Engage Voice | Chat for agents overview

The chat feature in Agent is easy to navigate and provides an alternative solution for customers to reach your contact center. Chats can help address customer concerns while also freeing up your call queues. 
 
The chat interface is designed so that agents can accept and reply to chats, requeue chats, and disposition chats. While engaged in a chat, agents can also utilize scripts — that is, canned responses that help guide the agent through a conversation. 
 
Chat queues refer to your inbound or incoming chats. Customers can reach an agent’s chat queue via the chat widget that is configured in Admin and installed directly on your site. A chat widget is a window that allows visitors to have a conversation with an agent in real time. It usually pops up in the bottom corner of the web page and prompts customers to ask questions. 
 
Now let’s talk about how chat queues are routed to agents. 

Chat routing

Your admin configures chat routing via the admin interface. Initially, your administrator must first configure your chat queue and chat group. Your admin can create, manage, and configure these chat groups to organize how chat queues are dispersed to agents. Chats queues may also be routed to agents based on their skill profile. 
 
A customer can chat with an agent using the chat widget embedded in the site. The chat widget is designed so that a customer can first input exactly what they need before being transferred to a chat queue. These incoming chats are then routed according to which chat group they belong to and are handled by the most qualified agent available at that time. In addition to a web chat, a customer may also send an SMS to an agent and it gets routed in a similar way before it reaches an agent. 

SMS and web chats

If an agent has been assigned to a chat queue, they can receive both SMS (Short Message Service) and web chats. Let’s discuss the differences between these two types of chat.
 
Contact Center SMS is an inbound and outbound text messaging solution. Text messages are sent by customers using their mobile phone, which are then received within the agent platform through a third-party SMS provider. 
 
A web chat, on the other hand, allows users to communicate using the chat widget installed on your company site. It is a type of online chat that is accessible to users without having the need to install specialized chat software. While both SMS and web chat are received in the agent interface, you can easily identify which is which through a messaging alert once you’ve received them. 

Navigating the chat interface

Once you log in to the agent interface, navigate to the hamburger icon to expand your menu options in the left-hand navigation bar. You can access the chat feature by selecting the chat dialog icon. You will be directed to the chat interface, where you can manage and access all your chats (both web and SMS). 
 
On the left you will see a Chat menu, which will contain all your pending and active chats. At the top of the Chat menu is the New outbound SMS button, which you can use to send outgoing text messages. If you have any incoming web chats or text messages, those messages will appear and then you will have a specific time limit to either accept or decline the chat. 
 
Once you’ve accepted an incoming chat, that chat conversation will appear in a pane to the immediate right of the Chat menu. Additionally, the script associated with the chat queue in which you’re logged in will appear in the far right pane. You can switch between a customer’s information and script by clicking on the Script or Details tab at the top. 

Switching between voice and chat

Some agents may be assigned to take and make both calls and chats in their login session. The agent interface is designed to make this easy and seamless for you due to your agent states, ensuring you will not have to juggle between calls and chats at the same time.
 
For example, if you are engaged in a chat, your agent state will change from Available to Chat Engaged. This tells the system that you are engaged and unavailable for a call. Once the chat has been completed, however, the agent can then switch to an Available state, telling the system they’re ready to take or make calls.  
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