Ocelot's AI-assisted Live Chat provides users with 1:1 assistance from a live agent in real time for more complex inquiries requiring human intervention. The purpose of this article is to help you set up live chat to most effectively meet your institution's needs and goals. To help you navigate the article we have broken it down into the following sections:

Setting Up Departments

Determine if you will initially launch one department or multiple departments. Your contract has a limited number of live chat agents, so if you are planning to launch multiple departments it is important to consider the number of agents allocated to each. 

For more information about live chat agent limits, review the Contract Limits for Live Chat article. 

If you need to add additional live chat agents to your contract, contact your Client Success Manager.

Setting Up Agents

After determining the number of departments launching, set up each live chat agent for the appropriate department. Permissions Managers have the ability to request new user access and adjust user permissions. 

For more information about the capabilities of each permission type, review the User Roles & Permissions article.

If an agent will serve multiple departments, the Permissions Manager must select all applicable departments within the Permissions tab of the admin portal.

Best Practice: While setting up live chat agents, you can review the Live Chat Who's Online Page to ensure each live chat agent is assigned to the correct department.

Considering Live Chat First

You can configure live chat to launch before users engage the chatbot ("live chat first"), to launch when specifically requested by the user, or to be offered as an option when the user asks a question that the chatbot is unable to answer. 

The live chat first configuration enables users to engage with a live agent, if one is available, immediately upon launching the chatbot window. The user can confirm whether or not they would like to speak with a live agent before being connected with one, or engage the chatbot instead. This configuration removes the additional step of the user having to request a live agent, and can create a positive user experience by reducing the amount of time it takes to engage a live agent.

For more information about the live chat first configuration, review the Customizing the Live Chat First setting on the Chatbot article.

The chatbot first configuration enables users to determine whether they would like to engage with a live agent immediately, only if they ask a question the chatbot cannot answer, or not at all. This configuration enables the user to decide at what point in their conversation, if any, they would like to connect with a live agent, and can reduce the number of tier 1 inquiries handled by human staff members.

Establishing Operating Hours

Determine the available hours for each department and live chat agent, as well as any desktop, browser, or audio notifications agents should have enabled while scheduled to work in the Active Conversations queue, to ensure users are assisted quickly. 

For more information about setting up notifications, review the Enabling Notifications and Alerts article.

Consider updating your chatbot's welcome message and your department's webpage to include these operating hours for live chat, and how users can access it.

Best Practice: Ocelot recommends reviewing your department's chatbot peak usage times as a guide for determining operating hours for live chat. For more information about identifying peak usage times, review the Chatbot Analytics article.

You will also need to determine a policy for how agents will handle new live chat conversations at or near the end of operating hours. Things to consider include:

  • What is the cutoff time for live chat agents to accept a new live chat conversation? Is that cutoff time at or before the end of operating hours?
  • How will live chat agents handle conversations that are still in the Active Conversations queue after the end of operating hours?
Best Practice: Before setting themselves to "Away" at the end of live chat operating hours, the last available agent should assign any remaining conversations in the queue to themselves so they do not appear as "Available" after the end of operating hours. Setting your status to "Away" will not automatically end any existing live chat conversations.

Agent Status

Define your department's policy for when live chat agents should set their status from "Available" to "Away." 

Best Practice: If an agent will be unavailable for more than 5 minutes, that agent should should set their status to "Away."

If the last available agent sets themselves to "Away" before picking up remaining chats, and another agent does not become available within 2 minutes of the last agent setting themselves to "Away," then the user will receive a message that there are no longer any agents available and will be prompted to leave a message or return to the chatbot.

A live chat agent session will automatically timeout after 60 minutes of inactivity. Remember to engage with your browser every so often where the live chat session is active to avoid being timed out.  

Conversation Security

Develop a policy for how live chat agents will verify a user's identity before engaging in a conversation, such as confirming unique personal information like the user's name, student ID, or school email. This verification process may be similar to your identity verification policy for engaging in telephone conversations.

You may also choose to enable live chat authentication. Live chat authentication allows customers to choose whether a live chat user will need to log in using their SSO credentials prior to being placed in the live chat queue.

For more information about configuring live chat authentication settings, review the Live Chat Authentication article.

Conversation Etiquette

If needed, additional agents from the same or another department can join an existing live chat conversation to provide additional support or information. The additional agent can join the chat by assigning the conversation to themselves.

You will also need to define a process for transferring a live chat conversation from one agent to another. This may include introducing the user to the new agent by sharing the user's contact information and the conversation up to the point of transfer, so the user does not have to repeat themselves.

Best Practice: For the best user experience, we do not recommend transferring a live chat conversation to "Unassigned" within a department, or to a different department unless there is at least one active agent currently available.