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Attendant Concepts

Interaction Attendant configures the auto attendant system built into Customer Interaction Center.  An auto attendant automatically answers a call.  It prompts the caller to make menu choices, and routes the call according to that caller's choice.  Callers select options by pressing keys on their telephone's keypad.   Based on these interactions, the auto attendant can:

  • Play prerecorded prompts    

  • Transfer calls to an agent, operator, queue, or voice mail

  • Look up information in a database

  • Dynamically convert text to speech

  • Offer a sub menu

  • Send or receive a fax

  • Provide access to voice mail

  • Search an employee directory, and more.

Interaction Attendant provides complete control over what happens when each key is pressed.  For example, you might play a prerecorded message, route the call to a queue, send a fax, look up information in a database, or pass control to a submenu.  Interaction Attendant's predefined operations can be linked together any way you wish to create sophisticated menu applications.

Attendant empowers non-programmers to manage the interactions that callers encounter when they phone your business.  Menus, operator access, direct dialing, and dial-by-name services are configured by filling out forms in Attendant.  Customers manage call flows without having to customize handlers.

With CIC, your communications system adapts to the way you do business, not the other way around.  If you need custom business logic that Attendant does not offer, you can extend its functionality by developing custom handlers.  Handlers are created outside of Interaction Attendant using Interaction DesignerTM—CIC's visual programming tool.  Handlers extend the PureConnect platform to meet unique business requirements.  They can perform just about any conceivable data processing task.  But most customers find that Attendant provides all of the tools that they need to create robust IVR interactions.

Advantages of Interaction Attendant

  • Interaction Attendant was written for non-programmers, with a non-system administrator in mind.  It is easy to use, yet powerful.  You can create sophisticated IVR menus with it.

  • Interaction Attendant is visual.  It displays hierarchical relationships between configuration objects, and flags errors before configurations are published.  This makes the system easy and safe to use.

  • Interaction Attendant doesn't require special hardware.  Voice prompts are recorded within Attendant using a station phone.  

  • Interaction Attendant is flexible.  Configurations can be published to a server, exported to a file, or imported from a file.   A single instance of Attendant can edit the auto-attendant configuration of many CIC servers.  Attendant keeps track of who is editing each configuration and locks files to prevent conflicts.

  • Interaction Attendant is robust.  It provides the ability to control calls after they have been routed to a workgroup queue.  It offers advanced scheduling mechanisms, database functionality (insert, query, update) and sophisticated profile-based routing.  You can gather information from a caller, and write it to a database, or use caller-entered data in another menu interaction.  For example, you might ask a user to enter a PIN number and then use it to look up an account balance that is read back to the caller.

  • Interaction Attendant is extensible.  It can invoke custom handlers for unlimited functionality.  However, the primary benefit of Attendant is that it allows users to design simple call flows without writing handlers. 

  • Interaction Attendant is precise.  Calls are compared to user-defined profiles that determine the scheduled processing that will occur.  For example, inbound calls can be filtered using DNIS, ANI, and/or trunk line information associated with the call.  Afterwards, schedules select the most appropriate call processing based upon the time of day.  For example, persons who phone your company after business hours can be presented with different options from those that are presented during daytime hours.  IVR interactions can be customized to any extent required by the customer.