Omni Channel Pilot: Interruptible Capacity

The Omni team is a month or so into a very interesting Pilot just now, moving to allow admins to define two capacities for Agents instead of just one. I thought I’d write a short blog post to share what we’re learning from customers, and also a bit about what the feature is an how to try it.

As with any Pilot, reach out to your Account Executive if you want to take part! 😉

What’s the problem we’re solving?

One of the more unique/interesting parts of Omni that makes it different from standalone Contact Center systems is that we route both Work (Cases/Incidents/Leads) as well as Communication Channels (Voice Calls, Chats, Messaging Sessions, Video calls etc.).

That introduces several interesting challenges, for example:

Cases blocking Channels
Customers who want to route Phone/Chats to Agents at the same time as Cases might find it tough. The problem is that Agents might be working on a Case for hours or days, but the Call or Chat for minutes, thus the case blocks the Call.

P1 items sat in the queue
When a Priority 1 case comes in, it can go straight to the top of the queue, but if all agents are busy on long-running work then it might still not get delivered right away.

….and more

So what’s the feature we’ve built to solve it?

In the Spring release we introduced Interruptible Capacity, where Agents now can have two capacities on their Presence Configuration instead of the traditional one. A Primary, and an Interruptible capacity, work items can be marked to. consume from one of the two, thus not blocking each other.

Primary work items will come in on top of Interruptible items, but Interruptible items will only be delivered if the agent has free space in both buckets.

Work items that come in marked as Primary (e.g. a Chat) will check to see if the Agent has free capacity in their primary bucket only, ignoring (interrupting) any interruptible work items (e.g.a Case) that they have.
In reverse though, if an Interruptible item is in the queue, then it’ll only get assigned to an Agent if they have free space in both buckets.

And what are some success stories we’re hearing?

A lot of customers are getting excited by this, but a couple of interesting stories that I heard recently:

Reduced Idle time
An interesting metric captured by Omni is Idle time, the amount of time where agents don’t have any work to do.

One customer we spoke to had separate teams for Chats, Calls, and Cases. Cases were their busiest channel, but they were blocking the calls and chats and so they had standalone teams of agents to handle them.

They wrote a report on the Idle time across the Chat and Call teams and identified 4000 hours per week that an agent somewhere was free with no work to do. They updated the agents to have a second capacity, and then added them to the low priority Case queues. They managed to reduce the Idle time across the teams by >90%, and a commensurate reduction in the time to response for their support cases.

Reduced Manual Intervention
Another customer we spoke to had a big challenge with their P1 cases not getting picked up quickly enough. They’d tried putting the agent capacity right up high to make sure there was always space, but the agents were getting swamped as a result. So their only solution was to have supervisors monitoring the queue and manually assigning out the P1’s.

By marking the P1’s as Primary and all the others as Interruptible, they could confidently make sure that the top cases would always get picked up right away. One of the managers at that customer insisted that they want to give a hug to everyone on the team for rescuing them from this one 😀

Where can we learn more?

I’ve attached a link to the pilot guide, and also linked below to a great Youtube video that another blogger put together after trying it out. Fire us over a note if you have any questions!