The latest version of HCL Commerce, v9.1.6, will be out shortly. One of the features introduced is the new version of Customer Service Representative (CSR) capability. This is the first phase of CSR capability that we are adding to HCL Commerce, and this phase is focused on a functional replacement of the CSR capability from the Aurora storefront (also known to some of our customers as Buy On Behalf).
While this is mainly a functional replacement, with the same CSR use cases as were in the Aurora store, there’s a big difference architecturally with the new implementation. In Aurora, the CSR capability was embedded into the storefront .jsps, meaning that for any of our customers who didn’t start with the Aurora store as the base, they needed to spend the time and money to re-implement our CSR capability into their storefront. There was no way to just “drop” the capability into the store, as it was spread across multiple .jsp pages. It had to be re-coded across all of those .jsps.
That changes with the new implementation. It’s done in REACT, to match the rest of the storefront, but it’s not actually coded into the Emerald/Sapphire sample SPA (single page application). Instead, it is a separate SPA, informally called a mini-SPA by our development team. This mini-SPA renders the CSR tool which allows a CSR to log in, find customers, find orders, and other such operations. When it comes time for the CSR to make modifications to the customer’s information, they can press the button to view it in the store. The storefront launches, with the CSR logged in on behalf of the customer they have selected. Under the covers, what’s happening is that the CSR mini-SPA is passing the login information to the URL of the chosen storefront. As long as that storefront is able to accept the token from the CSR mini-SPA, it will log the CSR user in and they can utilize the storefront on behalf of the customer. The storefront is actually iFramed into the mini-SPA, so that the mini-SPA appears as a header that the CSR can use to go back to their tool and select other actions.
With this new architecture, the CSR mini-SPA becomes more of a standalone tool, that can be used to login to any storefront that is able to accept its token. In this way, HCL Commerce can provide our customers with a CSR tool, without requiring them to either use our sample storefronts, or to re-code it into their own store. It straddles the line between storefront and tool, and gives us much more flexibility in how we provide additional CSR capability in the future.
And speaking of the future, we have heard our customers and we know that you are looking for deeper CSR capability than what we had in Aurora (and now have in our REACT sample). As I said, this is just the first phase. We are working on our plan to build out more robust CSR functionality, looking at items such as returns/exchanges, post-sale order modification, and pricing adjustments. Look for another blog post here when we have more information to share.
For more information on the CSR capabilities watch for our 9.1.6 release later in March!
You can also schedule a consultation to learn more – Contact Us