KR101781056B1 - Systems and methods for customer contact - Google Patents

Systems and methods for customer contact Download PDF

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Publication number
KR101781056B1
KR101781056B1 KR1020127006958A KR20127006958A KR101781056B1 KR 101781056 B1 KR101781056 B1 KR 101781056B1 KR 1020127006958 A KR1020127006958 A KR 1020127006958A KR 20127006958 A KR20127006958 A KR 20127006958A KR 101781056 B1 KR101781056 B1 KR 101781056B1
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South Korea
Prior art keywords
contact
service
user
agent
customer
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Application number
KR1020127006958A
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Korean (ko)
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KR20120056847A (en
Inventor
존 알. 제이
제레미 에이. 대쉬
브록 에이. 저드킨스
도날드 엘. 카우프만
영-천 린
레이몬드 피. 샤프
조셉 디. 설리반
토마스 제이. 웨이랜드
타우시프 키드와이
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아마존 테크놀로지스, 인크.
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Priority to US12/547,370 priority Critical patent/US8600035B2/en
Priority to US12/547,370 priority
Priority to US12/547,387 priority
Priority to US12/547,387 priority patent/US9088649B2/en
Application filed by 아마존 테크놀로지스, 인크. filed Critical 아마존 테크놀로지스, 인크.
Priority to PCT/US2010/046647 priority patent/WO2011025824A1/en
Publication of KR20120056847A publication Critical patent/KR20120056847A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of KR101781056B1 publication Critical patent/KR101781056B1/en

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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M7/00Interconnection arrangements between switching centres
    • H04M7/0024Services and arrangements where telephone services are combined with data services
    • H04M7/003Click to dial services
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • G06Q30/0601Electronic shopping
    • G06Q30/0603Catalogue ordering
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/42365Presence services providing information on the willingness to communicate or the ability to communicate in terms of media capability or network connectivity
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/50Centralised arrangements for answering calls; Centralised arrangements for recording messages for absent or busy subscribers ; Centralised arrangements for recording messages
    • H04M3/51Centralised call answering arrangements requiring operator intervention, e.g. call or contact centers for telemarketing
    • H04M3/5183Call or contact centers with computer-telephony arrangements
    • H04M3/5191Call or contact centers with computer-telephony arrangements interacting with the Internet
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/42195Arrangements for calling back a calling subscriber
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/50Centralised arrangements for answering calls; Centralised arrangements for recording messages for absent or busy subscribers ; Centralised arrangements for recording messages
    • H04M3/51Centralised call answering arrangements requiring operator intervention, e.g. call or contact centers for telemarketing
    • H04M3/523Centralised call answering arrangements requiring operator intervention, e.g. call or contact centers for telemarketing with call distribution or queueing
    • H04M3/5231Centralised call answering arrangements requiring operator intervention, e.g. call or contact centers for telemarketing with call distribution or queueing with call back arrangements

Abstract

A user of the personal computing device may identify the item of interest displayed in the user interface provided by the network-based service and may obtain more information. The user may submit one or more electronic contact requests to the contact service in communication with the contact distribution system to obtain more information. The contact distribution system determines the accurate real-time availability of service agents and allows communication between the customer and the agent to be established in accordance with the user contact information provided by the user.

Description

SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR CUSTOMER CONTACT [0002]

The present invention relates to a customer contact system and method, and more particularly, to a customer contact system and method for providing users of network-based services with information related to the availability of service agents.

In an increasingly networked society, users often use data networks to perform various tasks previously performed personally. For example, a user may purchase an item from a network-based retail store using a computing device. However, in another example, a user may use a banking service to check account balances, bill payments, automatic transfers, and the like. As a result, providers of network-based services are faced with many pre-sales and post-sales contacts with their customers. Systems such as call centers have evolved into a centralized, scalable mechanism that handles the volume of calls for various contact contexts, including, for example, sales and marketing contracts, technical support and billing. However, call centers are getting worse with various drawbacks.

For example, the availability of call center agents is typically based on preset times. However, pre-set times of contact availability become easier or outdated in relation to actual agent availability. For example, specific events (e.g., holidays), time changes, network outages, over / under-staffing, and so on, each affect the availability of agents in a way that is not reflected in time- . As a result, the availability of call center agents is frustrating for users who are reported incorrectly to users and potentially want to contact the call center.

SUMMARY Aspects of the present disclosure relate to providing highly accurate and up-to-date information relating to the availability of service agents to users of network-based services (e.g., web sites) . Other aspects of the disclosure relate to enabling contacts of users and service agents (hereinafter referred to as " contacts "). Embodiments described below may consider users as customers and service agents as customer service agents. However, users are not limited to customers, and may include users of network-based services.

In this regard, it is described that the contact service receives customer requests for contact with customer service agents (CSA) and the availability of customer service agents. For example, a customer using a customer computing device, such as a personal computer, may identify the item of interest provided by the network-based service and wish to communicate with the CSA associated with the item of interest. This network-based service may be anything that provides information of interest to a product, service, or customer. Thus, a network-based service may be a network-based source of entertainment and / or information (e.g., network-based encyclopedias, media sharing, etc.), network-based retailers such as retailers that sell items for purchase to customers, Network-based social networking services that allow users to share content with other users, and so forth. In one embodiment, using the customer ' s computing device, the customer may request contact agent availability and contact with service agents.

As described in more detail below, these customer requests may be sent to the contact service via a network-based service. The contact service may submit requests to the contact distribution system for the generation of responses. These responses may be obtained by the contact service and may be submitted to the network-based service for display to the customer. For example, the network-based service may create user interfaces that incorporate responses for display to the user.

More specifically, the contact distribution system may communicate with one or more CSAs to determine agent availability and determine agent responses to customer queries. The contact distribution system may establish contact of the CSAs with the customers based on the customer contact information provided in the contact service and may record the contact status of the contact service. Since the contact distribution system may determine the CSA availability directly from the CSAs, the agent availability information returned by the contact distribution system is less likely to be outdated or inaccurate. Thus, accurate agent availability information may be provided to customers.

In one non-limiting embodiment, the network-based service may be, for example, a network-based retail service implemented through a website selling music and videos. With personal computing devices, a customer may identify items of interest displayed for sale by, for example, network-based retail services such as movies. In addition to identifying the item of interest, the customer may have one or more questions about the movie, such as how the movie is shipped. From the personal computing device, the customer may submit a request to a website of a retail service for a user interface (e.g., a web page) that contains information related to contact with the CSA. For example, the customer may submit a request for a user interface that displays agent status.

This request may in turn be sent to the contact service for a response from the web site. The contact service may communicate with the contact distribution system to obtain a real-time agent state to return to the web site. The web site may generate a web page that is requested by the customer's computing device to display to the customer based on the returned agent status.

To reduce the frequency with which requests for agent state are sent to the contact distribution system, the agent state may be stored or hidden by the contact service for a limited time. For example, if another customer requests support for the same movie in a limited amount of time, the contact service may return the previously determined agent state rather than submit a new request to the contact distribution service.

In another non-limiting embodiment, the customer may submit customer contact information to a web site. When provided to a contact distribution service, the customer contact information allows the contact distribution service to initiate communication between the customer service agent and the customer. The customer contact information may include information about which communication method is available to the customer.

A contact request containing customer contact information may be sent to the contact service. The contact service may in turn submit customer contact information to the contact distribution system. The contact distribution system may attempt to contact the customer using the contact information and may return the contact state corresponding to the contact service. The returned contact state may be provided to the website by a contact service that enables the customer to prepare for another user interface including a contact state for display. In addition to the non-limiting embodiments, when the contact of the customer and the service agent is established, the contact service may relay the service agent and the customer's customer queries and agent responses.

In other embodiments, the contact service and contact distribution service may generate and / or use additional information to coordinate the reception and transmission of user contact requests and responses between the website and the contact distribution service. In one embodiment, a unique identifier that is deemed to be a contact identifier (contact ID) may be generated by the contact service for identification of customer contact requests, and may be shared by the website and the customer client device.

In another embodiment, the contact distribution service may create and store one or more identifiers that uniquely identify the contacts generated by the contact distribution system. The contact distribution service may generate a first identifier that is regarded as a contact leg identifier (contact leg ID), in order to identify the contact made between the contact distribution service and the customer. The contact distribution system also generates a second identifier, referred to as an agent leg identifier (agent leg ID), to identify the contact made between the contact distribution service and the agent in response to the contact made between the contact distribution service and the customer It is possible. These identifiers may be provided to the contact service by the contact distribution service, which may connect the contact leg ID and the agent leg ID, and store the contact leg ID, the agent leg ID, and the connection.

When establishing a customer contact with the CSAs, the customer service may superimpose these identifiers with other selected information generated during establishing the contact, and may further store these identifiers and connections. In this manner, requests from customers may be associated with accurate contact by a contact service and contact distribution system that allows responses generated by the contact service and contact distribution system to be properly delivered to the website being used by the customer have.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS As will be better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, the following aspects and many of the attendant advantages will be more readily understood.
1 shows a block diagram of a contact service communicating with a call distribution system to manage contacts of customers with customer service agents.
FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the operating environment of FIG. 1, illustrating a touch service that provides a contact status to a web site in response to a user interface request, including an agent state, by a customer client device.
3 shows a user interface for displaying to a client client device including an agent status.
4A is a block diagram of the operating environment of FIG. 1, showing a web site that returns a user interface to a web site in response to a request for contact by a customer client device with a customer service agent.
FIG. 4B is a block diagram of the operating environment of FIG. 1, showing a website that returns a user interface to a customer client device for submitting customer contact information and returns the customer service agent interface to the contact service.
5 shows a user interface for display on a customer client device that allows a user to submit customer contact information to a web site.
FIG. 6A is a block diagram of the operating environment of FIG. 1, and illustrates a contact distribution service that attempts to contact a customer in response to receiving customer contact information.
FIG. 6B is a block diagram of the operating environment of FIG. 1, showing a contact distribution service that returns the contact state for display to the user.
7A and 7B show a user interface displayed on a customer client device that allows a user to view the contact state.
FIG. 8A is a block diagram of the operating environment of FIG. 1, showing an agent client device that generates a response to a user query.
FIG. 8B is a block diagram of the operating environment of FIG. 1, showing an agent client device that returns an agent response to a customer query and a contact status update for display to a customer.
Figure 9 shows a user interface created on the agent client device to enable the agent to view the contact state and other contact session information.

Referring to Figure 1, an operating environment 100 is shown that automatically distributes contacts from CSA to customers. In the operating environment 100, a customer may use a customer client device 160 that is capable of communicating with a network-based service implemented via a web site 154. Web site 154 may also manage or create one or more user interfaces 156 that may be displayed by customer client device 160. If the customer has a query and a query related to the information displayed in the one or more user interfaces 156 provided by the web site 154, the customer may request information related to the customer service agents, User interfaces 156 may be used to request communications with the service agent. Requests for contact with CSA information and CSAs are sent to contact service 150, which communicates with contact distribution system 120, as described in more detail below.

It will be appreciated that many of the components described below are optional, and embodiments of the system 100 do not combine or couple the components. The components do not need to be distinguished or separated. The components may be recognized in the system 100. The system 100 may be represented as a single physical server that includes all of the subsystems described below, or, alternatively, the system may be separated into multiple physical servers.

The contact service 150 and the web site 154 may each be embodied with a plurality of components and each embodied may execute an example of each contact service 150 or web site 154. A server or other computing component that implements contact service 150 or web site 154 includes everything that can communicate with other components via network interface, memory, processing unit, and computer readable media drive, communication bus, respectively It is possible. The network interface may provide connectivity to the network 110 and / or other networks or computer systems. The processing unit may communicate with a memory that includes program instructions that the processing unit executes to operate the contact service 150 or the web site 154. [ The memory typically includes RAM, ROM, and / or other permanent and auxiliary memory.

The client client device may include a communication device such as a PC, a kiosk, a thin client, a home computer, and a dedicated or embedded computer capable of displaying a user interface from a web site 154. [ Examples may include laptop or tablet computers, personal computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), hybrid PDAs / mobile phones, mobile phones, e-book readers, set-top boxes and the like.

Web site 154 may communicate with customer client device 160 to send customer requests for contact with CSAs. The requests include an agent state indicating the current availability of CSAs to communicate with customers, a contact state representing the state of contact between the customer and the customer service agent in response to the request for contact, and an agent response to the customer query, Lt; RTI ID = 0.0 > CSA < / RTI >

In some embodiments, the responses to customer requests represent the types of user interfaces (UIs) 156 generated by the website 154. The user interfaces 156 may be generated using the CSA information obtained from the contact service 150. In some embodiments, user interfaces 156 may be further generated from template user interfaces. Such template user interfaces may be managed by a web site 154 and / or a data store in communication with the contact service 150, the website 154, and combinations thereof. In additional embodiments, the web site 154 and / or the contact service 150 may also generate agent user interfaces 111 used by CSAs as described in more detail below.

Web site 154 may communicate with contact service 150 to obtain CSA information. As described in more detail below, the contact service 150 submits contact requests received from the website 154 to the contact distribution system 120 and returns a response to the website 154. [ The contact service 150 may further store at least a portion of the CSA information and other information generated when responding to customer requests at the storage service 152.

The techniques of embodiments of the contact distribution system 120 can be found in U.S. Patent Application No. 12 / 192,067 entitled " SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR AUTOMATED CALL DISTRIBUTION ", which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The system 120 includes a customer relationship module 101, a customer controller service 102, a connection controller 103 and a metrics service 104 Each of which may be represented by hardware, software, or a combination thereof. The system allocates, routes, and manages connections between client client devices 160 and CSAs. As described below, connections may be established between customer phones 105, CSA phones 106 and agent client devices 107. System 100 may connect customers and agents through telephony carriers 108 and 109 and data carriers 110. [

In other embodiments, the phones 105 and 106 may be supplemented or replaced by other communication mechanisms. Examples include, but are not limited to, computing devices capable of sending and receiving electronic messages and video messages that are distributed or posted to be viewed by e-mail, SMS messages, instant messaging, or other devices. Contact distribution system 120 may connect user client devices 160 and agent client devices 107 via one or more networks 110, which are known in the art.

In one embodiment, CRM 101 allows contact distribution system 120 to manage contacts and relationships with customers. The CRM 101 may be comprised of various databases (not shown) and may have links (not shown) with other systems directly or indirectly with customer contact management. For example, as described below, the CRM 101 may manage and / or obtain customer information for use by CSAs.

The contact controller service 102 processes incoming customer calls and tracks other functions: agent state / availability (e.g., which agents are available to process incoming customer calls) ; Manage (potentially fail) logical cues (not shown) of the customers (while pending customers may be connected to the media service 112) for specific CSA or call types; Routing the calls, e.g., matching the available agents to incoming client calls; And other functions that include, but are not limited to, the functions of communicating information generated by the operation of the telephony subsystem 103 and associated components to the metrics service 104.

The metrics service 104 is typically connected to the contact controller service 102. This service stores information related to customer contacts and CSAs. Additionally, based on real-time and historical data, records may be generated (such as SL records). The metrics service may provide information to the contact controller service 102.

The connection controller 103 may handle a mechanism for handling phone calls using SIP signaling (Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology) and may have a function to allow other systems (e.g., contact controller services) And may propagate telephony events through the system 100. [ The connection controller 103 may connect the customer pawns 105 to the agent pawns 106. The connection controller 103 may utilize subsystems of the media server 112, an interactive voice response (IVR) system 113, and a call recorder system 114 .

The media server 112 may process a mechanism to hold or announce music in many different contexts in the system. Customers may be connected to this server if they are on hold. The system may act as " whispers "(e.g., informative introductory messages) to CSAs shortly before being connected to the customer.

The interactive voice response system 113 may be a "robot" that often handles customer contacts before customers are moved to live CSA. IVRs may obtain basic information used to route calls and / or classify call types.

The contact recorder system 114 may record customer contacts. The contact recorder may provide a common interface for recording contacts that have occurred or occurred anywhere in the system 100.

The CSA typically has two connections to the system, the agent client device 107 and the telephony connection 106. [ The agent client device 107 may display the user interface 111 on the system 100 and may be any computing device. Those skilled in the art will recognize that one or more CSAs may be located in a traditional monolithic call center (CSAs and system 100 have close physical proximity). Alternatively, the CSA may be located very close to other CSAs (considered a call center), but may be away from the system (and then kept in a "data center"). As yet another alternative, one or more CSAs may be remote from the system data center and other CSAs. The agent client device may include various types of communication devices capable of displaying a user interface from a contact distribution system 120 such as a PC, kiosk, thin client, home computer, dedicated or embedded machine. Other examples may include laptop or tablet computers, personal computers, PDAs, hybrid PDAs / mobile phones, mobile phones, electronic book readers, set-top boxes and the like.

Similarly, agent phone system 106 may include specific phone facilities, VoIP facilities, complex PBX systems, off-the-shelf phones in traditional phone lines, and the like. In some embodiments, the agent phone systems 106 do not need to be connected through a PBX or telephone exchange systems. In addition, for purposes of this disclosure, grouping one or more CSAs, whether physically located in a monolithic call center or data center, or physically in close proximity to each other, is considered an agent node .

The CSA user interface 111 displays the contact from the contact controller service 102 or CRM 101. Such an interface may be a propriety application running on a computing machine. Alternatively, the interface may display a web page, a browser, a widget, an applet, or the like, generated or provided by the contact controller service 102 or the CRM 101. In other embodiments, the CSA user interface 111 may display a web page, a browser, a widget, an applet, etc., generated or provided by a network-based service. The link between the contact distribution system 120 and the user interface 111 may be any one of the data carriers and protocols including HTTP, HTTPS, instant messaging, distributed memory or front-end protocol, .

Customers and customer phone systems 105 correspond to the end-users of the call system 100. Such customers may be connected to the contact distribution system 120 through one of the hosts of the telephony carriers 108. Such connections may be established through newer and more nontraditional protocols such as SIP, HTTP, IRC, other instant messaging protocols, and the like. Customers may also connect to inexpensive phone equipment, complex PBX systems, or other communication mechanisms.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the operating environment of FIG. 1 illustrating a customer requesting a user interface from a web site 154 that includes the status of the CSAs of the Web site. The customer may communicate with the web site 154 via user interfaces 156 displayed by the customer client device 160 to access any network-based services provided by the web site 154. [ If the customer has a problem or question displayed in one or more of the user interfaces 156 provided by the website 154, then the customer may enter user interfaces 156 to request the status of the customer service agents of the website It can also be used. In this way, the customer may also identify that CSAs are available for support. As shown in FIG. 2, the customer may use the customer client device 160 to submit a request for a user interface that includes an agent state.

For example, the request may include a request for a web page that includes an agent state. The request is sent to the web site 154, which detects that an agent state is needed to respond to the customer request, and submits an agent state request to the contact service 150.

Contact service 150 in turn submits a request for agent state to contact distribution service 120, and creates and returns agent state. In one embodiment, the real-time availability of the CSAs may be generated by the contact distribution system 120 via communication with the CSAs. For example, in order to send an availability signal to the system, the CSA may press a key from the CRM user interface 111 at the computing machine 107 or select a user interface control. The contact controller service 102 may be able to initiate a call to the CSA through the connection controller 103, for example, via the CSA phone system 106. [ The CSA may answer the call to signal that the system is ready to receive calls from customers and can receive them.

In the absence of a customer waiting for a service, the CSA may use this silent-open (eg, off-the-hook) connection to the system to indicate successive availability . In order to send a transition signal from availability to unavailability (e.g., lunch meal or coffee break), the CSA may simply disconnect the phone. A disconnected connection or selected unavailable state to the connection controller 103 indicates that the contact controller service 102 and the CSA are no longer likely to contact the customer (or that the CSA is unable to contact the customer, for example, But is not intentionally cut off). ≪ / RTI >

If the CRM system goes down, the CSA may not click or click the user interface controls to send an availability signal to the system, or if the CSA clicks on the user interface control, the CSA does not enter the available state, Therefore, calls may not be received. Some embodiments may include a phone-system-based interactive voice application that allows CSAs to send a signal of availability via their phone system 106. [

A silent-open connection is not required for system operation. In other embodiments, the CSAs may send an availability signal by controlling the user interface 111 or accessing another device. Thereafter, if the contact controller 102 has a customer to connect to the CSA, the contact controller 102 may be directed to the connection controller 103 to connect to the CSA phone device 106, such as a call.

Advantageously, by placing the burden of sending an availability signal to the CSA, the contact distribution system always maintains a very accurate indication of real-time CSA availability. This real-time availability is well suited to changes in agent availability and provides near-immediate updates to the agent state, as opposed to a static mechanism that determines the agent state, such as operating time. Thus, when provided to a customer, it is less likely that the agent state will be useless and assures that customer expectations are met during subsequent contact between the customer and the CSA (e.g., low latency, Having appropriate skills to support, etc.).

The agent state returned to the contact service 150 may be further transferred to the website 154 for ultimate presentation to the customer. When receiving the agent status, the web site 154 may generate a user interface that includes the agent status requested by the customer. The generated user interface may then be provided to the customer client device 160 for display to the customer.

FIG. 3 illustrates a user interface 300 including an agent state displayed on a client client device 160 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The user interface 300 is generated by the website www.xyz.com and includes items for sale in the first window 302 and help information in the second window 320. [ The user interface 300 may further include biographical information 304 associated with a customer, such as a customer name, if the website 154 is available. The user interface 300 may further include additional purchases related to the objects available from the website 154 as well as images 306 of items of interest (e.g., object D). For example, purchase items may include an object's name 310, a price 312, a rating 314, a description, and an inventory of available stocks 316 for the item of interest. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the purchases shown in FIG. 3 are illustrative, and that additional or other purchases may be included in the user interface 300.

The help window 320 of the user interface 300 may further include an agent state, contact information 324 for the CSA, and greeting 322 indicating the contact user interface controller 326. In the example, the agent state may be indicated as "available" or "unavailable ". If the agent status is "available ", the customer may use the contact user interface control 326 to contact the CSA. The selection of the contact user interface control 326 may submit a contact request to the web site 154 that allows the contact to be established for a short period of time. Such contact user interface controls are often considered "click-to-call" controls.

In some embodiments, the contact user interface control 326 is not in the user interface 300 if the agent state is "unavailable. &Quot; Thus, the user interface 300 may be provided by the web site 154 to indicate to the customer that there are no CSAs available for the current communication and that there are no available communications. The contact user interface control 326 may be provided in a user interface 300 that may provide contact information that may be used by the CSA to contact the customer later on. The selection of the contact user interface control 326 may submit a contact request to a web site 154 that allows the contact to be established later, if CSAs are available.

4A shows a block diagram of the operating environment 100 of FIG. 1 and illustrates a contact request submitted to the Web site 154. FIG. As shown in FIG. 2, when receiving the agent status in the user interface, the customer decides whether he wants to communicate with the CSA. The request to contact the CSA may be submitted, for example, by the customer selecting the contact control 326 in the user interface 300. When receiving the contact request, the website 154 submits a request for the contact identifier (contact ID) to the contact service 150. The contact identifier is an identifier that uniquely identifies the requested user contact for the contact service. As described in more detail below, the information generated during the process of establishing contact between the customer and the CSA may be combined with the contact identifier. This combination allows the contact service 150 to properly identify the information associated with the contact request, and the appropriate responses to the contact request return to the website 154. [ Upon receiving the contact ID request, the contact service 150 generates a contact ID and returns the contact ID to the website 154. [

After the website 154 receives the contact ID, the website 154 generates and distributes one or more user interfaces in response. FIG. 4B shows a block diagram of the operating environment 100 of FIG. 1 and illustrates a website response to contact ID receipt. In one aspect, the website 154 may generate an agent user interface 111 for use by the CSA. The website 154 may further combine the contact ID with the agent user interface 111 and provide each with a contact service 150. When a contact with a customer is established, the contact service 150 may store the agent user interface and contact ID for later use.

In another aspect, the website 154 may generate a user interface for use by a customer to submit customer contact information for establishing contact with the CSA. Web site 154 may further combine this user interface with a contact ID and may provide each to client client device 160. In this manner, the contact information to be subsequently submitted by the customer may be combined with the contact ID, and the contact service 150 ensures that the contact requests from the customer client device 160 are responded appropriately.

Figure 5 is an embodiment of a user interface 500 displayed on a customer client device 160 that allows a customer to submit contact information to a website 154. [ The user interface 500 may include an identifier associated with the website 154. For example, the identifier 502 may include graphics, logos, and the like. The user interface 500 may further include instructions 504 to the customer for an entry of contact information such as "Enter your contact information below. &Quot; The contact information may further include one or more of the customer country 506, phone number 510, and contact time 512 with the customer.

The time 512 provided to the user interface 500 may vary and depends on the agent state. If the agent status is "available ", the customer may enter any contact time to reflect the current availability of the CSAs. If the agent state is "unavailable ", the customer may be limited in the time of selection. For example, selection options for time 512 under these circumstances may include a " first available "time range or suggested time. In one embodiment, the time range or suggested time may be offset from the current time by a selected amount reflecting the scarce current availability of the CSAs.

Other customer contact information may be submitted in addition to or in addition to those described above, such as a user account for an email address, an instant messaging address, and other network-based services. The customer may submit the contact information at the selection of the user interface control 514.

When displayed, a user interface that enables entry of customer contact information as shown in FIG. 5 can be used by the customer to enter contact information to continue the CSA contact process. FIG. 6A is a block diagram of the operating environment 100 of FIG. 1 showing a Web site 154 that submits customer contact information to a Web site 154 for contact with the CSA. Referring to FIG. 6A, the submission may include a contact ID previously generated by the contact service 150 for contact. Web site 154 further submits contact information and contact ID to contact service 150 and in turn sends this information to contact distribution service 120. [

The contact distribution service 120 may attempt to contact the customer using the customer contact information received from the contact service 150. [ In one embodiment, the customer distribution service 120 may not be able to establish contact with the customer. For example, contact information provided to contact distribution service 120 may be invalidated, or network problems may prevent contact establishment. In other embodiments, the contact distribution service may establish successful contact with the customer. Examples of successful contacts may include a ringing of the phone when the call is attempted to the customer, and a customer response to the call attempt. In other embodiments, where contact is not attempted by telephone, examples of successful contacts may include an acknowledgment that an instant message, an SMS message, a video message, or another form of electronic message has been successfully received.

If contact is attempted, the contact distribution service 120 may return the contact state to the contact service 150. FIG. 6B is a block diagram of the operating environment 100 of FIG. 1, which illustrates that the contact distribution service 120 returns the contact state to the contact service 150. FIG. A contact state indicates a contact state between a customer and a customer service agent in response to a request for contact. If a successful contact is achieved, the contact distribution service 120 may generate a contact leg identifier (contact leg ID) and return it to the contact service 150. The contact leg ID may represent an identifier that uniquely identifies a successful contact with the contact distribution system 120. [ If a successful contact is achieved, the contact distribution service 120 may generate an agent leg identifier (agent leg ID). The agent leg ID may be returned to the contact service 150 and the agent client device 107. The contact leg ID may represent an identifier that uniquely identifies the contact with the agent and the contact distribution service.

When receiving the contact leg ID, the agent leg ID, and the contact status, the contact service 150 may combine this information together into the contact ID and agent user interface, and may store each in the storage service 152. In this manner, the contact service 150 may combine appropriate contact with the information received for transmission to the contact distribution system 120. For example, as described below, customer queries generated by the customer using the client client device 160 may be identified as specific contacts managed by the contact distribution system 120. [

6B, the contact state may be further transmitted to the website 154. [ At the web site 154, a user interface is created, which includes a contact state. As described above, the reconstructed user interface may be created with user interface templates or without templates. Once created, the user interface including the contact state may be transmitted to the customer client device 160 for display to the customer.

Also, the contact state may change dynamically during the communication process between the customer and the CSA. The contact distribution system 120 may update the contact state associated with the contact leg ID and may provide the updated contact state to the contact service 150. [ Because the contact service 150 has previously combined the contact leg ID and the contact ID, the contact service 150 may identify the contact state to be updated with the appropriate contact. The contact service 150 may further store the updated contact state and may provide an updated contact state to the website 154. [ Web site 154 may in turn generate an updated user interface that includes an updated contact state for display by customer client device 160.

Various contact states may be presented to the customer to reflect the changing state of contact. Examples of contact conditions may include, but are not limited to, connecting, connected, hold and end. The busy state may indicate during a contact distribution service attempting to contact the user. For example, the Connected state may be displayed to the customer even though the customer telephone number is dialed but the customer does not answer the call. The Connected state may indicate that the customer telephone number has been dialed and that the customer has received the call. The hold state may indicate that the customer has received the call, but the CSA or contact distribution service 120 is holding the customer. The termination state may indicate that the established contact is terminated, for example, by the customer or the CSA. It should be understood that these contact states described are examples, and other states may be restored by contact distribution system 120 without limitation.

In an additional embodiment, the contact between the customer and the CSA may be initiated again on a later date (e.g., the customer may be called again) instead of the customer being in a pending state. In one example, the user interface may be entered to provide the customer with an option to resume the contact rather than being placed on hold. In another example, a user interface that displays options for resuming contact may be presented to the customer after the customer has been placed on hold for a selected period of time. In another example, contact with a customer may be automatically resumed at a later date on either of the two dates after the customer is put on hold instead of being placed on hold, or after the customer has been placed on hold for the selected time.

The time at which contact with the customer is resumed may be determined through various other mechanisms. In one example, the contact may be re-established by the contact distribution service 120 and / or the CSA at any time (e.g., the first available CSA) or a scheduled time window (e.g., within 24 hours of initial contact) May be initiated. In another example, the time of the restarting contact may be planned by the customer (e.g., via the user interface). In situations where the resume time of contact is designated (e.g., automatically) from the customer, an assessment may be provided to the customer that contact may resume when.

7A and 7B illustrate examples of user interfaces 700 and 712 displayed on a client client device 160 that presents a contact state to a customer. Figure 7A shows the user interface 700 created to present the customer with a " Connected " status, while Figure 7B shows the user interface 712 created to present the " connected " status to the customer. As described in connection with FIG. 5, the user interfaces 700, 712 may include an optional identifier 502 associated with the website 154. For example, the identifier 502 may include graphics, logs, and the like. The user interfaces 700 and 712 may further include instructions 704 and 714 to inform the customer of certain actions that the customer should take or should not take. The user interfaces 700,712 may additionally include contact states 706,716. The user interfaces 700 and 712 may further include user interface controls such as reference numerals 710 and 720 to allow the customer to terminate the contact with the CSA.

In addition, the user interfaces 700, 712 may present other contact conditions that may be of interest to the customer in connection with communication with the CSA. In one example, if the customer is in communication with the CSA, a contact state indicating the communication period between the user and the CSA may be displayed to the customer. In another example, if the customer is connected to the contact distribution service 150 but is not in communication with the CSA, the time period the customer had been waiting for communication with the CSA and / or the time measured to communicate with the CSA The contact states indicating may be displayed.

Once contact is successfully established between the customer and the CSA, the customer may communicate with the CSA. For example, a customer may want to request one or more queries to the CSA. FIG. 8A is a block diagram of the operating environment 100 of FIG. 1, illustrating the submission of a customer query by a customer. For example, the user interface may be presented to a customer who enables the submission of customer queries using one or more text, voice, and video. For example, user interfaces such as reference numerals 700 and 712 may be modified to enable the submission of text, voice, and / or video input. In some embodiments, the contact ID may be submitted further with a customer query. The customer query and contact ID may be submitted to the website 154, which may be sent to the contact service 150 at a later time.

The contact service 150 may receive the customer query and may identify the agent user interface previously created according to the contact ID stored in the storage service 152. [ The contact ID and agent leg ID as well as the agent user interface may be retrieved from the storage service 152 and provided to the contact distribution service 120 to enable an agent response to the customer query. The customer query, agent user interface, and agent leg ID may also be communicated to agent client device 107 via contact distribution service 120. The agent leg ID may identify the contact to which the customer query belongs, and may support the agent in enabling the generation of the returned agent response.

The agent response may include some form of response that is appropriate for the customer query. In one embodiment, the agent response may be provided in the same contact form as the query. For example, in the case of a customer query involving the delivery of an item, the agent response may be forwarded to a telephone call. Agent responses may be further provided using queries and other forms of contact. For example, assuming that a customer query related to the delivery of an item is submitted to a telephone call, the agent response may be delivered to the telephone call, and additional instructions may be electronically transmitted to the email address of the customer's choice .

After the CSA submits the response to the customer query, the agent response may be returned to the customer. FIG. 8B is a block diagram of the operating environment of FIG. 1, showing the agent response returned to the client client device 160. FIG. If necessary, a contact status update may be provided with the agent response. The customer may submit a query that requires the CSA to obtain additional information about the response. In such a case, the CSA replies that more information is needed to respond and the contact state may change from " connected " to " pending " to reflect that the contact is still active, It may be said that it will be a non-response. In another example, the agent response may terminate the contact. In such a case, the CSA may provide a final response, and the contact state may change from " connected " to " ended ". The agent leg ID may be provided with an agent response to identify the contact associated with the agent response.

The agent response and status update are returned to the contact service 150. As described above, when receiving an agent response and a status update, the contact service 150 may update and store the updated contact state in the storage service 152. The contact service 150 may further provide an agent response and a status update to the web site 154. As described above, a user interface including agent response and status updates may be generated with or without the use of user interface templates. Once created, the user interface, including agent responses and status updates, may be sent to the customer client device 160 for display to the customer.

9 shows an agent user interface 900 that may be presented to the CSA along with a customer query. In one embodiment, the user interface 900 may include a session information window 902 and a contact status window 906. The session information window 902 may be associated with a customer and may include information including a customer profile, a browser history, and a page view. A customer profile may include information related to a customer who can assist the CSA in contacting the customer. As described above, the information is managed by the CRM 101 and may be determined by the IVR during the initial contact with the customer prior to communicating with the CSA, and / or provided by the website 154. Examples of customer profiles include customer name information (e.g., name, age, location, etc.) and history (e.g., browse history, purchase history, etc.) with web site 154 or contact distribution services For example, previous contact history). The browse history includes items that the customer has browsed at the web site 154 for a period of time from the selected contact (e.g., day, week, month, etc.). The page view 904 of the user interface 900 shown in FIG. 9 may include a view of the user interface from which the customer submitted the contact request. For example, the page view 904 may include information such as name information 304, an image 306 of an item of interest, a name 310 of an object, a price 312, a ranking 314, And an indicator 316 of inventory.

The contact state window 906 may include a contact state display 322 and controls 912, 914 for managing contact. In one example, the contact status display 322 may display the same contact status displayed to the customer, enabling CSA recognition of the contact status to the customer. Controls 912 and 914 may include hold control 912 and termination control 914. As described above, these controls can be used by the CSA in conjunction with the response if necessary.

Article 1 (Clause)

A system for enabling contact between a network-based service user and a service agent of the network-based service,

Wherein the agent status indicates a current availability of the service agent for communicating with the user and the contact status is indicative of an availability between the user and the service agent A contact service; And

A computing device in communication with the contact service,

The computing device comprising:

Generating a first user interface in response to a user request, the first user interface including the agent state, enabling a request for contact between the user and a service agent to be submitted by the computing device, From the contact service;

Creating a second user interface in response to a user request for a contact, wherein the second user interface allows the computing device to submit the user contact information;

Submit the received user contact information to the contact service; And

Creating a third user interface, wherein the third user interface comprises contact information obtained from the contact service in response to the submitted user contact information.

Article 2

In Article 1,

Wherein the first, second, and third user interfaces are configured to display to a user.

Article 3

In Article 1,

Wherein the contact information includes one or more telephone numbers, email addresses, instant messaging addresses, and user accounts for other network-based services.

Article 4

In Article 1,

Wherein the contact between the user and the service agent is performed by electronic and video messages distributed or posted to be viewed by one or more telephone calls, e-mails, SMS messages, instant messaging, .

Article 5

In Article 1,

Wherein the first user interface further comprises a contact user interface control for submitting a request for contact between the user and the service agent to the computing device.

Article 6

A system for communication between a user and a service agent,

A data store for managing one or more user interface templates; And

A computing device in communication with the data store,

The computing device comprising:

Obtaining a first request for a first user interface from the user, the first user interface including an agent state, the agent state indicating a current availability of one or more service agents for contacting the user, ;

Obtain a first user interface template from the data store;

Generating the first user interface including the first user interface template and the agent state, wherein the agent state is obtained from a contact service in communication with one or more service agents; And

And provide the first user interface to the user for display.

Article 7

In Article 6,

The computing device includes:

Receiving a second request from the user for contact with a service agent;

Obtaining a second user interface template from the data store;

Creating a second user interface including the second user interface template, wherein the second user interface allows the computing device to submit user contact information; And

And provides the second user interface to the user for display.

Article 8

In Article 7,

The computing device includes:

Submit user contact information to the contact service;

Receiving a contact state from the contact service in response to the submission of the user contact information, the contact state indicating a user contact with the service agent according to the user contact information;

Creating a third user interface including the contact state; And

And provide the third user interface to the user for display.

Article 9

In Article 6,

Wherein the first user interface further comprises a contact user interface control for submitting a request for contact between the user and the service agent to the computing device.

Article 10

In Article 8,

Wherein the computing device generates an agent user interface for display to the service agent during contact with the user.

Article 11

In Article 6,

Wherein the agent state is based on availability feedback from the service agents.

Article 12

In Article 6,

Wherein the network-based service comprises a network-based retailer.

Article 13

In Article 6,

Wherein the contact information includes one or more telephone numbers, email addresses, instant messaging addresses, and user accounts for other network-based services.

Article 14

Article 6 In this Article,

Wherein the contact between the user and the service agent is performed by electronic and video messages distributed or posted to be viewed by one or more telephone calls, e-mails, SMS messages, instant messaging, .

Article 15

A computer-implemented method for enabling communication between a user and a service agent,

Under the control of one or more configured computer systems:

Requesting an agent state from a contact service in a state of communication with one or more service agents, the agent state indicating a current availability of a service agent for communicating with the user;

Providing the user with the agent status received from the contact service;

Requesting a contact with a service agent, the contact request including user contact information; And

And providing the user with a contact state received from the contact service in response to user contact information submitted to the contact service.

Article 16

In Article 15,

Wherein the method further comprises providing a service agent to the user in response to a user query.

Article 17

In Article 15,

Wherein the agent state is based, at least in part, on availability feedback from the service agents.

Article 18

In Article 15,

Wherein the contact information includes one or more telephone numbers, an email address, an instant messaging address, and a user account for another network-based service.

Article 19

Article 15 Where,

Wherein the contact between the user and the service agent is performed by electronic and video messages distributed or posted to be viewed by one or more telephone calls, e-mails, SMS messages, instant messaging, Lt; / RTI >

Article 20

A computer-readable medium having encoded instructions for presenting service agent information to a user,

When executed by a computing device,

The computing device comprising:

Requesting an agent status from a contact service in communication with one or more service agents, the agent status indicating a current availability of a service agent for communicating with the user;

Providing the user with the agent status received from the contact service;

Receiving a user request for contact with a service agent, the contact request including user contact information;

Obtaining a contact state from the contact service, wherein the contact state indicates a contact state between the user and the service agent; And

And to provide the agent state to the user.

Article 21

In Article 20,

And cause the computing device to further provide the service agent to the user in response to a user query.

Article 22

In Article 20,

Wherein the agent state is based, at least in part, on availability feedback from the service agents.

Article 23

In Article 20,

Wherein the contact information comprises one or more telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, instant messaging addresses, and user accounts for other network-based services.

Article 24

Article 20.

Wherein the contact between the user and the service agent is performed by electronic and video messages distributed or posted to be viewed by one or more telephone calls, e-mails, SMS messages, instant messaging, Lt; / RTI >

Article 25

A system for coordinating contact between a user and a service agent,

A network-based service for creating user interfaces for display to a user, the user interfaces comprising: a network-based service including service agent information;

A data store for storing the service agent information; And

A contact service in communication with the network-based service,

The contact service comprises:

Receive an electronic request for service agent information from the network-based service;

Obtaining the service agent information from a contact distribution system, wherein the contact distribution system generates the service agent information by communicating with one or more service agents and determining the service agent information from one or more agent responses;

Providing the obtained service agent information to the network-based service; And

And stores at least a portion of the received service agent information in the data store.

Article 26

In Article 25,

Wherein the request for the service agent information includes a request for an agent state and the agent state indicates a current availability of the service agents for communicating with the user.

Article 27

In Article 25,

Wherein the request for the service agent includes a request for a contact state and the contact state indicates a contact state between the user and the service agent.

Article 28

In Article 25,

Wherein the contact service further generates a contact identifier, the contact identifier uniquely identifying requests from the network-service agent to the contact service.

Article 29

In Article 27,

Wherein the contact service further obtains a contact leg identifier from the contact distribution service, the contact leg identifier uniquely identifying the contact state to the contact distribution service.

Article 30

In Article 25,

Wherein the contact service further obtains an agent leg identifier from the contact distribution service, the agent leg identifier uniquely identifying a contact between the agent and the contact distribution service.

Article 31

A system for coordinating contact between a user and a service agent,

Data store; And

A contact service in communication with the data store,

The contact service comprises:

Obtaining a request for service agent information; And

Responsive to requests for service agent information using responses from a contact distribution system, wherein the contact distribution system communicates with one or more service agents and determines the service agent information from one or more agent responses To generate service agent information.

Article 32

In Article 31,

Wherein the service agent information includes an agent state, and wherein the agent state indicates a current availability of the service agents for communicating with the user.

Article 33

In Article 32,

Wherein the agent state is based on availability signaled to the contact distribution system by one or more service agents using an agent user interface.

Article 34

In Article 31,

Wherein the service agent information includes contact information and the contact information indicates a contact state between the user and the service agent.

Article 35

In Article 34,

Wherein the contact service receives a request for service agent information including user contact information and wherein the contact information includes at least in part the state of the contact created between the user and the service agent using the user contact information, , ≪ / RTI >

Article 36

In Article 31,

Wherein the service agent information includes a service agent response to a user query after contact between the user and the service agent is established.

Article 37

In Article 31,

Wherein the contact service further obtains identifiers that uniquely identify requests for service agent information and responses to the requests.

Article 38

In Article 37,

Wherein the contact service further generates a contact identifier, the contact identifier uniquely identifying requests for service agent information to the contact service.

Article 39

In Article 38,

Wherein the contact service further obtains a contact leg identifier from the contact distribution service, the contact leg identifier uniquely identifying a response to the requests of the service agent information.

Article 40

In Article 37,

Wherein the contact service further obtains an agent leg identifier from the contact distribution service, the agent leg identifier uniquely identifying a contact between the agent and the contact distribution service.

Article 41

In Article 38,

Wherein the contact service correlates the contact identifier and the contact leg identifier to enable a corresponding response to requests for service agent information.

Article 42

In Article 37,

Wherein the contact service further stores at least one of the identifiers and the user information received in response to the service agent information request.

Article 43

In Article 35,

The contact distribution system may be used to contact the user and the service agent by electronic messages and video messages distributed or posted to be viewed by one or more telephone calls, e-mails, SMS messages, instant messaging, Lt; / RTI >

Article 44

In Article 43,

Wherein the contact state includes a time period during which the user is waiting for communication with the service agent.

Article 45

In Article 43,

Wherein the contact state includes at least one of a connected state, a connected state, and a pending state.

Article 46

In Article 43,

Wherein the contact between the user and the service agent can be restarted at a later time.

Article 47

A computer-implemented method of coordinating contact between a user and a service agent,

Under the control of one or more configured computer systems:

Obtaining a request for service agent information;

Communicating with one or more service agents and generating the service agent information by determining the service agent information from one or more agent responses;

Associating the generated service agent information with a request for the service agent information; And

And responding to the request using the generated service agent information.

Article 48

In Article 47,

Wherein the service agent information comprises an agent state and the agent state indicates a current availability of the service agents for communicating with the user.

Article 49

In Article 48,

Wherein the agent state is based on availability signals received from a service agent.

Article 50

In Article 47,

Wherein the service agent information comprises a contact state and the contact state represents a contact state between the user and the service agent.

Article 51

In Article 47,

Wherein the service agent information includes a service agent response to a user query after the contact between the user and the service agent is established.

Article 52

In Article 47

Wherein the service agent information is associated with requests for service agent information by correlating identifiers that uniquely identify each of the service agent information and the service agent information.

Article 53

In Article 52,

The method further comprising storing one or more of the service agent information, the identifiers and the associations between the identifiers.

Article 54

A computer-readable medium having encoded instructions for coordinating a user's and a service agent's contact,

The instructions, when executed by the computing device,

The computing device comprising:

Obtaining a request for service agent information;

Communicate with one or more service agents and generate the service agent information by determining the service agent information from one or more agent responses;

Associating the generated service agent information with a request for the service agent information; And

And responds to the request using the generated service agent information.

Article 55

In Article 54,

Wherein the service agent information comprises an agent status and the agent status indicates a current availability of the service agents for communicating with the user.

Article 56

In Article 55,

Wherein the agent state is based on availability signals received from a service agent.

Article 57

In Article 54,

Wherein the service agent information includes a contact state, and the contact state indicates a contact state between the user and the service agent.

Article 58

In Article 54,

Wherein the service agent information includes a service agent response to a user query after the contact between the user and the service agent is established.

Article 59

In Article 54

Wherein the service agent information is associated with requests for service agent information by associating identifiers that uniquely identify each of the service agent information and the request for service agent information.

Article 60

In Article 59,

Wherein the computing device further stores one or more of the service agent information, the identifiers and associations between the identifiers.

All of the processes described herein may be embodied in software code modules executed by one or more general purpose computers or processes, or may be fully automated through code modules. The code modules may be stored in any form of computer-readable media or other computer storage device. Some or all of the methods may alternatively be embodied in a particular computer hardware. In addition, the components described herein may be implemented in hardware, software, firmware, or a combination thereof.

A conditional language, such as " could, ", " might ", or "may," May be understood within the context of what is commonly used to convey that certain features, components and / or steps are included, while others do not. Accordingly, such conditional language will generally be understood as describing whether the features, elements, and / or steps are necessary for one or more embodiments, or that one or more embodiments may be implemented with or without user input or prompting, Quot; is intended to be inclusive in a manner that is not intended to necessarily imply that the elements, components, and / or steps are included, or that they essentially include logic to determine in certain specific embodiments.

The description, components or blocks of processes in the flow diagrams described herein and / or in the accompanying drawings may potentially implement certain logical functions or components in modules, segments or processes Lt; RTI ID = 0.0 > and / or < / RTI > one or more executable instructions. Other implementations may be delimited by components or functions depending on the functionality involved, as may be understood by those skilled in the art, and may be performed in a different order than the one shown, or discussed to include a sequence substantially concurrently or vice versa Are included within the scope of the embodiments described herein.

It should be emphasized that many changes and modifications may be made in the embodiments described above, and that the components of the embodiments are to be understood as other suitable examples. All such changes and modifications are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure and protected by the following claims.

Claims (16)

  1. A system for communication between a user and a service agent,
    A data store for managing one or more user interface templates; And
    A computing device in communication with the data store,
    The computing device comprising:
    Obtaining a first request for a first user interface from the user, the first user interface including an agent state, the agent state indicating a current availability of one or more service agents for contacting the user, ;
    Obtain a first user interface template from the data store;
    Generating the first user interface including the first user interface template and the agent state, wherein the agent state is obtained from a contact service in communication with one or more service agents;
    Providing the first user interface to the user for display; And
    And provides a contact status to the user indicating a status of a contact between the user and the service agent.
  2. The method according to claim 1,
    The computing device includes:
    Receiving a second request from the user for contact with a service agent;
    Obtaining a second user interface template from the data store;
    Creating a second user interface comprising the second user interface template, wherein the second user interface allows the computing device to submit user contact information; And
    And provides the second user interface to the user for display.
  3. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein the agent state is based on availability feedback from the service agents.
  4. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein the contact between the user and the service agent is performed by electronic and video messages distributed or posted to be viewed by one or more telephone calls, e-mails, SMS messages, instant messaging, .
  5. A computer-implemented method for enabling communication between a user and a service agent,
    Under the control of one or more configured computer systems:
    Requesting an agent state from a contact service in a state of communication with one or more service agents, the agent state indicating a current availability of a service agent for communicating with the user;
    Providing the user with the agent status received from the contact service;
    Requesting a contact with a service agent, the contact request including user contact information; And
    Providing the user with a contact state received from the contact service in response to user contact information submitted to the contact service,
    Wherein the contact state indicates a state of contact between the user and the service agent.
  6. 6. The method of claim 5,
    Wherein the agent state is based at least in part on availability feedback from the service agents.
  7. 6. The method of claim 5,
    Wherein the contact between the user and the service agent is performed by electronic and video messages distributed or posted to be viewed by one or more telephone calls, e-mails, SMS messages, instant messaging, Lt; / RTI >
  8. The method according to claim 1,
    The computing device may provide the user with the contact status through the network of the first type indicating a status of contact between the user and the service agent via a second type of network different from the first type of network The system features.
  9. 6. The method of claim 5,
    Wherein the step of providing the user with a contact state received from the contact service further comprises the step of providing the contact state indicating a state of contact between the user and the service agent via a network of a second type different from the network of the first type, RTI ID = 0.0 > 1 < / RTI > type of network.
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US12/547,387 US9088649B2 (en) 2009-08-25 2009-08-25 Systems and methods for customer contact
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