It’s easy to show customers’ your team’s availability and let them know when they can expect a response from your team. 

Set your office hours 

Office hours set your customers’ expectations for when you’ll be back in the office and available to reply. When a customer opens the Messenger outside of office hours, they’ll see when your team will be back online. 

By default, your office hours are set to weekdays from 9am to 5pm. To edit your office hours in your Messenger settings - just select ‘+ Add hours’, then choose the days and time you’re in the office. 

Set your expected response time

Once you’re happy with your office hours, share your reply time in your Messenger settings. This sets your customer’s expectation for when they should expect a response from your team. You can do this by: 

  • Setting your reply time manually - just select ‘In a few minutes’, ‘In a few hours’ or ‘In a day’ as your reply time. 

  • Or selecting ‘Dynamic reply time.' This pulls in your team’s median first reply time over the past 7 days. Important: We calculate your automatic reply time within your office hours. Review your office hours now to ensure they’re accurate.

This allows your customer to plan their next move based on real information. For example, if your team normally responds in a few minutes, your customer might choose to wait for your response there and then.

Or if you normally respond within a few hours they’ll know to move on to doing something else. 

Here's how your automatic reply time is calculated: 

  • We calculate your median first reply time over the past 7 days, updated daily.

  • If you've set your office hours, we'll calculate your automatic reply time within the office hours you've set. We recommend setting your office hours as this will ensure you get a more accurate automatic reply time. 

  • We only use new inbound conversations to calculate the automatic reply time, not replies to outbound messages.

  • It's calculated including any bot interaction times, which is why the expected reply time might differ a bit from the FRT in your Inbox Reports.

Note: If you've had fewer than 5 conversations in 7 days, we'll display "replies as soon as they can".

Set custom office hours and reply times for different teams

If you have multiple international teams in different timezones, you can add custom office hours that match each team’s timezone.

For example, if your app's local timezone is Los Angeles (Pacific Time) and you have a support team in New York, you can add office hours from 6am-2pm Los Angeles time (that's 9am-5pm in New York).

You can set custom office hours for a team in your Teams Settings.

Select a specific team to update and then choose their office hours.

You can also choose to use team-specific reply times.

How does Operator send your reply time?

Outside of your office hours, Operator will send your reply time immediately, so customers can quickly see when you'll be available.

During office hours you can choose if Operator should send the reply time right away, or wait two minutes to give your team time to respond. You can configure it for leads and users separately in the Operator settings:

Manage unexpected delays

If you experience a spike in conversations due to an outage, a big promotion or an external event, this can lead to longer wait times for your customers. Let them know with a special notice in your Messenger. 👌

In Messenger settings > "Special notice", you can switch this on and enter a message for your customers:

Then, any time a visitor, lead, or user starts a conversation in your Messenger, they'll see the special notice.

After things have returned to normal for your team, simply switch the notice off and it will no longer be shown in conversations.

They’ll see if your team is active 

When a teammate replies to your customer’s message, they’ll see if that teammate is active in your product. This helps to manage your customer’s expectations. If the teammate is active, for example, your customer will know they’ll likely get a response soon. 

They’ll know when you’re typing too 

Once you start writing a reply, your customer can see that you're typing in real-time. This cue lets them know your reply is coming shortly.

💡 Tip

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