What I Learned During My First Live Chat Project

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My first Live Chat implementation was filled with uncertainty. There were two challenges that presented themselves with this implementation. First, I had never done one, and was thrown into the project team mix as a Solution Architect to lead the charge. Second, the client had a robust Service Cloud structure where Live Chat was positioned to offer them a new channel to connect with their customers. Expectations were high. 

Nonetheless, I was in the perfect position to learn. Here are some key takeaways for any Live Chat project you find yourself in. 


Familiarize Yourself with the Case Process 

Understanding the process and technology in place is key critical. What case workflow or workflows are in place? How are cases routed? What is the team structure? Are users on Classic or Lightning? Are they using the Lightning Console? Understand these details to position Live Agent to flow seamlessly in with the existing architecture and system. This will help you identify the extent of changes that need to be made to the user experience. For example, Omni-Channel is required in the Lightning experience; if it isn’t set up, gather further requirements. If there’s a sales element to the chat channel, familiarize yourself with the Sales Process to ensure that chats don’t end at a digital conversation, but continue along the processes that further connect users to their customers. 

Don’t Make a Mockup of the Chat Window Prematurely 

Determine the fields you need to capture- there could be some, such as a Category, for example- that drive the workflow or routing. However, whatever you do, do not make mockups of the chat window before you’ve gathered full requirements and have also demonstrated what can be accomplished declaratively with the Guided Setup Flow. There are limitations that will likely require you to involve a Developer. Making a mockup prematurely risks inflating your scope beyond your client’s budget. For example, I once witnessed someone make a mockup of the chat page with photos of the Agents speaking- without knowing this wasn’t supported out-of-the-box and required extensive custom code. When ready to show your client a visual, I recommend working with a Developer to build a proof-of-concept. This will allow you to make adjustments and iterations to the existing visuals. 

Process Flow it Out 

While chat is something we’re all familiar with, it shouldn’t be assumed that you and your implementation team are ready to begin build without mapping out the detailed process. When a chat comes in, which agent does it go to? What should happen if this is an existing or new customer? Does a particular question in the case form determine who should receive the chat? What happens when the conversation ends? Process mapping is imperative to this process and should be agreed upon by the business before any development begins. 


Lastly, I’ve included a couple of resources that I tend to reuse with each standup.  

  • Quick Development Tips for Live Agent: a great resource when you need to extend beyond the declarative route  
  • Test [your] chat button prior to deployment: since your button won’t be live, this help article provides great instructions for grabbing your HTML
  • Plenty of other resources are available, but a quick note- when searching for additional blogs or past content, most are labeled under the former name “Live Agent” 


Happy Chatting!