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Making it easy for customers to connect is one of the benefits of deploying SAP Business Communications Management (BCM) in the contact center. One valuable convenience offered by BCM is the “Callback” functionality that can be enabled for any voice queue.

This functionality allows callers to have the option of requesting a call back in the event there is no agent to assist them immediately, and to eliminate the need for them to wait in queue. Agents are logged into this “Callback Queue” and handle these requests as outbound interactions. Extending this convenience to a website or a kiosk can further improve the customer experience.

How can this be achieved with SAP BCM? Read on to find out how we can enable call back requests programmatically.

Step 1 – Create Callback Queue using SAP BCM System Configurator

We’re going to assume you know your way around BCM System Configurator (SC) and get right to the details. You can find more information on the SC, at the SAP Library Online Documentation site.

This queue is just like any other queue, except we are going to designate it for use as a call back queue.  Adjust the settings for your specific use case, including a callback script* to be displayed to the agent when the call is connected. *Edit: The callback script is currently mandatory for callbacks to work.

Callback1.png

Step 2 – Associate the Callback Queue with a Primary Queue

We now open our primary queue and associate the call back queue by entering the number in the “Callback Queue Number” field under “Contact Management” settings.

Callback2.png

Step 3 – Create Stored Procedure using Microsoft SQL Management Studio

We’re going to leverage the fact that SAP BCM has Microsoft SQL Server as its foundation data layer. Call back requests at their core are simply entries in a database table. In the steps below, we will walk you through the specifics on what table holds this data and create a generic stored procedure to insert a Call back request programmatically. The nice benefit of a stored procedure is it can be called by a variety of languages and leveraged by many platforms e.g. .NET Web Services, ASP.NET, ODBC on any platform, JDBC from Java, PHP, etc. Really, any environment that can execute SQL Server Stored Procedures can benefit without knowing specifics about, or directly modifying, the underlying BCM tables.

It’s outside our scope to step you through using SQL Management Studio or any other tools that can be leveraged to create SQL stored procedures. There are lot’s of examples available through a web search.

The following sql script can be leveraged/modified to create your stored procedure:

-- ================================================
-- PROC x_SetCallBack
--
--    Sets a CallBack request into BCM so a caller
--      can be called back by submitting a web form,
--    from a web service call, etc
--    (anything that can execute this PROC)
--
--    Return Value:
--        1 = Success
--        0 = Failure
--            (Occurs when a Queue with the specified
--             name does not exist or a CallBack
--             Queue is not configured for the Queue
--             Specified)
-- ================================================
-- SET this variable to the name of your BCM Operative DB
:setvar bcmConfigDB "BCMTest"
USE [$(bcmConfigDB)]
GO
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO
CREATE PROCEDURE x_SetCallBack
    -- Proc Params
    @QueueName AS varchar(64),
    @CallBackNumber AS varchar(32)
AS
BEGIN
    SET NOCOUNT ON;
    -- SET Return Values
    DECLARE @result INT;
    SET @result = 0; -- default return value is failure   
    -- Declare variables
    DECLARE
        @OrigCalledNbr VARCHAR(32),
        @QueueGUID UNIQUEIDENTIFIER,
        @CBQNbr VARCHAR(32),
        @IVRQNbr VARCHAR(32),
        @ExtraData NVARCHAR(MAX);
    -- Get Extentension & CallBack Queue for the "orginally called number"
    /* Sets @OrigCalledNbr,
     *    @CBQNbr
     *
     * If the Queue specified by @QueueName does not have a configured
     * CallBack Queue, this PROC throws an error.
     */       
    SELECT    @OrigCalledNbr = e.Address,
            @QueueGUID = qa.QueueGUID,
            @CBQNbr = qp.Value
        FROM [$(bcmConfigDB)].[dbo].[Extension] e
        JOIN [$(bcmConfigDB)].[dbo].[QueueAttr] qa
            ON e.OwnerGUID = qa.QueueGUID
                JOIN [$(bcmConfigDB)].[dbo].[QueueParameter] qp
                    ON qp.QueueGUID = qa.QueueGUID
        WHERE e.Type = 21 AND
              qa.Name = 'Name' AND
              qa.Value = @QueueName AND
              qp.Name = 'QCBQueueNumber'
        ORDER BY e.Address;
    IF (@OrigCalledNbr IS NULL OR
        @CBQNbr IS NULL)
        BEGIN
            SET @result = 0; -- Error result
            RAISERROR('Queue not found or CallBack Queue not found for Queue with name: "%s"', 10, 1, @QueueName);
            RETURN @result;
        END
    -- Get Callback IVR Extension
    SELECT @IVRQNbr = e.Address
        FROM [$(bcmConfigDB)].[dbo].[Extension] e,
             [$(bcmConfigDB)].[dbo].[Application] a 
        WHERE e.OwnerGUID = a.GUID AND
              a.Type = 'CallBackIvr';
    -- Set Call Attached Data (CAD) for IVR Callback
    -- Set Callback Number (Caller A-Number) and Queue Name
    SET @ExtraData = '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><XML><CustomerName></CustomerName><CustomerCompany></CustomerCompany><CustomerEMail></CustomerEMail><CustomerTitle></CustomerTitle><CustomerMobile></CustomerMobile><RealANumber>' + CONVERT(nvarchar(32),@CallBackNumber) + '</RealANumber><CustomerNumber></CustomerNumber><FirstBName>' + CONVERT(nvarchar(36),@QueueGUID) + '</FirstBName></XML>';
    -- Insert CallBack Request into DB
    -- We are setting the NextCallTime to NOW, so CallBack is moved to top of the Queue
    INSERT
        INTO [$(bcmConfigDB)_Operative].[dbo].[CallBackQueue]
            (GUID,
             CreationTime,
             NextCallTime,
             OrigCallerNbr,
             OrigCalledNbr,
             CBQNbr,
             IVRQNbr,
             Failures,
             MaxCalls,
             LastResult,
             ExtraData,
             Notes)
    VALUES
            (NewID(),
             GetDate(),
             GetDate(),
             @CallBackNumber,
             @OrigCalledNbr,
             @CBQNbr,
             @IVRQNbr,
             '0',
             '3',
             'ADDED',
             @ExtraData,
             '');
    SET @result = 1; -- return success
    RETURN @result;   
END
GO

There are a number of ways this procedure could be enhanced. For instance, you could pass in the NextCallTime parameter and provide your customers the ability to request a specific time for the call back. You could improve performance by passing the GUID and extension of the callback queue, and thus avoid the expense of the lookup code.

Step 4 – Test the Stored Procedure from Microsoft SQL Management Studio

Now, let’s test our procedure to ensure it works as expected. The following SQL code can be modified with your specific queue name and called directly from SQL Management Studio.

-- SET this variable to the name of your BCM Operative DB
:setvar bcmConfigDB "BCMTest"
USE [$(bcmConfigDB)]
GO
DECLARE    @return_value int
-- Replace 'Sales' and '12223334444' with your specifics
EXEC    @return_value = [dbo].[x_SetCallBack]
        @QueueName = N'Sales',
        @CallBackNumber = N'12223334444'
SELECT    'Return Value' = @return_value
GO

Executing this script should result in your number going to the front of the callback queue and being called by the next available agent. If the script doesn’t seem to work, don’t forget… you do need to assign agents to the Sales and Sales Callback Queue, log them in and make available!

Step 5 – Call Stored Procedure from your Code

Now that we have it working, we can use this as the pattern for calling this stored procedure from your own code.

Leverage for Maximum Benefit

Hopefully this article has sparked some ideas to help you develop compelling customer solutions, and improve the customer experience. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Web call back form: Allow customers to enter their phone number from your website to request a call back. The queue is determined based on the “context” of the requesting web page. For instance, if the customer is at the “checkout” page vs. the “returns” page.
  • Front end the stored procedure call with a secure web service in your DMZ and enable “Call me” functionality from any mobile app
  • Scheduling customer calls based on triggering criteria within a 3rd party application (for scenarios where outbound campaigns are not necessary)

Have Fun!

P.S. Special thanks to SAP’s Jason Rosen for his contribution to this post!

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3 Comments

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  1. Jukka Suhonen

    Nice topic Glenn! One typical mistake here is the callback script, usually people forget to define that. So I would add note that the callback script is mandatory with callback queue setup. Without the script customer stay in the queue forever.

    //Jukka

    (0) 
  2. ALBTELECOM BASIS

    Hello,

    Very nice explenation, but i have another question related callback request.

    We have implemented call back functionality, our issue is when customer leaves a call back request and he/she is calling again immediately. In this case customer is connected with an agent. Recorded call back request should not be valid anymore because it is unnecessary. 

    Is any way how we can improve call back request, in order to avoid such calls?

    Thank you!

     

    (0) 

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