You can find our previous releases here:
- 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 Virtual 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 Virtual 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 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 interaction. This reset persists until the same scenario is repeated. Agent-initiated interactions do not reset the idle timer.
To supplement the default behavior, we now allow Virtual 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 Virtual 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 Virtual 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 Virtual 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 Virtual 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 Virtual 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 Virtual Contact Center: Whether you are an agent, a supervisor, or an administrator of Virtual 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 Virtual Contact Center Social Integration. By unifying the agent experience, 8x8 Social allows users to channel their messages from social media into Virtual Contact Center. Customers can contact the businesses and receive support from within their social platform. Virtual 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 Virtual 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 Virtual Contact Center. The Single Tenant Global Reach initiative from Virtual 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 Virtual Contact Center provides best call quality on VoIP across continents.
With Single Tenant Global Reach, Virtual 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 Virtual 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 Virtual Contact Center as an administrator or an agent.
- Ability to assign Virtual 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 Virtual Contact Center agent to receive, place, transfer, or make conference calls using the extension. Emergency services are not available with Virtual 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