Zero to Hero: My first chat

Ready to get your new chat service up and running? We'll cover all the basics in the Zero to Hero series so you can start using LibraryH3lp with real guests ASAP. This installment covers the mechanics of chat from both the guest's and operator's point of view.

What you'll need...

Step 1: Add your code snippet to a web page.

Cut and paste the snippet from your 'Welcome to LibraryH3lp' letter into a page on your website or into a local test page; either way works just fine. Now you are ready to bring your chat box online and chat with guests.

Pro tip! You can opt to have a no-fuss, embedded chat box always visible on your web page. However, the code snippet included with your 'Welcome' e-mail will give you more flexibility - including the ability to customize offline behavior, add proactive chat invitations, and change the look and feel of your chat service at any time without editing your web page.

Step 2: Pretend you are a guest.

Use one of your two browsers (or computers) to visit the web page containing your snippet. Initially, you'll see "Chat is offline." Let's change that!

Step 3: Bring your chat box online.

Use your other browser (or computer) to log into the webclient. There's a link for the webclient at the top of this page if you need it. Note that the webclient is separate from the admin dashboard, which has no chat capabilities and is only used for management and configuration.

Pro tip! Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera users can enable desktop notifications in the webclient to get a visual indicator of incoming chats. Sorry IE11 folks, desktop notifications are not supported. Chrome desktop notifications offer the most flexibility. If you want to staff on mobile, we have some recommended apps to use.

Step 4: Chat.

As the guest, you should now see that the chat box is online. If not, try refreshing the page. To kick off a conversation, enter something at the bottom of the chat box.

As the operator, you'll receive notification of the incoming chat within the webclient. Answer your guest self. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Pro tip! LibraryH3lp is XMPP-based. So there are many chat clients that will work with LibraryH3lp.

Dig deeper! Watch the video below to get an overview of how the webclient for staffing works. And click here to learn about the anatomy of a chat.


Sharing Tool Watch the video below to get an overview of how the sharing tool works. The sharing tool allows operators to paste screen shots, mark them up with a built-in snapshot editor, and send to the guest. When supported, you can view the guest's screen in real-time, with no plugins/extensions needed in your web browser. And finally, you can capture screencasts and slideshows.

Step 5: Add canned (pre-scripted) messages.

You can create personal canned messages via the Messages page in the webclient. Canned messages show up as type-ahead suggestions when composing replies to guests during a chat or can be inserted using the canned message button. If desired, you can opt out of canned message type-ahead in your webclient Preferences.

Later when you have more than one user, you can create shared pools (groups) of canned messages for operators to use when chatting with guests.

That's it for this installment! Next we cover everything you need to trick out your chat box.

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