1.1.1 - What's a call-flow and how do I get started?

A call-flow is the path a call takes when it reaches your hotline (so we only look at incoming, inbound calls, not at outgoing calls). It describes every single step on the way, every intersection and condition.

This definition is obviously very broad, so let's try figure out how your call flow should look like. Find yourself a quiet place, take a notebook, a piece of paper or a whiteboard - whatever works best for you to do some brainstorming. If you do this for the first time, have a colleague to brain storm with you.

Now start putting down something very simple. It could be something resembling the picture below in case you want your callers to select the reason why they are calling and have them, based on their input, directed to a specific group of agents:

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There are many possibilities to put down the first steps if you don't feel comfortable with drawing, yet. You could for instance also write a few sentences explaining what the customer experiences:

  • An English customer calls our hotline. After being welcomed, the customer is informed about the recording of the call and then has the option to selection his reason for calling. She can choose between "1 - General reservation requests", "2 - Changing her booking" or "3 - Support with her user account" (selecting a call reason is done with an IVR, Interactive voice response). She selects 2 and is forwarded to a representative specialized in changing reservations.

Also, you could turn your view around and put down the agent's experience. What do you want the agent to see and hear if they pick up an incoming call? Just an example:

  • The agent answers the phone. He sees right away that customer Jill Conner is calling who has a request concerning her account. Before the call is connected, the agent is told by the platform that the caller is English (this feature is usually called "Whispering".

You still don't know how to get started? No problem. To get some more inspiration, why don't you check out a few customer hotlines of services you like? Just call and listen to their call flow. Makes notes and decide what you like and what you don't like.

Or just try to think back of positive and negative experiences you had when calling customer support.

We also have a number of common setups, or "user cases" as we like to call it. Just check them out.

If you are happy with your first level description of the call flow (this means having a broad, general idea what should be happening to the call), you have successfully completed the first part of this tutorial and you can go on to the next part.

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