We have developed a system for providing services and support via online chat on a pay per use basis. Registered user's can add funds to their account via an online form. Payments are made by credit card and are processed online. As soon as the user has added funds to their account they can view the list of available consultants and request a chat session. Once the chat session has started funds are removed from the users account based upon a per minute rate.
The chat application runs in a popup window. You may need to tell your browser to allow the popup. Once you have launched the chat window you may want to refer back to this page for further instruction. To run the chat demo you will ideally have 2 users. One to act as the consultant and the other the client, use the buttons below to launch the chat windows:
If you are an individual looking to test the chat you will need to operate both sides of the chat:
Step 1 - Logging In
All clients and service representatives are provided with their own user names and passwords to access the chat. For demonstration purposes we have already provided the user name and password, simply click the Login button to proceed.
Step 2 - Home Page
The consultant's home page lists any message left by clients since their last session. A chime will ring when a consultant has received a new message. A consultant can also click the "Message a Client" button to send a message to any of their existing clients.
When a consultant logs in to the system their status is automatically set to "Available". This makes them available for chat request from clients. If a consultant does not want to receive chat requests they can click the "Set Status to AWAY" button to change their status. When a consultant's status is set to "Away" they can receive messages from clients but no chat requests.
When the consutant is finished with their session clicking the "Log Out" button will log them out of the system and set their status to "Away".
The client's home page lists all available consultants and their current status. Clicking on a consultant's image will show more information about the consultant. It also allows the client to request a chat or send a message depending on the consultant's status. A client can only reqest a chat with a consultant whose status is currently set to available.
A client must have funds in their account to request a chat. The "$ Add Funds" button allows the client to add funds to their account using a credit card. For demonstration purposes all credit card processing has been disabled. Do not enter your actual credit card information, enter a fake name, address, card number etc.
A client can click the "Messages" button to view any messages received from consultants. A chime will ring when a client has received a new message.
Step 3 - Initiating a Chat
To initiate a chat a client must click on a consultant and then click the "Request a Chat" button. At this point the consultant will hear a chime and receive a message that they have an incoming chat request. The consutlant can click the "Get Info" button to view the client's profile. They may also send the client a message or click the "Accept Chat" button to accept the chat session.
Step 4 - Chat Session
Once the consultant has accepted the chat both users will be taken to the chat window. A message will displayed showing how much available time the client has left in their account. To send a message simply type the message into the text box at the bottom of the screen and press enter. Approximately every minute both users will receive a message updating them on how much time the client has left. When the client has run out of funds the chat session is suspended. The client is prompted to either add more funds or end the chat session.
Step 4 - Ending the Chat
Either user can end the chat at any time by pressing the "End Chat" button. When the chat session ends both users are automatically logged out of the system. The consultant sees a message listing the chat duration and the funds they have been credited with. The client sees a message listing the chat duration, cost of the chat session and their remaining account balance. Either user can then click the "Login" button to log back in to the system.