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  Article updated: February 21, 2023

Sparkcentral contact attributes

Contact attributes are useful contextual details about a contact, such as email address, first and last name, account ID, or job title. These details can give agents a better understanding of the contacts they’re working with and improve their efficiency by reducing time spent asking questions.

When they’ve been added and enabled, contact attributes appear on the Contact tab on the right side of the agent workspace. The Contact tab can be populated manually by agents or through integration with an external CRM or other back-end business application.

Work with contacts as an agent

When you’re in a conversation with a contact, you can find useful details about them by looking at the Contact tab. You can also add details about them here for other agents to read.

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

Along with the contact’s name, social handle, and profile image, you’ll see the logo of the social network they used for their message. You may also see any or all of the following:

  • The Notes tab, where you can add and store notes about a contact. Notes are added to the contact attribute with a timestamp and the agent’s name. Any agent can edit or delete any note. Notes have a maximum of 2,000 characters and are displayed in order from newest to oldest.
  • If enabled by an admin, contact attributes such as an email address, a phone number, and a URL may be available.
  • Either Validated or Not validated. If a contact is validated, it means Inbox 2.0 is integrated with an external CRM system and the contact has been looked up and verified.
  • A VIP button. This means the contact can be promoted to VIP status. VIP contacts are placed higher in the queue and can be routed to specific teams if VIP-based contact groups are used in your organization.
    • Select the VIP button to promote a contact. If the button is dark blue, the contact is already a VIP.
  • Additional custom contact attributes that your team’s admins have added, such as bio, contact location, language, followers, etc. Wherever you see the Add link, you can select it to add details about a contact that may be useful to your team.
  • CRM-managed contact attributes, indicated by a cloud icon . If you point to the Add link and see an edit icon , you can edit that attribute.

You can also find or add information about a contact in the conversation view itself:

  • To go directly to a contact’s profile on their social network, select their profile name in one of their messages.
  • To add notes about a specific conversation for your team, select Add note at the bottom of any conversation.

Work with contacts as an admin

To manage contact attributes, go to Admin settings, expand Agent workspace, and then select Contact attributes.

Types of contact attributes

There are two types of contact attributes:

  • Platform contact attributes are a user’s default attributes that are automatically populated by the system with channel metadata, and they vary by channel.
  • Custom contact attributes are created by admins. Therefore, any new contact attribute you add is a custom contact attribute.
Differences between platform and custom contact attributes
Platform contact attributes Custom contact attributes
Appear on the Contact tab in relevant channels. Appear on the Contact tab in all channels.
Automatically populated by the system. They can’t be populated or edited by agents or through integration with an external application like a CRM. Can be manually populated by agents or automatically populated by an auto responder or a CRM lookup. Admins can also configure them to be populated as freeform text or selected from a drop-down list.
Can be used as lookup attributes to trigger a CRM lookup, but can’t be classified as CRM-managed attributes because they’re populated with channel metadata. Can be classified as CRM-managed attributes as well as lookup attributes.
Admins can enable or disable their appearance on the Contact tab of their respective channels. Admins can enable or disable their appearance on the Contact tab for all channels.
  Admins can create any number of custom contact attributes.

Add a contact attribute

Follow these steps to add a new contact attribute:

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Agent workspace, and then select Contact attributes.
  2. Select Add attribute.
  3. Select either Text field or Dropdown list.
    • Text field allows agents to enter freeform text or numbers.
    • Dropdown list gives agents a choice of two or more options.
  4. Under Attribute name, select an icon, give the attribute a name, and select any other options you want.
  5. Select Save.
  6. Use the toggle on the Contact attributes page to enable the new attribute.

Set an attribute to use for matching contacts

Conversations can be linked across channels based on shared contact information. For Twitter and Instagram, conversation histories are matched across channels by default based on unique user IDs. For all other channels, you can specify a matching contact attribute. When conversations from different channels have the same value in the Attribute used for matching field, their conversation histories are linked automatically.

To set the contact attribute used for matching across channels:

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Agent workspace, and then select Contact attributes.
  2. Under Attribute used for matching, select Change to choose a new attribute.

If you don’t select a matching attribute, the conversation histories in different channels for the same contact will not be linked, with the exception of Twitter and Instagram contacts.

Change the order of contact attributes on the Contact tab

To change the order of contact attributes shown on the Contact tab:

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Agent workspace, and then select Reorder.
  2. Drag enabled attributes into the order you want, and then select Save.

About the VIP contact attribute

VIP is a standard contact attribute used for the following purposes:

  • Route important contacts to a specific team.
  • Prioritize contacts higher in your queue.
  • Exchange data with a virtual agent to trigger a specific VIP bot flow.
  • Export data to a third-party system, such as a ticketing system or CRM.

VIP is enabled by default. To enable or disable it for agents:

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Agent workspace, and then select Contact attributes.
  2. Scroll down to find the VIP entry in the Name list, and use the toggle to enable to disable it.

When VIP is enabled on the Contact attributes page, agents can do the following:

  • Nominate a customer as VIP by selecting the VIP icon on the Contact tab.
  • Filter by VIP status by selecting Filter in the queue, selecting Contact groups, and then selecting VIP.

When the VIP attribute is disabled, agents won’t see the VIP icon.

VIP is also a contact group. Contacts with the VIP attribute are also part of the VIP contact group and get prioritized and routed accordingly.

Allow agents to add and edit CRM-managed contact attributes

You can allow agents to add and edit all contact attributes that are managed by your CRM on the Contact tab in the agent workspace. After an agent makes a change to a contact attribute, the attribute is updated in the CRM as soon as the conversation status changes.

  1. Go to Admin settings, expand Integrations and APIs, and then select CRM.
  2. At the bottom of the page, select the toggle under Contact attributes for Enable editing of contact attributes managed by CRM.

Report on contact attribute data

To generate a report containing contact attribute data, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Analytics, select Exports, select On-demand, and then select Contact attributes in the Export type list.
  2. Select the time zone and date range for your report, choose the channels you want to include, and then select Generate export.


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