Skip to main content

  Article updated: May 12, 2022

Sparkcentral Admin Quick Start Guide

Sparkcentral can help you improve your customers' experience and streamline your service operations. You can use Sparkcentral to manage all your social and asynchronous messaging channels with human and virtual customer service agents.

Get started

To get started, open a Chrome browser and log in.

US and EU login URLs
  
US platform app.sparkcentral.com
EU platform app-eu.sparkcentral.com

Next, connect to all your social media channels. For each network, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Channels and business hours, and then select Channels.
  2. Select Add channel.
  3. Select a channel, and follow the instructions provided.

To configure your platform to enable your agents to work as efficiently as possible, follow these three steps:

  1. Set up automations and bots
  2. Configure routing and prioritization
  3. Configure engagement options

1. Set up automations and bots

Sparkcentral has options for business and agent working hours, as well as settings for language, customer attributes and segmentation, topics and tags, and virtual agents.

Set working hours

The first thing you should do is set up away state options and business hours.

Away states

As an admin, you can customize away states. Away state refers to an agent’s availability to work on conversations in the queue during their scheduled work hours. Reviewing away state data can provide valuable insight into agent productivity.

An agent's current status, with away state options shown in a menu.

To add an away state:

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Agent workspace, and then select Away states.
  2. On the Away states page, select Add away state.
  3. Enter a name for a new away state choice you want to offer agents, and then select Save.

Business hours

Business hours are the hours that agents are scheduled to be available in each channel.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Channels and business hours, and then select Business hours.
  2. On the Business hours page, select Add business hours.
  3. Enter a name, and then select a time zone and business hours for each day. You can add multiple shifts per day.
  4. Under Apply to channels, select the channels you want to apply these business hours to, and then select Save.

Define your scope

In this part of the configuration, you’ll organize your platform to help your agents understand more about who they’re talking to and what they’re talking about.

You’ll do that using the following features:

  • Language detection
  • Contact attributes
  • Contact groups
  • Topics and tags

Language detection

Sparkcentral supports more than 60 languages. Incoming messages are automatically detected and added to the person’s contact attributes. Agents can also choose a language manually.

Language detection is disabled by default. You can enable it and choose which languages to detect automatically by using the following steps. For the best experience, we recommend selecting 10 languages or fewer.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Routing and automation, and then select Language detection.
  2. Use the toggle to turn language detection on, select the languages you want, and then select Add.

Contact attributes

Agents see everything you want them to know about contacts based on the contact attributes shown on the Contact tab, to the right of the conversation view. This information helps agents provide personalized responses and build stronger relationships. You can decide which contact attributes agents see on the Contact tab, and in what order.

The Contact tab, showing a sample contact with an account number, an email address, a language, and a membership.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Agent workspace, and then select Contact attributes.
  2. Select Add attribute to add a new field.
  3. Optional:
    • Select Reorder to organize attributes by dragging.
    • Use the toggle to enable or disable any individual attribute.

Contact groups

If you want to prioritize or group contacts based on a certain contact attribute, you can segment them into a contact group. For example, you might want to group contacts by language or geographical location, or prioritize them into groups such as influencers (contacts with a certain number of tweets or followers) or status such as “Premier members.”

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Routing and automation, and then select Contact groups.
  2. Select Add contact group.
  3. Choose a group name, and then set a rule by selecting a contact attribute definition, an operator, and a custom variable.

Topics and tags

Agents can add topics and tags to conversations manually or automatically to help with routing, prioritization, and reporting on a conversation level. Admins first need to create these topics in Admin settings.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Routing and automation, and then select either Topics or Tags.
  2. Select Add topic or Add tag to add items relevant to your service operation. We recommend adding items that match the structure within other aspects of your business, such as your website structure, IVR menu, or FAQ topics.

Set up virtual agents

To help relieve agents of repetitive tasks and information collection, you can create virtual agents. Auto responders use pre-written scripts to communicate with contacts, and custom virtual agents can connect to chatbot platforms.

Auto responders

Auto responders are scripts that ask pre-written questions. Certain answers can be stored as contact attributes the first time they’re answered.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Virtual agents, and then select Auto responders.
  2. Select Add auto responder.
  3. Give the auto responder a name, specify when it should be activated (Inception or Delegation), and build your auto responder scripts with statements and questions.
  4. Select Save.

For more details, see Use auto responders in Sparkcentral.

Tips:
  • Use a Question – Contact attribute script to have the auto responder automatically collect contact attributes. The virtual agent asks the contact for information, waits for a response, and then moves on to the next question in the script.
  • Create different scripts for inside and outside of business hours.
  • Create translations of scripts for different languages.

Custom virtual agents

You can connect a bot platform to Sparkcentral by adding a custom virtual agent. These agents can respond to messages, resolve conversations, apply topics, and set contact attributes.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Virtual agents, and then select Custom virtual agent.
  2. Select Add custom virtual agent.
  3. Fill out the fields to add and connect your bot to Sparkcentral.

2. Configure routing and prioritization

You can use the automation, prioritization, auto-resolve, and skill set tools to help your agents manage their queues smoothly and efficiently.

Automation rules

Automation rules take certain automatic actions based on the contents of conversations. These actions include applying tags and topics and resolving conversations.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Routing and automation, and then select Automation.
  2. Select Add automation.
  3. Enter message contents and actions to take.
  4. Select the channels and conversation types you want to apply the automation to.
  5. Select Save.

For more details, see Use automations in Sparkcentral.

Prioritization

You can prioritize conversations in the queue based on topics, contact groups, and channels. The more a conversation is matched with a prioritized topic, contact group, or channel, the higher it gets placed in the queue.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Routing and automation, and then select Prioritization.
  2. Choose any of the following options:
    • Find and select topics that are high priority, and then select Add as prioritized topic.
    • Find and select contact groups that are high priority, and then select Add as prioritized contact group.
    • Select Add channel, and then select a channel and conversation type to add as high priority.

Queue management

To keep your queues clean and uncluttered, you can use the Auto-resolve conversations feature, which automatically resolves conversations after 30 days. For the Pending queue, 1 day is the most popular setting.

You can find this feature in Admin settings by expanding Queue and selecting Preferences.

The Auto-resolve conversations section of the Preferenes page.

Agent management

As a platform admin, you can add and manage the agents in your account. Agents in Sparkcentral can have different permissions, according to their roles. Permissions allow assigning admin and agent permissions.

Go to Admin settings, expand Agents and teams, and then select Agents.

  • To add an agent, select Add agent and fill in the appropriate fields. The email address must be deliverable, so the agent can receive an automated email with password initialization instructions.
  • To manage an agent, select the Edit icon next to the agent's name.

Conversation routing

You can assign permissions based on channel access or team skill sets. You'll need to decide whether you will route your conversations to the agents based on channel access or based on skills within specific teams.

Channel-based access

Assigning access based on channels means the agent will have access to all conversations in the assigned channels.

While assigning channel access to an agent, you can select the relevant role for that channel. Three roles can be assigned:

  • Viewer – Allow the agent to read the conversations in this channel.
  • Contributor – Allow the agent to respond to conversations in this channel.
  • Supervisor – Allow the agent to respond to conversations and access reporting for this channel.

Skill sets

Creating skill sets lets you streamline conversations by sending them to the agent or team best able to handle them. Agents receive conversations that match their specific skills in their queue, resulting in decreased resolution time, improved efficiency, and higher customer satisfaction.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Routing and automation, and then select Skill sets.
  2. Select Add skill set.
  3. Enter a name for your skill set.
  4. Create a rule or rules for your skill set. To combine multiple sets of rules using the and and or operators, select Add filter group.
  5. In the new grouping created below the previous set of rules, you can add additional rules.
  6. Select Save.

For more information, see Skill set routing in Sparkcentral.

3. Configure engagement options

You can customize the agent and customer engagement experience by using saved replies for pre-written responses, service-level agreements (SLAs) for performance measurement, and resolve reasons for insight into customer satisfaction.

Saved replies

In Sparkcentral, there's no need for agents to type the same things repetitively. The Saved replies tab 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.

To create a collection:

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Agent workspace, and then select Saved replies.
  2. Select Add new and choose Collection.
  3. Give the collection a name, and then match channels to the collection.
Tip: We recommend a collection structure that matches your company structure or FAQ topics.

Next, you can add snippets and articles to your collections. A snippet is a often called a "canned response." Agents can click or drag snippets into the reply box, and then alter the text as needed before sending it. An article can contain formatted text. Articles are sent as URLs and will take the reader to a separate page. Agents cannot change the text of an article.

  • To a dd a new snippet, select Add new and choose Snippet.
  • To add a new article, select Add new and choose Article.

For more information about collections, snippets, and articles, see Sparkcentral saved replies.

Service Level Agreements (SLA)

Service-level agreements (SLAs) are agreed-upon measures of the response times that your support team delivers to your customers. You can define SLA targets to help you and your agents monitor your service-level performance and goals.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Queue, and then select SLA policies.
  2. Select Add SLA.

To enable the SLA feature in your instance, you'll first need to configure the following:

  • SLA policies - Define how quickly you would like to respond to your customers.
  • Business hours - Set the times your team is available to help customers.
  • Prioritization rules - Change the order of the queue depending on priorities you set.

You may want to set different SLA policies for private and public messages.

To learn more about setting up SLA policies, see Sparkcentral service-level agreements (SLAs).

Resolve reasons

For insight into the outcome of the conversations your team has, you can use resolve reasons. At the end of a conversation, agents have the option to specify why a conversation is resolved.

Resolve reasons are disabled by default.

To enable resolve reasons:

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Agent workspace, and then select Resolve reasons.
  2. Under Enabled resolve reasons, select the resolve reasons you want to use, and then choose which channels to apply them to. For example, you might want to enable this feature for WhatsApp and Twitter private messages but not for Twitter public posts.

To learn more about using resolve reasons with reporting, bulk resolves, and channel-specific settings, see Sparkcentral resolve settings and topic requirement.

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys

You can create customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys that ask users for feedback as soon as conversations are resolved. You can create surveys across all channels and in multiple languages. You can also create different versions of a survey for different channels.

Note: To use the CSAT feature, resolve reasons must be enabled. Only conversations resolved with the reason Resolution provided are surveyed.
  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Virtual agents, select CSAT surveys, and then select Add CSAT survey.
  2. Enter a name for the survey, and then do the following:
    • Enter the percentage of contacts you want to survey.
    • Choose whether to send the survey immediately after closing a conversation, or after a certain period of time. Then, to avoid sending the survey multiple times to the same user, select how frequently to send the survey.
    • Optionally, set a minimum message length sent to a contact to trigger a survey. You might not want to send a survey if an agent (human or virtual) response was very short.
    • Optionally, select to send a survey only if it’s available in the contact’s language.
  3. Select any of the default survey questions and options provided for you, and edit any of the fields or settings as you like.
  4. Finish creating your survey selecting the toggles to enable it on one or more channels, and then select Save.

To learn more about CSAT surveys, see Customer satisfaction surveys in Sparkcentral.

 

Can't find what you're looking for? We're here to help