A menu of contact options

As part of customer relationship management market, the call center environment has grown to include a broad range of telephone, computer and Internet technologies. Any list of these systems would probably be incomplete, but the most widely used technologies are:

n Automatic call distributor — A computerized system that routes incoming calls to the next available operator or agent.

n Interactive voice response — An automated answering system that provides a menu of choices and responds to voice or keypad entries from the caller. When integrated with databases, the systems give callers access to personalized information such as account balances.

n Computer telephone integration — A technology that links the call center's telephone switch to a computer or server, enabling coordinated voice and data transfers.

n Web or Internet chat — Real-time text-based conferencing via the Internet.

n Voice over IP — A technology that enables people to make telephone calls via the Internet.

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