Currently, Talk agents can set their availability to one of two states:
- Online: The agent is available to take calls. Talk can route calls to the agent. If the agent doesn't answer, Talk routes the call to the next online agent.
- Offline: The agent is offline and Talk will not route calls to that agent. Note that Talk does not automatically set agents to the Offline state. However, admins can set an agent to offline in the Talk dashboard.
We've heard from you that you need more states to help you accurately track what your agents are doing. To help you, we are introducing a new agent state, Away with the following behavior:
- Away: The agent is currently not available to take calls; for example, they could be on a break. These calls will go into the queue for an agent who is available to answer.
Changes to the Talk console
To accommodate the new Away state we are making the following changes to the Talk console:
- Setting your state. Previously, agents used a toggle switch in the Talk console to set their state to Online or Offline. When the Away state is introduced, the toggle switch will be replaced with a drop-down list containing the available states.
- Outbound number drop-down list. We've moved the location of the outbound number to the bottom of the Talk console.
Current console New console
- Transfer. If an agent's state is Away, you cannot transfer calls to them. In the example below, you are trying to transfer a call to Sally. The orange dot next to her name indicates she is away, and you cannot transfer the call.
Changes to the Talk dashboard
The Talk dashboard will show details about the new Away state. The Agent Activity section of the dashboard now displays the following states:
Previous - Agent Activity labels
New - Agent Activity labels
|Available: Browser||Online: Browser|
|Available: Phone||Online: Phone|
|Wrap up*||Wrap up*|
|On Call*||On Call*|
*System generated, meaning these states are set automatically when a call is answered or completed.
Additionally, the Total Online Time metric will now include online time plus away time.
Frequently asked questions
How does the new away state change the agent workflow?
As an agent, if I am in the Away state, incoming calls will be added to the queue.
Why is this important?
- In a scenario where all agents are in the Offline state, incoming calls will be routed to voicemail.
- In a scenario where all agents are in the Away state, incoming calls will continue to be queued. The values you’ve set for maximum queue size and maximum queue wait time behaviour will be in effect.
Can I turn off the Away state?
No. The Away state will always be visible and available for all agents to use from the Talk console.
How can I get ready for this change?
- Training and enablement: Ensure your agents are aware that a new state is coming as they will see it in the Talk Console drop-down list once it goes live.
- Familiarize yourself with the Away state metric on the Talk dashboards and the stats API.
Are there any changes to the public APIs?
- All existing APIs will work as they do today so none of your reports will break. From the day of launch, you’ll be able to report on the agent away time from Stats/Agent Activity.
- If you are using the API to change your agents availability, these will continue to work as they do today but we will be deprecating the Available (True or False) field and replacing it with agent_state = Online, Away, Offline
Additionally, we will be deprecating the Status "available", "on_call", "wrap_up", "not_available" field and replacing it with Call Status "on_call", "wrap_up", null
- Deprecation will begin 3 months after launch date.
Will the Away state data be available in Explore and Insights reports?
No. Agent level data such as agent states is not currently sent to Explore or Insights.
When can I start using the Away state?
We plan to roll out this feature week of March 4th 2019.
What can I expect on launch day?
On the day of launch all agents will be greeted with an in-product message, the first time they change their Talk state. The in-product message will be split over two steps which highlights the new Away state, its possible uses and how it differs to offline. Once the agent has clicked through the two steps they will not see the message again and they can go about their usual workflow.