It’s easy to show customers’ your team’s availability and let them know when they can expect a response from your team.
First, 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’, then choose the days and time you’re in the office.
Then, set your expected response time
Once you’re happy with your office hours, set 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:
- Selecting ‘Automatic 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.
- Or by setting your reply time manually - just select ‘typically replies within a few minutes’, ‘few hours’ or ‘within a day’ as your reply time.
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.
Note: If you've had fewer than 5 conversations in 7 days, we'll display "replies as soon as they can".
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 page:
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 > "Manage the unexpected", 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:
Note: The notice will also appear in any existing conversations that have already been started.
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.