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Direct and Instant access from customers to support staff from online information and product GUIs

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016591D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jul-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is an 'on demand' system for placing instant message buttons in all online product information and product graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to allow customers to contact, in real-time and directly, support personnel as soon as the customer has a question or problem with the product.

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  Direct and Instant access from customers to support staff from online information and product GUIs

The following steps outline a typical embodiment of the invention:

1) A customer encounters a problem in the product while using the product's GUI or has a question while reading the online product information. Typical examples of GUIs include: database control centers, word processing programs, and spreadsheets. Typical examples of online product information include: softcopy documentation in Adobe Acrobat pdf format, information centers, help systems, wizards, tutorials, and InfoPops.

2) Using the mouse cursor, the customer clicks on the direct 'on demand' support button located in all product GUIs and online product information.

3) The button uses existing messaging and GUI control programming technology to call the instant message application's application programming interface (API). The button code provides the instant message address of the product manufacturer's support team.

4) An instant message window opens both on the customer's computer and the support team's computer.

5) Customer profile information is sent along with the instant message request. This customer profile information is logged automatically into the support team's database.

6) A real-time communication takes place between the customer and the support staff. This instant communication allows the support staff to immediately begin the problem definition and resolution phases of support at th...