Chat With Customers

You've got a Beacon installed on your web based app or website and have all the settings configured, now let's get to chatting!

If you've not gotten Beacon installed on your site yet, take a look at Add Beacon to Your Website or App to find more help for that, then check out Get Started With Live Chat for help with chat configuration.

Accept or Assign a Chat

Any Inbox with a chat-enabled Beacon attached will have a Chats folder at the top of the folder list.

Click into the Chats folder to view the chat interface, see what team members are available to chat, and find chat sessions.

New chat requests appear in the left sidebar with a Waiting label. Click into the chat and click Accept, or just start typing and hit return/enter to start chatting.

The number of chats that Beacon will queue up is determined by the settings for each member of your team that is available to chat. More about how that works: User Availability and Maximum Chats

You don't have to sit on the chat page and wait for chats either — make sure your notifications are set up the way you'd like, and as long as you're in Help Scout, you'll know when a new chat comes in. Read more: About Chat Notifications

Add Contact Information

Disable Require Email to allow anonymous chats and your visitors can start a chat without entering their information. The visitor will show in chat as Unidentified Visitor.

Ask the chatter for an email address, and you'll see the option to link the chat to that customer. If you have enabled transcripts, they will receive a transcript as long as you enter an email address before the chat end. 

In the case of a mistaken address, you can unlink the customer from an unidentified chat by clicking the Undo link.

Explore Visitor Details

As you start chatting with a customer, it’s helpful to take a quick look at what the customer has viewed or where they’ve been prior to asking for help. Click the Show activity button at the top of the chat to explore Beacon history. 

Add Tags

You can add or remove tags on a chat at any time during the conversation. Tags that you apply to the chat will become part of the email conversation that’s created when the chat ends. Remember that tags are global across Inboxes in Help Scout, which means all tags are available for use in chat.

Use AI Assist

BETA AI Assist is now available to Plus and Pro plans in chat as well! Use your mouse to highlight the text — or use Cmd + A / Ctrl + A to select all the text in your chat box — and you'll see the sparkle icon appear

Explore the Shortcut Menu

The shortcut menu in chat makes responding and finding information quick and easy. Check out About the Chat Shortcut Menu for a full rundown!

Assign a Chat

You might want to assign a chat to another team member if you need help, or if you’re done chatting for the time being. Click the Assignee icon to assign the chat. You can assign the chat to Users who are Available, or Users who have their status set to Assign Only. 
Only one User can be assigned to a chat. Other Users viewing assigned chats are able to add private notes in real time, but they cannot reply to the customer. 

Chat Timeouts

Active Chats

If a chat has been accepted by a User it will remain active as long as chat messages are being exchanged. If there has been no customer response in 25 minutes, the Help Bot will advise them that the chat will close soon if they do not respond. After 30 minutes of inactivity the chat will automatically end. 

Missed Chats

If no User accepts a chat after 5 minutes, Help Bot will apologize to the customer and close the chat. Any messages the customer sent while waiting will be saved in the chat transcript that will go to your Unassigned view as an active conversation. Any Users who were available at the time a missed chat occurred will be automatically set to Assign Only and a notice will display on their screen. 

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