Options for establishing a live chat operation

The product provides a simple, single-queue live chat feature that is efficient, easy to use, and practical for many data centers. The feature is immediately usable with minimal configuration. If your environment is large and complex, however, or if you expect end users to request a large number of chats about different kinds of issues, you can configure multiple agent queues; requests are routed to queues associated with the chat issue.

Service Desk agents respond to end user requests to chat. These agents belong to person groups that have been defined as chat queues. In the out-of-the-box single-queue configuration, there is only one chat queue person group. End users simply request generic chats, and agents in the chat queue person group respond. The more complex configurations require multiple chat queue person groups containing agents who respond based on their expertise. End users can request issue-specific chats, and they can initiate the requests in a number of different ways.

Following is a high-level overview of the types of live chat environments you can establish in your data center. Subsequent sections describe these options in more detail.

Single-queue configuration
A single chat queue person group contains Service Desk agents who can respond to any generic chat request that comes in. The only configuration that is required is the assignment of agents to the pre-configured person group. A single chat topic has been created in the shipped product; this topic is used for all requests, regardless of the underlying issues to be discussed. The sccd.livechat.singlechattopictemplate value is set on the Chat Topic Template system property. End users do not see a list of chat topics; rather, they can select an existing service request to chat about, or they can simple click a Chat with Agent button to initiate a request. Agents in the chat queue are immediately notified of pending requests and can start chats.
Multiple-queue configuration
An administrator clears the sccd.livechat.singlechattopictemplate value from the Chat Topic Template system property, creates multiple person groups that are designated as chat queues, and performs other configuration tasks to enable the more complex live chat operation. Each chat queue contains Service Desk agents who share expertise in some area of the data center, such as networking, hardware, e-mail, and so on. When an end user initiates a chat request, he can specify an issue to chat about, and the request is routed to the appropriate chat queue for that issue.
A multiple-queue live chat operation can work in either or both of the following ways:
  • Ticket template–based chat requests. An administrator creates ticket templates to associate with available chat topics, such as networking, hardware, or e-mail. From the Self Service Center home page, users request chats by clicking a button, and can select from a list of available chat topics. You can configure which security groups see the live chat button.
  • Solution-based chat requests. These requests are initiated from the View Solution page of the Search Solutions application, after an end user discovers that a solution does not solve his problem. He can initiate a chat with an Agent about the solution. Response plans are used to route requests to the appropriate chat queues, and the chat request button is enabled for one or more security groups.