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Issues in Call Center

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    Vishal Jhamb
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    Today, the call center manager has a daunting task when developing a call center. Not only will the corporate objectives have to be met but, also, the dynamic environment of changing telecom products, computer peripherals, and employee turnover must be integrated into the overall strategic plan. For the developing call center, the manager should accomplish these targets:

    • Minimize employee turnover and eliminate attrition
    • Enhance employee morale and encourage open communication
    • Foster technology growth with continuous technical training
    • Monitor and support customer satisfaction
    • Recognize budget constraints
    • Identify alternatives for continuous improvements
    • Optimize Network performance

    For the virtual call center, especially within a multi-media environment, network infrastructure and Quality of Service (QOS) are critical design considerations. All desktop computers should access the network on dedicated-switched Ethernet ports for high-speed access. For remote users, such as “at-home” agents, the transmissions may travel separate paths for data and voice by using separate telephone lines, ISDN, or even DSL connections. Bandwidth needs depend on the particular “nature” of the environment, user population, and other multimedia applications. Network performance is critical to the design of the environment call center; therefore, data and media demands are paramount engineering indicators to consider in the overall enterprise plan. Each new call center application places new demands on the existing network infrastructure. Basically, two fundamental technology improvements, increasing bandwidth and administering policy-based traffic flow, will impact the network infrastructure and QoS throughout the enterprise.

    For example, large file transfers that compete for resources may add enough loss to degrade a voice session, even with data compression capabilities. Therefore, the network switch architecture should support precedence handling of the voice packets on an end-to-end basis and allow prioritization of traffic across separate physical paths via queuing capabilities.

    A proper balance of both bandwidth and traffic flow is preferred over provisioning and advance management control to accommodate for potential bottlenecks throughout the network. The balancing of these elements will vary depending on the call center design requirements. Call center applications that span a large enterprise network (typical for virtual call centers) should incorporate an integrated approach in which prioritization techniques (e.g., traffic and broadband services) are maintained on an end-to-end basis using routers at the LAN/WAN boundary. Similarly, robust usage reporting and policy management capabilities should be incorporated along with any new technology.

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