In the Spring 12 release, Salesforce added Live Agent to its native platform allowing you to configure and run the Live Agent Operator panel directly from your Salesforce login and store chat transcripts directly on the Account/Contact record with minimal effort.
We had the privilege of implementing Live Agent for one of our clients and exposing the Live Agent Online Chat capability through the Customer Portal.
Live Agent allows organizations to enhance customer service by adding Live Chat capabilities to their public website, customer portal, or any site that you would like to add live chat interaction with your customers.
Upon activation, the native version of Salesforce Live Agent adds a new area to the App Setup called Live Agent which allows for customization of the Live Agent features.
This provides the ability to create your Deployments, Chat Buttons, Skills, etc. directly in Salesforce, and introduces the opportunity to create Triggers, Validation Rules, and more on the new Live Agent Objects.
We created a Launch Live Agent button directly on the Home Page for Service Center operators to quickly log into Live Agent without having to enter separate credentials.
The new version also introduces a Live Chat Transcript Object which stores each Transcript as an object that can be tied directly to an Account, Contact, Lead (or any other object) within the system.
Live Chat Transcripts are loaded with information on the chat session including: Chat Duration, referring site, response times, customer information, location, and a lot more. Fields can be added if there are any other metrics that you would like to store on each transcript.
The advantage of the new Transcript object is that, like every other Object in Salesforce, you can now create Reports and Dashboards that highlight metrics from all of the Live Chat Transcripts stored in the system, and cross reference them with any related Objects. This provides insight into customer service levels, response times, and ensures you have the right information to make the right decisions to improve customer service.