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Inbound Support: Identify Contacts by Email and Phone Number

JQ Lee Updated by JQ Lee

Business Goal: Collect Contact's phone number or email when you get a new Contact to identify if they are an existing customer.

Identifying an existing customer gives support agents more context on the customer. With a better understanding of a customer, agents can provide better assistance. On respond.io, Contact identifiers can be collected using Workflows and Website Chat Widget.

Benefits of Collecting Emails and Phone Numbers

Use the Email Address or Phone Number collected to:

Methods for Contact Identification

There are three methods you can use.

  1. Ask for a Phone Number or Email using Workflows.
  2. Pre-Chat Form on Website Chat Widget.
  3. Identify logged-in Contacts via Website Chat Widget.

Ask for a Phone Number or Email using Workflows

Use this method when you expect Contacts to message you via instant messaging.

Method Objectives

  • Ask for the Contact’s Email Address or Phone Number.
  • Skip the question if you already have the Email or Phone Number.

Workflow Setup

Tip: Consider using a Welcome or Away message earlier in the workflow.

Here’s how to use a Workflow to get a Contact’s email address or phone number.

how to use a Workflow to get a Contact’s email address or phone number
Use the Ask a Question Step to ask for the Email or Phone Number

Use the Ask a Question Step to ask for an email address or phone number and save it in the correct Contact Field.

Ask a Question Step configuration for Email
1. Under Branch 1, add Ask a Question Step.
2. Fill the Question Text field.
3. Select Email in Question Type dropdown.
4. Enable Save Response As Contact Field and select Email Address in dropdown.
5. Enable Save Response As Variable and name the Variable as EmailAddress.
Ask a Question Step configuration for Phone Number
1. Under Branch 1, add Ask a Question Step.
2. Fill the Question Text field.
3. Select Phone in Question Type dropdown.
4. Enable Save Response As Contact Field and select Phone Number in dropdown.
5. Enable Save Response As Variable and name the Variable as PhoneNumber.

Use the Branch Step to skip the question when unnecessary

Use the Branch Step to check if the contact field already contains the email address or phone number. When the data is not present, the question will be asked. When the data is present, the question will be skipped.

Branch Step configuration for Email
1. Under Trigger, add a Branch Step.
2. On the configuration panel, select Category as Contact Field.
3. Select Email Address in the Contact Field dropdown.
4. Select does not exist in the Operator dropdown.
Branch Step configuration for Phone Number
1. Under Trigger, add a Branch Step.
2. On the configuration panel, select Category as Contact Field.
3. Select Phone Number in the Contact Field dropdown.
4. Select does not exist in the Operator dropdown.

Use the Jump Step to continue the Workflow when the question is skipped
Tip: Read our Jump page for best practices.

Use the Jump Step to define the next step in the Workflow when the question is skipped. Often, you will choose the Step after the Ask a Question Step.

Jump Step configuration
1. Under Else branch, add a Jump Step.
2. On the configuration panel, select the next Step you want to jump to.
Tip: Consider continuing your Workflow with Contact Enrichment, Routing, or Assignment.

Pre-Chat Form on Website Chat Widget

Use this method when you expect Contacts to message you via Website Chat Widget.

Unlike instant messaging channels which will provide the name of the Contact, when Contacts message from the Webchat Widget, you’ll also need to get their name in addition to the phone number or email address.

Method Objective

  • To ask for Contact’s Name, Phone Number or Email Address using the Pre-Chat Form.

Feature Setup

Here’s how to set up the Contact information you want to collect from the Pre-Chat Form.

Navigate to Settings Module > Channels > Website Chat Channel > Customize.

Pre-Chat Form Configuration for Name & Email
1. Open the Pre-Chat toggle and enable Pre-Chat Form.
2. Add First Name and Email Address field to the form.
3. Make the fields Mandatory so Contacts must fill them out.
Pre-Chat Form Configuration for Name & Email
1. Open the Pre-Chat toggle and enable Pre-Chat Form.
2. Add First Name and Phone Number field to the form.
3. Make the fields Mandatory so Contacts must fill them out.
Tip: Learn more about Pre-Chat Forms here.

Identify logged-in Contacts via Website Chat Widget

Use this method when you expect Contacts to message you via Website Chat Widget from a logged-in area on website.

If Contacts are logged in, you can get the name, email, phone number and more automatically.

Method Objective

  • To have the Website Chat Widget identify logged-in Contacts on your website.

Feature Setup

Follow the instructions to add JavaScript code to your website here.

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