Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rich Web Client

We are happy to announce the release of a new P3chat application that revolutionizes the way operators work with customers today. We call it simply: Rich Web Client, and it is a super easy way for operators to engage with customers. As name suggests, it requires no installation as it runs in a any modern browser (IE9+, FF, Chrome, Opera, Safari).

For those of you who can't wait, here's the way to try it out: 1) create new Web-client operator in P3chat dashboard and 2) follow instructions in email sent to you afterwards. For the rest of you, I'm going to give a quick recap of all major features. Read on!


All your visitors, in one place

Our Rich Web Client tour starts with its main screen (see below), which shows the list of all web site visitors including both online visitors and those who have already gone offline:

Figure 1. Main RWC screen - Visitors list

We worked hard and collected feedback from numerous P3chat customers to figure out the most appropriate visitor information to show on this screen. What you see is the results of our efforts. By no means this is a final version, and we would really love to hear from you what other useful data can be added.

Chat Window

As you would expect, when a visitor initiates a chat, one of the operators gets automatically added to the dialog — just as with Google Talk, Skype and other Instant Messaging clients that you all work with. The operator's chat window looks like this:
Figure 2. Chat Window screen

The chat area to the left is the main focus on this screen. As for the side bar to the right, we placed some additional information about the visitor one would expect to see during Live Support sessions. This includes the super-important statisctics for previous visits / link to previous chats. One-click action buttons for managing the dialog are conveniently placed at the bottom of the sidebar. More on these buttons below.

Active Invitations

This feature is available on all plans except Starter and does exactly what its name suggests — allows operator to initiate a chat with a visitor. You can start a live chat with any visitor that is currently online (we don't support chatting with an offline visitors, sorry :)

Figure 3. Active Invitation: just click a visitor in the visitors list
This is an important tool in your sales team toolbox, as you can see. If you spot a hesitating visitor switching between 2 different products on your web site, you can easily invite her to a live chat and give her the best advice to make her purchase.

We consider this feature to be a companion tool to other advanced feature of P3chat, Automatic Rules. They allow you to trigger chat automatically based on the rules you define (like number of pages visited, overall time on site, etc.) With Active Invitations, however, you now have more intelligent, human control over it too. Please note that you need to be at least on the Lite plan to take advantage of this feature.

One-click Actions

There are few operations we frequently use when in a Live Chat session — we are talking about Redirecting visitors to other operators, Kicking (banning) visitors, Clearing message history... Previously you only had the shortcut textual !r, !k commands to perform those tasks. Now you can do this in one click with the One-click Action Buttons right at the Rich Web Client chat window. Note that shortcut commands are still available in the conventional IM clients that P3chat supports.
Figure 4. Action Buttons


Still it lacks the 'notice-ability' of my IM, doesn't it?

That's I think the question some may ask. For example, how can we make sure we don't miss an incoming message when we have 100+ tabs opened in a browser and just one of them is P3chat Rich Web Client?

Fear not. Browsers are evolving very rapidly and we surely take advantage of it. In this case, we've been able to add Desktop Notifications and Sounds to our app. Desktop Notifications are a nice looking messages that are displayed at the bottom of the screen — in the same way as you receive notifications from Skype, for example. If you turn on Sounds, you can additionally hear a nice "ding!" each time a visitor sends you a message.
Figure 5. Desktop Notification
Desktop Notifications is an emerging technology that Chrome support right now, Firefox will join very soon and plugins exist for the rest (poor chaps). You can find these options in the Settings menu.

Advanced features (the beginning)

Let me just mention a few advanced features that we included in this release.

As I mentioned above, Automatic Rules features is super useful, and of course it is integrated into Rich Web Client. Operators can see which exact Rules initiated a conversation, and the Visitors view gives a summary of which conversation were triggered by Rules.
Figure 6. Rules icon on main screen
Additionally, there is now way to see if the visitor is your registered user or not. In the area around the visitor icon you can see a new indicator: [Lock icon, with tooltip]. As the tooltip explains, this indicator shows the authorization status of the user. In case you've been ever wondering, whether the visitor is you current customer or just a newcomer, that's exactly what this indicator shows.

Figure 7. Authorized icon on main screen
This feature became possible thanks to a new function we recently added to P3chat Widget API. More on our API in our next blog post when it is officially released. So far, I'm glad to tell you that our API allowed us develop a few new features for P3chat so hopefully we can serve you better!


Summary

As I already said, we've tried the Rich Web Client with a few of our customers and overall they were quite impressed with this new feature. As for ourselves, we are sure this is a great tool in any webmaster's toolbox and we use it ourselves in our day-to-day support activities.

To log in to your web operator, just navigate to this URL: http://wo.p3chat.com and use your RWC credentials configured during creation of operator.

Finally, the main advantage of browser apps is that they evolve with time! That is, I'd be glad to hear feedback from you. What do you think? Did you like the Rich Web Client? Do you need more data? Got a new feature idea? Please drop us a line at support@p3chat.com. Let's make the next version of the app better, together.

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