Our company finally agreed to move forward with upgrading our 8×8 VoIP service! We managed to reduce the price somewhat, but the $1500 setup fee is still existent. Our first implementation phone call is next week, so I am busy building out everything I can to prepare. We upgraded five of our X2 licenses to the X6, thus providing access to Virtual Contact Center (VCC). So far, I have spent about a day building out the new programs and scripts and can safely say that it is quite the advancement from our existing systems. Here are some of my thoughts so far.
I was hoping that more of our already-built data from Virtual Office would transfer over; however, I now see that there is extensive manual input needed. As of now, I have created and added our Customer Service agents to their respective groups, made new inbound, outbound, and voicemail call queues based on skill level, integrated Zendesk and tested its app, customized the Wallboard (which we will display on the TV in Customer Service (Shown Below)), and have spent the better part of the day wrapping my head around the scripts.
VCC’s most attractive feature for me has to be the customizable scripts. Scripts allow the user to fine-tune the entire call process. What occurs when the customer first calls a customer service agent? A quick greeting, put on hold, and transfer to queue? After the customer is put on hold, what music should play? For how long should they be on hold? Should we give them the option to leave a callback number? I must admit, the script building process intimidated me at first due to its complication; however, I quickly realized that at its heart, it was nothing more than basic programming, reminding me of learning the essentials of if>then statements in college.
Since part of that massive $1500 fee will be a step-by-step demonstration of how everything works, I decided only to dip my toes in script building. Below is what I have so far.
First Auto Attendant Script
I realize this image is hard to see, but I wanted to merely share the complexity of creating just one of our brand’s auto attendants.
Unfortunately, this script is far from complete as I still have to expand on many sections and add a Post Call Survey. To quickly summarize what this script will do, I will loosely describe each step.
First, this script only applies to calls to one of our brands, and then only activates based on our business hours. If open, a greeting will play thanking the customer for calling, and then provide a list of available options (thus, routing the caller to a specific call queue); for example, press 1 for Sales and 2 for Service. After the call is forwarded to a call queue, the next actions are made depending on if all agents are busy, the max length of time allotted to wait on hold, and if the caller wishes to leave a callback number to be called when an agent is available. I had to add in another callback operation to allow those who enter their number incorrectly to have another chance to input it, and then if that fails as well, they will be informed of the impending forward to that brand’s voicemail. If the customer calls outside of regular business hours, a message will activate and then forward that customer to voicemail.
In creating my first script and then cloning it to our other brand’s auto attendants, I have the bulk of the work complete. Now, I must edit each brand’s script to ensure that the right brand’s queues and voicemails are included, as well as figure out where to put the Post Call Survey; I know I want it to only happen after a completed phone call (where the customer successfully reached one of our agents), so, it must not be placed in one of the call back activations or voicemail forwards.
Needless to say, while I have a lot on my plate, building VCC has been quite fun. Designing the scripts seem to have reignited the flame for my love of programming, as the more I learned about coding, the more it bored me. Hopefully, by our first 8×8 implementation meeting next week, I can have VCC finished to the best of my abilities; which will allow me to ask advanced questions about the software and not spend our limited time discussing the basics. Wish me luck!