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How to use Live Chat Shortcuts

One of the many reasons customers (and businesses) love to use Live Chat is for its fast response times. 

Chat Shortcuts allow you to configure a series of ‘pre-canned’ responses, so you can reply to online visitors even more quickly – particularly useful when it comes to frequently asked questions. This also results in more uniform responses and happier customers! 

Agents can use commands or choose from a menu to ask customers for more information or to provide more detail in their answers. Shortcuts are also a perfect way for agents to get up to speed more quickly on an enquiry by relying on an established body of knowledge.  

The Shortcut rules 

  • Only the Admin can add or delete a Shortcut within the admin portal
  • Each message has a limit of 450 characters – you can add more information by splitting your message across two canned responses if needed
  • There is no limit to the number of Shortcuts you can add, but bear in mind that your agents will need to navigate through the options

How to add a Shortcut 

  1. Firstly, log in to your admin portal and go to your Settings
  2. Next, select Agent Settings and go to Shortcuts (1)
  3. At the bottom, click “Add new Shortcut” (2)

  1. Now, enter a command (3.1), and a message (3.2). The command is what an agent will type during a chat and the message is what will appear when that command is selected. You do not need to add the \ before the command, as this is automatically added to each Shortcut. You will then need to click the checkbox next to the command you just added (3.3)
  2. Don’t forget to hit Save Changes (4)

Note, you can also use the search bar to find existing Shortcuts to check if one you want to add already exists. 

How do I use my Shortcuts? 

Let’s say you have a command called “how”, you can use the Shortcut by typing \how in the text field (5) and hitting enter. Bear in mind that Shortcuts will only work in active chats with a customer and not in a team chat with a colleague. 

You’ll also notice some recommended Shortcuts when typing a message to a customer. For example, if typing “how” in the text field, you’ll see the following options: 

By default, both the Shortcut command and message will be displayed in the auto-completion list. 

Viewing available Shortcuts 

In the Conversations Hub, you can view a list of your available Shortcuts by clicking on the Shortcuts button while in an active chat. This will trigger a pop-up window to appear on your screen showing all of your Shortcuts – along with a search field allowing you to search for a specific Shortcut (6).


You can also get an overview of all your canned messages in a CSV file by clicking on the “Export” icon (7) in the Shortcuts tab. This can be particularly useful for any in-house team members you want to train in using live chat. What’s more, you can also import any new Shortcuts via CSV here (8) too. 

If you do decide to import any new Shortcuts, you’ll need to do so in CSV format, ensuring to apply the following format: 

Use Column A for the command and Column B for your message. Do not add any slashes to the commands as these will be automatically applied once imported. 

When importing your Shortcuts, you’ll be given two options “Append” or “Replace”: 

“Append” will add the new Shortcuts to the existing list. However, bear in mind that if a new Shortcut shares a command with an existing one, you may have multiple commands with the same name, which could lead to some confusion for your agents. 

We recommend using “Replace” to avoid this. This option will remove any pre-existing Shortcuts and replace them with the new ones. 

Note: Parameters and JavaScript variables can also be used inside Shortcuts. 

Some examples: 

  • Hello, my name is {alias}. To use more than one variable, you’ll need to add a <br> tag
  • Thank you for checking out our {js:product_name} 
  • Your case record number is {js:caseId} 

Need some more support? 

If you need some more support then call us today on 0345 123 3700 and we will be more than happy to assist. Or why not check out our other useful Live Chat guides for more information

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