Handle SMS

Agents receive SMS interactions via the chat queues they are serving. To receive or send SMS messages using the 8x8 Contact Center app, you must:

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

What is a typical inbound SMS flow?

When an SMS is offered to an available agent, a notification displays prompting the agent to accept or reject the interaction.

  1. In the 8x8 Contact Center app, click the Change status menu option and change your status to Available.
  2. The interaction notification in the app indicates an incoming SMS request.
  3. Preview the record details and click to accept SMS.
  4. Notes:
    -The reject interaction button is disabled if your contact center administrator didn't grant you permission to reject calls. This prevents agents from rejecting the interactions they are offered.
    - If you reject the SMS, or fail to accept it before the acceptance interval lapses, your status is changed to On Break.

  5. If the incoming interaction is from an existing customer, the customer record pops for preview in a new browser tab. The screen pop behavior may vary based on the settings.
    If the request is from a new customer, a New Contact entry form pops in a new browser tab. Enter the details of the new customer, and save the customer record.
  6. Answer the customer in the chat window and click to send your message.
  7. Note: The chat window capacity is 1500 characters to allow agents to communicate large bodies of text.

  8. After finishing the interaction, click . The timer indicates the time for wrap-up.
  9. Note: If the post-processing countdown interval reaches zero, 8x8 Contact Center automatically sets your status to Available.

  10. If required, select a disposition code.
  11. Note: The 8x8 Professional Services team may provide customization for disposition codes.

  12. Click Wrap up.

When the interaction ends, a call log may pop. The log is saved as an Activity. The log includes information about the time the SMS was initiated, accepted, and terminated, along with the chat transcript.

What is the screen pop behavior for SMS interactions?

When an SMS is offered, the 8x8 Contact Center integration app searches the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for a matching phone number. The number of matching records is displayed in the call panel and in the customer’s avatar after accepting the interaction.

Depending on the situation, the search could return:

  • No matching records: The search yields no results for the customer, and the CRM screen pops a New Contact form in a new browser tab for you to fill in with relevant information.
  • A single matching record: The search yields a single matching record and screen pops the customer information in a new browser tab. After the interaction ends, a call log pops in a new browser tab. The log is saved as an Activity in Microsoft Dynamics.
  • Multiple matching records: If the search yields multiple search results, the screen pop behavior may vary depending on your settings.
    1. If Auto multi match record pop is enabled in your integration settings, when multiple matching records are found, the system automatically screen pops the first multi-match in the list. To match the interaction to a different record, click the avatar and select the relevant customer from the list of matching records.
    2. If Auto multi match record pop is disabled in your integration settings, there is no screen pop. In this case, you need to click the avatar and manually select the customer record to link the new call log to. Click to return to the interaction in the 8x8 Contact Center app panel. By default, the CRM matches the interaction to the first match in the list. After the interaction ends, a call log pops in a new browser tab. The log is saved as an Activity in Microsoft Dynamics.

To change your integration settings, go to Change status > My Profile > Interactions.

Handling multiple SMS interactions

8x8 Contact Center agents can handle multiple SMS interactions at the same time. Interaction requests continue to be offered until you reach the maximum allowed customer interactions configured by the admin. If necessary, as an agent, you can select the Stop new option from the 8x8 Contact Center app to stop the system from offering you new customer interactions. This option allows you to control the flow of incoming interactions when you need time to focus on the current ones.

When a new SMS request is offered, a notification appears indicating an incoming SMS request. The interaction icons display on the left side of the 8x8 Contact Center app and are listed in the order they were received, with the oldest interaction being displayed at the top. Select the desired icon to reply to the interaction.

To ensure you are replying to customers in a timely manner, the icons may display the following visual alerts:

Icon Description
Indicates that a customer message has arrived. It also indicates that the agent replied and is pending a response from the customer.
Indicates that the customer message that arrived is past the targeted service-level agreement (SLA).
Indicates that the customer has sent a new message and is waiting for the agent to respond. The number in the orange circle indicates the number of unread messages sent by the customer since the last reply.
Indicates that the customer has sent a new message and is waiting for the agent to respond. The red circle indicates that the response is past SLA, and the background blinks orange until the agent accesses the chat.
Indicates that the chat message failed to be delivered to the customer.
Indicates that the chat interaction ended and is now in post-processing. The background blinks red until the agent completes the wrap-up process.

Send new SMS

When you have to send a confirmation for an order or share important information, as an agent, you can send SMS messages to customers and keep them informed. You can initiate an SMS with a click and communicate with customers quickly.

To send an SMS message:

  1. In the 8x8 Contact Center app, click Add interaction , and select SMS.
  2. Select a number from which to send the SMS.
  3. Enter the customer's phone number.
  4. Type a message or click to add a predefined message from the Knowledge base .
  5. Note: Knowledge base messages can only be sent as a link or text.

  6. Click Send . A notification displays indicating that the message was sent successfully.
  7. If required, select a disposition code.
  8. Click Wrap up.

The CRM screen pops the customer information for existing records or a New Contact form for new customers, and the call log in new browser tabs.

What happens to the response from the customer?

When an agent sends an SMS message to a customer, the customer may respond to the message by SMS in real time. If the agent ends the conversation before the customer responds, the reply message gets routed to the channel from which the agent sent the initial message and gets delivered to an agent assigned to an SMS queue. Note that the same agent who sent the initial message may not receive the customer response unless the queue is dedicated to the agent.