Posted by: Ashish Kumar | July 16, 2009

Siebel Call Center – An Overview


Siebel Call Center and customer support software helps sales, telesales, and customer service representatives to better understand and address the needs of their customers.

Siebel Call Center allows agents to handle service, support, and sales interactions across a broad range of communication channels such as telephone, email, fax, pager, wireless messaging, and voice over IP, Web collaboration, and chat. These channels are integrated, allowing each agent to become a customer-contact manager, supporting a range of products and services and presenting tailored offerings designed to meet customer’s needs.

Siebel Call Center provides an array of service and telesales functionality in a single application. Support personnel can provide both sales and service assistance to customers across multiple channels within their contact centers. Siebel Call Center also manages customer and account profiles, product knowledge, purchase histories, opportunities, service requests, and service-level agreements. 

Siebel Call Center Home Page

When an agent logs in to the Siebel Call Center application, the first screen the agent sees is determined by the value of the Startup Screen user preference. If this preference has not been set, the agent sees the home page.

The home page is a combination of lists and forms that provide a snapshot of the most important information agents need to manage their day and workload. This information is customizable, depending on the personal preferences of each agent, and may include content such as My Accounts, My Calendar, My Activities, My Service Requests, My Campaigns, and My Contacts.

Agents can change the appearance of the home page by using the controls that appear in the upper-right corner of each list or form. Using the controls, agents can show or hide the detailed records for each content area. They can also use the edit layout function to control what content appears on the home page, and the order in which the content appears. Changes remain in effect until the agent makes new changes.

NOTE:  The home page displays only the views for which an agent has permissions, based on their profile.

Fig 1.0 given below shows the home page, including lists of service requests, activities, and a calendar for the current user.

 111

Fig 1.0

Call Center Communications Toolbar 

The communications toolbar helps agents to manage inbound and outbound interactions over multiple channels, including voice, email, Web text chat, and wireless.

Using the communications toolbar, agents can initiate outbound work items and accept inbound work items. In addition, agents may place work items on hold or transfer items to other agents using either blind transfer, consultative transfer or conference transfer capabilities.

Agents can also log in to or out of the work queue and set their work mode to ready state to accept incoming work items. The toolbar lets agents manage multiple simultaneous work items including combinations of emails, phone calls, and Web calls.

When a work item is sent to an agent, the Accept Incoming Work Item icon flashes with the appropriate symbol, such as a phone symbol for a phone call. The timer on the left side of the toolbar tracks the handling time for the currently active work item.

Fig 2.0 given below shows the communications toolbar. The toolbar includes icons for accepting a work item, initiating a work item, releasing a work item, transferring a call, and so on. It also includes information about how long the active work item has been assigned to you and how long you have been working on it.

Toolbar

  Fig 2.0

Call Center Message Broadcasting 

The message bar provides message broadcasting, a method of communicating information electronically to agents and others. It may display company information or critical statistics from the phone switch, such as the number of calls in the queue or the average call handling time.

The broadcast messages appear as scrolling text in the broadcast bar at the bottom of the application. The arrows at either end of the message bar control the direction in which the text scrolls. Messages can be displayed in different colors to indicate the importance of each message. The information in the message bar can be sent to specific individuals, a group of people, or to all users.

To stop the message bar from scrolling, place the cursor on the message bar. To begin scrolling again, move the cursor away from the message bar.

NOTE:  This is the default behavior for the application. It may be changed by an administrator.

A counter, positioned to the right of the message bar, indicates how many broadcast messages there are and which message is scrolling across the screen, fig 3.0 given below shows the message bar and counter.

MSG SIEBEL CALL CENTER

  Fig 3.0

To configure Message Broadcasting:

  1. Go to Admin – Communication à Message Broadcast
  2. Click New
  3. Fill in the details for the message
  4. Set the Activation/Expiration date of message broadcast if required
  5. Check All users if you want to broadcast this message to all the users
  6. Broadcasting also depends upon Position and Division, therefore a user can set it according to is preferences.
  7. Save the Record 

Managing the Customer Dashboard 

The customer dashboard gives agents quick access to key customer data throughout the life cycle of a call, as well as a persistent region of the page containing the key data as they navigate through the application.

The dashboard displays different information depending on how Siebel Call Center is configured, and which application context is present when the agent populates or updates the dashboard. Fig 4.0 given below shows the fields that the dashboard displays when it is populated from the Contacts screen. These fields include Customer Name, Work Phone #, Account, Email Address, and so on.

 Customer Dashboard Showing Contact Information

 Fig 4.0: Customer Dashboard Showing Contact Information

The dashboard also provides access to information on assets, activities, entitlements, campaigns, opportunities, orders, service requests as well as information relating to customers and other contacts.

·         Displaying and Populating the Customer Dashboard

When open, the dashboard appears in the upper frame of the application area. The information displayed in the dashboard can be populated using Siebel CTI, using Smart Script, by clicking the Update button in the dashboard, or by clicking the Set Customer Dashboard button in the Search Center while a contact record is displayed.

NOTE:  The dashboard is read-only, and only displays customer information when it is open. Siebel CTI only populates the dashboard when it is open. The dashboard toolbar button opens the dashboard.

As a good business practice, agents should always open the customer dashboard before answering calls, so that the customer information is visible for reference, provided the organization uses Siebel CTI and it is configured to populate the dashboard.

The following procedures describe how to display the dashboard and how to manually populate the dashboard with data.

  1. To display the customer dashboard

       Use one of the following methods to display the customer dashboard:

  • In the Call Center application toolbar, click the Open Customer Dashboard icon.
  • In the application-level menu, choose View > Open Customer Dashboard.

      2.    To populate the dashboard with information from the current record

  •  
    1. Navigate to the screen, view, and record.
    2. Display the customer dashboard, as described in To display the customer dashboard.
    3. In the dashboard, click Update to display information from the selected record.

      3. Using the Dashboard for Quick Navigation

The dashboard allows the agent to navigate to information related to data that is displayed in its fields. For example, when the dashboard contains contact information, the agent can use it to navigate to areas of the application that handle activities, activity plans, agreements, assets, campaigns, entitlements, opportunities, orders, and service requests. When the dashboard contains other kinds of information, the agent can navigate to areas that are relevant for the types of information shown.

      4.  Transferring Dashboard Information

Under some circumstances, an agent who is handling a customer call can use the communications toolbar to transfer both the call and dashboard information to another agent. In order for the dashboard information to transfer successfully, the agent who receives the transferred call must already have the dashboard open. 

Using Search Center 

Siebel Search Center is a text retrieval tool that lets agents search for information and see the results without losing the data currently shown in the application window. Search Center is the central search hub for call center agents. They can perform broad or exact searches from anywhere within the Siebel application.

Using the Results list in the Search Center, call center agents can attach records to the main record that is active in the application window. For example, a solution record can be attached to a service request. Agents can also preview a result record or make a result record the active record in the application window. Selecting advanced search allows searching across multiple types of information with one search.

·         Performing a Search

Agents can perform searches to find information, (for example, to search for a relevant solution record), and see the results without losing data.

To perform a search

  1. On the application toolbar, click the Search button to open the Search Center. The Search button is the binocular icon located in the right side of the screen.
  2. Click the Search button. The Search Center appears in a frame in the right part of the application window.
  3. From the Look In drop-down list, select the type of information you want to find. Different fields appear depending on the selection you make.
  4. Complete the fields to define your search criteria.
  5. Click Search. The records that match the search criteria appear in the Results list.

·         Working with Result Records

Using the Results list in the Search Center, agents can attach other records to the main active record in the application window, preview records or external documents, and search for a contact and populate the dashboard. For example, they can attach a solution record to a service request.

NOTE:  In order for the selected record to be associated with the main record as an attachment, the relationship must be established using Siebel Tools.

 To attach a result record

  1. In the application window, select the record to which you want to attach the result record.
  2. Click the Search button and perform a search to find the record to attach. The records that match your search criteria appear in the Results list.
  3. In the Results list, select the record to attach.
  4. Click the menu button, and then choose Attach. The record is attached to the active record in the application window.

Customer Interaction Life Cycle 

Interactions between companies and potential or existing customers typically follow a pattern called a life cycle, composed of the following stages:

  • Prospect stage

Your company has contact information for a prospective customer, but has not determined the prospect’s level of interest in your goods or services. Lists of prospects are often rented to companies for limited time periods, during which time prospect data must be kept separate from data on other possible customers who have voluntarily interacted with the company. This information is stored using the Prospect screen.

  • Candidate stage

Your company has interacted with the prospective customer and has determined that the prospect is interested in doing business with you. At this point, prospect information is typically moved to the storage area for contact information, and the prospect is considered to be promoted to a contact.

  • Qualified stage

Your company has determined that the contact represents a significant sales opportunity. At this point, an opportunity record is created.

  • Customer stage

The contact has made one or more purchases from your company. The status of the contact is Active.

  • Inactive stage

The contact has purchased from your company in the past, but has no current service agreements, and represents no current sales opportunities. 

  • Deletion stage

The contact information has ceased to be useful, typically because the contact is no longer with the account or household, or because the account no longer exists, or because your company wants no further interaction with that contact, account, or household.

Using Siebel Call Center, you can record the life cycle stage for a contact, an account, or a household, using the Status field in the appropriate screen. By indicating the life cycle stage of the record, you can make decisions on what resources to allocate to interactions with that contact, account, or household. The default Status assigned to a new contact, account, or household record is Active. 

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