The Live Chat functionality in Chatfuel consists of two parts:

  1. a plugin that you can place somewhere in a conversation flow to pause the bot, so users can initiate a conversation with a human agent
  2. a dedicated tab in Chatfuel where bot administrators can manage live chat conversations with users

The feature as a whole is useful whenever your chatbot can't answer a user's question, doesn't understand the user's input, or when the user would simply prefer the help of a human agent to resolve their concern.

#1. The Live Chat plugin

The plugin is the component you add to a conversation flow. It will automatically pause the bot while the human takes over the conversation with the user. While a Live Chat session is in progress, your Messenger chatbot will not respond to any AI rules or trigger the Default Answer block. You can add Live Chat to any Chatfuel bot, whether you built it in the Automate tab or the Flows tab.

Setting up the Live Chat plugin in the Flows tab

  1. In the Flows tab, click the elements button on the right side of the screen. Click Bot Action.

2. An action card will be automatically added to your flow. On that card, click the + Add Action button and then choose the Live Chat option.

3. Click the Live Chat plugin that appears to bring up its customization menu.

There, you can:

  • Set a timeout, which is the amount of time the bot will wait for the user to respond to the live chat operator before it resumes its messaging flow.
  • Set up a dynamic menu. The user will need to click the icon with three lines in the chat to bring up this menu. It can only contain one option: to Stop live chat. You don't have to enable this menu. If you choose to, simply add text to it in the customization menu for this plugin.
  • Manage subscriptions to decide which of your bot's admins should receive live chat notifications from this plugin.

4. Connect the Live Chat plugin to other blocks to send customized content to your users before and after the live chat session.

Setting up the Live Chat plugin in the Automate tab

The video below is a tutorial for setup of the Live Chat plugin in the Automate tab only. 👇

  1. In the Automate tab, navigate to the block where you want to add the plugin.
  2. Click the + More button in the Add Element menu at the bottom of the screen.

3. Scroll down to find the Live Chat plugin, and click on it to add it to your Facebook chatbot.

4. Once you've added the plugin to the block, you can customize its elements by clicking on them. 👇

A. Start Message: the initial message your bot sends the user at the beginning of the live chat session, to notify them that it has begun. This message can be customized.

B. Stop Chat button: the button that will end the live chat session when clicked by the user. You can change the text in this button, which is especially useful when you want it to appear in a different language.

C. Stop Message: the message that the user will see when the live chat session has been ended by the admin, or after the user clicks the Stop Chat button. This message can be customized.

D. Timeout hours: the amount of time the bot will wait for the user to respond to the live chat operator before it resumes its messaging flow. Timeout hours are there so that the bot doesn't interrupt the live chat session with automated messages.

E. Subscribe button: lets bot admins subscribe to receive notifications from live chat sessions. These notifications are sent within 24 hours to all the subscribed admins.

F. Modify Default Plugin Phrases: the option to customize the text that this plugin shows automatically. 👇

Live Chat plugin differences in the Automate tab vs. the Flows tab

The plugin accomplishes the same end result in both tabs: letting a human admin take over the conversation from your bot. But there are a few differences in how the plugin works depending on whether you're working in Chatfuel's Automate tab or its Flows tab:

  • The plugin in Flows doesn't have start or stop messages. To send content to your users before and after the live chat session, you'll need to add blocks (which can contain text, images, or any other type of content) before and after the plugin.
  • The plugin in Flows doesn't have default plugin messages.
  • The dynamic menu is only available in the Flows plugin.
  • When you customize the Live Chat plugin settings in Flows, they'll be applied to all Live Chat plugins in that tab*.* The settings can't be customized per plugin.

#2. The Live Chat tab

The Live Chat tab is the other component of this functionality. It looks like most any other messenger interface, and it's the place where bot admins can manage conversations manually without leaving Chatfuel.

If you want to allow some of your teammates to handle conversations with live chat users, but don't want them to be able to access the rest of the bot’s settings or the connected Facebook page, add that person as an Operator. They'll only be able to access the Live Chat tab.

To pause the bot and open a conversation with a particular bot user, you need to either:

  1. Find the user in the Active, Closed, or All folder in the Live Chat tab, and send them a message.

2. Find the user in Chatfuel's People Tab, click on the Messenger icon, and send them a message.

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