This article contains the following sections:
Responding to or initiating a chat with a visitor
This section describes basics of how to use Chat to interact with visitors to your website. To learn about chatting with agents, see Chatting with other agents.
Whether visitors chat with you through the Chat widget (for Chat Standalone accounts) or the Web Widget (for Chat + Support accounts), you respond to them through the Chat dashboard.
On the Chat dashboard, you can perform the following chat-related tasks:
Answering an incoming chat
When a customer initiates a chat, a request appears at the bottom left of your dashboard:
Depending on how your personal settings are configured, you may receive other notifications.
To start chatting with a visitor
- Click Serve 1 Request in the bottom left corner of the dashboard, as shown above. The chat window opens, showing the visitors initial comment, any automated messages the visitor has received, and that you have joined the chat.
- Click inside the text entry box at the bottom of the window to begin chatting. As you begin entering your responses, shortcut options appear under your text. You can click the shortcut to automatically add the text to the chat, or continue entering your response manually.
As you're entering a response, the customer sees that you're typing.
- Use the controls at the bottom of your chat window to add emoji, attach documents or images, and request chat ratings.
Emoji and images are enabled by default and cannot be turned off. Chat ratings must be turned on before you can add a rating request. See Measuring visitor satisfaction with chat rating for more information.
- Hit the Enter key to submit your response.
- Continue responding to the customer. When you're done, end the chat.
Viewing an incoming chat
You can view an incoming chat without answering it or interacting with the customer.
To view an incoming chat
- When a request notification appears on your dashboard, click Visitors in the left panel.
- Locate the chat request under Incoming chats.
- Click the visitor name or ID to view the chat. You can begin chatting with the visitor by entering a response in the bottom pane.
Starting a proactive chat with a visitor
You can proactively start chatting with visitors by selecting them from the Visitor List. From the Visitor List, you can see details about all the visitors currently on your website, including their location, the page they're on, and their chat status. For example, you might want to reach out to visitors who have items their shopping cart but are taking too long to complete their purchases.
For more information, see Browsing your site's visitors.
To start a proactive chat
- From the dashboard, click Visitors.
- Under Active Visitors, click a visitor's name.
- Type your message in the chat window and press Enter to send.
Viewing visitor details
- Click the History icon in the chat window to review the visitor's chat history. Click on a conversation to view its transcript.
- Click the Info icon in the chat window to view or edit the visitor's contact info. This is the information that will be used for the ticket requester if you create a ticket from the chat.
Ending a chat
A chat can be ended by the agent, or by the visitor. When a visitor ends a chat, the agent has the option to continue the chat, or end it.
To end a chat with a visitor
- Hover over the visitor's name or ID at the bottom right of the window, and click the X icon.
- In the End chat? window, select an option:
- Add chat tags: Attach tags to the session. After you add tags, you can end the chat. See Adding tags to chat sessions for more information.
- End chat: Close and end the conversation.
- Cancel: Return to the active chat window.
To respond to a customer-ended chat
- When a customer ends a chat, you'll see the following notification:
- Choose one of the following options:
- Click the X icon next to the visitor name or ID to close the chat.
- Click the Continue chat button to reopen the chat in the chat window.
Transferring a chat
Transfer chats to other agents or to departments. Keep in mind the following when transferring chats to departments:
- You can transfer the chat to another department or to a department you're in as long as you're not the only agent online in that department. If you transfer it to a department you're in, you won't get the same chat again.
- Transferred chats are added to the bottom of the chat routing queue.
To transfer a chat to an agent or department
- Select Invite Agent/Transfer to Agent or Transfer to Department from the chat window's Actions drop-down menu.
- Select a department from the drop-down menu or enter an agent.
- Click Transfer.
Chatting with other agents
You can chat with other agents either by adding them to an existing conversation with a visitor or in a separate chat without any visitors.
To add another agent to a chat with a visitor
- Select Invite Agent/Transfer To Agent from the chat window's Actions drop-down menu.
- Enter the agent in the Agent Email field.
- To leave the chat and have the other agent take over, click Transfer and Leave. To add the agent and stay in the conversation, click Invite.
To chat with another agent
- To start a conversation with just you and another agent (no visitors), click Team on the from the left bar, then click the agent's name to open a chat.
Assigning chat tickets to a Support agent (Chat + Support accounts)
If you are on a Chat + Support account, you can automatically assign any tickets created from your chats to a Support agent. If you do not specify a Support agent, these tickets will be created in Support with no assignee.
To assign your chat tickets to a Support agent
- In the Chat dashboard, go to Settings > Personal, then click the Zendesk Support tab.
- Under Ticket assignment, enter the Support email address of the agent you want to designate as the assignee for any tickets created from your chats. You can enter your own Support address, if you have one.
- click Save changes.