Chat queues allow you to customize how chats get assigned to your agents within Chat departments. These can be managed in Admin > Chat > Chat Queues.
Chat queues give you control over:
- The maximum number of chats an agent can handle simultaneously
- The routing method for chats (Simulring, Round Robin or Least Utilized)
Every chat department should have an associated queue. A default queue will exist in your chat queue settings and this queue will automatically be used for each chat department unless you create a new queue and update the chat department settings.
Adding a New Chat Queue
To add a new chat queue, click on the '+ Add queue' button on the top right-hand corner.
Enter a queue name and choose your preferred routing model (see more details about the different routing options below).
Next you can choose which agents are a member of the queue. Agents must be selected in both the chat department and its associated queue in order to successfully receive chats, so you'll want to ensure the agents in the department and queue settings match up. Selecting 'All Agents' does not necessarily mean that chats will be routed to every agent in that queue, but they will be routed to all agents within the chat department using the queue.
You can also bulk add agents to a queue by team, department or permission group.
Once you have created the new queue, you can go to Admin > Chat > Chat Departments to define which departments will use this queue system.
The routing model indicates which method of routing will be used for the queue when chats are initiated by users. There are currently 3 different routing models that you can choose from.
Round Robin routing model indicates that chats will be routed amongst all agents evenly one by one. The system will automatically balance chats so no single agent handles more or less than any other agent. For example, given three agents are online, if Agent A and Agent B have both accepted a chat, they won't receive another chat until Agent C has also accepted a chat. The agent must manually accept the chat. If they don't accept the chat within the answer timeout period, the next agent in the queue will be called.
Least Utilized routing model indicates that calls will be routed to agents in the queue who have handled the fewest chats. You can determine how many agents receive the new chat notification at the same time when a chat is routed to the queue. The first agent to accept will handle the chat.
Simulring routing model indicates that any incoming chats routed to the queue will ring all agents in the chat department simultaneously. The first agent to manually accept will handle the chat.
For both the Round Robin and Least Utilized models, you have the option to set an 'Answer Timeout' period. If an agent does not accept the chat within that time-frame, the next agent in the list will be called.
Maximum Chat Capacity
You can define how many chats agents can handle simultaneously in the chat queue settings. This is a global setting which will apply to all agents and queues.
If the all relevant agents are at their maximum chat capacity, the user can still initiate a chat but they'll be advised that you are searching for an agent until the next representative is available to accept the new chat.
If no agent becomes available within 150 seconds, the chat widget will display the option to submit a ticket instead. Alternatively, they can continue waiting until an agent is available.