This article is a high-level walkthrough of the steps administrators need to take to get started using live chat. The steps below can be used for setting up your free Zendesk Chat trial or a new permanent account. If you have not yet created a Zendesk Chat account, see Signing up for a live chat account.
Getting started with live chat requires establishing your team of agents, configuring the features you want to use, customizing the appearance of the Chat widget so it looks good on your website, and then adding the Chat widget to your website once you are ready.
This article includes the following sections:
Creating your team
Before you can support your customers, you need to add people to your account for them to connect with. These are your Chat agents.
The number and types of agents you need is up to you. The following tasks will guide you through creating your team, and configuring your agents to best serve your customers.
- Create your agents. Create an account for each person who will be acting as a Chat agent. Each agent must be assigned a role, among other things, so make sure you understand how our default roles work.
- Create departments: You may want to organize your agents into departments, based on location or area of responsibility, for example. You can then route chats to agents in specific departments.
- Add agent skills. For a more granular approach to chat routing, you can create specific skills and assign them to agents. Then, you can use visitor tags and to direct chats to agents with the skills to help those visitors – we'll discuss this in the workflows section below.
Setting up your workflows
Once your team of agents is created and configured, you can design their workflows – how they connect with chat requests, and how they interact with customers through those chats.
Workflows are defined by the elements in the tasks discussed in this section.
- Create triggers. Triggers are groups of conditions (or events) that, when met, cause certain actions to occur. Conditions can include events such as a keywords used in chat requests, time of day, the URL where the chat is initiated, and the like. Actions triggered by these conditions can include adding a tag to a chat, or sending an automatic message to the visitor, for example.
- Set up shortcuts. Shortcuts let your agents insert common phrases into their chat, using a couple of keystrokes. For example, if you have a standard greeting all agents need to use at the end of a chat, agents can select the end-of-chat shortcut from a list to automatically add it to the conversation, rather than typing it in by hand.
- Choose routing options. There are two main routing types: Broadcast, which notifies all agents of all incoming chats; and Assigned, which directs chats to a single available agent, and give you more options for defining which agents are assigned certain chats.
- Configure visitor profile settings. Have your customers share information you'll need to keep track of them.
Adding chat to your website or help center
When you're ready you can add Chat to your website or help center for your customers. To do this, you'll need to take these steps, which we'll walk you through in the next article.
- Configure Chat. This includes customizing how Chat is displayed, creating any customer-facing forms you need, and establishing security and evaluation rules.
- Deploy Chat. This includes enabling Chat, and adding it to your website code or help center.