Open Channels in Bitrix24 collect enquires from different sources in real time and distribute chat sessions among agents in the queue.
How to create an Open Channel
The administrator can create a new open channel in Open Channels section > List > Create Open Channel.
- An employee needs to have access permissions to configure open channels. By default, only the administrator can create and configure open channels.
- The number of open channels that you can create depends on your Bitrix24 plan.
- All the open channels you create are linked to the domain name of your Bitrix24 Account. Thus, you need to configure open channels again if you change the domain name of your Bitrix24 Account.
Here's a list of available Open Channel settings:
Here you can select employees that will process messages.
Distribute submissions among employees
Here you can select an enquiry distribution mode:
- Evenly - current order of employees involved (added to the queue) is of no sequence; enquiries will be distributed so that all the agents get a similar workload.
Features of "Evenly" type of distribution
The main goal of that algorithm is to provide the customer with an agent's response as soon as it possible, not to distribute an even number of enquires between agents in the queue. The algorithm tracks time since the last response for each agent. Then it passes the dialogue to the agent with a longer period passed since the previous reply and starts tracking time again. This eliminates a constant flow of chats to one agent (considering all other conditions being equal for agents in the queue). If distributing goes only among several agents then there is(are) reason(s) for that.
Exceptions might depend on Open Channel settings: e.g. passing enquires, redirecting to other agent, going offline, working day pauses. The main criteria, however, is online\offline status. If agents are online, only they will get new chats, other (offline) employees will not get any incoming sessions. The system will direct chats to all people in the queue only if they all are online/offline.
- Exactly as enqueued implies that a current order of employees takes precedence; a new enquiry will be sent to the first available person, and then to the next one in the queue if no response follows.
- To everybody - requests will be submitted to all employees in the queue.
To everybody type of distribution is available to commercial plans subscribers only.
Idle time before forwarding to next agent in queue and Mark request as unanswered in - specify the time interval from 1 minute to 12 hours.
You can also activate the Don't transfer enquiry to an agent that is not clocked in or away option.
Check that an agent is online when routing enquiries - when enquires are distributed between the agents, each agent is checked if he/she is online or not.
Always monitor agent availability when routing enquiries - if a enquiry is not set to auto close, the system will check that the agent is online whenever a new message is received. If the agent is offline, the enquiry will be transferred back to the queue.
Limit simultaneous enquiries submitted to an agent - activate this option to limit conversations per agent. You can also specify which chats should be excluded:
- Replied to - excludes enquiries to which an agent replied at least once, closed and pending rating chats.
- Waiting for user reaction - excludes enquiries to which an agent replied and is now waiting for reaction. Closed and pending rating chats are also excluded.
- Closed - excludes closed and pending rating chats.
How does the queue work
- If "exactly as enqueued" enquiry distribution mode is selected, the first agent in the queue gets the first enquiry. If the enquiry has not been accepted by the agent, it is forwarded to the next agent in the queue. If no one in the queue accepted the enquiry, it will be redirected to the first agent in the queue again.
- If an agent that meets the specified criteria is not found, the enquiry will remain undistributed. In this case, the client gets the notification that none of the agents can respond to his/her enquiry.
- The employee is considered to be offline if he/she does nothing on his/her computer for 10 minutes or has his/her PC locked (works when the Bitrix24 Desktop app is running). If the agent uses Bitrix24 Web version, he/she is considered to be online as long as the tab with the Bitrix24 account is opened.
- The following criteria have to be met for the enquiry to be directed to the employee:
- The employee is not dismissed
- The employee is not on vacation
- The employee is online (if the corresponding option is activated)
- The employee has clocked in and is not having a break
- The maximum number of enquiries per agent has not been reached (if the corresponding option is activated).
- The wait time before the enquiry is redirected to the next employee is based on the time period specified in the settings. If the enquiry has not been distributed, the system tries to distribute it every 2 minutes.
- When redirecting the enquiry to the employee that is responsible for this client in CRM, the same conditions must be met as when redirecting to an employee from the queue, except for the "Maximum enquiries per agent" and "online/offline" conditions.
- The enquiries, which were assigned to dismissed employees or employees on vacation, return to the queue and are distributed again once in 24 hours.
- Enquiries are automatically closed when more than a week has elapsed since the last message.
Specify which information about agent will be displayed:
- Use employee user profile - show agents using current information (name and user image) as specified in the user profile.
- Use Open Channel entries - shows information provided in the Open Channel settings.
- Hide agent information - no user info will be shown.
Verify client in CRM database
If client was not found in CRM database, new lead can be created automatically or manually. There is a link in a chat window to create a new lead manually. In this case, a client's full name and message log are added to a new lead.
But if you get a message sent from a Live Chat and the sender hasn't left any contact information and left your website, you cannot contact this client back, hence a new lead is not created.
New lead source - if "Open Channel source" is selected, the new lead will specify the source of communication used: Facebook, Skype, Telegram, etc.
Transfer enquiry to responsible person if client ID is recognized - activate this option and if this client is found in your CRM, the conversation is transferred to an employee that is responsible for this client (even if the employee is not added to the queue).
Auto change lead's responsible person when routing enquiry to another agent manually - activate this option and if you transfer chat to another agent during the conversation, this employee will become a responsible person for this client. If not activated, when the chat is transferred, the one who first accepted the chat will still remain responsible for the client.
Activate Send auto response to initial client message and specify Auto reply text.
If no agent could respond to an enquiry, you can reply with the automated text reply, put the enquiry back to the queue or perform no action.
Put the enquiry back to queue means that the enquiry will be moving in circles in the queue until an agent responds to it. This option is available only if Evenly type of distribution is selected.
If enquiry is processed and completed - here you can specify the message that will be sent to your clients after the enquiry has been closed.
Also, you can specify Delay until enquiry is completely closed (after it was marked as closed by agent).
When auto-closing an enquiry using Conversation timeout, you can send a message to a client or do nothing.
Canned response list
In this block, you can select the list of canned responses that will be used in this open channel, as well as create a new list. Read more about canned responses in the article - Canned Responses in Open Channels.
Close session when client rating is received option allows closing session as soon as a client rates agent performance.
Activate Assign chat bot when a client enquiry is received option and all enquires will be assigned to the chat bot first. Then they will be distributed as usual.
You can download chat bots from Bitrix24 Marketplace.
Save message log
The message log is saved automatically and can be found in the chat or the corresponding CRM element's card. It's also can be found in Open Channels statistics details section and is available to the account administrator.
Here you can select the language used in the email messages sent to a client when he/she requests a message log or gets a notification.
Connect communication channels
In Bitrix24 you can connect next communication channels:
- Facebook: comments
- Facebook: messages
- Microsoft Bot Framework (Skype, Slack, Kik, Twilio, GroupMe, SMS, email, etc.)
- Live Chat