Home > Technical Support > Features and functions > Call > Using Call Center feature with soft phone clients & apps

Using Call Center feature with soft phone clients & apps

Use case: LiveAgent & software phones clients & apps

Disclaimer: Our Call Center goes beyond what is considered industry standard and deep & native integration with powerful ticketing make it truly unprecedented. However, please bear in mind that as of now, this exciting new feature set still sits in public beta stage. To eliminate possible complications, make the deployment process incremental and don’t hesitate to report every single bug or discrepancy to our support team immediately.

New features, fixes, interface changes, guides, and documentation will follow faster than ever before and we will update our knowledge base accordingly, counting in this very guide you are reading. Now, let’s get to it!

When we decided to build our own call center, we did so with important principles in mind: flexibility, customizability, openness. Which means, the decision on how to use our feature set is in your hands – our vision is that the customer should decide on what usage-style suits his specific use case – not us. Now there’s no right or wrong way to with use this set of features; you have options. Many different options. One of them is using softphone software to handle incoming and outbound calls with ease. Let’s have a look at how to configure this scenario and use it in real life. Read along.  

1.      Why is using a softphone software a good idea?

Softphone clients have been around for years and many of them are open source and free with amazing support from developers and the community around them. Your agents might find it easier and more convenient to have a clear differentiation between good old “ticketing” and calls. Softphone clients like X-Lite and MicroSIP (that we’ll use for our setup demonstration) do just that.

2.      Using softphone does not take the call feature out of context of LiveAgent’s functionality, it compliments it.

Let’s put a very important notice out there straight away: when using a software phone, integration with LiveAgent stays in place and not a single call can be done without our helpdesk solution noticing it and doing its job. You can still count on precise reporting, call recordings, ticket creation and a full managerial overview. The softphone is a nice addition to LiveAgent; not a “must have” 3rd party software that you need.

With all the formalities cleared up, let’s have a look at how to proceed with an actual software phone setup within LiveAgent and let’s add few best practices into to the mix to make call center usage as seamless and effortless as possible.

Working with software phones clients

As previously mentioned, softphone is an addition to LiveAgent’s call center feature and It has to be treated that way. Therefore, integration is always done on a “device level”; never via direct connection to your provider. Adding SIP provider to your LiveAgent is a pre-requisite to the successful setup of a software phone client. To be absolutely precise and get technical, adding SIP trunk is mandatory if you want to receive or make calls from and to the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Calls are still being handled, recorded and tracked by LiveAgent itself and our robust network infrastructure.

For adding your own SIP provider into LiveAgent, please refer to this guide: Integration of SIP provider for hosted licenses

Once done, the path forward is pretty straightforward. LiveAgent will handle softphone as another device and can be seamlessly used along IP phones or browser calls based on user preference.

Best practice: The Softphone option should be treated as a preferred way of using phone functionality, rather than handling calls on a browser level. The WebRTC framework that is responsible for voice functionality in the browser is everchanging and sometimes it might affect user experience and be the root cause of small bugs or instability, because of changes to the code that are being done by browser vendors like Google, Apple, Mozilla or Microsoft. Please, bear in mind that this is just a suggestion and we are fully dedicated to keeping WebSIP client functional, stable and reliable via constant monitoring, listening to feedback and consequential software updates.

Adding a device to LiveAgent’s Call Center:

The Devices section can be found under Configuration->Call->Devices and is used for connecting software phones as well as hardware IP phones with LiveAgent. Only admins have access to this section. To add a device click on the ‘Create’ button and you'll be asked to define a unique number, that will serve as an indicator to identify a specific paired device.  As an example, you can go with 001, 002, 003, etc. naming scheme to keep things nice and simple. Also, very soon you’ll be able to define a name for a device for sake of easier identification of associations between particular devices and agents using them.

 

 

After you've picked a number, click Create and you will be presented with the details you need to configure for your hardware or software phone.

 

Important notice: Please, pay close attention to the presented data set. You will need Number, Host, User, and Password to proceed with the softphone integration.

To integrate the software phone, please open the configuration window of your Softphone app/client (we are using MicroSIP for this demonstration) and add the presented credentials into account configuration.

 

 

After you fill in all the required fields, you will be presented with a dial pad which should clearly indicate “Online” status, meaning the device addition process has been successful.

 

 

Pay close to attention to the required fields in the softphone client; since this whole process is “just” a device configuration, you can safely ignore any advanced settings, codecs or other menus that serve for direct integration with the SIP provider.

 

In most cases, putting data into the fields below will result in a working integration:

SIP Server

User

Domain

Password

The naming scheme in other popular 3rd party software phone solutions might slightly differ, however it’s safe to assume that SIP Server, User, domain and Password fields would be common and present in whatever client you go for.

Also, let us remind you that the described configuration can be seamlessly used even on mobile platforms i.e. iOS and Android. Some of the Android devices might even have SIP functionality at your disposal, by default, on the system level. As a result, your smartphones can keep you and your agents online and ready to receive calls meant for them on the go no matter where they are. Please see some of the examples of tested & working softphones apps below:

LinPhone (Android, iOS)

CSipSimple (Android)

3CX (Android, iOS)

Zoiper (Android, iOS)

Once you have successfully added the device(s); your agents will need to choose the device they will use to answer calls in their agent panel by clicking on “Phone” icon in the upper right corner of their agent panel and then selecting device from the list “Handle SIP calls via”.

 

 

Afterwards, just click save and the software phone client will become fully usable for receiving and even making phone calls. All the phone calls received or made by the softphone client will be recorded and tracked in real time directly in LiveAgent’s software as a regular call tickets, same as when you are handling calls directly through the browser.

Complete guidance on how to choose a device as available is in the following article: Choosing the device to answer the calls

 

Best practice:

Even while using softphone as the primary communication tool related to Call Center, your agents can still use the “call back” feature directly from LiveAgent’s interface. This is very useful since there is no need to import/re-create the contact list. If an agent needs to call back to a missed call, they can do so “as usual”; directly from LiveAgent’s interface. This action will trigger the softphone to “ring” and after clicking on the Answer button in the client itself; the call will go straight to the customer.

TIP: How to start a call from LiveAgent

 

Dialing phone numbers via softphone client or app

Important notice: If you prefer to use your softphone client to dial numbers directly within its interface, please bear in mind that you always need to use "Dial-out prefix". This parameter is being used as a differentiator, that "tells" our infrastructure which number to use during the outgoing phone calls. You can find this prefix in Configuration->Call->Numbers-> and then clicking on edit. The screen below would appear:    

Notice the dial-out prefix that is set to 01 for this specific number. So if you decide to dial a number from your softphone desktop client or mobile app, please do not forget to use it before you proceed. Later on, we will add a feature to set a default number(s) for outgoing calls that will effectively eliminate this added complexity. 

Example:

For the sake of this demonstration, we will use the combination of Slovak country prefix (00421) and dial out prefix set to "01":   

Format 01 00421 914160166 -------> Works with no reported issues. 

Format 01+421914160166 -------------> Does not work with no additional consequences. 

Format 914160166 -----------> Does not work and results in "stuck" call inside LiveAgent's interface. 

 

This is how MicroSIP's dial pad screen should look like if I decide to use the client itself to do an outgoing call to cell phone number in Slovakia: 

 

No SIP, no calls? Absolutely not.

If you want to use LiveAgent for voice communication with your customers and you don’t necessarily require access to PSTN, you can rely on our infrastructure to handle PC to agent calls via creating “Call us” buttons. One click on the widget that you can easily publish on your website, can seamlessly flow into your LiveAgent panel or even softphone client/app as a standard voice call. All without the need for any SIP provider integration. However, please bear in mind that this workflow is only for PC to agent calls, with no option to dial an actual phone number. The described scenario is specific just for a call widget and triggering a call is only possible from customer’s/visitor’s end.  

For detailed information, please see following guide: Call Us buttons implementation

As formerly mentioned. All the reporting, recording and tracking capabilities are fully at your disposal, no matter what device is being used. LiveAgent’s powerful ticketing system is still doing its job. If you wish to learn more about reporting and other features, please refer to our knowledge base section linked below:
 

Call center overview

Yet another disclaimer: Dear user, please bear in mind that our Call Center feature is currently in beta. We strongly recommend doing deployment in the form of an incremental roll out. In spite of the fact that we are confident about our continuous effort to make everything stable, bug-free, easy to use and yet still flexible, customizable and feature-rich goes far beyond industry standard, we owe you honesty and transparency. No software solution is perfect and there is still a long road ahead to get as close to the idea of excellence as possible. We sincerely apologize in advance for possible (and probable) issues you will face. We really do. However, we have built this company with your help and your feedback is what moves us forward, what change things around us, and what affects our attitude towards new, exciting and useful functionality that is yet to be implemented.

Please, remember that our support team is here for you every single day - ready to listen, help, advice and fix whatever is needed. Please, do not hesitate and contact us no matter how big or small your issue might be. Every piece of feedback counts and it’s important that we hear it. We promise we’ll do all we can to fulfill your needs.  

Jump on on a live chat, shoot an email over to support@liveagent.com or schedule a demo via this link if you wish to learn more about using the call center and all options it provides. 

 

Ready to try LiveAgent?

It's free for the first 14 days! No credit card required.

Get Started
We work well with others...
Magento Joomla Wordpress Mailchimp
Contact us

support@liveagent.com

+1-800-811-6590 (Toll Free in USA & Canada)

+421 2 33 456 826 (European Union & Worldwide)

Quality Unit, LLC 616 Corporate Way, Suite 2-3278 Valley Cottage, NY 10989

Stay in touch
Blog Google+
© 2004-2020 LiveAgent.com, All rights reserved