Intelligent Live Chat Routing - Ultimate Guide

Post by
Sten Koobas
September 7, 2021
Intelligent Live Chat Routing - Ultimate Guide

1. What Is Chat Routing?

The chat routing functionality allows you to prioritize and route incoming chats to the appropriate operator based on simple rules and criteria. Basic chat routing allows you to automatically send chats to the operators who are currently managing the fewest number of chats, or they can be queued and picked up by operators manually.

Having more intelligent touch, like skill based or chatbot topic based routing will give you even more depth and will make your customer experience seamless. Routing visitors to different operators based on different criteria allows your top customers to have access to your best agents while ensuring that customers from lower-level tiers or groups still get quality support.

2. Intelligent Chat Routing Modes

1. Queues and Routing

A default agent queue is linked with your chat widget. You provide your website visitors the option of selecting the appropriate queue before starting the conversation. Your guests will be able to speak with someone who is most qualified to assist them. That way, your visitors can be sure to talk to someone that is best-suited to help them.

In addition to that, you can set the queue's priority related to other queues. By default, every queue has a priority of 1. If the queues are defined further (e.g. 1, 2, 3), then the customers in the queues marked by lower numerical values will be connected to an agent before others. For example, customers in a queue marked with 2 will be handed over to an agent before the customers in a priority 3 queue.

The queue chat routing mode is a good match…

  • when you have a large chat team with specialized agents and want to let your web visitors decide which department to talk to. This can be helpful, for example, when you run a site that's visited by people speaking different languages . Instead of presuming their language preference, you can use group select to leave the choice to them.

  • when you have a small chat team in which your agents with different specialities can cover for each other. Your web visitors can still reach somebody from your team even when their preferred group is unavailable.

How to set it up:

1.Select “Admin” view and click on “Queues” and “Add a queue”

2.Add a queue name and choose the other settings that suits your personal preference and click on confirm

AlphaChat default settings include an intelligent routing system. Intelligent routing is essentially an automated queue system, which routes the customer to the most fitting agent for the job. Agent's suitability is determined by active status, language skills, discussion topic and more.

Automatic assignment of chats from the waiting queue to agents subscribed to this queue is based on the following criteria in the following order:

  1. Skill (agent with highest skill gets the chat first)

  2. Ticket count (agent with lowest chat count out of agents who have not reached the limit of concurrent chats gets the chat first)

  3. Last activity time (agent with longest idle time since last activity gets the chat first


To select which routes automatically guide your agents to selected queues, navigate to AlphaChat's Admin panel -> Routes and select Add route.


You can determine with the use of regex how chats are forwarded to the queues. When using regex code .* the chat URL and/or bot action ID must partially match the queue name. When there is no regex code used, the system will trigger the action only with exact match.

​​For more information, refer to Regex Tutorial

If you already have a regex code, but not sure if executed correctly, test it on online regex tester

2. Internal Routing

You get complete control over the routing mode you choose. But what if everything else is the same? This logic illustrates what a successful live chat service should be like: quick, efficient, and personalized. If many agents (with the same capabilities) are online, regardless of the routing style, the following set of rules controls who gets the conversation.

1. The agent with most available slots 

If a visitor lands on your website they will be assigned to the Operator who has the most open conversation slots. This rule is intended to equalize the burden among your agents while also reducing the time it takes for your visitors to respond.

There are a maximum of 10 chat slots available, however we recommend starting with three. It's worth noting that lowering the number of conversation slots for a given agent lowers her odds of getting the following chat.

However, you can also implement this into your support workflow and have your (more experienced) agents with many chat slots receive the bulk of the chats while others with fewer slots only come in when the chat load gets too high.

How to set it up:

1.Go to “Admin” view and select “Users”

2.Choose “Add user” or an agent you want to configure chat settings under “Action” section and click on edit

3.Go under “Configuration” and select the max chat amount and click confirm

2. The agent with most available slots

The routing rule that applies is the second and last one. Given that the site visitor has never participated in a conversation before and that all agents have the same number of open chat slots, the agent who hasn't had a chat in the longest will be the one who receives the next chat.

3. Skill based 

Some may speak one language, while others may speak two or three; some may have a broad understanding of all of your products, while others may specialize in one. When your clients are immediately sent to the support agent who is most suited to address their individual concern, customer happiness is at its peak – and service expenses are at their lowest. There is no waiting period, and there are no forwards.

Introducing AlphaChat most adaptable routing method - Skills. You create skills for your customer support agents and assign these to them. When a visitor initiates a conversation on a website, they are sent to a customer support agent who has the required Skills, regardless of their group affiliation.

The skill chat routing mode is a good match…

  • When you have a large chat team with many different capabilities. Instead of creating a fixed structure you can precisely describe which skills each support agent has and change their priority. 

  • When you have a smaller team and want your Sales and Support employees to handle some of the general inquiries while still focusing on their areas of expertise. You can put an agent into two separate Groups whenever you want.

How to set it up:

1.Under “Admin” view select “Queues”

2.Select the queue you wish to add agent with skills and click on edit

3.Select the plus button and add agent and select the skill priority

4. Chatbot Routing And Offline Forms

What if all your agents are busy or they are currently offline and cannot answer your customers queries? When there are no agents available, the users will be granted an option to either wait in the queue or leave a message. The latter is done with the use of customizable offline forms. The customer message will be sent to the selected support email. It is also possible to customize the subject field of offline form message to sort the messages in your inbox more easily. This means that you could assign different offline forms to your conversation flows. Typical scenario would be to have one offline form for general purposes and one for sales. For more information, contact us directly.

How it works:

When your customers are offline Alphachat smart chatbots will know that noone is listening currently any queues and offers website visitors the option to leave a message

Visitors can leave their message which will be forwarded to customer support email where agents next time they come to work or are available can answer to visitors queries directly from there

How to set it up:

Connect with Alphachat team for custom offline forms from here:

5. Conclusion

There are several options for routing your customers to right department. It is crucial for you to choose the right one in order to give your customers seamless experience.

With AlphaChat you can create different chat routings. Feel free to play around with the product and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.