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View Live Agent Chat - How to Use

Category:Live Agent Chat

How to use Hudson’s Live Agent Chat system

This set of instructions is geared toward a user who has been given Administrator privileges in the system as these are typically the users who will be managing and configuring the system in addition to using it to manage online chat dialogs.

Important note about security:

The Live Agent Chat system can be configured on your website to launch over https or a secure web link. This means that all chat communications between your visitor on your website, and your Operators will be encrypted and secure and resistant to eavesdropping. It is vitally important to remember however that CHAT DATA, stored on the Hudson Chat Server IS NOT ENCRYPTED! This means that all chat history is stored in plain text in the back end database. Visitors and Operators should therefore not enter any information into a chat window that is personal or secure in nature. This includes but is not limited to credit card information, social security numbers, drivers license, passport or other similar types of sensitive and personal data.

Launching the Chat Client

Click the icon on your Windows Desktop named “Hudson Group Chat Client” When presented with the Login Dialog, enter:

  •   Account:  typically a version of your company name or web domain (e.g.
  •   Operator:  typically your first name (username)
  •   Password: your assigned password
  • Remember my credentials: For optimum security, this box should generally NOT be checked. Click the button labeled “Connect” to initiate the connection to the online Hudson Chat Server. (Note: You must have a live and reliable Internet connection to login to and use the Live Agent Chat system.)


    Adjusting the size of the Chat Client window

    You can choose to change the dimensions and screen position of the Live Agent Chat Client window.

  •   Use the three buttons in the top right most corner of the Chat Client to minimize, maximize or close the Chat Client window
  •   Use your mouse to click the black bar at the top of the window to move the window vertically and / or horizontally
  •   Use your mouse to click on the bottom right most corner of the window to change the overall dimension of the window.
  •   The 3 vertically stacked fields on the left side of the chat window (List of Chats, visitors, operators) may be increased or decreased in height if needed. To change the height of any one of these windows, very slowly move your mouse cursor to the bottom of the white information field where it changes to grey.  Your mouse cursor will change to a horizontal line, with up-facing and down-facing arrows.  Click and hold the mouse button down and then move the mouse vertically to change the height of the white data field.  Repeat this process with the other 2 fields until your desired result is achieved.  If you have a large number of chats or visitors being displayed simultaneously, you may want to start by reducing the size of the bottom-most List of operators, for example.
  •   You may also make the 3 vertically stacked fields above narrower or wider by placing your mouse in the large white field where actual chat dialogs appear in the top right white field of the chat client window. As above, move the mouse cursor to the left vertical edge of of the field until the mouse cursor changes to a vertical bar with right-facing and left-facing arrows. Click and drag this point to the left or right to adjust the width. Note: making the 3 vertically stacked fields narrower will also render the chat dialog window wider.
  • List Configuration Options

    Available for chat

    After logging in to the chat system in the first step above, you must make yourself “Available for chat” before the system will allow you to engage visitors to your website in chat dialogs.  In the top right part of the tool bar is a small white check box labeled “Available for chat”.


    Placing a check mark here will sign you in and make you eligible for chat sessions with visitors to the website.  Removing the checkmark will leave the chat client window open, and will leave you signed into the chat system, but unavailable for external client chats:  NOTE:  You are available for chat sessions with other operators at all times - whether the available for chat box is checked or unchecked.  When you close or quite the Chat Client system, it will remember whether this available for chat box was checked or unchecked. When you next login to the chat client, it will return you to the state you were in when the previous session was ended and the software closed.

    Alert Options

    You can configure what alerts you will receive when new visitors arrive at your website and begin to leave a message or open a chat box. These configuration items may be adjusted by clicking the “Configuration” button at the top of the chat client window and selecting the “options” menu item.  The dialog that opens will allow you to adjust visual and audio alerts.  Note: the proxy information is an advanced feature and will not be required or configured for most users.


    Adopting a chat

    Depending on the alert options you have configured, you may see a flashing item in your List of Visitors pane or may be alerted by an audio tone. This typically indicates that a prospect has opened a chatbox on your website and has entered a message. They are waiting for an Operator to respond…


    By clicking the “Adopt” link in the Operations column, the visitor link will now be displayed in the topmost “List of Chats” pane, and the text that was entered in the chatbox by the web visitor will appear in the tall chat transcript pane on the right side of the Operator Console.

    Chatting with Web Visitors

    As new messages from the website visitor are entered, they will appear in the Chat Transcript window on the right side of the Operator Console. The Operator who adopted the chat conversation will engage the visitor by typing questions and / or information in the field at the bottom right corner of the console.  When you press the Enter key on your keyboard, or click the Send button below the field, the text will be moved to the Chat Transcript window above, and will also appear to the website visitor in their open chatbox.

    If the visitor intentionally or accidentally closed or minimized the chatbox on their browser, text entered by the Operator will be displayed once the chatbox is reopened.

    Chatting with Other Operators

    Operators who are logged into the Operator Console may chat with one another - with all messages appearing only within the Operator Console. Consider this an “Internal Chat” interface, where none of the messages entered will appear on any website.  This process is useful for internal office communications or communications between two offices, department or remote satellite operations.  To chat with another Operator, locate the Operator in the List of Operators pane in the lower left corner of the console.  If that operator is currently logged into the console, there will be a blue circle with white check / tic mark beside the name.  By clicking the “Chat” text link beside their name, in the Operations column, a new chat will be displayed in the top List of Chats field, and will then display the 2 Operator names next to one another in the Operators column.  A new chat transcript window is opened on the right side of the console and any text that is entered by either operator will appear in the chat transcript pane.

    Using Canned Messages

    The Live Agent Chat system supports pre-defined or “canned” messages. These are message strings that will be used often or by multiple operators. By entering and defining these canned messages, a great deal of time can be saved when starting or ending chats. It helps ensure consistency and correct spelling during chat sessions. Canned messages can also contain click-able links to web based content that may be passed to visitors through the chatbox.

    Operators with Administrator level privileges may add canned messages by going to the Administration tab on the console and selecting the canned messages menu item.  To add a new canned message, click the “Add” button in the Edit canned messages dialog window.  Replace the “New message” text in the bottom field with the desired text, message content or link.  Click the OK link at the bottom of the window to save the new message. If desired, you may also set the domain and specify a language for each message; if you are supporting chats across multiple domains and / or multiple languages.  By setting these two options, you can filter or restrict the canned message options when chatting with a web visitor on a different / specific website (domain) or in a different language.  For example, you may have two websites, and  You can set a series of canned messages in English and specify that they appear whent chatting with visitors to the domain. You can have a series of canned messages in French, that will be displayed when chatting with visitors to the domain.



    When canned messages have been configured, you may invoke them during a chat session by 1) selecting the desired message from the drop menu item just above the field where you type your chat text, 2) typing the first few letters or words of one of the canned messages in the chat field. When you type one or two words that a canned message start with (e.g. Welcome to…) if a canned message begins with the same text, the contents of that canned message will be automatically entered into the chat text field, until you reach a point where the typed text no longer matches the canned message text.  If the canned message text is displayed in the chat text field and you wish to send it without typing the remaining text, click the Send button. If you wish to adjust or override the canned text, continue typing in the text field until the canned text disappears. Press the enter key or click send when finished.

    Adding / Assigning Operators to a Chat Session

    Often a visitor will ask a question of an Operator that he/ she does not know the answer to. If there are other Operators online that would be more qualified to answer that question, you can add / assign a new Operator to the chat session. An example of this would be a customer service representative begins a chat session with a visitor who then asks a question regarding setting up a corporate account. The representative may prefer to have a member of the sales team handle the request.  You can follow the procedure below to “Assign” a chat to another online operator.

    When an Operator is already engaged in a Chat session with a visitor, that chat session will appear both in the List of chats pane (top) and the List of Visitors pane (middle) in the Operator Console.  Locate that chat to be assigned in the middle pane and you will see the link “assign to” in the Operations column. Click the “assign to” link to open a “Pick Operator” dialog window. Browse to and locate the desired online operator and click the assign to button at the bottom of the box.  Once the “pick operator” dialog window closes,  BOTH the original and the new Operator names will appear in the “Operators” column for the designated chat in the List of Chats pane. Both operators can now enter text and chat with the visitor.  To complete the transfer to the new Operator, the original operator should click the link at the top of the chat transcript pane labled “Leave”.  He / she can also right click on the joint chat in the List of chats pane (top) and select “Leave chats”.

    Leaving a Chat

    When you are finished chatting with a visitor to your site, you can “leave” the chat. This is accomplished by ensuring first that the chat you are leaving is the one that is currently displayed in the chat transcript pane on the O operator console. The Operator then selects the “Leave” button at the top of the chat transcript window.

    Adding Operator Accounts (to the system)

    Administrators may add and remove Operators from the system. This is accomplished by selecting the Administration tab in the Operator Console and selecting the Operators menu item. A list of the currently configured Operators will be displayed when the Edit Operator Accounts dialog window opens.  To add a new Operator, click the “Add Operator” button. In the Username field in the lower left corner of the window, enter the name that the Operator will use to login to the console.  Replace the suggested Password with something that the Operator will be able to know or remember.  By default, the system will set all new Operators to “Suspended” status. Remove the check mark next to Suspended so that this account will be immediately accessible once saved. If this Operator should be granted Administrator privileges, then place a check mark in the field adjacent to the “Administrator” label.  When this information has been completed, select the Save button to create the new account.  NOTE: Your Live Agent Chat account might have been configured to allow a fixed maximum number of Operator accounts. If this is true, that number will be displayed in the top right corner of the Edit Operator Accounts dialog window. If you will need to create more Operator accounts than is displayed, please reach out to Hudson Technical Support for assistance. You may also be able to remove Operator accounts that are no longer required by highlighting the account to be removed and then selecting the “Remove Operator” button in the dialog window.

    Chat Window Filters

    When the Live Agent Chat management window is open, and depending on other setup and configuration settings, you may find that there is a lot of alerts and notifications that keep popping up on your screen. Some of these may be annoying in that they don’t all require some sort of action by the user.  Embedded in the vertical bar that runs through the middle of the management screen are several icons that can be used to control alerts and which chat sessions you see or are alerted to.  Hovering your mouse over each one will generally tell you what the icon controls.  When the icon is shaded BLACK the filter is OFF. When the icon is shaded white, the filter is on or applied:

    • Show all chats- Next to the List of Chats Pane; when ON (white), this will cause all chat sessions, including sessions when no chat is actually occuring, to display (and flash) in the top most pane. Suggested default setting: turn off (black).
    • Show idle visitors- Next to the List of Visitors Pane; when ON (white), this will cause all people who are on your website page, where the Live Agent Chat icon is found, to appear. If you have a busy website and don’t plan on manually opening chat dialogs with your site visitors, then the suggested default setting is turned off (black).
    • Show visitors waiting for Operator- Next to the List of Visitors Pane; When turned on (white) it will cause visitors to show (and flash) if they have opened a chatbox on the website, entered some text, and are awaiting an operator to reply. Suggested default setting is turned on (white).
    • Show visitors handled by me- Next to the List of Visitors Pane; When turned on (white) will display those website visitors who are engaged in a chat session with you as the operator. Same visitor will also appear in the top most List of Chats window as well. Suggested default: turned on (white)
    • Show visitors handled by others- Next to the List of Visitors Pane; When turned on (white) will show list of people on the website, with Chatboxes open, who are in chat sessions with other operators. Suggested default setting is turn off (black).
    • Show visitors that are leaving a message- Next to the List of Visitors Pane; When turned on (white) this will list people on the website, not engaged in an active chat session who have clicked the link to leave a message. Suggested default setting: turned on (white).
    • Show online operators- Future function
    • Show offline operators- Future function

    About chat transcripts

    If configured to allow it, your Live Agent Chat system can generate chat transcripts to your website visitors once a chat session has completed. This can be useful when Operators send Visitors pricing information, confirmation numbers, instructions or links to website pages / content.  An Administrator can follow these steps to enable or disable the email chat transcript function:

    1. Select the Administration tab in the console
    2. Select the Chatboxes menu item
    3. Click the “edit” link next to the Chatbox to be modified
    4. Browse to “Allow e-mail transcript”
    5. Check / uncheck the box as desired
    6. Repeat, if appropriate for other chatboxe configurations

    5 conditions must be met before a chat transcript will be emailed to a site Visitor.

    • The chatbox must be configured to send transcripts (see steps above)
    • The visitor must enter a valid email address in the chatbox email address field
    • The Operator must have completed and “left” the chat session
    • The Visitor must have closed the chatbox and left the website / webpage
    • 5 or more minutes must have elapsed since the last of all the above items was completed

    The concept behind the time delay mentioned above is that chatboxes can be closed, and then reopened by a visitor if they forget to ask a final question or decide that they wish to resume a chat (and not have to start over again, potentially with another Operator, and restate their need/ question. At this time (ver 3.0) it is not possible for an Operator to locate a chat and initiate an email transcript; it must be visitor initiated at the time of the chat session.  It is possible for an operator who has the appropriate privilege to locate a chat in history and copy the chat contents and then paste into their own email application.


    Access to the reporting functions is typically enabled for Operators who have Admin level privileges. You access the Reports and statistics from the Chat Agent, selecting the “Reports” Tab at the top of the window. There are 2 menu items to choose from:

    1. Statistics: Selecting this item will open a Chat Statistics window. The window displays a summary of chat history for the current day, week and month.  By adjusting the dates in the “From” and “To” fields, you can change the data summary displayed.  You can further refine the breakout of data by selecting the “Step” menu item and changing from “Whole range” (default) to Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly.  If your chat agents monitor chat interface for multiple domains (websites) you can elect to show totals for “Any” (all) or can select individual domains from the drop list provided.  If you have defined Chat Cateogories, you can also select all categories, or individual categories.  Once the filter parameters on the top of the Chat Statistics window have been defined, you can click the ADD button to set and display the customized filter results.  You can use your mouse to click and highlight the new custom filter range. Once highlighted, you can use the remaining buttons on the screen to:  Export the specified period, Export for current month, Export for previous month. The export feature results in the creation of a PDF formatted report.
    2. Chats: Selecting this menu item allows the user to review actual chat history and content.  You begin by setting the specific date you wish to review in the “Date” field.  Once the date is defined, you will see a list of chats that occured that date in the top window. In addition to the “creation time” (when the chat began) you will see the IP address of the website visitor, the Operator name, the Category and Department (if configured and defined at the time of the chat).  When you click to select any chat in the upper pane, the actual chat transcript appears in the lower pane.  Using the scroll bar on the right of this lower pane allows the user to scroll quickly through the archived chat. In the middle of the Chat history pane is a field for EMail Address. If the client entered their email address in the ChatBox during the conversation, it will be displayed here.  It is not possible to add or edit this field, it is a historical, read-only value. NOTE: It can take 5 minutes or longer before a chat ends before it will appear in this Chat History window.  The “Previous” and “Next” buttons in the top right corner of the Chat History window allow you move backward or forward one day at a time with each click.

    Understanding the List of Visitors Pane

    The List of Visitors pane in the center of the Operator Control Panel contains many pieces of valuable information. The items below may appear in your console and are explained further:

    • Status: Appearing as from one to three horizontal bars, this shows that a live connection between the chat system and the visitors web browser is in place. As long as a visitor is on a page of your website where a chatbox is present, one, two or all three bars will be illuminated. When a visitor closes their browser or navigates away from your website / page, the bars will change from colored to grey and after a short period of being all grey, the visitor will be removed from the list of visitors pane.
    • State: indicates the state of the visitor, either a single white silhouette will appear (default) indicating that they are browsing your website, or…. 
    • Host: The public Internet Protocol or IP address of the Visitor is displayed. NOTE: Clicking the highlighted IP address will open an information summary box that displays additional important information about the visitor, including:
      • Country Flag
      • City
      • Website
      • Webpage (on the Website above)
      • IP Address
      • Continent
      • Time Zone
      • State
      • Handled by (Operator name if already adopted)
      • Referrer
      • Browser type
      • Session start time
      • Session end time
      • Session duration
      • Current visitor time
      • Search keywords
      • Visitor Name: Note, you can enter the visitor name in this field and it will appear as part of the Host / IP address and will make identifying repeat visitors much easier
    • Mouse Status:  a grey mouse icon will become colored when the web visitor is moving their mouse or clicking their mouse buttons to interact with your website or chatbox.
    • Keyboard Status: a grey keyboard icon will become colored when the web visitor is using their keyboard to interact with your website or chatbox.
    • Window Status: a grey webpage icon will become illuminate when the web visitor is scrolling across content and items on your website.
    • Operations: 3 clickable links that allow the Operator to “Adopt” “Rename” and check “History”

      1. Adopt: Click the link to begin a chat session or “Assign to” another Operator
      2. Rename: Click the link to assign a known client name to this IP address: (e.g. James, ACME Widgets, etc.). All other Operators can then see when this user is active on the website again. Aids in identifying frequent and repeat website visitors
      3. History: Click the link to view the website browsing history of this visitor. You will see the time that they landed on the first page of your website and the time that they moved to other pages on the site.
    • Chatbox:  opened or closed, this indicates whether the visitor has the chatbox on the website page open or closed.
    • Geo location: a flag symbol indicates country and the city / town where their public Internet connection is originating is displayed
    • Location: the complete URL to your site where the client is currently browsing
    • Campaign: if you have search engine campaigns enabled, the specific campaign name that brought the client to your site will be indicated (advanced feature)
    • Referrer: the website or search engine and link that the client used to arrive on your website
    • Operator: the name of the Operator who is engaged in chat with the Visitor (if any) 
    • Duration: how long the visitor has been on the website
    • Contact e-mail: if entered prior to or during the chat session, the clients email address will be displayed. NOTE: it is possible in the configuration to require an email address before a visitor can open a chatbox and begin a chat session.
    • Keyword: if a web search engine was used to locate your website (e.g. google) the words or search criteria they entered into the search engine will be displayed.
    • Custom Parameters:
    • Host Parameters: 
    • Cookie Parameters: 

    Adjusting Look & Feel of Chatboxes

    Changing the location of the Chat Icon

    Operators with Administrator privileges can change the location of the floating chat icon on the website by opening the Administration Tab > Chatboxes menu item. Select the desired Chatbox to be modified and click the “edit” link.  Scroll to the bottom of the list where you can adjust the following 4 items:

  • Floating button horizontal alignment: select Left, Center, Right to move the floating button horizontally
  • Floating button vertical alignment: select Top, Center, Bottom to adjust the vertical position of the floating button.
  • Floating button horizontal offset: enter a value, in Pixels, to use as a buffer between the floating button and the vertical margin of the webpage.  A value of “0” will cause the button to touch the edge of the page. A default value of 30 is common.
  • Floating button vertical offset: enter a value, in Pixels, to use as a buffer between the floating button and the vertical margin of the webpage.  A value of “0” will cause the button to touch the top / bottom of the page. A default value of 30 is common. Adjust the setting to the desired location.
  • Changing the location and size of the Chatbox

    Operators with Administrator privileges can change the location of the floating chat icon on the website by opening the Administration Tab > Chatboxes menu item. Select the desired Chatbox to be modified and click the “edit” link

    Scroll down slightly and then select:

  • Alignment X:  Sets Horizontal location to Left, Center, Right
  • Alignment Y:  Sets Vertical location to Bottom, Center, Top
  • Offset X:  If Alignment X is set to RIGHT, or LEFT then increasing this number puts a slight separation between the chatbox and the margin of the page
  • Offset Y: If Alignment Y is set to TOP or BOTTOM, then this sets how far from the top or bottom margin the chatbox will appear
  • Note: in the settings below, the number values used are in Pixels. You may need to “play” with the numbers and test in order to find the ideal or desired parameters for your page.

  • Minimum width: sets the minimum width of the chatbox
  • Maximum width: sets the maximum width of the chatbox
  • Default width: sets the default width of the chatbox
  • Minimum height: sets the minimum height of the chatbox
  • Maximum height: sets the maximum height of the chatbox
  • Default height: sets the default height of the chatbox
  • Remember that you may need to adjust the settings for other Chatboxes as well, if you have several configured.