Chat Session Timeout

What happens when a visitor’s request to chat is not accepted? How long will they stay in the queue?

If your live chat system is online, visitors who click to chat are entered into a queue until an agent accepts the chat request.

After a set period of inactivity between the agent and the visitor the chat session will “timeout.” At that point, the visitor will receive a prompt allowing them to either leave a message or continue waiting.

We highly recommend keeping chat session timeout set to the default 10 minutes.  If the timeout is set too low, visitors in active chat sessions may be interrupted by the “leave a message” prompt.

To adjust the Chat Session Timeout:

  1. Go to Admin Panel → Chat → Chat windows
  2. Select the chat window you’ll be adjusting
  3. Select a timeout from the drop-down list next to “Chat Session Timeout (min)”

In the case of SMS, Facebook, Google Business Messages, and WhatsApp, it is not possible to set a chat timeout.

Instead, a system timeout is set at 48 hours for chat sessions awaiting acceptance, and 30 minutes for chats that have been accepted and are waiting for a customer response. This is because chat sessions initiated through SMS and social media channels do not require the same level of urgency as traditional live chat sessions, where response time is crucial. Furthermore, the SMS and social media-initiated chat sessions do not follow your online schedule and will not trigger any offline actions you may have set up for your chat system. Instead, they will always be allowed to be initiated and will simply stay in the chat queue until they are accepted by an available agent. If a chat session is not accepted within 72 hours, it will timeout and automatically terminate. To ensure that agents are able to end chat sessions instead of waiting for the timeout to occur, it is recommended to enable the agents' ability to terminate chats in the Admin Workspace → Chat → General Settings. 

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