Woohoo it’s 2021! New year, new features. This month, we are introducing not one but two new features - Contact Merge and New Contact Drawer. These features get us even closer to our mission of making omnichannel messaging a breeze.
In this release, we’re announcing:
You can now merge chats with a Contact from different Channels into one unified profile and conversation. Contact Merge makes it easy to handle chats across multiple channels from the same Contact.
There are two requirements to merge Contacts. Firstly, you should have at least two Channels connected. Secondly, you need to have two or more chat histories with the same Contact.
Merging doesn't happen automatically. So you'll need to manually merge Contacts in the Messages or Contacts module. However, if two Contacts share the same number or email, a badge will appear in the Contact Drawer to alert you of a possible merge.
Agents should merge Contacts from the Messages module. To do this, simply navigate to Contact Drawer > Channels Tab. Under Suggested Merge, there's a list of suggested Channels to merge. Click on the merge button to open the Contact Merge dialog box.
In the Contact Merge dialog, select the preferred Contact Fields for the unified profile. Once you're done, tap Merge Contact in the Contact Merge dialog.
When Support Agents receive a message from a known Contact from a new Channel, they can easily merge the 2 chats and review all the previous conversations with the Contact. A holistic view of a Contact will help agents give the right response quickly.
Contact Merge from the Messages module may work well for Agents, but less so for Managers who want to clean up contact information. That's why we enabled Contact Merge from the Contacts module.
To merge Contacts from the Contacts module, select two Contacts from the list. Then, click on the Merge button and the Contact Merge dialog will appear. Follow the same steps above to merge Contacts.
It's easy to merge the wrong Contacts when working with a long list. That’s why we make Contact Merge reversible. But remember, messages & chat events may not show correctly after unmerging. So it is best to catch the error quickly and unmerge.
At some point in the future, we will consider automatic merging. If you have any suggestions for improving Contact Merge, don’t hesitate to make a feature request on Canny.
New Contact Drawer
With the introduction of Contact Merge, we thought it's the right time to revamp our Contact Drawer. We've made some improvements to the Contact Display, Details Tab and Activity Tab. And we've added the new Channels Tab.
The Contact Display at top of the Drawer will show a row of Channels where a message has been sent or received & the improved country flag. Knowing the Contacts location has become more reliable because the Contacts country flag is now resolved from the phone number.
To save space in the Details Panel, we've removed Name, Assigned To & Status. By removing the redundant fields, we made browsing Contact details easier. Agents can now focus on information that matters.
The redesigned Activity Panel now has a graphical timeline allowing Agents to review Contact events at a glance. There's also a Reply-to-Comment button, which makes responding to someone's comment a one-click operation.
The Channels Tab has been introduced to enable handling Contacts with multiple channels. In the new Channels panel, you'll be able to see a list of Active Channels, Inactive Channels & Restricted Channels.
At the top and middle, you have Active Channels and Inactive Channels shown as opaque icons. Below these Channels, you'll see semi-transparent icons called Restricted Channels. Here's an explanation of what they are:
- Active Channels: Channels where you’ve sent or received a message.
- Inactive Channels: Channels where companies can send the first message but not yet. This includes email, WhatsApp & SMS.
- Restricted Channels: Channels where the Contact must send the first message, but this has not been done yet. This includes Line, Telegram and Viber.
Inactive Channels are useful for Support Agents. For example, if a Contact doesn't respond to the Active Channels or the Messaging Window is closed, Support Agents can easily reach out to the Contact via an Inactive Channel like email, SMS and WhatsApp.
Inactive Channels also make a great Sales tool. For instance, most Sales inquiries come in through Web Chat, but prospects often leave midway through a chat. If prospects have left their phone number, Sales Agents can respond directly through WhatsApp or SMS.
So what's next for the Contact Drawer? One of the improvements we are planning is to make reordering the Custom Fields possible. If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to make a feature request on Canny.
Bits & Bobs
A respond.io release wouldn't be complete without some bits and bobs. This month, we’ve enabled location view in Messages and made some improvements to Custom Fields and Contact Filter.
Location View in Messages Module
Always wanted to see shared locations that your customers sent you? We hear you! You can now view locations in the Messages module. If you click on the location, it opens in Google Maps. Location View will work on all Channels that support location sharing.
Custom Field Changes
By popular demand, we've added the Website Custom Field with URL validation. Now you can send a survey asking for your customer’s website. We’ve also removed the Custom fields default-value option in Custom Fields to simplify set up.
Standard Field Changes
Standard Fields contain important contact information, giving you more context when you respond to customer queries. We’ve improved Standard Fields by replacing Gender & Locale with Country & Language.
Comments Function In Messaging Bar
We’ve made commenting and tagging teammates easier! Instead of going into the Contact Drawer to leave a comment, you can now add a comment directly from the messaging bar.
Contact Filter Improvements
Remember the Filter Panel in the Contacts Module? You weren't able to filter by Custom Fields before. But now you can - filtering Contacts information has never been easier.
For a concise version of our new features as well as technical improvements please review our changelog.