If your centre has opted in to the SMS Chat integration, support seekers will be able to connect to the chat service through SMS text messaging on their phone. As a facilitator, the experience will be almost exactly the same as a support seeker using the web chat.
How do you know if it's an SMS chat?
When the chat request comes in, the name of the chatroom will include "SMS Chat" after the time and date. In addition, the name of the support seeker will appear as "Anonymous (via SMS)" within the chat.
Here's what it looks like from the support seeker side when they initiate a chat:
- The support seeker can quit the chat at anytime by typing in "Exit"
- The facilitator can end the chat by leaving the chatroom. The support seeker will be informed that you left and that the chat is closed.
- Try to keep your messages short. The character limit for an SMS message is quite high (1,600) but it also depends on the mobile carrier that the support seeker is on and there is a chance longer messages could be split into several messages that may not be delivered in order. Also the support seekers don't get any indication when you are typing, like they do in the web chat, so if you're taking a while to type a long message it may seem like you are simply not responding.
- If the chat is inactive (no messages are sent) for over 1 hour, the chat will close automatically.