Improved Call Handling via Phone Connection Mode and Auto Answer

8x8 Virtual 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 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 improving their call handling efficiency. With Auto Answer, however, every phone interaction that is offered to an agent is automatically connected, eliminating the need to accept it manually.

Introducing Phone Connection Mode

Administrators can choose one of the following Phone Connection Modes for agents: 

Note: There is no audio prompt or audio indication for Persistent Connection Mode.

Renaming off-Hook Connection Mode to Persistent Connection Mode

The off-hook connection mode that was first introduced in version 9.8 has been renamed to Persistent Connection Mode. There is no change to the functionality, just to the naming of the feature.

Enable Persistent Connection Mode in Configuration Manager

If your tenant is provisioned with Persistent Connection Mode, this feature becomes available in Configuration Manager.

Enable Persistent Connection Mode in Agent Console

Persistent Connection Mode must be enabled by your tenant administrator. Once enabled, agents can see their connection mode in Agent Console under My Profile > Phone Connection Mode.

Introducing Auto Answer

Note: Auto Answer is currently on limited availability. Contact 8x8 Support for more help.

To further enhance the call handling efficiency of agents, we have now introduced Auto Answer. With this new feature, every phone interaction that is offered to an agent is automatically connected eliminating the need to accept it manually. This new configurable option enhances agent efficiency by quickly connecting the calls and reducing the number of clicks an agent has to make. Auto Answer also helps prevent agents from rejecting or missing calls on their workplace phone. Unlike the Persistent Connection Mode that has no audio indication, when in Auto Answer mode, agents receive an audio prompt to alert them of a call as it connects.

Considerations when using Auto Answer:

Configure Auto Answer in Configuration Manager

With Auto Answer, every phone interaction that is offered to an agent is automatically connected eliminating the need to accept it manually. If Auto Answer is provisioned for your tenant, you can enable it at the tenant level, agent group level, or agent level. Auto Answer is paired with Workplace Setting Validation and configurable at the tenant level. To enable Auto Answer, you must also enable workplace setting validation.

Configure Auto Answer in Agent Console

In Agent Console, if Auto Answer is enabled for an agent, the agent is notified of their new status as soon as they log in.

  1. Click Ok to continue.

    Auto Answer is enabled. It is visually indicated with an A in the phone tab which persists in all agent states.
  2. If you have changed your workplace setting, you receive a verification call. For details, see our topic about workplace setting validation.
  3. Answer the call. A four-digit PIN is played to the agent. The PIN code is numeric only and is repeated in the call.
  4. Enter the PIN in the confirmation window and click Confirm. When confirmed, a message in the call verifies the successful verification. The new phone number is now VALIDATED.

    Note: Validation calls are not auto answered.

Combinations for Connection Mode and Auto Answer Settings

Auto Answer can be combined with the Persistent feature to create an on/off combination of the two features. Auto Answer settings combined with Persistent can be configured at multiple levels depending on the feature's availability:

Connection Behavior
Persistent Off, Auto Answer Off Phone Connection Mode is On Demand and Auto Answer is off, so the agent needs to answer the phone for every phone interaction.
Persistent Off, Auto Answer On Phone Connection Mode is On Demand and Auto Answer is on, so the agent phone automatically connects, and the interaction is auto-answered when offered.
Persistent On, Auto Answer Off Phone Connection Mode is Persistent, so the agent media path is always connected, but for every phone interaction the agent must click the Accept button.
Persistent On, Auto Answer On Phone Connection Mode is Persistent, so the agent media path is always connected, and the interaction is auto-answered when offered.