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(Last Updated On: July 27, 2020)

*Update 09/2018 – Operator Variables have been replaced with Labels. Read more about Labels here.

Operator variables can be used with Salesforce, Desk.com, Microsoft Dynamics Cloud, Hubspot, SAP, UserVoice, and Zendesk custom mapping as well as in the Post API. This feature allows you to enter information on the fly during a chat session and assign to a Ticket, Case, or Lead once you setup the mapping in your Integration settings. Now you can use any variable name you like taking dynamic chat variables to a whole new level.

Please remember, to have your Operator Variable sent to your integration, you will need to map it!

How to record an operator variable 

You can use Operator Variables with any chat client SnapEngage supports – Chat Portal, Trillian, Adium, etc. In the example below we have used the SnapEngage web chat client. The format for setting the variable is: “\[your_variable_name]=[the_value]” An example:


Press Enter to save the variable for the current chat session. You’ll see a confirmation message in the chat window.


Things to note

  1. When you record an operator variable, it has to be the only entry on that line. For example, “\[your_variable_name]=[the_value]” will work, but “recording \[your_variable_name]=[the_value]” will not work.
  2. Operator variables are case sensitive. So, if you have an integration that you are mapping operator variables to (as in the example below), you do have to make sure that the case matches. For example, if you have a mapping in your integration for “First_name” and then within your chat you record “\first_name=Bob”, an operator variable will be recorded as “first_name”, but that will not get mapped to “First_name” within your integration.
  3. When you record operator variables, whether you map them to your CRM or not, they will be available in your exported CSV file of your Logs and they will appear under the “Operator vars” column. You might want to do that in order to track and filter chats based on certain criteria using your Logs. In order to avoid typos which would break the workflow, we would recommend that you create shortcuts for those variables. For instance, if you want to flag chats that need to be followed up you can set up the shortcut actionfollowup to the operator variable \followup=true

opervarYou will, then be able to find those variables in your exported CSV logs files as shown below:


CRM Example:

You’d like to track which of your products your website visitors are chatting with you about, so you create a Salesforce custom field “Product Name”. Now with Operatior Variables, you can create the mapping to this field and agents can enter this information as it is discovered during the chat!

To get started login to your SnapEngage Admin Dashboard and head to the Integrations tab. Click to expand your Advanced settings. Here you’ll see “Map and send custom data to…” section. Under “Source type” you’ll notice a new option – “Operator Variables”. Select this and enter your variable name in the “Source value” field. Here you can see my “awesome_variable”, but really you can name it whatever you like!


Don’t forget to click Save to update your Integration settings.

Once the chat has ended, its time to check out our “awesome_variable” in the newly created Zendesk ticket (Cases and Leads for you Salesforce folks…) In this example we setup the mapping using the Zendesk ticket description field, but any standard or custom field is available to map your Operator Variables to, so go nuts!


Post API Example:

When the API is activated and a new support request is received, SnapEngage will automatically send a POST transaction to the URL specified in the API configuration. The transaction provides details about the support request in an XML format.

You do not have to define the operator variables but you can enter one during the chat to post it to the xml file. For example, \type=support to be typed into the chat.

POST event details:


Looking for other POST event details? Check them out here!

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Published April 15, 2013