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Get to Know the Agent Console

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you'll be able to:
  • Explain the main features of Desk.com’s Next Gen Agent Console.
  • Navigate through the Agent Console.
  • Understand the basics of case management.

Welcome to the Next Gen Agent Console

In the previous unit, you learned that the Agent Console is where you manage and respond to customer support requests. In this unit, we learn about the two major components of the Next Gen Agent Console: the Universal Inbox and Case Management view. We’ll even practice creating and resolving a new case.

Universal Inbox

The Universal Inbox is where agents see all their incoming support cases, not just customer emails, live chat cases, and phone calls, but also cases that come in through social channels, like Facebook and Twitter. The Universal Inbox is broken up into three areas:

  1. Navigation Bar
  2. Case Filters
  3. Case List
Universal inbox.

Navigation Bar

The navigation bar is our constant in the agent console. Whether you’re in the Universal Inbox or working on a customer case, you have the navigation bar to orient you.

Navigation bar.
  1. Hamburger—Go to other areas of Desk.com, such as the Admin Console, Knowledge Base, or Business Insights.
  2. Inbox—Return to the Universal Inbox.
  3. Search—Search cases, customers, and companies.
  4. Open Case Tabs—Switch between cases you’re viewing.
  5. Create Case Button—Use to create a case manually. (Many cases are automatically created when they come in through a channel, but you can also open a case manually.)
  6. Personal Settings—View keyboard shortcuts, settings, or change the native language for your agent desktop.

Case Filters

With your cases coming in through a variety of channels, all with different topics and levels of urgency, it helps to organize them into case filters. Filters are dynamic groupings of cases based on criteria that you set. Cases are automatically added to and removed from the case groups as they come into Desk.com, are worked on, and eventually resolved.

You can filter and categorize cases manually, or you can have Desk.com organize them for you and create queues for different teams or individuals. Desk.com provides filters that you can customize, or you can create your own.

  • Inbox
  • All Cases
  • My Cases
  • Outbox

You’ll even see the custom filter, Open Technical Support Team Cases (1), that we created in the last unit! Also notice next to each filter, a number indicating how many cases it contains (2). Neat!

Case filters.

Case Lists

After you’ve selected a filter, a list of your cases is shown in the main window. You can customize the columns. You can also use the list to perform bulk actions.

Case lists.
  1. Case information—Get information about your customer inquires, such as case status, originating channel, and priority. Click the column name to sort the list.
  2. Settings menu—Customize your desktop display; add and remove columns.
  3. Bulk update—Perform actions on selected cases, such as categorizing cases, adding notes, and sending a quick reply to multiple cases. You can only use the bulk feature when cases are from the same channel, such as email or social channel.

For fun, let’s check out how the bulk update works. We’ll update our first two cases and assign them to the Technical Support Team group:

  1. Within the Agent console, click the Inbox symbol in the top navigation.
  2. Click the Inbox filter in the side navigation.
  3. Check the bulk update boxes next on the first two case records.
  4. See how the bulk actions form pops out to the right? Cool!Case lists.
  5. Select the Technical Support Team group.
  6. Click the Update button.
  7. Click the Yes button to confirm the change.

Note: When you make mass updates to cases, they can take some time to update. You can watch the progress using the spinning progress icon in the top nav, and you’ll also get a confirmation once the changes are complete.

Case lists.

Now when we click, there are two cases within our Open Technical Support Team Cases filter.

Case lists.

Case Management

Creating Your First Case

The first thing to learn within the topic of case management is how to create a new case. Your cases can come into Desk.com automatically, via your support site, or through a Twitter integration, but let’s imagine you’re Halina and have just picked up the phone to answer an important technical support call.

What! It’s from our very own Leyla Seka (GM of Desk.com), who is thrilled with the new smartphone you set up for her. She’s calling to thank you for your hard work (how nice!). Since there isn’t anything further you need to do to solve this case, you’ll create and resolve the case immediately. It feels so good to be this efficient. #winning

Let’s create (and resolve) your first case:

  1. Within the Agent console, click Create Case icon in the top navigation.
  2. Click the Phone icon, because we’re creating a phone cases. You would click the email icon to create an email case (I know… You could never have guessed that).
  3. Start typing “Desk.com” into the company search box. Note that Desk.com will search your existing customers for any that match what you type. In our case, we see two records.
  4. Click the record for Leyla Seka, GM.
  5. Click the Create Case button, which takes you to a blank case record, which is already linked to Leyla’s record.Creating your first case.
  6. Complete the new case form:
    1. Log Call: Leyla called to say thank you for the help with setting up her new smartphone. She can't wait to try it out.
    2. Group: Technical Support Team
    3. Agent: Halina Darzi
  7. Click the Log Call, Update & Resolve button.
Creating your first case.

That’s what we call efficient case resolution!

Now that you know how to create a case, let’s check out the other information we can log within a case record.

Customer Information

This section shows the customer’s contact information (1), and the company (2) to which the individual belongs. Viewing the company your customer works for allows you to group individuals by company and gain insights on a per-company basis. For example, are certain types of cases coming from a particular company? Are the same types of questions being asked by multiple people regardless of company?

Customer information.

Case Interactions

The case interactions area is where you can view customer conversations.

Case interactions.

Through this area, you can:

  1. View threaded messages from your customer case, as well as communications between your agents and your customer. Messages are displayed in chronological order.
  2. Reply to the customer via email.
  3. Leave messages for other agents. Notes are private to the agents working on the case and are never displayed to the customer.
  4. Email the case to another person, either an agent or someone who doesn’t have access to Desk.com.
  5. View and add articles you and your team have created.
  6. Attach a file or screenshot to send to your customer.
  7. Change the email address when replying to your customer if you have set up multiple email accounts within Desk.com.

Case Details

The case details area captures case information and communicates it to your agents. You can view all attachments that have been added directly to the case or to an email communication with your customer. In addition to the standard fields, you can create your own fields through the Admin Console to collect case information specific to your company needs.

Case details. Case Timeline

View all events that have occurred related to a case, including which agents have opened or viewed the case and rules that have been triggered on the case.

Actions Bar

After your case details have been updated and a reply or note has been added, you’re ready to wrap up the case interaction using the Actions Bar. Use preconfigured macros to perform actions, such as updating a case’s status, changing its priority, or adding a custom response.

Actions bar.

Check out this video on the Desk.com Agent Overview

Phew! That was a lot of orienting, but hopefully you’ve gotten a good overview of the types of things you can do with the Agent Console.

In the next unit, we introduce Business Insights, which you can use to gather analytics about the cases that are coming in and the efficiency of your agents in responding to and resolving cases.