This menu allows you to configure each brand's live chat mode and office hour settings. This is an important choice for your team to decide on because it will impact your customers' live chat experience as well as your ability to set expectations properly when it comes to your team's availability and real world wait time.
Associated Email Channel
Your associated email channel for live chat determines the default inbox where your live chat conversations live. This is a required selection because all live chat conversations in Re:amaze need to be attached to one of your email addresses. In case customers go offline while chatting with you or if they leave before you're able to serve them, your replies can be sent via email to the customer's email.
When you first create an email channel in Re:amaze, a default address such as "firstname.lastname@example.org" will be assigned. You may then connect your own email address via email forwarding and Custom SMTP (optional).
You may select one or more associated email channels for your live chat. If only one email address is selected, customers will not have the option to choose which channel to send the chat message to. If you have more than one email address selected, customers will have the option of picking which email channel to send their chat message to.
Office hours are essential if you need to tell customers when you're available and when you're not. Having office hours will allow you to set expectations for when you're away as well as when customers might expect to hear back from you. You can easily add office hours and blackout dates for your brand in this menu.
When you fall out of the set office hours or a blackout date is triggered, Re:amaze will display a snooze icon on your Shoutbox and Lightbox indicating that you're currently unavailable. A time or date will be displayed for when you and your team will be back.
Office hours in Re:amaze can be added as individual blocks throughout the day and blackout dates can be added as individual days throughout the year to correspond with national holidays. Blackout dates can be further broken down by hours in the day as well if needed.
Here's an example for office hours:
- Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00am - 12:00pm and 2:00pm - 4:00pm
- Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am - 2:00pm and 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Here's an example for blackout dates:
- June 1st, 2018 through June 10th, 2018
- July 4th, 2018
- October 31st, 2018
- December 24th, 2018
- December 25th, 2018
Where else are Office Hours used?
When you're using Real Time Direct Messaging (live chat) and would like to ask customers for their name and email ONLY when you're outside of your Office Hours, you can pick the specific contact mode that supports this. Keep in mind that this only applies when Classic Live Chat is turned off.
Office Hours also affect your staff reports' response time calculations. You can read about it in our article about how response times are calculated here. Essentially, if you have office hours enabled, the response times in your staff reports only reflect response times for when the staff is working.
Email autoresponders can be set up to automatically reply to customers based on certain times of the day. If you'd like your autoresponder to send when you're not inside of office hours, you have the option of picking the "Follow Office Hours".
Re:amaze offers two modes for chatting with customers on your website: Real Time Chat and Classic Chat
In general, Real Time Chat is suitable for situations where your team serves customer inquiries asynchronously or via mobile apps. Classic Chat is suitable when your team is dedicated to having a "Live" presence and provides options like Availability Hours. Classic Chat Mode is only available at the Plus tier.
Real Time Chat
Real Time Chat provides a modern chat cadence like iMessage, text messaging, and Facebook Messenger. This mode allows you to engage customers in real time but also in an asynchronous manner. This means you, as the business, can choose to chat with customers in real time if you have the time to do so and want to. There is no expectation that the conversation requires both parties to be online at the same time.
- This method of engagement is similar to various social media platforms and other conversational platforms like Facebook Messenger or iMessage.
- Re:amaze will prompt the customer with an expected response time, based on historical availability.
- When your customer sends a message, your team will receive notifications via Re:amaze dashboard, email, and the Re:amaze mobile app.
- However, when both you and the customer are online at the same time, the conversation can happen fluidly in real time. If one of you needs to go somewhere, the conversation continues using push notifications. There is no specific "End" to the conversation.
- Re:amaze will indicate to your customers which messages have been "Sent" and which have been "Viewed", so they have insight into your availability.
- Each reply by you is also sent as an email response to the customer if they don't view it through chat immediately, so they can leave the website and continue the conversation over email.
Classic Chat is the more traditional "live agent" experience. This mode allows you to engage customers in real time but in a completely synchronized manner. This means the agent and the customer must both be online at the same time in order to chat. There is a clear beginning and end to any given conversation. A conversation that has ended cannot be re-opened or revived by a new reply. There is also a set expectation that a staff agent will serve the live chat within a reasonable amount of time (usually 20 seconds to 1 minute). Classic Chat is only available when members of your team are logged into Re:amaze via a desktop browser.
- This method of engagement is perfect when you want to set the expectation with the customer that there is an agent guaranteed to serve the conversation immediately.
- Re:amaze provides each staff agent with the ability to set Availability Hours. Classic Chat is enabled when any of your staff agents are Online via Re:amaze and has status set to "Available for Live Chat".
- There is a constant "live" and "real time" connection between the staff agent and the customer. If either the customer goes offline or idles for too long, the live chat is ended and there can be no further messages posted to that live chat session.
- Classic Chats can be Ended by either side when the conversation should be finished.
- You have the option of converting the Live Chat session into a normal conversation, to continue as Real Time Chat or Email.
Enabling Classic Chat
You can enable Classic Chat by checking the "Enable Classic Chat Mode" option. Once enabled, you'll have some additional options to pick from in terms of:
- the amount of time that needs to elapse before customers receive a "we're busy" notification
- the amount of time that needs to elapse before customer chat requests become missed
- whether or not you want missed chats to automatically convert into a regular conversation
- whether or not to end inactive chats
- whether or not you want to enable a satisfaction survey at the end of the chat
- whether or not you want to automatically assign chats to agents who are available for Classic Chat
Once Classic Chat is enabled, each individual agent will then have the ability to turn on or off their Classic Chat at the bottom right hand corner of their dashboard. They will also be able to set their personal Classic Chat hours as well as turning on any audible notifications.