Chat is one of the newest features of Array allowing you to bring users, teams and customers closer together.
Chat is one of the newest features of Array allowing you to bring users, teams and customers closer together. Having a chat system that allows you to have forms completed, keep track of orders or just send attachments easily is vital in data collection as you may need to pass information quickly from one to another or respond to your customers but need the input of 2 or more team member to make sure the information you are providing is correct.
Many businesses have seen the benefits of using chatbot for day to day conversations between them and potential clients and this is only sought to rise from the recent survey performed by Oracle, Virtual Reality, Chatbots to Dominate Brand Interactions by 2020. It is said that over 80% of business are expected to be using a form of chatbots by 2020.
There are a number of companies out there that already offer automated chatbot services and Array wanted to offer something more useful and meaningful to a team or a company. Array has devised UI and interface that allows you to not only chat externally with customers but you can chat internally too combining customers with your teams.
Chat is available on all Array accounts as an additional extra to the everyday Array platform. You can install just chat by itself keeping your team in contact or you can apply it to your Array account enabling all users, managers, teams or even clients to contact people.
Where is Array Chat?
If you have chat on your Array account you will have some new icons appear next to your notification symbol and next to your account selection.
Chat can be easily located to and read by clicking the little message icon here. When you receive a message from someone too, the chat icon will be highlighted as well as make a subtle noise to let you know a new message has arrived.
Who can I chat with?
Chatting with a team member, customers or even distributors can take a lot of time up, finding the right number, getting through to the right person, time spent on hold, etc. What if all of this was eliminated and all you needed to do was begin a chat with them as a user, share forms with them or even include and ask colleagues for information on an existing customer/previously submitted document. Well, you can and Array has made it that simple to do so, its a quick, real-time alternative to sending emails, losing them never being able to check back on a previous conversation, keeping it all within the Array app and where you already collect data made perfect sense tying it all together.
Gathering information and making sure it is all in one location is key to continuity and what Array strive to achieve for teams of all sizes. We had dived deep regarding what managers and team members need to communicate with one another but also with external customers, resellers or suppliers.
Chat Side Navigation
The side navigation in chat is much like the side navigation in Array, it shows you who you already have conversations with and the groups you are a part of. Although the side navigation is just a navigation it also has features that allow you to start new conversations and new Channels or talk to specific Teams. Starting new conversations and channels is explained further in the next two points.
Chat search enables you to search for conversations with users, channels or teams quickly. You will see at the top of the side navigation a search box that you can simply begin to type within and it will instantly filter all your conversations only producing those following the characters you are searching for.
Starting New Conversations
Starting a new conversation is a one-button process. In the left-hand navigation of chat, you will have a list of all the conversations you have open along with a list of all the channels you are a part of. Each time you get a new message a notification will sound and the conversation will be highlighted in the side navigation.
To start a new conversation all you need to do is select the small + to the right of ‘Direct Messages’. This will produce a pop out allowing you select/search who you want to start the new conversation with, once selected a new chat will open in your navigation.
Starting a new Channel
Much like starting a new conversation you can start a new channel the same way. In the side navigation next to ‘Channels’ you will see a small + icon, selecting this + will produce a pop out allowing you to select multiple users that you want to start a chat with. You can either search for them by name or you can simply select them from the list provided.
Teams will always appear in the side navigation and you can quickly select a team and all members to chat to. Teams are created from the teams you have made within your Array account. You can only create new teams and the people within teams by making a new one within your Array account when completed this team will appear in the chat side navigation.
You cannot close a team chats on Array as these are conversations that will not change member unless amended on your Array account.
Viewing members of the conversation
To view all member of a conversation or see who is a part of a conversation is all done directly through the conversation itself. You can use the more options in the top right corner of the conversation to see who is a part of the team and who you are actually chatting to. This is explained further in the section below: Additional Conversation Options.
Although chat is used for quick communication between yourselves, your team and even external clients, you can quickly share forms and documents too and this will continue to grow. Sharing a form enables teams to be on the same page, it may be that a new form has been created and deployed and you want you whole team to use or maybe just that you need a specific form that you would not usually need, you can quickly write to the office or another member of the team and they can quickly deploy it to you for completion.
It's so easy to share a form using Array Chat that all you need to do is select the small + on the left of the chat box and select ‘Form’
You will be presented with a further pop out asking for your form selection, what team or conversation you want to share the form to and a message to go with the share.
Clicking the form dropdown will show all forms you have attached to your account. Simply make the selection of the form you require
Next will be the team or conversation you want to share the form into. You may already be on the chat for the person you want to share the forms with but if it is another chanel you can make the alteration here.
And finally, to complete the share you may want to include a small message to let the team/user know what they need to complete. You can include as much test as you need to explain the form or what is required. Here is an example below of a form (Building Your Account) ready to share with a general team and a small message.
Although each user should have the access they need to the forms they use decided by those powers that be, it may be necessary to share forms directly through chat directly. You will only be able to do this if you have the correct permissions to see forms within your account and will not be able to share forms if you only have reports access.
Sharing a document is much the same as sharing a form, you simply click the + icon and select the file/document you want to share. Once you select the file, you will be presented with a popout searching your computer for your desired file. Once the selection is made it will open a popup similar to sharing a form where I will show you the file you are attaching, the team/user you want to share the file with space for a brief message you want to include.
Once completed, selecting upload will send the file to the team/user selected.
These files can be anything from information documents, reports, images or even Submissions downloaded directly from Array and saved on your device. It can be a quick way to access documents and relay information to one another rather than via emails.
Tagging a User Into a Chat
Tagging a user into a conversation can be used for many different situations but can also be a really powerful tool if you are talking about a specific account someone may own or you need an update on a record or you may just want to let the who team know something… there are infinite uses.
Tagging other users is simple and uses the same features you would on Facebook, Twitter and any other social platform, the @ symbol. Simply by typing ‘@’ you will be presented with all the users attached to your account allowing you to either type the rest of their name or make a selection from the popout.
As well as typing the ‘@’ symbol, you can also click the small @ icon displayed on the right side of the chat text box. Simply clicking this @ symbol will produce exactly the same popout at the one shown above.
Additional Conversation Options
When viewing a conversation you are presented with a few icons in the top right corner of the chat, these are a tick, 3 dots, a cross and minimize. These are pretty self-explanatory but here is an explanation of each:
the Tick: the tick is used to close a conversation for good. This tick is a symbol to say ‘I am finished with this conversation’ or ‘this conversation has been resolved’ allowing you to permanently close the conversation and start a fresh one in the future.
3 dots: the three dots, which also stand for ‘more’ are for exactly that, more information. Clicking the 3 dots will give you basic information on the conversation you are on. For example, which is a part of the conversation, whether it be a team or a conversation with an individual this will show all people that are included whether they have been tagged or the conversation is direct with them.
Cross: Also know as escape does not close the conversation for good but instead just closes the conversation for the time being and puts you back on the last Array platform screen you were on. For example, if you were on folders page then opened up chat, when you close/ESC chat you will be back on the folders page of Array.
Minimise: Does exactly what it says on the tin. You are able to minimize conversations to turn them into a mini chat at the bottom of your screen.
Doing this may help if you have an ongoing conversation or you need to relate back to the conversations while completing something within Array. Once minimized you can enlarge again to open in the main chat or you can close the conversation completely.
Minimized chat is exactly the same as the full chat just laid out a little differently allowing you to quickly look at the chat while completing other tasks on Array. As mentioned above, minimizing the chat allows you to have multiple chats open at one time all at the bottom of your page.
You will see you have the same options to type in the text box, Tag other users into the conversation, Attach a document or a form and maximise the chat. These can all be found at the top of the mini chat.
When you are done with the mini chat and want to appear at the bottom of the page for you to continue with your work behind, you can simply click the bar at the top with the name of the chat and it will minimize it down further appearing like the image below allowing you to see the whole screen behind.
To open the chat again onto a mini chat, simply click the top bar of the conversation and the chat will open in the mini format.
Closing a Conversation
Closing conversations are not something you will find yourself doing very often as you may want to have records of what has previously been speaking about and you can simply look back at past conversations but to close a chat is a one-click process.
When you have a conversation open you can quickly click the tick at the top right to close a conversation. The tick is to close conversations as it says you are ‘done’ and ‘completed’ with this conversation.
In the side navigation, if you hover over the conversation you want to close, you will also see a small x appear here too. Selecting this cross will also close a conversation without having to open it.
If you want to know more about chat and what it can do for your company, don't hesitate to contact a member of the team using our online support or complete our form, Register Your Interest and one of the team will contact you to discuss your needs further.