LibraryH3lp is designed from the ground up to be a multi-operator system. That is, you can have any number of concurrent operators staffing your service.
All operators with available (or chatty) status staffing a given queue will receive each incoming chat. Only the first operator to respond will become connected with the guest. The operators that do not "win" the chat will become disconnected from the guest, and they will receive notification of the operator that successfully answered the chat. All chats can be transferred to other operators or queues at any time.
In the following chat, amytest answered the chat first. The operator actually looking at this chat window did not answer it.
Chat clients allow users to set various presence statuses, which are used in the routing of chats from guests to operators.
Available or Chatty (Free for Chat) status is required for a operator to receive a new chat from a queue. We've already talked about this a bit above.
If an operator accidentally leaves himself/herself on available (or chatty) status, your queue will be available and patrons can start chats. We have a feature called concierge that can help in this sort of situation. Concierge auto-replies are triggered after a customizable period of time if a chat goes unanswered. They're a great way to let patrons know about alternative forms of contact. If concierge is of interest, we can get that set up for you if you email us the queue name, delay period, and message wording.
Away and Do Not Disturb (Busy) statuses can be very helpful if a operator already has all the chats they can handle, or if they are trying to wrap up a shift without taking on any new chats.
Think of it this way: use Away if you are going away from your desk to go to lunch, take a break, etc... Use Do Not Disturb/Busy if you are busy with your current chats and don't want to receive any new ones.
Status detail notes that are entered manually by the operator do not impact the routing of chats from queues and only display to operator's contacts on their buddy list. For example, a note that says "out to lunch" will not stop incoming chats from queues unless the status is also changed to Away.
Client setup is one of the most important parts of bringing up a service. If one or more users assigned to a queue have Available status, the queue is online. Users with Away or Do Not Disturb/Busy status will not bring a queue online.
Examples: a queue with five away users and one available user is online. A queue with five away users and zero available users is offline.
Thus, it is very important to investigate client settings such as inactivity or idle times creating away status. Also check and be sure your operators are familiar with signing in and out of their account, especially steps that involve Exiting the client. Many Jabber clients will hide in the system tray if the user closes the main application window, and this could result in your service falsely appearing available to your guests.
Advanced topic: What happens when the operator closes their chat window and then the guest sends a new message later? Don't worry, the guest will always get connected with someone, but the specifics depend on the chat client software. Read all about it!