Video Chat and Live Support for Contact Centers

Aurus – new RichCall v3.9

New RichCall v3.9 is available. What’s new?

A sales rep receives a videocall on his PC and then transfers it to his mobile to share the back camera and showcase a product live.

An agent generates a unique link and sends it to a client. When clicked, the link connects a client directly with the agent via video chat. This way an agent escalates a phone call or a chat session to a video chat.

– iOS 13 issue is fixed;
– hold/unhold option is available for an agent;
– a mask can be optionally configured for a custom field;
– “Enlarged video” mode is available when viewing a session;
– audio/video quality indicators are provided to an agent.


Top Real Life Use Cases for Live Video in Customer Service

There are a lot of content available about how video can make a world of good for customer service. But guess what is the first question a new customer asks us? Yes, it is “Who are your clients?”.

Nobody has time to read a pile of texts and watch animated videos. The real customer wants to know real life stories.

This is why we analyzed all our customers for the past 2 years and structured their use cases. So, here is the statistics of the real customer database with a short explanation of each use case.

#1 – Web-collaboration for customer support (35%)

How it works: an online shopper pushes a button, embedded into the website, to establish a video-enabled collaboration session with a customer support rep.

In this scenario the video is optional and is often disabled by default, but web-collaboration features, like co-browsing and screen sharing, are heavily utilized to understand the context of the problem and reduce time to resolve rate.

The ability to escalate a regular phone call to a video chat can be pretty useful in some cases, indeed. During a standard phone call to the contact center an agent can tell a customer a 4-digit code, which the customer should enter on the website, in order to enrich a voice call with advanced collaboration tools.


#2 – Virtual showroom (18%)

How it works: an online shopper makes a video call to the sales team. The available sales rep answers the call on his PC. During the call the sales rep can switch to another camera to show the product live.

If the products are relatively compact (e.g. electronic gadgets, jewelry) the sales rep can have an HD-camera connected to his PC to show them.

But if he/she sells cars or home appliances, he or she can switch the video call to his/her mobile phone and use its back camera to show an appliance, the car from inside etc. So, it works just a as virtual tour to the physical store.


#3 – Mobile camera sharing for customer support (15%)

How it works: a customer makes a regular phone call to the contact center. If the agent decides that the live video from customer will help him to understand the context of the issue, he sends an SMS with the unique link to the videocall. Customer clicks the link and connects directly with the same agent via videocall, now he can switch to the mobile back camera and show the malfunctioning device, or damaged car etc.

This scenario is also applicable to the field service – a field technician connects with a remote expert to share his mobile camera for faster problem resolution.


#4 – Online video sales (14%)

How it works: a click-to-video widget is embedded into the website and allows customers to connect with a sales rep in a video-enabled collaboration environment, where they can see each other and share product images and docs.

Often, the video call is used for identification purposes (for example, video banking). In that case, it can be integrated with other apps, for example, with the 3rd party live chat – when chatting with a client an agent sends him a unique link, which, when clicked, connects the client directly with this particular agent via video call.

Finally, a video-call option is a perfect solution to support hearing-impaired customers.


#5 – Video-kiosk to communicate with remote experts (8%)

How it works: an all-in-one PC (optionally equipped with a printer and a scanner) allows customer to make an HD video call to the contact center. When talking to the client, an agent can send a document to the printer of a kiosk or receive a document from the scanner.

With such the kiosks spread over large geographical areas a company provides access to its experts without having them physically located everywhere.


#6 – Live video-assistance for self-service kiosk users (5%)

How it works: a “live assistance” button is embedded into the app running in the self-service kiosk. When pushed, it connects the kiosk user with a remote representative via video-call.

The video call can be configured to start the co-browsing automatically. So, along with the incoming videocall, an agent instantly gets the video kiosk screen shared.


#7 – Online video call to improve company image (5%)

How it works: when surfing the website, a client makes a video call from his browser to the contact center.

A live agent video brings a personal touch to customer interactions and improves the brand image. This option is often offered to existing customers only or VIP clients.


Belarusian Railway deployed self-service kiosks with live video assistant embedded

Since 2018 Belarusian Railway provides information services to its passengers through kiosks deployed on railway stations.

An online self-service application allows them to check the timetable, find the right route and calculate its price.

But what if a client needs to learn about transfer rules and railway services? Still passengers need an option to talk to a live representative.

And this is how it works…

There is a “Live assistance” button embedded into the self-service app which makes a video call to a remote representative using the kiosk camera, mic and speakerphone.

All the video calls are processed by a contact center software with RichCall on top of it. Queuing, call routing and reporting features are provided by a contact center software while video and collaboration goes through RichCall which also records all interactions.

Some figures:

  • 24 self-service kiosks with live video assistance option
  • 12-seat contact center
  • 300 video calls daily on average with up to 600 calls during the peak time

In addition to video calls contact center agents enjoy the “co-browsing” feature allowing them to guide the client through the kiosk application .

So what are the benefits?

1. Self-service saves time by decreasing the total amount of staff needed to resolve customer issues;

2. Having all support staff in one place simplifies quality management and agent training.

3. Co-browsing helps to solve app-related issues faster.

4. Video and collaboration features improves the company image and customer loyalty.

5. Video allows supporting hearing-impaired passengers on any railway station.

6. Deploying several kiosks on large stations helps reduce passenger queues.


New RichCall 3.8 is available

New features:

1. Client UI – configurable width of the widget

The widget width (including size of the video) is now configurable to better fit the website content and business case.

2. Configurable service availability time

You can configure service availability time including weekends and holidays.

3. Agent UI – client bandwidth monitoring

The agent can now see the client bandwidth for audio and video.

4. New mode “Live assistant for kiosk” is implemented

See the live demo at

5. Video call forwarding

When the call is forwarded to another agent RichCall session follows the call (external PBX).

6. CSAT-2
New customer satisfaction metric support is implemented.


RichCall 3.7 – a maaajor release!

RichCall 3.7 is something that we worked on for more than 6 months!

Check out the main features of the new release:

1. Client UI – video on-hold configurable by admin

Admin is able to configure advertising video which plays when the client waits in a queue or the call is put on-hold.


2. Video kiosk edition – remote printer and scanner control

RichCall-powered videokiosks can be equipped with a printer and a scanner, fully controlled by a remote agent.


3. Agent UI – sending co-browsing request to a client

Agent is now able to send the co-browsing request and the client will just need to click the “Accept” button to share his browser.


4. Client UI – configurable pre-call survey

Configure a pre-call survey to gain useful information about the customer and the case even before a session starts.


5. License details available for admin

More info on the license is now available for admin.


6. Advanced audio settings

Admin can control the usage of various codecs depending on the PBX RichCall integrates with; the codecs supported are: OPUS, G722, G729, PCMU, PCMA.


Cisco Remote Expert Mobile replacement option

As Cisco announced the end-of-sale for Cisco Remote Expert Mobile lots of our partners implementing UCCX/UCCE projects asked us to provide an equivalent replacement for Cisco Remote Expert Mobile/Remote Expert Cobrowse.

So here is the Cisco REM and RichCall for Cisco feature comparison matrix.

Feature Cisco REM RichCall for Cisco
Collaboration Features
2-way voice (click-to-call for website) yes yes
1- or 2-way video yes yes
application sharing yes yes
co-browsing yes yes
remote control of co-browsing yes no, read only co-browsing
annotation yes no
cursor spotlight yes yes
masking sensitive data yes yes
document push yes yes
pictures push with annotation no yes
Application Server and Media Engine
WebRTC standards-based video for supported browsers yes yes
HTTP-to-SIP signaling conversion yes yes
HTTP secure socket through firewall and reverse proxy yes yes
Residing at the network edge (DMZ) yes yes
Video transcoding includes VP8 to and from H.264 yes yes
Audio transcoding includes Opus HD to G.711 and G.711 to G.729 yes yes
STUN/TURN support yes yes
Integration with Cisco Collaboration and Contact Center components
Gadget for Cisco Finesse yes yes
Deployment with Cisco UCM only yes yes
Use cases supported
Click-to-collaborate for website yes yes
Escalate phone call to a collaboration session no yes
Remote mobile camera sharing no yes
Video kiosks no yes
Deployment model on-prem only cloud and on-premise
SDK’s yes no, to be developed
Multitenancy for BPO and hosted contact centers yes yes

House Construction Savings Bank of Kazakhstan provides the feedback on videochat channel

For almost 1 year the “House Construction Savings Bank of Kazakhstan» partners with Aurus to offer visual support service to its clients.

The first major use case for video chat is sales interactions with customers. Each page of the Bank’s website has a “Video call” button embedded, which establishes a video-enabled collaborative session with a contact center agent just in one click.

Of course it affects sales and customer loyalty” – says Erlan Abdykayev, the Director of Project Manegment Dept, – “First, a client doesn’t need to look for the contact details, dial the number and interact with IVR. Second, the co-browsing feature allows us to show how to work with Internet banking software and reduce the time to resolve“.

The video support button is also embedded into Internet-banking web applications. The co-browsing feature allows the client to share his webpage with the agent and get a visual assistance on how to complete the transaction. This tool significantly reduces the time needed to support existing users.

Erlan Abdykayev – “We already process several hundreds of videochat interactions daily and we’re going to use this channel in other customer service scenarios. For example we’re going to use identity verification video calls to allow our NEW customers to purchase online without even meeting the bank representative“.

About the Bank
“House Construction Savings Bank of Kazakhstan” JSC is the only bank in the country implementing housing construction savings system. HCS system is intended for improvement of housing conditions of people through attracting funds of depositors to housing construction deposits and granting them with housing loans.


Cisco is shutting down its video and co-browsing app for contact centers

Hire Slow, Fire Fast 🙂

I am personally a fan of Trollope – he literally reinvented Cisco Collaboration business burying failed projects merciless and strengthening the cloud strategy. But I guess we can assume Amy Chang is also a very bold female who continues Trollope’s initiatives.

I was recently contacted by a Cisco guy asking about our video and co-browsing for UCCX and I wondered why not use Cisco Remote Mobile Expert and guess what? They shutting it down!

Cisco Remote Mobile Expert was first introduced in 2015. I believe it was built by a tiny collaboration team Assemblage acquired by Cisco in 2014. It was quite a high-tech solution (WebRTC, HTML5, co-browsing and all that stuff) integrated into Cisco Finesse desktop.

And still Chang stopped it –

The migration option is quite controversial – existing REM customers should consider migrating to Cisco Customer Journey Platform (former BroadSoft Customer Journey Platform) but I failed to find WebRTC and co-browsing features in its datasheets.


IMHO, Cisco is good in platforms, but not always in applications. They build (or acquire) one of the best communication platforms on the market AND they support the ecosystem of solution partners which use their developer tools to build various apps on top. Examples:

REM is an app. Without any API and customization capabilities offered. But there are way too much various business cases for a web-collaboration with customer. Therefore the software should provide tons of tiny features covering the needs of all customers. Not a platform approach.


Cisco UCCX post call survey – simple and free

Ok, so you need to enable post call surveys on your Cisco UCCX. There are several approaches depending on the software you currently use and your requirements to surveys.

FIRST, you need to enable an automatic call transfer to the survey app.

Hopefully you’re using Cisco UCCX 11 and higher with Cisco Finesse and in that case you can confugure the Post Call Treatment native feature of UCCX.

When enabled, it redirects the client to the pre-configured DN after the agent hangs up.

IMPORTANT: the agent must use the Finesse End button rather than his IP phone.

More info on UCCX post call treatment –

In case you are still using CAD you can add a button using CDA that performs the Blind Transfer action to the required DN.

SECOND, you need to have a survey app in place.

You need some app to receive the transferred call and interview the customer. And here you have several options depending on your requirements.

If your goal is just to allow your clients rate your agents by pressing a digit on the phone (DTMF), you may use Aurus PhoneUP Call and Screen Recording software for UCCX.

It supports the Dictaphone feature which answers the incoming calls, plays the pre-recorded message (like “Please leave your feedback”) and then records the voice of the client until he disconnects. In the next version it will also record DTMF tones sent by the client.

So it’s not a post call survey app, it is a call recording software which can ALSO be used to configure a SIMPLE “voice of the customer” feature. And it doesn’t cost anything – the free PhoneUP promo bundle contains a 3-seat call recording license.

If you need your survey to have multiple questions, organized in a tree then:

1. You may create a UCCX script for your survey. This will require special UCCX programming skills, though there are several examples available like this one.

2. If you use some contact center quality management bundle from major vendors you may have this feature on-board.

3. You may google for a special app from 3-rd party vendors.


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 -f -a testupload.wav -u uccxadmin -p uccxadminpassword -d default

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.

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