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  Article updated: September 13, 2021

Sparkcentral Agent Quick Start Guide

As an agent, you can use Sparkcentral to manage your work flow and manage customer conversations from one location.

Log in to Sparkcentral

To access your Sparkcentral account, open your Chrome browser and log in.

App login info

When you log in to Sparkcentral, you can decide whether you want to be Available or Away by default. If you are available, you will immediately get assigned the first conversation that is waiting in the New queue.

You can change your default availability preference in your personal settings. You can find your personal settings by selecting your name in the top right corner and choosing My Settings from the menu.

Sparkcentral availability settings

Not ready to start handling the queue? Change your status from Available to Away (or a more specific status, depending on your company settings).

available with green light

Asynchronous work flow

With asynchronous conversations, there is no need for you and the customer to be active in the conversation at the same time.

In Sparkcentral, you engage with your customers and audience from one streamlined queue. The work flow consists of three states:

  • New - Conversations that have new interactions and need follow-up
  • Pending - Conversations that are waiting for customers to follow up
  • Resolved - Conversations that don’t require any follow-up

The New queue is the only queue that needs your constant attention. Here’s why:

  • Conversations from all channels (that you have access to) appear in the New queue.
  • Conversations in the Pending queue will appear in the New queue automatically when the customer gets back to you.
  • Conversations in the Pending and Resolved queue that you proactively want to check on can be returned to the New queue by setting a reminder, called Boomerangs.

Service-level agreements (SLAs)

Service-level agreements (SLAs) help you measure whether conversations are being handled within the agreed-upon response time.

Agents can see the SLA status of a conversation in the queue. On each conversation where an SLA has been applied, a colored icon (gray, orange, or red) appears, along with the time left before the SLA is breached (or how long the conversation is overdue). For example:

  • A new conversation well within SLA displays a gray icon and the amount of time remaining before the SLA is breached.
  • A conversation that has been in your New queue for some time displays an orange icon.
  • When the SLA is breached, the icon appears red displays how long ago the SLA was breached.

Reply box

The reply box is where you type your messages.

reply box for conversations

The active channel identifier shows where the message is coming from. If you have multiple Facebook or Twitter pages, the channel identifier displays your handle or page name for that channel.

Assign conversation ownership

If you need to assign the conversation to another agent, you can do a search query or scroll for the name and assign it accordingly. The assigned agent receives a notification that a message has been assigned to them.

Change message status

  • Pending – Set a conversation to Pending status when you're waiting for more information from the customer or if you need to perform additional work. Conversations set to Pending move to the Pending tab.
  • Resolve – You set conversation to Resolve status when you've completed or have answered all inquiries from the customer. The conversation moves to the Resolved tab.

Set a boomerang

The boomerang feature allows you to define a length of time after which the conversations moves back to New for follow-up. You can also add a quick note or reminder about why you set the boomerang.

boomerang configuration window

Additional Reply box functionality

  • Switch between public tweets or direct messages
  • Change the Twitter handle you are replying from
  • See who you are replying to, and control who else is being mentioned in a tweet
  • Auto-complete the name of a contact
  • Insert emoji
  • Add GIFs
  • Create shortened links
  • Attach files
  • Add Twitter direct message links to tweets
  • View the message length indicator wheel for tweets

Conversation pane

The Conversation pane is the middle section where all conversation history is viewed and recorded.

conversation window

When a message comes in, it creates a conversation.

At the top of every conversation is a header that contains labels for topics, customer segments, status of conversation (new, pending, or resolved), and the channel name. You can add a topic manually or set automated topics.

Message metadata

Metadata for each message displays a timestamp, the message sender, the type of message (private message, Facebook post, Twitter direct message, etc.), and a link to the social network for public messages.

Contextual action menu

Select an inbound message to reveal the contextual action menu:

  • Reply to message
  • Quote tweet
  • Like public message
  • Block a thread – blocks further replies to a tweet or Facebook post from coming in to the platform
  • Mask message – deletes contents of message from Sparkcentral and our databases
Note: For replies to public messages, the original message is embedded with the reply to provide additional context.

Audit trails

Audit trails show the actions performed on a conversation, who performed the action, and when the action was performed.

If you prefer not to see audit trails, you can disable them with the slider at the top of the Conversation pane.

Conversation notes

You can add internal notes to conversations. Notes are highlighted for visibility, and include metadata (user ID and timestamp). Notes can be edited or deleted.

Copy a full conversation

To copy the contents of a conversation, select the conversation header to copy all inbound and outbound messages for that particular conversation.

Attachments (such as files and images) are not copied.

conversation header with the copy button highlighted

When making a copy, a new window appears, displaying the exact text that will be copied to your clipboard. Select the button to confirm.

Contact Attributes and Knowledge Base

The ContactAttributes and Knowledge Base tabs are located on the right side of the Conversation view.

Contact attributes

The Contact tab contains a customizable list of attributes (both agent-provided and medium-provided). You can fill out and store information on a contact that will be saved after the conversation is resolved. Existing information can be edited or deleted. These attributes can help you:

  • Know who you’re talking to
  • Easily spot VIPs
  • Update relevant customer information
Note: Icons indicate whether an attribute has been verified with the CRM, is managed by the CRM, or is used to look up contacts in the CRM.

Knowledge Base

The Knowledge Base stores pre-written responses that can be sent to customers. Each team member can add a personal collection of responses, in addition to using the team library. Simply select the item you’d like to send, and it appears in the Reply box, ready for you to send or make some edits as needed.

knowledge base tab

Example work flow

  1. Read the conversation.
  2. Check contact attributes for valuable information.
  3. Add relevant topics and tags.
  4. Reply to the customer.
  5. Leave a note that will help you (or your colleague) understand what the conversation is about.
  6. Update your CRM with a conversation registration.
  7. Change the conversation status:
    • Pending
    • Pending with Boomerang
    • Resolved
    • Resolved with Boomerang