Introduction

Students initially start conversations with VirtualAdvisor to ask basic questions and resolve issues, but can be handed off to a live school user for further discussions when available. Students have the ability to request to speak to an advisor, VirtualAdvisor may suggest being transferred to an advisor if it can't answer questions enough times, advisors monitoring conversations can manually intervene and take over, and advisors can transfer the conversation from themselves to another advisor if needed. If a student sends a response with key phrases in regards to self harm, VirtualAdvisor will also check to see if any Mental Health advisors are available and ask the student to speak with them. Advisors can also exit the conversation and have VirtualAdvisor jump back in for further questions.



Student Requests To Speak to Advisors

At any point during a conversation with VirtualAdvisor a student can request to speak to an available school advisor. Depending on which advisors have indicated they are available and based on their category permissions, students who request to speak to an advisor may be put into a queue for an advisor to join or they may get indication that nobody is available.


In order for the Awaiting Advisor queue to be available for students to wait to speak to an advisor, at least one advisor has to currently be set for availability. This indicator can be managed in Advising > Live Conversations tab, by both Admin and Advisor users.



  • Click the Available for Live Chat switch to enable/disable availability for chat


As a student, using certain phrases will trigger VirtualAdvisor to look for an available advisor to assist. Student phrases such as "chat with a real person" or "need to speak with someone live" will begin the process - there is a wide variety of phrases that will work.


VirtualAdvisor may also suggest the student speak to an advisor if it cannot successfully answer questions a consecutive amount of times, managed in Basic Settings. Admins can control the amount of consecutive No Response messages before VirtualAdvisor suggests speaking to an advisor, along with the messages associated to this particular workflow.


Escalation - Number of Consecutive No Responses is a setting to adjust the amount of consecutive missed attempts VirtualAdvisor has before determining if student should speak to an advisor. Everytime VirtualAdvisor does answer the student, it resets this count - once the number of No Response messages is hit, VirtualAdvisor will try to steer student to speak to an advisor.

  • No Response - No Advisors Online: this message is given if VirtualAdvisor is unsuccessful answering consecutive questions (managed by Escalation - Number of Consecutive No Responses) and there are no advisors online to transfer to
  • No Response - Speak to a Live Advisor?: this message is given if VirtualAdvisor is unsuccessful answering consecutive questions (managed by Escalation - Number of Consecutive No Responses) and there is at least one advisor online assigned to the conversation category
  • No Response - School Contact Info: this message is given if VirtualAdvisor is unsuccessful answering consecutive questions (managed by Escalation - Number of Consecutive No Responses) and there is at least one advisor online assigned to the conversation category, but the student chooses not to be placed into advisor queue



Students Waiting for Advisors

VirtualAdvisor will then look to see if any advisor is currently flagged as available. Based on the last message provided by the student prior to asking to speak to an advisor, VirtualAdvisor reviews the category permissions of all advisors available. If at least one advisor has the category permission, the student will be put into queue. If none of the available advisors have the category permission, VirtualAdvisor will let the user know that no one is available.


While the user is waiting, VirtualAdvisor will do periodic check ins and update them on the waiting queue. If at least one advisor is still available, VirtualAdvisor will inform the user. If for some reason all available advisors are no longer available (they have turned off their availability), then VirtualAdvisor will let the user know that no one is available any more.




Institutes can customize the responses given by VirtualAdvisor in the Basic Settings page.

  • No Advisors Online: this message is given if there are not any available advisors to chat with. Please note that this does review Category permissions, so VirtualAdvisor is only looking for advisors that are assigned to the category last found in the conversation.
  • Waiting for Advisor: this message is given when at least one advisor with category permissions is found and will place the user in queue
  • Advisors No Longer Available: this message is given when the user has been put in queue, but all available advisors have made themselves unavailable.
  • Continue Waiting: this message is given to users to as a notification that they are still in queue. The frequency of this message is controlled by the Advisor Waiting Period setting.


Advisor Waiting Period is an adjustable setting by minutes to manage how often VirtualAdvisor will check in with the user when they are currently waiting in queue. Until the user is connected to an advisor, or all advisors become unavailable, the "Continue Waiting" message will continue to be sent.


If an advisor connects with the conversation, the advisor will now be able to chat with the student in Advising > My Conversations tab.



Mental Health Check

During a conversation if a user enters key phrases that may relate to self harm, VirtualAdvisor will automatically run a check to see if any Mental Health advisor is online. Phrases like "I'm worthless", "kill myself", "no one cares for me" and many others are considered as possible self harm to VirtualAdvisor.


VirtualAdvisor's Mental Health check runs a similar queue process as initiating a conversation with an advisor but limits it to only looking for advisors with Mental Health category permission. This queue also has specific messages given for this queue, which can also be managed in the Basic Settings page.

  • No Advisors Online - Mental Health: this message is given if there are not any available advisors with the Mental Health category permission to chat with.
  • Speak to a Live Advisor? - Mental Health: this message is given when a user enters a triggering response regarding possible self harm.
  • Contact Info - Mental Health: this message is given if the user declines to speak to a Mental Health advisor if one is available.
  • Advisor No Longer Online - Mental Health: this message is given when the user has been put in queue, but all available Mental Health advisors have made themselves unavailable.


The following Institutional Fields need to have values added in as well to support the Mental Health messages:

  • Mental Health Office Name
  • Mental Health Office Phone
  • Mental Health Office Email
  • Mental Health Office Link
  • Mental Health Office Hours
  • Mental Health Office Physical Address



Advisors Manually Joining a Conversation

Admin and Advisor users can monitor live conversations in real time. If they feel the need to jump into a conversation, they have the ability to hand the conversation over to themselves to assist the user. When ready they can remove themselves and hand the conversation back over to VirtualAdvisor.


When viewing a conversation, users will find a Join button found on the bottom of the chat modal. This will allow them to immediately hop into a conversation with a user. The user will be made aware of the arrival and the introduction is found in the conversation.



  • Click Join to enter a conversation

Clicking Join connects the advisor to the conversation, and the advisor is immediately redirected to Advising > My Conversations tab to chat with the user.



Transferring Advisors

At any point in a conversation with a user, advisors have the ability to transfer the conversation to another advisor or back into a category queue. This is particularly useful for institutes that narrow down category permissions to have certain users focus on particular categories. If a user wishes to speak about another category, the advisor may transfer to someone more familiar with that category or within that queue for the next available advisor.


  • Click the Transfer (Forward Icon) on the bottom right of the advisor chat window to transfer the conversation to another user


In the Transfer Student modal, advisors can select which available advisor they wish to transfer to.

  • Select a Category to review available advisors assigned to category
  • Select an advisor to transfer to a specific advisor
    • Optionally, an advisor can narrow down the search by advisor name or category using the filters above
  • Enter an Introduction Message to provide to both the user and new advisor, so that they are aware of the transition
  • Click Transfer to Queue to send the student back into queue for the specified category advisors to pick up
  • Click Transfer to Advisor to send conversation directly to selected user




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