What is portal.chat and how does it work

Portal.chat tips and tricks: Awesome features you never knew about

There’s always a bit of a learning curve when it comes to mastering new apps and Portal.chat is no different. It’s getting increasingly popular amongst business users and quite simple to get started using right away, but of course as with anything it does have a few quirks that aren’t immediately obvious at first.

If you have some patience and the willingness to tinker however, we’re sure that anybody can figure out Portal.chat in no time but we thought we’d make it a little easier.

We’ve gone over everything you could possibly want to know about the Portal.chat mobile app, from how exactly the app works to tips and tricks every user should keep at their disposal.

What is it for and how does it work?

Portal.chat is an instant messaging app that since 2016 also supports 1 or 2 way live video/audio chat. You’d typically use the app to live chat with the visitors on your website or as the name suggests; on a portal website where you have listing(s). The main difference between Portal.chat and other instant messaging platforms is that Portal.chat will establish a live text or video chat conversation between your website visitor and yourself and these website visitors do not need to download any app or plugin in order to have a live conversation with you. So, unlike WhatsApp and Skype or Facebook Messenger etc…, when you use Portal.chat the conversation happens on your own website(s) and only you need to have the Portal.chat mobile app on your smartphone. Visitors will simply type in the chatbox which appears on your website after you created a Portal.chat account. Here are a few screenshots;

It’s recently taken the crown for the world’s most powerful live video broadcast app after releasing the Q2 update enabling it to broadcast video to the Apple Safari browser in addition to the most common browsers that supports WebRTC such as the Chrome, MS Edge, Firefox and Opera.

Setup

The first thing you need to know is that Portal.chat offers a free trial account which is fully featured so you can test all its features in your own time in your own environment. The app is available for Android and iPhone and there is a browser based client which you would typically use for the initial setup of your account. Once the app is installed, you’ll be asked to put the portal.chat Javascript in the HTML of your website. Portal.chat needs this script in your website because that’s where the video chatbox appears for your website visitors. Installing this script is a 1 minute task and usually you can do it yourself should you have administrative access to your website CMS alternatively you can always forward your Portal.chat welcome email to your web designer. If you are deploying portal.chat on a portal website, the installation will be slightly more complex as the chats need to be routed to the relevant advertiser, please refer to the installation guide for portal websites.

Business essentials
Business essentials

Navigation

Portal.chat has a menu bar that runs along the top of all the screens within the app. It has the following seven tabs: Current chats list, Online visitor list, Operators list, Alerts, Operator Settings, Statistics and Broadcast. Tap on any tab in order to access a new screen and its related features and settings.

currently ongoing chatsThe Current chats list should pre-load every time you open the app displaying any visitors who might be waiting for a response from you, but you can tap the “Globe” symbol to see your online visitors and you can invite them to chat with you by tapping the “Chat” button as shown on the above picture. You can invite as many online visitors as you like since they will be shows as individual chat sessions under this tab. You will receive a notification as soon as they reply to your invite.

live chat operatorsThe Operators tab displays all your colleagues on the account and their online/offline status. From here, you can invite your colleagues for a one to one text/audio/video chat session or a group chat. Note, that if your colleague(s) do not reply instantly, they will see your chat the next time they log in the app. So you can send messages even when their status is shown as offline. In this case, the app behaves just like WhatsApp or Skype. Every group chat has one or more admins.

The fourth tab is for the Alerts. Here you can disable alerts for incoming chat sessions. Alerts carry both audio signals and visual alerts so you will hear a beeping sound when there is an incoming chat as well as a graphical icon (the orange portal.chat diamond) will appear in the upper notification bar on your phone.

Profile Setting for chat operatorThe fifth tab is the Profile settings tab. Here you can set your Profile photo (this will display in the chatbox for all the visitors who you are chatting with to see) and your mobile phone number. You will want to enter your mobile number in case you have no internet coverage but still want to answer chat requests from your website/portal listing’s visitors. If you enable SMS text chat you shall receive chat enquiries as an SMS text message and you can also reply to them in a SMS text message. There is another feature here where you can receive a notification in case one of your colleagues have picked up a chat request notifying you that you don’t need to worry about it anymore. Last but not least; under this tab you can set your email address for receiving chat transcripts. If you enter your Email in this field, you will receive a copy of every chat session you are involved with to this email address.

chat statisticsThe sixth tab is the Statistics. The layout of the statistics are beautiful and straight to the point. Under one tab you can find a 24 hour/week/month breakdown of Visitors, Chats and Meaningful chats indicating at what time in the day the most visitors come and subsequently when operators should be available to answer chat requests. You can compare performance per day, week and month too. For portal advertisers there are further benefits as the portal.chat app will display the top 10 listings’ numbers such as which listing has the most visitors and chats etc… You will like this feature if you find statistical info interesting.

live broadcasterYou might also notice a feature called Broadcast which is the 7th and final tab. And this is the best of all. Broadcasting live video lets you send a live video signal from your phone’s camera (or desktop computer’s webcam) to either all the visitors of your website or you can cherry pick which visitor you want to send a live video feed through the chatbox. If you are doing a Global Broadcast (the code name for when you broadcast to all the visitors to your site/page) each recipient can respond via live chat individually. Very cool when you want to run an online open house or show a car to a potential customer simply by switching the broadcast button ON. 2 way video and audio or just 2 way audio to individual visitors is also supported. If not used, visitors will type their questions in the chatbox while the presenter can talk for either all the visitors to listen or just a single one.

Messaging with website/portal advert visitors

When the website visitor sees the chatbox on the webpage, he/she can start typing in it. At this point the Portal.chat mobile app users receive an alert and they can respond to the visitor.It works on a 1st come 1st serve basis, so whoever picks up the chat request first will own the visitor.This chat can be converted into an audio/video call if that’s what the parties want. There are so called “canned responses” such as “Hi, thanks for your interest how can I help you today?”  or “I am on the road right now, could you leave me your name and number and I will call you back shortly” – these canned responses are a click away for the user and it’s a great help for not having to type out the same sentence 100 times a day. Ongoing chats can be transferred from one operator to the other as well multiple operators can be invited into a visitor chat. For portal website advertisers, there is an option to dedicate the chatbox displayed on a certain listing(s) to a particular operator (the responsible agent) so nobody else receives alerts from that page. If the visitor has been to the page before and engaged in a chat session, the portal.chat user can read the transcripts of the old conversation(s).

 

live chat app

At the end of a chat session, the operator would categorise the chat into a category such as “sales” or “support” or “billing” etc… and each category has a preset email address where the entire chat transcript is automatically emailed. Equally the visitor can email himself the chat transcript when the chat is finished.

Live Video Chat and Broadcast your phone’s built in camera feed to the chatbox on your website/portal listing

live video chatbox with chroma key
live video chatbox with chroma key background

While in a live chat session with a visitor, there is a camera and microphone symbol which the app user can tap and send the live video and audio of the phone’s camera and microphone to the visitor in the header of the chatbox. At the choosing of the app user, this video will either be seen by a single visitor only or all the visitors to the webpage. If it is a one to one video chat, the visitor can also switch on his camera and a 2 way video chat is established.

This feature can be used for anything from doing a live online open house of a property or do new product training or just simply broadcast a seminar to the website etc… Nothing to download for the visitors or login to, all they have to do is come to the website at the right time to watch the feed. Live video engagement of website visitors is particularly useful for Q&A sessions since visitors can interact with the presenter via the chatbox.

This feature is similar to the newly introduced Facebook Live feature. Main difference being that with Facebook Live, you can broadcast only to your Facebook page and not to your own website. Ie: your viewers will have to be friends with you on Facebook and cannot remain anonymous and you are taking away traffic from your website to Facebook. Same thing with Youtube’s Live Event platform. You will want the traffic to stay on your website and grow your own brand instead of sending it elsewhere.

 

Check out this 1 minute video:

 

Leave a Reply

July 13, 2016

Posted In: Support

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment