How to deploy Live Chat in 3 Steps

Live Chat is a native channel of Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC), and one that is more and more in vogue. Text-enabled, real-time, conversations are the preferred way for many customers when engaging with companies.

One of the most popular ways of deploying OSvC Live Chat is placing the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget in the company’s website. This is done in 3 simple steps:

Step 1 – Placed this snippet of code above any individual syndicated widget script. For performance reasons the recommended best practice is to place the code just before the closing tag and above any syndicated widget instance tags.

< script type=”text/javascript” src=”//” >< /script >

Step 2 – This snippet of code is specific to the syndicated widget instance. For performance reasons the recommended best practice is to place this snippet of code just before the closing tag.

< script type=”text/javascript” >
      container_element_id: “myChatLinkContainer”,
      info_element_id: “myChatLinkInfo”,
      link_element_id: “myChatLink”,
      instance_id: “sccl_0”,
      module: “ConditionalChatLink”,
      type: 7
< /script >

Step 3 – Place this snippet of code on your page(s) wherever you would like the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget to appear.

< div id=”myChatLinkContainer” >
   < div id=”myChatLink” >
      < div id=”myChatLinkInfo” >
      < /div >
   < /div >
< /div >

Once you place the above code in your company’s website page(s) you should be able to see the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget display.

But to deliver a good customer experience, you need to manage customer’s expectations, therefore you don’t want to have the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget available in your website if there isn’t anyone available to respond.

The Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget has various configuration settings, and some of the most used are:

  • min_sessions_avail – Minimum number of open agent sessions that must be available in order for the Conditional Chat Link to be actionable.
  • wait_threshold – Maximum wait time where the customer should still be allowed to launch a chat.

Note: Please notice that min_sessions_avail will always override wait_threshold.

So, for example, if you want to set min_sessions_avail to 2 and wait_threshold to 5 mins (or 300 seconds), you would need to set it on the syndicated widget and OSvC would generate new code adding the following lines to step 2:

min_sessions_avail: 2,
wait_threshold: 300,

In this scenario, where the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget is unavailable, it is also useful to configure the setting label_unavailable_busy_template which is the label to be displayed when chat is unavailable due to agent session (Minimum Sessions Available) or wait time conditions (Wait Threshold).

By default, label_unavailable_busy_template isAll agents are busy but you might want to configure it to something more appropriate.

If you would like to know more information about the behaviour of the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget, you can use the Conditional Link Stats report, which is used to display Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget statistics.

This report is out-of-the-box and displays the number of times the widget was loaded, the number of times the widget was active, the number of times the widget was clicked, and the respective percentages of each.

How to check where Chat is coming from?

This is one of the requirements that many companies using Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC), and indeed other platforms, have.

There are many live chat touch-points across the website, in different pages, and it would be valuable to know where are customers coming from.

Simon Kilgarriff, ex-RightNow and Oracle employee, now working for Capgemini, shares in this video one of the ways to achieve it.

This solution requires that companies license and implement the Engagement Engine (EE), a legacy ATG solution that Oracle integrated into OSvC a while ago.

It is a great tip for those who have similar setups. However, if you don’t have or need EE (sometimes it is a sledge-hammer to crack a nut), there are always alternatives.


Setting max Live Chat sessions

In the blog post Words that characterise Live Chat, for Consumers and Companies I talk about why Live Chat is so important these days. It is definitely becoming the favourite channel for customers who want to engage with a brand or organisation.

Live Chat is also proving to be one of the preferred channels for those brands and organisations, as it not only seems to increase customer satisfaction, but is also of a much lower cost than any other assisted channel (e.g. phone, email).

One of the main reasons for that is because agents can handle more than one Live Chat session at a time. Best practice says 3 is the ideal maximum number of Live Chat sessions an agent should handle at anyone time, but the truth is it varies.

Senior agents can certainly handle more Live Chat sessions at a time than Junior agents. But Senior agents dealing with complex cases might need to handle less Live Chat session than other agents responding to simple enquiries.

Oracle Service Cloud allows you to set the maximum number of Live Chat sessions on a profile-by-profile basis. But it also allows you to let agents, in the same profile, to change the maximum number of Live Chat sessions for themselves.

Most of you would have noticed the “Max Sessions” attribute in the “Chat Agent Permissionsarea of the Profile, which sets the maximum number of Live Chat sessions that an agent can be engaged in.


But it is also important to understand what is the utility of another attribute: the “Set Max Sessions”. This attribute is what will allow agents to change the maximum number of Live Chat sessions for themselves – within the boundaries of “Max Sessions”.

With the “Set Max Sessions” attribute enabled, agents will be able to navigate to their “Communication Center” options (application button in the upper-left corner) and change the “Maximum Chat Sessions” – but not go over what is set in “Max Sessions”.


If the “Set Max Sessions” attribute is disabled, then the “Maximum Chat Sessions” in the “Communication Center” options will be greyed out, and agents would have to stick to the maximum number of Live Chat sessions set by the administrator.


Words that characterise Live Chat, for Consumers and Companies

Most consumers surf the web (vendor websites, fan pages, forums, etc.) trying to resolve their issues before picking up the phone or start writing an email. Once they are online, Live Chat offers them a quick and low-effort way of interacting with a brand or company. Either it is for sales, customer service or technical support.

The millennials (or generation Y) like Live Chat because of its immediate and text-enabled nature (we know how youngsters are into SMS, WhatsApp, and other text messaging apps). The older generations like it because of its simplicity and easiness to use, as well as for the fact that you can do other stuff while chatting.

The 4 words that characterise Live Chat from a consumers’ point of view are therefore:

  • Easy
  • Multi-task
  • Immediate
  • Text-based

But there are also a few words (and advantages) that characterise Live Chat from a brand or company standpoint:

Feedback – There is no doubt in executives and board-members minds, that voice-of-the-customer should be captured and used to improve products and services. It is much easier to capture that feedback immediately after a Live Chat conversation (trigger exit surveys) when a customer is still engaged and things are fresh in his/her mind, than after a phone or email interaction.

Training – One of the ways of training or coaching agents in a contact centre is to go through past interactions, point out what went wrong and teach how and what could be done better. It is much easier and quick to go through a Live Chat transcript than a 15-minute phone conversation. It will take much longer to hear the recording than to read a few transcripts.

Efficiency – There is no better way of reducing costs than increasing efficiency. Live Chat helps companies reduce operational costs by allowing agents to handle more than one interaction at the same time (typically 3 to 4, tops). The possibility of concurrency lets Live Chat agents handle much more interactions than an agent dealing with phone calls or emails, and changes companies perspective when it comes to capacity.

Effectiveness – One of the most important KPIs in a contact centre is FCCR (First Contact Resolution Rate). For obvious reasons, FCCR is much higher in Live Chat than in email, for example. It is true that email is a key channel, but it takes several exchanges (back and forth messages) to resolve an issue that can be easily handled in one Live Chat session.

Web Self-Service: Another great way of reducing costs is to give consumers the possibility to help themselves. Whilst many companies have websites full of content, not many are able to say they are being used as expected. In a Live Chat session agents can provide hyperlinks to consumers, guiding them to the right content for resolution, in the website, making consumers engaged with the website and teaching them where to find answers in the future, driving web self-service.

The only perceived “downside” for the company that is going to roll out Live Chat as a channel is the technology licensing and implementation cost. From that point of view, it is a case of companies choosing cloud solutions, and preferring a strategic multi-channel platform that supports all channels (phone, email, chat, web, social media…). Rather than going for siloed and on-premise solutions or trying to integrate multiple point solutions, ultimately impacting Customer Experience (seamless interactions as consumers jump from a channel to the other).