Workspace Agent Chat

ServiceNow chat features for agents

Within the ServiceNow Platform ITSM, there are 2 real-time chat capabilities for agents, each with distinct functions:

  • Connect Support: for IT support agents, built on Connect Messaging Platform,
  • Workspace Agent Chat: for agents who use Agent Workspace, powered by Advanced Work Assignment.

Connect Support

Connect Support is built on the ServiceNow Connect Platform and is a real-time messaging tool. It provides assistance to end users as well as enables support agents to track their cases, find solutions and resolve problems through support tab of the Connect sidebar or in new tab in full-screen. In Paris release and beyond, Connect Support will not receive enhancements nor non-priority bug fixes, though you can continue to use it, but the recommendation is to migrate it to Agent Chat.

Workspace Agent Chat

Introduced in the ServiceNow Madrid release, Workspace Agent is an easy-to-navigate user interface that enables to open multiple issues and tools at the same time, in a tabbed format, without going to a different screen. It includes all tools that agent needs to:

  • Find and respond to all task types,
  • Communicate in real time with customers by chat or phone,
  • View the full context of an issue,
  • Get recommendations that help to resolve issues,
  • Solve issues and communicate resolution to the requester.

Workspace Agent improves your agent experience and is tailored to the kind of issue that the agents work on. Integrated with chat on the same page, helps easily communicate with end users from the same interface while finding, researching and resolving issues.

Through Agent Chat in Workspace Agent Chat, agents communicate with customers, create incident or case records, or transfer chats to another agent or queue. In turn end users use Live Agent widget on any portal page for chat conversations.

Migration from Connect Support to Workspace Agent Chat

The list of key migration steps in implementing Workspace Agent Chat includes:

  1. Set up and configure Agent Workspace (the Agent Workspace plugin is active),
  2. Review the existing Connect Support configuration and determine whether the new setup should be similar,
  3. Set up Agent Chat and install the Agent Chat plugins,
  4. Set up Advanced Work Assignment (AWA) and install AWA plugin.

Workspace Agent Chat setup

There are couple of things to consider while setting up Workspace Agent Chat:

  • Change the platform chat support interface from Connect Support to Agent Workspace, so all incoming chat messages will rout to Agent Workspace (Chat Setup for Fulfiller),
  • Set or change the system messages that are displayed when the live agent transfer occurs,
  • Assign awa_agent and workspace_agent roles to your agents,
  • Enable the chat client on your end user Service Portal page (it does not require Virtual Agent).

There are couple of things to consider while setting up Workspace Agent Chat:

Change the platform chat support interface from Connect Support to Agent Workspace, so all incoming chat messages will rout to Agent Workspace (Chat Setup for Fulfiller). Set or change the system messages that are displayed when the live agent transfer occurs. Assign awa_agent and workspace_agent roles to your agents. Enable the chat client on your end user Service Portal page (it does not require Virtual Agent).

Advanced Work Assignment

Advanced Work Assignment (AWA) introduces a smart and automatic way of assigning work items to agents, based on their availability, capacity and skills (if defined). Agent Workspace can’t use Connect Support, therefore it’s necessary to configure new AWA queues.

The basic configuration of AWA determines:

What to route

Different service channels can be defined to request different services (chat, cases, incidents etc) and each can individually define agent capacity and utilization conditions.

Where to route

A work item is a single piece of work (task or interaction) routed and assigned to an agent. Defining separate work item queues using own criteria (such as product or customer attributes), allows AWA to automatically route work items to queues based on those routing conditions. Each queue should have defined assignment groups that handle incoming work items. Additionally each queue can have separate settings:

  • Own schedule that defines when queue is available,
  • A time limit within which an agent should accept a work item,
  • Eligibility time constraints to determine when the next pool of agents is eligible for an assignment,
  • An agent assignment rule that determines how to assign work items.

How to assign work items

After work items are routed to correct queue and corresponding agent group, AWA assigns items to most qualified agent based on one of work assignment rules:

  • Last assigned – to push a work item to the agent who has gone longest without a work assignment,
  • Most capacity – to push a work item to the agent who has the most availability for work.

What the agent sees

Agents see their assignments and availability in their Agent Workspace Inbox. Additionally they can reject work items or set up a timer in which agent can reject or accept a particular work item. For control of the agent experience in Workspace Agent Chat, it allows to define agent presence states as well as rejection controls. AWA allows also to consider agent skills in assignment as well – this requires the installation of Skills Management plugin.

The agent can also transfer the chat work item to another agent or queue if needed. There are also response templates available for the agent to enable the sendout of reusable, quick and consistent messages to users.

Agent Chat Capabilities in Orlando

The Orlando release of ServiceNow introduced 2 interesting features to Workspace Agent Chat: Agent Affinity and Idle live chats.

Agent Affinity

Agent Affinity feature allows to create additional rules for AWA queues in order to customize AWA assignment process and identify the agent best suited for a work item instead of orienting a new agent every time. Affinity rule types:

  • Related task – Agent Affinity identifies an agent who has fulfilled past assignments for a related tasks,
  • Account team – AWA looks for agent based on the agent’s responsibility or role in the account team (only for CSM),
  • Historical – identifies an agent based on the agent’s history of interacting with the same customer.

Idle live chats

Idle live chats deliver active live chat sessions which are automatically checked every 2 minutes if a requester responded within last 3 minutes. If not, the session becomes idle and the requester gets a reminder message, asking if they are still there. If there is no response within next 3 minutes, Idle live chat automatically cancels the chat session.

Workspace Agent Chat Experience

The migration to Workspace Agent Chat in Agent Workspace brings an opportunity to give the agents new user experience:

  • All the necessary information about the work item and chat are visible in a single window, without changing the tabs,
  • Work items are always assigned automatically to the best fitting agent based on a number of factors like: their availability, capacity, skills and their historical interaction with customer, past fulfillment of related tasks or their role within the assignment team,
  • The agents are also able to work faster and more efficiently by using response templates. They allow an agent to transfer work to more appropriate queues or agents, manage their inbox status and accept or reject incoming chat.

However, Workspace Agent Chat is a better chat experience not only for agents but also for end users. Now they can receive more individual and dedicated support than before.

Let us know if you have specific needs that either Workspace Agent Chat or the ServiceNow Platform can answer.

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