ShoreTel ECC’s Easy Holiday Scheduling

    Traditionally, most contact centers like to build a list of holidays that determine open or closed status and how those calls should be treated on those days.

    That’s certainly workable within the ShoreTel PBX, and doing this in ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center (ECC), allows the contact center to operate 24/7, even if the business is closed.

    This is handy for self-service applications (“your bank balance is…”, “your order shipped on…”). You can also provide day-specific messages if you wish. All of this can be set up and left to run as part of the everyday scripts.

    Most importantly, it also allows the contact center to report on what may have happened during these holiday events using the ever handy IVR Application Markers and/or DNIS reporting.

    Yes, much of this can be accomplished in ECC Director as well using the “Day Types” and “Shifts” capabilities but if you are a scripting type of person and wish to set this up within scripting this option is available for you.

    You may mix and match: holidays in ECC Director and Day of week routing can be set in Scripting; open/close can be accomplished in either place so it becomes a question of what’s better for the business. It's nice to have options to set open and close times without touching Scripting if so required/desired.

    For this example, we will show how to do all of it in the ShoreTel ECC GCCS (Graphical Contact Center Scripting).

    Here’s an example of a holiday script where we have Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday), Christmas and New Year’s Day, all leading to unique messages:


    So what do I do if I only have three holidays? The trick there is to “double punch” the dates as shown above. The system will compare the value to the current date then act. If it’s 10-31, the buck and routing stops there with the call taking “exit 0.” Since we can’t necessarily clear out dates, just drop your favorite holiday an extra time or two. The system will skip it when the date doesn’t match then proceeding to the “Exit.”

    Another take on this is to set the business up for a holiday or two over several years. Here’s four years’ worth of Christmas and Good Friday as an example (with an extra Christmas or two to fill out the properties):

    Picture2Time of Day Routing:

    Open at 9 and closed at 5? Here’s an easy way to check the time in scripting. If it’s before 9 A.M. or after 5 P.M. we will “Branch to Script,” indicating “business hours” messaging or the like. If it’s before 5 P.M. we will route to script appropriate for business hours.

    “Else” can lead to another “Logic Switch” as well, so very precise conditional routing can be done this way, combining all the elements you might need, so that “If it’s Tuesday (and not a holiday) and after 9 A.M. but before 5 P.M.” you can exactly script where you wish calls to go and how treatment will be offered. The Logic Switch either finds a match or it moves on until it does. We have our three options covered here in the first three settings. One of those will work 24/7. The options that follow are not considered; we’ve already moved on!

    Picture3Day of the Week Routing

    This practically doesn’t require an explanation. We’ll call this “brilliantly simple”:

    Picture4 Or a combination of all of the above:


    We simply linked multiple Logic Switches to do a combo “Date/Day/Time” check. First we check Holidays if its Christmas or Good Friday until 2017 we offer a specific message and hang up. We’re set up for two holidays for five years in this example. We then check the Time. If it’s before 9 A.M. or after 5 P.M., we “Branch to Script” which can indicate CC hours or offer other treatment. If we see that it’s before 5 P.M., we “Branch to Script” to our normal business hours scripting. Remember, you can use IVR Application markers along the way here to track non-business hour activity as we offered in the first “Holiday” script at the top of this document.

    Happy Holidays!

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