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Chat and messaging improvements

Updated on April 20, 2021

Pega Customer Service 8.6 brings multiple enhancements to the chat and messaging capabilities by using the ReactJS component architecture. The new React-based chat is introduced as Web Messaging in this release. Web Messaging delivers a light configuration experience while supporting many of Pega Customer Service application's Legacy Webchat (formerly called Pega Chat) features. Customers on prior implementations may leverage Legacy Webchat. Digital Messaging (formerly known as Unified Messaging) is integrated with Pega Customer Service from this release. The Digital Messaging service enables you to add third-party messaging connections, such as Apple Business Chat, Facebook, SMS, and WhatsApp, and switch your conversation from Web Messaging to those connections without losing the interaction during the live conversation.

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Caution: Legacy Webchat is deprecated. To start the migration to Web Messaging, see Migrating from Legacy Webchat to Web Messaging.

The chat and messaging capabilities have the following new features and improvements:

React-based chat and messaging

Chat and messaging capabilities have been refactored in Pega Customer Service 8.6 to use a ReactJS component architecture. This architecture improves performance while supporting the longer term objectives of adopting the ReactJS architecture for the entire Pega Customer Service application.

Note: ReactJS does not support the IE (Internet Explorer) 11 browser. It is recommended to use another browser, for example, Google Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

For more information, see Chat and messaging.

Public and private conversations behavior

Pega Customer Service 8.6 now presents the user with two toggle buttons for public and private conversations on Facebook channel. You can enable these toggle settings in the Public conversations tab of the Chat and messaging settings in App Studio. The first toggle button allows public messages (Facebook public posts) to be captured by Pega (if not enabled, nothing is done with the public messages). The second toggle button allows CSRs to respond to public messages.

For more information, see Public conversations.

Digital Messaging Manager

Digital Messaging Manager (formerly called Integration Manager) is the interface that lets you connect to messaging channels from Pega Customer Service. Previously, Digital Messaging Manager was external to Pega Customer Service. Starting in version 8.6, Digital Messaging Manager can now be integrated into a self-service application that is built on the top of Pega Customer Service. You can access Digital Messaging Manager through the Digital Messaging interface that you create either in App Studio or Dev Studio.

Digital Messaging Manager holds many of the configurations for Web Messaging. Digital Messaging Manager lets you configure the channel switching feature to enable the settings to switch from Web Messaging to other messaging channels, such as Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, SMS, and WhatsApp.

New Web Messaging chat widget

Pega Customer Service 8.6 now includes a new, React-based Web Messaging chat widget. This customer-facing widget has an improved user interface (UI) and provides an enhanced user experience (UX) and a better performance by offering a wide range of features.

Options in the customer-facing Web Messaging chat widget

Option Description
Client logo Digital Messaging Manager provides an option to upload the logo and an option to toggle the logo on and off. The maximum size of the image is 500 KB. The system supports the following image types: jpg, jpeg, and png.
Display messageWhen the customer clicks the Web Messaging icon on the web page for the first time to initiate a conversation with the bot or the CSR, the system displays a welcome message. You can configure any customized welcome message in the Digital Messaging Manager.
Download transcriptThe customer can download the transcript of the conversation with the bot and the CSR. When the customer clicks the Menu option and then clicks Download transcript, the system displays a message User has requested a copy of the chat transcript, and the chat transcript file gets downloaded. The Download transcript option appears in the menu only after the customer initiates the conversation by sending the first message.
Continue in another app This option opens the channel switching menu from where the customer can switch the conversation to the following digital channels: Facebook Messenger, SMS, Whatsapp, and Apple Business Chat (ABC).
Emoji pickerThe customer can pick and send the emojis available in the list.
Send attachmentsThe customer can send and receive attachments such as images, videos, audio files, documents, and other files (.exe and .zip). The CSR admin can configure the attachment types that the customer can send/receive in App Studio.

Channel switching

Pega Customer Service 8.6 introduces a new channel switching feature that allows customers to transfer an interaction from Web messaging to other messaging channels, such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Apple Business Chat, and SMS. You can add these channels to your Web Messaging connection in the Conversation transfer section of the Channel switching tab in the Digital Messaging Manager. Once you configure these channels, they appear in the Web Messaging chatbot during the live conversation. The customer can then transfer the interaction to any of the configured messaging channels.

For more information, see Channel switching.

Timeout and close behavior settings by channel

Pega Customer Service 8.6 introduces the timeout and close behavior of interactions by channel, such as Web Messaging, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, SMS, and WhatsApp. These settings enable the configuration of inactive CSR and customer settings, such as the timeout window and the behavior at timeout. These settings also determine the close behavior in the following situations:

  • CSR clicks End chat in the Interaction Portal
  • CSR disconnects (network issue or closes browser)
  • CSR closes conversation tab but is still logged in or logs out

These settings include a Legacy Webchat tab that determines the follow-up behavior of Legacy Webchat. In previous releases, this feature was named "Follow up messaging."

For more information, see Timeout and close behavior.

Improved chat transcripts and queue transfer notifications

For Digital Messaging interfaces and Legacy Webchat, Pega Customer Service 8.6 provides new enhancements to the chat transcript and queue transfer notification events between the customer and the CSR or the bot.

Chat transcript and transfer notification events

Transcript download for Digital Messaging connectionsThe customer and the agent can download the conversation's transcript across all digital messaging connections, such as Web Messaging, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, and SMS.
Provision of transcript in escalation notificationThe customer is informed that the transcript of the conversation with the bot is provided to the agent using the following message: You are number <NN> in the queue, and a transcript of this conversation will be provided to the agent. Your expected wait time is <time>. This message will be added to the chat transcript.
Knowledge articles viewedIf the customer opens a knowledge article, then the CSR handling the escalated chat interaction from that customer can see the following message in the transcript: "Customer viewed." The entry in the transcript for the customer viewing an article has a timestamp detailing when the customer opened it and the title of the article.
Timestamp for customer-bot conversationsThe transcript displays the timestamps of messages and responses between the customer and the chatbot.
Failed transfer notification with timestamps Suppose a CSR attempts to transfer an interaction to a different agent or queue, and the transfer fails. In that case, the notification sent to the customer and CSR is displayed in the chat transcript with a timestamp.

Customer authentication on Digital Messaging interfaces

Pega Customer Service 8.6 now facilitates customer authentication pre-chat and mid-conversation. The customers can pass on their private data to Pega Customer Service using the underlying messaging API in digital messaging interfaces. If the customer's private data matches with the records in the database, the customer is marked authenticated.

Customer authentication is done in the following ways:

  • Pre-chat: When a customer interacting on a digital messaging interface is already logged into a website, the system authenticates the customer by passing the customer's private data to Pega Customer Service using the Messaging API. When the customer authenticates pre-chat, the customer service representative (CSR) has the customer's account information right before them, and the customer does not have to re-authenticate.
  • Mid-chat: When a customer is mid-chat with the bot, the system can ask the customer to authenticate by directing the customer to log in to the client-configured site.

For more information, see Authentication using Digital Messaging.

Context data

Pega Customer Service 8.6 introduces the new context option, which appears on the chat panel header in the Interaction Portal. The context option captures the customer's metadata and sends that data from Web Messaging as a payload through the Messaging API. The system collects this context data before the live conversation and presents it to a customer service representative (CSR) in an overlay as valuable insight. Using this feature the CSR can deduce the customer's intent on approaching the contact center, even before interacting.

You can easily configure the context data feature in Digital Messaging Manager through the Digital Messaging interface in App Studio. Pega Customer Service 8.6 provides two types of context data points:

  • General context data point: The general chat context data points capture the fields such as IP address, location, browser/device, and current page. These data points work without any website configuration.
  • Custom tags: These are the custom fields, such as first name, last name, and purpose. These custom tags require implementation on your website.

For more information, see Context data for Web Messaging.

Knowledge articles and page push for Digital Messaging interfaces

Earlier Knowledge articles and Page push features were available only for Legacy Webchat. Starting in version 8.6, Pega Customer Service supports Knowledge articles and the Page push feature on all Digital Messaging interfaces.

The functionality of these features for a Digital Messaging interface works similar to that of Legacy Webchat. A CSR interacting with the customer on a Digital Messaging interface can push pages and knowledge articles to customers to better support them. Customers conversing with CSRs or chatbot through Web Messaging or private channels can open knowledge articles or click the page push links sent to them just as they did with Legacy Webchat.

Augmented agent for Digital Messaging

The Augmented agent, which includes Suggested replies and the CSR assistant, was previously only available for Legacy Webchat. Pega Customer Service 8.6 adds the Augmented agent features to the Digital Messaging interfaces. The Augmented agent for Digital Messaging works the same way as it did for Legacy Webchat, with only a subtle difference in the CSR assistant. The CSR assistant for Legacy Webchat sends out a form for customers to fill in; however, Digital Messaging's CSR assistant follows the question and answer pattern. The answers from the customers are automatically updated in the fields of the requested case.

For more information, see Using CSR assistant .

Post-chat survey for Digital Messaging

Previously, the post-chat survey feature was available only for Legacy Webchat, but Pega Customer Service 8.6 now supports post-chat survey on Web Messaging and all private messaging channels, such as Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, SMS, and WhatsApp.

The post-chat survey feature provides a choice of three common customer satisfaction survey questions, based on Net Promotor Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES) for Web Messaging and all private messaging channels.Net Promotor Score (NPS): Evaluates the likelihood of customers’ willingness to promote the products and services of a business to others.Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Measures customer satisfaction with a product or service that a business offers. Customer Effort Score (CES): Measures a customer’s effort interacting with your business to resolve an issue.

Note: The post-chat survey feature is not supported on public channels.

Security settings for Web Messaging bot

Pega Customer Service 8.6 allows configuring the security settings for the Web Messaging bot, such as allowed domains, allowed cookies, and JSON Web Token (JWT) in Digital Messaging Manager.

Configure the following security settings for a Web Messaging bot:

Allowed Domains: The valid domains where you can render the Web Messaging bot. Allowed Cookies: The cookies that the system allows for passing information between your website and your Pega Customer Service implementation. JSON Web Token (JWT): The token that is used to sign requests while exchanging private data.

For more information, see the "Configuring security settings" section in Setting up Web Messaging.

Co-Browse for Web Messaging

Customers can now accept a co-browsing session through the new React-based Web Messaging chat widget during a live chat interaction with a CSR. This enables the CSR to assist the customers with their request by using the built-in features of the Co-Browse product such as viewing the customer's browser window to point them to relevant information, writing annotations on the webpage, and taking direct control of the customer's webpage to assist with an action.

Pega Co-Browse is available to the CSR for all supported channels when the feature is enabled in the App Studio. For more information about enabling Co-Browse, see Configuring Co-Browse settings in the "Configuration application settings" section in the Pega Customer Service Implementation Guide.

The Web Messaging service runs through the messaging API infrastructure that powers all the other digital messaging channels.

For more information about starting a co-browse session for Web Messaging in the Interaction portal, see Chat panel in the CSR Portal.

Typing indicators

Pega Customer Service 8.6 introduces typing indicators in the customer-facing Web Messaging chatbot interface, and in the chat panel in the Interaction Portal. The typing indicators let the customer or customer service representative (CSR) know that the other party is typing a message. If the CSR is typing in the Pega Customer Service application, and if the desktop platform and the destination channel both support typing indicators, then the messaging API passes the information to the destination channel.

The messaging API supports bi-directional typing indicators, that is, an indicator on the customer's interface when the CSR is typing (an outgoing indicator), and an indicator on the CSRs interface when the customer is typing (an incoming indicator).

Not all Digital Messaging channels support typing indicators. The Digital Messaging channels have the following support for typing indicators:

  • SMS: No typing indicator
  • WhatsApp: No typing indicator
  • FBM: bi-directional
  • ABC: bi-directional
  • Web Messaging: bi-directional

Common phrases migration to App Studio

In previous releases, it was possible to configure common phrases only in the Interaction Portal. All the common phrases configured in the Interaction Portal are now migrated to App Studio in this release. You can now configure any new common phrases in App Studio so that the CSR can use those phrases in the live chat. You can also export or import the common phrases to or from App Studio. After adding a new common phrase and configuring those common phrases with new customer utterances, build the model to train those common phrases with customer utterances for providing suggested replies in the live chat.

New suggested replies reports

Pega Customer Service 8.6 provides two new reports for measuring the impact of suggested replies. You can add these reports to the Dashboard in the Interaction portal.

The two new reports are:

Suggested replies over total interactions
Tracks the number of times the suggested replies show up for the CSR.
Suggestions accepted by CSRs:
Gauges the percentage of suggestions that the CSR accepts.

For more information, see Measuring suggested replies impact using reports.

Live agent preview console

Pega Customer Service 8.6 introduces a live agent preview console called the Suggested reply simulator that is available on the Augmented agent settings tab in App Studio. The Suggested reply simulator replicates a live message exchange between a customer and a CSR, where the CSR uses suggested replies to respond to the customer. A Launch-Test-Train pattern is used to train suggested responses for seeded customer utterances using this preview console.?

For more information, see Using suggested reply simulator in the Pega Customer Service Implementation Guide.

Optional CDH dependence for Augmented agent

Starting in 8.6, Pega Customer Service has made Customer Decision Hub optional for the Augmented agent suggested replies feature. If you already have the Customer Decision Hub license, you can enable the CDH feature, and then Suggested replies will be dependent on CDH adaptive models as was the case in earlier releases. However, if you don't have a CDH license, the Pega Customer Service application's suggested replies feature can use topic models, instead of CDH adaptive models, and would still work as intended.

Note: By default, the CDH feature is disabled in Pega Customer Service. For information about how to enable it, see Configuring the suggested actions settings.

Messaging attachments

Pega Customer Service now supports enabling different file attachments, such as images, videos, audio, documents, and other file types (for example, .exe and .zip), to be sent and received through messaging channels. This feature also provides the ability to set maximum file sizes for inbound and outbound files, configurable at the channel-level.

Configuration sets

Configuration sets in AppStudio enable or disable the features of the chat and messaging react components. Pega Customer Service provides six default configuration settings that can be toggled on or off.

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