Understanding the Importance of Station Timeout for Your Contact Center

Station Timeout is an important part of the agent workflow and experience, however, understanding its impact and how to best leverage it for your business can initially be difficult. It is a setting within the station profiles section of inContact Central and can make a large impact in your contact center over time. At its core, Station Timeout is simply the amount of time the inContact system stays connected to the agent’s phone after a contact ends.

When presenting this option to my clients, I usually ask them, “Do you want your agent’s phone to ring on every call, or have the call connected to them automatically?” If their answer is “Ring on Every Call”, then my job is close to done. Adjusting the default Station Profile’s timeout to "0 seconds" and renaming it to “Ring on Every Call” will take me close to the finish line. To ensure there are no connection issues or hiccups, you can add an After Call Work (ACW) of at least one second to your skills. What this does is disconnect your agent’s phone from the system immediately after disconnecting a call and allows a one second buffer for the system.

If the client would rather have their agents connected to each call automatically, I simply put a maximum timeout of 999999999 seconds and name the profile “Always Connected”. As long as the agent does not manually disconnect their phone, a tone in their ear will play when a call comes in form them and they will be automatically connected with the caller.

The always-connected phone has the clear result of creating a fast-paced call center environment. Over time, and with many agents, this could save your company a lot of money and result in happier customers with less wait time. It does, however, come with its risks, especially in the small-to-mid-size business world. If your agent leaves their desk without changing themselves to an unavailable state, a caller will be connected to an empty microphone. If the agent is not ready, or not listening for the tone, they may be taken off-guard by the caller, resulting in a sloppy greeting. This situation can be alleviated by adding a whisper before the call is connected, but does not necessarily solve it 100% of the time. Depending on your connectivity model, you may be charged for the idle connection as well. I suggest speaking with your sales representative before selecting the “Always Connected” option.

The final way you can leverage Station Timeout is having it set somewhere in between. Choose an amount of time in which you would expect the agent to be still engaged in the console and ready for a call to connect, but not wait too long and cause them to move on to other things.

A great way to decide on the ideal time frame is by referencing your maximum preferred ACW time. If you set your Timeout to be 10-15 seconds longer than your desired maximum ACW, any ready and queued calls will be automatically connected. Otherwise, the system will disconnect from the agent and ring their phone when the next call is ready for them.

At Frontline Call Center, we strongly believe in the benefits of advanced technology and have made extensive investments to ensure our capabilities remain cutting edge while giving our clients access to the highest quality technology solutions. Our philosophy is if you can dream it, we can build it and our tech’s stay up on the latest in technology employed in the cloud based call center arena to make this happen.

Frontline Call Center partners with industry leading contact center software provider, inContact. inContact is the time proven technology that helps deliver exceptional customer experiences while decreasing costs and increasing revenues. inContact gives us a strategic competitive advantage. Thousands of calls, chats, and emails run through our call center on a daily basis. Managing these contacts is an important task and crucial to maintaining our high levels of quality for our Clients.