Chatflow Bot availability and office hours

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HubSpot Product Team

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:

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

6 Replies
Occasional Contributor

EDIT: This doesn't work Smiley Sad

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Timing for chatflows would be a great addition!

 

In the meantime, can I suggest installing the chat code with Google Tag Manager? This would enable users to set a Custom Tag Firing Schedule, adding and removing chat from the website on a schedule.

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

New Member

Hi!

 

We've lately started using HubSpot chat bot, and it would be vital for our operations if we could enable the chat bot on specific days and hours.

 

Is there any way to handle that limitation through coding?

 

Thank you in advance!

New Member

As I am working through setting up chatbots/live chats for our organization I came across this exact issue. My goal was to have a live chat active during business hours and after business hours or if the live chat was set to "away" have the bot appear so we can still be collecting information when someone is offline. Having the ability to do this hands-free with less manual steps would be ideal. Hopefully, this feature will be available sooner than later. Until then, this post provided some helpful ways to get around this for now.

Occasional Contributor

i agree with everyone above, ideally we want live chat during the day, and then automatically based on our hours of operations the bot would kick in, I don't think this would be too hard to do, would it? 

HubSpot Employee

Haven't tested this, but I suppose one could have a bot chatflow piggyback on the "execution time" settings of the workflows tool (documented here https://knowledge.hubspot.com/articles/kcs_article/workflows/manage-your-contact-based-workflow-sett... ), as follows:

  1. Create a contact property, let's say a single-line text field named "chat_time"
  2. Create a workflow that only executes during your office hours. The workflow has one action: set the contact property "chat_time" to the value "office hours"
  3. Early on in your bot chatflow, use the action "enroll in workflow" to enroll the contact in your workflow.
  4. Somewhat later in the chatflow, you can use an "if/then" condition on a bot action. You can use the condition "chat_time" is equal to "office hours" as the condition. If YES --> go to agent handover. OTHERWISE --> go to further qualifying bot actions

    (one could then think of some refinements for dealing with repeat interactions, like resetting that chat_time property appropriately via workflow, for example, but this would be the basic solution.)
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0 Upvotes
Occasional Contributor

One of the 4 main steps of the chatflows is "When" the chat bot should appear... I was hoping to see start & stop options allowing me to cherry pick the weekdays and times. But instead, it was all about which URLs the chat bot should appear on (so wouldn't that be more appropriately called "Where"?)

 

So one suggestion for the product team is to tie the scheduling to the "When" section. The benefit here is that we don't have to manually remember to toggle off the chat bot with live agent at 5pm and then toggle on the "after hours" chat bot every week day.