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Chat inactivity: how it works

by Jacob Firuta

Inactivity timeouts is a feature invented to transfer a chat automatically to another available agent after the first assignee is not answering for set amount of time.

With it you can be sure your clients don’t ever get stuck with an agent who went away from keyboard. After a certain amount of time, the chat assigned to an inactive agent will be transferred to another agent who is accepting chats.

If you are in Team or Enterprise plan you can adjust the inactivity timeouts in your settings. For Starter and Regular plans, default settings (described below) apply.

The 3-minute rule

When the visitor sends the first message, the three-minute countdown starts. If the visitor doesn’t receive a message from the agent who is assigned to this chat in those three minutes, they will be transferred to another agent.

If you have a lot of chats at the same time and you want to avoid the transfer, you can always let the visitor know that you will get back to them in a minute. This way, the visitor knows what to expect and won’t get bounced to another agent.

The 10-minute rule

10-minute rule applies to ongoing chats. After ten minutes of inactivity on both sides, the ten-minute rule will kick in. If the visitor didn’t respond during these ten minutes and the agent didn’t send any additional messages, the chat will become inactive and the visitor circle will grey out.

Gray inactive chat
Inactive chats don’t count towards the maximum number of simultaneous chats an agent can have. This limit is set up in agent’s settings, more about them here.

Greyed out chat will become active again and the visitor circle will change to green when either the agent or the visitor responds in the chat.

Adjusting inactivity timeouts

You can change the amount of time it takes to transfer a chat to another agent or to turn it inactive by adjusting the inactivity timeouts. Simply access the Inactivity timeouts section of the application and enter the new value.

Inactivity section in LiveChat

Click on the Save changes button when you are done. In the same way, you can also choose to close all chats after set amount of time.

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