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Sunday, August 29, 2021

2nd Generation Chat Box Coming to LibraryH3lp

We hope everyone had a great summer. Fall is already upon us, and we wanted to share some big news: a next generation chat box is coming to LibraryH3lp packed with features you've been asking for. 

But wait. There's more! We also want to show off some neat new features in the admin dashboard and webclient for staffing.

We'll be rolling the new features described in this post to each of the regional servers soon. Here's the release status so far (and we'll update this section as rollouts happen):

  • Canada: August 29, 2021
  • Singapore: September 3, 2021
  • Europe: September 3, 2021
  • Main (North America): September 11, 2021

Easier Chat History search

It's now even easier to search chats in the Chat History page, which is common to both the admin dashboard and the webclient for staffing. As before, there's the area at the top of the page where you can search chats by date, transcript keywords, or most any bit of chat metadata either by typing you search parameters in the search box or by using the advanced search dropdown and filling out the search fields. 

But now there are two new features: one-click narrowing of search parameters and easy-to-remove-search facets.

When you visit the Chat History page, you'll see all the chats which match your current search criteria (this week's chats by default) in a table. We've added hyperlinks to the guest, protocol, queue, and operator fields in that table for each chat. Clicking on any of these links for a chat will automatically add the value of that field to your search so you can quickly narrow your search to a particular guest, protocol, queue, operator, or any combination of these metadata fields. You'll also see these fields added as facets to your search.

Here's an example of the new search features in action:

original search
Before narrowing search by clicking on an operator hyperlink

Clicking an operator name narrows the search to a particular operator and adds a facet

If you want to remove search criteria and widen your search, click the X beside a facet to remove it.

New Webclient Features

Today's chats with the guest

Each incoming guest chat over a queue now includes a history hyperlink as part of the chat metadata. Clicking that hyperlink lets you quickly view today's chats with that guest, which is especially handy for repeat guests who may have previously chatted with another operator or to refresh your memory on a prior chat with a guest.

New "History" metadata on chats within the webclient. Click to see today's chats for the guest.

Volume control for sound notifications

And there is now a volume control for notification sounds under preferences so you can control the volume of webclient notification sounds relative to other system sounds and even quickly mute webclient sound notifications by setting the volume to zero.

Volume control for webclient sound notifications

 2nd Generation Chat Box (Yay!)

Without further ado, we're excited to announce the second generation LibraryH3lp chat box packed with lots of great new features. Don't worry, we haven't gone crazy with the redesign and guests who have used your chat box before will still find it familiar.

Default 2nd generation chat box with no customized skin

Upgrading your existing chat box skins is super simple in many cases and literally just takes a couple clicks. Plus upgrades are FREE. That's right, it's included with every subscription.

Here are the new things that guests will see immediately after you upgrade:

  • more spacious typing area that auto-sizes based upon chat box dimensions
  • modernized icon set for chat features such as emailing transcripts
  • new icon to enable/disable visual notifications of new chat messages (pop-out and follow-me chat box styles only)
  • new icon to review and choose emojis to insert into the conversation
  • new icon to clear chat history which replaces the old 'Clear Chat History' button

After you've upgraded the chat skin, you can then take advantage of some new features and customization options which include:

  • Add an optional, customizable greeting message that appears in the transcript area at the beginning of a conversation. This is separate and different from the concierge auto-response in that this message is NOT part of the chat transcript per se and appears to the guest before a chat starts.
  • Create and present a chat policy to guests and optionally require guests to acknowledge your chat policy before chatting.
  • Customize the 'Type here to chat. Press ENTER to send.' typing instructions for the chat box.
  • Disable file uploads for guests if you do not want guests sharing files with operators.

NOTE: If you have a chat skin which is highly customized though advanced customizations in Wicked CSS Hacks, those customizations will be lost if you choose to upgrade through the default upgrade process. The reason that the contents of Wicked CSS Hacks are purposefully not preserved is because much of what is valid for a Generation 1 chat box is NOT valid for a Generation 2 chat box. That is, the old Wicked CSS Hacks content will likely just make your updated chat box look strange and is no longer needed. Please contact LibraryH3lp support if you'd like assistance upgrading any chat skin or have questions.

Updated Chat Box Skin Editor

Finally, we've redesigned the Chat Skin Editor in the admin dashboard. The new editor makes it easy to search your existing chat skins and see what each skin looks like at a glance.

In the redesigned editor, you'll see an "Upgrade skin to latest generation" button when you edit any of your first generation chat skins. You can use this button to upgrade each skin.

The redesigned Chat Skin Editor comes with some new, schnazzy features:
  • There are color pickers with built-in WCAG color contrast checkers to help you style your chat box skin while ensuring your skin meets color contrast accessibility standards.
  • Rich text editors are available for parts of the chat box where there is text content, like the title.
  • As before, you can see your changes to the chat box skin update in real-time. But now you can also click on the visualization of your skin to highlight the settings in the editor that are relevant to that portion of the skin.

Redesigned Chat Skin Editor

With the redesign, we've broken up the chat box skin settings into two groups -- Branding Basics and Additional Flair. The Branding Basics group represents the most commonly tweaked skin settings and Additional Flair is for other customizations which are less commonly tweaked.

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