NetHelpDesk Live Chat is an add-on to NetHelpDesk that can be used to allow End-Users, and Visitors to the web portal to chat to Agents.
The chat application can appear on the notloggedin.html page on the self service web portal, the loggedin.html End-User page, and the loggedintech.html page. Each of these behaves differently. The application can also be added to any other site, where it will behave in the same way as the notloggedin.html page.
a. notloggedin.html - Opening the chat window will request the unknown visitor to enter their name, then they can chat to an Agent.
b. loggedin.html - The known End-User can chat to an Agent, and their name will be populated using their End-User account you create for them in NetHelpDesk.
c. loggedintech.html - Has the ability to accept live chats from unknown visitors or known End-Users, chat one-to-one with an Agent in real-time, and create chat groups with other Agents. It can also have multiple chat sessions going at once.
This guide will go through the basic setup, and how to use NetHelpDesk Live Chat™.
Before using Live Chat, the following will need to be done before starting its setup and configuration.
1. Your NetHelpDesk instance will need to be on version 11.20 or later. To check your version, open NetHelpDesk and go to N > Help > Show Release Details. This screen will tell you the version of your instance, and the available versions you can upgrade to.
2. You will have purchased the NetHelpDesk Live Chat™ Add-on. Please contact our Sales team in order to purchase this. Our Sales team will then activate your licence to use Live Chat, and the settings will then become available in Main Configuration.
3. The NetHelpDesk Self-Service Web Portal will need to be configured for use. If you have not done this already, a guide to setting this up can be found at nethelpdesk.com/guides/installweb/.
Even if you do not intend to publicise your web portal for general use, this will still need to be set up. It is setup automatically during the initial install, if chosen to do so in the installer program's initial setup. Speak with a NetHelpDesk representative if you need assistance checking this.
4. The PHP features for the Self-Service Web Portal will need to be enabled. A guide to setting this up can be found at nethelpdesk.com/guides/php.
5. The Chat folder must be placed in the \\...NetHelpDesk\Web directory.
6. The ChatService folder must be placed in the \\...NetHelpDesk\Web directory.
Here are a few terms commonly used in this guide and in the application:
The name for a conversation between an End-User and an Agent.
Live Chat Window
The box on the screen where the conversation appears.
The name of a conversation between 2 Agents.
The name of a conversation between 3 or more Agents.
A chat that has finished and has been ended by either an End-User or an Agent.
An Agent can have multiple chat instances with different people at once. Each of these is called a Conversation.
Each person (End-User, Agent or Visitor) who is part of a conversation is called a Participant.
An unknown End-User who is not logged in to the Self-Service web portal. They will be asked for their name before being allowed to chat, whether they are known to your organisation or not, if they are not logged-in.
Please check that you have set your web portal URL correctly within the settings in the main Windows client. You can find this in N > Setup > Main Configuration > Email > Email Templates > (Default Message Group) as per the below screenshot. This URL will need to be set to the URL of your NetHelpDesk web portal.
The settings for Live Chat are available in the Main Windows client. To enable, ensure that the switch for Live Chat is enabled in N > Setup > Main Configuration, and that you have purchased the additional licences needed for this feature.
Go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Live Chat, and ensure the switch is turned on. The slider shows blue when enabled.
The following settings screen will display, with the following settings:
A. Determines whether known logged-in End-Users can use the Chat Application. If disabled, it will not appear for them.
B. Determines whether unknown not logged-in Visitors can use the Chat Application. If disabled, it will not appear for them.
C. If enabled, chat will only be available for known End-Users and/or unknown Visitors when at least one Agent is online and available.
D. If enabled, chat will only be available for known End-Users and/or unknown Visitors during the selected predefined working hours (found in SLAs setup).
E. The name shown for Agents on conversations with known End-Users and/or unknown Visitors. This can either be the Agents name as set in NHD, or a fixed name of your choosing.
F. This message will appear automatically when a known End-Users and/or unknown Visitors first opens a chat. If left blank, no message will appear.
G. Agents who are members of these sections will receive new Live Chat requests from known End-Users and/or unknown Visitors.
This screenshot shows the default settings:
If a User is allowed access to Live Chat based on the criteria set in section 4, the Chat bubble will appear in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Clicking this will launch the Chat Application.
If the Visitor is unknown to you, or has not logged-in, the Chat Window will ask them to enter their name before chat begins.
After entering their name, or if they are a logged in user, the chat window will be displayed in place of the chat bubble.
When clicking the Chat bubble, if the progress icon continues to spin, without showing the Chat Window, a step previous to this has not been completed correctly. Make sure:
a) PHP Settings - Make sure you have followed the PHP guide, as detailed previously: nethelpdesk.com/guides/php
b) Ensure you have purchased an authentic NetHelpDesk Live Chat™ licence add-on from a NetHelpDesk representative. Access is granted on known customer accounts only, and on a number of parameters set by your NetHelpDesk representative when purchasing. The Live Chat will not ever work without this.
c) Go through each step before in this guide, and ensure each one is set up as suggested, and the Live Chat Window will appear. If you need assistance, please contact the NetHelpDesk Technical Support team.
Do let us know how you are getting on with this feature, and any improvements we can make to this experience.
Once your Live Chat window appears, the screen is setup as follows:
A. Chat Window Menu - The options unknown visitors or known End-Users will have access to are:
i) End Chat - Stops the conversation and makes the conversation a “Closed Chat”.
ii) Copy Transcript - Copies the message history to the clipboard)
iii) Chat about a Ticket - If logged in as a known End-User, this option displays for them to input the ticket number they wish to discuss (explained in more detail later in this guide).
B. Minimise button - Minimises the Chat window. When minimised, the window is replaced with the chat bubble. Clicking the bubble again will restore the chat window to the same conversation in progress before being minimised.
C. Default Message - If set in the Settings, as detailed before in this guide, this will automatically appear when the Chat Window is first opened.
D. Submitted Message - What was submitted in F option below by the unknown visitor or known End-User.
E. Agent Message - A response from the Agent to the submitted message by the unknown visitor or known End-User.
F. New Message Box - Typing here and pressing enter will send a message.
When a chat is minimised by the unknown visitor or known End-User, if a new message is received from the Agent, the number of unread messages will show next to the chat bubble, and a notification sound will play.
For logged-in End-Users who already have a conversation that was not closed, it will be resumed should they be disconnected for any reason, such as browsing to a new web page on the same tab in a browser. Unknown not logged-in visitors are not able to benefit from this feature.
Logged-in End-Users will also see a Chat about this Ticket button against each ticket, which will automatically show the ticket number to the Agent, without having to re-enter this.
A new chat linked to the currently selected ticket will open, or a note will be added to a current chat, if not closed previously by ending the conversation. The ticket can also be changed manually by selecting the Chat about a different Ticket link in the Chat Menu. The conversation will be added to the ticket once it has ended.
The Agents can access NetHelpDesk Live Chat™ from the Windows program, and the Agent web interface. The web interfaces are currently an accompaniment to the main Windows program.
When an Agent first logs into the Web Portal, they will automatically be logged into the Chat Application. When logged-in, an Agent will see bubbles in the bottom right corner of the screen.
To sign-out of the Chat-Application, click the menu button and select Go Offline. The bubbles will now be replaced with the Chat icon. Clicking this Chat bubble will sign the Agent back into chat. When an Agent is signed in, they will appear as online to other Agents.
When signed into Live Chat, Agents will see the Chat Menu button at the bottom of the page. Above this, all currently open conversations will be shown in coloured bubbles. Above these will be the New Conversation button (plus symbol).
Clicking on a conversation bubble will show the Chat Window for that conversation.
Similarly, clicking the New Conversation button will open the Chat Window for a new Conversation, where participants can be added, such as other Agents. In order to begin a conversation, at least one participant will need to be added. This will be covered later in this guide.
Each conversation is labelled based on the initials of the recipient, or the initials of the name of the conversation (if set). Conversations can have the following colours:
Red – Live Chat with a User
Purple – Agent or Group chat
Red Flashing Orange – A new Live Chat Request
For Agent to Agent chats with only 2 participants, if the second participant has a photo, it will be shown in the bubble. If a conversation is not currently open in the chat window, notifications for unread messages will show next to the bubble, and a notification sound will play until you read the chat.
If there are more than seven (7) open conversations, the first 7 will be shown along with an arrow to navigate to older conversations. Conversations are ordered from top to bottom based on the date of the last update.
The Chat window for Agents is the same as the one for Users, except there are a few more features and options. System messages will be shown when events occur, such as someone joining or leaving a conversation, or the name of the conversation being changed.
The name of the recipient or name of the conversation (if set) will appear at the top of the conversation. If it is a Live Chat, or there is one other Participant, the online status will be shown next to the name. An empty circle is offline or unknown, a green circle is online.
There are also more menu options:
A - Change Chat Name will allow you to rename the chat.
B - View Participants allows you to see everyone in the conversation. Clicking the name of the conversation does this as well.
C - Add Participants allows you to add participants to the conversation.
D - Chat about a Ticket allows you to nominate a ticket to be the subject of the conversation. This will open up the View Ticket option. Chats that are linked to a ticket will record the transcript as an action on the ticket. View Ticket shows the ticket that is linked to the conversation.
E - Log a New Ticket logs opens the new ticket screen with the user details pre-populated (if applicable), the transcript will be saved as an action.
F - Send Remote Invitation sends an email asking the user to join a remote session, if using a supported application.
G - Copy Transcript copies the conversation history to the clipboard.
H - End Chat closes the conversation. Switches to Leave Chat when in a Group Chat, which will remove you from the conversation, but does not end it.
The View Participant screen shows all participants of the conversation, their online status, and if they have any unread messages.
The Add Participants screen allows you to search all Agents, and add them to the conversation using the Add (plus) button next to the Agent.
All Agents will always have access to internal chats. However, in the Live Chat Settings page, there is the ability to add Sections of Agents to be able to use the Live Chats features, supporting known end-users and/or unknown visitors.
If the Agent is a member of a Section that has been enabled to use Live Chat, when an end-user or visitor creates a new chat and sends a message, the New Live Chat will:
A. Show as a Conversation Bubble.
B. The Bubble will rise to the top of the list.
C. The Bubble will flash orange.
D. A sound will play every few seconds until someone answers the chat.
This will appear for every Agent who is part of a live chat section.
Clicking on the conversation will accept the chat request, and you will join the chat with the user. The request will then disappear from all other Agents views. If two or more Agents click on the conversation at the same time, the first will join the chat automatically, the others will be shown a message that someone has already joined and will be given the option to whether they still want to join.
Once a chat request has been accepted, it will be like a normal conversation.
Ensure that once the conversation is over, that End Chat is selected. This will close the chat and mean that the next time the user opens chat it will create another new chat request.
Clicking on the Main Menu, and selecting Go to Chat Page will take you to the Chat Page.
This is a page which shows a larger version of the Chat Application that takes up the whole page.
Conversations are shown on the left, and the conversation window takes up the remainder of the page. Closed Conversations can also be viewed.
Note that the client is only designed to work on a single tab. Whilst the chat application will work if multiple tabs for the same site are open in the browser, it can only hold the session data for one user/tech/visitor. Having multiple sessions logged into the portal on the same browser as different Users/Techs/Visitors will cause peculiar behaviour. When testing with multiple session, we recommend you use a different browser per session.
The windows version of the Live Chat add-on for Agents is available as part of the main NetHelpDesk client.
The windows version of the Live Chat add-on for Agents is available as part of the main NetHelpDesk client. The functionality in the windows version is the same as the Web application, and screen appearances very similar. This section will cover where everything is in the Windows application. For details about the usage, please read section 5 (for the web version).
The chat bubbles in the windows application appear on the Statistics pane. You will need to ensure that this is visible from the View Ribbon on the main screen. The Statistics pane shows a chat bubble when Live Chat is enabled. Clicking on this will show the Live Chat feed on the Statistics pane.
Each chat bubble has the name of the chat or participant next to it. New Live Chat bubbles will appear a fixed Orange colour instead of flashing. Clicking on a bubble will open the Chat Window.
The chat window has a few additional menu options compared to the web version, these are outlined below;
· View Activity – Show the view activity screen for the End-User (if applicable)
· View User Details – Show the User Details screen for the End-User (if applicable)
· Undock window/Dock window – Undocking the window will release it from its fixed position on the main screen and allow it to be moved. Docking it will return it to it’s starting position.
The Chat page can be accessed from the Main Screen toolbar.
Chats can be imitated from other places in the main windows client.
The Ticket Details screen contains an option to Start Chat from N > File > Start Chat. This will start a chat with the assigned Agent (if applicable) which is linked to the ticket.
The Agent contact cards which appear will hovering over an Agents name in By Agent or By Section view contain a link to start a chat with the Agent. The button will only be enabled if Live Chat is enabled and the Agent is online.
The web chat for not logged in users can be set up on any site which can establish a connection with the Chat Service on your NetHelpDesk Web Portal.
To do this;
1. Your site will need to be able to execute PHP. For CGI applications like the NetHelpDesk portal, you can find the PHP CGI files in RichText/PHP, and follow the same steps for the NetHelpDesk portal at www.nethelpdesk.com/guides/php.
2. Copy the entire Chat Folder to the main directory of your site.
3. Rename config.EDIT_ME.php to config.php, open up the file and follow the instructions to change the Chat Service URL to your the URL of your NetHelpDesk portal.
4. For all pages that you want the Chat app to be available on, copy the follow html into the head of the html file.
<!-- NHD Live Chat imports -->
<link href="Chat/style/jquery-ui-1.10.4.custom.min.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
<link href="Chat/style/core.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
<link href="Chat/style/messagestyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/meyer-reset/2.0/reset.min.css">
5. Add the following html to the end of the body.
<!-- NHD Live Chat html -->
<div id="chatbar"></div> <div id="chatextra"></div><div id="chatholder" class="chatholder"></div>
6. The chat app should now appear on the page.
Contact our team to discuss what you are trying to achieve, and we can help guide you in the next best step.
NetHelpDesk is available on a range of devices with industry-leading functionality available throughout.