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Effective User Interface: Eight Years of Improvements

Clear and simple user interface in an advanced system: Tikal Networks refined the interface over 8 years / © Tikal Networks 2011

Clear and simple user interface in an advanced system: Tikal Networks refined the interface over 8 years / © Tikal Networks 2011

Tikal Networks started designing Crystal Call Center eight years ago. In the early days of Call Center deployment, user interface was not a key design concern. First, supervisors and executives simply wanted to manage as many agents using the free VoIP capability. Over the years, with hundreds (then thousands) of users, Tikal Network designers quickly noticed agent, supervisor and executive productivity dependent on interface design. Today, Crystal Call Center is still evolving into a highly capable system with simple interfaces. Each feature has the main controls: buttons, status, lists (queues, departments, agents, supervisors) and top real time activities as the main screen. Most of the work is done in the section called CTI (Computer-Telephony Interface). Here are all the screens related to calls, statistics and real time activities. This is what agents and supervisors do most of the time when running the call center.

The first time setup and operating configuration is done in the setup screens. These you will need to learn a few concepts of a queue, an agent, a department and other setup parameters. For the most part, the integrator will configure the system the first time. An experienced integration engineer will get your system up and calling in a few hours. If you do this for the first time, Tikal Networks is setting up instructional videos on this site and on You Tube (see channel here).

Once you are going with running your call center, take a look at the advanced configuration and real time statistical screens. Here is where an advanced call center will give you more features than any system available today. The advanced management features give agents and supervisors full visibility and control on each call. A queue is a list of calls, incoming or outgoing. Here each agent is assigned a call and the call can be moved. You also have full control over recording a conversation. Real time call status, ability to listen or “whisper” (talk between agents and supervisors while a call is taking place), moving calls from a queue with long delay to one available, are just some of the features which make your call center run effectively. Here is where you can see how call centers have changed the way companies are doing business. Not only do you see resource efficiency, also strategic and tactical operation never seen before. Finally, all activities are recorded and are available anytime. Real time statistics enable you to see each agent, each queue and even each department. A marketing department working on new orders and work together with a support department and now coordinate calls from and to one customer. This is a key feature among many others.

At Tikal Networks we believe in getting your hands on the product. Once you see how it works on your own screen with your own people, there is no turning back. We see day in and day out, how impressed first time users when starting to run a new system. Then we see how supervisors and upper management use the call center statistics and how strategies slowly evolve. Then we see how companies upgrade their image and capability in managing voice communication. Then we see how companies gain advantage over their competitors. Finally we see how companies adopt the call center mentality into all their operations. Operations and executives can use the same tools as sales people and support engineers. There is no reason to give the best communication tools just to the front line workers. We are trying to spread the word on how to use the call center idea in every function a company runs. This idea is just emerging now and we are quickly seeing how companies evolve into using advanced call tools in creative and effective ways.


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