What's new for admins in 8x8 Contact Center?
We have introduced the following enhancements this year so far:
Enable an improved email experience in Agent Workspace
This improved email experience in 8x8 Agent Workspace enables agents to handle emails from the Control Panel in 8x8 Agent Workspace, in addition to the previous experience of taking emails from the Display Panel. This new capability aims to improve how emails are handled in the 8x8 Contact Center by allowing agents to:
- View the sender’s email address in the same panel.
- Handle emails and view the thread in the same panel.
- See attachments and the email they are associated with easily.
- Have their productivity reported in 8x8 Analytics for Contact Center.
To learn how to process email interactions from the Control Panel in 8x8 Agent Workspace, see our content about process email interactions.
To allow agents to use the improved email experience in 8x8 Agent Workspace:
- Log in to your 8x8 Configuration Manager account.
- Go to Home > Profile.
- Select the Enable full email integration in Agent Workspace (External CRM only) checkbox.
- Click Save.
To learn more about profile settings, see Configure profile settings.
Introducing 8x8 Intelligent Customer Assistant
8x8 Contact Center introduces Intelligent Customer Assistant (ICA), a powerful, user-friendly conversational AI solution that enables businesses to create simple to complex automated self-service experiences across channels. 8x8 Intelligent Customer Assistant makes it possible to build highly scalable, always available experiences across multiple regions and languages. ICA offers a convenient way to quickly resolve routine and common customer inquiries while saving time, reducing costs, and reserving agent resources for more complex, high-touch interactions.
Benefits & features
Faster resolution that delivers personalized engagement and end-to-end automation for fast service
- Reduce agent workload to focus on more high touch, impactful service interactions
- Minimize ongoing maintenance costs with simple admin and tuning tools
Take action with powerful analytics that provide insights and recommendations for 360° performance optimization
Key features include:
- Out-of-box templates
- Graphical, click & add scripting tools
- Built-in comprehensive analytics with performance recommendations
- Build bots once and apply flows across any channel
- Rich media content widgets
- Customizable dashboards
- Real-time translation in 100+ languages
- Turnkey integrations to CRMs & other systems
For details, refer to the following links:
- Configuring the chatbot using the 8x8 chat widget
- Handing over a chat session to an 8x8 agent.
- Configuring the 8x8 Extension for ICA
- Configuring the Agent Handover from Cognigy to 8x8
8x8 partners with Cognigy Inc to empower you with Intelligent Customer Assistant. Please refer to the following documentation links from Cognigy.
Enhanced callback expiration time
The cancel callback time can now be set to a maximum of 72 hours. The expiration time for callbacks is increased from 6 hours to 72 hours, to avoid customers missing out on being contacted because callbacks expired too early. The minimum callback time remains 120 seconds. Learn more about queued callback.
Web chat widget enhancements
We have improved the look and feel of our web chat widgets which offer your customers a channel of communication. These improvements include:
Note: To access this new feature, admins must log into 8x8 Configuration Manager, create new web chat components, and apply them to the chat script.
- Ability to integrate with our chat gateway so you can use conversation Artificial Intelligence vendors
Ability to keep session - When a customer using the web chat navigates to another page on the website, they are still able to continue that conversation with the agent. This prevents a conversation from refreshing when a customer using web chat navigates to different pages on the web site. This offers continuity in conversation in situations such as the following:
Agents can guide customers to different pages in the web site and still keep the web chat conversation ongoing
If a customer's Internet connection drops, they can continue the conversation when it comes back online
A customer accidentally closes the browser, when reopened, they can continue the conversation
End of life - Wallboards
We have reached the end of life of Wallboards offered previously through 8x8 Configuration Manager. As of 2/28/2023, please use the dashboards to access metrics for your contact center using the 8x8 Analytics for Contact Center.
During 2022, we introduced a few enhancements that required admin configuration. Here's a summary:
Ability to route emails based on content
When customers send inquiries via emails, they expect a quick response. But as the volume of email interactions increases, it can be challenging to provide timely and helpful responses. With 8x8 Contact Center advanced email filtering, you can now automatically distribute emails to the best-fit queues and agents based on content analysis and keywords. As an administrator, you can set up rules to handle emails that contain content that matches text strings and one or more expressions. 8x8 Contact Center email routing streamlines your response process using advanced filtering based on email content thus enhancing the customer experience. Learn more.
Support OAuth2 authentication for email channels
Email service providers like Microsoft announced plans to stop supporting basic authentication for Post Office Protocol (POP), Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), and potentially for outgoing server setups (SMTP). To prepare for this security improvement, 8x8 Contact Center introduced OAuth2 authentication for users of Microsoft last year. Microsoft is removing basic authentication for email soon. So, moving forward, to connect your mail servers using OAuth, please do the needful. Learn more.
Display Calling Line Identifier(CLI) while ringing agent workplace phone
We have introduced the ability to display the Calling Line Identifier information on the agent's end point. This allows agents to identify the caller before answering the phone. In 8x8 Configuration Manager, under the tenant profile (Home > Profile), we introduced a new control—Display customer CLI when call offering, to manage this feature. By default, the feature is disabled. If you wish agents in your contact center to see the caller's phone number, you will need to enable it.
Note: In this release, the configuration to display CLI is available at the tenant level only. We are working to extend this configuration to agent group and individual agent level offering more flexibility.
What's new in the 8x8 Contact Center 9.14 release for administrators?
Note: The product version in 8x8 Agent Console and 8x8 Configuration Manager may show up as 10.0 instead of 9.14 while we are working to fine-tune our 8x8 Contact Center applications.
In 8x8 Contact Center for administrators, we have introduced the following enhancements to improve the productivity of agents, supervisors, and administrators in our new release.
Introducing 8x8 Agent Workspace
8x8 Contact Center now offers a streamlined experience for all agents by introducing the brand new 8x8 Agent Workspace. This highly intuitive interface streamlines customer interactions while delivering a simpler, efficient, and more engaging way for agents to keep productivity high and customer experiences powerful. This clean new interface allows agents:
- To process interactions and manage their routine tasks with ease
- To focus on the task at hand by minimizing distractions
- To collaborate and engage with other agents and experts quickly
- To handle customer interactions more efficiently and effectively
Existing 8x8 Contact Center customers can switch to the new agent experience and back to classic workspace without any delays. Admins can allow access to the 8x8 Agent Console or 8x8 Agent Workspace or offer flexibility to switch between the two. Learn how to activate 8x8 Agent Workspace.
Ability to set up DTMF blacklist
As an 8x8 Contact Center administrator, you can now manage your DTMF blacklist by adding, editing, and deleting phone numbers as well as SIP URIs in your DTMF blacklist. The DTMF blacklist is an existing service to stop recording a call once connected to a blacklisted destination. It also masks any key presses in the customer experience call flow, so that payment card data is kept private. Prior to this release, adding an entry to the DTMF blacklist required raising a ticket with 8x8 support team. For details, see our content on how to set up DTMF blacklist.
Introducing the Chat API 2.0
The 8x8 Contact Center Chat API allows third-party companies to connect directly to an agent from their own system, this enables them to use their interface to speak to their customers, such as enabling their clients to communicate with an agent from mobile app-based chat, Desktop web chatbots, and messaging via integrations with other apps or platforms.
- Enhanced documentation in developer portal
- Introduction of frontend logging
- Introduction of new user interface for maintaining Chat API channels
- Sending secure webhook callback requests
- Standardizing API to fit in with 8x8 public API approach
For details, see our content on chat workflow for developers.
Support OAuth2 authentication for email channels
The 8x8 Contact Center authenticates email channels via basic authentication, using the simple username and password. Email service providers like Microsoft announced plans to stop supporting basic authentication for Post Office Protocol (POP), Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), and potentially for outgoing server setups (SMTP). This requires integrators to migrate their current email client to use modern authentication methods like OAuth2. To prepare for this security improvement, 8x8 Contact Center now introduces support for OAuth2 authentication for users of Microsoft. We continue to support basic authentication for existing users. For details, see our content on how to use OAuth2 authentication for email channels.
Ability to adjust post-processing time for direct agent calls
Post-processing time is the duration agents are allowed, after terminating the calls, to wrap up any pending notes or actions related to the call. Prior to this release, while processing direct-to-agent calls, agents had a limited duration of five seconds for post-processing. Depending on your business needs, agents may require more time to wrap up notes on calls. In this release, we are introducing the ability to adjust post-processing time for direct-to-agent calls from five seconds to a maximum of 60 minutes helping to meet your business needs. For details, see our content on how to adjust post-processing time for direct agent calls.
8x8 web chat is now WCAG 2.1 compliant
When websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them, they are considered web accessible. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) offer recommendations on how to increase the usability of your website, and how to make it accessible to people with disabilities. Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual.
Prior to this release, 8x8 Contact Center customers who are WCAG 2.1 compliant were restricted from using the web chat solution due to the lack of compliance. In this release, we have enhanced the 8x8 Contact Center web chat experience to comply with the WCAG 2.1 guidelines allowing better readability, navigability, and interactivity with our web chat elements. For details on how to make your chat WCAG compliant, see our content on chat design enhancements for WCAG 2.1 compliance.
Note: WCAG Compliance is limited to 8x8 Contact Center web chat only. All other features and applications in the 8x8 Contact Center are not yet WCAG compliant.
To comply with WCAG 2.1, 8x8 Contact Center introduces enhancements to the web chat experience, thus allowing 8x8 customers to be WCAG 2.1 AA compliant. Learn more (Learn more about the compliance levels > Level A: Minimal compliance; Level AA: Acceptable compliance; Level AAA: Optimal compliance)
We have introduced the following enhancements to improve the productivity of agents, supervisors, and administrators in our new release of 8x8 Contact Center.
Introducing 8x8 Contact Center new APIs
8x8 Contact Center introduces the Call API allowing 8x8 Contact Center customers to place outbound calls for agents from an external (desktop-based) system. Agents can simply log into the 8x8 Agent Console, place it on a persistent connection, and handle calls from their external system. Prior to this release, click-to-dial was used to place outbound calls for the agent. Click-to-dial calls were initiated by agents from within the 8x8 Agent Console application.
The call API allows placing calls, dropping calls, dropping agents from a conference call, and more. It works in conjunction with the Agent Status API to change the status of the agent, and the SAPI API to publish events on the 8x8 platform. We have also added the following attributes to the SAPI API in this release:
- Additional granularity of the call status
- Additional granularity of the customer hung up reason
- Additional granularity about reasons for call abandonment
Enhancing outgoing email settings for channels and agents via SMTP
As an 8x8 Contact Center agent, when you email customers via email channel, you want to ensure that customers receive the emails without being blocked by your outbound email servers, or the spam filters of the customer’s email servers.
To ensure the delivery of emails sent by agents, 8x8 Contact Center now supports an enhanced configuration for outbound mailing systems, only available for custom SMTP servers. This enhancement allows specific configuration for each and every channel or agent, so that emails actually get signed and sent using the individual accounts. When sending out emails, the “From” section in the email header must match the actual address used for sending out that email, which implies using correct accounts and credentials, and the actual sender. When an agent sends an email via a channel, it uses the channel address. When an agent sends an email via their own address, it uses the agent's individual email address.
Prior to this release, emails were sent from a unique address and user account configured on the SMTP server. The email address on the email header did not match the email address used to send the email, causing emails to be blocked by spam filters. For details, see our content on how we enhanced our outgoing email settings for channels and agents via SMTP.
See our content on all Previous releases.