The status quo of call patching
With our pureJAM service you can have calls patched to you. You simply set your call instructions for one of 4 statuses. You can change this status via Twitter/SMS/Web page so you have pretty good flexibility about how we handle your calls. You can have us try to patch to your mobile, your landline, both, or neither for each status. See the below example for what a call instruction looks like when being set up.
In the above example, when the operator takes the call for me and I’m ‘Busy’, they’ll politely put the caller on hold, call me on 02072070007 and see if I want to take the call. They’ll tell me who they have on the line, and if I want to take the call they’ll put them through, if I don’t they’ll explain to the caller that I’m unavailable and take a message.
A better solution
Wouldn’t it be great though, if you could have this ‘discussion’ with our operators much much more quickly and less intrusively. A lot of us spend our time behind a computer, but that doesn’t always mean you’re available to take calls. Maybe you’re on another call, maybe you’re on a video chat or maybe you just want to get some work done.
So, I’ve developed a very prototype system for doing just that. It uses a desktop client that sits in your taskbar (and allows you to change your status, gives you indication of unread messages etc). You must be a pureJAM client (otherwise there’s no point as you can’t have calls patched!), have a PC, and you must have the .NET Framework 3.5 or later. It’s a Windows ClickOnce application so it’s easily installed from a URL. It also connects to our systems on port 80 and uses standard HTTP so it’ll work behind any firewall/NAT. If you want the download link then you’ll need to register for the Beta program (details at the end of the post).
Step 1: Instruction Setup
Once you’ve installed the desktop client and logged in and out of your online portal you’ll see the desktop client logs in as well (using a rather neat way of linking a browser to a Windows application). Then, if you go into your contact instructions you’ll see a new menu option under ‘Patch To’:
You then get a choice of action if we don’t hear back from you i.e. you’re not at your computer (incidentally, you can install copies of this desktop client on multiple computers and it’ll send the request to any that are logged in)
And this is what the status summary now looks like:
Step 2: A caller comes through to us
When our operator gets a call for you, they’ll get the basic details from the caller, and then they’ll click the (See If They Want This Call) button.
Step 3: We let you know about the call
Within a few milliseconds, a packet of data is sent to your PC (via our really cool comms system that you don’t need to care about) containing the basic call information that our operator got from the caller. You’ll get a notification bleep and you’ll then have a choice of what to do with the call.
Step 4: Our operator gets your response
Using the long polling techniques I developed in Project Totem, your response is instantly pushed backed to the operators screen and they can handle the call how you want them to.
Beta testers required
If you’re a pureJAM client and want to test this system out you’ll need to be a PC user (no Macs I’m afraid) and you’ll need the .NET Framework 3.5 or later. Most Vista/Windows7 PCs should work fine. XP will work fine provided it’s been kept up to date ! To register for the Beta program, please login to your pureJAM account and send a U2U to your Account Manager entitled something like “Desktop Client Beta”.