Help your Support Agents deliver an even better customer experience with eDesk’s Chat add-on.
Before you start
Understand how to configure your own chat settings, and how chat works for customers and Agents. This is what’s covered:
- Accessing live chat
- How your chat status works
- Live chat with customers
- Joining more than one live chat at a time
- Other useful live chat information
Accessing live chat
If your account has permission to access live chat, you’ll see a Chat tab at the top of the screen when you are logged into eDesk. Click the Chat tab to open the Chat page. This is where you will manage your live chats.
If you don’t see the Chat tab, contact your Admin user who will need to assign a role to your account that includes the chat permission.
How your chat status works
If you’re a Support Agent, your chat status can affect what the customer sees when they click the Live Chat button on your website:
- If at least one Agent has a chat status of Online, the Live Chat box will open.
- If all Agents have a chat status of Offline or Away, then a Contact form will open, unless you’ve selected the option to Hide widget in Settings → Smart Tools → Widgets → Behaviour
You can set your chat status yourself, and eDesk can also update your chat status automatically.
Automatic updates to your chat status:
In eDesk, you can set up Chat Hours, which are a daily cutoff time for your live chat. When the cutoff time occurs each day, your chat status is set to Offline or Away automatically. To set your own Chat Hours, go to Settings > My Account > Chat tab. If you don’t want to set Chat Hours for yourself, that’s fine too!
Note: eDesk will never set your chat status to Online automatically. This is a safety measure to make sure your chat status is not set to Online when you are away from your desk, which could leave customers with unanswered chats.
Once your Chat Hours are set, your chat status will be updated automatically as follows:
- If your chat status is Online but you have no activity in eDesk for 15 minutes, your status is changed to Away automatically.
- If your chat status is Away, the current time is inside your Chat Hours, and you perform an action in eDesk, your status is changed to Online automatically.
- If your chat status is Online and your Chat Hours End time occurs, then your status is set to Away automatically.
- If your chat status is Away and your Chat Hours End time occurs, then your status is set to Offline automatically.
Note: Business hours (Settings > Company Settings > Business hours) do not affect your chat status. It’s fine for Agents to offer Live Chat outside business hours.
Changing your chat status yourself
- To set your status to Online, click your avatar and select Online from the menu. Your avatar will go green to indicate you’re currently online.
- To set your status to Offline, click your avatar and select Offline from the menu. Your avatar will go red to indicate you’re currently offline.
Live chat with customers
Once you are Online for live chat, you can join any customer chat. This is what happens:
Step 1: A customer starts a live chat
When a customer clicks the Live Chat button on your website, a Live Chat box is opened (or, when all Agents that are permissioned to use chat have a chat status of Offline or Away, then the Contact form is opened). You can customize the appearance of the Live Chat box and Contact Form; this article tells you how.
Step 2: Agents receive a notification
The customer completes the fields and clicks a button to submit their information. All Agents with an Online chat status receive a notification in eDesk.
Step 3: Open the list of unassigned chats
Click the Chat tab to show a list of unassigned chats.
Step 4: View the live chat
Select the chat to open the conversation.
- This is where you’ll see the messages that the customer has sent.
- You’ll also see if another Agent has joined the chat, which will help you to avoid duplication between Agents.
Step 5: Join the chat
- Click Join the chat to start chatting with the customer. Type into the window and hit return on the keyboard to send each response.
- During the chat:
- You can leave an internal note in the ticket, which can be viewed by other Agents. Internal notes are hidden from the customer. You can mention another Agent in the note by typing @ and then selecting their name from a list. The user will then be Mentioned in the ticket and will receive a notification once the chat is turned into a To Do ticket. The ticket will appear in the Mentioned category of the mailbox.
- You can join a chat that is already in progress. Select In progress in the left hand menu to see the chats in progress. Then select a chat and click Join the chat.
- The customer can share files with you by dragging them into the Live Chat box. The following file types are supported: csv, doc, docx, gif, jpeg, jpg, pdf, png, txt, xls, xlsx.
Step 6: Close the chat
- Click the Action button to open a menu.
- Click Close this chat > Turn into a resolved ticket
If the chat is completed and no further action is needed, a ticket is automatically created with a Resolved status.
- Click Close this chat > Turn into a to do ticket
If the chat is completed and further action is required, a ticket will be created and can be found in the To Do section of the mailbox.
- Click Show/Hide the client navigation to view the URL of the page the client is viewing.
Step 7: Next steps
- Once a chat is closed, a transcript is automatically sent to the email address that the customer entered when starting the chat.
- A ticket is sent to the Mailbox for the Agent that joined the chat, or that was assigned to the chat by another Agent. The type of ticket is selected in the previous step when the Agent closes the chat. The ticket includes a transcript, identifies the person that closed the chat, and displays the customer details on the right hand side. Click + Custom fields to include other information, and click Attach order to add a copy of the order to the ticket.
- If configured (see here), the Live Chat box can ask a customer to rate the chat. This rating is also included in the ticket and on the Chat page.
Joining more than one live chat at a time
If you’re an Agent that loves a challenge, you can set yourself up to be able to join multiple live chats at the same time.
- Go to Settings > My Account > Chat tab.
- In the Max concurrent chats field, enter the maximum number of live chats that you want to join at the same time.
- Save your changes.
Other useful live chat information
The left-hand menu in the Chat page in eDesk offers a number of useful views:
- Select Agents to see a list of all the Support Agents that can access live chat, together with their recent activity and whether they are currently offline or online.
- Select In progress to see a list of the chats in progress. Click on a chat in the list if you want to spectate the chat. The customer will not be aware that any other Agents are on the chat.
- Click Recently closed to see a list of the completed chats. From here, you can view the ticket created after the chat has finished.
Want to help your customers to self-serve? Find out more about the eDesk knowledge base