In the past, there has been some confusion with chatbots passing conversations off to agents who were not available. Previously, you could have handled this manually by having all of your team members toggle themselves “offline” when away. However, we’re all human and it’s easy for a rep to forget to sign off before leaving the office for the day -- which leads to bots that continue collecting information and forwarding leads and customers to agents who aren’t actually at their desks. Not a great customer experience.
Today’s updates put a stop to that madness and 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:
- Display chatbots based on team availability (always on, only on during business hours, or based on the availability status of team members)
- Use if/then branches to route visitors based on team availability
1. Display chatbots based on team availability
Depending on team size, bandwidth, and more -- not all of you want chatflows live on your site all the time. With this new feature, you’ll be able to create chatflows that respect your team’s availability schedule.
Display chatbots only during business hours
If you want your site visitors to only interact with a bot if they will be passed off to a human right away, set your chatbots to only display during business hours while the rest of your team is available for instant chatbot-to-agent handoffs.
To set this up, start by visiting the chat settings within your Conversations inbox and click the “availability” tab and click “during business hours”. Then, use the drop down menus within the team business hours to specify the hours you’d like your chatbot to appear to visitors.
Then, go to the chatflow(s) that you would like to appear only during business hours, click “edit”, then click “options”. Scroll down to the availability section and within the dropdown menu, click “only show when team members are available to chat”.
Note: If you want to keep your inbox settings at “during business hours” or “based on team member status” but want specific chatflows to always appear, then choosing “always” in the specific chatflow availability dropdown menu will override your inbox settings.
For more details and advice on setting up your chatbot that only displays during business hours, visit this knowledge base article.
Display chatbots around the clock
Have chatbots on your website around the clock to maintain your online presence after hours and continue collecting leads and creating tickets for customers after your team is done for the day. Chatbots can collect basic information about your customers or leads while your team is away and provide that context for your team to act on when back in the office without missing a beat.
The first step is to set your Conversations inbox settings to always have bots on. To do this, start by visiting the chat settings within your Conversations inbox and click the “availability” tab and click the “Always” option.
Then, go to the chatflow that you would like to appear around the clock while your team is away, click “edit”, then click “options”. Scroll down to the availability section and within the dropdown menu, click “show always”.
Note: If you want to keep your inbox settings at “always” but want specific chatflows to only appear during business hours or based on agent availability, then choosing “Only show when team members are available to chat” in the specific chatflow availability dropdown menu will override your inbox settings.
For more details and advice on setting up your chatbot that is always online, visit this knowledge base article.
2. Use if/then branches to route visitors based on team availability
Today’s update brings you a new if/then branch type called “agent availability”. When creating or editing a chatflow, you can now route your site visitors down different paths based on your agent and team’s availability.
Similar to the update above, the availability of your agents will follow your Conversations inbox settings. So if you have a bot working outside of business hours with a “display during business hours” setting, the chatbot will act as if the agent is away, even if they forgot to toggle themselves “offline” before leaving the office for the day.
To set this up, go to your chatflow settings for your desired chatflow. Click to add a new action, then under “building blocks” click “if/then branch”. Click “add if/then branch” and then set up the path you want you chatflow to follow. For example, set the chatbot to route to a specific agent when that agent is online, but when that agent is offline, have the chatbot collect the visitor’s email address to that your team can follow up with them later.
Who gets it?
The ability to display chatbots based on your Conversations inbox settings is now live and available to all HubSpot users. The new if/then chatflow branching is now live and available to all Service Hub and Sales Hub Professional users with paid seats. In order to perform agent routing, you must have a paid seat of Sales Hub or Service Hub Professional or Enterprise.
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