This is a major new release — several key areas of functionality have been upgraded, moved, and reorganized. New important functionality has been added to the infrastructure. There are no material changes to the Agent interface.
- Faster server-side importing and more error detection
- Ability to provision / buy more than one phone number at a time when utilizing a Twilio and/or Ytel Integration.
- "Bulk Actions" is now renamed to "Contact Actions"
- "Bulk Confirm" has been moved to Agent Tools and is now "Confirm Messages"
- Overhaul of Contact Actions
- New "Description / Name" field
- Full field merge supported
- New Export CSV report format, including option to export conversational history
- Resolutions — the ability to categorize replies to Contact Actions for reporting purposes — for instance in a "Get Out The Vote" Contact Action, perhaps resolutions are Will Vote, Not Voting, Opt Out, Maybe. An agent-facing App (supplied in the templates) will allow this categorization.
- New templates are now available for Political and Non-Profit customers. Note that these templates will utilize your Company Logo (Home —> Company Settings) if one is provided. Best format for the logo is 320px by 75px.
- Several new additions to the NationBuilder Integration
- The Bulk Confirm (formerly in Automations) now appears in Agent Tools as "Confirm Messages" — this tab allows the modification and confirmation for outbound peer-to-peer messages composed and started by a Contact List Action. Multiple agents can confirm outbound messages simultaneously. Multiple Contact Actions can be processed simultaneously. Note that in rare circumstances, agents will confirm the same outbound contact — but the messages to the contact will only be sent once.
Some minor bug fixes and enhancements
Note the there is a new "Segments" column in several of the reports. Segments are not tabulated for historical messages prior to this release — only for new messages as of Feb 17, 2020.
Infrastructure — Message Queuing
For this release, the biggest change to the platform is a "message queue" for each channel. For each supported Message Network Operator (Twilio, Bandwidth, YTEL) and each type of channel (long code, short code, toll free) there are different best practices for throughput. For instance, on a Twilio long code, best practice is to send only one message every four seconds. On a Bandwidth toll free number, best practice is up to 10 messages a second. These differences required Chatbox to implement a more complex algorithm in order to maximize deliverability.
Each channel now has an outbound message queue. Messages are placed on the queue based on various actions in this order:
- An agent / human sending a message in Agent Tools
- Messages sent from a Bot or Channel App
- Scheduled messages
- Messages created as a result of Contact List Actions
Messages are always processed first-in-first-out within each category.