Chat Guide


Cadence Chat provides institutions a way to effectively communicate with contacts that reach out directly from the institution/university website. Cadence Chat blends chatbot automation and live web chat to help reach target audiences and improve your institution's digital experience by connecting visitors to the information they need quickly, and looping in your team for personalized assistance when needed. 

Cadence Chat is implemented directly on your institution's website utilizing custom playbooks that are designed with tried-and-true best practices to ensure connections with contacts are made and help you reach institution goals.

Once Chat has gone "live" on your institution's website, Cadence Chat can integrate seamlessly into Cadence Text, providing the ability for staff members to text students for follow-up all within the same platform. Chat can also work as a standalone chatbot providing the ability to communicate with contacts on your website and/or provide contact information for additional follow up through another avenue outside of Cadence like email or phone. 

The following article will go into more detail on:

  • Terms to know
  • How Chat works
  • Setting your availability, responding to a live chat, and conversation details
  • Chat to Text: Contact Conversation History (Only available when using both Cadence Text and Chat)
  • Best practices

Terms to know:

  • Playbook: Playbooks are the roadmap of a chatbot conversation that steers website visitors to their desired destination. Playbooks are built around certain topics and goals, such as admissions and lead capture or enrollment and submitting a deposit.
  • Flows: If playbooks are roadmaps, think of flows as specific streets or routes.  They break up the playbook to deal with specific sections of a topic or goal. One flow can be specifically used for capturing information; another flow can be presenting admissions information. A visitor can transition between flows throughout an interaction.
  • Widget: The widget is what site visitors see and engage with on the website - usually in the lower right-hand corner of the website. 

Click here for more Chat Terms

How does Cadence Chat work?

As a contact interacts with the Chat widget on your website, they will be guided through personalized playbooks and flows specific to the information they're looking for. The chatbot will collect contact information, guide them to specific information/resources based on information they provide, and/or connect them directly with a staff member to communicate through a live chat or to provide their information for future follow-up.

Within Cadence, users and administrators can access Chat by clicking "Chat" on the left navigation.

Setting your availability

Chat users must set their Chat availability to be able to start receiving Chat conversations. Setting your availability can be found in away/available drop-down in the upper left corner.  Each user/admin sets their own individual Chat availability.

  • Available- When set to "Available," Cadence Chat will start assigning incoming Chat conversations to you and placing them into "My Conversations." 

Note: When multiple Chat users are available at the same time, conversations will be routed to a user in a round-robin format.

  • Away- When set to "Away," you will not receive any conversation assignments. 

  • When you switch teams in Cadence, it will mark you as Away
  • When a user signs out of Cadence, they will be marked as Away
  • The technology will regularly do a pulse check on connection and set a user away proactively if they’ve lost their connection

Chat Conversation List

The Chat conversation list is where all Chat conversations will be stored. As conversations come into Cadence Chat, they will be placed into one of the following conversation areas:

  • My Conversations
  • Follow Ups
  • Other Conversations

My Conversations

"My Conversations" will only display Chats that have been assigned to you when you are set to "Available."  When assigned, you will be in a live chat with the contact and are the only user that can respond. 

Follow Ups

"Follow Ups" are Chat conversations in which the contact/visitor has either decided not to do a live chat and provided their contact information for future follow up OR no one was available for a Live Chat. 

Any user can complete any of the conversations to contacts that are in "Follow Ups." The option to respond is not available in "Follow Ups" as the contact is no longer in the chat.

Other Conversations

"Other Conversations" are all other Chat conversations that aren't assigned to a user or marked to be followed up. These conversations can be past "closed" conversations, current conversations happening live on the website, or other live chats happening with another user on the team.

Replying to a Live Chat 

A live chat will start when a contact chooses to speak to a staff member (real human and not the bot) in the Chat and a staff member is set to "Available." Cadence will look at all users who are set to "Available" and assign the conversation randomly. Once assigned, the conversation will appear in "My Conversations."

The conversation will show the chat thread/feed that the contact has had so far with the Chat Bot so that you can respond appropriately. 

To reply, click in the text box at the bottom of the conversation, type your message and click "Send." Emojis can also be added to your replies.

Note: The ability to respond directly in real time to the contact is only available when the conversation is a live chat and assigned to a user.

Contact Chat Details

The Chat Bot will collect basic contact information on any contact/visitor that asks to join a "live chat" or for "follow up." 

The bot will collect the following visitor's information:

  • Name (First and Last)
  • Email address
  • Mobile number (Followed by consent to text)
  • Visitor type
  • Student type 
  • Topic or question that the visitor is looking to learn more about when looking for a follow-up. 
  • Three additional custom pieces of information.

Cadence Chat Details also displays:

  • Location - The location is determined based on the location of the IP Address of the contact. This location may not be 100% accurate as it's based on IP look up data.
  • Consent to Text - If a contact provides their mobile number in the chat, the contact must provide consent (yes/no) to text. 

Note: Cadence Chat does not change the Opt Out status for a contact in Cadence Text. If a contact is Opted Out in Cadence Text, their Opt Out status will not be changed even if the contact consented to being texted within the Chat flow. See Best Practices below for how to manage these contacts.

  • Page History - Provides context to where on your website the Chat started.

The collected information on the contact/visitor is displayed under the Details area within the Chat conversation.

Additional Actions

As you communicate with the contact, options are provided to further communicate via "Send Text", "Complete Follow Up" if you have followed up with the contact via another medium (email or phone call) and/or if the conversation has ended to "Close Conversation."  

Quick action icons are available at the top of the conversation to "close conversation', "send sms text" or view "contact details." Hovering over the icon will display what the icon does.

Actions are also available on the Chat Contact Details.

Send Text allows you to seamlessly transition the conversation from Cadence Chat to Cadence Text and start a conversation/communicate with the contact via text message. A conversation that occurs via Text will not appear in the Chat conversation. Text conversations can be found in the personal/shared inbox the conversation takes place in or on the Contact Conversation View (Click on Contacts>Search for contact).

  • If the contact doesn't currently exist in the Cadence Text contact list, it will manually create the contact via Compose. The contact should be added to the import list to get further information/get updates from your system of record.
  • All mobile numbers that transition from Chat to Text are run through phone number validation to ensure that they are valid texting numbers.

Note: Send Text works directly with Cadence Text. You must be utilizing the Cadence Text feature to send text messages to contacts from Chat.

Complete Follow Up indicates that you have completed the follow up the student requested and mark the conversation as closed. 

Close Conversation will end the conversation and move it to the "Other Conversations" area. Closing a conversation indicates that the conversation with the contact has ended or they received the information they needed. A conversation will be marked as Closed after 20 minutes of inactivity.

Chat to Text: Contact Conversation History 

The Contact Conversation History for a Contact is only available when Chat is being used in conjunction with Cadence Text

Once a Chat conversation has transitioned into a text message conversation, the contact profile is where you'll find all Chat and Text conversation history for a specific contact. This profile provides an overall view of the contact where you'll be able to see the contact information, activity details, custom fields and Chat and Text message history. You also maintain the ability to manage the contact's opt out preference or block the contact from this page.

The Text conversation history is view-only, meaning campaigns or other message information cannot be edited here. Keep in mind, the history view is like a snapshot in time and any changes will not be reflected in this view. 

Chat history will be displayed along with the date(s) and time the contact engaged with the Chat Bot and/or Live Chat. Each time they access the Chat Bot will be logged as a separate entry. To view the Chat Conversation history click the "View" button and it will take you to that specific chat conversation.

Best Practices

Should we make sure someone on staff is watching live chat every day?

Not at all! The bot will automatically check to see if anyone on your team is available to live chat before offering it as an option to the visitor. If no one is available, the visitor will be marked for follow-up, and the bot will collect their information for you to reach out later. 

If you have purchased playbooks, the bot will attempt to answer the visitor’s questions with some menus on a variety of topics prior to offering live chat and/or follow up.

If a contact is opted out in Cadence, can a text be sent to them? 

No, Cadence Chat does not change Opt Out status of a contact for Cadence Text. If a contact in Cadence Text is opted out, they will remain opted out even if they consented to be texted within the Chat flow. The system will not allow a text to go to an opted out contact. We encourage clients to export their Chat leads with consent values often and to manage opt-ins in their system of record.

Exporting Chat leads and importing into Cadence Text contacts 

Admins will have the ability to export any leads that were collected by Chat and import them into their CRM. You can do this manually or set up a daily automated export. If Chat leads are imported into your CRM as new records, and they have not been connected to a Cadence contact by mobile number, they can be added as a new Cadence contact by using your CRM-to-Cadence integration or through a manual import.

How do I keep track of visitors who need to be followed up with?

When a user gets marked to be followed up with, their conversation shows in the "Follow Ups" section of Chat. A user from your school can go in and see their preferred method to be contacted, whether it’s email, text, or phone call. Once the follow-up has been sent, you can click the "Complete Follow Up" button, and the conversation will move down into the "Other Conversations" section. 

Can I reassign a Chat conversation to another user?

No. Currently, there isn't a way to assign a Chat conversation to another user. Live chats are randomly assigned to users who are set to "Available."  If the conversation is in "Follow Up" or "Other Conversations," any user can follow up with the contact via text or email. 

As a best practice, we recommend letting the contact know who their point of contact is and asking if it's okay if they reach out via text or email. 

For example:

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