Chat Availability Settings Should Apply to the Bot

I set my chat settings so that the chat launcher will hide outside of our business hours. Since I'm using a bot to greet and capture the name & email address of the person wishing to chat - my chat availability settings are being ignored. So I'm getting incoming chats when my sales reps aren't available. I'd like for the bot to hide outside of business hours, just like the chat launcher would IF I wans't using a bot.

HubSpot updates
changed to: Delivered
Aug 22, 2019

Hey Everyone, we just rolled out something that should allow you to set specific office hours at the inbox level for your team, ensuring your chatbots won’t be forwarding live chats to agents who have gone home for the day:

  1. Display chatbots based on team availability (always on, only on during business hours, or based on the availability status of team members)
  2. Use if/then branches to route visitors based on team availability

Go here for more details on how to use these new capabilities

https://www.hubspot.com/product-updates/control-your-chatbot-availability-with-new-custom-settings

Jul 13, 2019

@SarahN with these changes you will be able to customize messages that bots deliver for different scenarios, including the one you mentioned.

 

Image 2019-07-13 at 3.04.31 PM.pngImage 2019-07-13 at 3.06.01 PM.png

changed to: In Beta
Jul 12, 2019

Hey everyone,

 

My name is Jesse and I'm part of the product team here at HubSpot. We've recently opened up a beta to address these issues. You can create bots that truly respect their teams working styles—whether that means creating chatflows that display when their team is online, when their team is away, or conditionally based on specific agent availability. With this beta, you can now:

  1. Show a chatflow based on availability
  2. Use new a if/then branch type called “agent availability”
  3. Handoff bots to agents based on availability

 

How it works:

1. Showing a chatflow based on availability: Not all of our users want their chatflows live on their site all the time. With this new control, they’ll be able to create chatflows that respect their team’s availability schedule. 

 

2. New if/then branch type called “agent availability”: When creating or editing a chatflow, users can now route their visitors down different paths based on their agent & team’s availability using the “agent availability” if/then branch type.

 

3. Bots handoff to agents based on availability: We’ve improved how we handle routing based on availability—taking into account first the team’s general availability settings, and then looking at individual agent availability.  This will result in less chats being missed because of confusion around availability controls.

For example, if you have “During business hours” selected for your team’s inbox availability, and a customer interacts with a bot outside of those business hours, they will not be routed to agents, and instead routed to the “Unassigned” pool in your inbox so that your team doesn’t lose critical conversations.

 

If you would like early access to the beta, please fill out this form forms.gle/K7cCMUXmFUpVfiKH9

34 Replies
New Contributor

This is huge because we are getting tons of messages over the weekend, with no one to answer them. So instead, we have to manually turn the bot off and on every single day. I hope this gets fixed soon!

Regular Contributor

We've encountered the same problem. I've resorted to manually turning the chats off before leaving the office. Its a pain in the butt. 

New Contributor | Platinum Partner
New Contributor | Platinum Partner

I have a couple suggestions for the chat bot that I think would make life a little easier.

 

1. Chat bots should not have to be hosted by a welcome message. They should stand alone and be activated from the bot builder tool without connecting it to a message.

 

2. Give us display/targeting options for the bot. As of now, when a chat bot feature is activated, it will display at all times even if the message where the bot is hosted is set during business hours only.

 

 

 

 

 

Top Contributor

see here @hroberts - this feature is extremely needed, otherwise office hours are kind of useless!

Top Contributor

hi @BryanGorman - this has been asked a lot of times on this forum and still no update from HubSpot!

New Contributor

^^ that

Occasional Contributor | Platinum Partner
Occasional Contributor | Platinum Partner

^^ Yes please! We have several pages that rank internationally so we get all sorts of chats deep in the night where nobody can answer. Also have to resort to turning the bot on/off. 

Occasional Contributor

This has been a continual headache for us as well. Our only solution is to have sales staff manually set themselves as away when they leave for the day. Sometimes they forget and we will have chats rolling in when we are closed with response causing a bad customer experience. What ideally should happen is in the handoff configuration there should be an option to input business hours and if it falls outside those hours a message will display, similar to what can be inputted when away.

Regular Visitor

I strongly agree with the idea and already upvoted it.

 

I think the easiest way would be to have at least the possibility to set the timing for the targeted messages.

 

In this way we could:

  • Set up different targeted messages connected to different bots based upon office hours / out-of-office hours, so that for example we can have 1 bot with a specific flow that foresees an agent handoff if needed and 1 bot with another flow, without an agent handoff at the end but collecting the visitor's data so that we can contact him/her later (this is what I would personally need)
  • Set up a targeted message only for out-of-office hours so that it's connected to the bot, while during office hours the agents immediately enter the chat

Would this idea fit everyone's needs?

 

In this case I don't think it should be too difficult for HubSpot to release this feature, we can already target the pages where we want the targeted message to be shown, so only a "timing" rule should be added...

New Contributor

Big issue for us as well! Makes for unhappy site visitors in the current format!

Occasional Contributor

I would love more targeting options! Especially if I could track if certain users have used the ChatBot before, then I could load a different version of the bot without an explanation/introduction message. Or, we could prevent the ChatBot from greeting customers who have preferred to only talk to staff.

New Contributor

Our team has also been affected by the limitations to set away messages outside of business hours. We use the bot to guide our users through different service options while also providing the option to chat with our team if needed. Since our business is international, we have visitors looking to chat with our team outside of our business hours, which is certainly not a positive experience for them. It would be ideal if Hubspot enabled us to set away messages outside of business hours in the Agent Handoff settings so that visitors know why our team is unavailable. 

 

Looking forward to seeing this new feature added soon. 

Occasional Contributor

EDIT: Turns out this doesn't work Smiley Sad

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This would be a great addition! 

In the meantime though, to get the chatbot showing only during office hours, install the chat snippet code with Google Tag Manager and set a Custom Tag Firing Schedule.

 

https://www.bounteous.com/insights/2016/09/20/fire-gtm-tags-your-schedule/

 

Now, you only have the code on your site from 9-5 (or whatever hours you're after).

 

 

Occasional Contributor

We are experiencing the same issue. Because the bot trumps the after hours message it moves users that chatted in earlier in the day to Unassigned with no response if they chat back in outside business hours. We need this fixed asap!

New Contributor

Why is there an option to "Hide chat launcher" when "all team members are 'away' or at capacity" or when it's outside business hours if it doesn't actually hide the chat launcher? What's the point of business hours then? 

HubSpot Alumni
HubSpot Alumni
updated to: In Planning
 
New Contributor

you are my people!  exactly that - need to turn off the bot overnight otherwise we get lots of wierdos pointing me to **bleep** sites or asking bizare questions.  I'm using the bot to ask for name and email whilst we are online which seems to be a common thread in this thread.

Occasional Contributor

Upvoted, and seconded. Definitely need this feature ASAP, please. As has been mentioned, it's not great having the office hours setting being overridden by the bot. Thanks in advance for developing/implementing. Smiley Happy

Occasional Contributor

Agreed -- this seems straightforward, highly useful... Hubspot is an 'automation' tool, so we shouldn't have to manually toggle on/off switch regarding availability.

 

On a related note: 

If the chat session has already been initiated, but the rep stepped away (e.g. went to bathrm, picked up a phone call, etc.) and is not answering the chat request in a timely manner, then  there should be some fallbacks in place.

 

e.g.. If rep does not respond in x seconds (or mins), then:
a) transfer to next available rep, or
b) show error message.

 

So some sort of "inactivity timer" where after that period of time, some action happens so the visitor does not hear crickets or feel ghosted.

Regular Contributor | Platinum Partner
Regular Contributor | Platinum Partner

We need a solution really urgent too!