Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager Overview
Customers are turning to company websites to locate information about products and services, to seek support, and to conduct transactions. In addition, customers are seeking alternative ways, such as email, to contact customer support centers. Thus, the volume of incoming email interactions to contact centers is growing. As more customers come to rely on email for customer service and support inquiries, the challenge is to develop
a cost-effective strategy to enable contact centers, help desks, and customer service teams to intelligently and efficiently route and process inbound email messages and web form inquiries from customers, employees, and other users. Quickly responding to customer inquiries translates into strengthened customer relationships and added value in the contact center.
Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager increases agent productivity through a powerful yet intuitive user interface. A full suite of tools, including suggested responses, a knowledgebase, and customer history, are easily accessible, facilitating quick, consistent responses. Full HTML support for both inbound and outbound communications and the ability to attach larger files allows for rich email collaboration. Matching the best available agent and relevant response with each email request is critical for improving contact center productivity. Using
a powerful visual workflow designer, you can quickly create your email handling process and set up service-level agreement (SLA) triggers and routing mechanisms. Based on the contents of the message, an automatic response may be sent from the knowledgebase and suggested responses can be provided to the agent. Cisco Unified E‑Mail Interaction Manager supports multiple languages for chat and email responses.
A core element to providing a positive effect on your customer service function is a shared single platform between Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager and Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager. This single platform provides agents with a common intuitive user interface for both email management and web collaboration, allowing them to access a shared knowledgebase and customer history archive for more effective, efficient, and consistent customer service.
How Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager Works
When a customer email or web form inquiry is received, Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager sends an automatically generated acknowledgement, based on the date and time the inquiry was received, its subject, or the customer’s profile. After generating the acknowledgment, the system analyzes the content of the email message and generates a list of suggested responses. You can configure the system to send an automatically generated reply if the nature of the inquiry is clear from the subject or contents. Or, when a response requires a more specific or custom response, the system routes the email to an appropriate team or individual agent. The routing is automated with the help of predefined workflows and can be based on the subject, information in the customer profile, or agent availability.
When the agent retrieves the email, the system can access any necessary data from back-office systems and suggest templates for the reply. The agent can drag and drop or insert content from the knowledgebase to quickly create a response. Using the knowledgebase and templates helps ensure consistent yet speedy responses in multiple languages (you can partition templates and knowledgebase articles so only items relevant to a specific department or group can be seen and accessed by that group). When the agent sends the reply, the email message may be routed to a supervisor or team leader for review before being sent. Team leaders can also monitor service levels, as well as individual agent queues and productivity.
Features and Benefits
Some of the important features and their benefits include:
● Offer shared infrastructure with Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager: The shared infrastructure includes common user and customer accounts, interaction records, and knowledgebase for easier management across applications.
● Help ensure consistent response and quality: Eliminate the need to cut and paste responses from additional software packages. Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager allows you to easily use answers from the centralized knowledgebase for frequent queries, which often account for a large percentage of all email messages handled. New agents can be productive and consistent using templates, while experienced agents can add value by handling complex queries escalated to them through the system. Cisco Unified E‑Mail Interaction Manager also allows the monitoring of the quality of outbound email messages based
on rules set by the supervisor. For example, a supervisor may set a rule to scan the response for certain keywords or phrases and route flagged responses to editors before sending them out to customers. Additionally, knowledge workflows enable businesses to implement best-practice business processes for content creation and maintenance. A knowledgebase manager can define a set of stages through which
an article must be moved before it can be published. For each stage in the workflow, the knowledgebase manager can specify authorized users or user groups that are allowed to process the article and move it
to the next stage.
● Provide value-based, personalized service: You can implement effective email workflows and help your agents respond personally and accurately. While creating responses, agents can access the customer’s complete case history. Furthermore, the Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager provides access to external databases and websites for added personalization. You can use the content retrieved in routing rules, automatically inserted as part of personalized responses, or simply made available to agents to provide better service. Common examples of such external data sources are customer-resource-management (CRM) systems, customer billing, and shipping databases.
● Analyze and manage service operations: Easy-to-use reports in Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager can help you improve operations and better understand customer needs. Many built-in reports, with “drill-down” options and export capabilities, allow contact center managers to track agent productivity, customer behavior, and department trends. For example, managers can track how many email messages are processed per day and per agent, as well as the number of email messages in different queues and categories. Customized reports can help your company gain a complete picture of customer input and
agent output, thereby helping managers tune operations for optimum performance.
● Provide reliable, available, and scalable service: Benefiting extensively from a Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)-compliant architecture, Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager is designed to scale horizontally through distributed service configurations that can be run across multiple servers. Multiple email exchange protocols such as Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) and Internet Mail Access Protocol (IMAP) are supported.
● Manage email customer service for multiple clients on a single installation: IT departments in large enterprises and outsourced service providers strive to cost-effectively manage email service infrastructure for multiple clients. At the same time there is the need to take full advantage of best practices across these clients while respecting privacy. To meet these requirements, Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager includes powerful features and capabilities to easily model and manage multiple departments. These capabilities allow you to share best practices across departments through common business objects such as users, knowledge, and customers, while maintaining local resource control and data privacy. The product also supports multilingual user interfaces on a single installation, further lowering cost of ownership for global companies.
● Universal queue: With Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise or Hosted and Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager, you can provide automated, blended delivery of email requests with voice calls (inbound and outbound) for increased efficiency. Agents can work on email when they are not on the telephone. Integrated agent email pick-and-pull and transfer capabilities allows an agent to transfer
email activity to another agent to maximize agent efficiency.
● Reporting statistics: These statistics are provided for all interactions, allowing you to monitor and
enhance contact center operations across channels.
● Data adaptors: The platform provides ready-to-use data adaptors, including XML, HTML, Java, JDBC,
and web services, to integrate with external systems.
● Virtualization capabilities: These capabilities are certified on the virtual machine and Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) platform.
Cisco Unified Communications Services and Support
Using the Cisco Lifecycle Services approach, Cisco and our partners offer a broad portfolio of end-to-end services to support the Cisco Unified Communications System. These services are based on proven methodologies for deploying, operating, and optimizing IP communications solutions. Initial planning and design services, for example, can help you meet aggressive deployment schedules and minimize network disruption during implementation. Operate services reduce the risk of communications downtime with expert technical support, and optimize services enhance solution performance for operational excellence. Cisco and our partners offer a system-level service and support approach that can help you create and maintain a resilient, converged network that meets your business needs.
As more of your customers come to rely on email for customer service and support inquiries, Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager provides a cost-effective strategy to enable contact centers, help desks, and customer service teams to intelligently and efficiently route and process inbound email messages and web form inquiries from customers, employees, and other users. Outbound email capabilities are also supported. Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager can help contact centers quickly respond to customer inquires received by email, translating customer email inquiries into strengthened customer relationships while adding value and efficiency in the