What are Message Channels


When a customer or lead clicks on the Freshchat messenger, the first thing they’ll see is Message Channels. Think of Message Channels as an IVR for chat. You can auto-route incoming messages from these channels to different Groups (teams) in Freshchat. 


For example, if you’re a SaaS company, you will have different teams like Pre-sales, Sales, and Support, for which you can create Groups in Freshchat. And you can create a message channel ‘Product Demo’, and map it to your Pre-sales group or a message channel called ‘Customer Support’ and map it to your Support group so that when new messages come in on these channels they get auto-assigned to the corresponding groups.



You can also add a relevant welcome text to these channels to set the right context and let your users know what they can reach out to you about on a specific channel. This will also enable your team members to understand intent right when a message comes in. 


How to set up Message Channels


Go to Settings > Message Channels > Add Channel




You can name your channel, add an image, a relevant welcome text, and select the group(team) to which messages incoming on this channel has to be routed. 



Under Advanced Settings, you can do a number of things.


What are Response Expectations


You can let your users know how long they have to wait to get a response from your team. 


If you choose Default Response Expectations, the ‘Typically replies within…’ message will be displayed with a value auto calculated in real time based on your team’s response time(Account Settings > Response Expectations).


Or you can go for Custom Response Expectations and add a custom message of your choice. Example, you can say ‘Typically replies within 30 seconds’, or something like ‘We’re on top of this’.



Note

Your custom message will be displayed only within the Business Hours you have set up for the channel in Freshchat. Outside of this, the default response message will be displayed. 




What does ‘set as public’ mean


If you select the ‘Public’ checkbox, the message channel will go live immediately and all your users will be able to see it, on all the pages of your website/app. If not, the channel will be hidden unless you add tags to the channel and use it in your website/app code.




What are tags


In Freshchat, you can turn message channels on or off on the different pages of your website/app and for different users such as visitors or logged in customers.



You can do this using tags. Let’s say you have a channel called ‘Pricing Enquiry’, and you want this to appear only on your pricing page and not on your home page. All you have to do is uncheck the ‘Set as public’ checkbox and add a tag, say ‘pricing’, to this channel and then use this tag in your Freshchat code on your pricing page. 


You can make the relevant channels appear either when the widget loads or when a user switches from one page to another on your website/app.


Use the following code snippet to make the channels appear when the widget loads (during init)

<!--Body-->
<script>
  function initFreshChat() {
    window.fcWidget.init({
      token: "WEB_CHAT_TOKEN",//Replace with your Freshchat token
      host: "WEB_CHAT_URL",//Replace with your Freshchat URL
            tags: ["pricing", "loggedin"],//tags your defined in channel settings
      externalId: <externalId>
    });
  }
  function initialize(i,t){var e;i.getElementById(t)?initFreshChat():((e=i.createElement("script")).id=t,e.async=!0,e.src="https://wchat.freshchat.com/js/widget.js",e.onload=initFreshChat,i.head.appendChild(e))}function initiateCall(){initialize(document,"freshchat-js-sdk")}window.addEventListener?window.addEventListener("load",initiateCall,!1):window.attachEvent("load",initiateCall,!1);
</script>
<!--Body-->


Or use the below code to change the displayed channels during page transitions.

<!--Body-->
<script>
 function initFreshChat() {
 window.fcWidget.init({
 token: "WEB_CHAT_TOKEN",//Replace with your Freshchat token
 host: "WEB_CHAT_URL",//Replace with your Freshchat URL
            tags: ["pricing", "loggedin"],//tags your defined in channel settings
 externalId: <externalId>
 });
 }
 function initialize(i,t){var e;i.getElementById(t)?initFreshChat():((e=i.createElement("script")).id=t,e.async=!0,e.src="https://wchat.freshchat.com/js/widget.js",e.onload=initFreshChat,i.head.appendChild(e))}function initiateCall(){initialize(document,"freshchat-js-sdk")}window.addEventListener?window.addEventListener("load",initiateCall,!1):window.attachEvent("load",initiateCall,!1);
</script>
<script>
window.fcWidget.setTags(tags);//For example ['pricing','loggedin']
<!--Body-->


Note

Make sure you use the tags you define for a message channel on the corresponding webpage’s code. 


Some examples


You can have a separate message channel called ‘Priority Support’ for your VIP customers.



You can even create ad-hoc message channels (on the fly) for temporary concerns or announcements like server downtime, scheduled maintenance, or webinar registrations.








Did you know?


You can translate Message Channels into other languages and support your customers in their native language.