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how does live chat work

How Does Webchat Work?

Most of us have enjoyed the ease of webchat for getting in touch with a company, but have you ever wondered how this smart technology works?  

Read on to learn what makes webchat work. 

Imagine you're at a crowded party and you need to talk to someone across the room. The problem is though, the room is packed and your friend  is surrounded by a buzzing group of people who all want attention. You can't wait for ages for a gap, so you look for another way to communicate. 

If you were to pull out your phone and send a text message to your friend, you would cut across the noise and the crowd and get a direct and immediate conversation going. In a way, that's how webchat works. It's like having a private conversation with someone in a busy room, even though you're physically not close. 


The Webchat User Interface 

The user interface is the visual part of the live chat widget that customers interact with.  It’s the familiar small chat box which appears in the corner of a web page, inviting users to start a conversation.  

Customers will type their messages into the text box and will then see the responses from the AI chatbot or support agent. The Webchat interface can also support actions like file sharing and emojis. 

Online Chat AI Backend 

At the backend, you find the software that powers the live chat system. It includes the server infrastructure, messaging protocols, and databases that store chat logs and user data.  

It takes care of managing the flow of messages and the system also keeps track of user sessions and manages chat queues to ensure timely responses. 

A webchat bot runs off AI technology, specifically Natural Language Processing, to analyse the text input and determine the intended meaning: the intent. Furthermore, each webchat bot is customised to the language and jargon of the business it serves to make it useful to industry-specific queries.  

What’s more, a chatbot can be programmed to identify named entities, such as dates or postcodes, from lengthier messages, which means a customer can offer a few different pieces of information all in one conversational response.  

If the bot gets stuck or doesn’t understand, it can ask follow-up questions or pass on to a live agent. 

Through Machine Learning, the chatbot's language understanding and responses improve and feedback from conversations is continuously fed back into the system, resulting in the chatbot's ongoing growth. 

 how web chat works

Chat Routing

The aim of webchat is to resolve customer queries in the best way and chat routing helps that to happen. Routing refers to the process of connecting customers down the most appropriate path, be it a chatbot or, if the issues is more complicated, then to an agent. The routing system uses algorithms to match users with bots/agents based on factors such as availability, skillset, and type of query. It also prioritises users based on their status and customer history, amongst others. 

API Integrations with Webchat 

Once webchat is plugged into other systems, it becomes more than just a conversational interface. Often, webchat systems are integrated with other business tools such as CRM systems, helpdesk software, and social media platforms using API connections. These integrations allow support chatbots and agents to access customer information, view previous interactions, and streamline workflows. Integrations also give insights into chat metrics such as response time, customer satisfaction and chat volume. 

Online Chat Security 

Online security is a high priority for businesses, especially when customer data is involved. Webchat systems need to be secure to protect user data and prevent unauthorised access. The security measures can include encryption, user authentication and access controls, and the backend should also be regularly monitored for potential vulnerabilities and security breaches. 

So that’s an overview of how webchat works but have a look at a more detailed dive into what Webio's DebtChat can do for businesses and why customers love it. 

For more, see:

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