Human agents can handle only a limited number of conversations simultaneously. By default, we limit it to 4 concurrent chats, and you can change this in the “Settings – General – Live chat settings” menu.
Once this limit is reached by all agents, new live chat requests will get queued and will be assigned to agents only when they close existing live chat sessions.
Long waiting times are annoying, so we’ve made it easy to display the number of people in line (for each specific queue tag). Just use the $_live_chats_in_queue attribute in the “Escalation message” text, and your users will be able to estimate the waiting time.
If the live chat session was not accepted by any agent before the timeout, the “ERROR” exit will be triggered, and you can suggest your customer to keep waiting or to get his or her request to be processed manually when someone is online.
Accepting queued chats manually
When you have a sudden surge in the number of live chats (think of an internet outage situation for a telecom provider customer service, for example), it’s a common practice to add more human agents to handle these conversations.
When a live chat agent logs into Activechat, by default he/she will be set to “Not accepting chats” mode. This prevents the situation when chats are immediately assigned, and the agent cannot prioritize conversations.
In this mode, the agent can browse queued chats and choose the ones that should be prioritized or require immediate attention (for example, based on customer attributes, location, or segment).
Just choose “Queued” from the “Show” drop-down list:
To accept a specific chat or transfer it to another agent, click the “Accept” or “Transfer to…” buttons at the bottom.
IMPORTANT: You can transfer queued chats to other agents only if you have the “Live chat admin” permission.