Using Front Chat

Overview

Front Chat is the simplest way for teams to manage live chat in Front. With the Front Chat application installed on your website, messages from your site visitors appear instantly in Front for follow up from your team. 

All plans include Front Chat, so all teammates with access to the inbox can chat with customers!


Settings

Customize your chat widget

Front Chat also allows you to customize your branding with custom colors, logos, and header greetings. You can also set an automated welcome message to be pushed to every site visitor, and enable email capture with a custom prompt. 

Below is a screen shot of each setting. You can edit these at any time in Settings > Team > Inboxes > select your Front Chat channel.

Set offline hours to hide your chat widget

Front Chat will be always be visible on your website by default. If you'd like to hide your chat application when your team isn't available (such as at night), set your Offline hours in your Front Chat channel settings.

Keep in mind that offline hours hides the widget from view, but does not turn off chat if a customer already has the widget open before your offline hours started, and have not refreshed the page. Customers will still be able to send you messages in the open widget, so best practice is to use an auto-response during your offline hours to set the expectation for when they will receive a response.

Capture visitor email addresses

10 seconds after a chat is initiated, Front will prompt anonymous user to enter their email address to be notified of a response. You can disable this option or customize your prompt in your channel settings.

Recognize logged in users

If you are using Front Chat in a web or desktop application and need to identify logged in users, after adding the code snippet you will need to complete an additional step in your set up.

Copy your Verification Secret from your channel settings. You can use this to pass information to the Chat widget securely from your site or app to the chat widget using the Front Chat API

To reject messages from users not logged in to your site or app, turn on the Only accept messages from logged in users toggle in your channel settings. If you want to accept messages from anonymous visitors browsing your site, do not enable this toggle.

Manage chat conversations across multiple websites

You can install your custom chat application on as many pages on a single website as you like. All messages will flow into a single chat inbox, and the conversation will be persistent for the customer across your entire site.

If you are managing multiple websites, you can handle chat conversations separately for each site by creating a separate chat channel for each site.

Customize each application to match each site's branding, install the appropriate scripts, and the chat conversations for each website can be handled in separate inboxes in Front.

Managing Chat users

To edit your Chat licenses, go into your Billing settings and click Manage users underneath the Chat add-on.

Workflow

Once you set up a Front Chat channel, your team can chat with your website visitors in real-time directly from Front. Use the same rules, analytics, tags, and workflows for Chat that you use for your other channels (email, SMS, Twitter, etc) in Front.

Match visitors with your Front contacts or CRM integrations 

If the user is logged in and verified or enters their email in the email capture form, Front will search for that email address in your contacts. You can tell if a visitor has submitted their email if this message appears: "User submitted their email: me@company.com".

If the email address doesn't match an existing contact, a new contact will be created in Front. If the address matches an existing contact, the chat message will be linked to that contact's details. You can view all of their past conversations by choosing Contact details in your integrations panel. 

If you have any integrations enabled that use an email address to identify records, those details will be displayed on the conversation as well. This applies to Front's CRM integrations: Salesforce, Pipedrive, Base, HubSpot, and Zoho.

If a site visitor does not enter their email address in the "Notify Me" prompt, the visitor will be anonymous unless you are using identity verification to pass user names and email addresses.

Transition conversations from chat to email

When a visitor enters their email address in the "Notify Me" flow, Front can easily transition the conversation to email if they leave your site without following up.

When a Front user replies to a chat message and the visitor does not respond within 5 minutes, Front will automatically send an email transcript of the last 10 messages to the address the visitor submitted:

You can choose the email address your transcripts are sent from in your channel settings using the dropdown menu under Email capture. It must be sent from a team email channel that you have connected to Front.

When a site visitor replies to the email transcript, the message will arrive in your chosen shared email inbox in Front. It will not be assigned to anyone, but you can use rules to assign conversations automatically (see below).

Use rules and analytics 

Rules and Analytics are available for customers on Front Prime or above plans. You can use rules and run analytics reports for your Front Chat channel the same way you use them for email, SMS, or other channels in Front.

Here are some example rules for Front Chat to help you get started:

Respond to messages automatically during offline-hours

Assign chats in a round-robin

Assign email follow ups to the user who replied to the chat

For Inbox is, choose the email inbox you are sending chat transcripts from. For Body Contains, enter the teammate's chat transcript signature. Chat transcript signatures are always "- [User] at Front."

Share content

Customize the feel of your conversations by sharing GIFs, using emojis, or sending files. Both Front users and website visitors can:

  • Send and receive plain text messages and click full urls

  • Choose attachments (image files up to 4mb) and preview images and GIFs

  • Send shared links to Google Docs or Dropbox files for other content types

See what page your visitor is on

Understand where your customer is on your website. Click the three dots on the right side of any message to Open visitor URL or Copy visitor URL.


Frequently asked questions

Can I log Front chat messages into Salesforce?

Yes. You can use Front's rule engine to sync every inbound and outbound chat to Salesforce. The rule would look something like this: WHEN Inbound messages, IF Inbox is [chat inbox], THEN Send as task to Salesforce. In order for this to work, you will need to first have the Salesforce integration enabled in your settings. Salesforce will log the chat messages to the contact with a matching email address, similar to the logging email functionality Salesforce provides.

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  • Is there any plan to allow custom contact fields to be sent over in the signed request via

    FrontChat('init', {email: "...", favorite_show: "spongebob", widget_count: 10})

    ?

    Like 1
  • Aaron Peterson This would be very helpful for us as well. Lemuel Chan can you help us with this one? 

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  • Brady Patrick Aaron Peterson Thanks for the feedback! This is currently not supported today, however, we have this request in our product backlog and will let you know when this becomes possible in Front!

    Like
  • Lemuel Chan Appreciate it. Hoping to see some Front Chat improvements this year.

    Like
  • This year come on guys...like this week! Front is awesome. Please save us from Intercom.

    Like 1
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