Project time frame: January – April 2019
About the employer: Infomedia d.o.o. Banja Luka (infomedia.ba) develops custom software and internet marketing solutions with the purpose of web sales and package distribution.
The goal of this project was to establish partnerships with companies that could offer VoIP phone service and to build an IVR system that would ensure the high efficiency of the internal call center.
Our company initially started with telesales activities by cooperating with outsourced call center providers (more about that project here). Eventually, we ended contracts with those companies, hired independent call agents, and started our own internal call center.
Outsourced call centers used to provide us with landline phone numbers as a part of their service, but after our company switched to internal call centers I was assigned to find separate VoIP service providers, lead negotiations, and close deals with them.
We created a custom IVR system adjusted to the needs of our company and voice prompts that reduced the number of calls dropped by potential customers while waiting on hold. This led to a significant increase in sales of our products in the long term.
Main activities and responsibilities:
– Research on business partnerships with telecommunication companies, leading negotiations and closing contracts.
– Overseeing installation, testing and production of phone number lines.
– Creating procedures for regular control of the functionality of phone number lines.
– Building custom inbound and outbound IVR systems.
– Overseeing creation and translation of texts for voice prompts, and recording audio files in local languages.
– Running split tests of different sales-oriented voice prompts, analyzing metrics and deciding which ones to keep.
– Building an API for connecting our Phoneorder telemarketing web app with an outsourced softphone system.
– Google and LinkedIn search engines for finding service providers.
– Trello for organizing tasks and priorities.
– Google Sheets for user and tech support activities.
– Kayako email ticketing for communication with service providers.
– LucidChart for making IVR process flows.
– Copywriters who wrote the sales-oriented text for voice prompts.
– Translation person who organized text translation to local languages.
– Call center agents who recorded voice prompts,
– A producer who edited the audio.
– Our tech team who installed numbers in collaboration with IVR service providers.
– A web developer who built the API that connected our web app with a softphone desktop app.
API for the softphone desktop application
After we started with cooperation, my next responsibility was to oversee the installation of phone numbers on Bria 5 softphone applications used by our call agents. This system enabled our call agents to make calls with landline numbers from their desktops, without using the hardware phone machines.
We built an API that connected Bria 5 with call panels from our telemarketing web app used by call agents for telesales. When call agent makes a certain action in call panel (e.g. clicks the button “Call”), the API from our web app sends a command to Bria 5 desktop app and the call is automatically established. This way we achieved direct calls from our web app which contained a database with phone numbers of our customers.
Protocol for control of phone number functionality
After phone lines were established, we needed to regularly check if the lines are working, so I made a protocol for control of phone number functionality.
Figure 1. Flow for checking phone number functionality
IVR voice prompts
The next step was overseeing the writing and translation of texts for IVR prompts and recording voices of our call agents in local languages.
After some time, we wanted to test different versions of voice prompts, so our copywriters made 8 different sales-oriented texts which we recorded and implemented in the IVR system.
I conducted split tests for two months and used the following metrics to measure the performance of voice prompts:
(1) Incentive quality of inbound IVR:
INB Connected % = (Connected calls / Total calls) * 100
(2) Sales quality of inbound IVR:
INB Order % = (Orders / Connected calls) * 100
(3) Incentive quality of outbound IVR:
OUT Connected % = (Connected calls / Total calls) * 100
Inbound IVR system
The part of the VoIP service was also IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system. Most of the providers already had predefined IVR service, but we needed something adjusted to our business. So, together we built a custom IVR system, both for inbound and outbound calls.
First, we agreed how the whole IVR process should look like, what kind of text should be spoken and how the routes should be set up. After that, I made a specification for our VoIP service provider and the plan was implemented in practice.
Figure 2. Inbound call route flows
Figure 3. Inbound IVR process flow v.3
Outbound IVR system
The idea was to make multiple outbound bulk calls from Bria. Each call agent has one Bria account from which he/she calls our clients. At that time Bria supported a maximum of 5 parallel calls from one account at the same time. Having that in mind, we made an IVR system where 1 agent was making 5 calls at the same time; the first customer who answered connected to the operator and others (if any) wait in the queue with voice prompt asked them to hold until the line is free.
Figure 4. Outbound call routes and IVR system