Understanding Hours of Operation (HOP)

Bright Pattern Documentation

Generated: 8/19/2022 1:29 am
Content is available under license unless otherwise noted.

Calendars

Unless all services of your contact center operate on a 24/7 basis, you will have to define separately what happens to incoming interactions when the corresponding services are open for business and when they are closed. You can define service operation hours when you configure your services or scenario entries. However, if your contact center has many different services, and some of them operate on the same schedules, it may be more convenient to define such schedules externally first, and then assign them to services and/or scenario entries. In this way, if you need to change a service operation schedule, you do it once, and the change will automatically apply to all services associated with this schedule.

Creating an external schedule involves two steps. First, you create calendars (i.e., define the days that are supposed to have the same hours of operation, such as Monday through Friday or public holidays). Calendars are discussed in this section. After that, you create the schedule itself by combining the different calendars and specifying hours of operation for each assigned calendar. Such complete schedules are discussed in section Hours of Operation. Note that the calendars are also used for defining calling hours of outbound campaigns.

Note: The system provides a number of predefined calendars that include a typical work week, weekends, and US holidays. The latter can be used for defining state calling hours. The default holiday information is current as of the release of version 3.6 of the Bright Pattern Contact Center system (June 2014). It is recommended that you periodically check the federal and state legislation regarding holidays, and update the calendars as may be necessary.

To work with calendars, select the Calendars option from the Call Center Configuration menu.


Call Center Configuration > Calendars


Screen Properties

The Calendars screen properties are organized into two tabs: Day types and Associations. The screen properties for both are described as follows.

Day types tab

Name

Name refers to the calendar name. This field is mandatory and must be unique within the contact center.

Days

These are the days within this calendar. Note that all days within a calendar are supposed to have the same hours of operation.

To add a day to the calendar click add. Select the recurrence pattern from the drop-down menu and provide the necessary data. For example, for the US Labor Day holiday, select day of Nth week and provide 1st, Monday, and September.

To remove or edit calendar days, hover the cursor over their names.

clone

This option allows you to define a new calendar based on the currently selected one. When you click clone, a copy of the currently selected calendar is created with default name Copy of [Calendar Name]. You can change the calendar name, as well as add days to, or remove them from, or edit them in, this new calendar.


Associations tab

Services

Services lists the services that use the given calendar. Select a service from the list to see the service definition.

Hours of operations

This property lists the hours of operation (HOPs) that use the given calendar. Select a schedule from the list to see the schedule definition.




Hours of Operation

Hours of Operation (HOPs) are the service schedules that you define externally and then assign to services or scenario entries. For more information, see section Calendars and Administration Tutorials, section Understanding Hours of Operation (HOP).

To define HOPs, select the Hours of Operation option from the Call Center Configuration menu.


Call Center Configuration > Hours of Operation


Screen Properties

The Hours of Operation screen properties are organized into two tabs: Hours of Operation tab and Associations. Screen properties for both are described as follows.

Hours of Operation tab

Name

The Name refers to the HOP name. It is mandatory and must be unique within the contact center.

Hours

Hours specifies the calendars that comprise this HOP with the hours of operation defined for each. By default (no calendars assigned), this schedule will be treated as a 24/7 operation.

To add a calendar, click add, select the calendar from the drop-down menu, and specify the operation hours for the days in that calendar. If your contact center does not operate during the days of the given calendar, select closed.

You can define a new calendar directly within calendar assignment dialog by clicking add/edit.

To remove or edit previously defined hours, hover the cursor over their names.

If your HOP contains calendars with different levels of specificity, the more specific level takes priority over the more generic one(s). The levels of specificity, from more generic to more specific, are weekly, monthly and day of Nth week, yearly, and a specific date. For example, if HOP has the calendars Mon-Fri 9 am – 7 pm, Sat 10 am – 6 pm, and Jan 1st 11am – 5 pm defined, the associated services will be open between 11 am and 5 pm on Jan 1st of every year regardless of what day of the week it is.

If your HOP contains any gaps (i.e., undefined days), Bright Pattern will consider the associated services to be closed during such days. For example, if you have HOP that only have the calendars Mon-Fri 9 am – 7 pm and Sat 10 am – 5 pm defined, the associated service will be considered closed on Sundays.

If your HOP contains two calendars with the same days and with different hours of operation, the resulting hours of operation for such days will be the union of two time intervals. For example, if you have an HOP with calendar Sat 9 am – 3 pm, and with calendar Sat-Sun 10 am – 5 pm, the resulting hours for Saturday in the associated services will be 9 am – 5 pm. One exception is the closed check box that overrides any open hours. For example, if you have an HOP with calendar Sat marked as “closed”, and with calendar Sat-Sun 10 am – 5 pm, Saturday will be considered “closed.”

clone

This option allows you to define a new HOP based on the currently selected one. When you click clone, a copy of the currently selected HOP is created with default name Copy of [Schedule Name]. You can change the HOP name, as well as add calendars to, remove them from, or edit their hours in, this new HOP.


Associations tab

Services

In this tab, services that use the given schedule are listed. Select a service from the list to see the service definition.


Associations tab





Properties Tab

General service settings are configured in the Properties tab. The settings are listed in alphabetical order and are described as follows.


Services & Campaigns > Properties tab


Common Properties

The following properties are available for all service types except where noted.

Name

Name is the service name. This field is mandatory and must be unique within the contact center.

Because service names are used as names for corresponding default service skills, they should not coincide with names of any auxiliary skills.

Note: Some service configuration changes that affect agent behavior are not picked up dynamically by Agent Desktop. Thus, after making a change to this property, we recommend that all affected logged-in agents refresh their browser page.

Type

Type is the type of service or campaign.

If you expect to receive inbound calls that are logically part of your outbound campaign but want these calls to be handled by different agents, you will have to set up two services: an Outbound Voice service for the primary outbound campaign and a Blended Voice service for the inbound calls. Make sure the following conditions are met:

Note the following:

Client Partition

Reserved for future use.

Hours of operation

Hours of operation (HOP) are the service hours. Choose select to use one of the pre-configured schedules, and select a schedule from the drop-down list. Note that you can edit the selected schedule by clicking customize.

Choose specify to define a schedule specifically for this service. See section Hours of Operation for information about creating a schedule. Once you have finished defining this new schedule, you can make it available for use in other services by clicking save this HOP as shared.

HOP can be defined for the scenario entry through which interactions access the service. To understand the relationship between these settings, see the description of property Hours of operation of the dial-in scenario entry.

Note also that for email services HOP is used for exclusion of service closure hours.

Note also that this HOP setting only specifies when the service is open/closed. In order to complete the HOP configuration, you need to define the following additional elements in the interaction processing scenario associated with this service:

Override schedule on selected days

You can override the above permanent service schedule temporarily by selecting the Override schedule on selected days checkbox and defining a temporary schedule for a specified period of time.

Use dispositions

Indicates whether dispositions can be used for this service or campaign. For outbound and blended voice services, the use of dispositions is mandatory.

If the checkbox is selected, you will be able to define service-specific dispositions in the Dispositions tab and the Agent Desktop application will display the disposition selection menu for the interactions associated with this service. Otherwise, the disposition-related elements will be hidden for this service.

Note: Some service configuration changes that affect agent behavior are not picked up dynamically by Agent Desktop. Thus, after making a change to this property, we recommend that all affected logged-in agents refresh their browser page.

Require dispositions

If the use of dispositions is enabled by the previous setting, you can additionally indicate whether disposition selection is mandatory. For outbound and blended voice services, the use of dispositions is mandatory.

If the Require dispositions checkbox is selected, Agent Desktop will force agents to select a disposition for the current interaction before exiting after-call work (ACW). Otherwise, agents will be able to finish interaction handling without selecting any disposition. Note that if ACW timeout is defined, the system will automatically set a blank disposition (i.e., no disposition) after the timeout runs out, even when Require dispositions is set.

Note: Some service configuration changes that affect agent behavior are not picked up dynamically by Agent Desktop. Thus, after making a change to this property, we recommend that all affected logged-in agents refresh their browser page.

Enter After Call Work

Enter After Call Work specifies whether agents should enter the After Call Work state after finishing interactions associated with this service. To apply the setting defined at the contact center level, select system-wide setting.

Note that after-call work (ACW) is mandatory for services with mandatory disposition selection (see the previous setting). For the teams providing services with mandatory disposition selection, it is also recommended not to enforce automatic exit from the After Call Work state or set the timeout for such an exit generously.

Exit After Call Work

If After Call Work is configured for the service, Exit After Call Work allows you to set the maximum time teams assigned to this service may be in the After-call Work state.

A drop-down menu displays three options:

Note: If this setting is configured, it will override the timeouts configured at the system-wide level and the team level.

Natural Language Understanding

Integration accounts of the Natural Language Understanding (NLU) type that are configured for your system appear in the Natural Language Understanding drop-down list. To enable NLU sentiment analysis to be used during chat and voice interactions, select the desired integration account from the list.

Clicking add/edit will redirect you to Call Center Configuration > Integration Accounts, where you will configure or edit such an integration account.

Evaluation Forms

Evaluation Forms displays any evaluation forms that are configured for this service. To add an evaluation form to a service, click add, select the form from the drop-down menu, then select OK. Note that it is possible to associate a service with an evaluation form in section Quality Management > Evaluation Forms > Properties tab.

Service-Specific Properties

The following is a list of service properties available per service type.

Voice Properties (Inbound, Outbound, and Blended)

The following properties are available for all voice services except where noted.

Enable voice signature flag

If the Enable voice signature flag checkbox is selected, agents will be able to indicate whether a voice signature has been collected during a particular call associated with this service. The voice signature flag will be stored as part of the call record, and it can be used to facilitate the export of and subsequent search for the corresponding recordings. For more information, see sections Interaction Records Search and Recordings Details Format of the Reporting Reference Guide, .

The voice signature flag can be displayed for agents via the activity form associated with the given service. For more information, see the Form Builder Reference Guide, section Voice Signature System. If the form is not used, the flag will be displayed in the Contact Info Panel of Agent Desktop. For more information, see section How to Collect a Voice Signature of the Agent Guide.

Voice signature collection makes sense only if calls are recorded. Therefore, when you select this checkbox, the Recorded calls parameter of this service (see below) will be automatically set to 100% and become read-only.

To facilitate and ensure compliance of the voice signature collection process, one of the following additional capabilities shall be considered:

Note: Some service configuration changes that affect agent behavior are not picked up dynamically by Agent Desktop. Thus, after making a change to this property, we recommend that all affected logged-in agents refresh their browser page.

Perform list lookups on incoming calls

For blended voice campaigns, selecting this checkbox enables the system to identify incoming callers by looking up list data.

Note: Some service configuration changes that affect agent behavior are not picked up dynamically by Agent Desktop. Thus, after making a change to this property, we recommend that all affected logged-in agents refresh their browser page.

Record calls/ Do not record calls

The Record calls checkbox allow you to record a specific service's calls. Note: If call recording is enabled as a global setting, this checkbox option will change to Do not record calls and you can mark this service or campaign to not be recorded

Record IVR call segment

Record IVR call segment indicates whether recordings of calls associated with this service will include recording for the IVR phase of the call. Note that the use of this option should normally be avoided for IVR applications that may process sensitive authentication data such as payment card PIN codes.

Please note: The incorporation of the $(banVoiceRecording) or $(banMonitoring) variables in a voice scenario with an IVR menu will override any recording or monitoring settings you have configured, if selected by a customer. For more information, see Variables in the Scenario Builder Reference Guide.

Transcribe calls

Transcriptions may be saved for voice calls if a speech-to-text integration account (e.g., IBM Watson) is enabled for your contact center and call recording is enabled for a service. To enable transcripts for a service, select the transcribe calls checkbox.

Enable Virtual Queue functionality

Enable Virtual Queue functionality indicates whether the Virtual Queue option is enabled for this service. Virtual Queue, also sometimes referred to as Callback Option, is an enhancement of the regular automatic call distribution method used in inbound call center services. During periods of significant wait times, this option allows customers to hang up the call while keeping their position in the service queue and to receive a callback when it is their turn to be connected to an agent.

Note that in order to function properly, the Virtual Queue option must be additionally configured in the scenario associated with this service. For detailed instructions about virtual queue configuration, see the Virtual Queue Tutorial.

This setting is available for inbound and blended voice services only.

Notify agents in ACW about calls in queue

Agents may be notified visually and audibly about new service calls waiting in queue while they are in the After Call Work state. This may be used to prompt the agents to finish their ACW faster. This option is essential only for inbound and blended services and only if the ACW state is used for handling of interactions associated with this service (see Enter After Call Work above). If selected, notifications will be sent to all agents who have the default service skill with any level other than “0” and who are currently in the ACW state.

Notify after calls are waiting for

This setting is essential only if the Notify agents in ACW about calls in queue option is selected. This setting specifies how long a new service call will wait in queue before notifying the agents. If not specified, the agents will be notified as soon as a new call enters the service queue.

Outbound chat service

For voice services, the outbound chat service drop-down list shows all services of the "chat" type. Selecting an outbound chat service enables agents to send an SMS while on a voice call, creating a chat interaction with the SMS ANI from the selected chat service.

Note: Some service configuration changes that affect agent behavior are not picked up dynamically by Agent Desktop. Thus, after making a change to this property, we recommend that all affected logged-in agents refresh their browser page.

Chat Properties

The following properties are available for chat services.

Bot / Chat Suggestions engine

Integration accounts of the IBM Watson type that are configured for your system appear in the Bot / Chat Suggestions engine drop-down list. To enable a bot to make suggestions to users during chat interactions, select the desired integration account from the list.

Clicking add/edit will redirect you to Call Center Configuration > Integration Accounts, where you will configure or edit such an integration account.

Outbound chat accounts

Select the account to use for outbound chats for this service or campaign. Outbound chat accounts include chat media (e.g., web chat), SMS numbers, and integration accounts (e.g., messenger integrations). Note that this setting must be configured in order to use the SMS/MMS API.

Note: Some service configuration changes that affect agent behavior are not picked up dynamically by Agent Desktop. Thus, after making a change to this property, we recommend that all affected logged-in agents refresh their browser page.

Email Properties

The following properties are available for email services.

Outbound email account

Outbound email account is an email-service-specific property that will be used for sending new outbound emails associated with this service. This parameter must be specified if this service will be used to send outbound emails unrelated to existing cases.

Note: Some service configuration changes that affect agent behavior are not picked up dynamically by Agent Desktop. Thus, after making a change to this property, we recommend that all affected logged-in agents refresh their browser page.

Short name

An optional field, short name is the short service name available for email services only and has a 12-character limit. If specified, this name will be displayed for emails associated with the given service in personal and team email queue views of the Agent Desktop. (Otherwise, nothing will be displayed due to limited space.)

Note: Some service configuration changes that affect agent behavior are not picked up dynamically by Agent Desktop. Thus, after making a change to this property, we recommend that all affected logged-in agents refresh their browser page.

Directory folder

For email services, this is the folder of the Agent Desktop directory where this service will appear. This directory will be shown to the agent when the agent selects an email transfer function. You can select an existing folder or create a new one.

Marketing Properties

These properties are reserved for future use.





Scenario Entries Overview

The logic of automated interaction processing is defined in scenarios. Execution of a scenario with respect to a specific interaction is triggered by an interaction arrival at a specific access point (e.g., a phone number in the case of inbound calls, or a web page in the case of web chats). The logical entities that associate specific scenarios with access points are called scenario entries.

Sections

The following sections are found in the Contact Center Administrator application, section Scenario Entries.


Scenario Entries overview





Scenarios Overview

Scenarios define the logic of automated interaction processing in your contact center. Execution of a scenario with respect to a specific interaction is triggered by a particular event, such as the arrival of a call at a specific access number or the initiation of a chat session from a specific web page; these scenarios are executed by the Scenario Engine.

Scenarios can perform many different automated actions. For example, with respect to an inbound call, scenarios can collect additional information via Interactive Voice Response (IVR), identify the requested service, and distribute the call to one of the qualified and available contact center agents. Additionally, should a scenario failover occur (i.e., a Scenario Engine fails while processing a Voice scenario), the scenario will be transferred to a backup Scenario Engine; this will restart the scenario from the last executed block and prevent active, connected calls from being disconnected.

The list in the left pane of the scenario view displays the existing voice scenarios. If a scenario is being edited by someone else at the moment, the name of the editor will appear in the Currently Edited By column.

For further information, see Scenario Builder Overview in the Scenario Builder Reference Guide.

Sections

The following is a list of sections found in the Contact Center Administrator application, section Scenarios.


Scenarios


How to Create, Edit, and Delete Scenarios

To create a scenario:

  1. First select the media type of the interactions that this scenario will process (voice or chat).
  2. In the scenario list view, click the Add scenario Add-Scenario-Button.png button at the bottom of the list.

To edit a selected scenario:

  1. Click the Edit scenario Edit-Scenario-Button.png button at the bottom of the list.

To delete a scenario:

  1. Click the Delete scenario Remove-Scenario-Button.png button at the bottom of the list.

Clicking either the Add scenario button or the Edit scenario button will open the Scenario Builder application in a new browser window or tab. The Scenario Builder application includes all the control elements that may be used in automated interaction processing.


How to Use Scenario Templates

Bright Pattern Contact Center provides a number of scenario templates for some standard functions, such as virtual queue and compliant telemarketing calls. Depending on the type of scenario your are working on, it may be easier to select a corresponding template and customize it to the requirements of your contact center, as opposed to creating a scenario from scratch.

To create a scenario using a template:

  1. Click the Add from template Add-From-Template-Button.png button, which will open the Select template window.


The Select template window will offer a drop-down menu with the following templates from which to choose:

These templates are described in section Voice of this guide.


Select the desired template, modify the content as needed, and save it as your new scenario.


Select a scenario template from the list given


How to Export and Import Scenarios

To export a scenario:

  1. First, select the media type of the scenario you will export (i.e., voice or chat).
  2. In the scenario list view, select/highlight the name of the scenario you wish to export.
  3. After selecting the desired scenario, click the Export scenario Export-Scenario-Button-53.PNG button. Note that the file will download as soon as you select this button.
  4. The exported file will be in .ZIP format.


An exported scenario file


To import a scenario:

  1. Before importing a scenario, note that the file should be in .ZIP format (i.e., the same format as an exported scenario).
  2. Select the media type of the scenario you will import (i.e., voice or chat).
  3. In the scenario list view, click the Import scenario Import-Scenario-Button-53.PNG button, which will open the Import Scenario window.
  4. In the Scenario name field, enter the name you would like to give the imported scenario.
  5. In the Import from field, click the Browse button to find and select the file you would like to import.
  6. After naming and selecting the file, click the Import scenario button.


Import scenario window



If

The If scenario block allows branching of a scenario based on verification of some specified conditions. Multiple conditional exits (branches) can be configured in the same block.


Scenario Builder If scenario block


Branches and Conditions

A branch can include one or more logical expressions (conditions), where each condition verifies one the following:


Use the Add branch button to add a branch corresponding to the desired conditional exit. Provide a label that will identify the corresponding conditional exit in the flowchart.

Click the add condition link to define a logical expression for verification of one of the above parameters.


Scenario Builder If scenario block settings


Multiple Conditions

Multiple conditions in a branch can be joined by either the AND (default) or OR operator.

If necessary, add more branches as described. (Note that there is a limit of 20 branches per If block.)

The branches are tried in the order in which they are defined in the block. If none of the branches leads to a positive verification, the block that directly follows the given If block in the flowchart is executed.


Typical Uses

The following are examples of some typical uses of the If block.

Current Date and Time

The Current date and time condition is normally used to check the interaction arrival time against the Hours of Operation (HOP) specified in the associated scenario entry, as illustrated in the Scenario Example.

In addition, the current date and time condition can be used to check the current date and time against the configured calendar hours of operation (HOP) without involving an HOP variable.


The current date and time is checked against the default HOP, without using a variable


Current Time

The Current Time condition can be used along with a Find Agent block to set queue limits based on the time of day. For example, the Current Time condition may be set in the If block to find an agent and set queue limits: "If 10-5 (where 10-5 refers to 10:00 am to 5:00 pm), find an agent with queue limit of 20" and/or "If 5-7 (where 5-7 refers to 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm), find an agent with queue limit of 10."

Estimated Waiting Time

The Estimated Waiting Time condition can be used to determine further processing of the interaction based on the time that the given interaction is likely to wait in the service queue before it can be delivered to an agent. (Note, however, that the estimated waiting time condition related to the Virtual Queue function is defined in the Find Agent block.)

Scenario variable (HOP)

The Scenario variable (HOP) condition can be used to check the interaction arrival time against any other HOP defined as a scenario parameter.





If

The If scenario block allows branching of a scenario based on verification of some specified conditions. Multiple conditional exits (branches) can be configured in the same block.


Scenario Builder If scenario block


Branches and Conditions

A branch can include one or more logical expressions (conditions), where each condition verifies one the following:


Use the Add branch button to add a branch corresponding to the desired conditional exit. Provide a label that will identify the corresponding conditional exit in the flowchart.

Click the add condition link to define a logical expression for verification of one of the above parameters.


Scenario Builder If scenario block settings


Multiple Conditions

Multiple conditions in a branch can be joined by either the AND (default) or OR operator.

If necessary, add more branches as described. (Note that there is a limit of 20 branches per If block.)

The branches are tried in the order in which they are defined in the block. If none of the branches leads to a positive verification, the block that directly follows the given If block in the flowchart is executed.


Typical Uses

The following are examples of some typical uses of the If block.

Current Date and Time

The Current date and time condition is normally used to check the interaction arrival time against the Hours of Operation (HOP) specified in the associated scenario entry, as illustrated in the Scenario Example.

In addition, the current date and time condition can be used to check the current date and time against the configured calendar hours of operation (HOP) without involving an HOP variable.


The current date and time is checked against the default HOP, without using a variable


Current Time

The Current Time condition can be used along with a Find Agent block to set queue limits based on the time of day. For example, the Current Time condition may be set in the If block to find an agent and set queue limits: "If 10-5 (where 10-5 refers to 10:00 am to 5:00 pm), find an agent with queue limit of 20" and/or "If 5-7 (where 5-7 refers to 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm), find an agent with queue limit of 10."

Estimated Waiting Time

The Estimated Waiting Time condition can be used to determine further processing of the interaction based on the time that the given interaction is likely to wait in the service queue before it can be delivered to an agent. (Note, however, that the estimated waiting time condition related to the Virtual Queue function is defined in the Find Agent block.)

Scenario variable (HOP)

The Scenario variable (HOP) condition can be used to check the interaction arrival time against any other HOP defined as a scenario parameter.