Creating a schedule with operating hours (Professional and Enterprise)

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  • Joel Hellman

    So, what happens on a chat that was requested during operator hours, but operator hours were passed and that chat is still waiting to be served? Will the offline form automatically display or will that chat be left open for agents to serve? 

    UPDATE: for anyone reading this, Zendesk Chat support told me that the chat offline form will only automatically pop up (replacing "the waiting to be served") for those customers that have initiated a chat request within operating hours but were still waiting to be served by agents after operating hours have ended, if all agent either have their status to Invisible or have logged out of Zendesk Chat.

    So, if you have 10 customers still waiting to be served after your operating hours have ended, you have the option to either serve them (no new requests will come in at this point, since your operating hours prevents this), or to have all your agents go invisible/log off, which will force the chat widget to display the contact form to any customer still waiting to be served.

    Note that having your agents go invisible won't prevent them from completing any ongoing chats. 

    If you choose to not "clean up" any requests waiting to be served after your operating hours have ended, you might want to complement this with a time based trigger message that sends a friendly message some time before the end of your operating hours, informing any customers requesting a chat but still waiting to be served that chat will soon close, and the customer will get a contact form option instead (if you have the offline form enabled of course). 

  • Alejandro Barreto

    Is there a way of displaying the same operating hours' message for mobile app integration?

  • Spencer Hudson

    what about international configurations with brands in different time zones ... information here is too basic. 

  • Lone Prairie Camp
    Is it possible to have (for example) 9-5 with an hour lunch break?
  • Louisechen

    is it possible to display the operating hours of each department, no display account?

    it always display the account operating hours on the top.

  • Ramin Shokrizadeh

    @Alejandro Currently, the mobile SDK does not support the displaying of operating hours.

    @Spencer You can use the department.filter() JS API to remove the departments from the operating hours dropdown in the widget. If you need more assistance, please email

    @Lone Prairie Camp this possible when using the department schedules. You can create two schedules for the same department and it will display the break on the widget.

    @Louisechen can you link me to where your widget is located and I can see what you are talking about? Thanks

  • Ramin Shokrizadeh

    Thanks. If you use $zopim.livechat.departments.setVisitorDepartment('客服協助') to pre-set the visitor department, it will be selected in the form and the operating hours dropdown.

  • John Carter

    There is a section that states "Enabling operating hours overrides any idle timeout settings agents have set up under Settings Personal Idle Timeout tab."

    This is not true. I have operating hours set and I idle out at 1 hour all day every day, as thats what I have my idle timeout set as.  So I dont understand why this article states this.

    Secondly, on 12/21 a chat was allowed to come in 2 hours after our "Schedule" was set to close?  Even if a rep forgot to log out this article states " Note: If you enable operating hours, your widget can only be online during the operating hours you've set. If an agent logs in outside of operating hours, their status is Invisible by default. If the agent tries to manually change it to Online, it's automatically set back to Invisible." Then why was a chat allowed to come in 2 hours after closing time? 

    This, along with not having the ability to log out reps manually and not being able to set a separate Holiday schedule makes Chat with Zendesk very frustrating to use as a frontline rep and as an administrator. 

  • Dan Kondzela

    Hey John, it sounds like you are bumping up against some unexpected behavior. Because of this I am going to create a ticket on your behalf to allow for a more in depth conversation on what may be going on. You'll hear from me via email!

  • Gordon So
    Is it possible to switch the widget to show the clock in 24 hours format on web? Our business hours lands across midnight and the display of '12:00 am' is pretty confusing. For example, it can be misinterpreted as that our support hours is 1 hour instead of 13 hours, and 3 hours instead of 15 hours. E.g.: Operating hours Monday - Wednesday 11:00 am to 12:00 am Thursday - Sunday 12:00 am to 2:00 am 11:00 am to 12:00 am A more initiative display would be nice, e.g.: Monday - Wednesday 11:00 until 00:00 (midnight) Thursday - Sunday 11:00 until 02:00
  • Johannes Bezuidenhout

    Hi Dan,

    We're experiencing the same issue John mentioned. We only started experiencing it in December.

    Our setup

    We use strictly Department hours (all Account hours were switched off for all options for both "Daily" and "Weekday/Weekend"). Initially we used 3 schedules of online hours, with all 3 of our departments added to each schedule. All departments have the same users. Basically, Schedule 1 toggles our main support hours, and Schedule 2 and 3 are used when I need to take the whole team offline in the middle of a shift to ensure we can schedule those offline hours ahead of time. So, for example, if we have two 30-minute meetings on a given day, one at 2-2:30pm and the other at 4:30-5pm, then Sched1 might state 7am-2pm, Sched2 might state 2:30pm-4:30pm, and Sched3 might state 5pm-7pm.

    Past experience vs. current experience

    In the past, this worked perfectly. Zendesk Chat would go offline as expected and then come back online as expected. However, since December, this has not functioned properly. The issue seems to have gotten worse since the start of this year. We've missed numerous chats coming in after we're supposed to be closed and offline.

    Description of problem

    I did some troubleshooting and it appears that there's a malfunction with the "online schedule" [Daily | Weekday/Weekend] settings within each Schedule’s operating hours setup in Chat > Settings > Account > Operating Hours. My assumption after testing is that the issue lies with "Weekday/Weekend" because that experiences the glitch most often.

    When at 6pm on a Wednesday I:

    1. disable Sched2 and Sched3 completely,
    2. then select Sched1 and input just one time range of 9am-5pm for just Wednesday under "Daily" (leaving all other daily options un-checked),
    3. then ensure both options under "Weekday/Weekend" are un-checked,
    4. then, while still viewing the "Weekday/Weekend" frame, click "Save changes",

    everything initially appears fine. When I select Sched1 and pick "Weekday/Weekend" from the dropdown, I see both options are disabled. However, when I next pick "Daily" from the dropdown, all days are now active for 9am-5pm. Also, after waiting 15 minutes, the account still has not gone offline.

    If I then:

    1. select Sched1 and input just one time range of 9am-5pm for just Wednesday under "Daily" (leaving all other daily options un-checked),
    2. then ensure both options under "Weekday/Weekend" are un-checked,
    3. then go back to the "Daily" frame and click "Save changes",

    everything again appears fine at first sight. When I select Sched1 and pick "Daily" from the dropdown, only Wed 9am-5pm is checked. However, when I pick "Weekday/Weekend" from the dropdown, both options are now active for 9am-5pm. And yet again, the account fails to go offline at all, even after waiting 15 minutes.

    I then tried a different tack, removed 2 departments, and for the remaining department (let's call it Dep1), created 2 separate online schedules, then disabled one of those schedules so I only had one active online schedule enabled. When I repeated the above troubleshooting steps, I experienced exactly the same issues.

    No matter what I do, I can't force a selection purely for Daily or Weekday/Weekend. When I want to restrict options for Daily, Weekday/Weekend automatically populates all options for 9am-5pm. When I want to restrict options for Weekday/Weekend, Daily automatically populates all options for 9am-5pm. This extends to all schedules for all departments I've created, whether isolated (by disabling all others) or used in conjunction with each other. There is no permutation that solves the problem. This is incredibly frustrating and seems to defeat the purpose of this function.

    Here's a short video to demonstrate (this is when I had 2 schedules for Dep1):

    Please note that I'm using Chrome 71.0.3578.98 (active instance extensions: Session Buddy, AdBlock, Pocket, Zoom) on a Mac running OS X El Capitan 10.11.6. I also encountered the problem on a PC using the same Chrome build and instance in Windows 7. I cleared my cache on both machines before testing (cookies, images, hosted data). No other web apps I've used on either machine in the past month seem to be malfunctioning in any similar ways.

    I will submit a ticket for this to your support team to investigate, but hopefully you see this as well. Maybe I'm just missing something obvious. If I am, please let me know. If not, please note that this issue is seriously messing with our ability to serve customers reliably. Thank you!

  • Tyler Dibble

    @johannes - We're experiencing a similar issue, where we have two departments (in this case distinct groups with different agents and customers) that have Chat. The second group just launched this week. On Friday's the two group shave different operating hours, but the system allowed all chats to proceed through based on the longer operating hours, causing one team to miss a large number of interactions.

    Have you made any progress identifying a solutions?

  • Johannes Bezuidenhout

    @Tyler - No, we still haven't made progress. I submitted a ticket on Wednesday evening but haven't heard anything back from Zendesk yet.

  • Renee

    I have 3 different time zones that we work in so tried to schedule 3 different departments with my local time zone. It doesn't work.  I am not sure if I have to make my Account settings 24/7 and also enable the schedules? but when I disable the Account setting and enable the schedule the chat doesn't show up for any of the department websites. I have resorted currently to enabling the account setting 24/7 and making my agents use the Idle feature so that they are invisible when a chat comes up in the other time zones.  This seems like a definite bug.  Unless I am doing something wrong???

  • Renee

    Is there perhaps a way to make it that the widget displays when the department is offline without giving the option of a dropdown to the customer to chat with another department?  Seeming that I can't get the chat option to disappear when none of the agents for that site are available?


  • Joe Beaudoin

    Hi Renee,

    Thanks for your questions.

    What you're describing is expected behavior, so I wouldn't so much call it a bug as it has to do with how you're routing the chats and configuring the departments.

    Among the options you can consider is automatically routing chats based on department online status, which is discussed in the following:

    Routing chats with the department setup you have right now by way of triggers won't work and the widget will display when other agents in the other departments are online, anyway.

    Consider the JS option explained in that article and let us know if you have any followup questions!

  • Derek Feswick

    Can you please confirm:

    If an incoming chat begins to be addressed by an Agent a few minutes before office hours end, will the chat be cut off or can the Agent continue to deal with the customer until it's resolved? Had an experience the other day where it appeared to be cut off, contrary to what I read above. Thanks


  • Ramin Shokrizadeh

    Hi Derek,

    The ongoing chat should not be disconnected once the end of operating hours kick in. The agent should be able to deal with the customer after the set schedule. 

    If you are consistently experiencing chats getting disconnected after the end of the schedule, please email to get further assistance.



  • Israel Gonzalez

    Wanted to report on some additional findings with operating hours. It looks like if an agent is logged in outside of business hours, operating hours are overridden. So any automated triggers that rely on Account are Online filter will continue to fire. Its common practice agents should log out at the end of their shift, however, that does not always happen. And unfortunately, it is not possible for an admin to manually log out logged in user. Please fix these issues. This defeats the whole purpose of operating hours.

  • Ramin Shokrizadeh

    Hi Israel,

    That is the case for mobile app and platform (bot) logins, since they do not support operating hours. The schedules are enforced at the front end by requiring the agent to change their status in the dashboard.

    If you do not use the mobile apps, the widget should go offline and triggers should not fire based on the account status being offline. 

    If you need further clarification or troubleshooting with your account, please email




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