Reconnecting to previous chat session

We’ve all been there. We’re in the middle of a chat session with a support agent, or talking to a salesperson, etc. Suddenly things go wrong – our browser hangs, the internet loses connection, or something else…

Alternatively, I do know of situations where kids have pulled out the internet cables during ‘playtime’ – it really does happen!

Immediately we’re frustrated. Not only have we not finished what we were trying to achieve, but we’re going to need to start all over again. Perhaps the agent took notes & logged them against our contact record, but the likelihood is that it hasn’t happened. It’s going to take time to get through to an agent again, then we have to explain the whole situation from the absolute beginning. It’s heartrending, and can cause our day to absolutely go down the tubes!

Well, what if we could just re-connect to the chat session with all our data saved? Better still, what if we could go back and continue chatting with the specific agent that we had been communicating with? Sounds amazing, but wishful, right?

Well, we now have this ability within Omnichannel, to be able to enable our customers even further. There are even two ways in which we can offer this:

  • Reconnecting with a link (URL). If the agent is concerned that the chat session may be interrupted, they can provide a URL at the start of the session. If the customer becomes disconnected from the session for whatever reason, they can click the link, and it’ll take them right back to it. This works for both authenticated & unauthenticated users
  • Reconnecting through a prompt. For authenticated chat users, if the session drops they can be presented with a prompt. This will allow them to choose whether to connect to the previous session, or start a new session.

Let’s take a look at it, and how it works.

In the Omnichannel Administration Centre, we need to go to the specific Chat record that we’re wanting to set this up for. We open the record, and are now presented with the following (we do need to scroll down the screen a bit):

Note that this is in Preview currently, so just be a bit careful with it!

There are several options available. We don’t need to use each one, but let’s understand what each one does:

  • Turn on reconnect to previous chat. This is the option to enable if we’re wanting to offer this. Without it set, it’s not going to work!
  • Reconnect time limit. How long we’ll offer the option to the customer to reconnect for. See the note below around this
  • Reconnect to previous agent for. How long we’ll allow the customer to connect back to the same agent. This needs to be equal or less to the ‘Reconnect Time Limit’ value that we’ve set. During this period of time, the agent’s capacity is blocked, unless the agent uses the ‘Close’ button on their interface to end the conversation (which then releases the agents availability)
  • Portal URL. As mentioned higher up, the agent can provide a URL for the customer to auto-reconnect if the session drops. This value is the URL that the chat widget is deployed to
  • Redirection URL. If the connection drops, and the re-connection timeout occurs, we can redirect the customer to a specific web-page. If this isn’t set, the customer will see the option to start a new chat conversation

Note: The ‘Reconnect Time Limit’ value is auto-set by the system to the value specified in the work-stream that’s associated with the chat widget. It’s not possible to manually change this in the chat widget itself. Instead, the work-stream ‘Auto-close after inactivity’ value would need to be changed. This is shown below:

Note: It’s also important that the customer hasn’t closed THEIR chat window! All of this relies on the customer chat still being there. If the customer has closed their window/browser, they won’t be offered this option.

Have you ever needed to offer customer capability along these lines? How did you go about it? Drop a comment below – I’d love to hear!

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