Video Chat and Live Support for Contact Centers

Free script to upload the prompts to Cisco UCCX via REST API

A scheme of an IVR in a contact center.

This script was created to upload prompts to UCCX for work purposes.

You can download the script from GitHub.

This script can only upload files, you should convert prompt files to the required audio format previously.

The upload functionality is implemented as a shell script. It contains basic cURL, so rewriting it for Windows is quite straightforward.

How to use

Upload UCCX prompts via REST Api.

Prompts should be converted to valid audio format (8kbit mono U-law).
Keys by order:

  • -s [–ssl] validate ssl connection
  • -f [–force] force overwrite existing prompt
  • -a [–promptname] full or relative prompt file name | mandatory
  • -u [–username] uccx rest api user name | mandatory
  • -p [–password] uccx rest api user password | mandatory
  • -d [–directory] uccx prompt storage directory | mandatory

Usage example

python3 uccxpu.py -f -a testupload.wav -u uccxadmin -p uccxadminpassword -d default 10.10.10.10

Uploading is implemented as a shell script. But it should be no big deal to port it on Windows, it uses a cURL with several parameters, so if you have free time, go ahead.

This post is a translation and an extension to this post – the script was made by the author as well.

19/2/2019

We released a free WebRTC to SIP gateway with GUI

We’ve been working on this free WebRTC to SIP gateway for several months and are happy to release it into the wild.

We think it’s more valuable, than other WebRTC to SIP Gateways, because it:

  • is free,
  • has a GUI,
  • passes the customer ID and name to the contact center.

In a nutshell, this is a free version of RichCall without video. If you would like to see how RichCall works with video, schedule a demo and let one of us show you everything..

4/2/2019

Configuring Cisco Unified Intelligence Center to get CVP reports

Here’s what we have initially:

  • Cisco Unified Intelligence Center (CUIC) collects and displays reports about Cisco contact centers.
  • The data for Cisco Voice Portal (CVP) reports is stored on one of its servers, namely the CVP Reporting Server.
  • This server contains Informix databases where the statistics is stored.
  • And there are two reporting databases on this server:
    • cvp_data – contains the basic data for the reports on the performed calls, trunk and VXML application usage;
    • callback – contains the data for the reports on Courtesy Call Back.

To get CVP statistics data, you should configure both databases as Data Sources for CUIC server. Open CUIC web interface, select Data Source tab and click Create to add a new data source. On the page that appears, enter the connection parameters:

  • Name – new data source name;
  • Type – database type. Select Informix for CVP;
  • Database Host – CVP Reporting server IP address or hostname;
  • Port – 1526 (the default Informix port);
  • Database Name – CVP Reporting database name. Default: cvp_data;
  • Instance – Informix Instance name. Default: cvp;
  • Database User ID – Informix database username;
  • Password – this user’s password (configured during the CVP installation);
  • Charset – character encoding. Select UTF-8 for CVP Reporting Server.

After configuring all the parameters, click Test Connection to check the connection to the database. If the test was successful, it will show the Online status:

CUIC Web Interface

Now save the configuration. Repeat the process to configure the connection to the callback database. If everything is correct, both data sources will have the Online status:

CVP Callback

After the Data Sources are configured, import the reporting templates for CVP. They can be downloaded from the CVP server (C:\Cisco\CVP\CVP Reporting Templates):

CVP Reporting Templates Folder

For example, let’s import CVP Call Detail:

CVP Call Detail Template

Select the file to be imported and select the CUIC folder the imported report should be saved to:

CUIC Template Import

CUIC Imported Report Folder

There may be an error during the import. That means you should select a Data Source for the report. Lets fix it:

CUIC Report Data Source Error

CUIC Report Data Source Specified

The imported report will appear in CUIC:

CUIC Imported Report Data

Now run the report and apply the required filters:

CUIC Call Report Filters

A view of CUIC imported data

As you can see, integrating CUIC with CVP Reporting isn’t that complicated. Note that in earlier CVP versions the report database name may be different (Cisco documentation contains the default name cvp_db).

This article was translated from the guide on getting CVP reports in CUIC by Dmitry Benda.

14/1/2019

German contact center uses RichCall to improve support of at-home agents

11880 is an outsourced contact center, which serves small businesses

Thanks to a local partner SoftBCom Berlin GmbH, a German professional contact center 11880 Solutions AG has successfully deployed RichCall, a remote video support solution. The new tool allows 11880’s engineers to use live video when supporting the software used by remote agents. With RichCall an engineer sees the problem with his own eyes and solves it faster.

This is how it works:

  • an agent calls the support team for help with network connectivity or software settings,
  • during the call a support engineer requests a permission to use video,
  • the agent agrees and receives an SMS with a link,
  • when the agent clicks on the link, RichCall is launched in a mobile browser, which shares the smartphone camera with the support engineer.

Now the engineer can see the desktop screen through the agent’s mobile camera, understand the context of the issue better and therefore resolve it faster.

Thanks to WebRTC technologies RichCall supports most of mobile devices and users don’t need to install additional software. The whole interaction is encrypted and the data is stored on the on-premise company servers, so it is completely secure.

At the moment 11880 uses RichCall internally, but they also consider to offer video-assistance to their business customers as an optional feature, for example:

  • manufacturers and their service centers can support customers remotely with installing or repairing their equipment,
  • insurance customers can file claims faster by showing the damage to the agents via a smartphone camera,
  • field service engineers can get video-assistance from remote experts.

Write to us to discuss the use cases for RichCall in your industry.

12/12/2018

Aurus now supports CX integrators and BPO contact centers locally in India

We have partnered with a software industry professional DJ Dutta to run our operations in India to support local CX integrators and BPO contact centers, so their directors and engineers can meet with him in person to evaluate, how our video chat meets their customer experience and engagement needs.

“We are quite excited about the Indian market and committed to building our business here.” said Alexander Anoshin, CEO and founder of Aurus. “Since the very first steps in India we have enjoyed a positive feedback from the local customers and partners. The market is very open and extremely interested in modern customer engagement software, so landing in Delhi was not a tough decision.”

All the sales and service activities for India & APAC markets are now headed by DJ Dutta, a known professional in the enterprise collaboration industry, based out of Delhi.

“Indian users are always open to try out new products provided such products enhances overall performance of their organizations.” said DJ. “Key aspects they consider apart from product capabilities are long term commitment of the vendor and support infrastructure before investing in any new product. Aurus has started its India operation with the key objectives of empowering partners in research & sales and building India centric products jointly with the feedback of partners. We have received excellent initial response from some of the large customers and partners and we are confident that this response will increase manifold once they use Aurus products more & more.”

Aurus sales model is totally based on a network of qualified partners, so the primary goals of the dedicated entity in India are to extend the partner network, support them in research and sales and deliver value-added apps to contact center agents and end users.

You’re welcome to contact Aurus-India and DJ at +91 98101 70552.

7/11/2018

An Introduction to WebRTC Analytics

WebRTC logo

Web Real-time Communications (WebRTC) is an open source project created by Google to enable peer-to-peer communication in web browsers and mobile applications through application programming interfaces. It empowers real-time audio, video, and data transfers without the need for plugins or native app installations. With WebRTC, you can make high-quality, real-time communications applications in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Android, and natively on iOS and Android.

WebRTC was released in 2011, and since then has become more and more prevalent in the real-time communications space. Facebook, Google, Amazon, and many other companies use WebRTC to provide fast, reliable real-time communications.

Why do you Need Real-time Analytics?

Real-time communications is a difficult feature and service to provide. Users expect and require reliable, effective communication in their day-to-day lives. Even more than that, dependable real-time communications are crucial for businesses, especially ones with remote workers.

It is crucial that real-time systems are sufficiently fast and predictably share resources. This extends to real-time communications – it is very important that events and messages happen in real time. This leaves little room for error, especially in the moment. Thus, the need for real-time analytics.

What is WebRTC getStats?

WebRTC traffic is transported over the IP network, which is susceptible to network congestion. This can increase latency and packet loss, since routers may need to drop packets to mitigate congestion. Losing packets can result in poor video and audio quality, which may lower the user experience. To ensure the highest possible quality, WebRTC includes a real-time statistics API: WebRTC getStats.

The real-time statistics API is accessible though the webrtc-internals page directly in the browser, or by using the getStats() API call.

What Does the getStats() API Include?

The getStats() API is structured into four separate components.

  1. Sender Media Capture Statistics: Sender media capture statistics are related to media generation. This includes frame rate, frame size, clock rate of the media source, the name of the codec, and more.
  2. Sender RTP Statistics: Sender RTP statistics are related to the media sender. This includes the packets sent, bytes sent, round-trip time, and more.
  3. Receiver RTP Statistics: Receiver RTP statistics are related to the media receiver. This includes packets received, bytes received, packets discarded, packets lost, jitter, and more.
  4. Receiver Media Render Statistics: Receiver media render statistics are related to the media rendering. This includes frames lost, frames discarded, frames rendered, playout delay, and more.

The Importance of End-to-end Monitoring

At callstats.io, we gather metrics from real-time communications at the endpoints and middleboxes. By collecting data at multiple points, we are able to get a comprehensive picture of the path, and can diagnose the exact origin of the problem.

We look to measure both the network performance of the path between each pair of WebRTC devices and the media performance at each WebRTC device. This covers a slew of metrics related to the playback and rendering of the media streams to give a comprehensive picture. Metrics are aggregated independently for each connection, participant, and conference.

Get Started with WebRTC Monitoring

getStats contains powerful meetrics that can be used in any WebRTC service. To reap the full benefits of the metrics and collect fine-grained time series of a conference requires a significant amount of resources to collect the data, organize the data, and run diagnostics. There are many metrics to monitor, so if you want to roll your own solution, it’s best to start small and choose a few key metrics. Get started today!

Allie Mellen is the technical content marketer for callstats.io, a software-as-a-service company that provides products that measure and manage the performance of real-time media communication.

6/11/2018

FinancesOnline reviewed RichCall

FinancesOnline had recently reviewed RichCall and found it amazing enough to give it a Great CX and Rising Star awards:

Great CX award Rising Star award


FinancesOnline is one of the leading websites that provides expert analysis on B2B software solutions. Aside from reviewing software solutions and providing detailed software comparisons, they also have informative articles to help users fully understand a certain niche, such as the best live chat software. And we’re proud to be commended in their article about what is live chat software.

Also, reminding you, that if you use RichCall and publish a review, you’ll get a 6 month license for free – and you’ll get more, if you publish a case study of how RichCall helped your customers.

29/6/2018

Complete Guide to AI in Contact Centers

Guide to AI in contact centers cover

We have recently created a guide for business leaders to learn how to create value with AI in their contact centers.

If you have read about AI elsewhere and you are wondering, what it will bring to contact centers and your contact center specifically, then you should read the guide to

  • understand what AI is,
  • learn how to find a way to create value with AI,
  • and follow the steps to AI adoption

to create and use break-through AI projects in your contact center.

You’ll likely need to build a team of AI enthusiasts to use AI, so share the guide with your coworkers as well 🙂

27/6/2018

RichCall is now available in ZenDesk marketplace

Richcall options: video, cobrowsing, file and image sharing, text chat

Richcall options: video, cobrowsing, file and image sharing, text chat.

An engaging video chat with co-browsing, RichCall, has been added to ZenDesk today.

We are happy to have RichCall in the ZenDesk marketplace, because we share the appreciation for great customer experience. What’s more important, is that customers expect exceptional service 24/7, while companies need to exert more effort to deliver it and stay within reasonable budgets.

This is where video chat comes in, because it provides a relatively cheap way to engage with customers and help them faster, earning their trust and loyalty.

ZenDesk says that:

  • 92% of live chats receive a positive CSAT score
  • companies see a 29% increase in sales with proactive support.

Forrester’s brief tells us about an UK footwear retailer, who used video chat and:

  • increased the conversion rate by x4
  • increased average order value by 10%
  • obtained a 79% average Net Promoter Score.

Co-browsing may be the most important aspect of customer support use cases where agents can guide customers through a website.

“Brief: Now You See Me — Video Chat Improves The Customer Experience”, Forrester, 2016.

The retailer used all the opportunities to guide customers around their products: not only via website support requests, but also via mobile calls and instore kiosks.

The brief also mentions a bank, who installed video desks in their branches, so their customers could create and manage accounts faster.

Our team has been developing RichCall, based on feedback from contact center owners, for a few years now and have made it into a convenient support application. Agents can use it to see the problem with the eyes of the customer thanks to co-browsing and help customers easier. They also can use text chat and file sharing to quickly exchange the data that helps to resolve the issue faster.

If you use ZenDesk, you definitely should use a video chat for support and you can install and use RichCall for free right now.

22/5/2018

ROI of Video Collaboration is Larger, When It Faces Customers

Collaboration for employees has long been the driver of ROI for innovative companies. Companies started using video collaboration to increase that ROI, and they can grow it even larger by using it with customers as well.

The value of video collaboration

Companies use video in collaboration, because it helps them:

  • make faster decisions
  • improve employee decisions
  • provide a more personal experience
  • improve teamwork within and across departments
  • exchange ideas seamlessly.

Essentially, face-to-face (F2F) video allows high-growth companies innovate quickly.

Also, using video in meetings help companies get the following benefits:

  • build trust and positive relationship
  • facilitate stronger customer relationship & engagement
  • make decisions faster
  • keep the team focused and minimize multi-tasking
  • help participants retain important information.

Interestingly, the reasons late adopters seek video collaboration is because they want to catch up with the market leaders in terms of decision making and innovation speed. This might explain the discrepancy in new technology adoption I wrote about earlier.

Using video collaboration with customers

The Techaisle research on video collaboration (PDF) found that SMBs can companies can achieve higher ROI, when employees use video collaboration not only with their coworkers, but also with their customers:

Keys to driving video collaboration ROI within corporate functions.

The key ROI drivers of video collaboration within departments.
Source: the Techaisle’s whitepaper, “Video-enabled collaboration and business growth: a winning combination”.

Turns out, video collaboration also helps customers in the same way it helps coworkers by:

  • building trust and relationships by providing rich in-person experience
  • providing better customer support
  • achieving high customer satisfaction and retention.

The Techaisle’s research ends with 2 conclusions:

  1. Using video collaboration is not about generic upgrades, but a matter of achieving business goals.
  2. The data shows that using collaboration is clearly better, than not, and that using video in various functions across the company helps that.

and an inspirational quote:

Pursue the outcomes associated with high-growth, highly innovative businesses. Don’t settle for the outcomes, objectives and technologies targeted by low-growth firms. If collaboration is important to business success – and the data presented here clearly shows that it is – it’s important to align collaboration strategy, activities and investments with the best case outcomes of high levels of business growth and innovation.

Using video chat to improve customer experience

In 2015 Gartner predicted that by 2018 100 of 500 largest companies would’ve used video chat.

“Video chat provides customers with a richer sense of presence, personalized experience by helped coordination of communication and the support of emotional expression, and the real-time sharing of content,” said Brian Manusama, research director at Gartner.

Since customers are becoming more and more familiar with video chat themselves, companies should probably provide this channel to their customers.

While a 2011 Forrester study said that:

  • 80% of customers prefer to reach support by phone
  • only 7% and 8% prefer to use web chat first or when phone isn’t available,

whole 36% of customers said they’d have liked to use live video to talk with a contact center agent.

If you choose to follow Techaisle’s advice to start using employee and customer collaboration now, then it might be a good idea to look for a customer-facing video chat right now.

If you want to see our click-to-call video chat in action, try it live between 3am and 12pm GMT or schedule a demo, where our expert can help you define, how best to use it in your business case.

7/5/2018
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