Smarter auto chat assignment for backup agents



  • Rajat Garg
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hi Pedro,

    Thanks for posting on our community about backup agent/department. We appreciate your feedback.

    I agree that ability to define a backup agent/department would be a good addition. This hasn't been prioritized on our roadmap for next 6 months given other higher priority items, but we intend to improve upon routing logic in 2017 and we shall update you if/when we decide do this.

    In the meantime, you might want to consider following workaround. It is not ideal as it required manual intervention but hopefully it can help you distribute chats between chat and email agents better:

    1) Create two departments: one for chat agents and one for agents that are normally working on emails.

    2) Use our JS APIs to always set department as "chat" department for incoming chats. This way all chats will be sent to chat agents.

    3) We support "transfer to another department" functionality. You can train your chat agents to transfer the chats to another department when the chat volume is more than their capacity. This way agents that are handling emails can pitch in whenever there is high volume of incoming chats.

    As I said, this requires manual intervention and is not a fully automated solution.

    Hope this helps!  



  • Tomas

    We would like a smarter way to handle backup chat agents as well.

    The manual solution you provided works but is pretty corny to use. If we want to rotate who are on backup each day, we would have to take people in and out of the "backup" departments.

  • Prakruti Hindia
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hi Pedro, Tomas, 

    We recently introduced skills-based routing which might help you manage your 'regular' and 'backup' agents.

    Step 1 : Let's say there are agents A,B and C

    A, B are regular agents

    C is backup agent

    Step 2: You could create skill - regular and assign it to A and B. A,B,C can be part of the same department. 

    Step 3: Assign 'regular' tag to your incoming chat. 

    Step 4: Enable skills-based routing

    This will ensure that the incoming chats will always to be assigned to A and B first. Only if A and B are unavailable or reached their chat limit, it would be assigned to C. 

    More information on skills-based routing can be found here

    Look forward to know if this works for you. 

  • Pedro dos Santos


    Thanks! And and chance to have this happen (chat being sent to Agent C) only when a chat is queued after an X amount of time?

  • Prakruti Hindia
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hi Pedro,

    Yes, you can do that by providing a maximum wait time before switching on skills-based routing. 

    - Prakruti


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