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Contact Center Tutorial: Emergency Call Routing

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Emergency! That’s the word we all dread and the quicker you can react the better. In a contact center that means the ability to redirect routing instantly and do so either very quickly at one’s desk if the situation allows or certainly from a mobile device. Here’s a way you can do this for ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center (ECC).

First of all you need a database that we’ll call “emergency.” That can be a very simple database (DB) with a column named “status.” Let's assume that “1” = ECC open and that “0”= ECC closed. With that data point in mind you’ll need 2 scripts.

Script 1 is “Set Status”:

Our script first checks the status of the DB: SELECT status FROM emergency

We then make a decision. If we return a “1” then the CC is open and we will offer the opportunity to close the ECC via the “TRUE” leg (towards the top of the image). The opposite is also possible that the ECC is closed and you are offered the opportunity to open this way or more likely “re-open” after the emergency has been attended to.

For the right half (post-decision) part of the top script the SQL might look like: UPDATE emergency SET Status = 0 (to close). The bottom option (false) would offer to “open” or SET status = 1. The scripts close with notification that the “CC is now closed” or that the “CC is now open.”

As a reader of this blog you know I am a big fan of IVR Application Markers and use three in this script. They are:

  1. Emergency (the first part of the script)
  2. Emergency Close (top right)
  3. Emergency Open (bottom right)

The reason this is useful is seen in CCIV. We have a record of when the ECC was closed by whom and when. Note that these are not “Contact Center calls” per se but are captured as the result of being passed through ECC’s scripting capability. That’s all we need to flag these calls. The recommendation here is to build a search term in CCIV that in this case finds “IVR APPS containing ‘Emergency’ or ‘Open’ or ‘Closed.’”


Script 2 is “Check Status”:

This script is a subset of the first basically. We use this in front of all ECC scripting to determine which routing to take. Our DB SQL is the same from the above script:  SELECT status FROM emergency. If we return a “1,” then the calls “Branch to Script” as per normal business rules via the Decision node. If we get a “0” and we are “closed,” we would “Branch to Script” that would contain whatever emergency options the business needs. Let's call this a key output of the Discovery process.

So this is simple scripting with a simple db that you can build in Access. The cost for this is nothing other than a little time and thought. The ability to hit a button on a phone (Route Point routes to an IRN whose destination is our Set Status script) and run out of the facility is an important option. Keep in mind the first script has 2 wav files and provides the outcome for the action the dialer just enacted; maybe 5 seconds total to go through the whole thing. This script could be as simple as the second part where all we do is flip the entry in the DB and provide no audio feedback.  In that case, we have a very short script that is designed to get the job done in milliseconds. This script also allows for Agents to not have to log out, and regardless, if forced release or auto-answer is in use, all can be cleanly sidestepped in an instant. You can make this part of corporate fire drills and know that when you need to shift gears instantly you can.

Please utilize this capability. We want everyone safe and sound and we’re not fans of really long ASA either.

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