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Understanding chat routing

by Jacob Firuta

Chats are routed according to a few simple rules. They can be automatically routed to agents or they can go to a queue from which they are picked up. You can set routing in chat routing section.

Automatic chat routing

Each new chat will be routed according to the round robin rule, i.e. new chats will go to the first available agent with Accepting chats status. When all agents have one chat each, the next round will be distributed. It will go on until the concurrent chat limit of all the agents accepting chats at the time is reached.

You can set a limit to the number of chats your agents can have at the time by editing the agents’ profiles.

Chats from returning visitors are an exception to this rule. They go to the agent that previously chatted with the visitor if this agent is accepting chats.

Chat will be automatically transferred to another available agent if the first assignee doesn’t respond for some time. This time period can be adjusted in inactivity timeouts section in Team and Business plans. For Starter this timeout is set to 3 minutes and cannot be customized.
When an agent loses connection or closes the application chats will be also distributed to the available agents.

Chats can be transferred to all agents, even those with the Not accepting chats status. You can use this to pass chats to experts in a particular field who only handle a particular set of cases.

Manual chat routing

With manual chat routing the visitors who requested a chat will be directed to queue. All agents with the Accepting chats status will receive a notification about that, and will be able to pick up the visitor from the queue and start a chat. They can do that by selecting a visitor on the visitors list and clicking on Start chat button or by using a keyboard shortcut.

Starting a chat from queue

As soon as one of the agents picks up a chat, others won’t be able to do so.

Routing between groups

Chats are also distributed according to groups. Automatic chat routing distributes chats from a specific group to agents from that group. With the manual chat selection enabled, only agents from a particular group will receive a notification when a new chat for that group is available.

You can still transfer chats between various groups.

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