|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
In telecommunications, call management is the process of designing and implementing rules and parameters governing the routing of inbound telephone calls through a network. These rules can specify how calls are distributed according to the time and/or date of the call as well as the location of the caller (usually defined by the outbound Caller ID). Call Management also involves the use of Calling Features such as Call Queues, IVR Menus, Hunt Groups and Recorded Announcements to provide a customised experience for the caller and to maximize the efficiency of inbound call handling. Call management is most effective when a call logging software tool is used.
Call Management is performed on varying degrees of scale, from an individual screening unwanted calls from a residential landline to an international call carrier routing calls to different worldwide locations by percentage. Systems for governing Call Management can be in the form of hardware, such as a PBX Telephone System attached to an ISDN30 or a hosted software-based system. The Automatic call distributor may also provide a screen pop or other information to the call answerer.
Calls are routed according to the setting up of calling features within the given system. Common examples of Calling Features include:
- Translation – The automatic routing of inbound calls from one telephone number to another.
- Hunt Group – A directory containing one or many destination numbers which, on receiving an incoming call, is programmed to ring them in a particular order, simultaneously or simply in the order in which they have most recently answered before being sent to a final destination if still unanswered.
- Call Queue – A directory similar to a Hunt Group that keeps the caller on hold until one of the destination numbers becomes available.
- Auto Attendant – A large directory of extension numbers which can be chosen by the caller, each with its own specific routing behaviour.
- Location-Based Routing – Rules programmed in at particular points in a system to route the call on to different destinations depending on the location of the caller.
- Time and Date-Based Routing – Rules programmed in at particular points in a system to route the call on to different destinations depending the time or date of the call.
- Call Whisper – A message played to an agent after answering a call that can give them information about the call in advance based on the Caller ID, number dialled or route taken through the system.
- Interactive voice response – A sound recording device to allow a caller to give information to the system verbally about what services or support they require.
- Fax to Email – A Device for routing inbound fax calls to one or more email addresses, usually as attachments.
Systems often retain information about received calls which can be stored, analysed and interpreted by the system administrator.
- Call Detail Records (CDRs) – Records of all received calls, usually including time, date, duration, calling number and called number. Hosted services can also show pricing information.
- Call Recording – Many systems have the ability to record and store calls for future reference.
- Voice and Fax Mailboxes – Inbound faxes and voicemail messages can be stored on systems also.