You can find our previous releases here:
- Introducing 8x8 Secure Pay: 8x8 Contact Center now offers customers a secure integration to support the processing of bank card information via our partner PCI Pal. 8x8 Secure Pay enables an agent and customer to stay in contact on a call while masking the card input from the customer's handset so that the sensitive card data stays secure and out of the contact center. The service can be integrated with a CRM, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), or a billing system and the customer's payment gateway to process the payment. The service can also feed information about the payment back to the originating system.
This new integration offers agents a secure payment page for processing customer transactions. The secure payment page can be configured to include pre-populated data or data that the agent adds manually. When this page is opened, the customer audio is rerouted via PCI Pal, which allows them to mask the keypad input both visually and audibly.
The agent hears the conversation and controls the card input, but only hears a single-tone DTMF and sees starred out digits for the card number, date, and Card Verification Value (CVV). In the event of erroneous data input by customers, agents can reset the relevant data field in the payment page, allow customers to fix the input, and facilitate a successful transaction.
When on an active call during the card payment, the agent hears the conversation and controls the card input, but only hears a single-tone DTMF and sees starred out digits for the card number, date, and Card Verification Value (CVV). The agent can reset any field if a mistake is made, and once the data is ready they can take a payment and receive the confirmation or rejection of the transaction.
- Introducing the Answer Machine Detection (AMD) Service: In 8x8 Contact Center when the dialer is used in its aggressive mode, it can call more numbers than available agents to maximize agent efficiency. The dialer needs a service which detects the calls answered by a machine instead of people, and to filter them. We have now introduced the Answer Machine Detection (AMD) service to identify such calls and allocate the calls answered by people to the available agents. When the AMD service identifies a machine-answered call, it sends a one-way message to the call routing to end that call and resolve it automatically. AMD is a learning service and it needs some time to build an effective library of known audio samples before it reaches the maximum efficiency. Once this is done, the AMD service resolves a machine-answered call quicker than the manual effort of an agent.
Once AMD is provisioned for your tenant, the contact center administrators can activate it for the desired campaigns. For details, see our content on the Answer Machine Detection (AMD) service.
AMD works in conjunction with our new Auto-TCL. The transaction code for such calls appears as Answer machine detected in CRM Cases or under Historical reports.
Note: The AMD service is only applicable to the calls routed via campaigns, but not the outbound calls placed by an agent.
- Ability to Detect TCPA-Listed Phone Numbers via Carrier Call Blocking (CCB): 8x8 Contact Center is now able to detect TCPA-listed phone numbers via Carrier Call Blocking (CCB) service. This feature is available for US customers only. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) designed to safeguard consumer privacy restricts telemarketing communications via calls, SMS texts, and fax. To comply with TCPA, we have introduced Carrier Call Blocking (CCB) service for campaign calls which allows the campaign manager in the Dialer to apply special routing to two carriers: Brightlink and RSquared. They will then run dialer calls through a service that checks whether or not the phone number is listed on a Do Not Call (DNC) or mobile block list. If listed, the call is terminated by the carrier and an appropriate Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) code response is sent back to the interaction router. The call is then handled by our Auto-TCL and completed.
Once provisioned, CCB can be enabled at the campaign level. If CCB is enabled, the campaign dialer checks whether the outbound call’s phone number is listed on TCPA list.
Once CCB is provisioned for your tenant, the contact center administrators can activate it for the desired campaigns. If CCB is enabled, the campaign dialer checks whether the outbound call’s phone number is listed on TCPA list. For details, see our content on Carrier Call Blocking.
- Improved Call Handling via Phone Connection Mode and Auto Answer:
Note: Auto Answer is currently on limited availability. Contact 8x8 Support for more help.
8x8 Contact Center has improved the existing call handling capability via two features: Phone Connection Mode and Auto Answer. With Phone Connection Mode, agents set up their phone connection before they start working on calls and remain connected throughout their working day. It allows them to respond to incoming and outbound phone calls with a simple click on the user interface improving their call handling efficiency. There is no audio indication with the Phone Connection Mode. For details, see our content on Phone Connection Mode.
With Auto Answer, however, every phone interaction that is offered to an agent is automatically connected eliminating the need to accept it manually. Agents receive an audio prompt to alert them of a call as it connects. Auto Answer is paired with Workplace Setting Validation and is configurable at the tenant level. To enable Auto Answer, you must also enable workplace setting validation. For details, see our content on Auto Answer.
Once Phone Connection Mode is provisioned for your tenant, the contact center administrators can activate both Phone Connection Mode and Auto Answer for your tenant. Auto Answer is only supported on line 1 for phone interactions.
- Introducing Workplace Setting Validation: When changing workplace setting (Workplace Phone and Workplace SIP URI), agents must validate their changes to be able to handle the calls. When they click to validate the change, it triggers a phone call to the updated phone number. A PIN code is then communicated to the agent. The agent must enter the PIN code to validate the changes and continue. If they are unable to confirm the PIN, they must exit and revert to their last validated setting. The workplace setting validation is offered as a mandatory security feature with Auto Answer, or it can be deployed as a stand-alone feature. For details, see our content on Workplace setting validation.
- Ability to Automatically Apply Transaction Code (Auto-TCL): 8x8 Contact Center automatically assigns transaction codes to campaign calls when the destination party is not available to answer the call, or the call cannot be completed, such as when there is a busy tone or dead line. The new feature also identifies the calls that are answered by a machine. Auto-TCL works with Answering Machine Detection (AMD) service to identify such calls and automatically disposition them. It then moves onto the next call with minimal agent disruption. This feature allows agents to be more efficient with their time.
Once Auto-TCL is provisioned for your tenant, the contact center administrators can activate it for the desired campaigns. For details, see our content on how to Automatically Apply Transaction Codes (Auto-TCL).
- Dynamic Campaigns: Ability to Update Live Campaigns: Dynamic Campaigns allow you to add or remove records from an active campaign via API. Prior to this release we could not add or remove records from a campaign after it started running. This supports integrated lead capturing systems which feed new prospects into the corresponding campaign in real time so they can be dialed within five minutes. Removing a campaign record will not delete it from the list but will keep the record for future reports.
- Allow Agents to Skip Campaign Calls While on Auto Answer: 8x8 Contact Center is now offering agents the option to skip the campaign calls during a campaign. To give the agents this capability, you must enable this option under Campaign > Properties .
For details, see our content on how to skip campaign calls while on Auto Answer.
- Ability to Clone Queues: 8x8 Contact Center now offers customers the ability to clone queues. With this new enhancement, administrators can copy inbound phone queues, outbound phone queues, chat queues, email queues, as well as voicemail queues with a simple click. Cloning queues allows Contact Center administrators to create multiple queues in a short time.
When you clone a queue, the queue properties, members, interactions, SLA, and email settings are copied. A queue name is automatically generated. You can modify or make changes to the new queue, if required. To clone a queue, in Configuration Manager, go to Queues/Skills to display a list of queues, select a queue and click Copy. For details, see our content on how to clone queues.
- Enhanced Usability of Co-browsing: With Co-browsing, you offer live, hands-on assistance to customers, take control of their cursor, and demonstrate how to perform the action while the customer observes. Via co-browsing, you can securely connect to remote computers, access, and troubleshoot problems over the 8x8 Contact Center platform. For details, see our content on how to get remote customer assistance.
Customers, who use 8x8 Co-browsing for remote assistance, can now enjoy better usability with the following enhancements.
- A refreshed user interface.
- Better visibility to the status of co-browsing session on customer side.
- The auto-minimized status window allows the customer to keep an eye on the status of the shared screen at all times. The customer can move the status window to the desired location while in a live session.
- A refreshed user interface.
- Ability to Reset the Agent's Idle Timer: In 8x8 Contact Center, idle time refers to the length of time agents have been idle and is measured for each agent by the agent's idle timer. By default, an agent is considered idle from the time he ends post processing of a system-delivered, queued interaction and becomes available. When multiple agents with the same queue and skill level assignments are idle, the system routes the call to the agent who has been idle the longest. The agent’s idle timer is reset every time they end post processing of a system-delivered, queued interaction. Agent-initiated interactions do not reset the idle timer.
To supplement the default behavior, in the new enhancement we allow 8x8 Contact Center administrators to reset the idle timer when agents transition from one status to another. For example, The idle timer resets when agents change their status from On Break to Available when they log in. For details, see our content on reset agent's idle timer.
- Ability to Autodial Campaign Calls after Preview: In this release, we have introduced the ability to autodial campaign calls when an agent has spent all the preview time without taking an action. Autodialing campaign calls after previewing a campaign record is controlled by a campaign setting.
Note: This feature enhancement is only applicable if your company uses 8x8 Contact Center campaigns.
Prior to this release, agents handling a campaign could view the campaign record for the specified preview period and manually start, reject, or skip the interaction. They were not forced to take the interaction in the time allowed. Additionally, the need for a manual action to initiate a call was repetitive and inefficient. With the autodial feature, however, at the end of the preview time if no action is taken, calls are initiated automatically eliminating the need for manual action by the agent. The 8x8 Contact Center administrators can enable autodialing for each campaign when an agent’s preview countdown ends. The minimum preview duration is 15 seconds. For details, see our content on how to set up autodial for campaign calls.
- Efficient Voice Channel Workflow via off-Hook Mode: With off-hook connection mode agents can instantly and seamlessly connect to customers and improve their productivity. Off-hook is a persistent connection from the agent’s device to 8x8 Contact Center. It removes the need to connect the agent’s workplace phone for every call handled. Agents set up their voice connection before they start working on calls and remain connected throughout their working day. It allows them to respond to incoming and outbound phone calls with a simple click on the user interface.
In the previous behavior, after agents log in to 8x8 Contact Center and make themselves available, they have to accept the interaction for every call that comes through the queue. If they miss the ringing phone, they will no longer be available to take the interaction.
To enable off-hook connection mode for the tenant, log in to Configuration Manager as an administrator and click Enable Off-hook Connection Mode in Home > Profile. If enabled by the contact center administrators, agents can click Enable Off-hook Connection in their Agent Console's user profile. For details, see our content on off-hook connection mode.
We have introduced a brand-new look for 8x8 Contact Center applications in this release. Additionally, we have a new feature enhancements for administrators:
Ability to Filter Campaign Lists Based on Do Not Call Preferences: While creating a campaign filter, you can filter those numbers from Local CRM records that are registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS), to be compliant with TPS and CTPS. This feature is currently supported for UK phone numbers, but will be extended to other countries in future releases.
This feature helps customers to be TPS/CTPS compliant, but does not guarantee it. Customers are responsible for their own compliance. It is recommended not to run campaigns longer than 28 days. For details, see our content on Filter Campaign Lists Based on Do Not Call Preferences.
We have introduced the following new enhancements to improve the productivity of agents, supervisors, and administrators.
- Ability to Set the Browser Language as the Pre-Chat Language: In Configuration Manager, administrators can now set the browser language as the language visible in the pre-chat form. A pre-chat survey form serves to gather information from a chat user before initiating a chat. Using the form, you can collect information from an existing user, such as their preferred language. With this enhancement, the customer's browser language can optionally overwrite the pre-chat default language, eliminating the need for the customer to answer an extra question. When the translation is not available for the browser language, the pre-chat selected language will be in effect. See Translation in pre-chat form.
- Ability to Bypass Automatic Translation in Greeting Messages: In Configuration Manager, the administrator can configure the greeting messages to bypass the automatic translation. Greeting messages are routinely used to invite the customers to a chat session. You can type your message in the chat window, and select to automatically translate. With the new enhancement, however, you can bypass the automatic translation and let the user provide a customized translation instead. See Greeting Messages in the summary table.
- Refreshed New Look for 8x8 Contact Center: Whether you are an agent, a supervisor, or an administrator of 8x8 Contact Center, you will certainly love the new refreshed user interface of all our applications. Look out for the notifications when you launch your application. Please note that we have kept all our functionality workflows intact so there is no learning curve for you.
- Ability to Message Customers via Facebook and Twitter: Take advantage of Facebook and Twitter to service customers directly and increase customer satisfaction with 8x8 Contact Center Social Integration. By unifying the agent experience, 8x8 Social allows users to channel their messages from social media into 8x8 Contact Center. Customers can contact the businesses and receive support from within their social platform. 8x8 Contact Center Social supports messaging via Facebook and Twitter in this release.To receive chat interactions, agents must be assigned to an enabled chat queue and be in Available state. See Social Media Integration.
- Increased Length of Email Addresses: You can now save email addresses exceeding 55 characters. The maximum limit now stands at 254 characters. This change allows many areas such as saving longer email IDs of agents, customers in Local CRM, setting up email notification for voicemails, and more. See User Profile.
New features and enhancements to VCC-Configuration Manager impact supervisors and agents. Some of these features are available to agents and supervisors by default, while others need to be enabled by administrators to benefit from the functionality.
- Enhanced Queued Callback: Our phone IVR scripts can now provide increased callback time, time granularity, and efficiency:
- Increased callback time: The cancel callback time can be set to an increased maximum of six hours. The requested callback remains in an outbound queue for the duration of that time. Any callback attempt is prevented after the time expires. The callback request is removed from the outbound queue after Cancel Callback duration has expired.
- Improved granularity for callback retry delay: You can set callback retry attempts using minutes, and seconds.
- Improved granularity for Cancel callback after: You can set the time duration to cancel call back using hours, minutes, and seconds.
- Improved efficiency for selecting the callback channel number: Using the new option [Current Channel] for CLI/CN, you can display the original channel number, which the caller used as the caller ID for the callback. This option is selected by default. If you wish to display any other channel number during the callback, you can select from the list of available channels.
- Ability to Reserve Idle Agents for Inbound Queues: This feature only applies to outbound calls that are assigned to go through an outbound queue. The Reserve Idle Agents feature allows a configurable number of agents to be reserved in available and idle state, to improve the probability of quickly attending to a new inbound call. While there are fewer than the assigned number of reserved “Available and idle” agents, no queued outbound calls will be presented to agents. Whenever the “Available and idle” agents reserve is exceeded then the most idle agent will receive a queued outbound call.
- Enhanced Voicemail Email Notification: The voicemail email notification provides more data allowing you to track the queued voicemails better. The following information is captured in the voicemail email notification:
Transaction ID, tenant name, cluster ID, phone queue ID, voicemail queue ID, calling name, interaction GUID of the inbound phone queue, transaction ID of the inbound phone interaction, voicemail begin offset, filename, agent name, and voicemail retrieval delay.
- Ability to Prevent Agents from Rejecting Interactions: Improved the ability in Configuration Manager to allow or prevent agents from rejecting interactions. You can set up this ability for the entire tenant, an agent group, or
individual agents. By default, this option is enabled allowing agents to reject interactions. When disabled, the Reject button in Agent Console is disabled preventing agents from rejecting the interactions they are offered.
- Ability to Define Playback Speed of Text-To-Speech Prompts: You can define the playback speed of IVR Text-To-Speech (TTS) prompts when using the Say object. The Say object converts programmed text and variable objects such as phone number and queue position into speech. You can play these prompts slowly, at a normal speed, or at a faster pace. Using the playback rate option, you can control the speed of the speech that reads your text so your callers do not miss the important information such as names, numbers, or account balances. The default speed is Normal. The playback speed is set per IVR Say node.
- Enhanced Email Routing Based on Customer Data: Emails can now be routed based on the CRM customer field of picklist type. For example, if a company wishes to prioritize their premium customers and offer to assist them quickly, agents can prioritize and route the emails from customers based on their account type, say Platinum, Gold, and Bronze. Emails received from Platinum customers can be routed to a dedicated queue for faster processing. Using the Check Picklist object in the email script, you can filter emails based on the customer type and send them to their respective queues for better customer experience. To take advantage of the check picklist object, you must first define the desired customer field of picklist data type in the Local CRM and then select this field in the email script.
In this release, we have introduced a few enhancements and fixed many bugs:
- ImprovedTest Queue and Forward to Queue: Our scripts can now provide in-queue treatments, checking the status of a call in-queue, such as how long the current call has been waiting in the queue. We can also check the agent's availability in the queue at a more granular level in both Test Queue and Forward to Queue objects.
- Enhanced Edit and View inside scripts: The new enhancement adds double-click capability inside a script. This enhancement provides a quick way to view the object's details without opening it in the edit mode.
To edit the object, click edit inside the View details window, or click the edit link next to the object inside the script. This enhancement applies to all scripts including phone, email, and chat.
- Ability to generate PDF images for scripts: You can now generate a PDF image of the script in a printable format and save it locally. It gives developers the ability and flexibility to review and design the script at a later time. This enhancement applies to all scripts such as phone, email, and chat.
- Allow agents to change Display Name: This new improvement allows agents to present themselves with a customized display name. The new feature ensures agents privacy and helps them save time and effort to introduce themselves to customers every time they start a new chat. The display name also shows up in the chat log. Display Name can be modified by the 8x8 Contact Center administrator in the Configuration Manager, or if permitted, by the agents in Agent Console. The changes immediately appear in both applications.
Enhanced Control for CRM Reports: As an administrator, you have the ability to allow or prevent agents from creating or downloading reports for customers, cases, and tasks in Local CRM. By default, agents are allowed to create and download reports.
This release offers Global Reach for 8x8 Contact Center. The Single Tenant Global Reach initiative from 8x8 Contact Center provides best call quality on VoIP across the globe. If your contact center has agents and customers distributed globally, serving your customers 24/7 with the right skilled agents and providing smooth call quality can be a challenge given the global operation. The last thing you want is to distress customers with poor call quality when they need help. The Single Tenant Global Reach initiative from 8x8 Contact Center provides best call quality on VoIP across continents.
With Single Tenant Global Reach, 8x8 Contact Center houses all your agents on a single platform and on a single tenant irrespective of their geographic location. The single-tenant architecture eliminates the need to log in to multiple tenants to manage traffic from different continents. An agent logging in from North America can service customer interactions not only from North America, but also from Europe and Asia Pacific with a single login and with little compromise on the interaction quality.
Benefits of global reach
- Single tenant for a global contact center
- Best call quality for global audience
- Availability of media servers in US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia Pacific
- Call flow based on the media server closest to the point of call origination
- Eliminated need for multiple tenants to serve geographically-distributed agents
- Smooth call quality and agent interaction experience
For details on Global Reach use cases, refer to Single Tenant Global Reach.
In addition to Global Reach, the release offers key improvements in IVR capabilities, improving caller experience:
- In-Queue Treatments and Controls: Ability to provide better in-queue experience to callers.
- Queued Callback: Ability to call back customers who opted out of waiting in the queue.
- Text to Speech: Ability to announce free text or dynamically collected data using the text to speech engine.
- Agent Menu: Enhanced experience for callers in direct agent routed calls.
- IVR Variables: The ability to set variables allows programming abilities within IVR scripts enabling better caller experience. You can use variables to store the user input and use them to drive the call flow.
Other features and enhancements include:
- Time Zone Enhancements: Support for multiple time zones to better handle global operation of the contact center.
- Co-browsing via Chat: Ability to initiate Co-browsing via chat sessions.
- Improvements in Local CRM: The Local CRM now gives the ability to mark fields as mandatory, customize the display order of these fields, and even hide them.
- Optimized call quality and routing: We allow agents to input their country of location that helps optimize call quality and routing.
- Localization: We support European French and German languages.
- Browser Support: We support Microsoft Edge browser.
The features and enhancements introduced in this release are:
- Unified Login: Allows you to log in to all 8x8 applications with a single username and password.
- Introducing Users tab: Go to the Users tab in the Configuration Menu to configure users.
- Ability to add users: A user in 8x8 Contact Center can be an administrator, agent, or both.
Create user profiles in 8x8 Account Manager and assign user capabilities to these users.You can view,or configure users in Configuration Manager. Use a single username and password to log in to 8x8 Contact Center as an administrator or an agent.
- Ability to assign 8x8 Contact Center dedicated extensions: Use the hardware extensions dedicated to exclusively handle inbound and outbound call traffic for agents. They must be associated with a 8x8 Contact Center agent to receive, place, transfer, or make conference calls using the extension. Emergency services are not available with 8x8 Contact Center dedicated extensions.
- Manage phone channels and scripts: Using IVR scripts, define the inbound dialing experience for customers and direct them to a skilled agent quickly.
- Access to a default user group: Use the default group to create an agent quickly.
- Enhanced dial plans: System-configured dial plans now support extension-to-extension dialing.
- Embedded Chat Design
- Enhanced Chat Script
- Direct Agent Routing
- Script Decoupling
- Single Sign-On Access for NetSuite Integration
- Single Sign-On Access for Zendesk Integration
- Handling Multilingual Chat
- Common Identifier for Pre-Chat Forms in Multiple Languages
- Enhanced Awareness of Queue Status
- Enhanced System Access Authentication
- Shared Wallboard Authentication