Zero to Hero: Add more operators

After just two installments in this series, you already have a chat system ready to go. Congrats! Let's talk gravy.

In this installment, we'll cover the multi-operator aspects of LibraryH3lp and help you provide the best experience for your guests. Every trial starts with just one user. That makes for a lonely existence. The more the merrier!

Step 1: Create a new user within the admin dashboard.

If you need it, there's a link at the top of this page. We're back in the admin interface again. Most everything we'll be doing today uses the admin interface since we are working on managing our chat service and not chatting with guests.

We have step-by-step instructions for creating a new user. When starting out with your trial, you most likely will skip Steps 7 and 8 in those instructions since you won't yet have any canned messages or conference rooms. We'll cover how to make those below.

Pro tip! You get unlimited users. Even trials. We recommend giving each of your colleagues a user account. Just because someone has a user account doesn't necessarily mean they have to chat with guests. Each username must be unique across the entire platform, not just within your account. You'll be warned if someone else has already nabbed the username when creating a new user.

As part of the user creation process, you'll assign your user to staff a queue. A queue? What's that? Glad you asked! Queues allow many operators simultaneously staff a single chat box on a web page. We'll talk more about queues in the next installment of this series.

Pro tip! Users can staff multiple queues simultaneously. This allows for quite a bit of flexibility in chat workflows. More on that later.

Step 2: Create a conference room.

Now that you've created some new users, let's talk about conference rooms. Conference rooms provide an environment for internal group chat. Conference rooms are password-protected and are a great place for collaboration, coordination, and brainstorming among staff.

Create a conference room for your staff and assign your new users. Each assigned user will see the conference room appear in the bottom pane of the webclient when staffing chat; each room contains a list of participants, the conference room transcript, and the room's current topic.

Pro tip! Conference rooms are also accessible to staff using external clients like Pidgin or Adium.

Step 3: Create some shared canned messages.

Now, let's talk about canned messages. Canned messages are a great way to store commonly typed chat messages to guests. The canned messages act as timesavers and ensure consistent messaging to guests across operators.

Create pools (groups) of canned messages to store commonly used phrases for chat. Within the webclient for staffing, canned messages show up as type-ahead suggestions when composing replies to guests or can be inserted using the canned message button. Users staffing chat can browse their assigned shared canned messages and optionally create their own personal canned messages.

Pro tip! A single pool of canned messages for all staff might be all you need. But LibraryH3lp can be used across departments and beyond libraries, so different groups of operators might benefit from different pools of messages.

Step 4: Try out transfers between operators.

Any chat originating from a queue can be transferred to any other available queue or user in your account. Only users and queues with available (or chatty) status will appear as targets for transfers.

We're done with the admin dashboard for now. Let's go to the webclient!

The ability to transfer a guest to another operator is built into the webclient. To try it out, have each operator log into the webclient (there's a link at the top of this page if you need it) on separate browsers or computers and enlist a third person (using a third browser or computer) to play the part of a guest using the chat box on your web page.

Pro tip! Staff not immediately assigned to receive incoming chats can receive transfers and act as 'Tier 2' support.

In the next installment of this series, we'll talk queues.

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