Process 8x8 Contact Center SMS interactions

SMS has become a popular channel of communication in customer service. As an 8x8 Contact Center agent, you can interact with customers via SMS channels. SMS messages received from customers are directed via the SMS channels to chat queues. As a member of chat queues, receive these messages and interact with customers using the chat interface. As agents, you can look up customer records if the message is from an existing customer, check for outstanding cases and history of interactions to handle the conversation effectively.

Availability

SMS channels for receiving SMS messages can be configured in 30 countries (Learn more). SMS messages can be sent to most countries in the world (note that the cost of sending messages to different countries varies based on the country, with the US and Canada being the least expensive).

Features

  • Connect and Communicate: As contact center agents, receive SMS messages from customers and communicate in real time. Agents cannot initiate SMS messages.
  • Route messages: Based on agent skills, SMS messages are routed via chat queues to available agents. These messages are then directed to available agents based on rules/schedules/skills.
  • Engage with customers effectively: Multitask and maximize your productivity by handling SMS messages from up to six customers at a time.
  • Handle interactions more efficiently by accessing the customer record via screen pop. When an existing customer sends a message, quickly look up the popped customer record and learn about recent cases.
  • Track past activity: Save the SMS interactions in a chat transcript and automatically link it as a case to the right customer record for future reference. Agents always end SMS interactions.

Limitations

  • SMS conversations must be initiated by the customer (the external party). At this time, agents cannot initiate an SMS conversation with a customer (or other external party).
  • We do not support SMS messaging to short code numbers currently. We support messaging to toll-free and regular phone numbers.
  • The messaging does not support images or emojis. It is plain text only.

Agents: Handle an SMS Interaction

Agents receive SMS interactions via chat queues they are serving. When agents are available, an SMS message received by a customer is routed via the SMS channel to a chat queue and offered to them. The chat tab blinks red, indicating an incoming interaction. An incoming SMS message has its own distinct icon. If the message is from an existing customer, the customer record pops. You can now review the customer details along with any historical cases. Accept the chat and interact with the customer. Once the interaction is indicated as complete by the customer, save the chat transcript and end the interaction. The chat log is saved as a case linked to the customer record.

Prerequisites

To receive or send chats using 8x8 Contact Center, you must:

  • Be a member of the chat queue to which the chat is routed.
  • Place yourself in the Available status.

To process an SMS interaction:

  1. In the Control Panel, click Accept Chat or in the chat tab, click on the check mark next to the customer name to accept the chat. If there is a customer match, the customer record pops.

  2. Review the customer details along with any historical cases in the customer record.
  3. Respond to the messages and complete the interaction with the customer. You can insert FAQs with text-only content.

    Note: Images or emojis fail to relay to the customer.

  4. Once the customer indicates that the interaction is complete, Click in either the Chat window or the chat pop-out window. Select Save to CRM from the menu. A new case is created and linked to the matched customer record.
  5. Click End to finish the chat. The post-processing time initiates if your administrator has set it up for your tenant. Post-processing gives you time to add more notes for the chat.
  6. Click End Post Processing, or wait for the chat to terminate.