Team Routing Fallbacks are available on the Drift Premium plan and above.
In this article, we'll go over:
- When the Fallbacks Trigger
- Details on the Fallback Options
- Where to Configure Fallbacks
- Migrating to the New Routing Fallbacks
- The Global Team Availability Settings
There are 3 main types of fallbacks we offer for routing:
- Offline Fallbacks (e.g. “If the team is offline”, and “If no teammates are available for routing.”)
- Unresponsive Fallbacks (e.g. and “If the routed teammate doesn’t respond”)
- Meeting Fallbacks (e.g. “If nobody is available to schedule a meeting”)
At a high level:
- Offline Fallbacks are options to avoid routing a conversation to a teammate/team who is not available to chat - in other words, it’s a proactive fallback to avoid routing in chat reps who won’t respond
- Unresponsive Fallbacks are for when someone was routed in, but doesn’t respond. This is like the Team Availability setting, but much more customizable
- Meeting Fallbacks are for when Conversation Routing rules are being used to book a meeting, or when “Schedule a Meeting” is selected for one of the above fallbacks, but all of the teammates’ calendars are not connected, or a meeting cannot be booked for another reason.
The difference between “If the team is offline” and “If no teammates are available for routing” is that the former checks the team’s availability settings whereas the latter only considers individual teammate availability. This lets you control whether you want fallbacks behavior for when routing occurs outside of a team’s available hours separately from what fallbacks you want when there are no individual team members available for chat.
When do these routing fallbacks trigger?
Offline Fallbacks (e.g. “If the team is offline”, and “If no teammates are available for routing”) trigger as your Conversation Routing rules are used to route to a team or group of teammates.
- “If the team is offline” only applies when routing to a team for chat, and it’s currently outside that team’s availability hours
- “If no teammates are available for routing” applies when routing for chat, but no individual team members or teammates are available to chat because they are at their maximum number of open chats.
Unresponsive Fallbacks (e.g. and “If the routed teammate doesn’t respond”)
- When a team is selected to be routed in (whether from your Conversation Routing rules, a playbook, or manually), and results in a team member being added to the conversation for chat, but doesn’t respond to the chat
- When individual teammates are selected in a rule in your Conversation Routing rules, and when that routing rule adds in a teammate from that list for chat, but they don’t respond to the chat
Meeting Fallbacks (e.g. “If nobody is available to schedule a meeting”)
- When Conversation Routing rules are being used to decide which reps calendar to book a meeting for, but none of the team members/teammates on the routing rule have their calendar connected.
What are the fallback options, in detail?
- Schedule a Meeting - drop the calendar for one of the teammates for this routing rule so that the chat visitor can book a meeting
- Send an Away Message - send a message back to the chat user, for example notifying them that no one is available to chat and to come back during business hours
- Continue to Next Rule - exit this rule and evaluate other routing rules after this one to see if any of those match
- Route Anyways - route to one of the teammates for this routing rule (disregarding each individual teammate’s availability)
- Disregard Teams (only available when routing to a Team) - ignore the Team’s Available Hours, and instead route to a team member who is available. If no team members are available, then see the “If no teammates are available for routing” setting
- Re-route within the same team (only available as an unresponsive fallback) - if the person who was routed in to the conversation doesn’t respond, this fallback will attempt to add the next available teammate from the round-robin. If that teammate also doesn’t respond, the fallback will fire again, until all available teammates from the round robin have been tried. At this point, the “If no teammates are available for routing” fallback will fire.
Where Do I Configure Fallbacks?
- Conversation Routing Rules - Rule-level routing fallback settings can be configured in the routing action modal (App settings → Conversation routing → Rule action)
- Team Settings - Team-level routing fallback settings can be configured in team settings for a specific team (Organization settings → Teams → And then the specific team being routed to in this rule). Team-level settings are surfaced as read-only on the routing rule level
Migrating to the New Routing Fallbacks
From Playbook Conditional Nodes to Check Online/Offline
If you currently use playbook conditional nodes to choose between booking a meeting and routing in a rep for live chat when a team/teammates are offline/online, you can follow these general steps to safely migrate your Drift instance to the new Offline Fallbacks.
- Configure the “If the team is offline”, and “If no teammates are available for routing” fallback options for teams, teammates and account owners in your team settings and Conversation Routing rules. Pick the “Schedule a Meeting” option. See the Routing Implementation Guide for how to configure these fallbacks for specific situations.
- Remove the conditional node(s) used to switch between when the team was online and offline in a playbook, and replace with a single routing skill to route using existing conversation routing rules. The conditional node and online/offline branches are no longer necessary since your Conversation Routing rules will now handle both scenarios.
- Publish your playbook changes, and monitor conversations for that playbook to ensure the new routing fallback options are working correctly.
- Once you are comfortable, continue to replace online/offline conditional nodes with single routing skills
There are a few things to be aware of when replacing conditional nodes with fallbacks in Conversation Routing rules.
- If you have messages after the routing skill, beware they could be sent to a visitor who just booked a meeting (as a result of the “Schedule a Meeting” fallback). Word messages appropriately to account for this potential split behavior, or move the message node to before the routing skill with more generic language, like “let me see if any reps are available to chat right now”.
- You will not be able to set conversation tags, or mark CQLs differently depending on what happened with the online/offline conditional node
Global Team Availability Setting
If you currently use the global Team Availability setting for handling when reps don’t respond after being added to a conversation, you have the option to opt-in to the new Team Routing Fallbacks.
When you opt-in to the new Team Routing Fallbacks, three primary things will happen:
- We’ll add the new fallback options to your team and conversation routing rule settings
- We’ll copy your existing Team Availability settings into the “unresponsive” fallback settings for all teams and routing rules
- The Team Availability setting will become “Special Circumstances Routing Fallbacks”, and will control what happens when directly-routed chats (e.g. for ABM Welcome Message playbooks) are not responded to.
There is only one routing situation that’s not covered with the new fallbacks: when using a playbook routing skill to route to an individual teammate, or group of specific teammates. If you have playbooks that route to an individual teammate or group of specific teammates:
- Update your Conversation Routing Rules to handle the scenario(s) where you’re using the playbook to route
- Change playbook routing skill(s) to the “Use existing lead routing rules” option.
- This will allow you to cleanly opt-in to the new Team Routing Fallbacks. Your customer success manager can help you update your Conversation Routing Rules if you’re unsure of what to do.
Of course, you can also just opt in to the new Team Routing Fallbacks anyway, and not have any fallback when playbooks route to an individual teammate or group of specific teammates
How are these settings different from the old, global Team Availability setting?
Team Availability is a global fallback that lets you send an away message, drop a calendar, or re-route a conversation if the rep who was routed in doesn’t respond. The new routing fallbacks are meant to replace Team Availability by offering a far higher degree of configurability and flexibility by letting you configure fallbacks for individual teams and routing rules.
Additionally, while Team Availability triggered in very specific circumstances that can be hard to understand, the new fallbacks follow a more simplified set of rules. See the FAQ question “When do these routing fallbacks trigger” for details.
How are these settings different from using conditional nodes in playbooks?
Conditional nodes can be used to choose between booking a meeting and routing in a rep for live chat when a team/teammates are offline/online, which is fundamentally what Offline Fallbacks do.
The difference is that Offline Fallbacks can be configured once in your Conversation Routing rules, and will apply any time you use your Conversation Routing rules to route in a rep, whereas playbook conditional nodes must be replicated in each branch of each playbook where you want to route someone in.
We strongly recommend you configure your fallbacks in Conversation Routing rules, as using playbook conditional nodes will quickly become a maintenance headache.
What is the “Disregard Team Status option” for?
This setting is used when routing to a team, where you want to disregard the team’s availability hours, and route solely based upon individual rep availability.
For example, say you use the “Schedule a Meeting” fallback for when the team is offline If reps on that team that like to work before/after “official” hours, they would not get routed into chat when they log on early/log off late, because the “Schedule a Meeting” fallback would happen instead. In this scenario, you could “Disregard Team’s Availability”, and configure the “If no teammates are available for routing” to only examine each individual team member’s availability, and ignore the team’s availability hours.
Please use this with caution though, as if your reps forget to set themselves to “Away”, they could be added to chats.
If a chat rep is at their chat limit, will they count as “unavailable”?
Yes. Chat reps who have set themselves to offline, or who are at their chat limit are not eligible to be routed into a conversation. If all chat reps in a routing rule are ineligible to be routed in to the conversation, the “If no teammates are available for routing” fallback will be triggered.
Why would I use the “Route Anyways” option?
This is a legacy option, and with the new fallbacks we have, we do not recommend using the “Route Anyways” option any more.
When the “unresponsive fallback” is configured for a team, will it take effect if an individual teammate on that team was directly added to a conversation? E.g. CDRs will sometimes route in the account owner in their convos
No. In order for the “unresponsive fallback” for a team to trigger, a team must be invited to the conversation, by choosing a team (“round-robin from team”). If an individual teammate is invited to the conversation, any fallback option set on the team will not trigger since teammates in Drift can be part of multiple teams (or not part of any team at all).
Can I use the old Team Availability setting with the new fallbacks for when a team/teammates don’t respond?
No. Once you opt into the new Team Routing Fallbacks, the old Team Availability setting is repurposed to only handle directly-routed chats (e.g. for ABM Welcome Message playbooks). Note that as part of the opt-in process, we will copy your existing Team Availability settings forward (with the exception of the caveat above), so your site visitor experience will not be impacted.
How do the Offline and Unresponsive rules work with Team Hours? If a rep is toggled Available, but according to the Team Hours he should be Away/Offline, will the rules treat the rep as online or offline?
Team hours/availability are evaluated first, and if it’s outside of team hours, the “If the team is offline” fallback will fire. Then, individual team member availability is evaluated. If all individual reps are unavailable, then the “If no teammates are available for routing” fallback will fire.
By default, “If no teammates are available for routing” will use the same fallback as “If the team is offline”. However, you can use different fallbacks for these 2 situations. But the important thing to remember is that the team hours are always evaluated first.
If I set “Away Message” as the fallback for “If the team is offline”, “If no teammates are available for routing”, and “If no teammates are available to schedule a meeting”, will chat visitors end up getting all 3 away messages?
Nope! Those situations are mutually exclusive. If there’s a fallback configured for when the team is offline, we won’t bother checking individual rep availability. And between the latter two, routing would only be looking to route someone in for chat, or find someone’s calendar to drop, but never both at the same time.
When the “re-route within the same team” option is used, how is the lead owner determined when writing leads/contacts for the Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot integrations?
Currently there is no “central” notion of a lead owner. Salesforce has configurable options here, to set the activity owner to whoever scheduled the meeting, whoever was last routed, or whoever closed the conversation (in that order). Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot follow the same order of options, but are not configurable, and will use the first available “owner” by searching among those options.
When the “Automatically set the team to away when all teammates are away” option is checked for a team in Drift, will the team be set to Away and considered “Offline” if all team members are at their chat limit?
No. When a teammate reaches their chat limit, it’s considered a temporary state that doesn’t count as “away” for the purposes of setting the team offline. Each team member would have to actually set themselves to “away” for the team to be set to offline. However, the “If no teammates are available for routing” fallback can be used to cover this situation. See the next question.
Can these fallbacks be used to cover the situation where all teammates/team members in a routing rule are at their chat limit?
Yes! The “If no teammates are available for routing” fallback is triggered when all teammates/team members are either offline, or at their chat limit.
If a bot playbook has messages and other nodes after the routing skill node, will those messages/nodes interact with Team Routing Fallbacks (or vice-versa)?
Yes and no. The offline and unavailable fallbacks trigger instantly (if applicable) when the routing skill is executed, so they do not affect playbook flow or messaging. However, the unresponsive fallback could fire some time after the routing skill executes. If the unresponsive fallback fires, it will stop the bot from executing any further, so as to prevent potential mixed/conflicting messages from being seen by the chat visitor. However, unlike the legacy Team Availability feature, subsequent bot messages sent after the routing skill will not prevent the unresponsive fallback from firing.
Will a Drift Account Owner or Salesforce Account Owner who is a calendar-only seat trigger the unavailable fallback for an account owner routing rule?
Yes! If the Drift Account Owner or Salesforce Account Owner is a calendar-only seat, they will be considered unavailable to chat, and the fallback for that routing rule will be triggered. This will allow you to use routing to drop a calendar for a calendar-account owner, since they’re ineligible to chat.