Chatflow Bot availability and office hours
12-21-2018 04:12 - edited 02-08-2019 11:59
You probably have seen the following note in Conversations Inbox settings under "Availability":
Targeted messages with bots attached will always load outside of business hours and will be handed off to agents if they are set to Available.
Chatflows with an attached bot will always be displayed on the page regardless of the "Availability" chosen in the Inbox settings. That is one of the benefits of bots – you can have a conversational presence on your website even when you are not there.
There is another group that does not want the bot to appear outside of office hours for various reasons, or wants to have separate office hours apply to the bot. We are working on ideas for better controls for availability and office hours on Chatflows with a bot. There are use cases for bots with a “Send to a team member” actions to only show during office hours, for example, or to not have the bot respond when the team is online.
For now, there are a few ways to accomplish the same goals without bot office hours:
- Create two identical Chatflows, one with a bot and one without a bot. During the day when you want your team to be responding to visitors, flip the toggle off for the Chatflow with a bot and the toggle on for the Chatflow with no bot. When your team leaves the office for the day, toggle off the Chatflow with no bot, and toggle on the Chatflow with a bot.
- Create a live chat Chatflow that only asks a few qualifying questions, then uses the “Send to team member” action to hand the visitor off to “Specific users and teams” or “Contact owner” (this will not work if handing off to “Unassigned”). This will not affect the speediness of response time for your team during the day, and it will probably be useful to have that extra visitor information. In the “If team member is away, show” field in the “Send to team member” action, you can clearly communicate that your team is offline, that you will collect their information, and will follow up when your team is back online. This will eliminate the need for the toggling off and on of Chatflows. Just be sure that your team sets their status to “Away” in the inbox when they go offline.
We are working to make all this more powerful and flexible, but until that happens, these options should help you accomplish your goals.