Managing Chats in the Grata Console

 
Once you’ve setup your console the first time, you’ll be ready to receive incoming chats.
 

Be ready for incoming chats

When a new chat is sent to your console, you should:

  • hear an audio notification,
  • see a red counter of waiting customers on the Next Chat button, and
  • if you’re not in the console window, a pop-up notification from your browser.

Your organization may set your console to automatically logout if you are inactive. Your console is considered inactive if you haven’t sent any messages or clicked on anything in the console for the duration of the inactivity period set by your administrator. If your organization has set an inactivity logout, you’ll see a warning approximately one minute before you reach the end of your time. You can click on the warning to reset the timer and stay logged in. If you are logged out due to inactivity, you’ll need to log back in before receiving any notifications for incoming chats.

Claiming a chat

Click the Next Chat button to claim the next available chat. When you have a user waiting, you’ll see a button beside the Next Chat to view a list of who is waiting (Note: some organizations may choose to hide the list of waiting users). The waiting list view provides more context and allows you to select a specific user to claim next. Only one agent can claim a new chat from the waiting list at a time.
 

 
By default the waiting list is sorted in order of who has been waiting the longest. Organizations that do not offer 24/7 support may wish to reverse sorting at the start of the morning shift. Users who have messaged, for example, overnight and already received an offline greeting letting them know not to expect a quick reply, are not as urgent as users who message during your online hours and receive your online reply letting them know you’ll be right with them. If you have dozens of offline waiting users at the start of the shift, consider reversing the sort order until you’ve caught up with the overnight back log. Your team’s response time and the waiting time for customers is averaged from only chats that start during your working hours.
 

Send initial reply

One of the most crucial service goals is to get a quick first reply to the user. You want your customers to know that you are “on it” and that they can relax and put their phone down. If your organization has setup online, offline, and busy auto-greetings, your user will have already received a reply to their first message helping manage their expectations as to when they should expect to hear from you.
 
Your next message is meant to let them know a live person is taking care of their concern, and hopefully which specific person. For WeChat and web chat, we recommend using personalized or role-based Agent Identities so this is clear to the user. The combination of immediate online agent auto-reply and your first greeting will look like this to your user:
 

Example: A WeChat user first receives an auto-greeting letting them know the service team is busy, later receiving a reply from a live agent.


 
⚠️ Messaging limits: Depending on which channel your customer is using, you have a limited amount of time to reply and possibly a limited amount of messages you can send, unless the customer continues to interact with you. In the table below, for example, when a customer messages your business from a WeChat Mini Program, you have up to 48 hours to reply to that user and you can send a maximum of five consecutive messages. Each time the user sends a message, both of these limitations are reset.
Max reply time Max consecutive messages
WeChat OA 48 hours 20
WeChat MP 48 hours 5
Baidu MP 48 hours 5
Facebook 24hr + 1 n/a
Web chat While user is on your site n/a

Facebook has a bit of a twist: you can message as often as you like within 24 hours of the customer’s last message, plus one additional message outside of the 24 hour window but within one year. For web chat, you can reply as long as the user is still on your webpage. When a user closes the page or is otherwise disconnected, you will no longer be able to message them.

When you reach a limit, the channel provider will block your message and we will display an error in the console. You can hover over the red error message to get details of most error messages.


 

Get context

Once you’ve gotten out an initial reply to the user, take a moment to orient yourself with user profile information on the right side of the console:
 

 

Username

The username field in bold is editable. If Grata receives a username from the channel (WeChat, Facebook, etc.) we’ll use that name here. Even if you choose to edit the user’s name, the default username is preserved next to the channel name in quotes.

We don’t always receive a username from the channel. For example, WeChat Mini-Programs (MP) require the user to give consent to share their username, and then the developer of your MP has to share that information with us. For whatever reason, if we don’t have a username for a MP we will auto-generate a name (eg. “WeChat User x5i”). For web chat, we will auto-generate a username, normally using the city of the user’s IP address (eg. “Shanghai 4hU”) if available.

User language, gender

If we receive a language or gender reported from the channel, we’ll report that information below the channel and username. For WeChat, the language reported is the user’s WeChat language. For web chat, we determine the user language based on the website language the user is on when they start a chat.

Tags, notes, and comments

Grata saves all of the user’s chat history, but details will get lost in long conversations. Consider how your organization can best use tags, notes, and comments to save actionable details about your customers. Get in the habit of quickly checking if there are any important profile details at the start of conversations so you don’t overlook anything or make your customer repeat information.

Grata supports managed tags and personal tags. Managed tags are ones that your Grata administrator creates and that are suggested when you click on the tag interface. Personal tags are any tags you may create on your own. Tags are useful for finding past users you spoke with: you might not always remember their name, but if you consistently apply relevant tags you can quickly filter past chats until you find the conversation you are looking for. Your admin can also export reports on your customers over a data range that include tags which you can use to help you follow up with customers later.

Notes is a single field to help you store important details that can be easily checked by agents when they are in chat. Comments are saved with the date, time, and agent who added the comment.

User location

For WeChat users, a GPS location is only available for verified Service Accounts that have activated the feature and only when users opt-in to share their location. (For help setting up WeChat location sharing, look at the last section of How to Link WeChat to Grata.)

For web chat users, this location is an approximate location based on the user’s IP address, if known. If the user is using a proxy or VPN, this location will be the location of their server, not the user’s actual location, so be careful assuming too much from a web chat user’s location. You will not see location information for MP, Facebook, or SMS users.

You can choose either Google or AutoNavi maps from the menu. Google Maps are in English and Chinese and have global coverage, but are blocked in China. AutoNavi maps are not blocked in China, but only support Chinese language and have limited detail for locations outside of China.

User's Location in Grata

Any relevant conversation history

All conversation history for the user is preserved in the console. If the user recently chatted with your organization it may be helpful to quickly scroll up and review history so you can deliver more relevant service and customers don’t have to repeat themselves. Each time you scroll to the top of the chat history, the console will download an additional twenty messages of any previous history.

Pageview history

For web chat users, you normally will be able to see the user’s current page, as well as the previous pages they have viewed during their current browser session. Check the pageview tab on the right side of the console.

Servicing a conversation

You have a number of different options on how best to reply to a user, and you may use several different mediums in the course of a conversation, depending on the situation.

Text

The simplest method to reply is simply to type your response. Hit Enter to send your message or Shift + Enter for a line break.

Quick Replies

Your organization can prepare and store multilingual text for frequently-asked questions, organized by topics. Hover your mouse over a topic to reveal a list of stored replies. Hover over an individual reply to reveal the full text of the message. Click on a highlighted reply to load the stored text in your text editor. Double-click on the All button to load your organizations default reply. Double-click on any other topic to load the first reply for that subject.

A preview of the Quick Reply text will display in the language of your console, but will change to the customer’s language (if the reply is available in that language) when you click on the reply to add it to to the text editor before sending. If you have a situation where the customer engages in a chat in a language different than their WeChat language, you can change the content language for that user by clicking on the language flag:

Push-to-talk

As long as you have a working microphone and have enabled the browser permission for audio, you can hold down on the microphone icon to record a message. Move the mouse away from the icon to cancel.

If you don’t see the red bar moving up and down with your voice, your microphone may not be working properly. Make sure it is enabled in the browser and then reload your console. You should see the video icon below, or click on the Secure button next to the browser URL to enable the microphone permission.

Browser Microphone Permissions
Microphone has permission Click on the “Secure” button to manage permissions later

 

Images

You can add a JPG or PNG image up to 2MB to a conversation by clicking the folder icon, selecting a file, and then hitting send:

Or simply drag-and-drop an image over the chat window. The drop area is highlighted for you when dragging an image into the console.

After adding your image to the console you will see a preview in the chat box. Click send to confirm, or click clear to remove the image.

Cards

Your organization may use multilingual cards to share content with your customers. Link cards contain a title, image, teaser text, and link to more content. Link cards can be shared with WeChat, Mini-Programs, web chat, and Facebook users. Mini-Program (MP) cards contain a title, image, and a MP page link. MP cards can only be shared with WeChat and Mini-Program users.

WeChat Facebook Messenger

Simply drag-and-drop a card into the chat box and click send. You can also click a card once to preview the card text and open the link. Click Add from the preview window to add the card to your chat editor.

Cards are managed in the Grata Admin Panel.

Inviting another agent to a chat

You can add another agent to a chat in Grata, meaning more than one agent can be in a chat at the same time. In any active chat, you can hover over an agent’s name and then click on the “+” icon to send them a chat request. You will see a spinner while the transfer request is pending:

Click to confirm and then the other agent will see and hear a new chat notification in their browser as well as this pop-up window:

If the other agent accepts you will see a green “OK” message next to the agent’s name. If agent rejects the transfer you will see a red “No”. When more than one agent is in a conversation you will see a banner over the top of the chat like this:

Forward a user

Forwarding a user closes your chat and sends the user back to the waitlist queue. If you accidentally claim a chat, or realize you’re not the best agent to answer, click the forward icon in the top right.


If you just want to send the user back to the queue for all agents, you can simply click the Forward button at the bottom and ignore the other options.

There are several optional parameters you can when forwarding a user. The first option is to select a specific group of agents to receive your forward. Your organization will need to setup routing groups (eg. for sales and customer service teams) on the Grata backend to use this feature. After forwarding, the user will first be sent to only those agents and the name of the routing group will appear next to the user’s name in the waiting list drop-down menu view.

The second option allows you to schedule a later time to send the user back to the queue so you can use the waitlist to set a reminder for your team. If you’re going to send a user later, we recommend you add additional context for other agents by designating a type in the third option below, such as “Reminder”. It will likely be helpful to add a note as well. When that user comes back to the waiting list they will appear with the appropriate icon next to their avatar and your message will display in the waitlist,


as well as be copied to the chat thread.

Closing a conversation

When you have finished a chat with a customer and have confirmed that she needs no further assistance, click the “X” at the top right of the chat panel to close the conversation.

If your organization is tracking chat types, you’ll see a pop-up asking you to note the chat type and whether or not to send a customer satisfaction survey. You’ll be required to select a chat type to close the chat, you can decide whether or not to send the survey. Surveys are currently only supported in WeChat and Mini-Programs.

We strongly recommend getting in the habit of closing chats after the conversation has come to a natural conclusion. If you leave your workstation without signing-out or closing your computer, that chat session will still be assigned to you, meaning any new messages from the user will only go to you. Your admin can set your Grata account to route returning users first to their previous agent. If the previous agent is not online, or fails to claim the chat again, Grata will then notify other agents.
 

Opening a past conversation

If you would like to re-open a chat you had with a previous customer, you can click on their name in the History section of the console side bar. History includes all of your chats for the previous twenty-four hours.

If you need to access an older chat you can click on More Chats to open all previous chats across your entire organization. You can search by username across the last 2,000 users or search across your entire database by tag, WeChat OpenID, WeChat UnionID, and GrataID . Click the user to open the chat session in your console.

Keep in mind when opening previous users that WeChat customer service sessions are only open for forty-eight hours from the time your customer sent you their last message. Your customer will not receive any messages from you if that session has expired and Grata will display in error message in the console. Facebook has a slightly different “24+1” policy, meaning you can message freely within 24 hours from the last message the user sent you, and outside of that window, you are able to send just one message to try to restart the conversation.