TAPIMaster® 3.2.0 User's Guide

ACD Light in use

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A manufacturer of equipment for building sites has its central office in Bavaria. One half of the company’s turnover comes from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The other half comes equally from Italy, France and Eastern Europe. Around 20 percent of the turnover comes from a company Bau-Michel in Munich. Bau-Michel have already threatened more than once to take their business elsewhere if there is no improvement in the processing of its orders. Customers place orders over the phone. Most orders are for replacement parts. Several hundred calls arrive each day – orders and complaints, which are subsequently processed by the service department. Calls arrive first at a secretary, who then forwards them to an employee who can speak the caller’s language. The company is in trouble. In Germany the company is dependent on a single large customer and business with Eastern Europe is, after a promising start, growing steadily worse. An employee-meeting turns into a forum for airing the perceived problems.


Employee meeting in the service department

Below are several opinions which were expressed.

Walter, Departmental leader:

"We have had more and more complaints over the past two years. The customers are dissatisfied with our service. If it goes on like this, we’ll soon lose Bau-Michel. What do you all see as being our biggest problems?”

Claudia, Telephone operator:

"I answer several hundred calls every day and forward them on to the others. I have to look who is currently available and put the customer through. I can’t get on with my other jobs and it’s pretty stressful for me because the customers vent their anger on the first person they get - me.”

Sepp, Service Germany:

"Many people call several times a day. Each time they get put through to a different person and have to explain their problem each time afresh. That gets them annoyed. And Michel refuses to talk to anyone but Walter these days anyway. But Claudia can’t remember which customer last spoke to which team member.”

Norbert, Service Germany:

"I have been feeling pretty over-stressed recently. I process as a rule 80 to a 100 calls while the others only have 20. I hardly get chance for a break. No sooner have I hung up than the next call arrives. The work really needs to be spread more evenly.”

Guiseppe, Service Italy:

"Italian-speaking customers from Switzerland often don’t get put through to me. Instead I get forwarded customers from Austria who just speak German. Sometimes I even get someone Polish on the line, although Thomas is responsible for Poland.”


"I can’t answer every call before I forward it because I usually already have another customer on the phone. With all the stress mistakes sometimes happen.”

Beatrice, Service France

"I simply have no time for lunch. If you are in a wheelchair, there is no such thing as just nipping out to a restaurant. I have to have my lunch delivered. But the phone keeps on ringing right through my lunch break. I need a real break too.”



Many callers get put through to the wrong service employee.

All calls go through a bottle-neck, the operator. The operator sometimes makes mistakes because of the heavy workload.

The workload is not spread fairly, a large part of it being burdened on one employee.

The delay between calls is too short. Employees often receive a new call before they have finished processing the previous call on their computer. This causes further mistakes.

The customers get connected to a different employee every time. Even when they call several times in the same day, they do not get put through to the same employee. Important customers such as Bau-Michel refuse to speak to anyone apart from the department leader.

It is difficult for employees to get away from the incoming calls, even if they wish to take a break or work on an urgent matter.


Solution for this particular case

The lunch-breaks should be staggered. All other problems can be solved by TAPIMaster®'s ACD Light, which works as follows

All calls arrive – as before – at a central telephone. However, they are not taken by an operator. Instead a computer connects them through to the correct employee. Only those calls which the system cannot route automatically are put through to Claudia.

Each employee is automatically given a delay between calls, so that he can finish processing the last call properly.

Routing rules are defined in a database: if the caller’s telephone number starts with +48, the program first attempts to put the call through to Thomas, since he can speak Polish. Other countries receive a similar treatment, and for Switzerland the area code can also be used to work out the routing. Large customers like Bau-Michel can have their favourite contact assigned to them. When a call arrives and the caller’s number is not signalled from the network, the call can be put through to Claudia.

Employees can log off from the system so that they no longer get disturbed during their lunch break.

The system takes into account the workload of individual employees. If enough employees are free, a call will be put through to the one who has processed the least number of calls or spent the least time on the phone.

Where possible, a customer is always connected to the employee who last spoke to him that day.





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