WPMU Chat

Hello. I recently purchased the WPMU chat plugin to use for customer support. Right now, it works as a chat room, but I’d like to use it for 1-on-1 chats with customers. In your demo video you show a quick clip of it being used for support. How can I do this?

I’m a developer, so if there’s an advanced solution, I’m open to that too.

  • Griphon Marketing
    • Flash Drive

    After looking at the code, I can see how this could be done. The trick is what happens when more than one customer is on your web site at a time. There is nothing in the plugin to allow for multiple instances of the chat interface, so though I could custom code it so that non-logged in users only see there own chat, and the chat of logged in users AKA Admins, it would also mean you would be talking to one and the other would see your chat. I will look closer, and maybe figure out a way to allow you to tag each chat for a specific users, but on quick look, I don’t think that will so easy to do.

  • Paul
    • The Green Incsub

    @RefreshThePage.com,

    you are correct with the current codebase there is not an easy way to do this. Which explains why it has not been done up to now. I’m currently working on a full rewrite of the plugin. So will be including support chat logic.

  • Paul
    • The Green Incsub

    @timstrifler, @eric_schwarzer, @ryan_joseph,

    I’ve been working on a rewrite of our chat plugin. The first stage is almost complete which is a full cleanup of the coding and logic. Trying to add some request features like user lists and IP banning. Simple thing.

    I’m trying to thing down the road to support chat like you all have request. Wanted to see about getting your thoughts on this. I’ve looked at a few other chat solutions and they all seems to open a free standing chat session. But they don’t see to work well from the backend. Meaning if I’m the owner of a site for example I want to know who is requesting chat support and how many others are in the ‘queue’. Not t mention things like how am I notified when a public user initiates the chat request.

    I see this as different than just providing a 1-to-1 chat option like you would see on Google+ or Facebook. I’m trying to think more how all this functions for the admin experience. Things like being able to define support times. Maybe this could interface with our own Appointments+ plugin where you can define the schedule or if you have your own staff setup time for certain staff to man the support or be available for support request.

    With that being stated let me know your thoughts so we can put something really cool out there.

  • timstrifler
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Awesome! Can’t wait for the update.

    I’ve been looking into Click Desk for a chat solution. They have a WordPress Plugin to integrate your click desk account, but I’m not sure how integrated it really is. One thing that’s nice though is you can use Skype to answer support chats. I think that is a really great feature which also lets you chat from your mobile phone. I’m not sure how this would work with a queue though.

  • Paul
    • The Green Incsub

    @timstrifler,

    Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately their model is slightly different than our. Their model is you install the plugin and it connects to their own central system which then facilitates communications with various forms like Skype, etc. For our model we are trying to keep this all within the hosted environment where the plugin is installed. Still I agree it would be nice to add other communications options. If anything a nice mobile UI via a mobile browser where you can participate in chats would be a good addition.

  • timstrifler
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    @paul okay that makes sense. Yeah I don’t think the Skype is a total necessity by any means.

    Just thinking out loud here, but I have a few ideas in terms of the user experience of the plugin. You can tell me how possible it actually is though. There could be a back panel of the plugin that contains the queue. When an outside visitor requests the support chat they are then added to the queue. Their chat window can tell them what their number is in the queue. Support staff can then go to the back panel chat area and click on “Start chat with Next in queue” (this way multiple staffers can monitor the chat at one time). And then preferably the chat stays in the back panel area and pops open a new chat at the bottom of the screen (like facebook, gmail, etc.). This of course would remove that user from the queue so another staff member can’t start a chat another chat with the same user. Also staffers may want to have multiple chat windows open to help several people at one time. When the staffer finishes a chat they can close the window and click the “Start Chat with next in queue” link to start a new chat again. As you mentioned above, analytics would be especially useful. Also, the ability for the user to have the chat transcription sent to them or downloaded in a text file for future reference would also be nice.

    Alrighty once again, this is just me thinking out loud. I hope some of this is useful.

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