chat-update

Pinging in new live chat updates

Written by on June 10, 2016

As far as support channels go, live chat is the trickiest of tricky channels because it carries the weight of expectations. Live chat is the channel that users turn to when they want answers. It’s the channel they turn to when they have a problem they needed solved yesterday. If your user had the luxury of time, they’d have chosen email to get in touch with you.

So, when we sat down to improve the live chat experience, we made sure to keep these guidelines in mind:

1) Chats should feel like conversations

Why should the experience of talking to a brand be any different from talking to a friend? Most chat support software of the day make the live chat experience feel more like formal parley rather than a casual conversation with a friend. So, when we set up to ideate, with our drawing boards and our lovely green markers, the first thing we did was put down that we needed to provide a more modern, conversational experience, an experience that’s in line with what our customers are already familiar with. Our go-to words were, bigger and cleaner.

Freshdesk-live-chat-new-user-experience

A conversational chat experience manifests itself in many ways. Imagine, you’re chatting with a friend about your day. When the conversation winds down, you move away to do other things. However, five minutes later, you remember a detail about your day that you forgot to rant about. The automatic response is to check if they’re online so you can just let them know right away. You wouldn’t wait till the next time you saw them to talk – if they’re online, you’d let them know immediately.

The urgency is just compounded when it’s a solution to the other person’s problem and not just a rant. Now, with Freshdesk, you can check to find out if the person who just ended a conversation with you is still online. Your workaround doesn’t have to stew in the user’s inbox, it can be making the user’s life immensely better right now.

All you have to do is check your recent messages to see if the visitor is still online (the little chat bubble indicates their presence)!

freshdesk-chat-End chat-Agent side

2) Contextual customer support is the order of the day

What used to take 3 clicks now takes one. Notice if you will that the recent messages tab and list of visitors have now been meshed together to make sure that all the info you need to be up to date, is available at first sight.

freshdesk-Live-Chat-Widget

Customer satisfaction, guaranteed.

3) More power to the customer

They say, that the person who ends the conversation is the person who has the upper hand.

Minions-mic-drop

And nary a word was said, after.

Previously, only an agent could drop the mic and end a chat. Now, when a visitor clicks on the ‘X’ button at the top right of the chat window, a confirmation will be asked as seen in the screenshot below.

freshdesk-chat-channel-visitors-end-chat

If the visitor confirms, the chat will be closed and a notification will be sent to the agent.

This way, agents know when the conversation is over so that they can devote their attention to other visitors and visitors get to end the conversation on their own terms.

4) The devil is in the details

With the new transcript, Admins can now examine a chat conversation to such great detail that it’ll be like they were present for the duration of the conversation.

Freshdesk-richer-chat-transcripts

Amongst other things, Admins can deduce everything from the amount of time a customer waited before a conversation was initiated to chat handle time and the IP address of the customer.

5) Scaling and security are always on the top of the priority list

Along with these updates, we have revamped our architecture to provide customers with a faster chat experience. We have also upgraded our security compliance. It’s not just better security for accounts; we’ve also worked hard to reduce the chances of attacks.


When we envisioned the rollout of this update, we’ll confess to expecting a rollout so smooth the angels would have heralded us for it. However, the update was regrettably not as smooth as we expected, for which we apologize. We’ve taken the time to look back at what happened, learn from it and put some checks in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

If you haven’t had the chance to try out our chat channel yet, you can sign up here and try it for free.

If you have tried it, let us know what your favorite feature is! Mine is the little headphone that indicates that the minimized chat is with a fellow agent and not a customer (a feature that this update ushered into the world).

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