different types of connections that might be established between agent computer 1310

and switch 1320 are described in detail in related applications Serial Nos. 08/760,1 1 1

and 08/ , (Arty. Docket No. 3384.0123-00).

NCC 1100 controls the routing of calls from customer 1200 to agent 1300.

Fig. 1 shows NCC 1 100 as including High Level Switch (HLS) 1 1 10, ACD server

1120, and Interactive Voice Response unit (IVR) 1130. NCC 1100 includes data

connections to two databases, LIDB 1 140 and Directory Assistance Database (DADB)

1 150. LIDB 1140 stores numerous data segments retrieved using the calling

telephone number, including, but not limited to, information about the kind of calling

telephone, the language preference of the DN owner, that is, the owner of the calling

telephone number, and the desire of the DN owner for automation of telephone

services. DADB 1150, on the other hand, stores customer information retrieved using the calling telephone number, including, but not limited to, customer name and

address information.

HLS 1110 is a network switch, such as a DMS Traffic Operator Position

System (TOPS) switch manufactured by Northern Telecom, Ltd., that routes calls

from customer 1200 to agent 1300 of a virtual team of agents, and queries LIDB 1140

for data segments corresponding to the customer. A data segment is simply a group of

information corresponding to a particular calling telephone or DN owner. HLS 1110

preferably contains an interface that facilitates communication with ACD server 1120

to allow ACD server 1120 to control the routing of calls.

ACD server 1120 includes a computer with an Ethernet-equivalent data

connection to HLS 1110 and IVR 1130. ACD server 1 120 can include an IBM-

compatible computer executing Windows NT™, but might alternatively include a

UNIX™-capable computer, such as an HP model or the IBM Rise 6000.

ACD server 1120 queues customer calls, records information regarding the

availability of agents, controls call routing by HLS 11 10 and the operation of IVR

1 130, provides Management Information System (MIS) data, and queries DADB 1 150

for customer information. ACD server 1120 also processes network events reported

by HLS 1110, and takes appropriate action, such as rerouting calls and releasing called

trunks due to busy conditions, for example.

Fig. 2 is a block diagram showing the components of ACD server 1120,

including processing unit 2010, call buffer 2020, and agent buffer 2030. Processing

unit 2010 tracks agent availability and handles the processing of customer calls,

including the queuing of such calls in call buffer 2020, the retrieval of customer information corresponding to the calls from DADB 1150, and the routing of the calls

to available agents.

Call buffer 2020 preferably includes several call queues arranged by specific

categories, such as agent team, or specific customer call criteria including the desired

language of the customer. The call queues may also contain priority call queues for

faster service by the agents. A call may be placed in a priority call queue, for

example, after it has waited in call buffer 2020 longer than a predetermined period of

time.

Agent buffer 2030 preferably contains several agent queues arranged, for

example, by agent team. Each agent queue contains values representing idle agents

waiting for a call to service. Similar to the call queues, the agent queues may contain

priority agent queues that are searched first when a new call arrives needing service.

The particular queues within call buffer 2020 of calls that an agent services

and the queues within agent buffer 2030 of available agents are predetermined by the

operating telephone company, on behalf of the call center service provider. Agents

may need to service multiple queues or just one queue. Agents may also need to

service different queues at different priorities.

Returning to Fig. 1, IVR 1 130 includes a computer, such as a personal

computer or a larger mainframe computer, with a voice connection to HLS 1110. IVR

1 130 collects information from the customers to aid ACD server 1 120 in categorizing

the customer calls, storing them in a proper call queue in ACD server 1120, and

directing them to an appropriate agent. IVR 1130 plays announcements or music for

the customers while awaiting service in a call queue. IVR 1130 might also interact with agents to collect agent status information, such as agent log-on, log-off,

availability, and unavailability data.

II. Processing.

Figs. 3A and 3B contain a flowchart illustrating the call flow activity

consistent with the principles of the present invention.

The flowchart of Figs. 3 A and 3B assume that agent 1300 has already logged

onto the system and awaits a customer call. The process for logging onto the system

is described in detail in related applications Serial Nos. 08/760,1 11 and 08/ ,

(Atty. Docket No. 3384.0123-00).

A customer, such as customer 1200, places a voice call for a desired service,

such as to make a reservation or to order a product [step 3010]. To place the voice

call, customer 1200 dials a telephone number, typically a toll free number, for the

service that customer 1200 desires.

Switch 1220 routes customer 1200's call to NCC 1 100 through the PSTN.

HLS 11 10 receives the call and sends a query to LIDB 1140 using a Common Channel

Signaling number 7 (CCS7) trunk to retrieve data segments corresponding to

customer 1200's calling telephone number [step 3020]. The data segments include,

for example, a language preference of the DN owner, i.e., the customer. HLS 1110

suspends call processing until LIDB 1140 responds with the desired data segments.

Based on the data segments from LIDB 1 140, HLS 1 1 10 identifies the call as

one that requires the services of ACD server 1120 [step 3030]. HLS 1110 then sets up

a data session with ACD server 1120 [step 3040], and sends ACD server 1120 call

information, including the calling and called telephone numbers and the data segments

retrieved from LIDB 1140. At this point, ACD server 1120 may desire to collect additional information

from customer 1200 [step 3050]. The criteria for collecting additional information is

preferably preestablished, such that ACD server 1120 might always desire to collect

additional information or might desire to collect additional information only from

customers who have not previously called for the particular service.

If ACD server 1120 desires additional information from customer 1200, ACD

server 1120 directs HLS 1110 to set up a voice connection to IVR 1130 [step 3110].

Once HLS 1110 connects customer 1200's call to IVR 1130, ACD server 1120

instructs IVR 1 130 to prompt customer 1200 for the desired information using a

language consistent with the retrieved data segments [step 3120]. While IVR 1130

interacts with customer 1200, ACD server 1120 sends a query to DADB 1150 using

an Ethernet-equivalent data connection to retrieve the name and address

corresponding to the calling telephone number [step 3130].

Using the collected information, including the call information and the

information collected from customer 1200, ACD server 1 120 finds the next available

agent, such as agent 1300, from the agent queues that has the necessary skills to

service customer 1200 [step 3140]. Once ACD server 1 120 finds agent 1300 as the

next available agent, ACD server 1120 instructs HLS 1110 to connect customer 1200

to agent 1300 through the PSTN [step 3150]. At the same time, ACD server 1120

sends a data message to host computer 1330 associated with agent 1300 [step 3160].

The data message includes the data collected by ACD server 1120 which would be

useful to agent 1300 in servicing customer 1200, including, for example, the customer

name and address. Host computer 1330 sends the data message for display on agent computer

1310 [step 3170]. Agent 1300 receives the data message from host computer 1330

before, or at substantially the same time, as agent 1300 receives the customer call.

Agent 1300 then services the call [step 3180].

If, on the other hand, ACD server 1120 determines that additional information

from customer 1200 is not needed [step 3050], ACD server 1120 finds the next

available agent, such as agent 1300, from the agent queues that has the necessary

skills to service customer 1200 based on the information ACD server 1120 has

regarding customer 1200 [step 3140].

Once ACD server 1 120 finds agent 1300 as the next available agent, ACD

server 1120 instructs HLS 1110 to connect customer 1200's call to agent 1300 through

the PSTN [step 3150]. Concurrently, ACD server 1 120 sends a data message to host

computer 1330 [step 3160]. Host computer 1330, in rum, sends the data message for

display on agent computer 1310 [step 3170]. Agent 1300 then services the call [step

3180].

The call flow activity described above may be slightly different if agent 1300

connects to NCC 1100 via a local switch having ACD functionality because extra

processing is sometimes required to coordinate the data message sent from ACD

server 1120 with the voice call arriving at the local ACD switch. This is particularly

true when the customer's calling number does not uniquely identify the customer.

When coordination is needed, ACD server 1120 might instruct HLS 1 1 10 to replace

customer 1200's true calling number, or some other parameter, with a call identifier

created by ACD server 1120. ACD server 1120 then includes this call identifier in the data message sent to

host computer 1330. HLS 1110 also includes the call identifier with the voice call

sent through the PSTN using a standard CCS7 trunk to the local ACD switch. When

the voice call arrives, the local ACD switch sends the call identifier to host computer

1330. In response, host computer 1330 sends the relevant data to agent 1300.

III. Conclusion.

The systems and methods according to the principles of the present invention

support agent servicing functions by providing agents with customer information to

allow agents to service customer calls properly and expeditiously.

The foregoing description of preferred embodiments of the present invention

provides illustration and description, but is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit

the invention to the precise form disclosed. Modifications and variations are possible

in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practice of the invention.

For example, a network level switch has been described as providing the call

management functionality. However, this need not be the case. The call management

functionality might alternatively be provided by a local switch. Furthermore, the

ACD Server has been described as containing the customer and agent queues.

However, the High Level Switch might alternatively provide this queuing.

The scope of the invention is defined by the following claims and their

equivalents.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A call servicing system for allowing service agents to service calls
from customers, comprising:
a plurality of customer switches configured to direct calls to and from the
customers;
a plurality of agent switches configured to direct calls to and from the service
agents;
a customer database configured to store information regarding the customers;
and
a network call center connected to the customer switches, the agent switches,
and the customer database, the network call center including
means for receiving a call from a first one of the customers,
means for querying the customer database to retrieve customer
information corresponding to the first customer, and
means for concurrently routing the customer call and the corresponding
customer information to one of the service agents.
2. The system of claim 1, further comprising
at least one host computer connected to the network call center and the service
agents, and
wherein the network call center includes
means for routing the customer call to the one service agent via one of
the agent switches and the customer information to the one service agent via
the host computer.
3. A method for managing calls at a network call center, comprising the
steps of:
receiving a call from a customer requesting service;
querying a database to retrieve customer information corresponding to the
customer;
deteπnining a service agent that can process the customer call; and
concurrently sending the customer call and the customer information to the
determined service agent to permit the determined service agent to expeditiously
service the customer call.
4. The method of claim 3, further comprising the step of
detecting call information from the received customer call, and
wherein the determining step includes the substep of
determining a service agent that can process the customer call based on
the detected call information.
5. A network call center for facilitating processing of service calls from
customers communicating via customer switches by service agents communicating via
agent switches, the network call center comprising:
a network switch connected to the customer switches and to the agent
switches, the network switch including
means for receiving the service calls from the customers,
means for detecting call information from the service calls,
means for querying a first database to retrieve first customer
information regarding the customers, and
means for routing the service calls to the service agents via the agent
switches; and
an Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) server, connected to the network
switch, and including
means for receiving the call information and the first customer
information from the network switch,
means for queuing the service calls,
means for querying a second database to retrieve second customer
information corresponding to the service calls,
means for controlling the routing of the service calls by the network
switch, and
means for sending the second customer information to the service
agents to facilitate processing of the service calls.
6. The network call center of claim 5, wherein the ACD server includes means for sending the second customer information to one of the service agents substantially concurrently with the network switch routing a corresponding one of the service calls to the one service agent.
7. In a network that routes calls from customers coupled to customer
switches to service agents coupled to agent switches, a network switch controlled by
an Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) server and comprising:
means for receiving a customer call from one of the customers via a
corresponding customer switch;
means for detecting call information regarding the customer call;
means for querying a database using the call information to retrieve customer information corresponding to the customer;
means for sending the call information and the customer information to the
ACD server;
means for receiving routing instructions from the ACD server, the routing
instructions directing the customer call to an available one of the service agents; and
means for routing the customer call to the available service agent via a
corresponding agent switch according to the routing instructions.
8. A method for routing calls from customers coupled to customer
switches to service agents coupled to agent switches via a network switch controlled
by an Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) server, the method executed by the network
switch and comprising the steps of:
receiving a customer call from one of the customers via a corresponding
customer switch;
detecting call information regarding the customer call;
querying a database using the call information to retrieve customer
information corresponding to the customer;
sending the call information and the customer information to the ACD server;
receiving routing instructions from the ACD server, the routing instructions
directing the customer call to an available one of the service agents; and
routing the customer call to the available service agent via a corresponding
agent switch according to the routing instructions.
9. In a network for routing calls from customers coupled to customer
switches to service agents coupled to agent switches, an Automatic Call Distribution
(ACD) server controlling a network switch coupled to the customer and agent
switches, and comprising:
means for receiving call information and first customer information from the
network switch, the call information being information detected by the network switch
regarding a call received from one of the customers, the first customer information
being information obtained by the network switch corresponding to the customer;
means for querying a database to retrieve second customer information,
different from the first customer information;
means for determining one of the service agents that can service the call using
the call information and the first customer information;
means for generating a data message including the second customer
information;
means for sending the data message to the determined service agent; and
means for instructing the network switch to route the call to the determined
service agent via a corresponding one of the agent switches.
10. The ACD server of claim 9, wherein the sending means includes
means for sending the data message to the determined service agent
substantially concurrently with the network switch routing the call to the
determined service agent.
11. A method for routing calls from customers coupled to customer
switches to service agents coupled to agent switches, an Automatic Call Distribution
(ACD) server controlling a network switch coupled to the customer and agent
switches, the method executed by the ACD server and comprising the steps of:
receiving call information and first customer information from the network
switch, the call information being information detected by the network switch
regarding a call received from one of the customers, the first customer information
being information obtained by the network switch corresponding to the customer;
querying a database to retrieve second customer information, different from
the first customer information;
determining one of the service agents that can service the call using the call
information and the first customer information;
generating a data message including the second customer information;
sending the data message to the determined service agent; and
instructing the network switch to route the call to the determined service agent
via a corresponding one of the agent switches.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the sending step includes the substep
of
sending the data message to the determined service agent substantially
concurrently with the network switch routing the call to the determined service
agent.
PCT/CA1997/000891 1996-12-03 1997-11-27 Call center integration with operator services databases WO1998025387A2 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

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US76011196A true 1996-12-03 1996-12-03
US08/760,111 1996-12-03
US08/833,997 1997-04-11
US08/833,990 US5987115A (en) 1996-12-03 1997-04-11 Systems and methods for servicing calls by service agents connected via standard telephone lines

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

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CA 2242094 CA2242094C (en) 1996-12-03 1997-11-27 Call center integration with operator services databases

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WO1998025387A3 WO1998025387A3 (en) 1999-01-14

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO1998025386A2 (en) 1998-06-11
CA2242092A1 (en) 1998-06-11
CA2242094A1 (en) 1998-06-11
CA2242094C (en) 2002-07-09
WO1998025386A3 (en) 1998-08-20
CA2242092C (en) 2003-03-25
WO1998025387A3 (en) 1999-01-14

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