Inbound Agents

Note: Document under construction.

What it does:

This extension enables leads to be assigned to agents for handling. It streamlines form submissions by assigning leads directly to agents when the lead is created. And only agents assigned to the form are assigned the leads.

This greatly simplifies the workflow by defining work roles more efficiently.

 

How it works:

It works like a personalized taxonomy. To start, an agent profile is created with information supplied by the user’s profile. This profile is what leads are assigned to.

After the profile is created, it is associated with the WordPress user’s profile and the user receives an Inbound Agent Lead Interface in his profile.

This interface is user specific, enabling the user/agent to:

  1. Transfer leads from one one of his groups to another.
  2. Transfer his leads to another agent.
  3. Remove leads.

 

Leads are assigned to agents by form submissions, and by directly adding them through Bulk Actions or with the Inbound Agent Lead Interface.

Assigned leads are put into Lead Groups for management. Lead Groups are organizing groups for leads, they provide a means of grouping leads into categories or processing queues.


Getting Started:

 

In wp-admin->Leads is the Manage Agents page.

This is where agents are created, edited and deleted. This is also where Lead Groups are created, cloned, deleted and have form submission limits set.

 

On the left side is the Agent Action form. It’s used for creating agent profiles, editing data such as job title and when the agent profile was created, and deleting agent profiles.

On the right, is the Lead Group action form. It’s user for creating lead groups, setting the limits for how many leads a form can put in those groups, cloning groups from one agent to another and deleting groups

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Creating an agent:

 

To create an agent, click the Create Agent radio button, and from the dropdown that appears, select from one of the available users. Click the Create Agent button and the agent profile will be created.

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Editing Agent Data:

 

Agent data is custom information about the agent. Data like the agent’s job title, and when the agent was created. This data is edited from the Edit Agent screen in the Agent Action form.

 

Say we want to set the agent job title, click the Edit Agent radio button, and from the dropdown that appears select the agent to edit and click Get Agent Data. After a moment, the agent’s data fields will appear. Two of those fields will be “Job Title” and “Agent Since”. To set the job title, enter an appropriate title in the text input for the “Job Title” field. Click the Edit Agent Data button and the data will be updated with the new job title.

 

The “Agent since” field is filled out on agent creation but can be edited here.

 

Additional fields can be added to add details or notes about the agent. Just fill out the “Field Label” input and click the “Add New Field” button.

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Deleting Agents:

 

Agents can be deleted by either using the Delete Agent option in the Agent Action form, or by using the Delete row action in the agent table. Agents delete faster if the leads have been removed from them ahead of time.

Deleting an agent doesn’t affect WordPress user profiles, it only removes the Inbound Agent Lead Interface from the profile and un-lists the user as an agent.

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Creating Lead Groups:

 

Lead groups are the specialized groupings that leads are put into for easy management. Say you have a form called “Contacts” on your contact us page, you can create a group called “Contacts” for one of your agents and assign that agent and group to the “Contact” form. Then all leads generated by the “Contact” form will be assigned to the agent and put in the lead group “Contacts”.

 

Each group is agent specific, so if two agents have groups called “Assignments”, they are two separate groups of leads. If “Assignments” is deleted for one of the agents, the other agent will still have “Assignments”.

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Setting Lead Group Limits:

 

Lead group limits are the limits to how many leads a group can have before the Inbound forms stops assigning leads to them. So if there’s an agent assigned to the “Contact” form, and the agent’s “Contacts” lead group limit is 25 but the group already has 25 leads in it, the lead won’t get assigned to the agent.

Lead group limits only affect submissions by forms, direct additions from Bulk Actions or from the Inbound Agent Lead Interface can assign more leads than the limit.

 

Limits can be set on a per-group basis, or on a per-agent basis. When set to per-group, all groups of the same name get the same limit. So if four agents have groups named “Clients”, a limit of 25 can be set for the groups at once.

If set to a per-agent basis, the limits are set for each “Clients” group, for each agent. This is useful in the case of a full time and a part time marking staff. Say the full time staff can handle twice as many leads as the part time staff. What can be done is select the agents of the full time staff and give them limits of 20 leads, and set the part time staff agents for 10 leads.

This is also useful for tailoring leads based on agent capacities. If you have some agents who are experienced enough to handle 30 leads, some that can handle 20, and some that can handle 10, you can adjust their lead limits to account for this.

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Cloning Lead Groups:

 

Existing lead groups can be cloned from one agent to another, if the agent receiving the cloned doesn’t already have the group. If the receiving agent already has one of the groups that’s being cloned, that group doesn’t get cloned and the other groups get cloned. Leads contained in the groups can be cloned along with the groups.

Cloning leads with groups can be set to default by going to Inbound Now -> Settings, the Extension Settings tab, and setting “Clone leads when cloning groups” to “Yes”. This can be overridden by unchecking the “Clone leads when cloning group? ” box when cloning groups.

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Deleting Lead Groups:

 

Deleting lead groups deletes the groups from the selected agents. Groups are deleted on a per-agent basis. So if two agents have a group called “Clients”, “Clients” can be deleted from one agent without in any way effecting the other agent.

When Lead groups are deleted, only the group is deleted, the leads from that group are still assigned to the agent, and they’re still in the agent’s other groups. If the deleted group was the only group the leads were in, then the leads will be assigned to the agent as “Ungrouped Leads”.

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Adding Leads:

 

Leads can be assigned to agents and groups using Inbound Now Bulk Action.

 

To assign leads to an agent from the Bulk Action page, select the leads you want to assign, then click the button on the bottom of the page that says “Choose action to apply to selected leads”. From the popup that appears, click “Do agent lead action”. Three buttons will appear on the bottom of the page, “Add”, “Remove” and “Transfer Leads”. Click “Add” and a popup will appear, from that you can select the agents to assign leads to and the groups to put those leads in.

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Removing Leads:

 

To remove leads, select the leads to remove. Click the button on the bottom of the page that says “Choose action to apply to selected leads”. From the popup that appears, click “Do agent lead action”. Click “Remove”, and from the popup that appears, select the agent and groups to remove leads from.

 

Removing from groups only removes the leads from the selected agent groups. The leads are still assigned to the agent and in any other groups they’re in.

To remove leads from agents entirely, click on “Remove from agent”. This will unassign the agent from the leads and remove the leads from any groups that the agent has.

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Transferring Leads:

 

Leads can be transferred between groups in the same agent, or they can be transferred from one agent to another.

 

For transferring leads between groups

Select the leads, go to Do agent lead action and click Transfer Leads. Then select the agents, and select the groups to transfer the leads from, and the groups to transfer leads into.

You can select from groups that the agents have in common, or you can select from all the selected agents’ groups.

If set to select from all groups, only leads that are in the selected “from” groups will be transferred. But if one of the agents doesn’t have one of the receiving groups, the group will be created for the agent on lead transfer.

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For transferring leads between agents

Select the leads, go to Do agent lead action and click Transfer Leads. From the popup check the box that says “Transfer to other agents?”. This will make a second agent selector appear. The selector on top will be the one for selecting the agents to transfer leads from. The one on the bottom is for the agents who will be receiving the leads.

Select the agents and groups to transfer the leads from, and the agents and groups to transfer leads to. Only leads that are in the selected “from” groups will be transferred. So if a lead that isn’t in one of the “from” groups is selected by mistake, it won’t be transferred.

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Assigning Agents to a form:

 

To assign agents to a form, check the box labeled “Enable Agent Assignment” and select agents to assign from the selector that appears. All leads generated by this form will now be assigned to the agents as “Unassigned Leads”. No lead limits are applied since the leads aren’t going into groups.

To have the leads put into groups, and to have limits applied, check the box labeled “Enable Agent Lead Group Assignment”. From the selector that appears, select the groups to put leads into.

Now all generated leads  will be assigned to agents and put into groups.

To notify agents by email when they have a lead assigned, check the box labeled “Enable Agent Lead Notification”.

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The Inbound Agent Lead Interface:

 

This is the interface that’s added to the WordPress user profile. It Enables leads to be transferred between groups for this agent, transferred from this agent to other agents, and removed from this agent. It also lists a summary of the agent’s lead groups and lead counts.

Leads can be selected based on the group they’re in, from a list of all agent leads, or from the “Ungrouped leads” pool.

Leads transferred to other agents from this interface are unassigned from this agent.

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Example of moving leads from one group to another:

In this example, five leads are being moved from the group “New Leads” to the group “Clients”.

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Inbound Agents Settings:

The Inbound Agent Settings are where the lead assignment policy, how lead group limits are assigned, and the default cloning policy are set.

 

Lead Assignment Policy

There are two ways leads can be assigned to agents:

  1. They can be assigned to all agents assigned to the form.
  2. They can be assigned to a single form agent on a rotating basis.

In the first case, leads are assigned to all the assigned form agents.

So suppose you have a form called “Contact” for your “Contact us” page, and you’ve assigned three agents with groups called “Contacts” to the form. When a lead is generated by the form, all three agents will get the lead assigned to them, each in their respective “Contacts” group.

 

In the second case, a generated lead is assigned to one agent. But which agent gets the lead is determined on a rotating basis.

So suppose again that you have a form called “Contact” for you page “Contact us”, and there are three agents with their groups “Contacts” assigned to the form;

  1. When the first lead is generated, it will be assigned to the first agent and put in his “Contacts” group.
  2. When the second lead is generated, it will be assigned to the second agent and put in his “Contacts” group.
  3. When the third lead is generated, it will go to agent three.
  4. But when the fourth lead is generated, since there is no fourth agent, this lead will be assigned to the first agent, and put in his “Contacts” group.

And so it will rotate around, the fifth lead goes to agent two, the sixth lead goes to agent three, and then back around again to agent one for lead seven.

 

Cloning Leads When Cloning Groups

This sets whether to cloning leads should be done as a default action when cloning groups.

This is off by default, and can be overridden by unchecking the “Clone leads when cloning group?” checkbox when cloning groups.

 

Lead Group Form Limit Policy

This sets whether lead group limits are set on a per-group basis or a per-agent basis.

If it’s set to a per-group basis, when setting limits for lead groups, all groups of the same name get the same limit.

So if you have four agents, and they each have a lead group called “Subscribers”. When you set the limit of “Subscribers” to 25, all four agent “Subscriber” groups will have the limit of 25. Also, if you create a new agent with a lead group called “Subscribers”, that “Subscriber” group will have the limit of 25.

 

If it’s set to a per-agent basis, lead group limits are set for each group, for each agent.

So if again you have four agents, each with groups called “Subscribers”. And the first agent is really experienced, two and three are good, and number four is the new guy.They can all be set to different lead limits. You can set agent one for 30 leads, agents two and three for 20 leads and agent four for 10 leads.

Since there is no standard limit, all new lead groups created will have an infinite limit.

 

When switching between policy types, if you switch from a per-group to a per-agent basis, all existing groups will retain their per-group set limits. But if you switch from per-agent to a per-group basis, the most common non-infinite limit will be set for groups.

For example, if you have five groups called “New Clients”, and the limits are set so that three have a limit of 25, one has a limit of 35, and the last one as a limit of 10. When switching to a per-group basis, since 25 is the most common limit, all “New Clients” groups will have their limits set to 25.

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