Intro A lot of surgeries (indeed, businesses in general) tend to have peak times for callers to call. We now have a large collection of tools to help deal with this problem. From queues which allow calls to stack up where callers receive their queue position, through to tools within babblevoice Desktop to help manage the queue. And then of course our reporting suite babble Vibes which indicates problems, helps you to manage staff and staffing levels.
We have been tweaking and tidying babblevoice Desktop this month.
Updates It’s a difficult balance between not annoying you - but gently providing information on new developments, new ideas and so on. The new news icon will glow green when there is a blog released which you have not seen yet.
Queue Alerting Under config, there is a new button.
This takes you into a new section for queue alerting.
Intro For all surgeries or organizations who use call queues to handle a volume of inbound calls it can be difficult keeping wait times down at all times. Sometimes the quiet times can be more problematic than busy times. For example, Monday morning - we expect a high volume of calls - so we staff it appropriately, its when we are not sat waiting for calls which can sometimes be a problem.
babblevoice Desktop has become one of the most useful tools in the babblevoice kit bag. For those uninitiated, babblevoice Desktop is a helper application designed to help you get the most out of the real phone on your desk. It can be used from simple tasks like, who’s on the phone and call transfer, through to really useful tasks like application integration. babblevoice Desktop runs in the browser and has a dedicated Windows application.
Feedback. As you have probably already seen, we have recently added a feedback widget. Thanks for all the feedback that has already been left. We would also really like you to leave a comment in the notes with your feedback so that we can see specifically what you do and don’t like. If you would like us to contact you regarding your feedback then also please leave your contact details - don’t be shy!
Intro More and more users are using babblevibes on large screens to help drive team performance in call centres. We wanted to highlight a good option of displaying Vibes on a large screen in the office.
A lot of users buy a large screen/TV and plug a dedicated computer into that screen. This has issues though:
The cost of a dedicated computer is not small Changing the screen or getting it setup in the morning can be fiddly Instead, what works well and on a reasonable budget is Google Chromecast.
Hotdesking babblevoice Desktop now supports hotdesk feature. This is a simple but useful feature in environments where phones are not assigned to a specific user. Users do not need to change the way they work to use this feature.
When a user logs into babblevoice Desktop and registers to use a phone (‘My Phone’ in Desktop options) the user is now registered to be using this phone. There is a simple rule: a user can only be registered to 1 phone and 1 phone can only be registered to 1 user.
Intro Some small and large updates to Vibes.
Looks We have increased the width of Vibe’s boards - allowing you to get either more information squeezed in or make your information more visible further away!
Bar Chart (and its sibling Time Chart) have had an update to our graphing software which present data in a more modern way.
The height of Statistics Vibe can now be adjusted.
User Statistics Report In conjunction with babblevoice Desktop, the Statistics Vibe now includes data on user statistics.
Data Security and Protection Toolkit Publication We are pleased to announce babblevoice has just completed the requirements under NHS Digital Data Security and Protection Toolkit and we have published our results.
As a company offering cloud services, we spend a lot of time ensuring our security and management of sensitive information is up to high standards. We continuously review our work against new threats and standards.
Working towards NHS Digital published standards is one of the many activities we undertake in this effort and an important one.
Introduction One of the many tasks we have to do you hopefully do not even think about is performing software upgrades to ensure as secure a system as possible.
We have just performed some large updates:
Google open id - we have just simplified our software and removed integration with G+ (inline with Google’s drive to shutdown G+). You shouldn’t spot any difference when logging in. Oauth 1a. We have made the decision to move away and move towards the much simplified version 2.
We have had a few requests to improve how a statistics vibe can look at data. The original method takes a rolling view of data based around the current time.
When you create a Vibe which shows the last weeks worth of abandoned you end up with a chart where the end time is now and the graph charts data going back a week.
Some user like this, for others it can be a little confusing.
When handling a number of agents who take inbound calls into a call centre there is a requirement to ensure that the whole team is supporting each other. We have other Vibes which can report on items such as how much time a phone has been connected for the day. But the new lazy agent is a live view of how long a phone has been idle for (how long since it was last on a call).
We are pleased to announce our release of our speech detection feature. For more information have a read of our doc on the subject.
Currently this feature can be used to transcribe voicemails - to speed up the processing of voicemail and in simple auto attendants.
Watch this space, as we to intend to extend this feature so that it can be used in other areas, such as Baaxml application or EMIS IVR.
An important update you should be aware of.
We have added Google to the list of sub processors in our privacy statement. This is because we have added speech detection to our feature list and we use Google AI to enable this feature.
We have just released our latest installer for babblevoice Desktop for Windows. It can be found at https://www.babblevoice.com/files. Existing installs will attempt to update if they have permission to do so.
So, what’s new?
Automation This is the official release which supports automation. Use Lua to create Workflows to improve call handling in your business.
EMIS automation The default script we include is an example which integrates with EMIS Web from EMIS Health.
Every so often I get the chance to sit in front of users who try and click their way around my software. It is only then do I realise the amount of pain I have inflicted upon my users! (Of course this was never my intention).
As part of my research I have come up with some nice tweaks which hopefully will help with making our users working lives just a little bit easier.
So this comes up every so often. “Why do you use Google to log in?”, “What data do you send to them” and “Why can’t you just use a normal user name and password like everyone else”.
Data Just by logging in via Google, we do not send them any data out of babblevoice. Think of Google as the passport service to babblevoice. You identify yourself to Google (using an email address and password) and Google says to us ‘yes - that’s Bob’.
How many times have you called a company and before you can get through to speak with someone, you have to enter your account details, go through a long list of options only to get through to an agent who doesn’t know who you are or anything about the options you selected on the way in.
Telephony integration is tricky. TAPI was introduced by Intel and Microsoft in 1993 but never gained much traction (most phone system manufacturers implemented their bit but most contact software vendors did not - in fact Microsoft themselves did quite a poor job in Outlook).
Sometimes the simpler ideas are the good ones.
We have been asked a few times now, how do I update my records (patient with a new phone number, for example) when it doesn’t screen pop the patient.
The new number isn’t in your system (EMIS) so babblevoice Desktop cannot look up your caller. With the best will in the world you now have to look up the patients details.
Now, when you find the correct patient, edit their details, simply ctrl-v in the phone number field as we automatically copy the caller id from the phone call you just took.
Introduction You may have noticed Polycom, our preferred phone manufacturer, has discontinued the original model (SoundPoint) with a new one (VVX).
It seems like a good time to discuss upgrading users of SoundPoint phones as well as a good strategy to replace phones.
Gone are the days when you purchased your phones and phone system together. Take out a large lease plan to pay for it all etc. Now the only items you need to own are the phones on your desk - and these have become almost a throw away item.
Introduction We have just taken the decision to disable 2 features by default on Polycom phones. This is because we are seeing a high rate of tickets raised on our helpdesk where the root cause of the problem is one of these features has been enabled by a user. The problem is it upsets call flows, callers calls silently sit in queues with no phone ringing or Polycom phones attempt to forward calls in queues somewhere else - which queues refuse to do - so the calls just get stuck unable to be answered.
Heather has been with babblevoice for around 5 years now - you might consider her to be a long standing employee. But, whilst we are getting rid of her, we won’t need to pay redundancy, or pension or any other goodwill payments.
Why? Because Heather is our Scottish Text to Speech Engine. She has done well for us. A few clients having a chuckle at her expense as she fluffed up a few words here and there.
Over the last year we have received quite a few requests on updates to our EMIS integration. We have released these updates bit by bit, so it is probably overdue that we wrote a blog post itemising the most interesting.
EMIS Max appointments When a caller calls in through to the automated appointment booking, when they select the option to book a new appointment it can now check how many current appointments they have already.
We are pleased to announce support for 2 new phones from the manufacturer VTech. Adding these phones to our supported range of phones add some nice features.
VSP726A The main selling point for this phone is a built in DECT base station. This makes this phone the cheapest and simplest solution for a wireless headset.
VSP608A If you have rooms or areas in your building with no network ports and all you need is a simple phone at that location then this is the desk phone for your.
We have just released a new feature in our EMIS plugin - specifically in the IVR.
You can enforce a patient is only offered appointments for their registered GP or a member of that GP’s team. This fits surgeries who want to offer named GP services and it also fits multi site surgeries where a team of GPs would be present at a specific site.
Any questions please speak to our support team.
At babblevoice we have a few goals which we strive for. These are:
Lowest total cost of ownership of any phone system Most flexible/largest toolset available out of any phone system Highest quality out of any phone system Although this does lead to some challenges for us, sometimes the first point conflicts with the final point - so we have to decide which is more important - in this case quality trumps price.
This year we have put a lot of work into babblevoice Desktop. It has a complete new look and feel and it’s structure has changed. There is also now a full web version which can run in your browser.
We have just introduced a new feature in babblevoice Desktop - call lists. This allows you to create a list of people you wish to call, then sequentially work through that list.
Our statistics vibe just received a little love. We have added 2 new statistics you may find useful. Both of these new features can be found in the statistics vibe in your babblevibes dashboard. Simply add the statistic vibe to a board and in the vibe’s options look for the stat: Call Costs or Auto Attendants.
Call spend Call spend by device was tracked in this vibe from the beginning.
We have been spending quite a lot of time recently on upgrading some rather large chunks of babblevoice. This has meant some of the niggles in babblevoice haven’t been addressed - even though they shouldn’t have taken too much time to put into place.
This is one of those.
The outbound caller ID is configurable through our console. But, if you normally want a caller ID displayed when making an outbound call, occasionally you may not - and vice versa.
Hopefully, you may have noticed some updates at babblevoice. We finally went live with our new console and it is now the default console when logging in.
This took around 2 years of development, which took all the good stuff from version 1 but looked at all the ways which were painful and improved upon them. The rules editor, specifically, has changed a lot which we hope has made it easier for you to write call rules.
You would have thought queueing technology is simple. Create a queue, push your callers into that queue then have a team of users which then pick up those calls. Simple!
Not so! At babblevoice, we introduced our queues a few years ago. So far they met the needs of most of our users. Most of our users replaced phone systems which used very simple technology. For example, small and medium-sized businesses which had restricted number of phone lines coming into their offices (they may have had 4 agents working, but they only had 8 lines in and out the business - this scenario is not uncommon even where there are offices with more than a 100 staff).
As well as developing babblevoice, we have to ensure that features we think up are communicated to you. So we have some updates to our online documents for you.
Some domain settings can now be configured for outbound dialling, Our simple pattern matching spec has been published. This is used in inbound call filtering and now allows you to configure outbound call filters (as per my previous bullet point).
The UK has a fantastic spread of cultures in it. With this, it brings different languages and sometimes means anyone serving those communities may need to offer options for different languages when patients/customers touch their services.
According to Wikipedia, Welsh is spoken by around 700,000 people, then there are a number of British languages which are not so widely spoken. But then there is also a large number of immigrant languages (this list is the top 10):
I am going to be talking about this for a while for the foreseeable future. Mainly because of the amount of hard work we have put into it! But also because we hope it makes it easier for you to configure and manage your babblevoice setup.
My last blog post was regarding the new rules editor. I have been using it personally when writing my own call rules - and I think it is much easier to use than the last version.
Migrating to the cloud for your phone system means you maybe placing more emphasis on your broadband connection on needing to be available. Actually, going to the cloud for this type of service means, for many reasons, that overall it is more reliable. But if you have an office with users on the phone there are things you can do to ensure your staff can provide a good service. Some babblevoice users put 2 connections into an office for increased redundancy (you can’t do that with ISDN!
Parking is a feature of a lot of phone systems, but we never got round to implementing it becuase frankly the transfer on all the phones we recomend works really well.
But recently we received requests from a number of users who need to be able to handle multiple calls at once, more than the transfer feature on even the largest of business phones, and be able to move the calls around the business without always the recipient being able to take the call.
babblevoice is all grown up. The first console has been used for 5+ years. Things have moved on on the Web, so we have been working hard making use of new technology. We decided to rewrite our console (the bit which allows you to configure your phone system your way). We set out with the goals:
Mobile device support, simpler to use, nicer to look at! See for yourself - a little sneak preview focusing on the Rules editor.
When I first saw this phone’s picture I had to get one. Finally, a company who got it. A modern, fresh design, all screen - with smart functionality. But in the end a disappointment.
The Phone I have been a proponent of moving to VOIP but maintaining the traditional phone on the desk (Polycom, Yealink, Cisco etc) as from a user’s perspective - it just works. Softphones are great, but a lot of users have problems with them, or the computer is not quite up to the job.
If you are lucky enough to work in an office or surgery which is newer than 5 years old then this article will be of no use for you. For buildings which are older than this, you might find it useful to read on.
In the olden days (which is what my children refer to my childhood as!) commercial buildings were wired to power things, phone sockets for phones and CAT5 for computers (well actually, there were some predecessors to CAT5 - but we don’t need to go into that in this article).
After a couple of years of organic development it was time to review and tidy up our Netvibes Gadgets. We chose Netvibes as our reporting engine as we recognised that babblevoice Data was not your complete world. Netvibes allows you to look at data from all over the Web. It is a company and personalised dashboarding web site which can help with:
Brand monitoring – to track clients, customers and competitors across media sources all in one place, analyze live results with 3rd party reporting tools, and provide media monitoring dashboards for brand clients, e-reputation management – to visualize real-time conversations and social activity feeds, and track new trending topics, product marketing – to create interactive product microsites, with drag-and-drop publishing interface, community portals – to engage online communities, personalized workspaces – to gather all essential company updates to support specific divisions (e.
We are always looking for new ways to give our users the best experience possible. One of the ways we do this is by integrating babblevoice with third party products with which you are already familiar. The latest product we are working with is Microsoft Outlook. To accomplish the level of integration we want, we need to run our software on your machine. This gives us a great opportunity for you to try one of our new products, babblevoice desktop for Windows which can be downloaded by following the link.
Yet again a feature request has been made by you, our babblevoice community, for a feature that will benefit everyone. And yet again, babblevoice has swung into action and developed, tested and released the requested feature free of charge. The feature in question this time is the ability to handle calls differently depending on who’s calling. The most common use for this feature will be to block nuisance or unwanted calls.
One of the ways in which we keep costs down is by not offering credit. Keeping your domain in credit means that nobody has to pay for any bad debt. There are two ways to keep your account in credit. You can use PayPal to add funds whenever your balance runs low. To be sure you never run out of credit you can create a call rule which will send you a text reminder when your balance falls below your chosen level.
Allow your users and prospects to login to babblevoice from your website
As a reseller of babblevoice, how great would it be to let your babblevoice users login to babblevoice from your website! By allowing your customers and prospect to login to the babblevoice console from your website you
Provide your users with a truly seamless service. Your providing the support, it makes sense they come to you to login too.
As staid and steady office desk phones inch ever closer to their more glamorous mobile counterparts, yet another feature makes a long awaited début into the babblevoice feature list. You can now personalise your desk phone’s ringtone.
Other than individualisation, there are a number of legitimate business reasons why you might want to do this; many office phones perform multiple functions e.g. helpdesk and technical support. Assign these numbers different ringtones and you can differentiate calls to each by the sound the phone is making.
You may have come across the term Power over Ethernet or, more likely, the popular acronym PoE when researching Voice over IP (VoIP) or any other networking topic; but what exactly is PoE? The best answer is that: Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology for wired Ethernet LANs (local area networks) that allows the electrical current necessary for the operation of each device to be carried by the data cables rather then by separate power cords.
With more and more work being done remotely and yet collaboratively it’s becoming increasing important to have at least one great conference phone in your business. The days of crowding around a desk phone, straining your neck to hear and be heard are over thanks to the Polycom SoundStation IP5000 and IP6000. Both of these phones boast Polycom’s state-of-the-art HD voice technology in a conference phone format and have been fully tested and approved by babblevoice.
As a babblevoice user you benefit from having both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and an Auto Attendant available to you but what is the difference?
To some people there is no real difference. It’s simply that annoying computer that tries to manage your call rather than the company bothering to put a human being on the phone. However in reality both IVRs and Auto Attendants are valuable business tools that will save the company money and, if used properly, give the caller a better experience.
An auto attendant (automatic attendant or virtual receptionist) allows callers to be automatically transferred to an extension without the intervention of a telephone operator or receptionist. Love them or loath them they are a fact of everyday life, may be appropriate for your business and are available for you in babblevoice.
Even if you hold auto attendants in poor regard, they can be better than an engaged (busy) tone, voicemail or no one answering the phone.