People Queue Image by freestocks-photos from PixabayUpstream Works has announced the availability of AgentNow. The new capability within the omnichannel contact centre platform enables organisations to offer direct contact with an agent. AgentNow initiates an on-demand customer service engagement. It enables customers to connect with a relevant and qualified customer service agent using voice, video and chat.

Customers can initiate an AgentNow session with a QR code using their phone or just by visiting a webpage on their device. For organisations that have long physical queues, it means that customer service agents in call centres can supplement physical staff.

If a contact centre agent is not immediately available AgentNow can display either corporate branded informational or a promotional video. When connected, the agent is able to view the same screen as the customer and gain insights from the customer’s actions. If the customer is working within an app, the agent can then help the customer immediately.

Rob McDougall, Upstream Works CEO ( image credit - LinkedIn)
Rob McDougall, Upstream Works CEO

In automating customer engagement, AgentNow allows organisations to take advantage of agents from across the organisation, not just within the call centre. It means that during exceptional periods, the organisation can leverage a wider set of people to deliver a better customer experience and reduce delays in responses.

Rob McDougall, Upstream Works CEO, commented, “Immediate and real-time, face-to-face interactions will improve the customer experience in a growing number of industries. We’re excited to bring the power of AgentNow to more Upstream Works clients and empower them to leverage on-demand agents to further improve customer engagement and satisfaction with faster resolutions and personalized service.”

Fixing a travel issue

One of the first customers to deploy AgentNow is United Airlines. United Airlines has created a new service called Agent on Demand. From a simple webpage, travellers can enter key information, such as their name and final destination. They can then access back-office contact centre staff rather than having to join the often long queue at an information desk.

United Airlines can display QR Codes at specific locations that enable travellers to instantly connect to the contact centre, for example, while waiting at a gate. They can communicate on their chosen channel whether that is chat, voice or video.

McDougall commented, “Travelers have become so accustomed to disruptions in their itineraries, but transportation operators seem far less prepared. This puts enormous strain on the customer service agents charged with helping stranded or inconvenienced customers. While operators can’t prevent disruptions from occurring, they can be prepared to tap into their network of knowledgeable agents to allay their customer’s concerns by providing solutions to quickly assist them.”

What do the agents see

AgentNow is enterprise-ready and enables agents to connect over the preferred communication channels for their business. The solution supports tools that include Webex and Microsoft Azure Communication Services (ACS).

While interacting with customers Agents can see the full interaction history and context data of the communication. It means customers are not asked the same questions as they go through the process. The agent can also transition the call from chat to voice to video, enabling the customer to share visual information if required.

Embedded within AgentNow are the AI capabilities that Upstream Work’s desktop AI provides. The AI Assist can provide automated assistance, summarise conversations, provide transcriptions of calls and also identify intent and sentiment.

Agents are also able to transfer calls easily to subject matter experts (SME), with the full communication history available to the SME.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

AgentNow is a tool that organisations with Upstream Works will find valuable. It means that organisations can leverage agents across their organisations when a crisis hits or during peak periods. The system appears to minimise the frustration of handoffs when the first responder cannot deal with the query.

AgentNow could also present useful information as the customer waits for their call to be answered. What isn’t clear is how programmable these automated interactions are and whether they can vary depending on the caller, their location or other known criteria.


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