Chat Efficiency

This tutorial refers to Userlike’s live chat product. For Userlike’s Unified Messaging tutorials, click here.

Live chat support often means handling multiple Webvisitors at the same time. For Operators, this can lead to an overwhelming amount of typing and shifting focus, resulting in slow response time and vague answers. Userlike offers various features to increase chat efficiency and prevent bad service.

Chat Slots

Choosing the right amount of availability

The number of chat slots defines how many chats an Operator can have at a time. A chat slot becomes occupied when a chat starts between a Webvisitor and an Operator, it frees up once the Operator closes the chat or the chat times out. An Operator can have a maximum of 10 chat slots, that’s up to 10 Webvisitors served simultaneously. A lower number of slots will limit the pressure on your Operators. To do so, select an Operator in the Operator overview and then navigate to the tab “Chat Panel” in the Operator settings.

For less experienced Operators it's advisable to reduce the number of Chat Slots to a maximum of 3. The more chats an operator conducts simultaneously, the more difficult it will be to uphold a fast response level. For all Operators, it’s good practice to explicitly close any chat once it's finished by clicking the chat tab's "x" or by using the "$quit" command.

Chat Session Timeout

When to automatically close chats

To set the time frame after a chat’s last message from either side until it will be closed, you can define a standard "Chat Session Timeout". You’ll find the setting in the Widget Editor’s “Advanced” tab. The timer is reset only by actual chat activity, not by mere typing without sending. A timed out chat will free up a chat slot.

You can choose from 8 different timeout periods between 1 and 30 minutes. A long timeout period might block your chat slots with inactive chats. A short one might untimely close chats in which Webvisitors are active outside the chat for longer. When trying out different settings, for instance.

Chat Routing

Sending Webvisitors to the right person

Group Select

Most Webvisitors contact customer support knowing what they want to talk about. With the "Group Select" feature enabled, the Webvisitor chooses the Operator group he wants to talk to. This way inquiries are directed to the correct department without inefficient redirects. You could set up a sales and a support group and have the customer decide which particular department he wants to be connected with.

For more advanced Group Select behavior you can make use of our Remote API. It can be useful if you want different behavior across multiple sections of your website. Based on the web page context, for example on a pricing page, you could use the Remote API to display a proactive Widget connected to the sales team. Check out this tutorial to see how you can easily deploy the Remote API using the Google Tag Manager.


The "Skills" mode is the most flexible routing mode. It allows you to define which Skills are required for giving support via a certain Chat Widget. Every available Operator that possesses these Skills can be selected to talk to your Webvisitors, no matter their Group affiliation.

Your Webvisitors don’t have to take an extra step here - if they start a chat via a Chat Widget in "Skills" routing mode, you can be ensured they are always talking to someone who is able to help.

To learn more about the different chat routing modes, read our Chat Routing Setup Tutorial.

Pre-chat Survey

Knowing what Webvisitors want, before the chat

The "Pre-chat Survey" is another feature to reduce friction for both your Webvisitors and Operators. Before the chat session is kicked off, the Webvisitor is asked to answer a multiple choice question. This could tell you for what reason your Webvisitor contacts you, making it easier to provide an answer quickly. You can enable the function and define a question and a set of answers in the Widget Editor’s tab "Feedback" under "Survey".

Live Preview

Responding more quickly and accurately

Answering complex or uncommon questions properly can demand some time. Our "Live Preview" feature lets your Operators see what the Webvisitor is typing in real-time. This way Operators can react before the message is sent, giving them extra time to come up with the perfect response. Enable this feature in the Widget Editor’s "Chat" tab under "Behavior".

Chat Macros

Typing less

Chat communication is slower than voice, no matter how fast you can type. Chat Macros are a way to increase your speed and maintain a consistent flow of information. Macros are short key combinations that trigger chat messages of any length. Once these macros are put in place, a simple click on your macro list or Chat Panel shortcut sends a predefined sentence. Chat Macros can be sent immediately to the Webvisitor or used as templates to adjust in the input field before sending out.

All Chat Macros and commands come with an automatic "type ahead functionality". It recognizes what the Operator types and suggests Chat Macros and commands accordingly. Operators don’t have to memorize all of the commands, only their first letters.

Add or edit Macros in the Macro overview.

A handy variation is the "Push Macro". Instead of a predefined message, this key combination sends a Webvisitor to a specific URL on your website to assist in navigation. Add and edit Push Macros here.

Similar to this, the "Download Macro" lets you share content with your Webvisitor, for example a contract or a logo image. It allows you to share any kind of document formats. Once you offer the file to your Webvisitor it will be available as a download link in the chat window.

Actions and Add-ons

Following up easily

An Operator has various preset chat actions and commands at his disposal for more effective and efficient communication. Actions can be triggered by clicking on the "Actions" or "Add-on" tab above a chat conversation in the Chat Panel.

In the "Add-on" section you can directly create a ticket out of your running chat session to the add-on of your choice. After your ticket has been created you will receive a link in the Chat Panel that directly leads you to your integrated add-on and gives you immediate access to your newly created ticket. Userlike can be integrated to many third-party add-ons, check out which on our add-on page.

To make things easier you can trigger any action or add-on directly by typing in a chat command shortcut into the Chat Panel. You can find the full list of commands and the actions they trigger in the Chat Panel tutorial.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Navigating more quickly

There are some predefined "keyboard shortcuts" that help your Operators navigate more quickly between the different views and tabs of the Chat Panel while keeping their fingers on the keyboard to talk to Webvisitors.

Mostly used as a matter of personal preference, familiarity with the keyboard shortcuts significantly increases service efficiency. Check out the keyboard shortcuts in the "Help" section at the top of the Chat Panel.

To measure your chat effectivity and review how your changes in above features affect it, use Widget Goals and our Analytics features. Find out more in the linked tutorials.