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|This page details the management operations for services with no identified contacts.|
An anonymous service is a service which is assigned to an anonymous customer. The customer is still unknown, so no customer ID is assigned to the service. Your application is in charge of assigning this customer ID as soon as you identify the customer. Read also Services, States, and Tasks.
In many situations, you can identify the customer prior to the creation of the service, which ensures the possibility of adding the customer ID to the service in the Start Service operation. For example, if the customer explicitly logs in your website before your web application invokes the service, or if your IVR identifies the customer and then chooses a service. In those cases, your application can specify the customer ID at the service creation.
However, in other cases, your application may start the service before the customer is identified. Therefore, if your application cannot specify the customer's ID at the service creation, the service is anonymous. Let's consider a customer who is filling out an order on a web site before he or she has explicitly logged in, or a preliminary service delivered in the IVR before the customer is prompted for identity information. In these cases, the application is not able to provide the customer identifier.
The Contact Key
You can create an anonymous service with the Start Service operation. In that case, even if the customer is not identified, your application must pass a contact key, based on the current information available. The "contact key" is supplied at the service creation. Then, you can query the service even if it is anonymous with Query Anonymous Services.
For example, the following information can be used as contact keys: e-mail address, phone number, lastname+firstname.