Windstream Enterprise has launched a live, web-based chat feature for its OfficeSuite UC Contact Center Services portfolio. The cloud-based chat function allows contact center employees to field a large volume of customer interactions from a single portal.
The chat feature could prove to be a useful tool during the coronavirus pandemic as contact center employees work from home. The chat feature works for the agents no matter where they are because the chats are managed from the Contact Center Services (CCS) portal.
Windstream said contact center agents and supervisors would both benefit from OfficeSuite UC CCS. The chat feature, which Windstream developed in-house, enables up to six simultaneous chat sessions per agent, and gives agents the ability to handle voice calls and chat sessions at the same time. Managers can also monitor, coach, and answer chat messages on behalf of the agent functionality for supervisors.
The chat function includes customizable chat questions, wait treatments and post-chat surveys, as well as live status dashboards. It can also generate reports that analyze historical chat activity
“While chat solutions have been around for a while, it is becoming the preferred communication channel for customers, with some studies showing it will soon overtake voice as the most popular channel for customer service due to younger generations relying more heavily on digital interactions,” said Austin Herrington, vice president of product management at Windstream Enterprise, in a statement. “We leveraged our extensive experience with contact centers and our own software development shop to create a solution that takes live chat to the next level.”
During its first quarter earnings pre-recorded call earlier this month, Windstream CEO Tony Thomas said adding more capabilities to OfficeSuite and SD-WAN were among the company's top priorities going forward. Windstream has laid claim to being the largest SD-WAN service provider in the U.S. with over 3,200 SD-WAN customers under contract representing over 29,000 endpoint locations. Thomas said OfficeSuite demand also remained strong as Windstream now has approximately 540,000 UCaaS seats installed.
Windstream made the decision early on to integrate SD-WAN with its core network and into its core UCaaS platform in order to offer SD-WAN and UCaaS together.
With its Office Suite UC and HD Meeting applications, Windstream was well positioned to help customers that were dealing with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Near the end of March, Windstream said OfficeSuite network traffic was running at approximately 50% of capacity.
Windstream has made a concerted effort over the past few years to provide more business applications and services to its enterprise customers, including a re-designed Web portal, a security information and event management (SIEM) service and a recent re-launch of its Virtual PBX for Hospitality solution. Last year, Windstream integrated Slack into its unified communications portfolio.
During its first quarter earnings call, Thomas said Windstream hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late August subject to regulatory approvals.