Contact centers must accommodate the rapid growth of diversified channel services, and email is one of the easiest and preferred communication channels for customers.

Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) takes advantage of traditional email technology and can be configured to handle email communication allowing agents to interact with customers who sought contact with the company via a website or sent an email directly.

SCC handles email sessions using the Automatic Session Distributor (ASD™) distributing them to agents following the available queue rules. Emails sessions can be routed to specific queues using the data from the from, to, cc or subject email fields. This allow partners to build business logic to route emails to the right queue or to the right agent.

Email should not be sent to a group, as there is a possibility of it being neglected and never answered. By directing it to an agent, responsibility is passed to a single person, which increases the probability of the email being answered.

Email Communication Flow

The email communication flow is simple: customers send emails to the corporate email address; SCC server reads these emails from the email server and distributes them to queues using the configured routing rules. Figure 1 below shows SCC's interconnections with email servers.

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Figure 1. – Email communication flow

When an email arrives in the Inbox on the email server, the SCC Server downloads it and maintains a repository of emails on the server side, marking the email as read on the web server. When there is at least one agent logged in the email campaign, the system sends the emails to the available agent(s).

Once the email session is assigned to an agent, they may reply to or forward the email according to current business rules. If required, the agent can also transfer the email session to be handled by another agent or to another queue to be handled by another team. SCC keeps a record of all received and sent emails allowing Supervisors to retrieve the content of any communication.

SCC's email integration is compatible with any email server using IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) and the connection is made using encrypted SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) communication keeping all data secured.

The Agent Experience

Figure 2. below shows the agent experience when handling emails:

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Figure 2. – The agent experience

  • In the left pane, the agent selects which session to work on. In this case, an email is selected.
  • In the central pane, the agent can handle the email with options to reply or forward the message and manage attachments.
  • In the right pane, the agent business script is available to manage the business process involved with the email handling. The email history is also available to the agent to aid successful resolution.

The agent can work in a blended mode, i.e. logged into an outbound campaign, an inbound chat campaign and receiving inbound emails.