University of Southampton


Agent Chat (ServiceNow)

Agent Chat is the chat service within ServiceNow. Agent Chat allows you to communicate with your customers (staff or students), send knowledge base articles or attachments, transfer a chat to another agent and create incidents.

Agent Chat and Walk-up are accessed from the Service Operations Workspace.

The steps in this guide predominantly refer to working with chats however the same applies for walk-ups.

(1) Accessing Agent Chat/Walk-ups

1. Log into ServiceNow 

2. Select the Workspaces menu 

3. Select Service Operations Workspace 

Alternatively you can enter Service Operations Workspace in the filter navigator.


The Service Operations Workspace screen will open.


You can select the favorites button (the star) at the top of the screen to create a favorite for the Service Operations Workspace.


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(2) Set your status to Available in Agent Chat

To accept incoming chats/walk-ups you need to set your Status to Available.

1. From the options in the left hand sidebar, select the Inbox button


2. Select the drop down arrow within the Status field, and select Available

Staff processing walk-ups and chats have the option to set availability for one or the other as required.



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(3) Set your status to Offline in Agent Chat

If you are no longer available to accept chats, you must set your Status to Offline.

1. From the options in the left hand sidebar, select the Inbox button

2. Select the drop down arrow within the Status field, and select Offline

Closing down your ServiceNow instance will not automatically remove you from the pool of available agents so you will need to amend your status as detailed above.


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(4) Accept/reject a new chat

Assignment rules

Within the team of available agents, a notification to accept or reject an incoming chat will be sent to the inbox of the agent who has gone the longest without being assigned a chat. This is the Last Assigned assignment rule.

There is also an option for the notification to be sent to the agent who has the greatest availability for handling a chat. This is the Most Capacity assignment rule.

The Group Chat Manager will determine which option is appropriate for your team and iSolutions can implement this accordingly. If there is only one agent available, all chat requests will be received by the one agent. 

Accept/reject time

When an incoming chat is received, an agent will have a predefined time frame in which to accept/reject the chat before it is automatically passed to the next available agent in the team (according to the assignment rule). A timer is displayed on the screen above the Accept and Reject buttons. This time frame can be amended if required (please contact iSolutions and your Group Chat Manager). 

How to accept a new chat

When an incoming chat is received, the following will be displayed below your status, in the Inbox, on the left of the screen:

  • IMS number of the chat
  • First few words of the customer's query
  • Date and time the chat was submitted by the customer
  • Customer's name
  • Time remaining to accept/reject the chat before it is offered to another agent
  • Option to Accept or Reject the chat

A number will also appear at the top right of the inbox button to highlight the number of chats/walk-ups waiting to be accepted/rejected by you.


The inbox will show chats that have been sent to you based on your availability to accept a chat. To view all incoming chats waiting to be accepted by the whole team, you can create an incoming chats list. Further details can be found in the View all incoming chats section below.
Once the chat is accepted, using the Accept button, the Active Chat will display in a new tab and all correspondence so far will be visible for you to review.
When you accept the chat, it will automatically be assigned to you and your name will be logged in the Assigned to field.


Interaction screen

Options/information available to an agent from the interaction screen:

Details tab

Displays the interaction number, opened for, interaction type (chat or walk-up), assigned to, state, wait time and short description.


Related records tab

Displays Related Tasks, User's Interactions (walk-up or chat) raised by the customer and User's Assets (for example hardware associated with the customer).


On the far right of the screen the following options are available (select an icon to expand and close the side bar):


Requester Information


  • The customers name, department and contact details (when you select Contact)
  • Any tasks (for example incidents or requests) for the user
  • Assets associated with the customer (for example hardware)
  • Recent interactions

Agent Assist

Displays related knowledge base articles, based on the text entered when the chat was initiated. Use the search field to search with alternative search words if required.

Select an article to preview it, and attach it to the interaction if required.

To attach an article to the chat itself, use the Search KB Article option (quick actions), detailed in the Quick Actions section below.


Attachments added here will be logged in the interaction. If you need to upload an attachment to the chat, use the attachment button within the chat.


Allows you to create/edit templates for interactions and incidents.

How to reject a new chat

1. Select the Reject button

A dialogue box will appear with Busy selected as the reject reason.


2. Select Submit

The chat request will be sent to the next available agent.

How to enable desktop notifications

The settings cog to the right of your status allows you to turn on/off desktop notifications and audio alerts when an incoming chat is received or a new message is received for an ongoing chat.


In addition to turning on notifications here you may also need to amend the settings within your operating system (for example Windows) and within your browser. The following knowledge base article provides guidance on how to do this: ServiceNow: Enable desktop notifications.

View all incoming chats

Chats are accepted using the inbox as detailed in the section above (How to accept a new chat). However you can view all incoming chats by creating an incoming chats list. Please refer to the guidance for creating your incoming chats list to set this up.

All incoming chats waiting to be accepted will be visible by the team from this list. The list allows you to locate chats that need to be assigned urgently or to highlight particularly busy periods. 

Team members can communicate with each other (for example via Teams) to request a particular chat is picked up urgently, quoting the IMS number and customer's name. 

Once accepted, a chat can be assigned to another member of the team if required. See Transfer to Agent (/ta) detailed below.

View incoming chats using the list:

1. Set up your incoming chats list

2. From the left hand sidebar, select the Lists button

3. Select My Lists

4. Select the required chat list

5. From here you can see an overview of the chats waiting to be accepted. You can also select the IMS number of a chat (in the Number column) to open it


Please note, you cannot accept a chat via the incoming chats list. Although you can add yourself in the Assigned to field, the customer will not be able to respond to the chat unless you have accepted it via the inbox.


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(5) Public and private chat


Public Chat

Public Chat allows you to correspond with the customer. The content is logged in the interaction and is visible to you and the customer.

Private Chat

Private Chat allows you to add information to the interaction which is visible internally but not to the customer. Note that if a full history of the chat is requested, this would include both public and private chat content.


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(6) Quick Actions

Quick Actions available:

  • Request Help (from a manager)
  • Insert Response Template
  • Insert Knowledge Base Article
  • Transfer chat to another agent
  • Transfer chat to another Queue

Select the lightning bolt button at the bottom left of the chat window to access the list of Quick Actions.

You can also access Quick Actions by typing the shortcut text for it in the message field, for example /r for Response Templates.

quick actions button

Request Help (/help)

Use to send a Private Chat message to the chat group manager to request help. The message will not be visible to the customer. For example, /help I need assistance. The chat group manager can see which agents have requested help from the Active Chat Interactions page.

Response Templates (/r)

Use to send a Response Template (a standard reply) to the customer. 

1. You can either select the Quick Actions button (the lightning bolt), then select Response Templates and the list of available responses will display.

Or you can enter /r followed by the short name for the response if you know it (leave a space between /r and the short name). For example, /r lostid


2. Select the response, then select the Send button (to the right of the message field)

Send button

Search KB article (/search-kb)

Search the knowledge base and insert a link to a knowledge base article.

1. You can either select the Quick Actions button (the lightning bolt), then select Search KB Article.

Or you can enter /search-kb (ensure there is space afterwards).

2. Enter a search word in the message field, for example fees


3. Select the required article

4. Select Send button (to the right of the message field)

Transfer to Agent (/ta)

To transfer a chat to another agent, you first invite the other agent to the chat. Once they have joined, you then exit the chat and it will remain with the person you have added.

1. You can either select the Quick Actions button (the lightning bolt), then select Transfer to Agent and a list of available agents will display.

Or you can enter /ta (ensure there is space afterwards) and a list of agents will display.

2. Select the required agent

Their username will display in the message field.


3. Select Send to the right of the message field.

The other agent will receive a transfer request with the option to Accept or Reject.


A message will also display on your screen confirming the request has been sent. From here you can cancel if needed.


Once the other agent has accepted the request and joined the chat, if you wish to leave the chat you can just close the chat tab. When you do this, the other member of staff will automatically be logged in the Assigned to field for the interaction.

Transfer to Queue (/tq)

Allows an agent to transfer the chat to another Queue. 

1. You can either select the Quick Actions button (the lightning bolt), then select Transfer to Queue and a list of available Queues will display. Or you can enter /tq and a list of Queues will display.

2. Select the required Queue

3. Select Send to the right of the message field

The options to Transfer to an Agent or a Queue can also be found below the message field.



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(7) Send an attachment

Use the Send attachment to chat (paperclip) button below the message field to insert an attachment:



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(8) Create an incident from a chat

To create an incident from a chat, select the Create Incident button at the top right of the screen.


Copying chat transcript into ticket

If you need to copy the transcript of the chat into an Incident or Request:

1. End the chat using the End Chat button (but keep the chat window open)

2. Within the Details tab of the chat, scroll down to view the Transcript


3. Copy and paste the transcript text 

4. Select Create Incident within the chat screen

5. Paste the transcript text into the relevant notes field, for example Work notes (Private)


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(9) End a chat

End a chat

There are 3 ways to end a chat:

(a) Select the End Chat button at the top right of the screen.


When you select End Chat, a message appears asking you confirm you want to end the chat.


(b) Select the cross on the tab for the chat record.


When you select the cross, a message appears confirming the chat will end and close the interaction.

(c) Select the Complete button. This option will end the chat without a confirmation prompt.


Abandon chat

The drop down button alongside Complete allows you to abandon a chat if required.



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(10) Processing Chats and Walk-ups at the same time

For teams using both Agent Chat and Walk-Ups, your inbox will display a notification for both types of interaction. The IMS number for a chat will be prefixed with Chat, and walk-ups will be prefixed with Walk-up.


You may wish to open two separate browsers so you can process Chats in one, and Walk-ups in the other:

  • Open Service Operations Workspace
  • Right click on your browser tab
  • Select Duplicate
  • In one tab open Chat, and in the second, open Walk-Ups


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(11) How a customer uses the chat functionality

The initial chat screen displays a welcome message including the opening hours for each of the chat teams.

1. The customer is asked to select which team they wish to chat with:

  • iSolutions
  • Library
  • Student Hub
  • Visa & Immigration Student Advice Service


2. Having selected the required team, the customer is asked what they would like help with. The message is tailored according to the team selected


3. After entering their text and selecting the Send button (the arrow) to the right of the text field, a message appears asking them to confirm if the message summary is accurate


4. If yes is selected, the message is sent and they are advised they are being transferred to the next available person who can help.

If no is selected, their message is not sent, they are asked to select which team they require and enter another message.

Once the customer is transferred to an agent, they will have the option to add attachments to the chat if required.

If the customer closes the chat screen/browser, the chat will end. There is also an end chat button within the chat screen.


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Related content

ServiceNow upgrade: What's new

How to create an incoming chats list in Agent Chat (ServiceNow)

Chat Group Manager role: Agent Chat (ServiceNow)

Enable desktop notifications (ServiceNow)

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