Chat calls distribution options allow you to set up the routing of chats between the support agents that will work the best for your company.
There are a number of call distribution options you can choose from.
- To All Operators - When this option is selected, visitor chats will be passed to all online agents simultaneously. The chat will be handled by the agent who accepts it first. Right after the chat is accepted by one of the agents, it will automatically disappear from other agents' apps and they will no longer be able to pick it up.
- Random - When this option is selected, visitor calls will be passed to any randomly selected agent whose status in the agent app is set to "Online". If you have a department selection field added to your pre-chat form and the visitor selected a certain department he would like to reach, such a chat will be forwarded to a randomly selected online agent who is assigned to the selected department.
- Load Balanced Random - With this option enabled, visitor calls will be passed to the less loaded randomly selected agent.
Example: let's say, agent A has 1 open chat, agent B also has 1 open chat and agent C has 3 open chats. In this case new visitor call will be passed to agent A or B (one of them selected randomly), but not to agent C.
- Round-Robin - If you select this option, visitor calls will be passed to the next agent in the round-robin queue. The round-robin queue is created based on the order in which agents logged in to the agent app.
Example: let's say agent A logged in to the agent app before others, agent B logged in after him and agent C was the last one to log in. The first incoming chat will go to agent A, next one to agent B and agent C will receive the 3rd chat, and so on.
- Load Balanced Round-Robin - This option allows for a much more evenly distributed workload between the agents. When this option is selected, visitor calls will be passed to the next less loaded agent in the round-robin queue. Basically, this method is similar to the previous one, only the agents' load is taken into consideration
Example: let's say agent A was the first one to log into the system, agent B went online right after him and agent C was the last one to log in. Let's also imagine that after some time has passed, agent A has 2 chats, agent B has 1 chat and agent C has 3 open chats. Whom will the next chat go to? According to the round-robin order, the call would go to agent A, but since he has more chats than agent B, the call will be routed to the less loaded agent who is next in queue - meaning it will go to agent B.
You can select one of the options described above at Account Settings / Call Distribution page in your account Control Panel. Currently we don't offer the possibility to create custom distribution rules.
Keep in mind also, that you won't be able to select a different chat distribution method per department. Whichever option you select will be applied to the whole account and will concern all departments in your account.
One important thing to remember when choosing your chat distribution option is that once the incoming chat has been assigned to a certain agent and if this agent does not accept the chat, the call will not be re-routed to another available operator. In simple words, if a call is missed, it is missed, even if there are other online operators.
The only exception is "To All" call distribution method, in which the incoming chat appears on all online operators' screens. This leaves almost no chances of missing a single chat. So if it is crucial for your company to attend to all incoming chats right away, you may need to give your preference to "To All" distribution option.
The rest of options allow to distribute incoming chats either randomly or considering the current load, so it's up to you to select the call distribution method that is appropriate to your situation.