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Enabling cognitive routing of live chat requests

After enabling live chat for end users, as an administrator, you can configure cognitive routing of live chat requests to make sure that the requests are assigned to agents with subject expertise. Live chat requests can be routed to agents based on the chat topic, region, or both. 

How cognitive routing of live chat requests work

In Live Chat, administrators can define support queues based on topic, region, or both and assign appropriate agents to the support queues. Learn how to define support queues for topics and support queues for topic and region in  Setting up support queues Open link  in the Live Chat documentation. 

In BMC Helix Virtual Agent, administrators must provide the Live Chat administrator key and company so that company-specific topics are populated in BMC Helix Virtual Agent. Application business analysts can add synonyms for the chat topics so that specific words are associated with a topic.

Example of auto-routing chats based on topics

  • For an IT chatbot, in Live Chat, you create the topics—Connectivity, Hardware, and Software.
  • You define a support queue for each topic and assign agents to the support queues.
  • In BMC Helix Virtual Agent, you add synonyms such as wifi, access, connection, send, and receive for the Connectivity topic.
  • When an end user types wifi not working in the chat window and requests for live chat, the chat is automatically transferred to an agent who is assigned to the Connectivity topic support queue.

Support queues and automatic routing scenarios

The following table describes how automatic routing works in different scenarios:

ScenarioAutomatic routing
  • Topic-based support queues are defined.
  • End-user conversation matches one of the topics.

The live chat request is automatically routed to the appropriate topic-based support queue.

  • Only one topic-based support queue is defined.
  • End-user conversation might not match the topic.
The live chat request is automatically routed to the topic-based support queue.
  • Topic-based support queues are defined.
  • End-user conversation matches more than one topic.
  • End-user conversation does not match any topic.

The end-user is prompted to select a topic before the live chat request is transferred to a live agent.

You can disable the prompt for the end user to select a topic and automatically route the live chat request to the appropriate support queue. See To route live chat requests to a specific topic-based queue for details. 

Before you begin

The following table describes the products and the tasks that you must complete:


BMC Helix Virtual Agent

Ensure that you have enabled live chat.

(You want live chat requests to be automatically routed to agents with subject expertise.)

Live Chat

Ensure that you have the Live Chat administrator key and company name.

(You want live chat requests to be routed to agents with subject expertise.)

BMC Helix Innovation Suite

Ensure that you have configured the Chatbot Skill for which you want to configure the topics.

(You want live chat requests to be routed to a specific topic-based queue.)

Based on your business requirement, decide which topic you want to use for routing live chat requests. If this topic is invalid or wrong, the request is routed to the General queue. 


A company has its offices in multiple countries. All live chat requests that come to its HR chatbot from end users in India can be routed to the India-HR topic based queue. Live chat requests from other countries that do not have a dedicated topic-based queue are routed to the General queue. 

To route live chat requests to a subject expert agent

If you want live chat requests to be automatically routed to subject expert agents, perform the following tasks:

Task 1: To configure Live Chat Administrator Key and Company

As an administrator, configure the Live Chat Administrator Key and Company so that topics created in Live Chat are populated in BMC Helix Virtual Agent. 

  1. Log in to BMC Helix Innovation Studio and navigate to the Administration tab. 

  2. Select Configure My Server > Virtual Chat Configuration.

  3. In the Virtual Chat Configuration page, expand Additional Settings and fill out the following fields:



    Administrator Key

    Enter the Live Chat key that you obtained earlier.


    Enter the name of the company in Live Chat that you obtained earlier.

  4. Click Save

Task 2: To add synonyms for the topics

As an administrator or application business analyst, add the synonyms for the topics so that when the end users uses one or more of the synonyms, the chat is automatically routed to an agent expert in the appropriate topic.

  1. Click the Workspace tab. 

  2. Select the application in which you have created the chatbot for which you want to configure the topics. 
    Example: BMC Chatbot

  3. Click the Chatbots tab and select the chatbot for which you want to configure the topics. 
    Example: IT Bot
  4. Click the Live Agent Settings tab. 
  5. From the Available Chat Topics list, select the topics for which you want to add synonyms and click .
    Example: Connectivity
  6. In the Selected Chat Topics and Synonyms pane, click the topic that you selected in the previous step. 
    Example: Connectivity
  7. In the Add/ Remove Chat Synonyms page, in Edit List, click Add Synonym and add words that are related to the Connectivity topic. 
    Example: Wiki, Access, Connection
  8. Click Save. 
  9. To publish the changes to the IBM Watson Assistant Skill, click Publish topics.

The changes are applied to the Chatbot Skill  so that live chat requests are routed to the appropriate agent whenever the end user uses these synonyms in the chat conversation.


You can remove topics from the Selected Chat Topics and Synonyms list. If you want to restore these topics later, do not Publish the topics.

To route live chat requests to a specific topic-based queue

If you do not want to display topics to the end users before connecting to a live chat agent, but want to route the live chat request to a specific topic-based queue, you configure the Live Chat dialog nodes in IBM Watson Assistant Skill. 

  1. Log in to your IBM Cloud account.
  2. Navigate to the IBM Watson Assistant Skill that is configured with BMC Helix Virtual Agent
  3. Click Dialogs and select the LiveAgentChat - Login node.
    1. In the Then set context section, add the following variable and its value: 
      • Variable—$bmc_custom_live_chat_topic
      • Value—"$currentTopic"


        The $currentTopic is set when you define the business case as shown in example where we know the location of the chat user.

  4. Add a new node between LiveAgentChat - Login node and LiveAgentChat - Display Topics node. 
  5. Add the name of the node LiveAgentChat - Set Topic
    1. To remove the list of topics displayed to the end users, in the Then set context section, remove the $sys_options variable and its value, as shown in the following image: 

    2. Remove the existing response node. 
    3. In The assistant should section, replace Wait for reply with Skip user input, as shown in the following image:

  6. Save and close the dialog. 
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