Pre-chat and Offline forms of the live chat window are your opportunity to gather more information about your customers and provide better customer service. So it's well worth investing a little bit of time into designing these forms in a way that will best serve your company needs.
You can add, edit and remove the fields of your Pre-chat and Offline forms at Account Settings / Pre-chat Survey and Account Settings / Offline Form pages respectively.
To add a field, click "Add New Field" link, to edit - click the little pencil icon next to the field you would like to edit and to remove a field - click the red cross icon next to the field you want to delete.
You can add as many fields to your forms as necessary, the sky is the limit.
If you want your clients to directly connect to chat without having to fill out any forms, use "Skip Pre-chat survey" and "Start chat immediately after chat window load" options. With "Skip Pre-chat survey" option enabled pre-chat fields will be ignored and your clients will see the chat form immediately after the chat window load. A new chat will start once they send the first message. "Start chat immediately after chat window load" option goes further and allows to start a chat right after the chat window load. Your clients won't need to do anything additionally to start a chat.
You can also rearrange the fields on both forms by simply dragging and dropping the fields in the desired order, or by using the up and down green arrows to move the fields up or down your list.
There is a bunch of different fields you can add to your forms, such as name, message, text, email, subject, captcha, preferred operator / department or you can create a custom drop-down list.
Let us explain some of those types of fields, what they mean and how you can use them.
This field allows the customer to enter his name before starting a chat so that the operator can greet the visitor. If you don't add this field or make it not required and the customer does not fill it out, the visitor will appear in the chat room under the nickname "Guest" or under some custom nickname you set in your account settings.
Not using the customer's name during the chat, may make it feel less personal. Also, if later on you will need to find the chat transcript with this user, it will be harder to identify the right chat in the heap of transcripts.
Message field allows the customer to write his question so that the operator can see it right away, even before the chat has been accepted. Knowing the problem in advance helps the operator to prepare and start searching for the right information to answer the customer's question. This certainly helps to speed up the customer service and make it more efficient.
If you want to stay in touch with the customer after the chat or follow up on the issue discussed in chat, it is a good idea to add the email field to your Pre-chat Form.
Adding it to your Offline Form goes without saying, as if you don't ask for the customer's email, you will have no way of replying to the customer's offline message.
Subject field makes perfect sense on your Offline form and makes it easy to look through the offline messages that will come to your email.
All the information that customers enter on the Pre-chat form is visible to the chat operator in the Room Details tab of his operator console. Some of it, such as the Name, will also appear in the chat room tab.
Additionally, all the data from the Pre-chat form are available at the bottom of each chat transcript if you have transcripts enabled. There is a section "Visitor Details" at the bottom of each transcript email.
The information provided by the customer on the Offline form will be visible to you in the offline message delivered to your email.