This section provides a high-level overview of automatic dialers and the Cisco Outbound Option solution.
Automatic dialers increase contact center efficiency because they save time, eliminate misdialing numbers, and make contact center agents more productive. By automatically dialing and screening for busy signals, no answer, and answering machines, dialers ensure that agents do not waste time on the mechanical tasks of placing a call. Only when the dialer reaches a live contact does the solution transfer the call to the next available agent.
Cisco Outbound Solution
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise help companies distribute inbound calls to various termination points:
Automatic call distributors (ACDs)
Voice response unit (VRU) systems
The Cisco Outbound Option application, with its combination of outbound dialing modes, enables call centers to manage outbound calls. The ability for agents to handle both inbound and outbound contacts enables contact center resource optimization.
Overview of Cisco Outbound Option
The Cisco Outbound Option application provides outbound dialing functionality along with the existing inbound capabilities of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE). This application enables the contact center to dial customer contacts and directly contacted customers to agents or VRUs.
With the Cisco Outbound Option, configure a contact center for automated outbound activities.
Enable the outbound option high availability to deploy a redundant pair of Campaign Managers. Combined with redundant SIP Dialers and bidirectional database replication, Outbound Option High Availability provides uninterrupted services.
Outbound Option Features
Unified CCE Compatible Dialer
You can implement Unified CCE in a single-site environment or integrated into a multisite contact center enterprise. Unified CCE includes intelligent call routing, ACD functionality, network-to-desktop computer telephony integration (CTI), VRU integration, call queuing, and consolidated reporting.
With Unified CCE integration, you place customer calls through the Cisco Voice Gateway using Unified CM for call control.
Outbound Option on Unified CCE provides a native multisite outbound dialing solution.
Outbound Option supports advanced list management, which provides you with the following capabilities:
You can assign customer records to multiple lists, which you can merge into a single campaign.
You set up rules that decide when to call the various lists.
You assign agents to campaigns using skill groups.
Dedicated and Blended Dialing Modes
You assign agents to one of the following types:
- Dedicated mode
Used for agents who only make calls for Outbound Option campaigns.
- Blended mode
Enables agents to receive inbound calls and Outbound Option calls without switching between Inbound and Outbound skill groups. (In Blended mode, inbound calls receive precedence over Outbound Option calls.)
Outbound Option maximizes performance in both pure outbound and blended modes.
The outbound mode is a skill group attribute. You can control the outbound mode using administrative scripts.
The skill group mode variable is only a setting and has no impact on how the Router routes calls. For skill groups in Dedicated mode, create a corresponding routing script with an IF node to enforce the Dedicated mode. The IF node must state that, if the Outbound Control skill group setting is set to Dedicated, do not route inbound calls to that skill group.
Call Progress Analysis (CPA)
Call Progress Analysis (CPA) uses a combination of call signaling and media stream analysis to differentiate various types of calls.
You can enable CPA in the Outbound Option Campaign dialog box. On the Campaign Purpose tab, check the Call Progress Analysis checkbox.
You can enable CPA for each campaign individually on the Dialer. To enable record CPA, check the Record CPA checkbox.
You must enable the Record CPA option for debugging purposes only.
The Dialer can record a maximum of 100 simultaneous CPA streams. The streams are stored in .wav format. By default, the system automatically purges old recording files when the total size of CPA files stored reaches 500 MB.
Transfer to VRU
The transfer to VRU feature provides Outbound Option with another outbound mode. In this mode, the Dialer transfers every customer call for a specific skill group to a service control-based VRU, instead of an agent. This feature enables a contact center to run unassisted outbound campaigns using prerecorded messages in the Unified IP-IVR and Unified CVP products.
The sequential dialing feature enables you to associate up to ten phone numbers with a customer record.
Cisco Unified CCE Agent Re-Skilling
Cisco Unified CCE agent re-skilling is an optional feature that enables supervisors to change the skill groups for their agents. Use the Unified CCE Web Administration application to change the skill group designations of agents on your team. You can also quickly view skill group members and details about individual agents in this tool. Changes that you make to an agent’s skill group membership take place immediately without requiring the agent to re-logon to the system.
Abandoned and Retry Call Settings
The Campaign component contains fields to support abandoned and retry calls.
For more information on the abandoned and retry call settings, see the Outbound Option online help.
Campaign Prefix Digits for Dialed Numbers
The Campaign prefix digits field on the Campaign General tab enables you to configure prefix digits for dialed numbers by campaign. If you configure a prefix, the dialer inserts those digits before the Dial prefix for all numbers dialed in a campaign. This prefix enables an administrator to create campaign-specific Unified CM translation patterns. You can use the translation patterns to tailor the Automatic Number Identification (ANI) seen by a customer. For example, customers for Campaign A see a caller ID of "1-800-333-4444," and customers for Campaign B see a caller ID of "1-800-555-1212."