Buffer if chat disconnected & new wording


  • Jacob J Christensen
    Community Moderator

    Good points Andrew!

  • Tung Nguyen
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hey Andrew,

    Thank you for your feedback. I will try to address some of your concerns.

    1. Provide a buffer in case the page refreshes, the agent can rejoin the chat.
    This is buffer is already in place today. If the agent gets accidentally disconnected, it takes 5-10 seconds for the widget to inform the customer that the agent has left the chat. However, this buffer is not customizable.

    2. If a chat gets disconnected suddenly, reassign to another agent.
    Reassigment only works if the customer sends in a new chat message after the agent appears to have left the chat.
    Auto-reassigning to another agent as soon as an agent gets disconnected is not supported. One way to get around this is the disconnected agent can ask another agent to pick up the Chat from the Visitor list.

    3. Change/allow us to customize the "left the chat" message.
    We don't have any plan to allow "left the chat" to be customizable from the dashboard settings. However, you can customize this message using the Web SDK 'chat.memberleave' event. Documentation for that event is available here: https://api.zopim.com/web-sdk/#39-agent_update-39-event). Web SDK lets you build your own custom Chat UI on top of Zendesk's service.

    Please let me know if you have any more questions or concerns.



  • Scotty Loewen

    We just implemented Zendesk Chat and this is becoming a bigger problem for us. Documenting these disconnections is difficult, finding chats where this happened is hard too. I wish your support team had better logging for disconnections so that they could tell me what's going on. I've been told by support to provide lots of pieces of documentation about incidents, which are difficult to get if you are in three chats. 

    This issue is frustrating my techs and managers the most. 

  • Iterable - iterable

    We're experiencing the same thing - customers are much more likely to give a dissatisfied CSAT score when they perceive that the agent has unilaterally left the chat. Even with the current buffer, it doesn't seem to take into account transient network conditions well enough.

  • Eric Martich

    To add to what Neil said: it is necessary for some of our employees to use a VPN to access certain support resources, which often cause connectivity interruptions, causing the agent to leave the chat.

    But beyond cases like that, I feel like the larger issue is that there are always going to be some situations where it's necessary to disconnect from ZenDesk mid-chat. For example, there have been times when the ZenDesk chat interface has become unresponsive, and I've had to refresh the browser tab, which kicks me out of all chats. There have also been times where I've had to close my laptop briefly to relocate to a different part of the building, which has the same effect.

    Because of these scenarios, I don't think simply extending the buffer is going to address the issue. I think it would be better to provide the option to disable the behavior of automatically kicking the agent out of the chat whenever a break in connectivity is detected. The bottom line is that the customer does not need to know the status of my connection to the ZenDesk servers. If I have to change WiFi networks or reboot my computer mid-chat, it's better for them to think that I'm simply taking a long time to respond than for them to think that I've abandoned them.

  • Vince T

    This issue seems to be continuing, at least for us.  I'm not sure if everyone's just gotten used to the behavior and just accepted it, but is there any suggestions to improve these disconnected chats?

  • Scotty Loewen

    Our customers are still experiencing this too. A different message for a network issue would be super helpful. As it is, our techs are getting blamed in unsat comments. In the last 30 days our QA has identified 37 unsat chats that have suffered from this kind of thing. 

  • Andrew

    We are still experiencing the same issue - no improvement.  The buffer Tung Nguyen mentioned doesn't seem to happen in practice because the visitor gets a "agent left" message, and in that time the agent isn't even aware anything happened (because they never actually left the chat, they somehow rejoin automatically).

    Perhaps this is worse with agents working remotely, but it occurred even in an office with wired connection.

    It is absolutely our top reason for unsatisfied chat feedback.


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