The article titled The Modern Call Center discusses Continental Airlines call center in Tampa, Florida. Basically, it is a combination of new online technology and standard telephony. Being an airline by trade, Continental's call center fields about 13 million calls per year. The 700 call center agents all have access to as much information as possible to assist the customer. Anything from a reservation issue to a frequent flier points question should be answered without having to travel through the frustrating transfer process that some less synthesized centers often put customers through.
The call center is grasping some of the new and affordable web based functions available. While browsing the web a customer may click a "call back" button to signal an agent to call them. For questions that require less effort the customer may use a text chat version to speak with an agent by simply instant messaging. These web based problem solving techniques that link customers and call center agents are cost effective. This issue is more and more important as competition is calling for growth to survive in the industry. Continental hopes its devotion to customer service will develop and maintain customer loyalty.
Bob's Camp-o-rama is planning a new facility equipped with a state of the art phone system. Bob's will probably not need the text message feature that Continental uses. Even though it is cheap it does not seem necessary. Bob's call center is open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday thru Saturday. His 12 employees on the phone are far from comparison to Continental's 700. .
Bob is interested in an Automatic Call Distributor. An ACD would answer the call, sometimes play a recording or message, and then pass the call on to the next available agent. To ensure customer satisfaction and to minimize transfers Bob would most likely give callers a chance through key pressing to identify the reason for their call whether they would like to make a purchase, an inquiry, and so on.