Chat

The chat feature allows for chats between agents and customers using the OTRS front end. Once enabled, customers or public users can start chats with agents and vice versa. Finished chats can be archived and attached to tickets or can be downloaded as PDF by agents, customers and public users.

Each chat is assigned to a chat channel. Chat channels are like chat rooms. Each chat channel is assigned to a certain group which controls the permissions for this channel. If no chat channel is selected when a chat is created, this chat will be created in the Default channel.

Chat Availability

To be able to use chats, chat availability needs to be set in the Personalization menu. In order to accept incoming chat requests from customer users, one or more chat channels must be selected in the My Chat Channels field of the Notification Settings.

The People widget shows the online and chat availability status for agents and customer users. A third screen shows users that are out of office.

People Widget

People Widget

Every user has a colored circle icon after his/her name in the People widget which represents the person’s availability.

Green circle
The user is online and available for chats.
Yellow circle
The user is away. There has not been a request sent to the server from this user for some time.
Pink circle
The user is inactive. A chat request has not been accepted or the participant left the chat.
Red circle
The user is set as unavailable for chats in the Personalization menu.
Black circle
The user has logged out or the session has expired.

Chat Request List

The chat request list displays chat requests from customer users, public users and other agents. The list is accessible by hovering over the chat symbol in the organizer sidebar.

Chat Request List

Chat Request List

To accept the chat request, click on the Accept icon in the Action column.

Start New Chat

A chat participant can be an agent, a customer user or a public user.

Agent to Agent

To start a chat with another agent:

  1. Use the People widget in the dashboard. Agents who are able to chat will have a chat icon next to their name.

    Available Agents

    Available Agents

  2. Click on the chat icon next to an agent’s name.

  3. Type an initial message in the Request Chat dialog, and click on the Create button to send the message.

    Request Chat Dialog

    Request Chat Dialog

  4. After the chat request has been sent to the other agent, you will see a chat indicator in the organizer sidebar. A browser notification is displayed to inform the other agent of the chat request.

  5. Wait for the answer. The other agent has to accept the chat request with the Accept button.

    Accept Chat Request Dialog

    Accept Chat Request Dialog

  6. When the other agent accepts the chat request, you can chat now.

    Agent to Agent Chat

    Agent to Agent Chat

Agent to Customer User

To start a chat with a customer user:

  1. Use the People widget in the dashboard. Customer users who are logged in to the OTRS external interface and are able to use the chat will have a chat icon next to their name.

    Available Customer Users

    Available Customer Users

    See also

    Customer users can also be selected in the customer user detail view or from the Customer User Information widget of the ticket detail view.

  2. Click on the chat icon next to a customer’s user name.

  3. Type an initial message in the Request Chat dialog, and click on the Create button to send the message.

    Request Chat Dialog

    Request Chat Dialog

  4. After the chat request has been sent to the customer user, a chat indicator will appear in the organizer sidebar. A browser notification is displayed to inform the customer user about the request.

  5. Wait for the answer. The customer user has to accept the chat request which is displayed in the bottom right corner of the external interface.

    Chat Request on External Interface

    Chat Request on External Interface

  6. When the customer user accepts the chat request, you can chat now.

    Agent to Customer User Chat

    Agent to Customer User Chat

  7. When the customer user closes the chat, it is possible to send the chat contents via email or create a ticket from the conversation.

    Save the Conversation on External Interface

    Save the Conversation on External Interface

Customer User to Agent

Customer users are not able to start a chat directly with a certain agent, but can only create generic chat requests.

To receive a chat request from a customer user:

  1. A customer user must login to the OTRS external interface and click on the New conversation button within the chat window in the bottom right corner of the external interface.

    Start Chat Window

    Start Chat Window

  2. A notification is displayed in the organizer sidebar to inform the agent. Hover the mouse over the chat icon to open the chat requests list.

    General Chat Requests From Customers Widget

    General Chat Requests From Customers Widget

  3. Accept the chat request.

    Chat Preview Dialog

    Chat Preview Dialog

  1. When an agent accepts the chat request, they can chat now.

    Customer User to Agent Response

    Customer User to Agent Response

  2. The customer user will see the answer.

    Customer User Chat

    Customer User Chat

Public User to Agent

Visitors of the external interface are also not able to start a chat directly with a certain agent, but can only create generic chat requests. As they are not logged in, they need to add a name to start the chat.

Start Chat Window

Start Chat Window

The remaining steps are the same as described in the Customer User to Agent section.

Chat Bubble

Clicking on the conversations icon in the bottom right corner opens the list of conversations. This chat widget is the main component used when chatting with other people. It provides a history of all messages in the chat as well as a list of possible available actions, depending on your permission level.

The messages can be sent using the text field of a chat in the Conversation(s) widget by either clicking the send icon next to the text field or hitting the Enter key. Shift + Enter can be used to insert a new line into the message.

The chat widget has some icons in the header bar.

Chat Widget

Chat Widget

The menu has several menu items.

Append to ticket

Allows you to append this chat as an article to a selected ticket. After the article has been created, the chat will get closed automatically.

Append to Ticket

Append to Ticket

Create phone ticket
Allows you to create a phone ticket to which the current chat will be appended to as an article. After the ticket has been successfully created, the chat will get closed automatically. The phone ticket is explained in the Tickets chapter.
Invite
Allows you to invite another agent to this chat. You can select who you want to invite from a list of available agents. Once the agent has been invited, a new invitation request will be sent to this agent. After the request has accepted, the new agent will join the conversation.