View Live Agent Chat System - FAQ
Live Agent Web Chat System
Hudson now offers a separate stand-alone product called Live Agent. This product is designed to allow you to monitor activity on your marketing website, in real-time, and invite those visitors to chat with your office sales or customer service staff. To better understand what it is, and how it works, look at the most commonly asked questions about Live Agent below.
What is Live Agent Web Chat?
Live Agent by The Hudson Group is a program you install on your office computer. When launched, it allows you to see people who are visiting the various pages of your marketing web site on the Internet. Your web visitors will see an Icon inviting them to open a chatbox and type instant messages into the appropriate field. As soon as the message is sent, your office staff can read and reply to the message immediately.
What are the benefits of Live Agent?
Live Agent by The Hudson Group will allow you to actually interact with prospects and customers who are visiting your website. Instead of just browsing your site and then moving on, perhaps to a competitors site, Live Agent engages them and keeps them on your site longer. You have the ability to answer questions about your company and services and make your website more personal.
How does Live Agent work?
Live Agent by The Hudson Group can be configured to meet your specific needs. You can wait for website visitors to open a chatbox and ask you questions, or you can automatically send website visitors an invitation to chat with you once they have been on your page for a specified amount of time. Once the chatbox is open and a dialog has begun, you can transfer the chat session to other members of your staff that might be better equipped to handle a specific question. So if a Reservations agent started the chat with a web visitor, but the prospect is looking for sales account information, you can transfer the session to your business development or sales team members. When the chat is finished, the prospect can opt to enter their email address and have a transcript of the chat system emailed to them.
What do I need to have in order to run Live Agent?
You need to have a marketing website and a computer running MS Windows. Hudson will provide you with a very simple string of text that will be added to the page(s) of your website where you wish to display the chat invitation icon. If Hudson is hosting your website, we can do this for you, otherwise you would send the string to your website designer. You will install the Live Agent Chat Client application on your MS Windows based computer. The application is small and typically takes about 1 minute to install. The Hudson Group will establish an account for you on its chat server and you are ready to go! We will work with you to customize the chat interface on your website so that it matches your color scheme, layout and design. NOTE: this is a stand-alone web product offered by The Hudson Group. You do NOT need to have any other Hudson software or systems installed or running!
Can you run the Chat Client on mobile devices?
The chat client that your office staff use to communicate with visitors to your website is intended to be installed on larger Windows laptops and desktops. The chat client does not lend itself well to use on mobile devices but should be capable of being installed on most any device running a Windows Operating System. It is also far easier and more efficient to use a device with a separate full size keyboard.
Can you use Live Agent Chat on mobile devices?
When clients view your website on their mobile devices, they will see the Live Agent Chat icon. They can open a chat window and carry on chat sessions. The interface was originally designed for larger computer screens and displays. Though the current version of Live Agent Chat will work, enhancements and improvements in future releases are planned that will optimize the chat interface on mobile devices.
Can I install Live Agent Chat on my (Wordpress) website
Yes. If you have or manage your own website, you will be provided with a single string of HTML code that you will need to insert on your website. Once the string is inserted, Live Agent Chat becomes active on that site. You do not need any special plugin or add-on in order to put Chat on your website.
How hard is it to use?
It could not be easier! Your website visitors simply click to start a chat and then type their messages in the chatbox. Your agents in the office simply monitor the Live Agent Chat Client screen and watch for visitors to the website. The Chat Client will alert your agents both audibly and visually when a website visitor has opened a chat session.
How does the Chat system communicate?
When clients on your website open a chat dialog, an HTTP/HTTPS Internet connection is created to the main Hudson chat server. This server is where all messages are saved and stored. Your office staff, launch a Chat Client application on their Windows computers. When they login to the Chat Client, they establish an HTTP/HTTPS connection to the same server.
Is it secure?
Any text messages sent over the Internet, or by WiFi in your office, should be considered “public”. This means that you should NOT use the Live Agent chat system to transmit any sensitive information. While it may be acceptable to send / receive reservation details and similar data, it should not be used to capture payment information or similarly sensitive data. All chat transcripts are stored in the database in plain text and these transcripts if sent via email to the visitor will also be in plain text and easily readable.
Can the Chat System be used to take client reservations?
It can be used to record reservation details but was not created for this purpose. Taking a reservation via Chat is far slower than Hudson’s Web Reservation system and introduces the opportunity for transcription errors. Further, Hudson’s Web reservation system is designed and built to encrypt all reservation and payment details sent over the Internet. The Chat system does not have this security included and is intended more as a social interaction tool, allowing you to see visitors on your website and interact with them in real time.
Will the Chat System work with all web browsers?
Generally the answer is yes. Web browsers are being updated and revised continuously and developers work to ensure that the Chat System code is compatible with all browser updates. The Chat System is evaluated against Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. Opera, in use by a statistically small number of people, has been problematic. Additionally, many people install plug-ins, add-ons and extensions to their browsers which may interfere with the smooth operation of the Chat System. If a user says that they cannot see the chat icon, or their chat interface doesn’t work smoothly, it will most likely be due to these personal customizations. It is not possible for our developers to anticipate every available browser modification, though we do keep our code “simple” so as to prevent most problems.
How long does it take to setup Live Agent?
It takes only a few minutes for you to add the one line of text to your website and then takes only a minute to install and setup the Live Agent Chat Client on your computer. The Hudson Group will setup your account on the chat server for you. We will also help you customize the colors, images, appearance and functionality of the chat interface which typically takes 2 hours or less.
How do I get started?
You can see the Live Agent chat system in use on our own marketing website: The Hudson Group. Try it out and see how it works. Then contact one of our business development team members at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you started with Live Agent Chat. You can also download a brochure for sharing: File:live-agent-chat-electronic.pdf