CudaTel Configuration Example: Inbound Call Center
Description: This document describes the steps necessary to create a basic inbound call center on a CudaTel Communication Server. By following the steps presented here you will be able to create a complete inbound call center configuration with several users and multiple queues/departments.
Prerequisites: To fully test this configuration you will need several configured users with telephones. You will, of course, need access to the CudaTel administration web interface. Although not absolutely
necessary, it is useful to have an inbound DID phone number with which to test. It is highly recommended that you review the information found in CudaTel Configuration Example: Inbound Day/Night/Holiday Routing.
The screen shots presented here were from a Chrome browser on a Windows 7 machine. The CudaTel version shown is 2.6.0. Although your display may have slight differences, the screen shots in this document are representative of any CudaTel running version 2.5 or 2.6 firmware.
Advanced users may find that the Getting Started and Building the Configuration sections are somewhat repetitive. In that case, we recommend you skim these two sections before getting to Setting Up the CudaTel. The last section is a summary of the extensions that we created.
We always begin by writing down the basic goals that we wish to accomplish. It’s best to write these out in plain language. A simple list usually will suffice. Our example will include several different options. Feel free to leave out anything that does not apply to your specific scenario.
Here is our list of goals:
• System will queue incoming calls
• We will have two different departments
• Each department will have English-only and bilingual agents (bilingual = English and Spanish)
• Calls that stay in queue for longer than a specified amount of time (e.g. 5 minutes) will automatically be transferred to an operator
• If a call is in queue for more than 1 minute, display it in yellow on the dashboard
• If a call is in queue for more than 3 minutes, display it in red on the dashboard
• If more than 2 calls are in a queue, display it in yellow on the dashboard
• If more than 4 calls are in a queue, display it in red on the dashboard
• If a call rings an agent’s phone for more than 15 seconds with being answered, assume that the agent is unable to answer and move on to another agent
• Record all queue calls and keep them on the system for 21 days
From there we will get a bit more specific in what we want. Our example departments are:
We will create the following agents:
• English Sales (2 agents)
• Bilingual Sales (2 agents)
• English Support (2 agents)
• Bilingual Support (2 agents) We will create the following call queues:
We want our bilingual agents to answer English calls, but only if there are no Spanish calls waiting. NOTE: It is entirely possible to have Spanish-only agents, i.e. agents who will only answer calls in the Spanish-language queues. This is discussed in the section Setting Up the CudaTel. Also keep in mind that the English/Spanish divisions here are just one example of how to set up routing based on agent skill sets. You may have different languages, or perhaps you have tier 1 and tier 2 support, etc. The principles presented here will apply in many different scenarios.
Now that we have our basic goals and some specifics listed out we need to start sketching out our configuration.
Building the Configuration
When building a call routing system we build from the “bottom up” as opposed to the top down. In other words, we start by building all the users first. Then we create queues and assign users to them.
Conceptually our configuration will look something like this:
• Sales (English)
o English Agents
o Bilingual Agents
• Sales (Spanish)
o Bilingual Agents
• Support (English)
o English Agents
o Bilingual Agents
• Support (Spanish)
o Bilingual Agents
Adding these to the CudaTel is relatively simple. Let’s move on to the actual configuring of the CudaTel.
Setting Up the CudaTel
At this point we are ready to start configuring the CudaTel. Log in to the CudaTel by pointing your browser to http://x.x.x.x where x.x.x.x is the IP address of your CudaTel server.
You’ll be presented with the login screen:
Put in your username (usually “admin”) and password, then click Log In. A successful log in will take you to the dashboard:
Let’s first confirm what our system extension numbers are. Navigate to Configuration > Extensions. Here you will see a list of “extension blocks” on the system. These blocks represent the assignable extension numbers for our system. In our example we will add two blocks: 1100~1199 and 1200~1299. Click Add and extension block if you wish to add a block to your system. Alternatively, you can use the default 2000~2999 extension block. We are simply demonstrating how to add extension blocks.
For this example our extension blocks look like this:
Your extension block(s) may have different numbers but the principle is the same: you have a range or ranges of numbers wherein your extension numbers lay. For our examples we will use the same nomenclature that was used in CudaTel Configuration Example: Day/Night/Holiday Routing, namely:
• 1100–1199: User extensions
• 1200–1299: Utility extensions, i.e. groups, queues, call routers, auto attendants
Let’s assume that we already have at least one extension on the system, such as a receptionist or “system operator,” and that we are simply adding some agents and inbound call queues. We know that we have eight agents and four queues to create. Let’s start by creating our users first, and then we’ll create the queues. Lastly, we’ll add the users to the queues as part of the queue configuration process. For simplicity’s sake we’ll name our users by language. (Naturally you will use real names in your configuration.) Here are the users we need to add:
• English Sales1
• English Sales2
• Spanish Sales1
• Spanish Sales2
• English Support1
• English Support2
• Spanish Support1
• Spanish Support2
Start by navigating to Extensions > People. Click Add New Person and a new view will appear:
Add the user’s name and choose a valid PIN. Click the drop-down next to “Assign this person to an extension:” and select “Select an extension for the person.” A new drop-down list will appear. If you wish to assign a specific extension number then click the drop-down list and select “Single Extension,”
otherwise leave it at “Next Free Extension.” The system will choose the lowest extension number that has yet to be assigned.
Our completed form looks something like this:
Click Add and the user will be added to the list:
Repeat the process for the remaining seven users. The final user list will look like this:
Now that the our agents are in the system we can start building our queues. Navigate to Extensions > Inbound Call Queues. Let’s create our four queues and then we will edit each one to suit our needs. Remember that we will be using extension numbers in the 1200~1299 range. Let’s use these extensions:
• 1230 – English Sales Queue
• 1231 – Spanish Sales Queue
• 1232 – English Support Queue
Click Add New Queue and a new view will appear:
For the queue name use “English Sales” and leave the Music on Hold set to “default.” Click the drop-down list under “Extension:” and select “Single Extension.” Enter 1230 as the extension number. The completed form looks something like this:
Click Add and the new queue will show up in the list:
Let’s edit the English Sales queue first. Click on it and a new view will appear:
There is quite a lot of information displayed here. (A detailed description of each option can be found in chapter 5 of the CudaTel Administrator Guide.) Let’s start at the top and work our way down.
Click in the box under “Add and Agent” and start typing either the extension number or name of the agent. You will see a list of suggested entries that you can click on. In our example we will add the following agents to this queue:
• English Sales1 (x1101)
• English Sales2 (x1102)
• Spanish Sales1 (x1103)
• Spanish Sales2 (x1104)
Leave Music on Hold and Break-In Announcements at their default values. (We will discuss these later in this document.)
For “Maximum Wait Time” select an appropriate value and a target extension. We will use 5 minutes and extension 1100:
Leave “Agents per Call” set at 1. Set “Ring time Per Agent” to 15 seconds:
Leave the “Call Priority” set to 5. (For the Spanish queues we will alter this value.) For “Queue Monitor Capacity/Wait-time Warnings” use the values displayed here:
“Queue Name on Phone Display” – set the name to “Eng Sales”. You can use a longer, more descriptive name, however keep in mind that your telephones may not be able to display a longer name. Feel free to experiment with this value to see what works in your environment. Our configuration looks like this:
Leave “Web Application Popup URL” blank. For “Call Recording Policy” click the check box and enter 21 days:
If you wish to store the recordings externally you can specify one or more email addresses to which the recordings will be sent. Please keep in mind that every call that comes in to the queue will be recorded and sent to the target email.
Our English Sales queue configuration is now complete. Click the BACK link (not the back button on your browser) to return to the list of queues. Now let’s configure the Spanish Sales queue. Click on it and the edit queue view will appear. We need to add these extensions:
• Spanish Sales1 (x1103)
• Spanish Sales2 (x1104)
All of the rest of the settings are identical to the English Sales queue with one exception: the priority. We want the Spanish Sales queue to have a higher priority than the English Sales queue – this will cause our
bilingual agents (x1103 and x1104) to receive calls from the Spanish queue before they receive calls from the English queue. The net result is that when there are Spanish calls, the bilingual agents will receive those, but when there are no Spanish calls the bilingual agents will receive English calls.
Set the priority to 4 for the Spanish Sales queue. (The lower the number, the higher the priority.) The final Spanish Sales queue configuration looks like this:
Repeat the steps for the support queues. The English Support queue will have these agents:
• English Support1 (x1105)
• English Support2 (x1106)
• Spanish Support1 (x1107)
The Spanish Support queue will have these agents:
• Spanish Support1 (x1107)
• Spanish Support2 (x1108)
Now that our queues are created we can start making agents available to receive calls. Agents can log in using their call control client or the supervisor can use the Switchboard.
Testing the Configuration
The easiest way to test the configuration is to log some agents in and then manually call the four queue extensions we created. Start by navigating to Switchboard > Agent Manager. You’ll see a list of agents:
Click the drop-down list next to an agent and select “Available” to make the agent ready to receive calls. Once you have some agents ready to take calls you can test the queues and watch the statuses. Navigate to Switchboard > Queue Monitor. You will have a simple view that shows the status of each queue as well as any calls that are currently waiting in a queue:
This display is very important for the call center manager as it gives a lot of crucial information. The left-hand column shows a list of all calls waiting in all queues. The four gray squares represent the four queues that we created. The numbers in the upper-right corner of each square show available agents and total agents for that queue. Here is a display with a bit of activity:
Here we have two calls waiting in queue. Also, we know that at least one agent in the English Sales queue is on the phone because we can see “1/2” in the display. (One agent available, two agents total.) Here we see that one of the calls has been on hold for more than 60 seconds, thus it displays in yellow:
Here are the same calls, this time with one in yellow and one in red:
You can test the maximum wait time by letting a call sit in queue for five minutes and it will transfer out to extension 1100.
When testing the distribution of calls to agents, keep in mind that by default the CudaTel sends the next inbound call to the agent who has been idle the longest.
Other Configuration Options
While we were configuring our queue extensions we deliberately skipped over a few configuration items. Let’s review those now. Navigate to Extensions > Inbound Call Queues and click on one of the queue extensions.
Music on Hold
The CudaTel allows for multiple music on hold (MOH) profiles. You may decide that you want callers in one queue should hear different MOH than callers in another queue. For example, if you have callers in two different languages then you may want different music for each set of callers. You can create a new MOH profile in Configuration > Sounds and Music. (See chapter 4 of the CudaTel Administrator’s Guide for more information.)
Break-In Announcements allow you to deliver information to your callers who are in queue. Some organizations prefer to voice a message to their callers, perhaps something like, “Did you know that we now have a new product? Ask your representative for more information.” As a rule of thumb, the longer
your break-in announcements are, the farther apart they should be spaced. You may find that you need to experiment with the Break-In Announcement Frequency setting to find the optimal value for your
environment. Agents per Call
By default the CudaTel will send each inbound call to only a single agent. In some environments this may not be optimal. For example, in a competitive sales environment it may be desirable to have each
inbound call ring to all agents. The first agent to answer will get the sales call.
NOTE: when multiple phones ring on an incoming call, those that did not answer the call may show a “missed call” in the display. Some phone manufacturers (e.g. Snom, Yealink) support a “call answered elsewhere” notification and thus will not show a missed call in this scenario. However, Polycom phones do not support this special notification and will display a missed call each time the agent does not answer an inbound call that rang his or her phone.
Web Application Popup URL
The Web application pop feature was recently added to the CudaTel. It applies to agents who are logged in with their call control client. Whenever a call is answered by the agent, the call control client will pop up a new browser window with the URL specified here. This allows for the equivalent of a “screen pop.” See chapter 5 of the CudaTel Administrator’s Guide for an example of using this feature.
That’s it! You now have a completely operational inbound call center configuration for your CudaTel. The following section is a summary of the extensions that we created in this process.
We created a number of extensions on our system. Here is a summary of what we added:
Extension Name Description
1101 English Sales1 Agent: English sales queue 1102 English Sales2 Agent: English sales queue
1103 Spanish Sales1 Bilingual Agent: English and Spanish sales queue 1104 Spanish Sales2 Bilingual Agent: English and Spanish sales queue 1105 English Support1 Agent: English support queue
1106 English Support2 Agent: English support queue
1107 Spanish Support1 Bilingual Agent: English and Spanish support queue 1108 Spanish Support2 Bilingual Agent: English and Spanish support queue 1230 English Sales Inbound call queue – English sales
1231 Spanish Sales Inbound call queue – Spanish sales 1232 English Support Inbound call queue – English support 1233 Spanish Support Inbound call queue – Spanish support